For the past eight years Rathduff National School has been an active registered participant in the “Green Schools” programme. To date we have received three Green Flags of which we are very proud; we were awarded our first flag for ‘Litter and Waste’ in 2013, our second flag for ‘Energy Conservation’ in 2015, our third flag in 2017 for “Water” and are currently working on the theme of Global Citizenship- Marine Environment.
Update: On April 10th 2019 we received a letter from An Taisce informing us that our application for the Marine Green Flag was successful. We look forward to receiving the flag on May 13th.
Each year we have followed a step by step approach to become more aware of our “Environmental footprint”. We have held “Action days” e.g. Spring Clean, Limit Electricity days, Water Conservation days to promote our practices in school. Children have gone on trip to places such as; The Lifetime Lab, Mallow Recycling Centre, and The Blackrock Observatory to extend their knowledge on each topic. We have also had guest speakers and environmentalists visit the school to share their expertise and have been involved in workshops.
Litter & Waste was our first theme. We focused on litter and waste issues, encouraging a sense of responsibility.
For our Energy flag we look at the steps which can be taken at school to reduce energy consumption and raise awareness of climate change.
This theme developed awareness around water conservation and how to effectively manage this important resource.
This theme focuses on raising awareness of marine eco-systems and the work being done to save them.
To increase our awareness of Marine life we participated in the Marine Environmental Forum held in Cork City. Our Green Schools committee very much enjoyed creating a school survey, collecting the data and tabulating the results. Following a successful application our school was selected to participate in the Marine Environment Conference which took place in Limerick in December 2017. Sixth Class carried out a great deal of research into their Marine Topic and presented their findings to an audience in Thomond Park.
As part of our school curriculum each class explores topics relating to the environment.In 2018 Third class learned all about organising and re-using waste materials as part of the Geography curriculum. They learned about the Tidy Towns competition during these lessons and they created their own posters given the title “Save Our Environment”.
Also, as part of Science Day, children worked on the topic of Environmental Awareness and Care. One class had 3 bins labelled recyclable, disposable and compost. They had a variety of waste materials and pupils / parents who came to visit their stand had to place the correct items into the correct bins.
For National Tree week “Future Forests” garden centre donated a selection of native trees to a fourth class. Each child received a tree to plant at home; two were planted on the school grounds.
Other classes participated in ‘Big Grow’ initiative sponsored by Innocent Smoothies. Each child grew; cress, peas or spinach from seeds. Flowers were planted by children in various classes.
The school has created a “Sensory Garden” which reflects our spirit and commitment to care of the environment.
Last October children from our school attended the Green-Schools Marine Environment forum taking place in Cork City. The aim of the forum was to inspire a schools work on the Marine theme. It introduce the children to life underwater, the problem of marine litter, ocean science experiments, marine litter mandala art and gave ideas on how to build on our action plan. The pupils had a fantastic time at the event and returned school inspired, ready to take on the theme and raise awareness of these important issues. The school also took part in “Climate Action Week” by planting, taking surveys and exploring the Green Schools website.
Our Flags flying high!
As a Green school we are constantly encouraging the children to be conscious about the environment as well as looking for their input for new ideas for school activities to promote Rathduff N.S as a Green School.
Around the School we have:
- Green School Committee
- Our Green code ‘Keen to be Green!’
- Our Green Board
- Suggestion box for Green School
- Guest Speakers during the year
- Action days
- School garden where each class grows their own vegetables
- During the year we also have
- Recycling bins and compost bins
- Battery boxes in each classroom
Our Green Code is ‘Keen to be Green’
Our Green Board
In June 2015 we were awarded the Energy Conservation Flag. To celebrate the raising of the flag we welcomed Cork ladies Valerie Mulcahy and Bríd Stack and to the come raise the flag. Each child wore green to mark the occasion.
In 2017 5th class entered a competition to Save water as part of trying to get our Water Flag this year. The boys and girls in both 5th classes worked so hard .
Green- Schools Committee