SchemaPlay: Education for Sustainable Citizenship

The OMEP-UK Early Childhood Education for Sustainable Citzenship (Passport) Award


The OMEP-UK Early Childhood Education for Sustainable Citzenship (ESC) Award was originally developed by SchemaPlay in collaboration with Kent preschool children, EYFS practitioners, families, and the Kent County Council Early Years and Childcare Service. The scheme provides training and support for the widest range of early childhood educational providers. For further information about the OMEP award and SchemaPlay contact:

A parallel Education for Sustainable Development Award (ESD) scheme is also offered by The Education People within Kent. For more information or to register for the Kent award contact:


This poster was developed in the Award pilot stages as a photo collage featuring the 180 preschool children campaigning as sustainable citizens for the protection of their wildlife heritage and the Lemurs of Madagascar. In the process they were learning to care for the natural world and they were learning that they can contribute towards protecting it. We developed resources and strategies that introduce the children to the roles of the Wildlife Rangers who are employed to take care of the Lemurs. We used radio telemetry to show them how the Rangers will win their game of 'hide and seek' with the lemurs in their efforts to protect them. Later the children will learn that celebrity animals like the Lemurs are an integral part of complex local ecosystems and their loss has implications for countless other natural species who share their habitat. It may be some years before they fully understand the importance of biodiversity and of the actions that they are taking, but for now they are exercising their Right as identified in the UN Convention to have a voice on all matters that materially affect them. They are learning to care about the natural world and they are learning that they can take action to protect it.

Access the Lemur campaign poster here


A game of ‘hide and seek’ with a difference:

One child playing the role of 'Lemur' hides wearing a transmitter, just like the ‘collar’ that will be given to the Lemurs. The other children playing the role of 'Wildlife Rangers' find the 'Lemur' with the help of radio telemetry.
In education for sustainable citizenship it is not enough for children to just learn about the natural world, it is important that they learn that they can take action to protect it!

When the children play ‘hide and seek’ they alternate between the role of the ’hider’ and the ‘seeker’ and begin to put themselves into another child’s shoes. This type of play is particularly valuable because it helps develop empathy and the ability to recognise our interdependence with the natural world.