Seven finalists of Inch NS “Our Wonderful World” Green Schools competition with their framed artwork
On Wednesday last, June 26, parents, staff, community members and children of Inch National School, Thurles, were out in force to celebrate the raising of the seventh green flag and Discover Science awards programme at the school.
The school is no stranger to the Green Schools Programme, having commenced it in 2005, and this green flag was awarded under the theme of Global Citizenship Energy.
Over the past two years the children have been working very hard to further reduce energy consumption in the school and at home, targeting energy waste and monitoring metre readings and energy bills.
They have also been studying some global issues of increasing concern under the 17 Global Goals for sustainable development. These were agreed by world leaders in 2015 with the intention of having a better, fairer world by 2030. World poverty, climate change and inequality are three key themes with specific goals outlining issues such as Climate Action, Responsible Production and Consumption, Peace, Justice, Equality, Quality Education, Life on Land and Water and Good Health and Wellbeing.
The children have been learning about some of these issues over the past two years, at their age level, with a view to working towards a fairer, more caring world for all.
Pictured below Principal Martina Blake, competition winner Lucy Maher 5th class and Green Flag Co-ordination Helen Lane
Green Flag Co-ordinator Helen Lane said that while these issues seem very big for such young minds, the children have never failed to impress with their discussions, insights, empathy and willingness to engage with these topics at their level.
Principal Martina Blake paid tribute to the staff who have not only been working on the Green Schools Programme but have also completed another year of the Discover Science Awards and are in the midst of completing the Active Schools Programme.
She gave thanks to the Parents Council and parent volunteers who have always been extremely supportive of the school and who recently participated in a wonderful School Spring/Summer Cleanup day. Lovely decorative touches were also added to the school grounds, a nod to the creativity of not only the parents but the pupils themselves.
In the lead up to the awards ceremony children of the school were invited to participate in an in-school competition entitled Our Wonderful World. Children could draw a picture, write a poem, story, rap or display any other creative ideas to illustrate the theme. Such was the standard of work that seven finalists were chosen with the overall winner, Lucy Maher 5th class, chosen for her wonderful picture and poem. Lucy was invited to raise the green flag at the celebration day and all finalists were presented with their framed artwork.
Discover Science Award of Maths and Excellence certificates were presented to 4th, 5th and 6th classes as they successfully completed the programme. This is the fifth year the programme has run at the school in which pupils explore a variety of skills including STEM work.
The children thoroughly enjoyed undertaking the programme, working in groups, carrying out experiments and meeting people who offered a very valuable insight into how essential Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths are. We are very grateful to Claire Butler, who assisted us in our learning, by providing the children with a very insightful Technology workshop in consultation with Boston Scientific, Clonmel.
Pictured below Pupils of 4th, 5th and 6th class at Inch National School with their Discover Science Awards of Maths and Excellence certificates
Huge praise must go to the children for their continued enthusiasm and dedication in every challenge this programme offered.
Ms Blake mentioned that it was wonderful to have been involved in both programmes for several years and that the legacy of the work and learning opportunities have carried on for almost fourteen years, a testament to the commitment of Helen Lane and the staff in the school.
The school green flag noticeboard bears the simple quote, “When many little people, in many little places do many little things they can change the face of the earth”, as a reminder of how small communities can have an impact, especially over time.
Inch National School will be commencing work on their eight green flag in September, the theme of which is Global Citizenship Marine. Children will be studying our oceans, rivers and waterways with a particular focus on reducing single use plastics.
But for now it was a day of appreciation and celebration at the school in the beautiful sunshine as they drew a close to another very successful year.