Lagan College was awarded ‘Best Class’ in NI at the Challenge Awards Ceremony held at Central Station this week. Nicholas Jamison led the campaign this year, in close association with Pupil’s Council and with all of the Year 9 team, and he picked up the award on our behalf which includes £150 for Eco Projects and a funded school trip to an Eco Location.
Nicholas was also invited to be a keynote speaker at the event and the quality of his speech was “better than outstanding”. Many passengers stopped on their way on and off trains to listen to him speak and all the organisers spoke of how impressed they were with him. Nicholas has now even been invited to act as a shadow Eco Judge in the assessment of a Green Flag for another school as part of our Eco Ambassador School work.
Pupils say ‘#GetonboardNI!’: Schools right across Northern Ireland have been rewarded for their efforts to use more sustainable transport at a special prize-giving event during Translink’s first ever Bus + Train Week, June 6 – 12, which aims to celebrate the benefits of public transport Over a two week period, 36 local schools participated in the ‘Translink Eco-Schools Travel Challenge’ with more than 1100 pupils monitoring their travel patterns and making an effort to walk, cycle, use the bus or train for the school run. Pictured are Conor Loney from Ballymacricket PS, Crumlin; Ellen Sammon from Enniskillen Integrated PS and Katy Gregg from Mill Strand PS, Portrush, Sam Moffit from Cranmore Integrated PS Belfast and Nicholas Jamison from Lagan College, Belfast. For further information click www.translink.co.uk/ecoschools/. Picture by Brian Morrison
Congratulations and ‘Thank You’ to everyone who helped Lagan College win this award, especially Mrs Mulholland the Year 9 pastoral team and pupils, Head Boy Paddy Smyth who played a key role in organising and Mr Mathison for the support of Pupils Council. And of course Mr Patton, who has tirelessly leaded, promoted and guided all our Eco and sustainable growth projects and for many years!
Finally, while the challenge was very successful, we would encourage all pupils and staff to consider ways in which they may travel more sustainably. Cars are a significant factor in carbon emissions, pollution and global warming: walk, cycle and use public transport where and when you can!
Lagan College were recently named an Eco-School Ambassador, an exceptional honour and a great validation of the work done by the Eco team under the guidance of Mr Patton. Minister for the Environment Mark Durkan presented the team with their Ambassadorial accreditation at a ceremony last week.
Here is what Eco-Schools had to say about being an Ambassador:
“An Eco-School Ambassador is an inspirational flagship school Eco-School. Our Ambassadors are leaders, who extend the ethos of Eco-Schools far beyond the school gates. Our Ambassadors have given support and guidance to other Eco-Schools and non Eco-Schools to encourage them to be sustainable and responsible schools.
With exceptional levels of pupil leadership and whole school support, Ambassador Eco-Schools work to ensure sustainability is embedded into the curriculum. As an Ambassador they have successfully delivered change in the culture of the school. An Eco-Schools Ambassador will be able to demonstrate successful pupil and community interaction and are supporting and sharing information and advice with other schools and the wider community.”
Last Thursday I attended Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s jubilee event at Stormont, along with Patrick Beatty and Miss Wightman, and many famous faces there including Anna Lo and David Meade. While visiting the event I had to act as the 2028 Northern Ireland Environment Minister which was really fun! The main focus of my speech was about how I had been made redundant, since my job was no longer required – the citizens of Northern Ireland now maintaining the environment together with “Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful”, along with the many successes and benefits we had made as a government toward the Northern Ireland environment.
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful can trace its origins back 60 years to 1954 when it was established by the Federation of Women’s Institutes from the beginnings of an anti-litter campaign. In 2000 TIDY Northern Ireland became an independent charity and this year they have rebranded themselves with the new name “Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful”. It was a fantastic day!
Six Environment Committee and Media Pupils spent a brilliant day at Crawfordsburn Country Park where they attended an Eco-Schools Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) conference. Pupils got to attend workshops on film making, photography and article writing, hosted by professionals from the BBC and other media institutions. Alex Attwood, Minister for the Environment, was also in attendance and spoke to the pupils.
YRE is an international competition in which pupils can submit an article, a film or a photograph exploring an environmental issue. The quality of the workshops was outstanding and the pupils found the whole experience very enjoyable and educational
Lagan College were invited to the official launch of the Eco Schools ‘Rethink Waste’ initiative, in association with Bryson House Recycling.
One of the prime objectives is for schools to get as many pupils, parents and staff as possible to return a form to the school that will prevent junk mail going to their address. The average household gets 300 pieces of junk mail every year. The Secondary School with the greatest percentage of returns will be awarded an Eco grant of £600. We will be sending out and collecting these forms in February
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
What we have done so far
Our school has set up a Fairtrade School Steering Group.
Our school has written and adopted a whole-school Fairtrade Policy.
Our school is committed to selling, promoting and using Fairtrade products as much as possible.
Our whole school learns about Fairtrade in at least three subjects in each of two year groups.
Our school promotes and takes action for Fairtrade at least once a term in the school and once a year in the wider community.
What You Can Do
As a family, commit to buying Fairtrade products whenever you can. Look for the Fairtrade logo.
The following products are easy to buy in all major supermarkets (and are no more expensive than other brands): tea, coffee, sugar, fruit and chocolate. A growing number of retailers are offering Fairtrade cotton clothes, including shirts for school uniforms.
Support our effort during Fairtrade Fortnight (from 27th February) to raise awareness and ‘take a step’ towards becoming a Fairtrade School.
Students can participate in our annual Fairtrade expo and design a ‘foot’ by telling us what you’re doing to help!