Number of Students: 549
Location: Killaloe, Co. Clare
School Type: Co-Educational
St. Anne’s Community College joined the Neat Streets Programme in 2018 and was coordinated by teachers Colm Hayes/Lauren O’ Farrelly and assigned to a Green Committee comprising of students from across all year groups. The school was working towards achieving it’s first Green-Schools flag for litter and waste. Therefore, it made sense to partner with Neat Streets as the Programme suited their overall plan and complemented what they were already working on for Green-Schools.
Student Led Green Committee:
At the beginning of the school term an announcement was made calling on interested students to interview for the Green Committee. Once the committee was formed each student was then given a specific job role. Every single student on the committee had vast importance in helping to make the Neat Streets Programme a success. Every single person on the committee was a valuable piece of the chain. Every person matters and is equally important to the overall functions carried out by the Green Committee. No one person is insignificant or small in the process. Everyone needs each other.
The Neat Streets Conference Croke Park:
Four representatives of the Green Committee attended the Neat Streets Conference 2018-19 in Croke Park. Students from St. Anne’s were noticeably proactive on the day engaging and contributing in all of the workshops. Thus, it’s no surprise that the school featured frequently in our highlight video of the event. Feedback after the conference was positive. Students enjoyed the opportunity to work with their peers from other schools and they picked up a few ideas along the way to bring back to their school.
The committee made great progress in getting the Neat Streets Programme up and running in their school. The students used a number of communication tools to raise awareness of the schools new green goals. This included creating a blog and tab on school website, a Green-Schools noticeboard, and an Instagram account.
The committee have put two bins in each classroom. One is a ‘General waste’ bin and the other a ‘Recycling bin’ made of cardboard. The cardboard bin proved a very simple but very effective idea to improve recycling habits of students within the school. The committee have also put very good signage in place which has significantly improved Waste Management (Recycling).
Waste Management Audit:
The committee carried out waste audits to find out how much waste (weight) and identify the different types of waste their school was producing. The waste audit should be conducted as early as possible when a school begins the Neat Streets Programme as part of their Environmental Review/Baseline Survey. The data collected allowed the school to recognise their initial situation regarding waste in the school and this provided the school with a benchmark against which they could measure their progress. The Waste Audit is repeated periodically as an effective method of monitoring and evaluating the Neat Streets Programme.
St. Anne’s currently have a water fountain in place and a large section of the student body recycle plastic water bottles and fill with water thus reducing the amount of plastic being used in the community. The school have applied to get an Oasis Water Filtration system and will encourage students to use reusable water bottles, saving use of plastic bottles over the course of next year.
Teachers are beginning to use visualisers to help reduce the amount of photocopying paper being used in class. Microsoft 365 One-Note and Teams provide an online Virtual Learning Environment for students where they can access a vast array of quality resources without having to print them saving vast amounts of ink and paper. Teachers begin using this September 2019.
Students carried out weekly litter picks around the schools litter black-spots wearing Neat Streets high-vis vests and as a result also improved the awareness surrounding bad habits of littering in their school community.
Whole-School Environmental Competition:
St. Anne’s plan to run a Whole-School Environmental Competition to promote better environmental compliance. Each year Group base area will be assessed each week under the following three headings:
- Litter in the base areas
- Waste Management (Recycling) in the base areas
- Waste prevention
The Competition begins in September with a leader-board. In May the Year group winners will be taken away for an afternoon trip to the cinema/Ul Activity centre as a prize.
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An Taisce EEU,
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