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St Anne’s named as best kept school

Mayor of Ennis, Frankie Neylon, with Benjamin Osei from Scoil Chríost Rí, Róisín Martin from Ennis CBS, Patrick Crowe from St Anne’s School and Ciaran Donnellan from St Clare’s School, prize winners at Ennis Town Council’s Best Kept School Awards.  Photograph by Declan Monaghan

SIX Ennis schools have been recognised by Ennis Town Council for their work to make their schools litter free and environmentally friendly.

St Anne’s School were awarded first price in Ennis Town Council’s Best Kept Schools competition, with Ennis CBS in second place and Scoil Chriost Rí and St Clare’s School in joint-third place. Holy Family Junior School and Holy Family Senior School were highly commended n the competition.
Schools were judged on their overall developmental approach to the upkeep of their environment, including involvement in the Green Schools competition, and also on litter control and awareness projects, on recycling, wildlife and general environmental projects and on the appearance and presentation of school buildings and yard.
Pauline Keane of the environment section of Ennis Town Council said that St Anne’s School were awarded their first Green Flag in May. The Green Flag Committee meets every month and undertook a community spring clean.
Throughout the year they completed recycling initiatives, including a picture project using recyclable materials, called Love Your World. The school also has litter pickers and a composting team, while pupils are also assigned to take charge of the garden, where lettuce plants, onions and flowers grow. St Anne’s motto is Think Green to keep St Anne’s Clean.
Ennis CBS were awarded their second Green Flag for energy in May. When adjudicators visited the school, they saw a vegetable garden with lots of potatoes, cabbage and onions. They also saw energy saving projects on display in the school. One of the school’s slogans is Wind, Wave or Sun, Renewable Energy is the One, while another one is Switch it off, Show you care, be energy aware.
Sixth class pupils in the school researched and learned about wave power, nuclear power, wind power and solar energy. The school was also involved in the National Spring Clean and Walk to School exercise, where 57% walked to school, as opposed to 17% previously.
In Scoil Chriost Rí, the Green Flag Committee take responsibility for co-ordinating their tidy school and they have a yearly plan of action, which monitors progress and plans for activities. The school has been awarded three Green Flags and is working towards its fourth, relating to travel and transport.
They are trying to get a bicycle shed to house their bikes and currently the pupils and teachers are encouraged to walk or cycle to school one day a week. Scoil Chriost Rí has a Gairdin na Scoile, to grow vegetables.
The school has a water tank which collects the rainwater, which is then used to water the trees and the plants in the gardens and they are looking to source a second one. Their aim is to reduce waste significantly and the school has three compost bins and one landfill bin.
In St Clare’s, each class is responsible for a particular type of recycling, for example, glass or batteries. They also have a school garden to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers, as well as strawberries in a polytunnel with a seated picnic area nearby.
The Holy Family Junior School was awarded its first Green Flag last year and is working hard for the second flag. There are litter pickers and wardens on duty every day. The school has a best-kept classroom each week and prizes are awarded, which encourages the children to keep their classes free from litter.
In the Holy Family Senior School, everyone must bring a lunch box to school with their food in it and has to bring their waste home.
In one of his last roles as mayor of Ennis, Councillor Frankie Neylon presented the awards in Ennis Town Council last Friday. He stressed that the council’s environmental programme has a budget of €1.2 million, which enable them to operate various schemes, including the Best Kept School competition.
He congratulated all involved in the competition for their hard work to keep their schools litter free and environmentally friendly areas.


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