Ballinamore CS raised their 6th Green Flag last Friday, August 30 in a ceremony that included representatives from the Board of Management, the Parents Association, Ballinamore Tidy Towns, teachers and students.
This represented a two year programme from September 2017 to May 2019 and the school were notified about their achievement in April 2019.
To start the ceremony Diarmuid Mc Caffrey, principal, welcomed everyone to the gathering and congratulated all concerned on their fabulous achievement on obtaining their Green Flag.
As well as receiving the Green Flag he informed the gathering that Ballinamore CS were also regional winners in the North West for Global Citizenship: Litter and Waste. Their success didn’t end there either and in the National Green Schools on May 10 in the Helix, DCU the school was given the prestigious title of Best Overall Secondary School in Ireland in the Global Citizenship: LItter and Waste category.
Mr Mullen then spoke on behalf of the Green Schools' Committee. This committee included Mr Mullen, Ms Cooney, Ms Colum, Ms Griffin and their class groups. He outlined a brief history of the Green Schools' programme in Ballinamore and gave a summary of the initiatives undertaken.
HISTORY OF GREEN SCHOOLS IN BALLINAMORE
The Green Schools programme was first started in 2006 when the school was then called Ballinamore PPS. Mr Mullen, Ms Colum and Ms Cooney started the Litter and Waste programme with their various classes in each of the three schools that made up Ballinamore PPS, namely Meanscoil Fatima, St Felim’s and the Vocational School and received a Green Flag for each building in 2007.
Between 2007 and 2013 they received two further green Flags for Energy Conservation and Water Conservation.
In 2013 Ballinamore Post Primary Schools became Ballinamore Community School when the three schools amalgamated.
Since 2013 they have added three new flags for Sustainable Travel, Biodiversity and their most recent one for Global Citizenship.
Mr Mullen, on behalf of the Green Schools' Committee thanked all past pupils and management for their cooperation and assistance in our past successes.
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GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP AWARD
In September 2018 the school started a number of initiatives in their quest for their 6th flag.
This included surveys on litter and waste, developing an action plan, buying compost bins for food waste, buying a shredder for the staff room, labelling bins, a Recycling Roadshow to all classes to show what bin students should use, Social Justice Club, Climate Action Week, Design a Reusable Water Bottle competition, growing their own vegetables in the polytunnel, Food Portion Awareness and sizes, installing bird boxes, Obtaining a Global Passport for Development Education, planting Crocus flowers for the Crocus project and an Action Day called La Glas Go Glas.
They also developed a green code called Tap Into Your Future, Refills not Landfills.
To the delight of all at the school all their efforts were successful and at the national awards ceremony they recived a winner's trophy and a €500 cash prize.
Ballinamore Community School will shortly begin their quest for thir 7th green flag on global citizenship: energy conservation.
Mr Mullen highlighted how important the Green Schools' programme is, particularly with global issues like climate change and increased energy demands.
He hoped that Ballinamore CS and its students would continue to be at the fore in tackling these issues and ensure a sustainable future for all.
Mr Mullen paid special thanks to BAM and there staff for their cooperation with all the initiative;, Gallogly Catering for assistance with food waste in the canteen; Kay Maguire and the Ballinamore Tidy Towns committee.
He also paid tribute to former principal, Mr Leyden for all his assistance through the years and to all staff and pupils for their great work. In particular, special thanks was paid to Ms Ni mHaille, Mr Nolan and Mr Duignan for their help with La Glas and for making bird boxes and flower beds in woodwork class.