Green Schools

Committee 2018- 2019

Chairperson: Caitriona Timmins

Vice-Chair:

Secretary: Victoria Cottrel

Junior Representative:

Co-ordinating Teachers: Ms. Carroll, Ms. Coffey and Ms. Carew

There is one student representative per class group from first to fourth year, and all interested from Fifth and Sixth year.

The committee meets once a week on Wednesday, at 1:30pm.

Our noticeboard is located at the heart of the school, in the Social Area. It is a vital method of communication for us, as it relays information regarding various competitions, actions that we are undertaking and information regarding the various flags as well. Within the school, we collect and recycle batteries, mobile phones and of course normal recycled materials, i.e. Cans, paper, etc.

 

Green Schools Committee Report 2018

It has been another AMAZING green year for us here in the Ursuline. The year began with our Chairperson, Caoimhe Fitzpatrick, welcoming us all back to school in September and laying out the Green School plans for the year.

This year we have been awarded our Seventh Green Flag. This is a huge achievement as it has taken many years of hard work and commitment to get this far (the literary equivalent would be Harry defeating Voldemort, it took hard work, but like Harry, we did it in the end!). The theme of our flag was “Global Citizenship – Energy”. Global Citizenship is when all citizens of the world have equal rights and responsibilities.

In September, the Sixth years organised the annual Mission Day to raise money for the Ursuline Kenyan Missions. The school raised €3655. This ties in with our Global Citizenship theme.

In November, WEEE Ireland sent the school battery boxes to distribute around the school, to students and teachers. Every person received a blue battery box to fill at home and bring back into school to empty. This is a clean, safe and free way to make a POSITIVE impact on the environment.
Also in November, was the open night for incoming First Years. We set up an information stall and presented it to the sixth class students and parents telling them about all the work that goes on with the Green Schools Committee.

One of our biggest events this year was “Swap Shop”. This involved people bringing in items that they no longer needed or were no longer using at home and that were in a good and clean condition such as books, clothes, DVDs, games etc. Tokens were given to anyone who brought in any items for “Swap Shop”, and they could then use these tokens in exchange for other items brought in by someone else. This was a huge success especially in the junior end of the school. This particular project was great to work on and we look forward to doing something similar to this again next year.

For our annual Christmas event we decided to hold a “Christmas Decoration Competition”. To incorporate the ‘green’ aspect of Christmas the decorations had be made completely from recycled/reused materials. We had some very creative and impressive entries. We displayed all of them outside the office. It was a great success and got everyone in the Christmas spirit (although we do admire the Grinch’s very GREEN approach to Christmas).

All through this year we have been working towards our Seventh Green Flag and we had our assessment in March. Anyone who was involved in any projects that tied in with Global Citizenship talked in this presentation and our assessor was very impressed by all the various projects and the work the whole school is involved in to make UCT a more environmentally conscious and environmentally friendly place.

Thank you to everyone who gave so much time, ENERGY and effort to Green Schools this year. A special thank you to Ms. Carroll, Ms. Coffey and Ms. Carew. Good luck to next years committee and we encourage everyone to get involved, it’s a great opportunity to get to know more people – it is almost as good at breaking the ice as Global Warming.

Isobel Hilary and Grainne McNamara

 

Be Wattaware - SEAI National Competition Winner "One Good Idea"

A team from Ursuline Secondary School were the overall winners in the 2017 SEAI National competition "One Good Idea." This annual competition is open to primary and secondary school students. Teams are required to come up with an idea that will inspire lifestyle changes to save energy and help tackle climate change. There were 500 entrants in all. The team from the Ursuline were the first junior team in the nine-year history of the competition to win the overall prize. The group members were six Second year students, Ellen Duggan, Ellie Culitan, Grainne Quinlan, Kellyann Ryan, Victoria Cottrell and Zoe Bracken. They received a huge amount of guidance and encouragement from their dedicated teacher, Ms. Carroll.

They won with their project " Bee Wattaware". This project raised awareness about energy labels on domestic appliances. The team produced leaflets and questionnaires, they created posters and they had a Snapchat and Instagram page with over a hundred followers. They hosted a quiz in school. They even wrote an article for the Tipperary Star. They also visited classes and primary schools to promote their idea.
After a number of preliminary rounds, the ‘Bee Wattaware’ team made it to the top fifteen out of the original 500 entrants. So the next stop was Croke Park for the final where they were invited make a presentation.

All finalists received free t-shirts and 200 euro for their school. "Bee Wattaware" gave a five-minute presentation in front of a panel of three judges. They all dressed up as gangsters and had a giant cut out of a bee and a chocolate bar. This grabbed the attention of all who were watching, as the group rapped about what they had done in their project. As the judges deliberated, the team got to meet the Minister for the Environment, Denis Naughten and convinced him to put on a gangster hat as well!
Then it was time for the big reveal. The judges had made their decision, the runners up and winners of the junior and senior categories were announced. The team sat there hoping that they would hear their names for the most creative presentation. When they didn’t hear their name being called out all hope evaporated as no junior team had ever won the main competition. They were starting to pack up, when the overall winner was declared. Ursuline Thurles had won the overall competition! They jumped for joy and screamed with delight.
They won a trophy and 1500 euro for the school, a 50 euro ‘One For All’ voucher for each member and also an Amazon Alexa. They also got to design a poster, based on their project, that was hung in every AIB branch in Tipperary. After the presentation there was a photoshoot and an interview for the SEAI website. It was amazing, a once in a life time experience!

The September after their phenomenal win they got invited back up to Dublin to SEAI's headquarters for the launch of their poster. Again they met the Minister, Denis Naughten and got a photoshoot with him and the head of SEAI. They received a copy of their poster which now hangs proudly in the school. The team presented their project which helped the school to receive another Green Flag.

On a personal note, doing the "Bee Wattaware" project was an unforgettable experience. It was stressful but rewarding. I would just like to give a huge thanks to Ms. Carroll for helping us throughout this project, it would have not been possible without her.

By Victoria Cottrel

PAST FLAGS:

First Green Flag : Recycling

Second Green Flag : Energy Saving

Third Green Flag: Water Conservation

Fourth Green Flag: Sustainable Transport

Fifth Green Flag: Biodiversity

Sixth Green Flag: Global Citizenship