Green Schools is an international environmental education programme, environmental management system and award scheme that promotes and acknowledges long-term, whole school action for the environment.  It is a long-term programme that introduces students, teachers, parents and the wider community to the concept of an environmental management system.  It fosters a strong sense of citizenship and leadership among participants that spreads far outside the school into the wider community.  It brings children into the decision-making process and makes them responsible for their decisions and actions.  For more information on the programme, please visit the Green School Ireland website.

Our Green School Action Plan 2020 – 22

Year 1

September 2020 (Back to School Post Lockdown)

  • Welcome new infants and explain our lunch-box rules (suck it, squash it, pack it – all your wrappings go back home) – Miss McCann and O’Rourke
  • Elect new Green School Committee 1st – 6th class
  • Remind all classes of our lunch-box rules – class reps
  • Green School Committee Meeting to discuss plans for Global Citizenship – Energy theme
  • Water and Energy Monitor Elections in each class
  • Plant Spring bulbs – all classes (snowdrops, crocus and daffodils)
  • Infants – Autumn trail

Green School Committee 2020 – 21

Infants planting snowdrops

October 2020

  • Environmental Audit and Global Citizenship Energy Awareness Survey:  Class reps
  • Our target – To increase awareness of the importance of energy usage and action to stop climate change by 5% (our new families) among all pupils and their families
  • Relaunch Wow/Cow days with Mrs Lawless
  • School Community Big Walk – Halloween Spook Walk through park and Rathmount housing estate

Autumn Spooky Walk through Blackrock Park and Rathmount

November 2020

  • Pre-winter clean-up of school grounds – class reps
  • Promotion of Recycled Christmas Decoration competition
  • Final decision on Global Citizenship:  Energy project per class
  • Where our favourite foods come from (Global Goal 13 – Food Miles and Climate Change).  These activities will continue in year 2 so that each class gets to work on two surveys/projects

December 2020

  • Recycled art: Annual Christmas decoration competition

Recycled Christmas Tree Decoration competition

January 2021

January – mid-March:  Activities were mostly postponed due to school closure

  • Start garden plan – each class to decide what they will plant and what they will make from recycled materials (see garden plan)

February 2021

  • Brigid’s Crosses – 4th, 5th and 6th Classes (History, Art, Biodiversity)
  • Plant oxygenator plants in frog pond

Before

After

Resident

March 2021 (return to school from the 15th)

  • Allocate Garden areas to each class
  • Indoor planting (starting seeds) – cress, salad, sunflowers, Incredible Edibles – class teachers
  • Each class collect material for recycled art in school garden – all pupils
  • Promote Scoot to School Week 22nd – 26th – class reps
  • National Tree Week 21st – 28th – tree identification walk through village – 4th class

National Tree Week Fun

April 2021

  • Participate in An Taisce National Spring Clean in school, at the park, and with Blackrock Tidy Towns on the beach – everyone
  • Annual Green School Poster Campaign – each Class 2nd – 6th take a different Green School theme
  • Outdoor vegetable (4th class) and pollinator friendly flower planting (infants)

Helping during An Taisce’s National Spring Clean

May 2021

  • Tree Trail (identify trees in our school grounds) – each class participates
  • National Walk to School Week 24th – 28th – Encourage all to get involved (class reps)
  • Outdoor flower planting (tyres at front, flower towers by front door, baskets on bicycles, green recycled tubs) – 5th and 6th classes
  • Bee and butterfly garden – 4th class
  • Rejuvenate front flower beds with pollinator friendly planting

Rejuvenation of front beds with pollinator attracting plants

June 2021

  • Road cycling safety awareness training 5th and 6th classes
  • Each Class to have time in school garden – (timetabled at back door)
  • Big Walk – Beach scavenger hunt with spotter cards (whole school activity); bring back any litter found on beach
  • Garden weeding rota – all classes involved in pods (Mondays – Infants, Tuesdays – 1st and 2nd, Wednesdays – 3rd and 4th, Thursdays – 5th and 6th

5th class planting pollinator friendly plants in the park with Eileen (Blackrock Tidy Towns)

Exploring our shore with Aidan Gray, An Taisce, and Marie McCallion, Blackrock Tidy Towns

Year 2

 September 2021

  • Welcome new infants and explain our lunch-box rules (suck it, squash it, pack it – all your wrappings go back home) – Miss Treadwell and Miss Kellegher
  • Elect new Green School Committee 1st – 6th class
  • Remind all classes of our lunch-box rules – class rep
  • Re-launch WOW/COW days (GS committee)
  • Projects on Global Citizenship – Energy: Where our Favourite Foods Come From (Global Goal 13 – food miles and climate change). These activities are continued from year 1 so that each class has worked on two surveys and projects. Display results on our Green School Notice Board.
  • National Bike Week 12th– 18th – Encourage all to get involved by posters and announcement (Class Reps)
  • Plant Spring Bulbs – Infants and 4th Class

National COW Day, 2021

Senior Infants planting crocus bulbs

October 2021

Our Climate Change DAY OF ACTION:

  • Welcome German environmental artist Arnd on his Climate Walk to Cop26 October 8th
  • Climate Change discussion with Arnd and Petra on ways to reduce our use of fossil fuel energy
  • Climate change pledge
  • GS Committee photo with “Cop On” message sent to our elected representatives
  • School Community Big Walk – Halloween Spook Walk through park and Rathmount housing estate

Autumn Spooky Walk through Blackrock Park and Rathmount

November 2021

  • Pre-Winter clean-up of school grounds – 6th Class
  • Promotion of Recycled Christmas Decoration competition – class reps

December 2021

  • Recycled Art:  Christmas Decoration Competition

Recycled Christmas tree decorations 2021

January 2022

  • Global Citizenship: Energy Environmental Review and Follow-up Survey – Class Reps
  • Start Garden Plan – each class to decide what they will plant 2022 and what they will make from recycled materials
  • Science activities exploring efficient energy use

4th class energy experiments

February 2022

  • Brigid’s Crosses – 5th and 6th Classes (History, Art, Biodiversity)
  • Poster Campaign – each Class 2nd – 6th to take a different Green School theme

March 2022

  • Allocate Garden areas to each class
  • Indoor Planting (starting seeds) – cress, salad, sunflowers, Incredible Edibles – all classes
  • Promote Scoot to School Week March 7th – 11th – class reps

Lots of scooters (and a few bikes too)

  • National Tree Week:  Annual Tree Trail 20th – 26th for all classes
  • Each class collects material for recycled art in school garden – all pupils
  • Garden and Park visits with Tidy Towns gardeners using bee and butterfly spotter cards – 1st – 6th class

2nd Class Tree Trail

April 2022

  • Participate in An Taisce National Spring Clean in school, at the park, and with Blackrock Tidy Towns at the beach clean-up
  • Celebrate Marine Week 4th– 8th Big Walk – beach scavenger hunt using beach spotter cards – whole school activity in mixed class groups
  • Outdoor vegetable planting
  • Garden and park visits with Tidy Towns gardeners using bee and butterfly spotter cards – 1st – 6th class

May 2022

  • Promote National Walk to School Week, May 17th – 21st poster campaign – class reps
  • Promote National Bike Week, May 14th – 22nd poster campaign – class reps
  • Outdoor flower planting
  • Meet to organise Louth County Council Environmental Awards application – GS Committee
  • Garden and park visits with Tidy Towns gardeners using bee and butterfly spotter cards – 1st – 6th class

June 2022

  • Garden and park visits with Tidy Towns gardeners using bee and butterfly spotter cards – 1st – 6th class
  • National Bike Week – Encourage all to get involved through posters, competitions (bring your bike/helmet) – class reps
  • Recycle-a-Bike Campaign (following last year’s success) – whole school and parents
  • Road cycling safety training – 4th – 6th classes, with Sorcha Brophy (An Tasice)
  • Garden weeding rota – all classes involved
  • June beach scavenger hunt using beach spotter cards – whole school activity in mixed class groups

Throughout the 2 years, each class has also been learning about pollination, made items for our school garden from recycled materials to encourage biodiversity and grown either flowers or vegetables from seed.

Our Energy consumption increased by 15% over the two years due to having our classroom windows open during Covid. We aim to work towards reducing this by the same amount during the same period next year.

 We have achieved our target of increasing awareness and action by 7.5% as ALL of our families are now acknowledging awareness of the importance of working to stop Climate Change and have made pledges to “Be More Green”.

We know that it’s not enough, but it’s a contribution.