Green-Schools Water Awards 2024

At a ceremony in Hyatt Centric Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday, 15th May, the Green-Schools Water Theme celebrated the efforts of students following their participation in different competitions and programmes this year. The event acknowledged the achievements of the Water Poster and Video Competition winners, Water Ambassadors Regional winners and runners up and Regional Water Schools of the Year in Primary and Secondary school category. Two schools were also announced as the National Water School of the Year in Primary and Secondary school category. 

Here’s the full list our Water Award winners: 

You can check out the winners for the ‘Water for Peace’ Poster and Video Competition here. 

Regional Water Ambassadors: 

Southern Region: Ellie Furlong and Aoife Davis, Selskar College 

Dublin Region: Molly Tunnicliffe and Juliet Daly, Manor House School 

East and Midlands Region: Oisin Crinion, Aaron O’Donoghue and James Lusk, Coláiste na Mí 

North and West Region: Madison Lynch, Kate Norton, Erin Cosidine, Sophia Goodman, St Louis Secondary School 

Runner-Up Regional Water Ambassadors: 

East and Midlands Region: Izzi Fenton and Alicia McCarthy, East Glendalough School 

Dublin Region: Charley House and Maedbh Butterly, St Joseph’s Secondary School, Rush 

Southern Region: Aurelia Sharakhovskaya, Eva Shaji and Fiona Chen, Mungret Community College 

North and West Region: Sadhbh Mechan, Meadhbh Goode, Chloe Mannion, Ciaran O’Brien, Michael O’Sullivan and Conor Winters, Portumna Community School 

Regional Water School of the Year: 

Primary School Category: 

Dublin Region: St. Mary’s National School, Saggart, Co. Dublin 

East and Midlands Region: Dean Kelly National School, Athlone, Westmeath 

Southern Region: Gaelscoil Charraig Uí Leighin, Carraig Uí Leighin, Co. Chorcaí 

North and West Region: Corlea National School, Kingscourt, Cavan 

Secondary School Category: 

Dublin Region: Mount Anville Secondary School, Dublin 

East and Midlands Region: St. Kieran’s College​, Kilkenny 

Southern Region: Glanmire Community College, Co. Cork 

North and West Region: St. Louis Secondary School, Carrickmacross, Monaghan 

 

National Water School of the Year: 

Primary School Category: Corlea National School, Cavan 

Secondary School Category: St. Louis Secondary School, Monaghan 

Well done to all the schools for their hard work and achievement! We’re so proud of all of you! 

 

Read all about the fantastic work that the winning schools have done below: 

National Primary Water School of the Year: Corlea National School, Cavan 

Corlea National School completed a phenomenal amount of work for a small school of 19 students! Each student applied to be on the committee and joined the Green-Schools Committee. The Junior and Senior Infants have even become leak detectors and carry out leak tests once a week using food dye. Due to their weekly tests, they discovered leaks in both Year 1 and Year 2 of the Water theme, the plumber was contacted, and leaks were resolved as promptly as possible. Corlea National School received a water butt from Cavan County Council in 2023, which they use to water their plants and vegetables. The Green-Schools committee organised a few days for the school to learn more about the environment. The school visited a local wind farm and also the local water plant. They organised this visit by contacting Gerry from the local water plant, and they organised a visit to the Dhuish Water Plant and Annagheirin Lough. The whole school thoroughly enjoyed their day out. On this day the National Water Federation gifted each child in our school with a Silver Birch tree to plant at home. For their Action Day, the Green-Schools committee invited two guest speakers from the National Water Federation to come to speak to all students on water conservation, life in water and pollution. After their Action Day, all students wrote a recount of their memories of the day and all they had learned. The Green-Schools coordinator took these recounts and included them in a newspaper article that she wrote for the Anglo Celt Newspaper. The school were delighted to see that the article got a full page in the newspaper, and this created great awareness in the community of all their work for Green-Schools and the importance of water conservation. 

National Secondary Water School of the Year: St. Louis Secondary School, Monaghan 

St. Louis Secondary School has immersed themselves in the Water theme in school and in the wider community. The Green-Schools committee created awareness about water conservation and quality in a number of ways. The committee tested the water in the school river to check what condition the plant and animal life is. They linked in with their Environmental Officer, Paul Sherlock and Local Water Officer, Ben Malone who delivered educational workshops onsite and also conducted kick sampling in the river with the students. The committee and ambassadors organised a Walk for Water and “The Shower Time Challenge” to highlight water conservation. Their biggest event was the highly successful, Fashion Reimagined Show & Swap Shop. Educational information via a PowerPoint was watched by the whole school, awareness on the amount of water used to produce items of clothing that were only worn a few times and then ended up in land fill. Students with the help from their parents and staff set up a swap shop in the school. The school ran a Fashion Reimagined Show featuring the staff as models. St. Louis also worked with their local Tidy Towns on several projects, the most recent art project the committee designed and decorated poles for the town’s new biodiversity walk. Tidy Towns donated a water butt for the school’s sensory garden. The committee worked with local primary schools by hosting an environmental educational quiz and received sponsorship from a local business for the event. They have plans in place to host water workshops in local primary schools, inviting speakers, to talk about environmental issues and initiatives. The school organised open nights where the community can learn about the Green-Schools programme. 

Regional Water Schools of the Year- Secondary School Category:
  1. Mount Anville Secondary School, Dublin regional winner 

Mount Anville Secondary School’s Green-Schools Committee is made up of a representative for each class group, they were selected by a letter of interest, followed by an election. The Green-Schools Committee held an information poster campaign around the school to highlight the amount of water used to create fashion items and food items. The Green-Schools Committee conducted a water audit of the school to monitor for leak detections for the future. The committee also organised several guest speakers to visit the school, including Anubis, the leak detecting dog! Anubis visited with the trainer who explained how the Anubis does the job. Another guest speaker to their school was from Trócaire to speak to students about issues around water access globally. TY students also went for litter picking in Blackrock park which has a lake in it with another school group and picked 10 bags of rubbish. The committee held a few fundraising events to worthy causes such as the Native Woodland Trust, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and Gaza. The Green-Schools Committee conducted litter picking in a local park with another school and also planted native trees.  

  1. St. Kieran’s College, Eastern and Midlands regional winner 

St. Kieran’s College in Kilkenny took a thorough approach to the Water theme and kept up the previous Green-Schools themes. The Green-Schools committee has a representative of all years and two Water Ambassadors were elected by the committee. Through their Environmental Review, the committee completed an audit of all water appliances and reduced the use of water in the space of a year by over one third. This reduction meant the average water usage per student went from 22 litres per person to below the national average to 15 litres.  The committee were able to replace a lot of the twist taps to push taps. The Green-Schools committee undertook a series of actions pertaining to other themes such as a mobility survey and Walk to School Week; planting of oak trees on site provided by the local Lions Club and engaged the architect for new school build to ensure that the new building will be as energy efficient as possible. The committee undertook a bike repair scheme which is still ongoing which provides refurbished bikes to members of the Ukrainian community. 

  1. Glanmire Community School, Southern regional winner 

Green-Schools Committee at Glanmire Community College has over 50 students who work on the Water theme, and this is reflected in the amount of work they completed over the past 2 years. Among their achievements they analysed the local river water quality and reached out to local politicians regarding their results, a Clean Water Society was setup, took part in the Young Scientists, beach cleans ups and visited with local primary schools and educated them on water quality and conservation. The committee also hosted a Sustainability Week in April 2023. All week various events were ran to promote environmental awareness, especially around water conservation. The amount of water bottle refills was announced each day and displayed on screens in social areas within the school. several other initiatives were implemented over the course of the week.  The school has seen a significant reduction in the amount of litter and waste on the school grounds, reduction in the quantity of single use plastics and other single use items. Staff and students are much more likely to use refillable water bottles and keep cups for hot drinks and there is a noticeable knowledge and awareness amongst school community to environmental issues. This is evident through their strong curriculum links on environmental issues.   

Regional Water Schools of the YearPrimary School Category: 
    1. St. Mary’s National School Saggart, Dublin regional winner 

    St. Mary’s National School, Saggart has successfully implemented the Water theme throughout the school which has nearly 700 students. The Green-Schools committee has worked to raise awareness on all elements of Green-Schools and created informative videos which they shared with the school community reminding people to continue to act green. They successfully reduced the water consumption by over one litre per student.  In addition to the essential and regular recommended Water actions, they also mapped the areas of the school that use water. They have greywater reuse tanks and rainwater harvesting system in the school. The committee also organised two action weeks for the Water theme. The whole school got involved with science experiments, art competitions, guest speakers, Walk for Water, sowed wildlife seeds and vegetables. The Green-Schools committee also worked with the local community with the Tidy Towns and completed kick-testing on the local River Camac and carried out some litter picking on the way to and from the river, along with by the river side. 

     

    1. Dean Kelly National School, Eastern and Midlands regional winner 

    Dean Kelly National School’s work on the Water flag has created awareness throughout the school and the wider community. The schools’ social media has been used to display activities that they have been doing and also activities they have partaken in through the school community. The school’s website has also been utilised to share information on various events that the committee has undertaken. The committee was successful in halving their water bill for the school in over a year of diligent work. The school installed a water butt to track how much rainwater is collected every day. They used watering cans to track how many litres of water they use per day when watering the flower beds and plants. The committee also carried out a tap audit in the school to assess how many taps they had in the school and how many were working and fixed the ones that weren’t working well.  The Green-Schools’ Committee’s work has been featured on local radio stations of Shannonside FM and Athlone Community Radio, where the students spoke about and shared information of their cleanups around the waterways of Athlone. The committee found it a fantastic educational experience being interviewed on air for the radio and they learned an invaluable amount from it. The committee organised a clean-up of the waterways of the Shannon for their Action Day, their work was featured on the radio and the newspapers- The Westmeath Independent, Athlone Advertiser and the Athlone Topic. 

     

    1. Gaelscoil Charraig Uí Leighin, Southern regional winner 

    Gaelscoil Charraig Uí Leighin in Cork has a strong Green-Schools ethos in the school, which has over 500 students in attendance. Each class has a Garda Glas (green guard) who monitors dripping taps, running taps and toilets where the flush buttons might get stuck. As the school is a new build, water taps that supply water are from a large underground harvested rainwater tank. The school has a water butt located at the shed which allows water to flow from the gutter into the water butt.  The Green-Schools committee organised a week of events in Gaelscoil Charraig Uí Leighin. A wide array of curricular activities, explanatory videos and information was provided on a padlet for each class level. Water based experiments were conducted by some classes. The school successfully decreased water consumption in the school from 9.13 litre per person to 7.81 litre per person. The vast majority of children in school use reusable bottles in school and understand the damage single use plastic bottles do to the environment. The committee also took part in the GLOBE River Ecosystems programme. They travelled to the Owenabue River in Carrigaline and completed tests on the river and water quality. The committee also worked with the locally community on the Spring Clean campaign.   

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