Art work thanks to Grace and Adam Roche 4th class.
GREENSCHOOL MEETING 21/10/2022
We had our first meeting of our committee on 21st October with 4th class. Unfortunately the weather was too bad to go outside to do our heritage maps update, but we made a start on it in class and we also re-did the Biodiversity survey, as we must do in year 2 of the programme. The following slides were shown, taken from the Greenschool's Webinar that Ms Brassil attended during the week.
We are in Year 2 of the Biodiversity theme.
Of the themes in Greenschools, our school already has done:
Litter and Waste Sept 2011- June 2013
Energy Sept 2013- June 2015
Water Sept 2015- June 2017
GC Marine Environment Sept 2017- June 2019
Travel Sept 2019- June 2021
Biodiversity Sept 2021- June 2023
Please know the flags we have done and the flag we are currently on. This will be important for our inspectoral visit in Dec 2022/January/Feb 2023.
At our meeting, we also discussed visits to our committee this year. We hope to be joined by local Ecologist Monica Kane who is going to help us learn about wading birds in the area of Blennerville. Monica is Clodagh's mom.
Also Hannah's uncle Adrian Coen, the wood-turner will hopefuly visit us this year, to teach us about our local trees.
INVESTIGATIVE WOODLANDS WALK
On 15th June 3rd class went to Ballyseedy wood with guide Niamh Ní Dhúill. It was just fantastic and the Greenschool committee learned so much. Niamh told us about trees, plants, insects, animals and their habitats, we made some shelters for insects and hedgehogs, measured the age of trees working together as a team. Thanks to Niamh and to Rachel Geary for organising this for us, to Ms Ryan and Marina and Dónal the bus driver! Most importantly we only left our footprints behind and took nothing home with us apart from good memories and things we learned.
LITTER PICKING THE PARK
Well done to Harriet from 2nd class who voluntarily picked up rubbish from her own local park. Harriet was on the committee for the Travel flag and is still thinking of the environment. Thank you so much Harriet for being such a kind and considerate neighbour tidying your local area. It is a fantastic thing to do.
SAVE THE BEES
Thank you to everyone who collected the tokens for us in Supervalu and helped to Save the Bees and learn about bees too and their importance. We got this cert via email on 30/05/2022.
To mark our Greenschool Biodiversity flag, today we had a day of action with our very first DIVERSITY DAY on 20th May 2022! For this special day, we asked children to be as diverse or different, being as colourful as they could be with bright rainbow colours and crazy hairstyles. Children made a great effort. It’s good to embrace differences because we are all unique. 4th class sketched In the Fairy Garden and 6th class went to Senior Infants and helped with reading and games. Thanks for making the effort everyone.
RACHEL'S OCEAN POWERFUL POWER POINT
Well done to Rachel from 2nd class who stood in front of the entire 3rd class Greenschool committee on 20th May 2022 and read through her Power Point Presentation on Water which she researched, typed and did transitions for, all by herself. It was incredible. She even had a link at the end to a short video clip of an octopus camoflaging with his environment. It was so interesting and she deserves huge praise for her effort and bravery too. Well done Rachel.
BIKE WEEK 14-22 May 2022
Well done to all our families who cycled to school during Bike Week in May 2022. Here is a photo of some of the children with Marina, our SNA who cycles every day, who all made an effort during bike week. It is such a great thing to do, saving fuel and not polluting the air with fumes. Well done all!
SPRING CLEAN MARCH 2022
Thanks to all classes for taking part in the Spring Clean in March 2022. We tidied up various areas of the village, from St. Pat's, to Slí na nÉan and the canal walk. Thanks to Brendan Murphy, Kerry Co.Co. who collected our rubbish from the school gate for us.
CLEAN AIR MONITOR 22/3/22
Ms O'Shea applied for the Globe Programme. It is an air quality campaign. We have just put this up behind the school building and will join 150 other Irish schools in measuring nitrogen dioxide, a traffic related pollutant. It is actually TINY! It runs over 3 months collecting data. Our information is gathered in a tube and goes to a lab which finds the results for us. If you want to hear more click Globe Air Quality Campaign.
MEETING 11th MARCH 2022
Thanks to 3rd class for listening well at the meeting. So many volunteered to go and inform other classes about the Spring Clean next week 21st-25th March. We must use the special green Spring Clean bags and return these to Paudie's yard.
We dug up the undies on 16th March, thanks to Paudie and the great news is that our soil is very healthy in Blennerville. We joked 'the holier the better' on the day before St Patrick's day! Well it really was holey (holy!) which means we have plenty of worms doing their job.
Thanks also to everyone at the meeting for cutting out leaves for our very diverse looking noticeboard.
OUR BIODIVERSITY MOTTO! 3/3/22
It is with great pleasure that I announce the winner of our Biodiversity Motto Competition! The top 3 were by Clodagh, Jacob and Clara with it being such a close call that all 3 got a little Easter egg each. Clodagh's was selected as the winning motto as it really got to the heart of what Biodiversity means. Here it is now on our Greenschool noticeboard:
WATER POSTER COMPETITION
Congratulations to the Greenschool in house water poster competition! The top 3 selected received a little Easter egg each, Dylan, Ailbhe and Grace. The others that got posted as the top 10 were by Callum, Clodagh, James, Hannah O'S, Thomas, Holly and Clara. These were selected without names being seen and by Ms Brassil and a special guest judge from 2nd class! Well done to all who took part.
SCOOT TO SCHOOL WEEK
BIKE TO SCHOOL WEEK
We will take part in a cycle to school week in May 2022. So get practicing your safe cycling and keep this date in your diaries! This will be added to our Action Plan!
What a fantastic job 3rd class did on their research homework! Here is a look at some of the answers that were sent into Ms Ryan and Ms Brassil.
Is there any invasive non-native species also known as invasive alien species in Kerry?
Katie said Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant that is slowly but surely invading Ireland. Japanese knotweed is one of Ireland's most unwanted species and it poses both huge environmental and economic threats it is one of the fastest growing and most destructive plants and the speed at which it has grown throughout Ireland is nothing short of extraordinary.
Ben made a list of animals and plants that are invading Ireland. He listed six. 1. grey squirrel 2. Japanese knotweed 3. Mink 4. Waterlily 5. giant rhubarb 6. rhododendron
Clara said rhododendron (plant), Asian hornet (animal), American lobster (animal), ruddy Duck (animal), Japanese knotweed (plant)
Find out if there is any land or forestry which will be changed because of building developments soon in Kerry?
Sophia said next to our school there is a plot of land that we used to use for horse riding. It is getting turned I think into a campervan Park.
Daire H said lands adjacent to Dan Spring Road, lands adjacent to Ballymullen roundabout and lands adjacent to Clash Road.
What are the main types of minibeasts are insects we have in Blennerville?
Thomas said the main types of insects in Blennerville are woodlouse and the emperor moth. We have 18 species of bumblebee in Ireland. The common field grasshopper, earwigs, wasps, flies, ladybirds, butterflies, green flies and beetles.
Ailbhe said Worms: In 1 acre of land there can be more than a million earthworms and they can grow new tails if they get their tails cut off. They have no bones and they breathe through their skin. Butterflies: They start life as an egg before changing into a caterpillar, then a butterfly. Butterflies use their antennae on their heads to feel, hear and smell. Butterflies have four wings not two. Ladybirds: They are part of the beetle family they are not poisonous but can be toxic to some animals. They have wings to fly. Female ladybirds are larger than male ladybirds
Find out if there is any area of worry in Kerry for pollution or litter.
AJ said Banna beach.
Callum said the beach at Banna, the canal, by the lock Gates, around town and the Kerry mountains.
What are lichens? Find out what lichen we have in Kerry.
Grace C said lichens are composite organisms composed of fungus and algae. In Kerry we have lichen that is called Fuscopannaria sampaiana which can be seen on Hazel trees in Killarney.
Holly said 1. the map lichen is a species of lichen rhizocarpon geographicun which grows on rocks in mountainous areas of low air pollution. Each lichen is a flat patch bordered by a black line of spores. These patches grow adjacent to each other leading to the appearance of a map or patchwork field. 2. candelaria concolor grows on rock and tree trunks in County Cork and County Kerry. They are yellowish and white 3. lobaria pulmonaria is in the Killarney national park it looks like a pair of lungs. There are lichens found in Killarney that have become extinct in various parts of Europe as a result of air pollution.
Holly also brought in samples of lichen to show us.
Is there any animal in Kerry that is in danger of losing their natural habitat?
Cameron said butterflies. He said that 18% of the native Irish butterfly fauna is under threat of extinction.
Adam and Grace said there is an endangered species called the natterjack (toad). It is an internationally endangered species it is found in Ireland only in south west Kerry primarily in the Maharees and Castlegregory areas where a golf course and sand dune system are some of its most important breeding grounds. Red deer visitors to Killarney National Park always seemed fascinated by the red deer but locals don't take much notice anymore. Little wonder since the Deer have been in the area for thousands of years. It is estimated that there are at least 600 red deer in the park. They are very rare. Other endangered animals are eagles and dolphins.
What are the main types of trees in Blennerville?
James and Hannah face-timed each other which was really impressive and came up with a list to share which was: Oak, Ash, Willow, cherry blossom, alder, Sycamore, fir tree, horse chestnut, Holly, Hawthorn, birch, beech, Rowan, apple tree. They decided to leave out fuschia as it wasn’t a tree but I think it’s worth mentioning it as it’s such a lovely plant which grows locally.
Maria said the main types of trees in Blennerville are Oak, Ash, Hazel, birch, Scots pine, Rowan and Willow.
Is climate change affecting us in Kerry and how?
Sam said the answer is yes. He said the Summers are wetter and the winters are mild.
Jacob said yes, it is affecting Kerry. He said some of the ways that it is affecting us is that there is an increase in temperature, drought increase of heatwaves, rainfall, storm events and sea levels rising.
What are the main types of birds in Blennerville?
Clodagh said lapwings, brent geese godwits and seagulls are the main types of birds in Blennerville.
Oscar said the main types of birds in Blennerville are swans, seagulls and pigeons.
Zach said the main types of birds in Blennerville are raven, magpie and seagulls.
Jason said seagulls, crows, swans and Robins.
Darragh Curran listed 20 Birds: common crane, seagull, ring-billed gull, American coot, curlew, redshank, ringed plover, dunlin, bar-tailed godwit, Robin, swans, ducks, oystercatchers, Lapwing, black tailed godwit, teal, Wigeon, North American waders and swallows.
Dylan said the main types of birds in Blennerville are heron, egrets, crows, seagulls and swans and said that in the Summer there are swallows.
Matea said crows, magpies, robins and seagulls.
Jessica did a lot of research on local Birds giving us wonderful pictures of swans, the long-tailed tit, the blackbird, the Robin and the magpie. Her homework included details about breeding, wintering, diet and the voices of each of these birds.
ALICE DOES 3RD CLASS HOMEWORK!
Hannah's sister Alice who is only in Senior Infants did Hannah's Greenschool homework too! I just couldn't believe the pictures she drew and the writing too, that I had to give her a little Easter egg as a reward. This is so great from a Senior Infant! If anyone from any other class wants to join in with anything to do with Biodiversity, please do!
WILD THINGS 11/2/22
I am delighted to be able to share with you that Hannah's uncle Adrian Coen who is a Wood Turner will visit us sometime before the Summer holidays to tell us about trees. He has been working with wood all his life and has a fabulous website on which you can see some of his work: https://www.adriancoen.com/
Here are photos of 2 posters he has given to Hannah that he made himself and these are now on display on our Greenschool noticeboard. We hope Adrian will visit 3rd and 5th classes.
BIRD FEEDER 10/2/22
Thanks so much to Daire C on the committee and his parents for giving us this lovely bird feeder for the school. It is cleverly made so that only small birds can access the food and there is a hole at the bottom that any wet bird food can escape from. Thank you Daire!
MEETING 4th FEBRUARY 2022 3rd CLASS
Thanks to Ms Ryan and 3rd class for their great ideas and enthusiasm on Friday's meeting.
We added things on to our Action Plan and our Curricular Links page. Thanks to AJ for doing the writing again for us. We went through the 7 steps again and Callum reminded us of the meaning of Biodiversity. Some children volunteered to help us by bringing in a homemade bird swing (thanks Holly) and a bird feeder (thanks Daire) but there's no pressure on parents to do this if it's too much trouble. I'll not hold ye to it! We will hopefully plant in the classroom, do a Spring Clean soon and maybe have a forest walk too if our school gets selected. Fingers crossed!
Ms Ryan is going to allow a night of no written homework and allow us to do Greenschool homework instead!
We have 2 jobs to do for homework.
Firstly, write a motto about Biodiversity. It should be short and can rhyme if you like. Here are examples other schools came up with. Your motto should be kept a secret but written on a piece of paper with your name on it and given to Ms Ryan the next morning. There will be Easter eggs prizes for the 3 best mottos.
The second job is to find out from an adult in your family (ask the oldest and wisest!) or to get help to Google an answer to one of the following questions. Some children have volunteered to do a specific one, as we need each answered so if your name is not on this list, you may choose ANY of these questions, to answer ONE of them!
We are planning a Day of Action soon and we decided this time not to dress in blue like we did for the Water flag, or green like we did before, but to dress in the loudest brightest colours of the rainbow to represent the diversity in biodiversity! So I think we are all looking forward to that dress up day. The Parent Association are organising a clothes collection day and we might do it on that day, or else the 20th May which is really close to International Biodiversity day. We just must ask Mr O'Connell first! ***Update- Mr O'Connell said YES!
Next meeting will be in March where we will dig up the undies we buried in December to see if our soil is of good quality in our school.
During January and February 2022, our 6th class took part in the Cycle Right Programme. Thanks to Jay and Leif of Trailflow Biking Adventures who were so accomodating and helpful throughout. Children learned about road safety as well as getting to put the theory into practice on a bike in the school yard and down to the windmill on the last day.
Thanks to the RSA, An Taisce, South Kerry Sports Sponsorship and to our 6th class parents for their contributions to make this happen. Our 6th class children are only 5 years away from driving so this safety certification will be of help for their future.
SOIL DAY 2021
To mark international Soil Day 5th December 2021, as part of our Greenschools Biodiversity flag, our 3rd class committee began an experiment. The idea was given to us by scientist and parent Joanna Mc Millan. We buried a 100% cotton cloth in our organic space and will dig it up again in March. If it has disintegrated, then we will know the earthworms are doing a wonderful job and that our soil is healthy. Thanks to Paudie for the shovel work!
Thanks so much to Callum and his dad Kevin for making and gifting this fabulous bird house to our school in December 2021.
Ms Debbie Moriarty’s 6th class watched the David Attenborough documentary ‘A Life On Our Planet’ and discussed Cop 26. They then researched projects based on ‘Our World’ and presented them in December 2021 to the class. The standard of work was terrific. Well done to all. What a great Curricular Link to our Biodiversity flag.
GREENSCHOOL MEETING 19th NOVEMBER 2021
PHOTO OF SEED PLANTING 19/11/2021
FLAG RAISING DAY
We raised our 5th Greenschool Travel flag on 12th November 2021. Thanks to 2nd class who worked two years on this flag and to Flynn and Alex who helped Ms Brassil and Paudie to raise it while the school were all assembled outside after the fire drill practice.
We had our first Greenschools meeting on Friday 5th November with 3rd class.
We went through the 7 steps towards getting a flag.
We did the survey to see who knew what Biodiversity was.
We also did our Habitat walk and first sketch of the habitats in our school. We had to select an area to allow grow wild.
Next meeting 19th November 2021.
CURRICULAR LINKS BIODIVERSITY
Junior Infants went on a walk through the village in November in search of houses, two-storey, semi-detatched, bungallows. All habitats in our local village!
PIZZA PARTY CELEBRATION 2nd CLASS OCTOBER 2021
We were very proud on Wednesday 6th October to watch the Greenschool awards ceremony live online in 2nd class. Our school was mentioned for achieving our 5th flag for Travel. We celebrated that Friday 8th October with a Pizza Party with delicious and great value pizzas from Pizzatime, Tralee. Thanks to Mrs Lawlor for allowing Greenschools take over her class twice last week and we will raise that Travel flag very soon, once it arrives in the post. Well done 2nd class on your two years of the travel flag. You were fantastic!
OUR 5th GREENSCHOOL FLAG!
We got great news on 28th May that we have been successful in our application for our 5th Green School Flag for Travel. Thanks so much to all classes who helped to get us this award. Everyone was great with the surveys, the carpooling, the walking to school. Thanks to Angela Wall who was fantastic in helping us get this flag. Thanks to the committee of 1st class children with their litter-picking and motto: Park the car and walk the rest. It's not that far and would be best! The flag will get to us in September as it's unclear whether it would be safe enough yet to have a ceremony to celebrate. Either way, we are thrilled to welcome this, our 5th Green Flag.
WALK TO SCHOOL PHOTOS
Sincere thank to everyone who entered the Walk to School Week photo competition. One class in particular was outstanding with the amount of photos they sent in! We don't think we won in the national competition but Ms Brassil and Mr O'Connell had a chat and have decided to award one class in the school muffins for the entire class as a surprise one day in the coming week (1st week of June). So well done for your efforts everyone!
NATIONAL AWARD FOR PAST PUPIL
We would like to convey our huge congratulations to past pupil Sorcha O’Donoghue and 2 of her classmates, now attending Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí. Since the start of TY, for an entire school year, they have been working on an envioronmental project based on fast fashion for the Eco UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards and were finalists. But today, in a live awards ceremony on YouTube they found out that they won the senior climate change category at all Ireland level! President Michael D. Higgins addressed the students at the ceremony today and you can watch it on this link:
Read about this in a Traleetoday.ie article posted on 27th May 2021 via this link:
WALK TO SCHOOL WEEK
Greenschools are organising 3 Zoom webinars during this week. We have applied for links to all 3, so hopefully different classes will do different links, depending on what suits them! Here is what is on offer:
Thanks to Angela Wall our Greenschool Inspector for gathering this data for us from a Speed Test with a real Garda police speed gun in May 2021. Here are the results in the 2 pictures following:
There are some fantastic resources for teachers on the Travel theme that you will find by clicking https://greenschoolsireland.org/resources/theme_category/travel/ There is also a quiz link, as well as links to worksheets and fact sheets that would be great fun to do at home or school.
Thanks so much to everyone who made an effort to walk, park and stride, scoot and cycle to schoolon 30th April 2021, on our Day of Action. Our bicycle stands were full. Children all wore high visibility bibs to school to highlight road safety as this is our Greenschool Travel flag year 2. Thanks to Angela Wall our Greenschool inspector and An Taisce National Spring Clean for dropping by the village this morning. She used a speed camera to do a survey of car’s speed through the village. She clocked frighteningly high speeds this morning outside our gates at 8:30am! We wish traffic travelled slower, especially at school times. Classes have been litter picking all this week and we hope we have made a difference to our community by helping clean up. It was lovely to see familiar faces on the walk. 3rd class met Mrs Sugrue and Mrs O’Connor on their walk who both taught at our school. Thanks to John Higgins for taking what we collected from us. Thanks to Paudie our caretaker for getting all the bags together and bringing them to Higgins’ Waste. Thanks to Mr O'Connell for getting hands on and helping with the rubbish too! Well done to everyone and thank you all.
DAY OF ACTION!
Our Day of Action is April 30th 2021. Are children are being asked to wear high viz to school to highlight road safety for our Travel Flag theme. Classes are doing a Spring Clean also and all the rubbish we collect will be taken thanks to Higgin's waste. Thanks to everyone who will litter pick during the last week of April.
WORLD EARTH DAY
Here is Erin with something she did at home for World Earth day in April and also a sample from 1st class' SESE copybook of what they did to mark World Earth Day.
CYCLE STANDS FULL!
It is fabulous to see our cycle stands full to capacity on 15th April 2021. Well done to everyone who cycled to school. It is so good for our health, te environment and our mental well-being. Keep it up everyone. If more cycle, we will look at getting more cycle stands.
Check out this amazing art display of bikes that 4th class did 16th April 2021 as bikes and cycling are to the forefront of all of our minds at the moment with this fine spell of dry weather!
WATER POSTER COMPETITION
Here are just 5 examples of the wonderful Water Posters 2nd and 4th classes have done for An Taisce's competition. Thanks to all children who entered this competition. Super job!
On 25th March 2021, 8 members of the Greenschool committee spoke to Angela Wall, our Greenschool inspector from An Taisce via a Zoom call. These children were all from 1st class and spoke very well about our Travel flag, plans for our day of Action coming soon and told personal stories about what they are doing to be more environmentally friendly. Ms Brassil was extremely proud and Mr O’Connell popped into the meeting for a few minutes too and was very impressed. Thanks to Ann Marie, our SNA for being on the meeting wit us and to Angela who was just terrific in getting the best out of the children and giving them all a chance to be heard. They each got a high-viz jacket to keep which are great to wear cycling and walking and keeping us more visible. Don’t worry if you didn’t get the opportunity to be on the Zoom with us today, as if we get this flag, everyone will get to celebrate it with us.
WATER POSTER COMPETITION
We are entering the Greenschools Water Poster Competition and Darragh was so enthusiastic that he did his poster at home! Looking forward to seeing the entries pouring in but they won't be posted until April 20th so take your time classes. Thanks to everyone who will enter.
RECYCLED WATER BOTTLE
Well done to Grenschools committee member Sadhbh for making the cutest elephant from a used plastic water bottle, showing us art can be created when we re-use things.
SCOOT TO SCHOOL WEEK
It would be wonderful if any of our pupils could Scoot to School during March 22-26th 2021. If you have a scooter and if you are able to scoot, please ask Ms Brassil at the school gate to take your picture as she will be at the gate each morning. Get on your scooter if you have one! Here are some super scoot challenges from Greenschools. Have fun scooting!
RE-CYCLED TAJ MAHAL
Inspired by the Greenschool meeting on Friday 12th March 2021, Ruby went home for the weekend and using recycled materials made her own Taj Mahal. Well done Ruby!
Another Greenschool committee member Rosie who was inspired by the Greenschool meeting on 12th March planted a flower in the grass in the school yard on 15th March. I hope it takes root and grows Rosie. Planting is great for helping with keeping air clean and is great for animals and insects too.
PEDALS GETTING POPULAR
There was a full bicycle rack in school during the first week back in March 2021. It has been fantastic to see so many of our pupils cycling to school accompanied by their parents this week. Keep it up everybody and thanks to parent Anluan Dunne for the photo.
LEE STRAND WINNER!
News just in 2/2/2021.
Congratulations to 1st class student Darragh Sheehan who won a Lee Strand Environmental Award Certificate and a €25 All4One voucher for himself when he entered a Lee Strand competition. Darragh created his own robot, using boxes and mostly Lee Strand cartons which he recycled to make the robot's arms, neck and legs. He called his robot Detective R-Bot and he made a video doing his very own robotic voice introducing himself and explaining his use of the cartons. We are so proud of you Darragh and this will certainly help us going for our Greenschool flag this year. Well done to you!
WELL DONE ROSA!
Well done to 1st class student Rosa, who was litter picking at the Blennerville canal on 1/2/2021. Her family got chatting to Pa Daly, the Sinn Féin TD while litter picking and Rosa told him about the Greenschool and being on the committee and that Miss Brassil encouraged litter picking. Pa Daly contacted Miss Brassil that evening to tell her how impressed he was with Rosa's goodness and initiative and we both agreed Rosa you are a STAR for doing this to help the environment. We are all very proud of you in Blennerville School. Well done Rosa.
RECYCLED BOTTLE ART
Ms Olivia O’Shea’s 4th class created their own round towers as they were studying the spread of Christianity in Ireland in December 2020. They learned all about monasteries and monks and round towers. They covered bottles in old news papers with glue (paper mache) painted them grey, painted on windows and drew on bricks with sharpe pens. They designed the cone shaped roofs and then glued them on to the bottles. They really enjoyed the whole process.
OUR TRAVEL MOTTO
Thanks so much to 1st class for entering so many ideas for the Travel Flag motto competition which ran this month. It was limited to 1st class, who are the committee. I am delighted to announce the winner is Darragh Sheehan with his motto:
Park the car and walk the rest
It's not that far and would be best.
Congratulations too to the runner ups: Rachel Colivet, Mary Kate O'Shea, Alex O'Sullivan and Sadhbh O'Brien who all got little prizes on Friday 4th December from Ms Brassil.
CLEAN AIR WEEK
Thanks to the classes who made huge efforts for Clean Air Week November 2020. Two classes entered the Clean Air competition. See their entry by clicking on these links.
Here are photos from Ms Sarah Dinan’s Senior Infant class who did a lesson using the outdoor classroom in fresh Blennerville sea air during this Greenschool Clean Air Week, 23rd-28th November 2020. Also you will see a photo of Austin who drew this lovely picture of himself with his friends outside in fresh air.
This first image was taken in February 2020 as part of the Greenschool carpooling effort campaign. The rest were taken in November. See if you can spot the difference! A trophy and a few teeth to say the least. Thanks to Holly, AJ, James, Hannah and Matea the driver for re-creating this and to Ms Doyle for the props.
If you would like to join us and watch the Greenschool Awards Ceremony on 11th November at 11am, click on this link below, and you will get an invite. You must enter an email and create a password for Hop in and it is all free. We are the 4th school to be on live. See you on the big screen with 5th class at 11am!
Here is the link: Greenschool Big Travel Awards Ceremony Link
BIG TRAVEL CHALLENGE AWARDS!
Oh my goodness. We received a call from Greenschools Ireland Rebecca on 3rd November 2020 to tell us that Blennerville school has been nominated for an award as part of the Big Travel Challenge! They are keeping a secret what award we are being nominated for. A parcel arrived to the school on 5th November and we were warned not to open it until the ceremony which will take place on Wednesday 11th November at 11am. We would like to invite anyone who wishes to view this with us on the day and I hope to put the link up here to the live event when I get it. It is an hour long ceremony and seeing as the children in the current 5th class did most of the work for this Travel flag, Ms Brassil will be sitting into Mr Foley's class on Wednesday and the children will take a break from school work to be part of the ceremony. Other classes are so welcome to watch too. I feel very humbled that our school even got a look in for a nomination and already want to thank Angela Wall for the work she did with us last year which was phenomenal. We really are thrilled at this honour. Thanks so much to An Taisce and Greenschools!
We entered this competition last year when we made the huge effort to carpool- share a drive to school. I know we cannot carpool right now because of Covid but we can still help the environment by cycling or walking to school if you can! Thanks to everyone who carpooled and hopefully we will do it again in the future.
NEW COMMITTEE 2020-2021
Here is Austin who has been cycling to school with his brothers and dad to school during September and October 2020. Well done to all the children and parents who have cycled daily. It's fantastic to see. Dylan and his Mom, and Iseult, Arthur and their dad deserve a mention for their consistancy in cycling daily too.
Due to Covid, the Greenschool committee has had to adapt this year, in the second year of our Travel flag. We have decided to involve one class this year, to be the committee, which is Ms Doyle's 1st class. They will complete the Travel flag. Those children who were on the committee for Year 1 of the Travel flag will be allowed back on the committee once Covid is over and when we are allowed mix classes again. I know it's tough on those who put so much work in to the flag but I hope that we can celebtate as individual classes if we do achieve the new flag.
JUNE 2020 CYCLE WEEK
Please click on CYCLE WEEK 2020 to see some of our children from Blennerville cycling during Cycle Week 2020. Cycle safely everyone!
Well done to Olivia for learning to cycle without stabilisers.
Well done to Sophia too!
Well done to Saoirse!
Lily-Ann from Senior Infants on her bike during June 2020.
Abbey from Junior Infants cycling in June 2020. Well done girls!
THANK YOU EILEEN O'CONNOR
Thanks so much to parent and Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist Eileen O'Connor, OT Dept, Tralee and Cork Kerry Community Healthcare for sending us on the steps they use to teach kids how to learn to cycle by scooting first with pedals and stabilisers off. Huge thanks also to Ruth Herman of Cork Sports Partnership. Eileen has so kindly on previous Cycling Weeks come to the school and helped teach children to cycle in our school yard. Many children can thank Eileen for having learned to cycle, even after one session with her, they were scooting!
Eileen shared with us videos and much more which I share below:
Bike Set up: https://youtu.be/LVW47QcwFeE
HIDDEN PLACES PROJECT
It's a strange time for us all not being able to be at school and I know many of us wish we were back in the classroom.
This time of the year, the Greenschool would be organising a Walk to School Week for our Transport Flag. So instead, Greenschools Ireland have come up with a lovely idea. It's to take a close look at your 2km-5km radius and take pictures or draw pictures of the wildlife, the plants, the hidden places other people may not have noticed before. Maybe other children can guess where your hidden place is!
Angela Wall our inspector has kindly shared her very own Hidden Places video with us.
Click ANGELA WALL to see her lovely video.
Ms Sorcha Ryan's 3rd class were given an assignment during the Covid 19 closure to make a bee feeder. Here are the directions in case you would like to make one too like Isaac in the photo. What a lovely thing to do! Bees are SO important.
Instructions for a Bee Feeder enjoy:
You will Need:
A glass jar with a lid
An old bowl or tray (not too big, but big enough for the jar to fit in)
Some clean pebbles and small stones
Sugar and Boiling Water
In the lids of your jar make 5 or 6 holes (you may need adult help for this)
Fill your jar half way with sugar and the rest with boiling water - ask an adult to put in the boiling water. Give it a stir to dissolve the sugar and allow to cool.
In your bowl/tray place a layer of clean pebbles and a couple of small stones.
When liquid in your jar is cooled put the jar upside down on your bowl/tray so that the liquid spills out onto the pebbles.
Place your Bee Feeder in your garden (Preferable in an elevated spot) away from your house, so that you can see them but they won't come into the house.
How to Save the Planet
5th and 6th class wrote en essay as homework during March 2020 entitled 'How to Save the Planet'. Children did a lot of research into it and came up with very hopeful ideas and plans for us as a world to save the environment. Well done to all. The future is bright!
5th and 6th class had homework during March to make someting from recycling materials. Then they had to stand in front og the class and explain what they made and how they made it. It was a great experience for the children involved and a good laugh too. Click here for photos.
Thanks to Angela Wall, our ever helpful Greenschool Inspector who addressed the committee on 4th March 2020 to discuss our Walkability Review that we did with her before Christmas. We are preparing a review to send to the Council pointing out things we think need looking at for safety reasons. We also discussed ideas other schools have done to promote travel.
We now need to get our Action Plan on paper, so at the next meeting, we will get paper and pencils and write down all our travel ideas before selecting the best ideas for the next 2 years. Date of next meeting to be announced soon. Keep looking at this website for updates. Date for the diary- Spring Clean will be in April.
Save the Bees Campaign
We need your help again everyone! We are taking part in the Save the Bees Campaign in conjunction with SuperValu stores. They have sent us this gigantic wall chart which some Junior Infants had fun holding up in this picture and we need your help to fill it with tokens which you can get when you shop in any Supervalu shop. We have lesson plans for classes and posters of bees. One third of our food is pollinated by bees and sadly 30% of our Irish bees are in danger of becoming extinct and we want to stop this happening because bees are really important in our ecosystem for pollination of all plants and flowers. We can be in with a chance of winning or sharing in €50,000 if we can get this chart completed before 14th May 2020. Please help us get from 1 to 300 so we can enter this terrific competition. Thanks everyone!
Carpooling Big Travel Challenge
We posted off our entry for the Big Travel Challenge during the last week of February and awarded special carpooling badges to the younger classes. Here are two photos. The great news is that we made a huge effort and some families are even continuing to carpool now that the big push to carpool is over so well done to everyone who carpooled and is still doing it!
Towels from Recycled Plastic!
Thanks to Greenschool committee member Hannah O'Sullivan who got her mom to take this photo of towels she saw for sale in Garvey's Supervalu Tralee made from recycled plastic bottles. Well spotted Hannah!
Mrs Liz O’Connor’s class planted Nasturtiums during February. What a lovely thing to do on a cold February day. Let's hope they bloom in a few weeks time and we can watch them grow.
Water Poster Winners
Well done to our 3 winners in the Greenschool Water Poster competition. One winner was chosen from the 3 classes who entered and all children who entered received a little prize thanks to Angela Wall of Greenschools and our Elder Greenschool Committee who presented and judged the entries on 18/02/2020. Cyprian was judged to be the overall winner and he won a new cycling helmet. Lily and Emily won Greenschool pencil cases and water bottles. Thank you to everyone who entered. Here is just a small selection from the high standards the committee had to choose from. These winning posters will now go on to the national competition.
Please have a look at this Primary School's rap called One Small Change. It is just terrific! Click RAP to watch it.
Next Inspector Visit
Our Greenschool inspector, Angela Wall will address the Travel Committee at 11:45am on 4th March 2020. If you are in 3rd or 5th class and gone swimming, that is ok. Ms Brassil will let you know what you miss.
Thanks so much to Leif and Jay on 4th February 2020, who took our 5th and 6th classes outside for the first of 4 sessions for Cycle Right. We heard about this project through our Greenschool inspector Angela Wall and it ties in beautifully to our Travel flag. The qualified instructors are from Trailflow, and they bring bikes, helmets , high visibility gear and promote correct and safe cycling during their sessions. They were so accommodating and took those who needed it for individual time. Leif told children that if they listened well at Cycle Right, that they would have a head start on rules of the road for their driving tests in the future which may not be all that far away! He stressed the importance of protecting our brains, hence the strict rules on helmets. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and we thank Leif, Jay, Ms Moriarty and Anne-Marie Scott and to our Greenschool inspector Angela Wall for calling by and taking some terrific photos for us.
Well done to the O'Sullivan family and Isaac for carpooling to school during our Carpooling fortnight. Ye are making such an effort. Looking forward to seeing more photos over the next fortnight.
Thanks to the Costello and Higgins families for getting our carpooling fortnight off to a great start! We are trying to make an effort with carpooling during the first 2 weeks of February 2020.
Minutes of Meeting 31/01/2020
Thanks to all who attended and spoke at the meeting.
We will be having a visit from our inspector Angela Wall on Tuesday 4th February at 11am.
Big Travel Challenge (February 2020)
We need your help with a Greenschool competition called “The Big Travel Challenge”.
During the first 2 weeks of February, we are asking if any of you could please carpool to school on any suitable days? Share a drive with a family you might know that lives near you, and help make a difference to our environment and our health and also help us with our Travel flag.
If you wouldn’t mind sharing a photo of your journey to school, to be put on our website Greenschool page (not Facebook) of this carpooling, we would be thrilled to enter these pictures and our results in a competition. An Taisce might like to use them too so only send photos you are happy to share.
We are choosing ‘carpooling’ as the mode of transport we are promoting in this competition during the 10 school days between 3rd and 14th February 2020. We will survey the children during the fortnight to count how many are carpooling. (We will promote other modes of transport later in the year when weather improves).
The winning school will win a cash prize of €1,000 to be used for our Greenschool, travel programme and 4 runners up will win €500 for their schools.
We would really appreciate your help with this.
Thank you everyone!
Results Are In!
These are the results from the 'Where do you live?' survey. These results were put together for us thanks to Angela Wall of Green-schools. What a fantastic job she did. Thank you to everyone who filled in and returned the map.
See if you can find where you live on the map and see how many children live near you. We hope to begin a Cycle Bus once the weather improves and mornings get brighter. This map shows a proposed cycle route.
This map below shows you where we all live.
Finally here are the results from each class surveyed of where they live on the map:
Walkability Audit 20/11/2019
Today we had a fabulous morning with Angela Wall of An Taisce, Green-school. We were joined by parent (Lauren's Mom) Julianne and the Travel Committee. Angela divided us up and gave us all clipboards and jobs.
1. Measuring footpaths was done with the aid of a measuring tape by engineers of the future James, Dara and Ródhan. They did a phenomenal job and found that footpath widths really varied throughout the village.
2. Road signs. This survey was done by Kerri and Hannah O'S who did a tally of road signs in the village and they even noted signs that were not on the list.
3. Passing traffic tally. This was done so well by Conor, Shane and Tara. There was a LOT of traffic to count.
4. Things to note. Along the route, Lauren, Hannah P and Julianne wrote down any observations along the way. They did a super job filling an entire page.
5. Problems and issues. Well done to Elizabeth and Claudia who took notes of any problems along our walk such as window ledges jutting out and a pole in the middle of a footpath which people could crash into so easily.
6. Litter and waste audit. This was done by Ciara H and Holly who noted a LOT of plastic bottles along the route and many tin cans too.
7. Feedback. This was done singlehandedly by Conor C who answered a series of yes and no questions about footpaths and roads after the walk was complete.He looked at cracks on footpaths and ramps and steps.
The committee were pleased in general with our clean air and the safety of the school. It is well fenced and there is a pedestrian crossing which we timed crossing and the settings on it are correct to allow you to cross in time. However, we found the crossing at the station house, the green man is broken for crossing. We found lots of cracks in the pavement outside the windmill along that path. We thought that traffic was driving a little fast and Julianne observed on many occasions, speeding in our set-down area. Angela promised she would return to us in February with a speed gun so we can act like guards for a day and check the speed of passing traffic. It sounds like a lot of fun! We are really looking forward to Angela's return then. All members were presented with a Greenschool badge and Angela gave Ms Brassil lots of prizes that we will award for the Water Poster competition. We will have in-school prizes and then post one from each class off to represent the school in the national competition. There is a fabulous black cycling helmet up for grabs. So children be sure to remind your teachers to enter it. Tell them the template is in the staffroom.
Click walkability to see all the photos from the day.
Here are the prizes for the Water Poster art competition on offer. Thanks to Angela for these and also to Garda Mary Gardiner for the Stay Safe Be Seen items which we will also award as prizes for this competition.
Water Poster Art Competition
There is a wonderful art competition based around the Water Greenschool theme with wonderful prizes. Apologies the poster is sideways but it refuses to go in upright! Just tilt your head! A template will be left in the staffroom for all teachers. Please ask your teacher if you can enter this for an art lesson some day before the end of February so Ms Brassil can post these off. We have always entered this competition and hopefully one day we will have a winner! So get those colouring pencils out everyone!
Clean Air Week
Travel Committee Meeting
There is a slight change to the Travel Committee meeting. It will now take place on Wednesday 20th November with Angela Wall from 11am to 12:30pm. Parents of committee members are welcome to join us for this if they wish. This is a week later than scheduled.
Travel Survey Results
News just in! Thanks to Angela Wall for co-ordinating the survey results for us. They are very interesting. A map is being sent home to all families on 5/11/19 to enquire about where you live with the view to starting a cycle bus to school, if possible and if safety allows. Please find this survey in the schoolbags and return it by Friday 8th November. Thanks everyone.
Here are the results from 24th October 2019.
Angela Visits Us
Thank you so much to Angela Wall from Greenschools An Taisce for speaking to our 1st to 6th classes on 24th October 2019. Angela is our Greenschool inspector and is helping us correlate our Greenschool Travel survey results which she did through questioning the children today about the way they travel to school and how they would like to travel. Thank you Angela! See you again on 13th November with the Travel Committee at 11am. If any parents of committee children are free to join us on this date and time, that would be terrific.
Witch making in Ms Roisin Doyle’s 1st class using recyclables, fabric and fibre on 24th October 2019. This is very much in-keeping with our Greenschool! Well done Miss Doyle's class. Please click here to see an interesting article on items you can and can't recycle. Thanks to Ms Ryan for sending us these.
Thanks to our dedicated litter pickers who picked as much plastic they could from the yard and walkway to our school during the calm weather before and after storm Lorenzo at the start of October.
Have a look at this short video of Greta Thunberg who is only 16 years old and making the world listen. Click this link: Greta Thunberg
Sail Boat Cars
Ms Olivia O’Shea’s 4th class designed and made their own sail boat cars on 26/9/19. They investigated if the cars could be powered by wind energy (fan). The children really enjoyed the lesson as you can see from the pictures. This links nicely with our Greenschool Travel theme.
Thank You Angela Wall!
We have been so lucky in being selected to have Green-Schools Travel Education Officer Angela Wall going to visit our school on October 24th 2019 to help us with our Travel survey. She will visit all classes from 1st to 6th on the day spending a half hour with each class.
Thanks to parent Kerrie Keane who accompanied Miss Brassil to the Travel meeting with Angela and Dave on 25/9/19. It is going to be the best flag yet with plenty of links to safety, activities and our active school ethos too.
Well done to Ms Ryan's 3rd Class who did lovely art during September 2019 during an art lesson based on their history story of our school's namesake St. Brendan the navigator. He was one of the first of the travellers and didn't do any damage to the environment in his sail-boat.
New Flag News - September 2019
We have just received the news that our new Greenschool flag theme will be Travel. We will begin this in September 2019 and work on this theme for 2 years.
It is time to give other children the opportunity to be on the Greenschool committee so at our meeting on 27th September, we will be saying goodbye to members and keeping the new members that just came on the committee at the end of May. I hope that the committee members leaving will all keep up their commitment to the environment by always remembering to reduce, re-use and recycle and to cut down on plastic!
Congratulations to new members Ciara Higgins and Tara Dowling who read this page in September 2019 and as a reward, get to join the Greenschool Committee for the Travel theme for the next 2 years!
Start thinking committee on how we can cut back on travel's impact on the environment or on how we might make travel safer for children coming to and from school. Date of first meeting will be Friday 27th September at 2:10pm in Ms Dinan's classroom.
Greenschool September 2019
We began our Greenschool ‘An Taisce’ initiative in 2011. Since then, we have worked towards 4 flags.
Each flag takes 2 years to achieve. We have a dedicated committee, chaired by Ms Brassil since the beginning and have around 25 children and 3 parents on this committee. New members are added each year in October. Those who show a genuine interest in the environment and express this to Ms Brassil get awarded a place on the committee.
In February 2018, our 6th class committee members manned a stall at the Greenschool EXPO in the RDS. We were very proud of this achievement. These students also spoke on Radio Kerry, promoting all things Greenschool. Every year, we take part in clothes collections, and in Spring Cleans.
Our school also has a Fairy Garden, which was started by parent Julie Hanafin is now being organised by our SNA Ann-Marie O’Connor. Volunteers are always appreciated to help in the garden. In April 2019, all classes were supplied with window boxes. The Greenschool committee members are in charge of watering these. Lettuce and tomatoes are being grown in classrooms with a much wider variety in the garden.