In St. Mary’s, we recognise that young people are the future. As such, it is imperative that they fully understand the responsibilities they have for the protection of their environment.
- raise awareness of a range of environmental issues;
- instil a respectful regard for the environment in pupils and staff;
- foster positive attitudes towards the environment;
- promote positive behaviours in the interests of the environment; and
- encourage active involvement in environmental improvement activities and initiatives.
As a Green Flag Eco-School, St. Mary’s has been recognised for the effectiveness of its environmental education and performance. Following a visit by Eco-Schools Assessors in May 2013, St. Mary’s was awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award for a second time. This reflects the school’s sustained efforts to promote environmental awareness and reduce its environmental impact.
Through the work of the Eco-Schools Committee, there is an ongoing focus within the school on:
- increasing recycling;
- improving energy efficiency;
- reducing litter; and
- increasing habitat diversity.
In 2013, St. Mary’s was named the Best Kept Post-Primary School in the North Eastern Education and Library Board region. The Best Kept School Awards are organised annually by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC) and acknowledge the outstanding commitment of local schools to green projects and environmental education. Almost two hundred schools from across Northern Ireland entered the awards in 2012 and NIAC judges travelled the country for months in search of the cleanest, tidiest and most environmentally active schools. Winning schools include those with recycling projects, wildlife areas and anti-litter campaigns. NIAC Chairman, Doreen Muskett, MBE, commented: “The Best Kept School Awards were set up to acknowledge the great environmental work being done in schools across Northern Ireland which is encouraging children to develop an interest in the natural world and how we impact on it. As part of the judging process, we look for evidence of pupil participation in environmental projects and, of course, clean and tidy school grounds. St. Mary’s proved to be just wonderful on all these fronts. Top marks for St. Mary’s!”