What is a European Blue School?
A European Blue School brings the ocean into the classroom. It’s a school, which through project-based learning, engages students with marine- and maritime-related topics to create awareness and a feeling of responsibility for our ocean.
We live on a blue planet. We have one ocean, without which, life as we know would simply not exist.
The European Union, among its 27 Member States, has the largest maritime territory in the world (approximately 3.9 M km2) and a coastline of some 100,000 km. Over 16% of the population lives by the coast and the European Blue Economy directly generates close to 5 million jobs. Yet many European citizens are not aware of the importance of the ocean and the services it offers us – how it regulates the climate, how it produces much of the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat and supports human livelihoods and wellbeing.
The understanding of the ocean's influence on us - humans - and our influence on the ocean is known as Ocean Literacy.
The European Commission recognizes the urgent need to enhance the ocean literacy of European Citizens as a crucial element of the implementation of sustainable management of the ocean.
The EU4Ocean Coalition, with the support of DG MARE, brings together organizations, projects, and individuals committed to promoting ocean literacy across Europe. The Network of European Blue Schools is one of the three pillars of the Coalition, established as a hub for all schools and teachers that strive to engage students with oceanic topics and educate a new generation of ocean literate young citizens.
The concept of a European Blue School evolved from the marine education expertise gathered from consultations with teachers and educators across Europe. It acknowledges the variety of cultures and school communities from the 27 EU Member States and champions the concept of open schooling – encouraging the development of local partnerships to make the learning context relevant.
- Create a more ocean-literate society where schools become agents for change and sustainability
- Build bridges between ocean professionals and schools
- Set up a network where teachers can share experiences and collaborate with other schools, nationally and internationally
Help you pupils 'find the blue'
Teachers are the main actors who bring the concept of Blue Schools to life. Curricula, educational systems, and government requirements differ from member state to member state. The teachers, however, can bring the ocean to their classes by challenging the students to explore their connections to the ocean in classes of Biology, Physics, Chemistry, as well as Mathematics, History, Literature, Arts... The relationship of the ocean with humankind encompasses all areas of society.
Whether coastal or located inland, if your school carried out, is currently realising or is planning to develop a project connected to the ocean consider applying to the Network and become a European Blue School.
Become a European Blue School
European Blue Schools bring the ocean into the classroom. On the journey to becoming a European Blue School, teachers and pupils will improve their understanding of the ocean and develop a sense of responsibility towards our shared planet. Learn more on how to become a European Blue School and get on board!
Join our Facebook group for Blue Schools!
Are you a member of the Network of European Blue Schools?
A multitude of threats including climate change, overfishing and pollution is putting our ocean at risk, and changing course requires us to work together. As part of the EU4Ocean Coalition, the Make Europe Blue campaign is calling on you - citizens, businesses, organisations, authorities, celebrities, educators - to make a pledge to help the ocean. Your pledge is a personal promise or action that will keep our ocean healthy. Every action – even the smallest one - brings change to our ocean!
Check out the campaign page and get inspired by the pledges of journalists, educators, policy-makers, activists and organisations engaged in ocean protection.
About the EU4Ocean Coalition
The EU4Ocean Platform is part of the EU4Ocean Coalition, which connects diverse organisations, projects and people that contribute to ocean literacy and the sustainable management of the ocean. Supported by the European Commission, this bottom-up inclusive initiative aims at uniting the voices of Europeans to make the ocean a concern of everyone. In addition to the Platform, the EU4Ocean Coalition includes the Youth4Ocean Forum and the Network of European Blue Schools.