Slieverue National School is a mixed primary school located in the village of Slieverue, off the N25 Waterford to New Ross road. Slieverue NS has long been involved in the Green Schools Programme and has received Green Flags for Litter and Waste, Energy, Water and Green Homes and began working on Travel in September 2008. There has been a consistent increase in pupil numbers over the past ten years and in 2009 two new classrooms were added to facilitate this increase. Some parking is available in front of the school in addition to a clearly marked set down area. The school also has a Zebra crossing in front of one set of pedestrian gates. The majority of pupils live relatively close to school, 65% take less than ten minutes to travel to school.
Work on Green Schools Travel in Slieverue NS started early in the school year. The environmental review was completed in November 2008 and included the following observations:
Parking outside the school is being carried out in a most dangerous and hazardous fashion.
The pedestrian crossing is rarely used and isn't being used properly.
Only village children walk to school. Very few others walk at all.
Our school is not very aware of the benefits of walking, cycling, park and stride etc.
We are very annoyed that there are no footpaths or a safe crossing area in the vicinity of the two new roundabouts on the N25.
Large lorries are passing through the village especially as children come to school in the morning.
Some children are crossing the road in a haphazard fashion away from the school especially near the shop.
In December, the Travel Education Officer presented an introduction to the Travel Theme to parents and members of the Green Schools Committee. Parents noted with concern the misuse of the zebra crossing and it was decided that parents would volunteer to act as wardens helping children to cross the road safety. Children also picketed the crossing asking parents to park in the designated car parking spaces or further away from the school gates. The school noticed a very positive change in behaviour and increase in safety around the school gates, increasing the school’s confidence to introduce initiatives such as WOW.
On 4th March 2009, Slieverue NS launched Walk On Wednesday. The response from parents and pupils was fantastic. A number of parents continued their work as volunteer wardens on the zebra crossing. Members of the Green Schools committee continued monitoring parking and took note of the number of pupils walking to school. Parking on and near the zebra crossing had improved dramatically since December 2008. Approximately 80% of pupils participated in WOW. Children living further from school were encouraged to participate in Park n Stride or Carpooling where possible. Local residents were kept informed of progress through the school’s website and church announcements. In May a Walk on Wednesday banner was put up on the windows of classrooms facing the road to inform passers-by that children will be walking on Wednesdays.
Awareness raising activities were carried out in addition to curriculum work and presentations from the Travel Education Officer in May. Participation in Walk on Wednesday continued for the remainder of the 2008/2009 school year and results from the end of year travel survey were very positive:
|Slieverue NS Travel Survey||Autumn 2008||Summer 2009|
|% Travelling to school by car||60%||19%|
|% Walking to school||15%||21%|
|% Travelling to school by mixed mode||17%||51%|
To celebrate a very successful first year of Green Schools Travel, a games day was held in June.
In September 2009, the Travel Action Plan was reviewed. In addition to continued curriculum work and awareness raising projects, the school decided to focus their attention on cycling to school, particularly for children living in Slieverue village. The committee were successful in their application to An Taisce for funding for cycle parking and a training course for 63 pupils in 5th and 6th class. Cycle training was held on 9th October 2009 and was thoroughly enjoyed by all pupils. An official opening of the new cycle parking and Cycle On Wednesday launch is planned for January 2010.