Patrick Brophy

Climate change is affecting our local and national school communities in many ways. Growing up I never recall school being closed for adverse weather conditions. In the last three years alone we have had several incidents of extreme weather (Big Freeze, Hurricane Ophelia), this seems to be almost an annual event now! Our school is located close to the Royal canal. The canal has a magnificent cycleway that is prone to flooding events regularly, which again only seem to be more common and growing in severity. Many of our students are affected, particularly those who are doing their best to ditch the car and cycle to school using a fantastic, safe amenity. When in Australia last year I saw something both interesting and shocking. The local bay had sea level indicators showing where the water would be by 2050 (google search Sydney harbour sea level indicator) and it is a grave prediction with entire local facilities under threat, the same applies to many of our coastal towns in Ireland.

On that note, in my classroom we could do an action project in the local area showing the affect of climate change on the local canal.

We have tried to make a sustainable push in our school by doing some simple yet practical events. Aside from those actions already mentioned, These are three small but impactful ideas that we are doing to combat climate change in our school;

Jersey Swap- Holding a jersey swap day where older students bring in their sports clothes they no longer need or have grown out of.

Great Big Book Swap- Every student brings in a much loved book (or 5!) and tables are set up for students, the can then choose a new book to bring home (a great alternative to expensive book fairs)

Keep Cup Coffee Mornings- School is no longer providing tea / coffee paper cups for coffee mornings and the expectation on parents is that they bring their own keep cups. This has been a huge success.

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