St. Pius X College Green Flag Eco School Renewal

On 20th June 2013 St. Pius X College Mr Paul Moore and Mr Andy Griggs (Tidy NI) inspected the eco standard within St. Pius X College.  The college successfully renewed their ‘Green Flag’ status, which was originally awarded in 2010.  The coveted Green Flag is awarded to schools which exhibit proactive environmental work covering a range of topics such as water, health and wellbeing, waste management, litter, transport, schools grounds, biodiversity and energy.

St. Pius X College has an active Eco-School committee. They have been involved in a number of projects in meeting the Green Flag targets. A number of duplex, double sided printers have been purchased to help reduce the quantity of paper and general waste consumed within the college. The college also participates in the annual Magherafelt Spring Clean which is run by Magherafelt District Council. Energy consumption is carefully managed by pupil energy monitors, whilst technology permits auto-sensing lighting. Biodiversity in the college is supported by an active conservation area, complete with a pond, and gardening club. Links with feeder primary schools have been formed through Virtual Learning Environments within the community and beyond in the United States with the use of video conferencing. Additionally, bird boxes have been designed by pupils and sited in appropriate areas.

Pupils take the responsibility of completing ‘blue bin’ recycling each week in the college. ‘Black bin’ waste is collected by Recyco Waste, an environmentally safe company that recycles waste into solid recovered fuel. Printer ink cartridges, mobile phones and even clothing are recycled in the college. Camara, a charitable organisation also assisted in the transport of redundant computers to developing educational communities inAfrica. ICT opportunities are fully exploited as pupils take responsibility for maintaining the Eco-Schools notice-board and website. Pupils have also developed the college Eco-Code, which is embedded into action through inclusion in the homework diary and it is prominently displayed in all classrooms.

Eco-Schools Northern Ireland, made the following comment,“We were particularly impressed with the pupils’ knowledge of environmental issues; pupils throughout the college are taking an active part in improving their environment. The Waste, Energy, Biodiversity and Recycling projects were all excellent.  The students’ presentation using ‘Prezi’ was particularly informative”.

Mr Gerard Duffy, eco-schools co-ordinator, reiterated commitment by staff, pupils and parents to the Eco-Schools project,“Our work in achieving Green Flag status has provided unique opportunities for our students and extended the learning and skills development that fits closely with the ethos and approach of theNorthern Irelandcurriculum.  I thank Mr John Murtagh, Magherafelt District Council and all the staff of Tidy NI for their advice and guidance at each stage of the project, the Eco School Committee for their enthusiasm and hard work throughout the year. We are very proud to have the Green flag hanging in our grounds as a reminder to all that we are dedicated to doing everything we can towards the environment for the future generations.”

Recent eco success in the college has also been noted in the areas of conservation (Impact NI), biodiversity (The Mid-Ulster Biodiversity Initiative) , public speaking (Environmental Youth Speak competition) and design (Eco Unesco competition).

St. Pius X College is fully committed to the environment and hopes to continue with environmental initiatives in the future. A green future ahead for students and staff like!

ecoschools renewal

Green Flag Renewal Success: Ms J Bartley (Principal), Mr Paul Moore (Assessor) and Mr Gerard Duffy (eco-schools co-ordinator) pictured with the St. Pius X College eco-team



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