Category Archives: Green Schools

Bee keeping for Biodiversity

We were delighted to welcome local bee kepper PJ McLoughlin along with Kay Maguire to our school on 17th May. PJ visited Ms. Colums Agricultural Science class as part of Biodiversity week. PJ explained to students the process of what a bee keeper does and how the honey is produced. Some of the home ec students dropped in for a look at the hives also. He spoke to students about the importance of bees and our local biodiversity.

 

TY Sustainable Development Goals Workshops

Transition Year students recently engaged in two very informative workshops that focused on the sustainable development goals in this last term. RECREATE Ireland is an organisation that takes in unused materials from various business and finds alternative use for such materials. Students engaged in great discussion around the effect of waste on our environment. Using various materials they completed a creative piece to showcase off their chosen SDG which they showcased on their graduation evening. Following on from this they also engaged in a workshop with Waterways Ireland ‘Leave no Trace‘ in which the SDG ‘Live under water’ was explored.

 

NATIONAL WINNERS IN GREEN SCHOOLS

National winners in green school’s Global citizenship, Litter and Waste category 2019

On 21st may, 2019 Ballinamore was selected as the best second level school in Ireland in the category of global citizenship, litter and waste. Mr Mullen and three members of the green school’s team attended the awards ceremony in the helix, DCU where all the regional winners from around the country received their flags and awaited the announcement of the overall winners in each category. To our great joy we were announced as national winners and received a national winner’s  trophy, a regional winners trophy for the west region, our 6th green flag and a cheque for €500

Green school programme in Ballinamore

Ballinamore cs has a long tradition of involvement in the green schools programme. We achieved our first green flag in 2007 for our success in reducing litter and waste in what was then a 3-school campus, collectively called Ballinamore post primary schools.

Since then we have obtained the green schools flag for various environmental initiatives including energy conservation, water reduction, environmental conscious travel, biodiversity and most recently global citizenship with special emphasis on litter and waste.

Green schools programme 2017-19

In 2018 various classes in the school engaged in a number of initiatives to improve awareness on global citizenship and implement litter and waste reduction strategies. This was a 2-year programme and in April 2019 we achieved our 6th green flag.

In addition to this success we were awarded the title of regional winners for the west region and we were invited to a national green schools ceremony, yesterday in the helix, DCU where the best primary and secondary schools were honoured in the different green schools categories.

To our delight Ballinamore cs was selected as the best secondary school in the global citizenship, litter and waste category and our school received a national winner’s trophy and a €5oo cash prize as well as a certificate of achievement and a pennant for global citizenship as well as our green flag.

Our school has undertaken many initiatives to achieve this award. We increased the number of recycling bins from 3 to 7, introduced 4 new bins for collecting compost as well as buying a second compostable bin which we use for flower beds in the school. A recycling roadshow took place where 2nd year students visited each class with 3 bins and the class had to guess which was the right bin for that object. On average the school is sending about 25kg less waste each week to landfill through recycling better and through composting surveys were conducted before and after the programme and attitudes and actions towards litter and waste and global citizenship themes showed an increase. Fairtrade awareness was increased through workshops and a designated day to promote Fairtrade awareness was conducted. A designated climate change week was organised where each subject area focused on that theme for the week in all classes. Home Ec students participated in Stop Food Waste’s pilot programme on food waste and practical ways to reduce food waste when food shopping, storing, preparing and cooking food at home. Measuring our food portions and planting of our own vegetables took place as well as the planting of crocus flowers which was part of a holocaust commemoration project. We also had an Irish and environmental themed day of action called “ lá glás go glás” which was a non-uniform day where students donated €2 to take part.

this is only a sample of the work that was conducted over the two years and we would like to thank all teachers, students and parents who have cooperated in any way to help us achieve our green school’s flag and national title

Thanks

We thank Ms. Colum, Ms. Cooney, Mr Mullen, Ms. Griffin and Ms. Ni Mháille in particular, for all their hard work, bam our school management company and Niall Gallogly catering, but most of all the students for their cooperation and involvement in this programme and for  making it such a success

In a time when climate change and environmental problems are global issues, we congratulate Ballinamore CS and all involved on their ongoing efforts.

In the future we hope to continue raising awareness about these critical issues and next year we look forward to striving for our 7th green flag on global citizenship, energy conservation.

Green school’s committee

 

 

Global Citizenship Education 2018/19

Staff received an informative workshop with Aoife Rankin from Worldwise Schools on how the different subject departments could link global issues into their subject areas.  Following on from this a number of activities to create awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals emerged across a number of subjects.

  • 1st year Home Ec students engaged in a pilot programme developed by ‘Stop Food Waste’ where they looked at practical ways to reduce food waste at home. (For tips see  www.stopfoodwaste.ie ). These students also looked at textile sustainability and participated in an upcycling project before Christmas where they took an old jumper and using scraps of materials/fabrics upcycled it into a Christmas themed jumper rather than going out and buying a new one.
  • Poster Competition among 1st years to promote awareness on ‘Climate Change’
  • 2nd years engaged in a number of projects throughout the year. Students engaged in a workshop on Energy Sustainability delivered by Ingrid Foley from SEAI. The Crocus Project was also undertaken by 2nd years to celebrate International Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January). Students learned about the dangers of racism and intolerance and the importance of having respect for everyone. Crocus Flowers were planted and are a symbol of new life and hope for the future. In English students researched and traced, as part of persuasive writing, the evolution of climate action form youths from Suzuki Severin in Rio 1992 to the young climate activists in Davos this year. The ongoing refugee crises in Syria was also touched on.
  • 3rd year Maths students discussed what affects a countries well being and how to work out a countries wealth by looking at GDP per capita. They looked at tables of information displaying wealth of different countries and the same information in line graphs.
  • Transition Years engaged in a cross curricular Global Citizen Module. In Home Economics they look at issues around Clean Water & Sanitation on World Toilet Day, engaged in human rights workshop with Amnesty International and awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals with RECREATE. In their business studies classes they explored sustainability in Industry which also included a trip to The Irish Aid Centre in Dublin to learn more about the work they do in developing countries.
  • 6th years looked at the dire use of plastics on the environment by way of infographics and articles to build knowledge and awareness of the consequences of our collective plastic use, with particular emphasis on oceanic pollution and microbiology.
  • Members of the Social Justice Club participated in Amnesty International’s ‘Write for Rights’ campaign through their English classes. They wrote letters on behalf of political prisoners in a number of countries, to their respective heads of state to apply pressure for their release. They also helped create awareness on global litter and waste which is our current Green Flag theme in school.
  • Green Schools Committee worked on creating awareness around global litter and waste which is the theme of our current green flag application process.

Bin it! Workshop for first years

The Bin It Workshop visited our school recently and all first yrs participated in the workshop. It was informative and entertaining as students learned more about the environmental impact of littering and the effects of not disposing chewing gum properly. This links in with our current green school flag (Global Citizenship: Litter & Waste) we are working towards.

Pumpkin Project

Ms Colum’s science classes  began by examining the pumpkin (from investigating measurement, weight & circumference, counting number of seeds, looking at plant cells, genetics through variation of pumpkins) and then developing their artistic/craft skills they designed and carved out their pumpkin creations. The pumpkin flesh was then used in Home Economics cookery class to make delicious pumpkin soup which students and staff all got to sample. The seeds were also used up by roasting them in the oven and made a lovely high fibre snack. This cross curricular project linked in with aspects of wellbeing and our current green schools project.

Climate Action Week Oct 2018

A variety of events took place as part of Climate Action Week 16th-20th October 2018. CSPE Teachers discussed the topic of Climate Change with all of the Junior Classes resulting  in all of those students making a climate pledge outlining one thing that they are going to make an effort at doing that could help with Climate Action. Senior Home Economics classes also made similar pledges. Staff engaged in chat around the topic as part of our Climate Conversation and Cake morning on Tuesday 16th. On Wednesday there was a short Film Screening around the water crises in the world which really got students thinking about the value of water and how we really should make efforts to conserve it. Thursday saw the launch of our new formed club in the school ‘Social Justice Club’ where there was lots of chat around gender inequality. The club will meet on the first Monday of every month and work together on taking meaningful action around the local and global issues that interest them. Congrats to Amelia Woolterton, Ella Van Der Laan, Aoife Kelly and Aoibhinn Meehan who won prizes for the Climate Action Poster Competition.

All of these activities tie in with the hard work the Green Schools and Global Citizenship Education Groups are working on. Thank you to all the teachers who helped out in any way and to students and staff who engaged with this important topic. The Film Screening Clip is on Netflix: ‘Explained’ and the episode is called The World’s Water Crises (18 minutes long) 

Biodiversity Flag 2017

Well done to our Green Schools Committee for all their work on achieving our Biodiversity flag.  Some of the committee members collected our fifth flag at the award ceremony in Claremorris on Thursday 11th May.  The aim of our committee is to create more awareness for students, staff and the wider community on how their lifestyle choices can affect the environment and to ensure that Ballinamore CS remains a green school.  The environment committees have worked throughout the years to achieve the following green flags:

Litter & Waste (Awarded 2009) Energy (2011) Water (2013) Travel (2015) and Biodiversity (2017)

Next year we will begin working on achieving our sixth flag which will be for Global Citizenship – Litter & Waste. In addition to this, our committee continues to work on the other five areas in order to renew them and ensure Ballinamore CS remains as environmentally friendly as possible.