CLEAN AIR WEEK
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.
POETRY COMPETITION FOR CLEAN AIR WEEK 23-27th NOVEMBER 2020
This time last year we were doing our walkabout audit and found lots of clean air en route!
Chloe in 1st class told me on 9th November that their family parked at the windmill this morning and walked to school from there to be good to the environment! Well done Jerry and Chloe! This is what I love to hear!
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.