The Irish partner Cultivate Living and Learning piloted the SfR module in two schools. Raheen Wood Steiner Secondary School in County Clare in the west of Ireland, which offers a full-time, progressive education for 12-17 year olds was one of these. The SfR module was piloted over 10 weeks with a field trip to Ireland’s leading sustainable community project, Cloughjordan Ecovillage. To host one of the two Irish pilot modules of SfR with 12 students from the Steiner Secondary School was an opportunity to test the material with a receptive group of students outside of the national school system.
The second pilot was hosted in Colaiste Chill Mhantain, a secondary school in County Wicklow with 15 to 16 year old students in Transition Year. This is an optional one-year school programme that can be taken the year after the Junior Certificate in Ireland and before the 2 final years in senior cycle. The Transition Year Programme promotes the personal, social, vocational and educational development of students and prepares them for their role as responsible members of society. The pilot was designed to fit this unique year in Irish schools.
Both pilots were well received and encouraged student engagement with the local area through observation exercises and field trips. The course explored values, whole systems thinking and how we might strengthen the resilience of our communities. The final action of both schools was a celebration of local food, where the students prepared a meal and hosted an event for the local community. The students delivered presentations, played music and hosted talks and discussions with producers from the local area, while building relationships with the community and developing a stronger sense of place.