Pupils leading the way on green issues

Cool FM's Sonya Mac with Carnmoney Primary's school council. INNT 10-043-FP
Cool FM's Sonya Mac with Carnmoney Primary's school council. INNT 10-043-FP

PUPILS at Carnmoney Primary are leading the way in terms of introducing energy efficiency and green initiatives around their school and in the wider community.

Ahead of the school council meeting last week the Cool FM media bus stopped in to visit pupils to teach them about the benefits of fair trade products.

The council along with the eco-club, which meets every week, have been at the forefront of implementing green initiatives around the school which now forms part of the national curriculum.

Each class has ‘switch-off squads’ who ensure lights are turned off in each room when classes leave and children have made ‘eco-shine’ an environmental cleaning product which they are hoping to sell at the upcoming school fair.

There is also a recycle zone and recently children made almost £100 from donated jam jars at the school’s Christmas fair.

Pupils also devised the ‘Carnmon-E Code’ which helps enforce their green ethos.

The efforts of the pupils have proved so successful it has been accredited as a eco-school and awarded a green flag, which is proudly displayed in the school building.

In tandem with the eco-club the school’s council, which is made up of pupils from P5 to P7 meets once a month to discuss more wide ranging issues that affect their life in school.

At last week’s meeting, the children discussed different games that should be promoted in the playground and other issues such as concerns they have about a nearby alleyway.

P4 teacher and eco-school coordinator Lynn Bannon said: “This an initiative led totally by the pupils and they have worked very hard to make it such a success.

“It’s all about making them aware of the environmental issues and it is all linked to lessons taught in classes.

“And the pupils have been very pro-active in raising issues and reviewing the schools energy levels, transport usage and environmental issues.”

She added: “In 2008 we came up with a vision statement, that was designed to help improve the school’s environmental initiatives and because that has worked so well, we have had to revise it to take into account the good work that has gone on.”

School principal Brian Duff added: “This allows the pupils to take responsibility and drive the eco agenda in the school - they have the ownership and I have been very impressed about where they have taken this.

“Our motto is ‘learning for life together’ and that’s what this all boils down to. It is not just the pupils and teachers, but their parents, grandparents and the wider community are all involved and it is making a difference.”