Global Citizenship – Marine Environment

an-taisceThe latest Green Flag, promoted by an Taisce as part of the Green Schools’ programme is Global Citizenship – Marine Environmnent. St. Peter’s NS was delighted to be chosen as one of the schools nationally to pilot the new programme.

Green School co-ordinator, Ms Larney and Mr Mulligan attended an information meeting in the Glenroyal Hotel Maynooth, on Wednesday 21st September. There were nine other schools from around Leinster in attendance including neighbours from Ardee – Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire. The schools received lots of information on what the project entailed and how important it was to look after our marine environment. Each school was given a theme to work on and they would present their work at a further seminar in Maynooth on Tuesday 15 November. Dromiskin’s theme was Marine Wildlife and Marine Litter.

blue-flagBack to school and down to work with our Action Plan! The Green School committee consulted an Taisce’s information booklet and decided to give out a questionnaire on Marine Litter to find out what knowledge our pupils had on the subject. Mr Mulligan put the questionnaire on the website and classes from 1st to 6th inclusive honestly filled them in. The committee looked at the results and it  was obvious that a majority of children had lots to learn!!

clean-coasts-flagIt was decided that Ms Larney’s 3rd class would work on a Powerpoint to present at the seminar in November. They contacted Louth County Council Heritage Officer, Mr Brendan Mc Verry, and he very kindly provided us with lots of information on the marine environment in Louth particularly Dundalk Bay. This covered areas such as Seabank, Blackrock, Annagassan, Port, Clogherhead and Templetown and dealt with birds, fish, crustaceans, molluscs, plants, seaweed and mammals. We contacted Pat Rath in Clogherhead and he gave us the names of loads of fish that the fishermen in Clogherhead take out of Dundalk Bay and the Irish Sea. We also looked at a Ecology survey from Blackrock which we found on the Internet. It had lots of interesting information on wildlife locally.

fullsizerenderIn an Taisce’s information pack they gave us a a beautiful poster of a Puffin one of Ireland’s most distinctive sea birds. Ms Larney’s class gave him a name – Muffin –  and then decided that they would make up a story about Muffin the Puffin which would contain a strong message about the dangers of Marine Litter. They thought that this would be a great way of getting their message across to younger Infant children. They also, along with Mr Hamilton, designed a poster of Muffin with a powerful slogan – IT’S NO JOKE TO WATCH ME CHOKE”. Third class also made up a poem about preserving the marine environment which they turned in to a catchy rap. They had great fun practising!! Finally we used the information booklet to find out lots of facts about Marine Litter – causes, effects and how to deal with it.

Ms Larney, Mr Mulligan and Third class made up a Powerpoint presentation with all this information explaining about Marine Litter and Marine Widlife. Ms Larney picked out four children and they went around all the classes to explain their work. This was great practice for their presentation in Maynooth but also a great way of filling in the gaps in the children’s awareness of Marine Litter, particularly microbeads. We hope that everyone in the school now knows what it is, what causes it and actions we can take to deal with it. We will find out when we give the questionnaire out again.

img_1181On Tuesday 15 November at 8.15am Ms Larney, Mr Mulligan and three pupils from 3rd class headed off once more for the Glenroyal Hotel in Co Kildare. The seminar began at 10am and there were seven schools from around Leinster there to present their different themes – Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire NS from Ardee, Delgany NS from Wicklow,  Molaise NS from Old Loughlin, Carlow, Milltown NS, Dublin, St. Brigid’s NS, Palmerstown, Dublin,  St. Clare’s NS, Harold’s Cross, Dublin and of course St. Peter’s flying the flag for Dromiskin, Co. Louth. All the presentations were packed with invaluable information on  the themes concerning the marine environment and environmentalist Aidan, Chloe,  Birgit and Clare from an Taisce were very impressed. The story of Muffin, the Puffin, our poem/rap and the information Powerpoint went down a treat!!

After our lunch we did some fun tasks and had a look at fantastic art work from around the world created from Marine litter. The pupils then had their opportunity to create their own art work using materials found on beaches and in the sea. Our students made a very realistic herring gull which showed lots of flair and imagination. Aidan, Birgit and Clare thanked all those present and looked forward to the National Conference on the Marine Environment which would take place on December 6 in the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. All of 3rd class will be in attendance.

Click HERE to read Muffin the Puffin’s story

Click HERE to read about our trip to Dublin to the National Marine Environment Conference