St. Mary’s currently holds a seventh Green Schools Flag, most recently awarded in September 2020.
Green-Schools, known internationally as Eco-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.
Unlike a once-off project, it is a long-term programme that introduces participants (students, teachers, parents and the wider community) to the concept of an environmental management system.
However, Green-Schools is far more than just 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 also promotes a strong sense of teamwork among teachers, students and the wider community to reach a common high level goal. It flattens and democratises school management structures. It brings children into the decision-making process and makes them responsible for their decision and actions. In fact it could be best described as being ‘more than the sum of its parts’.
The aim of Green-Schools is to increase students’ and participant awareness of environmental issues through classroom studies and to transfer this knowledge into positive environmental action in the school and also in the wider community. Schools that have successfully completed all the elements of the programme are awarded the ‘Green-Flag’. This award has now become a well-recognised Eco-Label. The award has to be renewed every two years.
Green-Schools (Eco-Schools) is an initative of, and co-ordinated on an international level by, FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education). Currently, the Programme is being implemented in over 50 countries around the world, involving over 40,000 schools, 11,000,000 students, 850,000 teachers and 5,700 local authorities.
Our Ocean, Our Plan – 1st Instalment
Pupils from 3rd – 6th Class are having their say on how they would like our oceans and seas to be used in the future.
Using their artistic skills they designed a poster or a 3 D model to illustrate their ideas.
I think you will agree that the future of our seas will be in good hands when these budding planners become adults in the years to come.
Here are some of their ideas:
“Our project is about what is in our oceans. There is a lot of plastic killing the fish. It shows a whale with plastic inside him.”
“Our project shows how to help the ocean.”
“This is a 3-D model of life under the sea. You can see cans, plastic, fishing nets and lots more. Please don’t litter because you can see what happens when you do.”
“In my project I have a string of a mask tied around a sea gull’s beak and a plastic bag around a turtle’s neck. I have some styrofoam floating in the sea. I used tissue paper from a package to make the sea and a shoe box lid for the base. I even used a stock pot container to give it some height.”
One of our pupils made an underwater model of the ocean floor using clay and painted it a beautiful deep blue colour.
Here are some tips from these young Marine Experts on how to prevent marine litter:
1)Use less plastic
2) If you must use plastic then make sure to recycle it properly.
3) Switch to reusable shopping bags.
4) Use paper straws, never plastic.
5) Use Tetra Pak instead of plastic
6) Use refillable containers instead of plastic disposable ones.
7) Avoid plastic cutlery – it’s such a waste!
REMEMBER: “INDIVIDUALLY WE ARE ONE DROP BUT TOGETHER WE ARE AN OCEAN.” (Saturo – Japanese poet)
Green School Committee
Meet our Green School Committee!!
Leave No Trace Workshop
Last Tuesday , February 23rd 2016, 3rd & 4th class had a ‘leave no trace’ workshop where we learned all about the environment. We learned the seven principles to ‘Leave no Trace.’
We also had the chance to do fun activities. We at one point got the opportunity to search for rubbish littered across the school grounds. We were surprised at the large amount of litter scattered across the yards. After picking up litter Eoin McMahon showed us a box of rations from the Irish defence army. He also told us how some soldiers hide the packaging under rocks. Eoin has a friend from the army who is trying to bring leave no trace to the army. After our exhilarating experience we will no longer litter again.
By Luke and Orlaith.