Be part of the European Blue Schools Network!

Ana Vitoria Tereza de Magalhaes

Ana Vitoria Tereza

31 Jul 2023

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. 

Together, we form the Network of European Blue Schools – one of the three pillars of the EU4Ocean Coalition. We are a hub for all schools and teachers that strive to engage students with oceanic topics and raise awareness on marine issues.

What we do

The Network of European Blue Schools aims to empower schools and teachers who are agents of change for the ocean and support them in educating the new generation of more aware, responsible, and engaged Ocean Literate citizens. 

We provide a platform to exchange experiences and work collaboratively with a growing network of European colleagues and experts, as knowledge exchange and partner search are the most valued benefits for teachers who strive to bring the ocean into their classrooms.

We support schools and teachers in developing new ideas and implementing innovative ocean education such as project-based learning and open education, by giving access to resources, activities, and professional development opportunities organized by EU4Ocean Platform and Youth4Ocean members and other European institutions and projects. 

We build bridges between ocean professionals and schools. European Blue Schools collaborate with ocean professionals from research institutions, environmental NGOs, and other organizations in bringing real-life topics and activities into the classroom where students can investigate and solve challenges in and with the wider society. 

We promote Blue Schools work by featuring their projects on the Maritime Forum of the European Commission, Handbook for Teachers, international conferences, and social media, as well as creating opportunities for networking and knowledge transfer. 

How to become a European Blue School

The educational model of a European Blue School is based on ten key points. These can be considered both as guidelines to develop a project and as criteria to self-evaluate the project that is already underway or recently completed. Any school, whether public or private, coastal or inland, can become a European Blue School if it carried out, is currently realizing or is planning to develop a project connected to the ocean and designed in agreement with the Blue Schools criteria.

The first five criteria are compulsory, and ensure that all Blue Schools provide the same quality and value for their students. Every project needs to address these criteria to obtain the European Blue Schools certification:

  1. Develop a project with interlinked activities
  2. Produce a clear output
  3. Involve all students
  4. Collaborate with a local partner
  5. Communicate project results

The remaining criteria are optional:

  • Provide authentic learning experiences
  • Work in a multi-disciplinary manner
  • Mobilize beyond the classroom
  • Foster land-sea interaction
  • Bring in a European dimension

How to join the Network of European Blue School

The registration process to be recognized as a European Blue School and automatically become a member of the Network of European Blue Schools with access to all benefits is simple and is completed online. 

Step 1 

The teacher fills out the online application form available on the Maritime Froum Blue Schools Community website. No EU Login is required. 

Step 2 

An automatic email confirming the submission is generated and sent to the applicant.

Step 3 

The application is reviewed by the coordinating team of the Network of European Blue Schools. The teacher may be contacted by the team during the revision process with requests to clarify certain parts of the application. 

Step 4 

The teacher receives a message about the results. 

  • The project is approved – the European Blue School certification is granted for the current school year. 
  • The project is declined – it can be altered to match the minimum requirements and re-submitted.

Step 5 

With the provided information in the application form, a webpage of the project is automatically generated on the Maritime Forum. 

Step 6 

The teacher joins the online European Blue School Community on the Maritime Forum 

  • Create an EU-login 
  • Request access to the Maritime Forum 
  • Request access to join the online European Blue School community

Step 7 

The teacher updates the school’s project’s webpage after finalizing the project with pictures, activities, and resources. 

Step 8 

Follow the Network of European Blue Schools via the newsletter and the online community #EUBlueSchools to receive information about new opportunities.