(written by Caoimhe O'Reilly & Alichia Chapman of 6th Class)
Green Schools Programme
Green Schools is an environmental education programme run by An Taisce in partnership with Cavan County Council which offers a way for schools to take environmental issues from the curriculum and apply them to day-to-day running of the school. It aims to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and ethos of the school.
Our school decided to get involved with The Green School's Programme in October 2009. The programme involves the whole school but is mainly run by a committee comprising of students. teachers and parents who work hard over a two year period to achieve the award of the Green Flag.
We are very proud to have been awarded the first three Green Flags. We received our first Green Flag for Litter and Waste in 2011, received our second flag for Energy in 2014 and our third green flag was for Water.
Our Litter and Waste Flag
Our Energy Flag
2016 was a very productive and successful year for The Vale School. Read on to hear everything we got up to!!!
The beginning of the 2015-2016 school year saw the whole school getting very busy in preparation for applying for our third green flag - The Water Flag. We kept a close eye on our water meter and all classes have been made aware of the importance of conserving water.
Our wonderful Art Club got busy making our school water mascot - “Plop the Raindrop” and also helped to update our Green Schools noticeboard which is on display in the hall.
We had with a visit from Irish T.V. to record our “Green Schools Rap”. Our ‘rappers’ were wonderful and gave up many lunchtimes to rehearse.
Our renewal visit from Mr. Conor Craven from Cavan County Council proved very successful. Mr. Craven spoke to the Green Schools Committee about the programme and took a tour around the school to assess the work that has been done over the past few years.
He also visited Junior Infants for a little light entertainment in the form of their rain dance and some water saving tips.
Overall, Mr. Craven was extremely impressed with the level of knowledge displayed by the children. He loved our new Green Schools noticeboard and the rap and even suggested we should exhibit our hard work at the National Green Schools Expo in the RDS next year! We were delighted with the positive feedback and it has made all the hard work worthwhile. Well done to everyone involved and our dedicated committee members.
The school also took part in An Taisce’s National Spring Clean which is from 1st to 30th April. It helped encourage people to take pride in their local environment and to take action against litter.
After all the hard work that was out in, we were delighted to announce that not only have we been awarded our third Green Flag for Water, but we have also won the regional award for innovation and creativity whilst promoting Water Conservation.
Barry Cahill, Sorsha Cooney, Caoimhe Clarke and Gary Leddy were selected to represent the school at the awards ceremony in May. As a reward for all their hard work Green Schools Committee, accompanied by 5th & 6th Class went on a wonderful trip to Drumkeery Water Plant and the Gartnanane Wind Farm on Friday 27th May. Thanks to all involved for making it such a great experience.
Thank you to all involved in the Green Schools experience, teachers, parents, children, Urcher Garden Centre and a special mention of thanks to our gardening expert Liam Farrell!
Raising our Water Flag
Walk for Water Action Day – Wednesday 9th March 2016
As part of our Green Schools initiative, the children were made aware of how children in developing countries, i.e. Malawi, have to walk to a well miles away for clean water.
They experienced what this was like by walking 200 metres around the school carrying an amount of water
The children brought in a small donation to fund a well in Africa. We raised a fantastic €306, which will fund 2 wells. We will be sending on this money to Trocáire accordingly to fund the cost of building these wells. Well done to everyone and thank you parents for your generous donations towards such a worthy cause.
Green Schools Christmas Decoration Competition 2015
As part of our Green Schools initiative Mrs. Purcell ran a Christmas decoration competition. The children were asked to make a Christmas decoration using only recycled materials. The materials they used were toilet roll & kitchen roll holders, old Christmas cards, old baubles, light bulbs, old jewellery or beads, lollipop sticks, old mobile phones, CD's, drink cans, bottles, bottle tops, buttons, sweet wrappers, plastic, newspapers, yoghurt cartons, plant pots and much more.
We were overwhelmed by the creativity of the children and they produced some fabulous decorations which were displayed around the school. Here are some photos of what was produced.
Green School Water Code Competition 2015
We held a competition for a new ‘Green School Code’ for our Water Theme. Well Done to all the children who entered. It was extremely difficult to just pick one winner. Darragh Keegan wrote the winning code. Congratulations Darragh.
‘Conserving water is so cool, we like to save it in this school. It’s up to you and me you know. Let’s work together to slow the flow!’