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What is the WSA

for sustainable development

The Whole School Approach to Sustainable Development is a framework that supports schools in shaping education for a sustainable future, in consultation with all stakeholders and interested parties in and around the school. The WSA helps to integrate sustainability issues structurally and coherently into the school organization.

The WSA uses a flower as an image. The petals are the domains of change. The heart of the flower is the school's vision for education in the context of the 21st century. This is the place where all the petals are connected. The context of the WSA are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Why is the WSA needed?

The WSA helps to embed sustainable development in all domains that affect learning. In this way, from all the petals of the WSA, pupils and students are nurtured and encouraged to learn to think and act sustainably. Attention to sustainable development becomes a matter of course. The school thus lays the foundation for a sustainable attitude and lifestyle.

The WSA helps schools to ask the right questions together - young people, teachers, management, educational support staff and stakeholders around the school - in order to create a place where sustainability is lived. This framework is an invitation to discover what contribution you as a school can make to the transition towards a sustainable society.

How does the WSA work?

Each school can give shape to the WSA in its own way. The framework offers space to start thinking and acting sustainably in the place where the school is currently working: whether this is making the canteen more sustainable, building a network with sustainable leaders in the region or making the curriculum more sustainable. The WSA gives space to work on each part, without losing sight of the coherence.

In this basic document (Written by Floor, Anne, Anna, Gerben, André, Jan Willem, John and Heleentje), we describe the five petals and the heart of the flower using starting questions that can get the conversation going between all involved, starting at the heart. These are the questions that can also be found in the image. With each starting question, we distinguish a number of sub-questions and keywords that can help move the conversation forward.

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