In Holy Trinity SNS we are very proud of our Green Schools efforts. We have amazingly been awarded 5 flags to date.
We received our first green flag in 2011 for Litter and Recycling. Proudly, we were awarded our second green flag in 2013 for reducing our Energy consumption.
Our third Green Schools’ flag was next on Water Conservation and our fourth was awarded in 2016 for Travel. We were awarded our 5th in 2021 for biodiversity.
We were awarded our first green flag in 2011 for littering and recycling. This is something we still put huge focus into today. We now use a number of different bins to help control our litter and waste. We use dry recycling, wet recycling and compost bins along with our regular bins to help be as eco friendly as possible. Holy Trinity also runs an annual clean up Donaghmede drive where we work alongside our community members to pick up and recycle as much litter around Donaghmede as possible!
We had an energy quiz throughout the school, as well as a week long inter-class energy saving competition.
We also had two activities relating to Green Schools’ on Arts’ Day.
Ms. Ni Mhordha held an environmental awareness workshop, while Mr. Ryan and Ms. McCormick helped children to create advertisements that encouraged people to be energy efficient.
The best of these videos will be posted on the website soon.
Keep your eyes peeled for this!!
We have uploaded powerpoint presentations that you can read. There is information on Waste and Energy in the presentations. The children of the Green Schools’ Committee have worked very hard on these, so it would be worth your while to give them a read. They have included some interesting and thought provoking information on our waste production and energy consumption, as well as some tips for saving energy and reducing waste. This can save you money at home, so pay heed to their wise advice!!
Stay green and energy lean!!!!
Each class linked energy to a curriculum subject to do lessons (such as art, science and Gaeilge). Stay tuned for pictures of our wind farm and solar panels!
The third green flag is awarded for increasing our awareness of how much water we use, and for finding ways of reducing this amount. In the process of all of this we have developed a huge respect for water and now don’t want to waste a single drop!
If you knew how much you flush, it would make you blush!
- Under Mr. Ryan and Ms. McCormick’s guidance, the Green School Committee and the entire school, have pulled together to hopefully earn our third green flag. Some of the activities we have completed are:
- Mr. Grogan employed plumbers to fix a massive leak in the school. This was costing the school THOUSANDS of euros!
The plumbers fixed any leaky taps.
- Each class was given a plug stopper/basin to reduce the amount of water wasted at the class sink.
- We educated ourselves on the (shocking!) amount of water used doing everyday activities e.g. flushing the toilet, showering. The GSC did this by doing a PowerPoint presentation in each class.
- We brainstormed and researched ways of reducing the amount of water we use e.g. turn tap off when brushing our teeth.
- There is a cool noticeboard to update the students of progress towards the third green flag.
- We held a poster and slogan competition to raise awareness of reducing water consumption.
- The winning poster was designed by Jasmine Kamptoh in Ms. Baker’s 6th class. It is amazing, check it out on the noticeboard!
- A winner was also picked from each class.
- The winning slogan was ‘If you knew how much you flush, it would make you blush!’ by Jake Bracken in Ms. O’Sullivan’s 4th class.
- We are having a Day of Action in March. The GSC will be cleaning-up Dollymount beach.
- Some members of the GSC are participating in ‘Walking for Water’ event in Glendalough on 25th March.
- If you have any ideas at all how to help up earn the third flag, use the suggestion box at the noticeboard!
- Have a look at the PowerPoint presentation attached for more information.
Flag 4- Travel.
On Wednesday 9th of March 2016, it was National Scoot to School Day. All of the students were encouraged to scoot to school. If they didn’t have a scooter, a flicker or bicycle was just as good. A monster 97 children took part. Mr. Ryan’s 3rd class had the most children taking part with 17 children scooting to school. Mr. Grogan rewarded the whole class by giving them a homework pass.
Check out the photos below to see if you can spot anyone you know!
Flag 4- Travel
Evan O Meare, Leah Brady, Nicole Cleary and Amber Lynch from the Green Schools Committee were invited to share their experiences of working on the theme of Travel with children from other schools. We got lots of ideas for our action plan and played games that taught us the importance of walking or cycling to school where possible.
We completed an audit of the way children come to school and we shared some ideas of how to increase the number of people walking, cycling or scooting to school.
Flag 5- Biodiversity.
There are many key ways to protect Biodiversity. Our GSC members, along with Ms Baker, Mr Ryan and Mr Keely have been working hard to help Biodiversity in our school. Here’s are some of the ways you can help too:
- Make Wildlife Welcome
- Our GSC and lots of our school classes have been working to support the birds, reptiles, mammals, insects and plants that live in our school.
- The GSC audited these areas and made a list of things that can be improved to make the school grounds a better place for plants and animals.
- Mr O Grady’s 6th class want to attract more bird species to our garden by providing food, shelter, and privacy with their birdboxes, made from recycled materials. Check them out on our Nature Trail!
- In Winter, our GSC made biodegradable bird feeders from pine cones covered in peanut butter, nuts and seeds. The birds LOVED them and we’ve had to refill them over the cold Winter months.
- The GSC surveyed our native tree species on the school grounds and found we are missing a few. We will plant these native trees this year over National Tree week 22-27 March.
- We learnt about bats with Ms Baker and how important they are to biodiversity in Ireland. Mrs Free’s husband, Declan, made a bat box to create a nice habitat for bats to roost on our school grounds.
- We learnt all about bees with Mr Grogan and found we have lots of pollinator friendly plants on our school grounds. We also audited habitats for bees in our school and found we needed to create a habitat for miner bees.
- We planted pollinator friendly flowers in the rocky soil beside the Credit Union this Spring and look forward to seeing what pollinators they attract in Summer.
- Lots of vegetables and fruits are pollinator friendly- apples, tomatoes, rosemary, fennel, thyme, strawberries, peas and courgettes, to name but a few. Our GSC sowed seedlings for many of these in Spring for our polytunnel.
2. Protect Habitats
- Our GSC learned about the threat litter and pollution pose to Biodiversity.
- We have been exploring the habitats in our school- our native woodland, organic garden, trees, hedgerows, pond (so many!) and creating some habitats for more animals too (miner bees and bats).
- Our GSC committee also plan to do a beach clean up in the Summer (pending Covid restrictions).
- Declan Free also created a fabulous new Bug Hotel for our school.
- Our GSC litter wardens have been working every break time to clean up and protect where wild plants and animals live. You can all help to by putting your rubbish in a bin, not on the ground.
3. Harness Your House Pet
If you have pet who likes to chase birds or rabbits, think about how you could stop them. You could bring them for extra long walks to tire them out, or provide them with more toys to distract them. If you have a cat who brings you dead birds, think about keeping them indoors during the day when you’re not around. This could save the lives of many birds and bats, especially during nesting season.
4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- In our school, we follow the 3 R’s in this order to create a positive impact on the planet.
- We changed our tissue and blue-roll bins to compostable bin bags so they will break-down eventually and changed to eco-friendly surface sanitisers so these can be safely turned to compost by our waste-management company.
- Miss Baker spoke to classes about our lunch wrapping and how buying products with less or no plastic also helps reduce the need to create and dispose of this waste. This reduces the amount of non-degradable waste in landfills and in the ocean.
5. Leave Wild Things in the Wild
We want you to be nature detectives- watch wild things and learn from them, but don’t bring them home. Plants and animals often die outside of their habitat. Even if they don’t, they have been taken out of the web which they are a part of and can no longer do their job. It is more sustainable and healthier for the animals if you create an area in your own garden for wildlife by planting native plants and providing food and shelter for animals.
Check out our application video for our Biodiversity Flag: https://youtu.be/39yxoIU7Tk4
Our Green Code for Biodiversity is “From the wolves on the land to the whales in the sea, we all need Biodiversity”.