Kennedy Park N.S. is a large primary school in Wexford with over 470 students and 22 teachers. The school received it's first Green-Flag in 2000 and has successfully renewed it in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
As part of the Environmental Review the pupils on the committee at Kennedy Park N.S. in Wexford town found out how many taps (57) and toilets (36) there are in the school building and prefab. They discovered where the school’s water comes from and visited the water treatment plant. They also found out that the school did not have a water meter yet, but believed that it should be installed by the summer of 2006.
Actions to conserve water and to increase awareness of water conservation:
Installation of cistern dams in their 36 toilets.
Competition organised (with prizes) for all classes to raise awareness about water.
Water Awareness Month held in February 2006. This included learning facts about water conservation, an art competition, and facts for parents. Due to the success of this month it was decided by the school to hold a second Awareness Month.
Dramas about water to educate all classes about its importance in the world. These musical dramas (H2O - The Water Cycle and The Frog Cycle) were performed on the school’s Open Day on April 5th 2006. This was also their Day of Action.
Scientific experiments to show the amount of water people use.
The school aims to pursue fundraising for push down taps and to implement this project in the next school year - starting September 2006.
The pupils are monitoring water consumption by conducting experiments. For example, the amount of water lost through dripping or running taps using a measuring cylinder and a stop watch. The pupils on the committee conducted a questionnaire in all classes involving teachers and pupils - about any problems associated with water such as leaking taps, whistling pipes and toilets that won't stop flushing! When their water meter is installed they will make recordings at a variety of times.
The school has very good links with the local press and radio and makes sure it gets press and radio coverage, especially after Open Days. After the school’s last Open Day part of the School Musical Drama - Wormzz! was broadcast on South East Radio together with interviews involving pupils talking about their Green Schools Projects.
A number of litter surveys have been carried out to check how their system is working. Posters to highlight problems encountered are put on the ‘Green Board’. Graphs are also made by pupils. Different surveys are compared and contrasted to check progress. The school also has action plans for waste management (recycling) and energy conservation.
Each classroom has a booklet where children record the recyclables they bring in to school from home.
In response to the question on how the experience of Green-Schools has benefited their school, the school said:
"The pupils feel a sense of real ownership of their Green Schools Programme. They are doing the real work. They welcome guests on Open Day. They make the presentations and speeches. The projects on display are theirs! They are being empowered to start their own committees in the wider community, when or before they leave school."