Our Lady of Lourdes National School decided to try and obtain a Green Schools Flag during the academic year 2009/2010. It was then that the long road began ...
A Green Schools Committee was formed consisting of two representatives from each class [1st to 6th], teachers, a Special Needs Assistant, the school caretaker and cleaning lady. The Fifth Class teacher, Miss O'Donnell, was the co-ordinator of the project.
The committee initially undertook an environmental review of the situation within the school in May 2010. The whole school was involved through the use of class discussions, questionnaires and a map pin-pointing the specific areas within the school grounds that needed particular attention. Each area was colour coded using a traffic light system.
An action plan was drawn up by the committee after input from each class was received. Achievable targets were decided. These were monitored, evaluated and reviewed over the following twelve months.
Many of the goals set out in the action plan were reached. Litter and waste have been reduced, mobile phones, batteries and ink cartridges are now recycled, re-usable cartons are used for lunches more frequently and new recycling bins were put into each room within the school.
During our Environmental Awareness Week in June of last year, each class undertook an age-appropriate project focusing on environmental awareness and care.
The Junior Infants explored 'what' and 'how' we recycle using the book 'Michael Recycle'. Third Class designed environmentally friendly parks, Fifth Class made clothing from recycled materials and Sixth Class looked at how the environment, is, and has been, an inspiration for poets, composers, artists and writers.
Finally, the Green Schools Committee held a 'Day of Action' on Thursday 9th June 2011. The day began with a whole school clean up of individual classrooms and nearby corridors. This was followed by an assembly in the schol hall where Mrs. Lucey gave a welcome speech to parents, visitors and the An Taisce representative, Rachel Boyle, who joined us for the day. Each class spoke about work done during our Environmental Awareness Week. They displayed samples of their work. Rachel Boyle gave a Power Point presentation based on the Green Flag. Each class performed the Green School Rap/ Song they had composed and the winners Miss Madden's Senior Infants] were chosen by a 'Cheerometer'. Finally, Ciara Lynch, a Green Schools' Committee member, said a few words to thank all involved.
This year, Our Lady of Lourdes National School will be assessed on Wednesday 26th October as to whether or not we deserve our Green Flag. After all that hard work ..... here's hoping!!
The school raised its first Green Flag on Friday the 22nd June 2012. Julia White, Cork Camogie captain and past pupil, was the invited guest who raised the flag on the day. Kieran McCarthy, local Councillor, was also in attendance. The school began the campaign for its second Green Flag in October 2012. The theme of the second flag is Energy.
A Sixth Class pupil wrote :
The Green Schools Committee has made the whole school more aware of the benefits of recycling. Recycling not only helps our community but it makes a difference to our whole planet. Since we began to leave our lunch boxes in the classroom during Break Time our yard has become much cleaner and it looks a lot nicer. We now try to bring less packaged products and we bring home all our wrappers and unfinished food. All of my family now recycle everything from paper to leftover food. Helping the environment really makes me appreciate my surroundings and I have to be careful not to damage it. I'm happy that our school has adapted to these changes and I hope it continues when I move on to secondary school.