SchemaPlay: Education for Sustainable Citizenship

A collaboration with Kent County Council Early Years and Child Care Service


This is a collaborative project between Kent CC and SchemaPlay that was launched in October 2016. The work has initially involved six preschools in developing training resources for Education for Sustainable Citizenship (EfSC). These resources were to be applied across the authority. These initial aims have now been developed further in the collaboration, and the intention is to supplement the work with the development of a more appropriate and comprehensive ESC curriculum auditing tool kit, and a preschool accreditation scheme with the potential of national and even international application as the Kent Sustainable Preschool Award. Inequality and underachievement provide a significant barrier to sustainable development and the work carried out has therefore been focused as much on raising effectiveness and outcomes, as on the traditional concerns of developing the foundations of environmental, economic and sociocultural education in early childhood.
project flyer


The poster was developed as a photo collage featuring the 180 preschool children campaigning as sustainable citizens for the protection of their wildlife heritage and the Lemurs of Madagascar. In the process they are learning to care for the natural world and they are learning that they can contribute towards protecting it. We have developed resources and strategies that introduce the children to the roles of Wildlife Rangers who are employed to take care of the Lemurs. We are using radio telemetry to show them how the Rangers will win (with funding) in the game of 'hide and seek' and be able to protect the animals. Later the children will learn that celebrity animals like the Lemurs are an integral part of complex local ecosystems and their loss has implications for countless other natural species who share their habitat. It may be some years before they fully understand the importance of biodiversity and of the actions that they are taking, but for now they are exercising their Right as identified in the UN Convention to have a voice on all matters that materially affect them. They are learning to care about the natural world and they are learning that they can take action to protect it.

Access the Lemur campaign poster here


A game of ‘hide and seek’ with a difference:

One child playing the role of 'Lemur' hides wearing a transmitter, just like the ‘collar’ that will be given to the Lemurs. The other children playing the role of 'Wildlife Rangers' find the 'Lemur' with the help of radio telemetry.
In education for sustainable citizenship it is not enough for children to just learn about the natural world, it is important that they learn that they can take action to protect it!

When the children play ‘hide and seek’ they alternate between the role of the ’hider’ and the ‘seeker’ and begin to put themselves into another child’s shoes. This type of play is particularly valuable because it helps develop empathy and the ability to recognise our interdependence with the natural world.

Reading List: Mendeley

Foundation Stage Forum

Participants may access the Foundation Stage Forum here

Access the Foundation Stage OPEN Forums here

The open forum link for International Mother Language

The open forum link for United Nations World Wildlife Day

The open forum link for Earth Day

Access the SchemaPlay/327Matters ESD pages here

Access the SchemaPlay/327Matters ESD Blogs here