This morning, Derek and Brenda visited St. Mary's School in Athlone, where Derek raised their 5th Green Flag! There are almost 400 students in the school. The staff and pupils at the school are all passionate about biodiversity and nature:
We are celebrating our successes and achievements over the last two years in St. Mary’s with our 5th Green Flag, a Discovery Primary Science award and our new “Outdoor Classroom” and “Living Larder”. We are all thrilled to be on such a “Winning Streak” and we hope that it continues for us.
Our success began when pupils of all ages entered into the Westmeath County Council Art Competition 2012 and produced a beautiful calendar which came in 1st and won our beautiful outdoor garden classroom. We went on to enter this competition again this year and also came in 1st and won an outdoor living larder which will house many plants, fruit and vegetables thus promoting Biodiversity within our school grounds even further.
We are also celebrating our success in the Discover Primary Science awards. Our 5th class pupils entered the Primary Science Fair in the RDS in January and presented fabulous projects on improving our ecosystems by using bird feeders and wormeries. Senior Pupils were also involved in the Green Wave Project and they recorded temperatures, wind speed and rainfall over the last number of months. We are also delighted to have been awarded another “Award of Excellence in Science” this year.
We entered into the green schools projects in 2002 and have been committed to recycling, conserving water and energy, encouraging children to walk to school and to keep active in an effort to promote environmental awareness and promote a sustainable environment.
This year, St. Mary’s N.S Athlone, have been awarded their 5th Green Flag for Biodiversity. We know that Biodiversity relates to “the variety of life on earth” and we produced our own simple code “Biodiversity- that’s nature to you and me!” We are very lucky in here in St. Mary’s school in the middle of town to have such diverse grounds and garden areas to promote our work on promoting biodiversity. We enhanced our environment greatly by creating garden areas, wild areas, a bug hotel/habitat, bug rug/habitat, composting, conserving rainwater, developing a trail around the school grounds to promote tree awareness, installing bird, bat and bug boxes. A variety of work went an also within the classrooms where children studied plant and animal life, food chains and threats to biodiversity. Students also used their mapping skills to increase awareness of ecosystems within our grounds/habitat thus promoting awareness for all.
Our teachers, green committee and pupils followed the 7 steps to achieve our goals. Together we devised an action plan to incorporate lots of curriculum work, we invited guest speakers from the community to the school, arranged field trips in the locality and this was all portrayed on our Green schools notice boards and school newsletters. We will continue in our efforts to promote an awareness of biodiversity among our students and to promote ecosystems.
Derek with the staff and pupils of St. Mary's, with their Green Flag
Derek Mooney, Brenda Donohue and Eta Maguire, a teacher at St. Mary's
Joan Travers-Hind, Principal of St. Mary's, with Brenda Donohue
Derek and Brenda prepare to raise the Green Flag
Derek with the staff and pupils of St. Mary's
To find out more about the Green-Schools flag initiative that runs nationwide, visit http://www.greenschoolsireland.org/about-us/green-schools-in-ireland.106.html.