Eco Beasts is an independently run, grassroots project that started life when 2 Eco passionate teachers met, read on to hear their story.
Who we are
In November 2018 Helen and Katy met while working as primary teachers in Bangkok. Helen at Saint Andrews 71 International School, where she ran the Eco Club, an after school club that had started up several highly successful initiatives. Katy had just landed back in Bangkok, working a temporary contract at Shrewsbury International School, returning to the city with the goal to link local sustainability projects to schools.
Helen had laid the ground work for an event at STA, to bring the international schools together to work on and share their green practice. Upon meeting Helen, Katy joined in the planning and organisation of the event – bringing her vision to link local projects and developing what became Eco Beasts first Community Action Day.
Eco Beasts was born and developed as a self funded, grassroots project outside of full time employment by the duo and fast developed into the city wide initiative it is today.
The project would not have existed without the support of Helen’s school, Saint Andrews 71, where the first 2 events were held. Helen’s Eco Club became the first EcoBeasts club, which resulted in the school winning ‘The Best Environmental Initiative’ and ‘Best International School overall’ at the TES awards in London for their work with the project.
The Team at EcoBeasts is highly grateful to the school for their support and congratulates the EcoBeasts school club for its fantastic achievement.
co founder Eco Beasts
Originally from Scotland, Katy has always had a passion for protecting the natural world and the importance of community. She worked in project management, youth projects and service management in various locations before starting her career in education.
Her first year teaching in Scotland developed her pedagogy in a challenging environment with a diverse range of needs. Her desire to travel took her to Kuwait where she deepened her understanding of working with different cultures and education systems. After accepting a position in Bangkok, she helped to develop the schools journey transitioning to the PYP curriculum. This child centred, inquiry based approach leading children to take direct action ignited her curiosity. Her next position in Spain saw her develop and execute the schools first PYP exhibition, taking her students on a research based journey to take direct action in the local community.
Her passion was realised and she returned to the UK with the goal to start up her own project bringing local environmental experts into schools. Harnessing their knowledge to educate students and teachers while connecting them to their local community.
Finding it hard to get started in the UK with fierce competition, she accepted a position back in Bangkok. Her goal to use her knowledge of the city and the nature of the international community to develop an environmental initiative. A week after arriving in the city, she met Helen and joined forces to create what is now EcoBeasts.
Katy still lives in Bangkok working hard to drive the project forward.
co founder Eco Beasts
Originally from Belfast, Helen began her career as an educator over 10 years ago in inner city London. Here she gained experience educating children with a wide range of needs from a wealth of different countries and backgrounds. Inspired by the positive impact good quality education can nurture, Helen welcomed a new challenge to combine teaching with her adventurous nature and accepted a teaching job in Erbil, Iraq. It was here she deepened her knowledge of child lead inquiry and action through the PYP curriculum. This left a lasting impression as she realised that a truly effective teachers job is not just to instruct their students but to guide them on a journey that allows them to discover, problem solve and learn for themselves. These values have been at the forefront of her practise every since. During her 6 years teaching in Thailand Helen spent much of her extra curricular time trying to make educational links between Bangkok international schools and the local Thai communities. In Regents she supported the year 6 children who provided a phonics program to the children at the ‘Good Shepherd Sister’ and whilst working in STA 71 she became the coordinator of the English teaching programme for the children in the Khlong Toei ‘Mercy Centre’. It was also during her time in STA 71 that Helen’s passion for environmental education ignited and led to the creation of the first Eco Beast club. This gave her the opportunity to study first hand the model of how children were able to educate their communities in order to make some really positive environmental changes including becoming the first ‘Meat free Monday’ school in Thailand.
Helen has since relocated to Bogota, Colombia, where she plans to start up a similar iniaitive in the city.