For step 7 of our journey towards getting our second green flag, we needed to compose a GREEN CODE. Last week, Mrs. Landers asked the 4th, 5th and 6th classes to put their heads together and think of some catchy slogans. Our class (5th and 6th) were split into groups and came up with several slogans each and then picked the best. We then wrote them all down on a piece of paper and handed them to Mrs. Landers. The best of the slogans have been put together into a 14 line rap. This rap is now our official Green Code. We will add more onto it in future years when the school is working towards more green flags.
As part of our Green Schools campaign, we held a Climate Action week in October. All the children in the school made climate pledges which are hanging on the wall at our Green Schools Notice Board. We held a 'Low Power' day on Tuesday and tried to avoid using equipment powered by electricity from 9:45am. The children were encouraged to look for 'energy vampires' at home to help lower energy consumption in their homes. And we held a tree planting ceremony on Thursday mornning to highlight an action that can be taken by all of us. Two native trees were planted by Oisín and Emily Rose - the eldest and youngest students in the school with a little bit of help from Canan Bernard Donovan.
Here are some photos from Climate Action Week!
Our school was awarded its first GREEN FLAG at the end of last year. This flag is for LITTER and WASTE and it means that we are a school that is committed to reducing the amount of waste that we send to landfill. We are using less paper in school and we try to recycle as much of our waste as we can.
Every day our compostable waste is collected from each classroom and the staffroom. It is then thrown into our compost bin where it rots away and gets digested by hundreds of earthworms!! Mrs. Landers' class saw how successful our compost bin is when they removed some of the compost to use for their gardening during the summer term. The compost helped our carrots and peas to grow. We also dug compost into the soil to help the bedding plants to grow.
For the past year we have been working towards getting our Green Flag for ENERGY.
This will take two years, 2017 - 2019.
Our Green School Committee was selected in November. All children from 2nd to 6th were invited to write a paragraph about why they would like to be a member of the committee. The standard was very high and it was very difficult to choose people, so we ended up with a very large committee of 17 children! Mrs. Landers is our leader and guide for this Green Flag.
This is a photo of the Green School Committee. (Holly is missing.)
The first part of our ACTION PLAN was to oganise PICKER PATROL teams from every class. (1st to 6th) We need to keep up all the work we did for our first Green Flag. Green Teams from every class worked at lunchtimes to pick up litter that the wind blows in from outside the school.
Mondays: Ms. Spillanes' class / 5th & 6th
Tuesdays: Mr.McElroy's class / 3rd & 4th
Wednesdays: Mr. Verling's class / 2nd & 3rd
Thursdays: Mrs.Landers' class / Snr.Infants & 1st
Our main focus for 2017-2019 is to learn about the ENERGY we use to light up our classrooms and outside areas, and to learn about how we heat our school. We will be examining our electricity and oil bills. We must try to use less energy and must bring this message home to our families too!
READING our ELECTRICITY METER:
In December, some committee members learned how to read the numbers on our electricity meter. They kept a record of how many units of electricity (or Kilowatts) we used over three weeks.
They worked out that on average, we used 35 kW of electricity every school day. (6 hours)
INTERESTING FACT: The school buildings used nearly the same amount of kilowatts from 3pm to 9am, the 18 hours when the school is closed!!
During May, a summer month, Clodagh and Sinéad read the meter again.
We expected that we should be using less electricity because there was no heating on, fewer indoor lights being used and a much shorter length of time at night for the automatic security lights to be lit.
We were right!
Over 24 hours, the average use was 50 kW. (nearly 70 kW during December)
This was a cost of 11.50 euro per day
We will keep checking our meter readings during year 2.
In January and February, every person on the Green Committee helped to count everything in each room of our two buildings that use electricity to work. all the light fittings were counted, as well as the number of radiators.
The results were displayed on charts on the Green School Noticeboard.
Mr.Mc Elroy's class also did a survey of the temperature of all the rooms in the new building. There is a thermostat in each room so the children learned how to read and record the temperature at different times of the day.
By March, every class had their teams of Electric Detectives organised.
The job of the electric detectives is to :
1. Make sure that the lights are switched off at both break times.
2. Data projectors are to be awitched pff during both break times.
3. The heat in the classroom is to be turned off if the room is too hot. Don't open windows when the heat is on and keep the doors closed.
The committee also made nice signs that have been hung up by every light switch in all rooms. These will help to remind us to turn off the lights when leaving a room, especially the comuter room and the school hall.
Energy Quiz Raffle
In June the Green Committee reviewed the work and progress made during the first year of working towards our energy flag. Some changes and improvements were noted and will be acted on during Year 2.
Grace and Holly decided to organise a simple Quiz Raffle for each class during the final week of June.
Each child wrote the answer to an environmental energy question, then put their answer into a box.
The winners were picked out on the day of the holidays. They were delighted with the simple prizes.
The lucky children were Nicole, Éabha, Kieran, Keeley and Taylor.
It was a great chance to remind the whoe school to THINK GREEN for the summer.
Finally, a big THANK YOU to Clodagh Collins, Sinéad O'Callaghan, Sarah Hanley and Kirsten O'Mahony, our 6th class committee members, who have moved onto secondary school. They were a great addition to our committee. They are welcome to return the day that we raise our GREEN FLAG for ENERGY in June 2019!!
SAVE OUR PLANET, GO GREEN
Having already achieved our first green flag for the environment, we are now working to gain our second.
The theme is energy awareness and the project is being led by Mrs. Landers and her green team.