Sligo Grammar School

Sligo Grammar School is located in The Mall in Sligo. The school has approximately 45 Teachers and 450 students including 100 boarders. They achieved their first flag for Litter and Waste in May 2022.

Step 1: GS Committee

The committee is student led and representative of the whole school including the headmaster, Green-Schools co-ordinator, Cleaning Staff, Groundskeeper and maintenance. Assigned roles within the committee gave the students a great sense of responsibility and leadership skills. Roles included secretaries, notice board communicator, Digital and social media communicators, Green code officers, Recycling officers and litter wardens. Recycling officers and litter wardens operated on a class group rota system to ensure everyone participated. The committee arose as a TY class group that meet every Monday and has grown considerably extending to other years.

Step 2: Environmental Review

A wide range of activities were carried out as part of the review. Litter was not identified as a major problem, no real black spots. But awareness about how litter needs to be dealt with was really needed. Plastic bottles were an initial concern and became the focus to reduce these within the school grounds. Most waste generated within the classroom is recyclable today. Initial reviews showed that recycling was being contaminated by unrinsed yogurt tubs and unclean plastic milk cartons. An awareness video was put together on using the bins correctly.

Step 3.  Action Plan

  • Water fountains were installed to give students access to water to minimise plastic bottles.
  • Reusable water bottles were encouraged.
  • Junior school collection of plastic bottles in 2019, highlighted the need to reduce plastic within the school.
  • Single use plastic to be phased out within the school, compostable water cups introduced in the staffroom for the water dispenser.
  • Single use plastic cutlery replaced with wooden/bamboo cutlery (used rarely, events in the school). Tea and coffee cups are compostable.
  • Food waste bins were initiated in the canteen/sandwich bar for students.
  • Separate food bin was provided in the staffroom
  • Litter video made by film studies explaining the bins in the classrooms.
  • Correct signage in each classroom and in the corridors.
  • Encouraging posters, Green Code on display on noticeboards and larger collage poster in central foyer and window

Step 4.  Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Litter wardens on duty at Junior break and Junior lunch. Ensuring all recycling is put in the correct bin, and food waste is brought home.
  • Bins checked and classrooms that are a concern are monitored to a higher level. Only one classroom not compliant, easier to monitor when teachers are back in their own rooms.
  • Lids on recycling bins works better, aim to be standard.
  • Sligo Grammar school reduced their general waste slightly throughout COVID19 and despite extra general waste also generated from boarding houses. Food waste was substantially reduced along with improved recycling.

Step 5.  Curriculum Links

Science Junior Cycle




The effects of pollution form litter, air pollution, soil pollution and water pollution.

Living sustainably-module

Geography Junior Cycle



Leaving Cycle

We look at how to control waste management by the three Rs and by composting.

Climate Change

Resource exploitation

Soil degradation & deforestation

Woodwork Junior Cycle Responsibly sourced wood (FSC certified).

Product life cycle and design

Business Junior Cycle The Impact of Consumer Choices
Maths TY Compiled charts comparing landfill, recycling and food waste
Home Economics Junior Cycle One of four core elements of H. Ec. is sustainable and responsible living.

Investigate the impact of their food choices from an ecological and ethical perspective

Apply sustainable practices to the selection and management of food and material resources 

Discuss the influences of trends and choices on textile and clothing, including ethical and ecological considerations

Art All years Being creative with waste materials to create 3D figures

Reusing shirts as table covers

Reusing hot chocolate containers and plastic tubs as paint tubs

Reusing curtains to upcycle and design clothes

Reusing glass jars


Ag science Leaving Cycle We discuss the impact of agriculture on the environment through food production
Languages Leaving Cycle Comprehension examples related to environment

Step 6.  Informing & Involving

Information is circulated through posters in school, online via website, facebook and twitter, emails to parents/guardians, online noticeboard for all first year students. Classroom announcements and VSware announcements through pastoral care to all year groups. Two litter pick events in the local community (Nov 21 and Jan 22)

  • Emails to staff and activities logged on VSware. Emails home to parents Sept 2021; initially about soft plastics being recyclable and bringing home food waste. Recycling list and online clip attached for all staff and parents.
  • School announcements to classrooms-Noticeboards,posters in the school
  • Video played in tutor group in the morning
  • Climate pledges collected from students in class and online website and in school noticeboard
  • Online team for announcements to all first year students
  • Facebook, Instagram, website all used to highlight Green School activities
  • Radio interview with a committee member when the programme started in the school in 2019 (Ocean fm)
  • Website (latest news) and twitter and new (Dec 21) Instagram feeds: Clothes collection, pledges, Beeswax wraps, Tree planting, New Year’s presents, Battery recycling
  • Magazine members consistently working with Green Schools class, lots of photos of activities (litter pick and packing soap bags for school community)
  • Debating society: all year groups- fast fashion is unsustainable. A link made available for the whole school to watch.
  • Connection with Sligo Tidy Towns provided us with litter pickers and we had an action event tackling litter spots in the town, near our school.
  • Member of our committee signed up to the Junior Tidy Towns committee so he will provide feedback when the committee there gets established (in planning with other schools in town)
  • Latest newsfeed on website: we provide weekly updates: details of Climate Action week events, video on the bins in the classrooms, textile recycling info
  • Beeswax wraps video, litter action days, thank you for support and present, along with video about shampoo bars. Fundraising for Self Help Africa (Christmas jumper day)
  • Industry links: Ireland Beeswax wraps, Sample soaps Palm Free Soap and Shampoo bars from Soap Box Project
  • 6 native Irish trees planted on school grounds from Self Help Africa
  • Contact with Future Forests in Cork and discount given for a month
  • Speakers to visit school for next year: Easkey Britton (Sustainable fishing…)
  • StreamScapes presentation organised for 2022 also (links to CBA in geography)
  • Contact with WEEE about getting more battery boxes to hopefully be filled post Christmas and collected by WEEE for recycling, had 2 boxes so need to fill 10 for a collection.
  • StreamScapes presentation and possible fieldwork day for 2022
  • Neats Streets campaign in 2020

Day of Action consisted of a variety of events linked to Climate Action Week including:

  • Recycling textile day in the school, 1.37 ton of clothes collected along with a screening of the True Cost to Juniors and shared with seniors through Teams to highlight Fast Fashion Waste.
  • All TY involved in sign on the astro, they spelt out ‘PLANT TREES’. Image shared through website and Twitter
  • Litter pick ups in community, guidance by links to Sligo Tidy Towns, Collected 5 black bags of litter
  • Tree planting day, committee signed up for ‘One Million Trees’ initiative and received 6 native trees to plant on the school grounds. Over 3,000 trees were planted in Africa in the name of our school.

Step 7.  Green Code

The Grammar we can do it,

 We can change our ways.

  Help us do our bit,

And see new greener days.

Agreed upon with initial Green Schools class 2019 and we have retained it.

Code displayed on the website through Green School’s section and on display in the school on large collage posters (recycled National Geographics) Clear message that we can all individually and collectively do more to make the school, and our own lives greener and make simple changes that will make a larger difference.


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