New members for the Green-School’s Committee are selected at the beginning of each school year. This year's committee were chosen through a poster campaign in which pupils had to depict how they would help to run the Green-Schools campaign in our school. Senior class members were also asked to write why they would make good committee members and what ideas they had for the water flag. The committee members were given a Green-Schools badge to make them easily identifiable to the rest of the school.
Parents, teachers and ancillary staff volunteered following an invitation from Ms. Goggins, the Green-Schools Coordinator.
The teachers usually take the minutes of the meetings, and the children write down reminders and messages to report back to their own class after the meeting. The minutes of the meeting are displayed on the Green-Schools notice board. We also relay important messages on the school intercom. Senior members of the committee report messages to the junior classes not represented on the committee.
A very thorough manual water audit was carried out by the committee:
1. The committee investigated the different ways we use water around the school, the location of water using devices and the number of items that use water.
2. The committee carried out a drips and leaks survey around the school. Three dripping taps were found and reported.
3. The committee also measured how much water the push taps used in a single push. The results were quite shocking as there were huge differences in the measurements of volume and the time the taps ran for. The smallest measurement was 175ml and the largest was 2625ml.
4. The committee then investigated the volume of water in the cisterns which the Caretaker was able to confirm are small modern cisterns. They also asked the Caretaker about how the urinals work. He informed them that he had already turned the flush on them down to the lowest volume and he also turns them off in the evening.
5. The committee also checked if there were any leaking cisterns using the food colouring test and none were found.
Following on from the review the committee then set about developing a plan of action to cut down on water consumption in the school and to raise awareness. They decided to devise a survey to send home for families to complete. A ‘turn it off’ campaign was established to remind everyone to turn off the taps and to use a basin or the plug when washing up. They also decided to send a ‘water booklet’ home to families.
To monitor and evaluate the school’s water consumption the meter was read regularly. The committee were in charge of creating graphs and charts of these reading to put on the notice-board. Unfortunately it was discovered that there was significant water lost during periods of school closure. The Principal then contacted the relevant agencies to help identify the location of the leak. A team of ‘Leaky Detectives’ were also set up to monitor taps and toilets for leaks and drips.
To keep the school and wider community informed of all the Green-Schools work going on the committee use the notice-board, intercom, newsletter, surveys and information booklets.
For the Day of Action all classes and parents were invited to visit the school hall and class rooms where we had displayed science experiments based on water. Experiments included floating and sinking, the water cycle, cleaning up oil spills, fat as an insulator in icy water and lumpy liquids and squishy solids. There was also had a special Green-Schools section in the hall where we demonstrated how to make home-made cleaning products. Progress towards our water flag and some fantastic water art was also displayed.
On the following day, all pupils were asked to wear something blue. The whole school met in the hall in the afternoon, where Ms. Goggins gave a speech about saving water. Each class was then asked to announce their water pledge for saving water. The winners of the water photo competition were then announced. Finally, everyone sang the Green-Code for water, 'Save Some Water'.
“Undoubtedly the Green-Schools programme over the three themes, has been of huge benefit to our school. The water theme has allowed our pupils and staff to learn about water from a number of angles including the origins of water, locations of water, it wide-ranging uses, how it can be wasted and conserved, water pollution and also poverty and water. The theme has also required our school to be proactive in reviewing how we use water and make changes to our school environment to conserve water. There has been great opportunities for pupils themselves to monitor our water use and remind others about saving water. Our action plan has really increased awareness in the school and has made us use water more efficiently as a school. Monitoring of the water metre revealed we had a serious issue with losing water when the school was closed. When the issue was resolved, it made a significant reduction to our water consumption.”