International solidarity & sustainable development
"Some men see things as they are and say why. Some dream things that never were and say why not."
Pupils and teachers have always found Ecole des Roches to be a fertile ground for creativity. For over one hundred years the School has been the place where new ideas and initiatives take off. In 2009, Ecole des Roches was awarded Level I for sustainable development by the Institutes of Haute Normandie, and our Level II award followed in 2014.
Students at Ecole des Roche have selected seven key subjects relating to sustainable development and care for our environment. They are fully supported by the teaching team, school community and sustainable development steering committee.
1. International solidarity
Rocheux are generous, there’s no doubt about it. Beyond their big hearts, our students' involvement has lasting, sustainable results that provide access to education and many other benefits to others around the world.
Each School House has it's own personal project.
- One sponsors a school in Madagascar
- Another organises fund raising for Avisa Association which distributes eyeglasses to Africa
- Students have supported the humanitarian association Voix Libres through the sale of Bolivian handicraft at school.
- Others organise charitable activities to help NSCW orphanage in Nepal or to build a school in Burkina Faso.
2. Local solidarity
Ecole des Roches has been an integral part of the local community for over one hundred years. Today groups of student volunteers carry on the tradition of visiting the elderly in the La Vannerie retirement home in the village of Verneuil-sur-Avre.
It is not just time well spent and good company. Our students have organised computer courses to teach the elderly residents new technology skills. And each year they host an inter-generational celebration, inviting them to the School.
At the end of the year, students offer to the Red Cross, their clothes that are too small and in good condition and their school equipment they no longer need to Lutille (Association against illiteracy of Mortagne).
Other houses coordinate collection of cans and caps for the Anthony de Verneuil Association.
Children also learn to better balance their meals, to eat responsibly thanks to meals from sustainable agriculture, to know other flavors each week and above all not to waste food.
With the creation of the of Unesco Nature club, eco-delegates were able to take concrete action by creating a protected site LPO (Bird Protection League) behind the Mother House of the school La Guichardière built in 1899. The children enthusiastically led a reforestation project in partnership with the agricultural school of Chambray. Students have already reserved space for their future vegetable garden. Manufacturing of nesting boxes and hedgehog shelters is one of many activities that the Club undertakes.
"I like coming to the DD Club because I learn to better preserve our planet and I do it with my friends while still having a good time." Sébastien, 9th grade.
5. Waste management
Selective sorting is not applied in all countries but the École des Roches House Parents and eco-delegates are trying to comply with this requirement in order to facilitate the work to staff and to be consistent with the standards required by the Community of Verneuil municipality.
Through visits to the sorting center of Evreux, students learn the true value of things and avoid perpetuating the waste of natural resources. They are often examples for adults who do not have the right approach yet.
At Ecole des Roches our students are very aware of their personal water and electricity consumption. Even if a supervisor is appointed to ensure that the lights are well off when leaving a room, for example, everyone knows that "we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children" St. Exupéry.
7. Social and cultural diversity
Many foreign trips are offered to students each year allowing them to expand their knowledge but also their minds. Every year in April Ecole des Roches celebrates all of the many nationalities who study at our school. The day is a great way for students to learn more about each others' culture. Together they strengthen their respect for differences and open their eyes to the things they all share in common.