The Island Schools’ kick-off meeting with our project partners was held digitally in November 2020. However, partners still managed to experience Vlieland, the Dutch island taking part in the project, by exploring a virtual island with videos and discussions. The meeting was full of positivity and ambitious goals from all the partners. It was great to see that everyone is on the same page.
The Island schools project aims to connect Europe’s island schools together in order to create an innovative education based around sustainability challenges. With other project partners from Iceland, the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, and Greece, the project will bring together the top universities to work on education and sustainability work with island schools to co-create the learning materials which place the emphasis on pupils’ active citizenship and the sustainable future of their islands.
Under normal circumstances, the meeting would have taken place on the island of Vlieland, one of the Frisian Wadden Islands that are located in the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea. The island has a total population of around 1000 inhabitants and is located approximately 2 hours by ferry from the Dutch mainland. The island is now experimenting with new boat service to connect the school with those on other islands – a video from the Dutch children’s news (in Dutch) gives you an idea of how that works!
The partners participating in the project are experts from different fields from across Europe. The Icelandic partner, University of Akureyri, is an expert in remote learning and digital tools for education. The Scottish partner University of Strathclyde has experiences in delivering island education as they already runs a project with island schools called Island Explorers. The Spanish partner, Universitat Politècnica de València, has a wealth of knowledge on challenge-based learning. The University of Groningen in the Netherlands will bring in their expertise in islands, sustainability and population decline. The Greek eLearning experts IDEC will develop an online platform for schools with us, Learning Hub Friesland – who coordinates the project and ensures everything runs smoothly. De Jutter and the Gymnasium of Astypalaia – a Greek island school, represent many group of island schools that will join the project and ensure that their needs are truly reflected in everything the project does.
After a great digital start, we can't wait to get going on the project!