The King’s Hospital School celebrates sixth Green Flag award
October 18, 10am The King’s Hospital School in west Dublin is delighted to celebrate its sixth Green Flag award in a flag-raising ceremony, with special guests MEP Frances Fitzgerald and Mayor of South Dublin County Council Vicki Casserly.
The school has also been named Global Citizenship School of the year for the Dublin region, and renewed its five previous flags, as part of An Taisce’s Green-Schools programme awards.
During an engaging discussion with the European Studies class, MEP Fitzgerald praised the students and their teachers “for having a global perspective and being so motivated to influence the changes needed for a sustainable future, through their many initiatives”.
To achieve the green flag, which was based on the theme of Global Citizenship - Litter and Waste, the school had to show the efforts it made to raise awareness on looking after the environment, promote and facilitate ‘active citizenship’ and make an improvement in the litter and waste management in the school.
Presenting the flag to students Lady Mayor Casserly told students “they may seem like small changes that you are making in your lives but collectively they are making a huge difference to all our futures”
The school’s environmental efforts to reach the Green-Schools targets included: hosting classroom talks and creating promotional material to raise awareness, replacing plastic bottles with recyclable cans, the addition of water fountains to encourage students to use reusable bottles, composting of all kitchen waste and the introduction of a communal bin area and recycling bins.
The school’s Environmental Committee and Student Council, together with science teacher Ciaran O’Connor and modern language and European studies teacher Viki Malcolm, worked tirelessly to effect the changes, and ultimately to achieve their green flag goal.
“Achieving our sixth Green Flag is a culmination of two years of hard work by a dedicated group of young people who give their time voluntarily to raise awareness of environmental issues and to promote behaviour change amongst their peers. I am grateful that these students are able to get the recognition that they deserve. It is only by many small, individual actions we as a society, will be able to tackle the many challenges that are currently facing our environment.” Teacher and Environmental Committee coordinator Ciaran O’Connor
“This award is an important milestone on our journey towards becoming active global citizens. This achievement plays a vital role in the work we do towards maintaining our Worldwise Global Schools Diplomatic Passport” Teacher Viki Malcolm
“We had great buy-in from staff, students and our caterers, Sodexo – which shows how eager our community is to do their part for sustainability,” Head Girl & member of the Environmental Committee Hannah Betson
The Green-Schools programme is based on a seven-step environmental management system and continual improvement process. It is a student-led programme with involvement from the wider community. It is a themed initiative with schools initially working on the themes of Litter and Waste and then moving onto themes such as Energy, Water, School Travel, Biodiversity and Global Citizenship. Schools that successfully implemented the programme are awarded the Green Flag.
Global Citizenship Litter & Waste theme
Global Citizenship – Litter and Waste is a maintenance theme, which enables schools to discover how Green-Schools work has positively influenced people and environments worldwide while revising the previous Litter and Waste theme.
The overall aim of the Global Citizenship Litter & Waste theme is to create a knowledge and understanding about the link between environmental degradation and human rights. Students will learn about sustainable development and will be enabled to examine the world’s interdependency and development in a critical manner in order to create real change by acting locally and effecting a more equitable, just and sustainable world for all.
The King’s Hospital School is a member of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program. It is one of 33 schools in Ireland that are contributing to this citizen science initiative to promote awareness about air pollution and collect a set of accurate data that can be used by schools and scientists for research purposes, and to inform policy.
On October 16th two Form 4 students, Robert Duggan & Thomas Eve, presented emissions data collected at our school to a group of 150 members of large organisations and policy makers at an EPA air quality conference, NIECE, along with initiatives they are considering to tackle the hot spot areas.