Green Flag News
Green Flag Marine Environment
Inch NS was delighted to be awarded their eight Green Flag which is based on the theme of Global Citizenship and the Marine Environment.
As part of the programme children have been busy learning about both our local and national waterways, rivers and oceans over the past two years.
Junior Infants to Third class completed the wonderful Seakeepers Programme, where they studied creatures such as Basking Sharks, Limpets, Mackerel, Bladderwrack, the Grey Seal and Oystercatchers.
Before and after study surveys were completed and the results submitted and the children thoroughly enjoyed learning all about species that can be found on our shores. We were also fortunate enough to win an amazing prize as a result of our work – a day at the beach.
First and Second class children will travel to Tramore beach in Waterford on Wednesday, September 22nd and will meet with An Taisce Marine advisers and Green Schools officers to participate in a beach exploration workshop.
We are really looking forward to this amazing opportunity, thanks to the Green Schools Programme.
Our next theme is Global Citizenship Travel and have already received a visit from our Green Schools Travel Officer Edwina Coman, who will be working with us over the coming years. Exciting plans are already afoot for this new theme.
The school is delighted to be working towards our sixth Green Flag award which focuses on the theme of Global Citizenship, Litter and Waste.
This programme brings a more global focus to previous themes and the children are researching where in the world their food comes from and the number of food miles travelled.
Middle and senior classes have researched food miles, taking packets and wrappers from the weekly shop and investigating where the food was produced, packaged and delivered from.
We have discovered that many common foods such as bananas, chocolate, grapes, kiwis, tangerines and avocados can have travelled over 5,000 miles to reach our lunchboxes.
We researched how common foods come from many different continents and can travel to a packaging depot before travelling again to our local supermarket.
This research has gone hand in hand with our ongoing work in our school garden, where we grow a wide range of organic fruit and vegetables throughout the year.
We have enjoyed delicious homemade sweet chilli jam, made from our own garden produce, set up a juice bar with apples as well as carrots and beetroot harvested from the school garden on the same day and with the help of our wonderful parents.
We enjoyed a pasta day where we used our beautiful garden tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs to make the most delicious pasta sauce which we had for lunch.
We have also been studying different countries around the world and research projects have been completed on Australia, South Africa, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Spain and Kenya. Children worked in groups to research and collaborate on the projects and presented their findings to each other.
We are thoroughly enjoying the Green Flag programme and have learned so much from being involved.
Our School is both honoured and proud to have been awarded a total of five green flags, the most recent of which for Biodiversity, since we joined the Green Flag Schools programme in 2006.
We have been awarded flags for Litter and Waste, Energy and Water conservation, Transport and Travel and Biodiversity.
Our current theme, which will be explored and researched over the next two years, is Global Citizenship which deals with issues of fair trade, food miles and supporting local produce.
Children in the middle room have already began studying this theme by collecting food packaging to investigate where common supermarket fruit, vegetables, nuts and spices originate from and how may food miles they travel to be packaged before being transported again and sold in Tipperary.
They have also been learning about the origins of chocolate and how bananas and pineapples are grown in different continents.
All this learning is carried out against the backdrop of our thriving school garden and tunnel house in which we grow organic fruit and vegetables including potatoes, cucumber, peas, parsley, carrots and beans as well as a wider range of lesser known varieties of cabbage, onions, garlic and herbs.
Not only is this a hugely popular part of school life, where all children get hands on to sow, grow, tend to and harvest the contents of the garden, but it also gives children direct experience of how food is grown and how it tastes on the day of harvest.
All the children of the school are actively involved with the Green Schools programme by participating in hands on activities, learning about local, national and global environmental issues and also by serving on the school Green Committee.
We are continuing to maintain the previous themes and are delighted that many of our past pupils, parents, grandparents and community members have returned to the school to celebrate with us during our various flag raising ceremonies.