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Written by Özlem Mizrahi, Bengisu Cura, Seden Mıhcıoğlu, and Gökçe Öge, Global Schools Advocates from Turkey

Climbing the steps of the ladder hand in hand for the change

Ayazağa Işık Primary and Secondary School believes in the power of planning by creating transdisciplinary cooperation opportunities both in primary and secondary school. We aim to maintain an international-minded system that focuses on the importance of collaborative projects while creating a school culture of raising good citizens for the planet Earth.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a great way of creating a difference by raising inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring people who are united in common values to create a better world through understanding and respect, therefore, aligning with the International Baccalaureate (IB) perspective. ESD is the final touch of a holistic curriculum focusing on understanding real-life issues and building crucial soft skills for the 21st-century individual.

The journey is of great importance for the destination, and the importance of collaboration is emphasized here. It’s an ongoing process that develops and improves skills for a successful and happy life with the concept of sustainability. This knowledge and these skills allow us to continue our existence.

The synchronized teamwork to bring ESD to Ayazağa Işik Primary and Secondary School

After our school was accepted as a member of the Global Schools Program (GSP), we completed our advocacy training, and after this journey, we started to take ESD more consciously. First, we introduced this program to the school community at the beginning of the Academic Year 2022-2023. Then, we got together with the leadership team of advocates, heads of departments, and subject and level coordinators to make a presentation and conduct a workshop.

After this step, the attending school community applied a similar classroom presentation with activities suggested by the advocates. It was time to dig deeper and take action.

Regarding the needs, curriculum, and age group of our students, we chose a different global goal for each grade level to work on throughout the academic year. The students created sub-topics, and this process is to be completed with a student-centered build-up approach and a presentation at the end of the year conducted by the same students leading the journey.

The main aim was to integrate all relevant studies, not only related to the selected global goals for each level but also to other possible studies which can be implemented into the curriculum. We tried to create opportunities for an agency with a flexible approach, open to change, development, and progress. Nothing was set in stone. We followed up with a growth mindset.

We carried on working on the planning process with the heads of departments and teachers to implement global goals for every single subject throughout the year. You can see the summary of the first four months below.

The system follows up with a monthly ‘Global Goals Action Plan’, an evidence folder, and advocates getting together regularly before detailed planning with teachers. The teachers document and report monthly to the advocates Özlem Mizrahi, Bengisu Cura, Seden Mıhcıoğlu, and Gökçe Öge. We also use this data while completing our monthly Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Community campaigns, school-wide projects, and in-class activities are being and will continue to be held, and this is only the beginning of this wonderful journey. That’s why, as Global Schools Advocates of Ayazağa Işık Primary and Secondary School, we consider ourselves extremely lucky to work at a big school full of like-minded people eager to help this dream come true.

The motto is:

Coming together is a BEGINNING

Keeping together is PROGRESS

Working together is SUCCESS

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