Kinsale Community School hosted a celebration of innovation and collaboration, a chance to discuss ideas and showcase sustainability projects across the Community with their very own “Green Week” last week.
The School Green Team had a busy week with a variety of talks, workshops and events taking place. Green Week was hosted at Kinsale Community School as part of its exciting path of creating and embedding an ethos of sustainability in all aspects of school life. Sustainable development themes are now part and parcel of every subject right across the curriculum. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Green School Co-ordinator at KCS said “It has been a busy and rewarding year to have sustainability at the forefront. We have accomplished a lot as a green schools committee and as a school.”
The week began with COP, Conference of Parties which involved KCS hosting 10 local primary schools to share their knowledge and the environmental actions they are taking in their schools to make their schools a more environmentally friendly place. Monday evening the Green Schools had a workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals with Abi O’Callaghan-Platt from VOICE Ireland. On Tuesday, to celebrate World Water Day and to raise awareness drone footage was captured of all the first years lined up in the shape of H20. Tuesday evening Alicia Mateos Cardenas from UCC, spoke to our Transition Years about microplastics and discussed plastic pollution solutions. Additionally, Transition Year students took part in a Walk for Water Campaign to raise awareness about women and children in countries around the world who walk an average of 6 kilometres a day to access water. These women and children have to carry heavy loads of up to 20 litres of water on their way back. Students carried five litre bottles of water to get experience of what it feels like to have to walk so far to access clean water.
On Wednesday, the Green Team organised their first ever Eco Fair which involved a number of students presenting the environmental projects they are completing this year. This event was a huge success as it allowed students to showcase the wonderful projects they have completed to the whole school community. All year groups and teachers had the opportunity to visit the Eco Fair.
Thursday saw a Kinsale College and Kinsale Community School collaboration through visits to each venue. Abi O Callaghan Platt gave a workshop on the Unicef sustainable development goals, Alicia Mateos gave a talk on microplastics and Eddie Costello on horticulture. Eddie Costello outlined the Horticulture course offered in Kinsale College and talked about organic growing principles. We learned that planting pot marigold will help to control pests and were surprised to see that willow basket weaving is part of the course. Eddie finished by talking about the importance and beauty of what we used to call weeds. Did you know you can eat Dandelions! He shared a real passion for all things organic. Sophie Peare, Sinead Hickey and Lilian Gleave then went to the Kinsale College for a lunchtime talk on what our school is doing to be more sustainable. Lilian spoke about her project on fast fashion sparking an interesting discussion on the fashion industry and how the key to changing peoples behaviour is to make changing easy. There were great ideas on alteration workshops in town and how to widen the influence of slow fashion. It was a great way to share common goals and learn from each other. Additionally, the Green Team did a litter clean up of our local Community Orchard in the beautiful sunshine on Thursday afternoon.
The Green Team got to enjoy a trip to the Hollies on Friday. The Hollies is a centre for learning in practical aspects of Sustainable Living Skills at Castletown Kinneagh, Enniskeane, West Cork. Students got a tour of sustainable living with a workshop on building a cob oven.
“Since I arrived here as ‘Sustainability Chaplain’, I have been hugely impressed and inspired by what the school has already achieved in terms of reducing its environmental impact and improving its sustainability. For me it is an absolute privilege and pleasure to be involved in contributing to this ongoing work, seeing students become empowered, active global citizens” said Klaus Harvey, Sustainability Chaplain at Kinsale Community School.