We are very grateful to Worldwise Global Schools (www.worldwiseschools.ie) for their support in promoting advocacy, social justice campaigns, climate justice campaigns and biodiversity. Below are links to resources relating to these projects. Dr Patrick Kirwan (@growgardeners), a teacher in Ardscoil na Mara, leads an eco-network called the Irish Schools Sustainability Network (ISSN) and many of our schools are involved in this network. We hope to grow the number of Edmund Rice schools involved in this network.
Patrick has very generously shared his resources with us below. His contact details and the details for ISSN are available on the Twitter accounts above.
We would like to thank Sian Cowman, lead coordinator of Climate Action Short Course Pilot Programme, for sharing the specification for the Short Course. You may access the specifications by clicking the image above.
- a folder with information for interested schools, including the specification;
- the set of slides from the information sessions;
- the form for schools to express interest in participating in the pilot programme ’22-’23.
Patrick Kirwan recently gave a presentation to teachers at a Worldwise-organised workshop. A recording of the presentation can be found on Youtube here: Edmund Rice Schools Trust- Patrick Kirwan on a whole school approach to Degrowth – YouTube
Paul Murphy, Deputy Principal in Woodbrook College, has also provided us with information on beekeeping. The link below brings you to a beekeeping module that could be implemented in schools with Transition Years and other groups. There is also a short video with support information.
Young Environmentalist Award – May 2022
As part of the Irish Schools Sustainability Network Students in Ardscoil na Mara and Edmund Rice Secondary School Carrick on Suir worked with students from two other schools, Rockbrook Park School and Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada on the Plant a Planet Campaign. Students were delighted to win their category of Eco-Health and Wellbeing in ECOUNESCO’S Young Environmentalist Award competition. They came together in collective action to address climate change and the loss of nature. Their aim, which they achieved, was to get 10% of staff and students in our schools to plant a tree in their own garden. They wanted students to get active in their own home and reimagine their own garden spaces and have climate and nature conversations with their own families.
They taught students in their school how to plant a tree and provided information on what native trees are good to plant in small, medium and large gardens. They raised awareness in their schools and wider community that planting a tree is good for addressing climate change, improving biodiversity, helping with improving soil and alleviating flooding, as well as improving our own wellbeing. They also ran a school wide information campaign involving posters, tannoy announcements, workshops, lessons, parent emails and surveys. They wrote articles in local newspapers, ran a climate and nature conversation series on a local radio station and connected with local businesses and community groups.
This was a great achievement and it is wonderful to see friendships forming between students in different schools.
Irish Schools Sustainability Network (ISSN)
Check out this fantastic feature piece on RTE. Well done to Mr Kirwan and the students involved for their continued commitment to sustainability.
Edmund Rice Secondary School Embrace ‘Plant a Planet’ Project
An exciting ‘Plant a Planet’ project is underway at the Edmund Rice Secondary School with students from 1st, 2nd, and 5th year working together to source and sell young trees to plant to at least 10% of the school community. The Irish School Sustainability Network (ISSN), a group of schools who got together to do something constructive towards addressing climate change and environmental issues, initially founded this project. Students from the 4 schools involved in this project meet online once a month and students Kyle Dowley, (5th year) and Zach O’Keeffe (2nd Year) represent Edmund Rice Secondary School in Carrick-on-Suir. The students are liaising with a local nursery, Orchardstown Nursery in Kilmeaden, who supply different species of trees to suit most gardens at a cost of 2 – 5 euro each and who will deliver batches of the saplings to the school on demand. Parents can order trees online or students can buy them at designated times on Wednesday and Friday mornings in the school. The trees can also be bought and donated to the school and will be then planted in the grounds. This ‘Plant a Planet’ project has been hugely successful and the Greenschools Committee students and teachers involved in promoting and organizing it are delighted with the response saying they have already exceeded the 10% target base. The team is united and driven to raise awareness of the precious and essential role of trees in the protection and sustainability of the global environment to include oxygen production, carbon storing, reducing water run off preventing flash flooding and soil erosion, their provision of shade in hot climates, acting as windbreaks and indeed providing shelter and food for many wildlife species. The students at ERSS in Carrick-on-Suir have a wonderful insight into the effects and causes of climate change in the world today and are acutely aware of the devastating knock on effects globally caused by the widespread deforestation of the Amazon. In their efforts to promote the planting of trees locally they have printed out a list of trees for sale with photos which include Amelanchier, Spindle, Hazel, Birch, Alder, Crab Apple and Rowan/Mountain Ash, the height they will grow to, the size of gardens they are suited to and details of their value for wildlife. TY students have also made a video available on the school website, on how to plant and sustain the trees. Posters have been designed and painted by several students in art classes and they have been put up around the school and in local retail outlets promoting the sale of the trees and raising awareness of what they contribute to our environment. Students Zach and Kyle have also been aired on WLRFM talking about the project and the benefits of trees. The group plans to submit the ‘Plant a Planet’ project to the Young Environmentalist Award and will be organizing a Green Day and a bake sale in the school shortly with all funds raised going towards the green school project.
Green Schools – Scoil Íosagáin Dublin
Oatlands Primary School Stillorgan
Well done to students in Coláiste Éamann Rís in Cork who were presented with their certificates by Billy Lynch from ERST at a ceremony in the school on 23rd May 2022. Currently, we have 16 schools offering this course to students and we are encouraging more schools to become involved in the coming year.