This policy is the result of the collaboration of the Policy Committee, together with the Board of Management.
Lumcloon National School aims to become a sustainable school by reducing our ecological footprint through adopting sustainable practises in our everyday lives. We will achieve this by integrating sustainability into many areas of the curriculum, instilling a sense of ownership and pride in improving the environment and participating in Green School Initiative. We will aim to lead the community by demonstrating exemplary practices in waste management, water and energy usage, and develop the school grounds to promote biodiversity.
Relationship to the characteristic spirit of the school
Sustainability is central to the ethos of Lumcloon National School and it is our aim to create space for that sustainability in Catholic education, to grow those seeds of potential into global-minded ecological citizens, care for our common home must become embedded into the daily life and faith of our school.
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) empowers learners of all ages with the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes to address the interconnected global challenges we are facing, including climate change, environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, poverty and inequality.
By introducing this policy, Lumcloon National School hopes:
- To prepare young people for a lifetime of sustainable living, through teaching, and example in day-to-day practices
- To encourage care for oneself – our health and well-being
- To encourage care for each other – across cultures, distances and generations
- To encourage care for the environment – near and far
Procedures and Guidelines
How to reduce the school’s ecological footprint…
- Reduce the use of energy consumption within the school.
- Use resources and equipment as efficiently as possible.
- Include students in the process of developing and maintaining an energy efficient school through participation in the Green Schools Initiative.
- To minimise rubbish and recycle our waste throughout the school, as much as possible, on a daily basis.
- Students to take responsibility for disposing of food scraps, paper and rubbish in the appropriate manner.
- To develop and utilise our school garden area to its full extent.
- To involve community members in maintenance of school garden.
- To reduce the water consumption within the school.
- To use resources and equipment as efficiently as possible.
- To monitor water usage and report wastage.
The school will continuously participate in Green Schools and work towards obtaining Green Flags. The whole school community will be involved in the work of the Green Schools Committee through regular updates at assembly, the school newsletter and on school notice boards.
- Promote a ‘switch off and save’ rule for technological equipment, lighting and heating/cooling particularly when leaving the classroom to go the yard and hall.
- Students to engage in units of work relating to energy in SESE.
- Members of the Green Schools Committee will act as classroom energy monitors ensuring that all appliances are completely switched off when not being used in an effort to conserve energy.
- The school delivers an annual report with energy saving plans to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
- Students are consistently reminded to dispose of waste and recycled products in the appropriate manner.
- Food waste is disposed daily and transferred to the correct bin.
- Paper into recycling bins.
- Use recycled paper for printer/photocopier where possible
- Promote the reuse of paper in classrooms, staffroom and office.
- Recycling bins provided in all classrooms, staff rooms and the school office. Waste bins are also provided. Children and staff are encouraged to dispose of their waste correctly.
- A compostable waste bin is provided in the staff room. Staff are informed of what to compost during staff meetings. Waste from this bin is placed in the composter in the school garden.
- Consult local community members on ways to improve our garden (e.g. Where to plant, what to plant).
- Involve community members in planting and maintaining our gardens.
- Engage students and staff in the maintenance of our gardens
- Improve our outdoor natural environment, by planting native trees
- Plant native plants and wild flowers that encourage and support the insect population, such as bees and butterflies
- Improve our vegetable garden by planting and harvesting more seasonal vegetables
- Use natural materials that reduce the impact on the environment
- Provide varied living conditions in the school garden (insect hotels, hedges, walls, grassy areas and trees) to offer potential food and shelter to our natural biodiversity
- Support our native birds (particularly during the winter months) by providing bird feeders and trees in the school garden.
- Remind students and staff regularly the importance of turning off the tap when water is flowing.
- Students to engage in units of work relating to water conservation in SESE.
- Pupils and staff regularly monitor water usage and report wastage.
- The school harvests rainwater using a butt.
Activities and information campaigns such as the following are currently running within the school:
Lumcloon National School has been awarded Green Flags for its work on the Green School themes of Litter & Waste, Energy, Water and Travel.
We are currently working as a whole school towards obtaining the Green Flag for Biodiversity.
Recycling Paper Recycling Bins
A recycling bin for paper is placed in the staffroom, office and in each classroom to ensure that any waste paper will be recycled.
Litter Bins -General Rubbish
A general litter bin is also placed in each classroom to cater for the disposal of non recylable normal classroom waste and this is emptied on a daily basis.
The staffroom and classrooms are equipped with compost bins in order to set a good example to the younger members of the school and to reinforce the message that everyone is doing their part in caring for the environment.
It is encouraged that whatever comes in the child’s lunchbox goes home in the lunchbox
Pupils are encouraged to use a reusable drinks container daily.
Children are encouraged to take their waste home with them so as to cut down on the volume that the school actually produces.
Staff will keep recyclable items for art materials and Aistear i.e. cardboard rolls, cardboard, paper, tinfoil, recycled bottle tops.
Parents are encouraged to send in recyclable materials for junk art in Aistear.
Email/Text-A-Parent with Aladdin
Parents will be texted or sent school information on Aladdin instead of sending out individual letters with each child. This cuts down greatly on the amount of paper being used by the school.
Parents are encouraged to donate old school jumpers to the school. These are then made available to families as requested.
The school community is working on improving mobility. Where feasible, children are encouraged to walk or cycle to school.
A school garden has been set up where children have planted vegetable and wild flowers throughout the year.
The school views environmental issues as being fundamental to the curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to nurture a respect for the environment in their students.
Environmental / Green issues are key elements of both S.E.S.E. and S.P.H.E.
The school community will work together to develop the knowledge, skills, values and world-views necessary for people to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living by teaching sustainability.
A cross curricular spiral approach will be taken to the teaching of sustainability.
The school wide implementation of this policy will ensure:
- Continuous participation in the Green Schools programme and the aspiration to be rewarded further Green Schools’ flags.
- Continuous improvement, development and use of the school gardens.
- Children will participate in lessons throughout the year on areas of sustainability in the SESE curriculum.
Roles and Responsibility
The following people have particular responsibilities for aspects of this policy:
- School staff
- Board of Management
- Pupil Council
This policy was implemented on 01/09/2021.
Timetable for Review
The operation of the new policy will be reviewed and, if necessary, amended every three years.
Ratification & Communication
The policy was circulated to the members of the Board of Management prior to the meeting in at which it was formally ratified.
Notification that the policy is available for viewing will be communicated to the parents in the next School Communication, via Aladdin. It will be available for viewing on the school website and a copy will be available to all staff on Google Drive.
Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________
Chairperson, Board of Management
Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________
Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management
- Green Schools website: greenschoolsireland.org
- SESE Curriculum
- SPHE Curriculum
- Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland website: https://www.seai.ie/