The College will hold the flag for two years, and can then reapply in March 2024 to be awarded in June 2024.
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Environmental Education assessors commended the Loreto College application, commenting that an amazing effort had gone into the College’s Eco Schools programme.
Throughout the year, a wide range of initiatives and activities have been going on every week at Loreto College. Led by Felix Kilmartin (Year 14), the whole school Eco-Committee made great progress in supporting environmental initiatives. The committee has representatives across all key stages, who meet at the beginning of each month to review progress and set new targets.
Committee members Caitlin Kearney (Year 14), Ciara McAlary (Year 14) and Orla McHenry (Year 12) created power-point resources for teachers to use to inform their form classes about the school’s environmental goals.
Another committee member, Hannah Ruth Mullan (Year 12), used her role as a Youth Voice representative to raise the issue of schools’ need to be provided with recycling bins during meetings with Causeway Coast and Glens Council.
Having led a consultation with the student body, the committee established a whole school Eco-Code, which is displayed in all classrooms in the College.
Students engaged in regular litter-pick activities, as well as raising awareness of the need for proper use of bins. All Y8-10 students, and their teachers, took part in the ‘Live Here, Love Here’ Big Spring Clean event throughout the College grounds.
Meanwhile, the Art Department ran an Eco-Art after school club, creating litter awareness posters and very inventive pieces of work, one of which won the recent North Coast World Earth Art competition. Also after school, the Environmental group kept busy around the College grounds, planting and renovating unused spaces. Following a successful application for funds, a new outdoor pastoral learning area, full of sensory plants and herbs, was furnished.
In the Autumn, all students took part in daffodil planting, led by the Year 14 Environmental Prefects, creating a field of hope which bloomed in the Spring, and raising £625 for Marie Curie. In May, Mrs McCool organised a Treasure Hunt around the College grounds for Years 8 and 9, to raise awareness of the College’s Sustainable Development Goals.
In terms of the Global Perspective, there was a magnificent and generous response to the College’s appeal for the people of Ukraine, coordinated by the Justice League and Mrs McCool. The Justice League also led a Pop-Up to recycle clothes, for senior students and staff, raising £655 for the Simon Community. The whole school supported the fundraising efforts of 12C, who presented a cheque for £1300 to St Vincent de Paul to benefit local families.
Finally, throughout the season of Lent, there was a whole-school effort to raise funds for Trócaire: an amazing £3,785 has been raised, which will be doubled by Government Gift Aid programme, resulting in £7,570: a truly wonderful total.