A new Green Flag is flying high outside Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire in Ardee.
It’s their eight Green Flag award which makes them the first school in county Louth and one of a very small, elite group who have earned this distinction.
This flag has been awarded to the school by An Taisce following a two-year education programme on the theme of Global Citizenship: Litter and Waste.
“This theme seemed challenging at the outset but it proved to be very curriculum friendly,” said school principal, Deirdre Sweeney.
Ms Sweeney was speaking to a packed school hall during their Green Flag ceremony. Committee members outlined some of the many projects they undertook towards this award. They investigated ethical consumption and became a “fair-trade” school with pupils sourcing an amazing 754 different fair-trade products in a three month period. They learned all about the different cultures and countries represented in the school and discovered they have families from 19 different countries worldwide. They researched and supported children’s charities such as their “Hats for Syria” project whereby they donated 294 hats to help little children cope with the cold winters in war-torn Syria. They sent 80 gift-filled Christmas shoeboxes to the Team Hope Appeal fundraiser for Amnesty International and Trocaire. They also wrote to the Afghan Women’s Skills Development Centre in Afghan as part of their work on human rights issues. In fact their whole school is adorned with the various projects and activities conducted for the award with colourful posters on the theme decorating the entrance hall and corridors.
“This theme is very much a cross cutting theme and has implications in all the other Green flag themes we have covered to date, such as waste, energy, water, travel and biodiversity,” said Mrs Sweeney, “but we managed to keep the good practices established from previous themes working way in the background as well”.
The honour of raising the school’s eight flag went to Brendan Matthews of Ardee Tidy Towns. The school also celebrated their Award of Science and Maths Excellence 2014.
The school has achieved this top award every year since 2005.