Step 1: Green-Schools Committee
As this is a smaller school, each year 5th and 6th class students form the Green-Schools committee. All students have roles such as secretary, PRO, chairperson and all communicate their active work with the 2 classrooms in the school. Learning support teacher Sinead Reynolds is their Green-Schools Co-ordinator.
Step 2: Environmental Review
Their baseline survey conducted in Autumn 2018 showed that 87% of pupils travelled by car and 13% walked to school.
Using maps supplied by the roads department of Sligo County Council, the Green-Schools Committee mapped where all the pupils and teachers. The found out that the pupils walking to school all live in the village and that some pupils were travelling a long distance to school by car.
The Green-School committee together with their Travel Officer conducted a Walkability Audit to a selected Park’n’Stride location at the local football pitch in the village of Riverstown. Despite having good footpaths throughout the village, the walkability audit highlighted several safety concerns. On approach to the village there is no cycling or walking infrastructure and the roads are narrow with low visibility around many corners. Within the village there is no designated safe crossing point and there is significant parking on and subsequent damage to footpaths. Despite these barriers the school identified a park and stride location in the village and all pupils were encouraged to Carpool, Park and Stride, walk and cycle to school.
Step 3: Action Plan
- Park’n’Stride days
- Scooter safety courses for junior infants to 2nd class
- Cycle Right Training for 3rd to 6th class students
- Speed Survey
- Climate Change, Food Miles and Road Safety workshops
- Poster and slogan competition
- Liaising with local road safety working group and Sligo County Council to improve walking infrastructure in the village
Step 4: Monitoring & Evaluation
Students are monitored on how they travel to school and were delighted to note a 10% decrease in car journeys on average to school. There was a significant increase in walking and cycling and full participation on the action days.
Step 5: Curriculum Work
Many links to the theme were made across a range of subjects:
Step 6: Informing & Involving
The Green-Schools committee raised awareness of the travel theme throughout the school by delivering presentations, setting up a Green-Schools noticeboard and writing newsletter to inform parents and the community. All work was published on the school blog, website and Facebook page.
Step 7: Green Code
A Green Code competition was run in the school and this is the winner:
Get on your bike Or take a hike Use your head and think green To reduce the use of gasoline