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Nominations are now open for Eco-Teacher of the Year!

Georgina Black   Tue 05 Jan 2021

Calling all teachers, principals, students, parents and members of the community. Is your Eco-Coordinator your environmental super hero? Do they inspire you to make more sustainable choices and have your voice heard on the issues that matter to you? If so, show them you care and nominate them to become Eco-Schools Eco-Teacher of the Year! 

How to enter:

Pupils are invited to explain why their Eco-Teacher should be awarded “Eco-Teacher of the Year 2021” in any format, whether that be in the form of a poem, letter, storyboard, essay, photos, video or whatever way best answers the question.

Written entries should be no more than 250 words and video entries should be no more than 5 minutes.

There will be two teachers selected; one primary school teacher and one post-primary school teacher. These teachers will be celebrated in an online event later in the year.

This competition is open to all schools. One entry per school. Nominee does not have to be an Eco-Coordinator but must be a member of staff (including PTA and support staff) within your school.

PLEASE NOTE: Entries that were made in the 2019/20 academic year will still be valid for this year so there will be no need to re-nominate your Eco-Coordinator. 

The deadline for the competition is the Friday 26th March 2021.

Email entries to: eco-schools@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org

This year, the EWWR challenges you to get informed and raise awareness on the huge amount of waste that we all unconsciously generate.

We need to make this waste visible in order to make informed decisions when choosing which product to purchase, and take responsibility for our footprint. Producers, consumers, decision-makers, we all can take action to reduce the invisible waste.

Extending the life of products by reuse and repair, buying second-hand, renting and sharing products rather than owning them, obtaining an eco-label and joining producer responsibility’s schemes… The list is long!

Taking part in the EWWR week will count as evidence towards your Green Flag and any data you collect as part of your waste reduction can be logged in your Data Zone.

Find resources, ideas, activities and more on the EWWR website.

Registrations for the EWWR 2020 must be submitted by 13th November. Register your action here.

Translink #Smartmovers Art Competition

Niamh Nic Cana   Thu 07 Feb 2019   updated: Sun 10 Feb 2019

Translink and Eco-Schools are celebrating 10 years of the Translink Travel Challenge in 2019. To mark this milestone we are inviting primary schools to take part in a unique art competition.

We’d like as many people as possible to think about sustainable transport and to do this we are asking pupils to design an exclusive bus-side art piece that will be displayed on buses in your local area in June 2019.

The competition links nicely to the Travel Challenge and can be part of your actions for it and your Transport topic. Taking part can also be a great standalone action for Eco-Schools incorporating the whole school or a smaller group of artistic pupils. It provides evidence for your Informing and Involving step of the Eco-Schools process as well as addressing the Transport, Healthy Living and Climate Change topics. A sustainable journey to school or at home helps you stay healthy while reducing pollution and protecting the environment.

Please use the template provided, which is in the correct proportions required and will be scaled to fit the space on the final bus-side.

The competition is open to Primary Schools KS1 and KS2 pupils.

The competition closing date is Friday 5th April 2019.

Please download and read carefully all the instructions.

We can't wait to see your creative designs!

Competition documents

About the competition

Competition entry form

Bus side art template

We are encouraging schools to think about waste and the 3 Rs this November as part of a Europe wide campaign. Register your school as an Action Developer on the EWWR website and download resources and posters to promote your waste actions. Record the actions you take and report them on the EWWR website. Any measurements you record would be a bonus for the Eco-Schools Data Zone. Working together we could really get Northern Ireland on the map with EWWR this year

Waste actions could be any activity from completing a waste audit, composting, reducing food waste, clothing recycling (see Cash for Clobber below) or setting up battery recycling at school.

We have some great ideas around food waste reduction and recycling with a toolkit including teaching resources and ideas from Love Food Hate Waste. Visit our website for more information and be inspired!

Translink Travel Challenge 2018-2019

Francesca Di Palo   Thu 20 Sep 2018   updated: Mon 24 Sep 2018

It’s our 10th anniversary! Eco-Schools NI and Translink celebrate their successful collaboration to grow the number of ‘smart movers’ in Northern Ireland. We want to celebrate the event with you! Engage with schools to take part and to think about alternative sustainable transport is our mission.

Students, teachers, parents, the entire community will get involve thinking eco, enjoying the health benefits of switching their car for a bus or a bicycle.

Translink wants to grow school participation in the Travel Challenge across Northern Ireland and support the Eco-Schools Programme in the Travel topic. Teaching resources are also included in the challenge resources.

The Translink Travel Challenge is now open to all schools. It is an all year running initiative - schools choose two or more weeks, of their choice, to show their support of sustainable transport and to carbon offset.

The challenge runs until 21st May 2019, so encourage sustainable travel to school and record your results during the two weeks monitoring initiative using the resources provided!

In addition to Eco-Schools awards, classes and pupils who show the greatest change towards sustainable transport use will also be rewarded by Translink with funds and travel prizes.

We would like to hear from any schools interested in taking part in the Translink Eco-Schools Travel Challenge!

Please contact Francesca.DiPalo@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org

Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) 2018-2019

Francesca Di Palo   Thu 20 Sep 2018   updated: Fri 07 Dec 2018

Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) is a network of passionate young people educating for sustainable development by producing creative and engaging environmental journalism. Coordinated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), YRE is in more than 30 countries worldwide and growing! Northern Ireland is proudly one of these countries thanks to the excellent participation of our students and teachers.

Last year Wallace High School in Lisburn took first place in the video category 11-14 years. Their excellent entry, focusing on food waste, was submitted by Max and Josh Kamalarajah and impressed the judges with its composition, content and assured delivery. View the video here.View the video here.

Young reporters, from 20 post-primary schools, will be asked to investigate an issue (litter or waste), propose solutions, report their findings in an article and inform others by sharing this through as many media outlets as possible.

To make it possible Eco-Schools NI would like to invite you to attend one of the two BBC School Report workshops that will take place in November (27th and 30th) at the Mid Ulster Council Offices (Magherafelt) and Island Arts Centre (Lisburn).

Young people aged 11-25 may enter the national and international competition in 3 article categories:

1. Written

2. Photographic

3. Video

Deadline to submit your journalist reportage is 15th March 2019, and winners of the national competition will be announced at an award and beach clean event in April.

There will be prizes for each of the three categories, so don’t miss the chance to win one!

YRE prizes -£150 first place, £100 second place, £75 third place- in each of the three categories.

To become a Young Reporter for the Environment:

• Show your interest to the Eco-Schools NI team

• Attend one of our BBC School Report workshops in November

• Ensure that your entry is submitted before the national deadline 15th March

• Be accurate. Research any facts you include and make sure they are correct

• Make sure you credit any quotes to their original source

• Feel free to submit more than one type of submission and work individually or in groups

• Read thoroughly and follow the instructions Eco-Schools will provide to enter the competition.

Useful lesson plans are available from Eco-Schools NI website on our external resources page or directly on FEE website.

If you are interested in YRE 2018-2019 please contact Francesca.DiPalo@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org.

Wrigley Litter Less Campaign Eco-Schools 2018-2019

Francesca Di Palo   Thu 20 Sep 2018   updated: Wed 21 Aug 2019

Wrigley Company Foundation is delighted to fund this year again the now internationally well known “Litter Less Campaign”. The Eco-Schools team at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful would like to invite primary schools to take part in the Eco-Schools Campaign to tackle litter and waste.

If you want to be part of this big campaign get in touch with us as soon as possible; there are 25 places available with funding for each school to support their initiative to reduce waste production and become an example for the whole community.

The campaign will run until April 2020. Deadline for final reports about your school’s measurements is 24th April. Registration to express your interest is now open, so apply soon to avoid disappointment since places are limited.

Few simple steps to start your campaign:

• Register with us

• Choose three lesson plans from the ten suggested

• Monitor the impact you have on litter or waste in your school during the project

• Organise a community event to get everybody involved in your anti-litter/waste campaign

• Collaborate with another school, abroad or at home, to share the campaign initiatives

• Report your school’s results (6 measurements required), on time, to Eco-Schools

• Submit, on time to Eco-Schools, a final report with 3 photographs and summary to document your campaign

If you are interested in becoming an anti-litter hero, please contact Francesca.DiPalo@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org

Cash for Clobber Competition

Niamh Nic Cana   Tue 18 Sep 2018

Schools across the country are again taking part in the popular ‘Cash for Clobber’ competition, run in partnership with Eco-Schools and Cookstown Textile Recyclers. This great method of being environmentally friendly by recycling also raises some welcome funds for the schools taking part - 40 pence/kilogramme.

Schools which collect the most textiles per pupil are in with the chance to win the annual ‘Cash for Clobber’ competition with fantastic prizes of up to £1,500. The closing date for the competition this year is 30th June 2019.

Cookstown Textile Recyclers are the only BSI certified clothing recycling company that Eco-Schools recommends. Clothing collected is redistributed to developing countries around the world or recycled into industrial fibers.

Schools who would like to get involved are asked to call the Cash for Clobber Team on 028 9447 8880.

Eco-Teacher of the Year - Nominations now open!

Niamh Nic Cana   Tue 11 Sep 2018   updated: Tue 18 Sep 2018

Does your school have an Eco-Warrior? Maybe a green-thumbed, all round environmental hero in your school staff team?

Why not nominate a teacher in your school that is doing outstanding work in this area?

How to enter:

Pupils can submit a nomination in the form of a poem, letter, storyboard, essay, photos, video or whatever way you think best answers the question. Entries must be no more than 100 words to explain why their teacher should be “Eco-Teacher of the Year 2019”.

This competition is open to all schools. One entry per school. The deadline for the competition is the Friday 1st February 2019.

Email entries to: eco-schools@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org or post them to Eco-Schools, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Bridge House, 2 Paulett Avenue, Belfast, BT5 4HD.

If you want some inspiration here is the winning nomination for last years Primary Eco-Teacher of the Year!

St John's Primary School. Derry from Eco-Schools Northern Ireland on Vimeo.