By Abby Buckley and Layla Byrne Murray
On the 21st of April 2021, the ‘Green Schools Committee’ of Woodbrook College took part in a virtual assessment with ‘An Taisce’. This virtual assessment replaced the in- house assessment that usually takes place as a school is applying for their green school flag.
When listening to the members speak about the different actions that have taken place, we found out that on the 30th of November 2018 Caitriona Buggle and five other committee members conducted a walkability audit of Woodbrook college, which Serena Zheng, James McGrane and Jakub Kliscz from Woodbrook College took part in. The walk took place to discover positive findings and areas of improvement around the Dublin Road.
Another action the students covered in their virtual assessment was the travel surveys that they created in 2020 and 2021. They handed out surveys to the students that showed how they would travel to school, when they looked back at the information from the 2020 survey to the 2021 survey, they found out that more people in 2021 travel sustainably compared to 2020, which includes walking and cycling instead of using a car.
Additionally, the staff at Woodbrook College found ways to integrate the green schools programme into as many subjects as possible. An example of this is in Home Economics, where the students cooked sustainable dishes and also designed posters on sustainability in relation to food waste and textiles.
Furthermore, The Green School’s message is spread throughout Woodbrook College in many different ways; on notice boards, on the school app, through MS Teams and of course not forgetting the many days of action such as; Pedal Cents 2018, Climate Action Week and the LED lightning retrofit. TY students also wrote articles about climate change during Climate Change week as well as the Irish department creating posters. When we spoke to James McGrane he said “Climate change hasn’t given up, so neither should we”.
Finally, The ‘Green Schools Committee’ created a slogan for Woodbrook college which is “Don’t travel with CO2, travel like Green Schools do!”. We believe that this message is important as it suggests that we travel sustainably like Green Schools do. Woodbrook College received the travel flag in 2018 and amazing work has been done since then by the students and also Ms. Doyle. We spoke to Ms. Doyle about what she thought of the virtual assessment “Well done to all of the Green School Committee members for being so successful with their virtual school assessment with An Taisce! James Mc Grane, Serena Zheng and Jakub Kliscz presented with such confidence and charm, I am so proud of them, At the end of the presentation, An Taisce said they 'smashed it' and are ' model leaders within the school and wider community “
Watch out for the Green School committee in our school next year as they work on the biodiversity flag, no doubt that they will be broadcasting their message across the school and wider community!