Scoil na Croise Naofa is one of three primary schools located in the same village in County Waterford. Scoil na Croise Naofa received their first Green-Flag for their work on Litter & Waste in 2003. They have subsequently renewed their flag on the Energy theme and are now in full swing to fly their Water Flag by the end of this school year.
The committee consists of 3 students from Senior Classes 2 students from the Middle Classes, 1 teacher, and 2 parents who alternate every other committee meeting. The committee meets up regularly to evaluate their latest actions. They see what actions are to be taken to close in on achieving their goals on the water theme, but also to keep the other 2 themes going.
Since the school has its own well and in order to determine how much water is being used the green school committee decided to install a meter. To reduce the amount of water used the school set out by putting up signs to turn off taps and having the committee keep a close eye on enforcing these. They decided to put 500ml bottles of water in the cisterns in order to reduce the volume of water used in each flush. Having 3 cisterns and assuming 10 flushes a day they are saving 75 liters every week. They are currently fundraising to buy a water butt, which will be used to collect water from the roof. They intend to use this collected water for watering their sensory and vegetable / flower gardens in summer and cleaning tools (such as brushes, shovels and rakes), dirty boots, windows and paths.
Another of the actions from the school’s action plan was to join a competition last year to grow their own potatoes and even though they only grew 14 potatoes the whole school joined in and had a taste of the fruits of their work at the end of the year. They also made a wormery from transparent Perspex so that the worms can be watched while at work, this being part of the continuation of the schools work on litter & waste. They continue to recycle cans, glass, paper, stamps, Christmas cards and keep monitoring their energy bills, turning off lights and appliances and closing blinds at the end off each school day. They still have the green codes for the other themes on their notice board/wall.
The school is using all their walls as one big notice board and had a competition to decide upon a new green code for the water theme: ‘ Rain Always Indicates Nature’s presence’ Two interactive white boards are being used for various projects, involving the pupils in presentations and allowing them access to educational internet games. The theme of Water has been studied in most curricular areas- m. sh. Gaeilge : frásaí /scéalta /dántaí: Fliuch go craiceann and linked to life in the community eg Kilmacthomas Fire and Rescue Service . The pupils did a project on Observing Nature’s Biodiversity for the local Tidy Towns’ Committee based on fresh water and marine environments. A local ecological consultant and a heritage visitor gave workshops in the school. Dungarvan County Council Artist in School Scheme added to the pupils’ appreciation of colour and our local Camera Club gave a talk on photography as well as providing photos of a local river, waterfall and coastal areas.
During the second half of last school year the village had no water supply due to a broken water main. This gave Scoil na Croise Naofa a great advantage over the other 2 schools in the village. It really made the whole school aware of the way we use water on a day to day basis and the hardship of not having it readily available. Water is taught by thirst.