Scoil Íde is a girls primary school located in Artane, Dublin. There are 185 students and 20 teaching staff. They were awarded their Green Flag for Energy in May 2016.
Step 1: Green-Schools Committee
The committee is made up of one student from junior infants to sixth class, teachers, the principal, SNA and the caretaker. Each school year, adults volunteer to become a member of the committee and a reliable, enthusiastic student with good attendance is selected from each class. The committee meet once a month to discuss the results of their spot checks, any problems arising and to decided on their next actions.
Step 2: Environmental Review
For their Environmental Review, Scoil Íde read the schools meter and found out that the school uses gas as their energy source for heating. The committee carried out an appliance audit which showed the number of electrical appliances in each room in the school building. They were able to determine which appliances were needed, which were no longer in use in the school and through the standby survey they found out where energy may be wasted. The Energy Awareness Survey showed a limited knowledge of energy in the school, with some students knowing about different types of renewable energy.
Step 3: Action Plan
The action plan started with a number of actions and surveys in order to complete a detailed environmental review. Along with the audits mentioned above, some of their most successful actions included:
- Spot checks on the use of hand towels and lunch boxes
- Compiled a list of ways the school is wasting energy
- Energy use survey of each classroom
- “Switch off” signage placed around the school
- Update Green-Schools notice board
- Remind teachers to print on both sides of paper
- Environmental awareness workshop
- Design and display posters for Low Energy Day
- Day of action- A low energy day
- Continue low energy day at home after school was finished
- Participate in Energy Week
- Teachers used SEAI Energy lesson plans
- Students completed projects on types of renewable and non-renewable energy
- Visit from Dublin City Council
- Create visual displays of the schools energy use
Step 4: Monitoring & Evaluation
Progress is being monitored and evaluated by checking the gas and electricity bills each month and comparing usage to the previous month. The amount of electricity used in each class room is monitored by the Energy warden and the ‘pupil of the month’. The energy wardens ensure that sockets and appliances are switched off when not in use, particularly at the end of the day. To ensure the whole school are aware of their energy usage, differences in energy from month to month are displayed as graphs on a notice board. In one year, the school has reduced their energy usage from 5.7 to 3.8 Kwh/L per person per day.
Step 5: Curriculum Work
|Subject||Environmental Issue Covered|
|English||Discussions and creating English signs for energy reduction|
|History||SEAI lesson plan on light (past and present)|
|Irish||Signs as Gaeilge|
|Art||Designing posters to encourage energy saving|
Step 6: Informing and Involving
The committee informed the whole school and wider community using various mediums. For example:
- Announcements by the Green-Schools committee over the intercom
- Green-Schools assembly
- Green-Schools notice board
- Posts on the schools Facebook page informed the wider community
- Information was sent to parents as part of the newsletter
The school is kept up to date via the Green-Schools notice board, and newsletters.
Step 7: Green Code
“We’re Scoil Íde’s Clean Green Queens!”
The programme helped children to understand the importance of saving energy and to apply it to their everyday life. Having a goal at the end made the children more enthusiastic about helping the environment.