We are delighted to confirm that, despite Covid-19, our Green-Schools Programme is continuing this year with our new and exciting theme ‘Global Citizenship – Litter and Waste’. We take great pride in the many successes we have had as part of the Green-Schools Programme at Ballagh National School, and this year will be no different! We will be enjoying lots of Green-Schools activities over the next number of months as we get stuck into our new theme.
So, what does ‘Global Citizenship – Litter and Waste’ mean and involve?
We will start by reminding ourselves what ‘citizenship’ means. Most of us are citizens of Ireland and, among many other things, this means that we have the right to vote and the right to free speech. However, we also have the responsibilities that come with being a citizen, such as the responsibility to pay our taxes and to obey the laws set by our government. Citizenship is more than this however. It also refers to our social and moral behaviour. As citizens, we are expected to exercise our rights and respect the rights of others. Citizens are encouraged to get involved in trying to improve the quality of life for everyone in the community. This is referred to as active citizenship.
Global citizenship is more difficult to explain as there are no clear global rules and regulations and we do not have a global government to make global laws. We do, however, share the globe with all of its citizens! Global Citizenship, therefore, is more of an understanding of our responsibilities and our rights in a global community. Being a true global citizen means that we understand that all people have equal rights, while at the same time we value difference and diversity. It also means that we value the earth as being very precious, and as a resource upon which we all depend and should care for.
The ‘Global Citizenship – Litter and Waste’ theme is all about creating knowledge and understanding about the links between destroying the environment and human rights. We will be learning all about what is called ‘sustainable development’ and the 17 sustainable development goals and targets, adopted by the United Nations, to outline a vision for the future, for people and for the planet. It is believed that these goals and targets have the power to achieve three great things – (1) end poverty, (2) fight inequality, and (3) stop climate change. We will also be examining how global citizens depend on each other and how the world is being developed. We will examine all of these things in a critical way so that we can create real change by acting locally, effecting a more equitable, just and sustainable globe for all.
We have already started work on our new theme by learning about things like litter, waste and recycling over the last number of weeks. To move things along, we have decided to hold an Action Day on Thursday, the 18th of March. On that day, both the Junior Room and the Senior Room will be doing many activities, including recyclable junk art – clothing and pictures!
As part of our new theme, we will need a new ‘Green Code’. You might remember that the Green Code sets out the aims of the school and shows the school’s commitment to environmentally friendly actions. This year, the Green Code will have to be a statement of the school’s commitment to environmentally friendly actions, on a global scale! The following examples have been put together by other schools involved in the ‘Green Schools – Litter and Waste’ theme this year:
“Be fair to the planet and its human race, and everything else will fall into place”
“Global Warming’s really mean, hit it back with lots of green, plant some trees and grow a daisy, save the world and don’t be lazy!”
As we prepare for our Green-Schools Action Day, we are going to hold a competition to find the best Green Code that Ballagh National School pupils can come up with! So, get your thinking caps on, and come up with your own Green Code for our new theme by Tuesday, the 16th of March. Have fun!