North Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School’s Global Garden

Last May North Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School launched its Global Garden. Watch our film about this project which showcases Third Year Sustainability CBA (class-based assessment) projects together with our Transition Year Outdoor Learning class.

The project, funded by WorldWise Global Schools (WWGS), aims to connect learning outdoors with Global Citizenship Education (GCE) themes.  

What is a Global Garden?  A Global Garden is a small space designed to minimise its environmental impact in a world facing the challenges of climate change. It is used as a living resource to educate our community about global justice and how our actions can have both a local and a global impact. 

What makes our Global Garden unique? It reduces food miles and carbon emissions by growing fruit and vegetables for local consumption. It doesn’t use any oil-based fertilisers, peat-based compost, pesticides or chemicals and uses harvested rainwater to reduce water consumption. It also limits its carbon footprint by using locally sourced, re-used and renewable materials where possible. 

How can we teach GCE themes in a practical way? 

Through experiential tasks such as growing their own food and making a ‘food waste soup’, students looked at unsustainable food systems, exploitation and trade, child labour, farmers rights and food waste. Students saved open pollinated seeds and researched seed sovereignty, the rights of farmers across the world and the work of activist Vandana Shiva.  

All staff, students and visitors have enjoyed visiting the garden since its launch. The short film about the project is available on YouTube.

This year, thanks to further support from WWGS, we aim to build curricular links with other subjects such as history by exploring the historical, cultural and economic links with specific plants, as well as to aspects of the curriculum in both Spanish and Politics and Society.  

Kate Minnock is a teacher of Art, Ethical Education, Outdoor Learning and together with Educators for Sustainability has co-authored a new Junior Cycle short course in Climate Action. For more information on this short course see