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Ambassador Eco-Schools

St Mary's Primary School, Draperstown.

What does it mean to be an Ambassador Eco-School?

Being an Ambassador Eco-School is recognition that you are an inspirational flagship Eco-School, with exceptional levels of pupil leadership and whole school support which ensures sustainability is embedded in the school ethos. As an Ambassador Eco-School you will have successfully delivered a change in the culture of the school and will be able to demonstrate successful pupil and community interaction.

The role is undertaken by outstanding Green Flag schools for three years. An Ambassador Eco-School will still be expected to renew their Green Flag every two years as normal.

Essential criteria for Ambassador Eco-Schools

These are the criteria that an Ambassador Eco-School will have covered:

  1. The school to have been awarded Green Flag status at least twice preferably within four consecutive years (a small gap in renewing may be allowed for exceptional circumstances)
  2. The school is currently working with or involving the wider community with their Eco-Schools work (for example, working with another school, having a community member on the Eco-Committee, visiting a local business to share ideas, working with a local community/conservation group to improve the quality of the local environment)
  3. Sustainability is embedded in the curriculum and evidenced in lesson plans (for example, there are displays around school, examples of classroom work and curriculum planning available)
  4. Sustainability is core to the school's culture, evidenced in the School Development Plan, endorsed by the Schools Senior Management Team and Governors, and pupils take the lead engaging the whole school community
  5. The school communicates at least once per term to parents and the wider community advocating sustainable good practice
  6. The school is litter free

Desirable criteria for Ambassador Eco-Schools

These are areas that it would be beneficial for Ambassador Eco-Schools to have covered:

  1. The school is involved with other Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful programmes and campaigns (for example Big Spring Clean, Adopt a Spot, local Green Flag Award Park, local Blue Flag beach)
  2. The school has established robust or unique ways to monitor impact and implement  targets, involving all pupils and staff team members (for example data recorded and displayed for the whole school to view, staff are aware of and take part in reducing consumption)
  3. The school engages with their feeder/local Primary and Secondary schools to support their Eco-Schools progression (for example, the Eco-Committee meets with other Eco-Committees, there is evidence of development or sharing of ideas)

The Role of an Ambassador Eco-School

As well as continuing as an excellent Green Flag school an Ambassador Eco-School will be held up as an example of good practice in the Eco-Schools programme. The school would be promoted as an example of good practice on our website, social media, at training and events. If possible (subject to the school’s availability) it would be ideal to have Ambassador Eco-Schools at events such as Cluster Group meetings, project celebrations and larger events such as the Eco-Schools 20th Anniversary Celebration. At these events Ambassador Eco-Schools may be asked to present or share ideas with other Eco-Schools.

Ambassador Eco-Schools will work with other non-Green Flag Eco-Schools to help them along the in Eco-Schools programme, in a mentoring role, with help, advice and sharing of useful hints and tips.

Ambassador Eco-Schools will create a report on their time as an Ambassador in the form of a case study, photographic or video dairy which can be shared with other schools through the Eco-Schools website.

An Ambassador Eco-School will continue to support other Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful initiatives and campaigns where possible and appropriate.

The Ambassador Eco-School will receive a certificate plaque to display in the school promoting its position as an example of excellence. An Eco-Schools project officer will be available to guide and assist you with your Ambassador Eco-School role.

The next step

If you believe you are eligible to be an Ambassador Eco-School and would like to be considered or if you would like more information about the process please contact Garry McKinney on 028 9073 6920 or email garry.mckinney@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org 

Current Ambassador Eco-Schools:

Ballycraigy Primary School, Antrim

Downpatrick Nursery School, Downpatrick

Fair Hill Primary School, Dromore

Fairview Primary School, Ballyclare

St Mary's Primary School, Draperstown

Ulidia Integrated College, Carrickfergus

Cumran Primary School, Clough

Jones Memorial Primary School, Enniskillen

Mill Strand Integrated Primary School, Portrush

St Bronagh's Primary School, Rostrevor

St Colm's High School, Draperstown

St Columba's Primary School, Clady

St Columba's Primary School, Straw, Draperstown

St Francis' Primary School, Lurgan

Waringstown Primary School, Lurgan

McClintock Primary School, Omagh

Kilronan School, Magherafelt

St Ita's Primary School, Belfast

Forge Integrated Primary School, Belfast

Down High School, Downpatrick