May 18- Green schools work

May 21, 2018

St Brendan’s PS
Green School / Tidy town report 2017 / 2018

We have built upon the award of our 5th green flag – Biodiversity – this school year. Last year was very hands on in learning and developing our school in terms of Bio-diversity so we were delighted to be awarded the flag.
We have placed all 5 flags / awards on display on new signs for each of our school pillars on Moorpark St so as you drive by you can get a sense of where the school is at. We also try our best to ensure that the front of school looks its best for residents and locals passing with painted front wall etc.
We had to remove a large tree from inside school grounds as it was blocking light to resident house. Tree surgeon removed carefully and chopped up. Branches were shredded and placed under our apple trees to provide soft landing for boys in school garden. Truck was chopped into pieces. 20 parts were used by LCA students on placement to create a log hop area under trees which is safe to use at breaktime. The rest was chopped and offered as prize ( firewood) at Christmas Draw. The winner ( Michael Loughnane ) donated the wood to Vincent de Paul so we got the boys to pack 60 bags of timber which were given out to needy families at Christmas. – Green and worthwhile use for the old tree !!
First task was to elect a new Green school committee which would lead the school guided by Teacher Ms Sarah Pilkington and Ms Paula Doyle. The elections were hotly contested and the boys got straight into action with their plans for this year. First task was to accept the schools award from Birr Tidy towns for 2017 and with it came a pot with seeds to sow for our school so boys were delighted.
Our school garden badly needed a revamp / clean up as we were not getting good use from it and under health and safety it was dangerous – slippery decking. The project cost € 10,000 and we were supported through our Catering partner Glanmore Foods, Our fantastic Parents Association and Birr Lions club. We now have our POLYTUNNELL planted with corn and tomatoes which will be great for our cooking classes.

We have brought groups of boys down to the community garden ( old market) under the instruction of Rebekah Keavney which they have really enjoyed. Last week they assisted with making hanging baskets for the town and got to bring one of them back to school too!
They looked at the area of recycling and waste and went on a visit to the recycling centre here in Birr where they learned a lot. They also took part in National Spring clean week where they used the gloves and litter pickers to do a litter pick of high st and Moorpark st areas. Each week teams of boys do litter picks inside the school grounds to keep our school neat and tidy. The boys get school lunches with the idea that all papers / wrappers go home in lunch boxes which reduces waste at school.
We have welcomed An Taisce Officer Ciara on a few occasions to the school as she supports our Green Travel initiatives. We encourage boys to cycle to school and have received a grant to give all boys in 5th class four sessions of cycle training. This will be provided by Birr OEC as we support local. Ciara did another day of cycle training and awareness with classes in October and has another survey and information day in June. We have signed up to take part in the lunchtime cycle around Birr in June. We also have had 3 scoot to school days where we set up ramps at break time and provide a supervised area for boys to scoot and cycle which is very popular.
The Wild schools prog started in Sept / Oct with Lynn and all classes took part. Unfortunately circumstances meant that Lynn could not continue but the boys enjoyed the prog and Lynn showed us the great opportunities that exist in our school to develop our school habitats.
We have a great link with Birr Tidy Towns and appreciate the great work that they do on a voluntary basis. Our function is to try educate the next generation to take pride and responsibility for their school , road , area and town. We celebrate the work that Tidy Towns do and will continue to support their work in any way we can.
Best wishes for this summer from all at St Brendans PS Birr






litter pick 2

litter pick






ramps 2

ramps 3