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Green-Schools and Water

  • In Ballymoney National School, the pupils are working towards the Green-Schools flag for the Water theme.

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Step 1: Green-Schools Committee

  • Our Green-Schools Committee is made up of 10 pupils ranging in age from 6 to 12 years and from 1st class right up to 6th class.

  • We also have a coordinating teacher on the committee.

  • We all have different roles such as litter wardens, water wardens and leaky detectives. These roles will be rotated so that everyone gets to experience them all.

  • We meet every Friday afternoon at approx. 2 pm in the outdoor shelter.

  • The committee promises to make sure all 7 steps of the programme are achieved; take responsibility and share ideas for our water theme; and make sure the views of all pupils in the school are listened to and that actions will be taken where possible.  

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Step 2: Environmental Review

  • The pupils on the committee undertook 3 essential actions so as to assess the initial situation regarding water in our school.

  • This review helped the committee to decide on the best course of action for improvement within our small school.

Essential Action 1: Calculate your water usage

  • The water meter was read once a week for a number of weeks.

  • The committee was able to get an idea of how much water was used per person per day.

  • Water bills were also examined but it was difficult to get an accurate picture from these due to school closures with holidays and Covid. 

  • The pupils also made some manual estimations by keeping tick sheets for 5 days and working out how much water is released from the push taps.

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Essential Action 2: Conduct a manual water audit

  • The committee counted the number of taps, toilets, urinals, outdoor taps and kettles. Our school does not have a dishwasher or a washing machine.

  • All of these items were shown on a map of the school.

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Essential Action 3: Conduct leak tests

  • Committee members checked for any drips or leaks in the taps and toilets.

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Step 3: Action Plan

  • The pupils on the committee have decided on a list of targets for our Action Plan. These include:

  • Raise awareness about water conservation 

  • Run a water photo competition 'Ways We Use Water'

  • Create a poster of our school's water cycle, showing where our water is sourced, where it is treated and where the waste water is treated

  • Conduct a Water Use Survey amongst the pupils in school and analyse results

  • Send home a Behavioural Survey for each family to complete and analyse results

  • Compile a list of detergent and cleaners in the school and try to make Eco-friendly ones

  • Adopt the River Bandon and do a river clean-up over at Riverside Garden

  • Fix our water butt and collect rainwater for our school garden

  • We have 3 dual-flush toilets in the school. We hope to put 500ml bottles into these cisterns and 1L bottles into the boys' toilets so as to save on water with each flush

  • Run a water poster competition 

  • We have water-saving taps but one tap in the girls' bathroom needs to have the water flow adjusted

  • Turn off the urinals at the end of the school day and at weekends

  • Learn more about the local water treatment facility

  • Place 'Turn it off' signs over the lever head taps

  • Design a leaflet of tips for saving water

  • Organise a 'Water Action Day'

  • Set up a Green-Schools notice board

  • Place a suggestion box near the notice board so that pupils outside of the committee can post their ideas

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Green Schools