Glenbrohane Green Schools Green Flag Programmer

Green Schools Green Flag Programme

In 2007 Glenbrohane NS applied for our first Green Flag from Green Schools Ireland. The Green Schools Programme covers different aspects of the environment:

  • Litter and Waste
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Travel
  • Biodiversity
  • Global Citizenship

Our first theme was Litter and Waste. We set about working to raise awareness on Litter and waste in our school and local environment. Our challenge was to encourage people to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The Green School Committee put together an action plan.

  • In April 2012 all the staff, parents and pupils went out on the roads of Glenbrohane to collect litter as part of Nation Spring Clean Day.
  • Children were encouraged to take their lunch rubbish home.
  • Litter was reduced in our wheelie bins.
  • Litter Wardens were appointed for each yard in the school.
  • We held a fashion show on our Day of Action. Pupils in 1st-6th class designed a piece of clothing made from recycled materials.

Once work on all areas of our action plan was completed, we had our Green Flag Assessment Visit for the Green Schools assessor in April 2013. They were very impressed with all of our work and we were awarded our first Green Flag!

Our next step of the programme we are currently working was our Energy Flag. Our challenge was to encourage everyone in school and at home to use energy efficiently. We were awarded our Energy Flag.

We get great help from parents and our local Tidy Towns committee. We take part in the Team Limerick Clean Up whereby we do a big clean up in the school grounds. We also encourage families to help with the Tidy Towns.

Travel is the fourth theme of the Green-Schools programme. The Travel theme is funded by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and supported by the National Transport Authority. The ultimate aim of the theme is to increase the number of students walking, cycling, scooting, using public transport or carpooling on the way to school.

Step 1: Green-Schools Committee

The committee was formed from a selection of students in each class. The committee changed each year and also includes Green-Schools coordinators, the Principal, caretaker and the school’s assigned Green-Schools Travel Officer. They hold regular meetings and invite all the members to take turns taking minutes. The meetings update everybody on what has been done and decide on future events.

Step 2: Environmental Review

In Year One, we decided to promote walking safely. As a committee, we agreed it was too dangerous to walk in the local community so we decided to promote walking within our large school grounds.

We checked the perimeter of the school grounds. It is 110m on the path. The school perimeter is 384m (along by the hedge). The children regularly walk this as part of our Morning Moves and Movement Breaks throughout the day and it is recorded on our Green Tree. We hope to tally all our laps and reach Cork soon!

A walkability audit was completed in Year Two by First and second Class and Mrs. Coakley and Winnie to provide an idea of the situation in and around Glenbrohane School. The Green Committee investigated how safe it was for students to walk or cycle to school. The school was not surprised to find there is no infrastructure to help people walk to school. The roads were badly damaged at the verges. The road signage is poor. The group sent a report to Limerick County Council. The majority of students come to school by bus. We have two school buses.

A baseline travel survey was also carried out by their Travel Officer. The committee made a number of recommendations to increase safety at the school gate including repainting double yellow lines for the bus bay. It was also recommended that cars do not turn at the school gate, park at the gate or do not turn at the gate and reverse back onto the road. . The walkability audit was sent on to the area road engineer to let them know the situation around the school and see if any improvements could be made.

Step 3: Action Plan


  • To ensure that everyone in the school and wider community is aware of the school’s involvement in the Green-Schools Travel theme
  • Promote road safety and awareness to make a safe environment for walking/cycling and carpooling.
  • Research school travel patterns and identify areas for improvement
  • Promote the advantages of car pooling to the school community

The committee considered the environmental review and realised that there is no safe option for most students to walk or cycle to school. In Year One an entire week was devoted to road safety awareness. They decided to concentrate on carpooling as a way of reducing cars at the school gates. ‘
Other initiatives on the committee’s Action Plan included cycle training from Cycle Sense which was partly funded by Green-Schools.

The committee organised many different questionnaires. We looked at how our grandparents and parents travelled to school and secondary school, how the children will travel to secondary school (98% by bus), and how transport and public transport I used in other parts of Ireland and the world. We also looked at safe places in county Limerick and the surrounding counties to cycle, awalk, or play eg. Doneraile Prk, Croom Town Park and Mungret Playground.

Step 4: Monitoring & Evaluation

Each classroom recorded on a tally chart how pupils travelled each day for one week. We also have continued work with the other Green Flags areas:

  • Waste: Reduce/Reuse/Recycle. We have a recycling centre in the school for batteries, old cards and also empty Yankee Candles or similar jars
  • Reduce the amount of packaging in lunches: On Tuesdays, We have a package free day. Children have no packaging in their lunchbox. Cling film and tinfoil are not allowed in school.
  • Energy: Doors to be kept closed to prevent heat loss. Walls have been pumped for insulation. Attic insulation has been checked. Two children turn off lights. A new insulation slab has been placed in the office to prevent heat loss. We have a new timer for the heating system to maximize efficiency.
  • Water: We have two new water-butts to collect water for our garden.
  • TLC Limerick. We registered again for TLC Limerick. We will be doing a BIG Clean Up of the school grounds and will be organsising parents to take recyclable materials to the Recycling Centre in Kilmallock. Please contact the school if you can help.

Step 5: Curriculum Work

During the two years of work on the Travel theme students and teachers did lots of work that complied with the curriculum:

  • Maths: making graphs, tally charts, converting numbers to % and comparing
  • Geography: Mapping, looking at the environment spatially, looking at the use of public transport in other parts of the world, looking at the map of Limerick and the public areas in Limerick and nearby counties.
  • History: looking at the history of transport
  • Music: Travel related songs, raps and dances
  • SPHE: Road safety week
  • PE: Cycling, games and walking.

Step 6: Informing & Involving

The notice-board is in a prominent spot in the corridor with all the Green-Schools information kept up to date.

Step 7: Green Code

There was a competition between the classrooms to make a Green Code for the school;