Rathlee National School

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Green School

Our Achievements

Green-Schools is an international environmental education programme and award scheme that promotes and acknowledges long-term, whole-school action for the environment.

Green-Schools is a themed programme with schools initially focussing on the theme of Litter & Waste, and working through seven steps for this theme and applying for the Green-Flag. Once successful, the school moves onto the Energy theme, and then onto the Water theme. Each theme is worked on over a 2 year period after which schools must reapply for their flag under their current theme.

On the 17th of May 2007, Rathlee National School officially became a green school by sucessfully completing the Litter and Waste theme. Members of our green committee, Lorna O Brien, Caoimhe Moylan and Kira Connolly went with the Green Schools Co-ordinator, Ms. Lavelle to collect our green flag in the Galway Bay Hotel. We were proud to be the only Sligo school to receive the flag that day.

We then moved on to the next theme - energy and received our second green flag in 2009. We are now working towards our third flag which is Water.

Raising our first green flag

Below are some examples of our activities that take place and have taken place in our school showing our committment to the enviromnent and learning more about how to take care of it.

In our committment to being a Green School, we have a litter control rota. Litter patrol is carried out by different students each day at lunchtime.Our waste has reduced since the introduction of healthy lunches and a policy whereby pupils bring their waste home.We have a bin system in each classroom set up for recycling, landfill, composter, scrap paper and the lost and found box. We have a composter into which we put the waste from the classroom composter bins into this. In October 2006 1st and 2nd classes went to Rathroeen Landfill site in Ballina.

A suggestion box was organised to pick the green code statement. Pupils placed their ideas in the box anonymously and the Green committee chose the winning suggestion.Green Code statement:

“Keep it clean, don't delay, pick up litter right away”

We planted our school garden. We marked out the beds into drills. We planted carrot seeds, cabbage plants, potatoes and onion sets.

We took part in the food dudes program which is to help children to eat healthily. It was a great success but there was one problem. Our litter waste increased immensely over the 16 days. We wrote a letter to the food dude company and gave them a suggestion to use re- usable containers that can be washed each day.

We try to use recycled materials in as much as possible for craft activities. Here are some Christmas crackers made with recycled materials.

Ms Hegarty's class learning a lot about how to save energy and how to use it effectively. They made windmills out of paper and lolly pop sticks. They learned how windmills can make electricity. They also carried out a questionnaire on the rest of the school to find out about how people use energy. They represented the information on bar charts. They broke down their questionnaire into three parts, electricity, recycling and water. They also made posters to promote the conservation of energy. The posters gave them different ideas on how to save energy. They learned how to make their own paper by recycling old newspaper. They blended newspaper and water to make a pulp. They dried it out and made their own paper. Finally they made a wall freeze of the polar ice cap to make them aware that it is melting.

We went to visit the Windmills at Kings Mountain, Dromore West. Here are some photos of our visit and a selection of reports written about the visit.There is a photo of turbine 9. Martin Burns had to turn off the rotor blades as a safety precaution before we went into it. Martin took us in in small groups of 9 or 10. The turbines are massive up close. You can see the first group watching the turbine as Martin turns if off. We are watching the blades as they are slowing down.In the next photo we are inside the wind turbine and Martin is showing us how the electricity is generated on the computer screen. We were surprised to see how computerised the wind turbines are.

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