Templeglantine N.S is located in County Limerick. The school has approximately four Teachers and 93 students. They achieved their first flag for Litter and Waste in May 2022.
Step 1: GS Committee
The committee consists of pupils from Infants right up to Sixth class who meet every two weeks to discuss and review progress. The committee are fortunate to work collaboratively with the school cleaner, class teachers and parents who are also members of the local Tidy Towns. Committee members make intercom announcements as well as go around to the classes to update them after meetings. The 4th, 5th and 6th classroom held Green School Committee elections. Over the duration of a week all the children participated in their Green School election campaign which involved each candidate speaking to their class mates and reasons they should be selected for the committee. The children then voted for the candidate most suitable. Subcommittees included; Litter Pickers, Bin Patrol and DAC (Design and Communications committee). Infants to Third class had the opportunity to share the ideas they had and those who expressed interested were put into a hat for random selection
Step 2: Environmental Review
The committee identified the main types of litter and waste produced by the school. A Litter & Waste questionnaire and survey was carried out. Results showed students were unsure of what items they could throw into the waste bin, recycle or compost. The Green School Committee and staff initially thought waste was a problem but litter was not an issue. However, when the litter black spots were mapped they were shocked with the amount of litter (plastic bottles, broken glass, wrappers) hidden in the school field and court yard. Other results included;
- Paper and card were mixed in with food waste in the wrong bins in every classroom including the staff room bin
- There was a lot of food waste in the bins.
- Both the children and teachers we not being careful with the amount of paper and card being used.
- The staff were not printing back to back.
- Paper copies of newsletters, school notifications, letters and forms were being sent home instead of emails.
- A questionnaire/ survey was sent to children/ parents and while many of them made a conscious effort to recycle and use the correct bins at home, many were not as good at reducing waste at school (i.e. the amount of tinfoil and cling film used in their child’s lunch box and using disposable plastic water bottles instead of reusable bottles etc.)
- There are bottle bins/ banks located beside the school and the litter that is accumulating in the school grounds is coming from here.
- Litter Pickers noticed that almost all the litter was blowing in from outside
Step 3. Action Plan
Some of the actions carried out were-
- Create bin posters – what goes into each bin
- Reduce the amount of paper towels. All children to bring in their own hand towel.
- Reduce paper use by all staff members
- Transition to E-newsletters
- Use active response boards in all classrooms to reduce the amount of paper/copy pages being used
- Introduction to Microsoft Teams: (online learning Aim to reduce the amount of photocopying)
- Litter & Waste in class survey
- Contact local Tidy Towns group
- Monitoring and analysing classroom, staffroom and school bins
- Poster, Project competitions, Wine cork board
- Junk art – using recyclable materials for art (e.g. cardboard, egg cartons, bubble wrap, toilet rolls etc.)
- Waste Free Day
- Litter picking (school field – litter black spot)
Step 4. Monitoring and Evaluation
- Litter Black Spots – The children created a map of the school grounds which was used as a working document to monitor litter blackspots in the court yard and the school field.
- A Litter Picker Committee was set up to monitor litter black spots. They worked collaboratively with the local community to resolve litter blowing in from outside. 4th, 5th and 6th class took part in a number of clean ups in the court yard and school field. The Litter Pickers have recorded significant progress. Less than 1 kg of litter has been collected per term.
- Yard Litter – The Green School Committee report any littering to the Green Schools Coordinator. They use the school intercom system to remind the whole school of the no littering policy.
- Classroom Litter – Every classroom is responsible for keeping their classroom tidy. Progress is evaluated weekly. On Friday the table who made the best effort to keep their classroom litter free receives a reward.
- Hallway Litter – Classroom bins are stored in the hallway (outside the classroom door). Every classroom is responsible for keeping the area outside their classroom tidy.
- Weekly bin checks – The Bin Patrol record their findings on the Green School notice board and report back to every classroom/ staff room
- Weigh bins weekly – General waste decreased by 18% despite excess waste challenges from COVID 19.
Step 5. Curriculum Links
Some curriculum links included;
How can we help our environment
|4th, 5th and 6th Class|
(Data & Measure)
|Bins – what do our bins weight?||1st– 6th Class|
|English||Green Schools Election Campaign
How can we be sustainable?
|4th, 5th and 6th Class|
|SESE||Composting and Recycling
Plastic, the Ocean
Recycling – What happens to recyclable materials?
Visit to the local bottle bank
|Junior and Senior Infants
1st, 2nd and 3rd Class
|Art||Green Code Competition||All classes|
Step 6. Informing & Involving
- Green Schools Notice Board
- Weekly Intercom Announcements: The Committee use this opportunity to share interesting facts about litter and waste. The Committee also share the weekly waste updates and inform the classes which classroom had the best bin.
- School Assemblies: termly video updates to share with all classes. In these videos the committee shared pictures of each classrooms effort to be greener. The video included pictures of junk art projects, SESE projects etc.
- Microsoft Teams, Forms, School Emails
- School Newsletter
- Text a Parent
- Local Newspapers and Television (involvement in community project)
Day of Action consisted of a Green Week including;
- Thematic Teaching – ‘’Green School, Great School’’-lessons about protecting our environment and our Green Schools theme of litter and waste. All classes engaged in activities learning about reduce, reuse and recycle.
- Whole School Project – Creating a notice board using wine corks. The children began collecting wine corks at the beginning of November. We have collected over 1,000 corks and over the duration of the week all classes will be involved in gluing the wine corks together.
- Waste Free Wednesday
- Guest Speaker-A parent and member of the Tidy Towns was invited to speak to the children about all the work our community that takes place in our community to ensure it stays clean, tidy and litter free.
Step 7. Green Code
”Be Green and Join the Glan Team!”
The Green Code is visibly displayed throughout the school. Each classroom has it displayed in their room. The Green Schools Committee ensure that the green code is used during every intercom announcement and also written on any emails or notes the committee publishes.
“The children on the Green School Committee have really enjoyed having extra responsibility. This programme has given all children the opportunity to get really involved in a school initiative (not all initiatives permit this). The children enjoyed analysing the waste accumulated each week especially when there was a prize for the classroom with the best bin. The children have become interested in environmental issues having undertaken the programme and have used what they have learned outside of school. Our school is greener, cleaner and creates a lot less waste. The school has saved money due to the cut backs in waste being produced and products being used in the school. Hand towels are no longer purchased. The amount have photocopying has reduced and the children and parents are more open to using digital technology and resources eg. Using Microsoft Teams for homework, online return to school notes and digital newsletters. We look forward to our action week as each classroom will get the opportunity to collaborate and create a school notice board”