Gaelscoil an Eiscir Riada, Tualach Mhór, Co. Uibh Fháilí is a 10 teacher school with over 200 students. In this school the class or the teacher elected two students from 6th to 2nd class, with 5th and 6th class students having to give a speech in order to get elected. Teachers, parents, the school secretary and school caretaker are also vital members of the committee. Decisions are made only with the approval of all who are present at the meetings, usually taking place once a week for 15 minutes during lunch break. Students on the committee keep their class informed of decisions made, and a weekly newsletter is published with a section on Green-Schools to keep parents and guardians up to date. The work of writing up the application for the green flag was also shared among the students.
An environmental review was carried out looking at litter and waste, including a survey examining how much was being created through the milk scheme every month, the results of which were graphed (1,020). Bins in and around the school were checked, and the secretary and caretaker were interviewed on paper usage, packaging and cleaning products in the school. Every class from 1st to 6th were involved in different aspects of the review.
A detailed action plan was carried out, listing actions and responsibilities for each term. It is displayed on the noticeboard and there is also a copy in each class. Each class is given different responsibilities, with staff members also ensuring that monitoring and evaluation is carried out carefully (e.g. 6th class as information officers, 5th class surveying eco-friendly products in the school, 3rd and 4th class as litter wardens and responsible for recycling, and staff members monitoring and enforcing all the policies). Included in this was the decision to end the milk scheme.
Curriculum work included art (art competition using recycled materials), green notices around the school, science (environmental awareness discussion, nature), maths (sorting packaging / milk survey / stamp collection), ceol (song competition in irish), OSIE (election campaign / information distribution / classroom assistants for other classes), and english (speech / letters to companies regarding packaging).
The school is informed of developments in the programme through committee members talking to their classes directly, school assembly, a section in the weekly newsletter (also including some green ideas to try at home), and the Green-School information noticeboard. The removal of the milk scheme has been a great success, and has helped along with other actions in substantially reducing the waste produced in the school for landfill.
For the day of action the committee organised a fancy dress competition using recyclable materials. Four 6th class students acted as judges (representing Sharon Ozbourne, Simon Cowell, Linda Martin and Louis Walsh!), and picked 2 winners from each class. The school also organised a jumble sale of books and toys raising money for charity, inviting local media to cover both events.