St. Senan’s Primary School is situated on the slopes of Vinegar Hill, overlooking the picturesque Cathedral town of Enniscorthy in County Wexford. There are 450 students and 34 teachers at present.They were awarded their first green flag in May 2005. To kick start their energy theme ,an inspiring ‘Switch it off’ campaign was launched.
An energy audit was carried out to find out why they spent so much money on electricity.
an increased usage in electrical equipment in the school,
equipment and lights were left on while not in use,
electric heaters were used in portacabins and the cost of electricity was increasing.
They conducted a study into why costs were rising and discovered the price of oil was 36% higher than the previous year, natural gas was 40%. They found depleting fossil fuels accounted for rising fuel prices. The children's awareness of this is clear in their energy conservation and focus on renewable energy as the future. They compiled a list of energy saving tips and facts for at home and at school.
One energy saving tip is announced at weekly assembly
The school is powered by Airtricity.
Energy usage was evaluated at home through surveys compiled by the energy project.The children partook in a 'sustainable energy project' designing models from wind, solar, and hydropower bringing the energy saving message to the national stage when they exhibited their work at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in the R.D.S
They took part in saving Irish bogs and assuring sustainable energy through working with ‘The Irish Peatland Conservation Council’ to turn used stamps into money.
A copy of each winning slogan from the ‘switch it off’ campaign is placed beside each electrical appliance.
visit to Carnsore Windfarm by Sixth class
workshops on ‘the environmentally friendly homes’ from Wexford energy agency
workshops on climate change from ENFO on tour
energy rating display from the Wexford energy agency
The school continues to work on waste and recycling. Every April the school holds a green schools week of action enforcing high levels of waste re-using reducing and recycling
They Recycle ringo’s, mobile phones, stamps and batteries on a daily basis
A Clean team is set up to monitor waste and reward the cleanest classroom with a ‘golden time’ reward and certificate.
As a green school, they recognise how the ways in which children live and behave in the early years of life will have a significant influence on habits and attitudes in future years. The consequence of global warming and the importance of alternative energy is regularly focused on in the curriculum.
The school continues to remind people;
‘its not just the job of governments- its our job and we can start now, today! You have the power!"