Module 5 – Climate Change

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    • #193506
      Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
      Course Facilitator

      Reflect on how Climate Change is impacting on your own local area and how you would engage your pupils to explore this further. Suggest three actions that you can do to make the world a better place and slow down climate change.

      Post a reflective piece (150 words min) on how you would do this in your classroom to this forum as a reply to this post.

      Please Note: Participants who use Word to write their assignments and then copy and paste these into the forum may find that additional extraneous formatting is brought across. To avoid this, either right click in the post window and choose ‘Paste as Plain Text’ or use the keyboard shortcut cmd+shift+v. Alternatively, you can first paste the content into Notepad (Or similar) and then copy it from here to the topic window.

    • #194226
      Siobhan Rooney
      Participant

      Climate change is affecting our local area in many ways. I live near the River Dodder and due to excess rainfall due to climate change, Dublin City Council is looking to clean the rainwater flow off the roads before it gets to the river. The project is called rainscapes. I also am also from an area where climate change has impacted my local community through increased flooding. I have seen first hand how devasting these floods can be to the local area. The children could become more involved in combatting climate change by exploring how we can keep our local Dodder River clean and become more environmentally friendly. With the green school committee, we have organised a local clean up of our own locality. The children get really involved in this and it helps to promote community spirit and environmental awareness.
      Three ways we could make the world a better and slow down climate change:
      We are lucky to have a small school garden. We could encourage greater biodiversity here by planting pollen friendly plants and flowers.
      We could reduce, reuse and recycle more within our school community.
      We can encourage less transportation to and from school. Children can be encouraged to walk/ cycle to school. We have done this in the past and it has been very effective in encouraging children to rethink how they travel to and from school each day.
      In my own classroom, I teach 3<sup>rd</sup> class and we could easily focus on these three steps above and promote lessons on biodiversity in our local area. https://www.biodiversityinschools.com/pollinator-project.html has some great ideas for promoting biodiversity in the classroom.

      • #198190
        Niamh Mc Hugh
        Participant

        I think the rainscapes project sound like a fantastic opportunity for the children in you school to become involved in and see first hand the effects of climate change in your local area. I like the step you have come up with also for the children to take part in as these are very realistic and achievable for children of all ages and which will give them important and sustainable life skills for the future.

      • #198818
        Robert Cheevers
        Participant

        Climate change has affected our local area through the levels of rainfall and the intensity of the storms in recent years. As a result, there has been more frequent and intense river flooding. This has had negative effects on water quality. This has also resulted in changes in distribution of plant and animal species. Pollution to rivers and lakes which has affected fish and sea life.

        I engage pupils to explore further by doing project work on climate change effects on our local area. They could do primary and secondary research on water quality by doing scientific tests on the quality of our water by using scientific tools and resources. They could research news reports and information from the internet on water quality and the effects this has not just on drinking water but the effects on other animals and plants in our community.

        The 3 suggestions I would do to slow down climate change and make the world better are as follows:

        I would encourage families to walk and be cycling to school. The negative effects on climate change by cars is tangible. Too many children are driven to school even though they live within walking distance.

        Next suggestions is to reuse rather than recycle. Ban the use of plastic bottles in school – children would use titanium bottles given by the school so they can be reused daily for the school year.

        The final suggestion is to ban glitter which is microplastic. I know children love using glitter, but teachers should educate them on the negative effects of microplastics in our rivers and oceans killing sea life.

        I would lesson 4 from module 5 or something similar to it focusing on energy consumption. We would do a mind map session on how to save energy at home and then at school. The ways of saving energy are discussed. Then similar to lesson 4 put children into groups representing several countries on how they could save energy related to agriculture and manufacturing. The groups will get facts and information from the internet on their level of energy consumption and C)2 emissions. Finally with the plenary we would discuss ways we as a class can make changes to our behaviour in schools to reduce energy consumption and cut CO2 emissions.

      • #202747
        Sinead Moore
        Participant

        I think glitter is an art supply we all use to decorate with in the classroom. I myself have never really thought further than that so thank you for highlighting that it is a microplastic!

      • #202417
        Joanna Hughes
        Participant

        I have gone down a rabbit hole looking at this rainscapes project, very interesting thank you for sharing this!

      • #204729
        Éadaoin Garrigan
        Participant

        Hi Siobhan, the rainscapes project sounds very interesting and is something I was not aware of until now. Discussing this project with children would provide them with a very practical and effective manner to see how climate change can be reduced in the local community.

    • #194516
      Marese Heavin
      Participant

      I am fortunate in that I have never seen or witnessed first hand the effects of flooding as you have. I can only imagine how destructive and damaging floods are to homes and belongings. Involving the children in the rainscapes is life learning for them. Learning to be prepared, to know what to do and also to be prepared for the aftermath.

    • #194524
      Marese Heavin
      Participant

      Climate change does not specifically affect my local area in the way other participants may experience. For me climate change is only evident in our weather and seasons. Again, because I live in a small rural area, we do not have the same opportunities for climate change as other areas do. In saying that, my class would do well to cover the topics in the 5 lessons as outlined in this module. This would make for wonderful learning for them. To learn of the causes and impacts of climate change, to learn about renewable and non renewable energy would provide them with the knowledge going forward into the world of Secondary school and beyond. The opportunities for linkage and integration are varied and therefore demonstrate to the children that climate change is in every part of the world and we should be conscious of it in our daily lives. The case studies are excellent and would bring climate change to real life situations and enable the children to hear and see what children in other parts of the world have to live with. Learning about the energy we use daily I feel will surprise the children. Like water usage in an earlier module, I feel the children will get quite a shock.

      Three actions that I and indeed my pupils could do to make the world a better place:

      1- recycle properly

      2- walk or cycle to school rather than taking the car

      3- Turn off lights and power eg the interactive white board, when not in use.

       

       

      • #196665
        Robert Cheevers
        Participant

        Climate change has affected our local area through the levels of rainfall and the intensity of the storms in recent years. As a result, there has been more frequent and intense river flooding. This has had negative effects on water quality. This has also resulted in changes in distribution of plant and animal species. Pollution to rivers and lakes which has affected fish and sea life.
        engage pupils to explore further by doing project work on climate change effects on our local area. They could do primary and secondary research on water quality by doing scientific tests on the quality of our water by using scientific tools and resources. They could research news reports and information from the internet on water quality and the effects this has not just on drinking water but the effects on other animals and plants in our community.
        The 3 suggestions I would do to slow down climate change and make the world better are as follows:
        I would encourage families to walk and be cycling to school. The negative effects on climate change by cars is tangible. Too many children are driven to school even though they live within walking distance.
        Next suggestions is to reuse rather than recycle. Ban the use of plastic bottles in school – children would use titanium bottles given by the school so they can be reused daily for the school year.
        The final suggestion is to ban glitter which is microplastic. I know children love using glitter but teachers should educate them on the negative effects of microplastics in our rivers and oceans killing sea life.
        I would lesson 4 from module 5 or something similar to it focusing on energy consumption. We would do a mind map session on how to save energy at home and then at school. The ways of saving energy are discussed. Then similar to lesson 4 put children into groups representing several countries on how they could save energy related to agriculture and manufacturing. The groups will get facts and information from the internet on their level of energy consumption and C)2 emissions. Finally with the plenary we would discuss ways we as a class can make changes to our behaviour in schools to reduce energy consumption and cut CO2 emissions.

      • #199110
        Grainne Murphy
        Participant

        Hi Marese,

        I like the very simple but pratical and effective actions that you have outlined above !

    • #194585

      In my area it is clear that climate change has had a severe impact on the environment as problems regarding flooding and rising seas levels affect our city and its suburbs. Our pupils have witnessed how this has impacted business and the wider economy. It is a topic often touched on throughout the primary curriculum, rising temperatures but I believe it should be more action driven and children need to be encouraged to explore their capabilities as young people growing up in a world experiencing both flooding severe drought, in tackling this issue.

      In order to slow down climate change schools could re-evaluate its energy use by mobilising their Green Flag teams to monitor light usage, technology in sleep mode and heat wastage. Recycling also need to be taken more seriously, particularly the aspect of re-usage which is often undervalued in schools. A third action which could be implemented is asking pupils to carry their lunch rubbish home with them to ensure it is properly composted  and also have them bring in their own handtowels to element the use of electricity driven hand driers or paper towel usage.

      I would endeavour to use the lessons with the aim of highlighting the devastating effects of climate change across the world and also within our own locality, with a focus on its impacts on the local economy. This would make the issue more relatable to the kids and encourage a sense of stewardship as we try to remedy the errors of the past and protect the world’s future.

       

      • #194704
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Clíodhna,

        I think it’s certainly fair to say that  being able to physically see the devastating impact of climate change in communities has a profound effect on children. This ‘lived experience’ certainly provides them with the real-world examples of the damage that can be caused.

        Your suggestion about bringing in their own towels or cloths to dry hands is an excellent one. I am always shocked by the frequency at why toilet roll and blue roll is delivered to our school in such huge volumes. If all schools around the country undertook this initiative, it could have a big environmental impact, as well as seeing schools make significant financial savings.

      • #197493
        Eimear Donohoe
        Participant

        Hi Cliodhna,

        You posed some brilliant ideas for slowing doing climate change with the efforts in your school. We actually did the hand towel suggestion this year as the children were going through reams of blue paper unnecessarily on a daily basis and it actually worked really well. The green school committee in our school had gone around the rooms and looked for suggestions on what we could do to conserve energy and stop waste. They actually brought in small facecloths instead in a zip lock and kept it in their bags. We also encourage children to bring home their wastage for the reasons you suggested.

      • #207136
        Lorraine Cleary
        Participant

        Cliodhna, thanks for your post.
        In previous years I would have shown videos of effects of Climate Change in distant countries such as Thailand or earthquakes in California but showing effects of climate change in Ireland or in our own area will bring the issues more into focus. We do have one river in our area that floods and makes the bridges between housing estates inaccessible on the children’s route home. Using this and other examples from around Ireland examining the effects on everyday life will be more effective.

    • #194679
      Linda Hennessy
      Participant

      This winter in particular we saw the direct implications that the bad weather has on us as a society. We had a ‘snow day’ at school which I don’t remember happening for quite a while in our area. Driving conditions were hazardous and some children did not make it to school on the milder days. Once this snowfall started to melt, the flooding and excess water caused more problems with some minor damage to local properties. The rural bus was also unable to travel some routes and disrupted work for many, including our new families that have moved to the area and rely on the service.

      I suppose it is not a major problem compared to those of others but it is a change however. On the flip side, the summers are warmer and drier earlier on – summer of 2018 was an exception to all the rules and we enjoyed weeks of unnaturally good weather for weeks on end. This was great for our lifestyles and summer enjoyment but terrible for the styles of farming popular in the country. Arid, barren conditions made for a few stressful weeks as farmers worried for their crops and animals. It was a learning curve too as measures were put in place in the eventuality that this should happen again.

      Three ways I would encourage my pupils to make the world a better place would be:

      1. Further development of the school garden to foster a love of growing fruit,  vegetables and plants.

      2. Use less plastics – both at home and at school, starting by using reusable water bottles as our consumption of single use plastic bottles is high.

      3. be more aware of our energy consumption. The children could take it in turns to monitor the use of lights, speakers and Smart board when not in use.

      • #197873
        Ann Gaughan
        Participant

        Prior to covid, we encouraged children to bring in their own facecloths in a sandwich bag. it worked very well. A small few didn’t bring in the cloths , a small few never brought them home to get washed and the rest used them very well.

        Covid didnt allow us to continue with these practises as we felt it was more important that all children washed/ dried thei hands properly…so now we are back tot he over excessive use of blue towel!! I dont know how we could go back to face cloths after promoting the correct procedure for washing hands..Unless the children brought them home daily to wash them / swap them, then its not going to be a runner for us, im afraid!

      • #199425
        Celine Glynn
        Participant

        The facecloths seem like a great idea but unfortunately it would probably become unhygienic. Aldi sometimes do the reusable wipes. I wonder would it be cheaper and more environmentally friendly to wash these in school (we have a washing machine in our kitchen) and airdry daily? It would save a huge amount of blue paper waste. There would be a huge cost to begin with in buying these though.

      • #200373
        Kathleen Murphy
        Participant

        Hi Linda,

        I like your idea of having a garden in the school, we have this in our school and find that the children love it. They are excited and eager to check on how their veg is growing. It is an excellent way to get the children interested in gardening and also a way to promote healthy eating. Each class is responsible for a different area and all take pride in their patch.

      • #206371
        Jamie Owens
        Participant

        Hi Linda,

        Some very useful and simple ideas there that are very effective and impactful that all children should be able to follow.

    • #194718
      Mikey Flanagan
      Participant

      Climate change is having visible impacts on my local area in Dublin. We are experiencing more frequent and intense storms, coastal erosion, and changing weather patterns. To engage my pupils in exploring this further, I would:
      Conduct local climate change studies: Encourage students like we did last year to investigate the effects of climate change in our area through research projects. They can analyze temperature data, study the impact on local ecosystems, and interview experts to gain a deeper understanding. Organize community initiatives: Engage students in hands-on activities that address climate change. This could include tree planting, beach clean-ups, or creating awareness campaigns within the school and local community. We began this last term and it would be great to get schools in are area invovled.
      Integrate climate change into the curriculum: Incorporate climate change topics into various subjects, such as science, geography, literacy, art and PE. This would provide students with a holistic perspective on the issue and empower them to think critically about solutions. To make the world a better place and slow down climate change, students can take actions like reducing their carbon footprint by conserving energy and water, promoting recycling and waste reduction, and advocating for sustainable practices within their families and communities.

      • #195141
        Conor Beirne
        Participant

        Thats an interesting way using climate change through a thematic approach Mikey. Good using it through Art, PE, Geography ect. giving children opportunities in school to learn and be pro active when it comes to climate change. Research projects are also a great idea !

    • #195090
      Darerca Egan
      Participant

      Working in a coastal town in Leinster, the impact of climate change in the locality is very real and very evident, namely on-going threat of erosion and flooding in the area.  A rise in local sea levels has brought about more forceful waves, which in turn has resulted coastal erosion.  This impact has been especially prevalent over the past two decades.  Parts of the beach have been eroded by 30 metres and a cliff walk has had to close because of the part collapse of the footpath. A study has identified an increased risk of flooding, with some 298 houses were at risk.  However more alarming was the potential of the loss of 46 properties along the local coastline.

      From either a geographical or historical viewpoint, the pupils could gather, collate and sequence pictures of the changing coastline.  Older children could use primary sources and interview relatives who grew up in the area about their memories of the beach.

      Both as an individual and a school we can help impede Climate change by making small changes

      • choosing alternative transport methods to travel to school – Walk on Wednesday has been a long standing initiative promoted within the school. Really the message where possible should be – walk everyday!
      • Replace clingfilm in lunchboxes with beeswax food wraps.  Single use plastics have all but disappeared from our school, with almost all children and staff using refillable water bottles
      • Being more aware of the volume of photocopying used in classrooms.  As a Green School, we moved away from sending out hard copy notices a number of years ago. The majority of school communication is electronic.

       

      • #203269
        Yvonne Newman
        Participant

        Reducing the amount of photocopying is a very practical strategy . It is a shame when you come uponu  the photocopier and the amount of coloured resources being printed . It’s a shame the amount of paper we use . The DES are disencouraging the use of books and workbooks but I feel these are far more environmentally friendly than printing off vast amounts of worksheets . I also notice that copies are not being used as much as pupils seem to be recording their work on worksheets which again is using more photocopying .

    • #195138
      Conor Beirne
      Participant

      In Dublin where I teach, climate change is impacting our local community through extreme weather events and rising temperatures. To engage my primary school pupils, I would use a multi-faceted approach for these three actions. Firstly, interactive lessons and discussions would help them understand local climate impacts. Secondly, hands-on activities like creating a school garden and tree-planting would foster a connection with nature. Lastly, energy audits and promoting responsible energy usage would involve the wider community and instill sustainable habits. Through education, practical activities, and community involvement, we can empower students to take meaningful action against climate change. Together, we can advocate for sustainability, reduce our carbon footprint, and build a greener and more resilient future for Dublin and beyond.

      • #196134
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Conor,

        Teaching in Dublin provides you with a unique opportunity to look at climate change and actions to prevent it from a ‘city’ lens. The planting of trees is obviously very suitable, but space may not allow for a huge amount to be planted in certain locations. There is potential for raising awareness through surveys of the modes of transport for getting to school, etc. The Guards can be contacted to bring students on ‘safe cycles’ around public roads. It’s something we do each year (albeit in a ‘suburban’ setting), and there is a marked increase in the amount of children cycling after this. It also gives parents more peace of mind that they are safer in these scenarios.

      • #196226
        Hugh Rooney
        Participant

        I like your idea of a school garden Conor. In my previous school we had a very small school garden which was used to great affect. The children planted vegetables and we had great fun making ‘chips’ from the potatoes we grew

      • #198922
        Julie Murphy
        Participant

        I agree with you Conor. The school garden is a fantastic idea. Every child can get involved in growing vegetables and fruit. It is a great way to get everyone involved and it is wonderful to see the fruit and vegetables grow.

      • #202744
        Sinead Moore
        Participant

        The idea of the school garden is fantastic Conor. We had that in my previous school and it provided so many learning opportunities. The older students were planting while the infants went on regular walks of the area to spot seasonal changes and stages of growth. A great facility for all ages!

    • #195146
      Padraic Waldron
      Participant

      It is important for students to understand how climate change is affecting their local area. Firstly, having open discussions about climate change and its effects on our local area would help raise awareness. We could dig into weather data, check out local reports, and share real stories to see how it’s affecting us here in Dublin. This will help make children realize that we need to do something about it.

      To really get them engaged, they could go on trips around our area to witness climate impacts firsthand, like coastal erosion or changes in local ecosystems. It’ll help them connect the dots between what’s happening globally and right here in our own area.

      In the classroom, I could assign research projects on climate-related topics specific to Dublin. They could then present their findings in presentations or digital media, so they could educate others and spread the word.

      Having gained a knowledge about climate change, three things the school community could do to help combat it are:

      1. Reduce our carbon footprint

      2. Share knowledge and speak out for change

      3. Plant trees in our local community to help make it a greener area.

      • #195212
        Aoife Coen
        Participant

        Greta idea about going out to explore the impact of costal erosion in the area Padraic. They would love that and would be very effective.

      • #196135
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Padraic,

        Like Conor above, working in a Dublin school allows you to look at and tackle this issue in slightly different ways. One thing which I find useful in terms of ‘investigating and experimenting’ is to look at the air-quality index that can be found on many reputable sites. Locations across Ireland and cities globally could be tracked over a period of time. Projects can then look at the reasons for poor/good air quality and measures that can be put in place to address this. Having the research done adds an extra layer of relevance to the project and one that has worked well in the past.

      • #197053

        Trips to see the impact of coastal erosion in the locality is an excellent idea and really highlights to the pupils the effects it is having at a local level. This can then be built on when we return to the classroom by focusing on coastal erosion at a global level and comparing the two provides an opportunity for an excellent discussion.

    • #195205
      Sean Finlay
      Participant

      Like many of the comments above, climate change is already impacting my local area in a variety of ways over the last number of years. I am fortunate to live inland so I have not been affected by coastal or river flooding but effects such as water shortages during the Summer for households and businesses, water quality warnings, and more intense storms and rainfall have certainly affected certain groups such as farmers in my local area.

      I think many of the forum posts are brilliant ideas to encourage pupils to explore the issue of climate change further and I believe having frank and open conversations about climate change is very important without inducing eco-anxiety. I think this can be achieved by looking at news reports of climate change locally and nationally, investigating changes in local habitats and ecosystems, and completing a river walk to learn about flooding.

      Three actions that our class could do to make the world a better place and slow down climate change include:

      1. Use alternative modes of transport to get to school and preferably more environmentally-friendly methods such as walking, cycling, and buses. If not possible, children and parents should look to car-pool where feasible to reduce the amount of cars on the road, reduce traffic congestion, and lower harmful carbon emissions.

      2. Children should be more aware of energy consumption and waste. Simple steps such as turning off the lights after them, not leaving the sink on for longer than necessary, and reducing food waste can have really positive effects.

      3. Finally, through collaboration with the Green Schools Committee, the class and school can engage in actions to improve the local environment such as litter-picking, planting fruit, vegetables, and trees, and growing plants.

      • #195651
        Niamh Brady
        Participant

        Hi Sean I’d highly recommend the Picker Pals Programme to get actively involved with litter picking in your local area. I did it this year with my class and it was a great success. Places are limited and registration is open now for the next academic year:

        https://airtable.com/shrtjv7Jrt96wIiaW

        It connects schools with their community for a joint sense of purpose!

        Home

      • #197028
        Patrick Curran
        Participant

        Thanks for sharing the Picker Pals resources, Niamh. I had heard of Picker Pals before but never really looked into it. What a great way of encouraging children to take pride in their local area and to motivate them to get involved.

      • #206901
        Sarah Farrell
        Participant

        thank you so much for sharing this resource. i will definitely look into this for my school.

      • #196260
        Sam Briggs
        Participant

        I really like the idea of planting fruit and vegetables in the school, Sean. Simple but the kids would definitely love it! In relation to showing news reports on climate change, I often put on News2Day for my class when they eat, and it regularly has sections on climate change and show schools who are implementing strategies to combat it. The kids really enjoy watching it!

      • #206908
        Sarah Farrell
        Participant

        I also agree that planting fruit and vegetables is simple and fun. It is also linked with wellbeing which is nice for integration

    • #195208
      Aoife Coen
      Participant

      Climate change is not having a very obvious impact on my local area except for what I would call more severe winters, a lot more treacherous mornings driving through the hills of Donegal with frost, ice and snow. I don’t remember it as bad when I was a child. I could investigate this with the children more by taking and recording temperatures and conditions over a three year period to see if there is a decline or improvement or any pattern at all.

      The Green Flag initiative is fantastic way for the entire school community to be more aware of our environment and the way we cations affect it.

      Three ways I feel we could reduce climate change include:

      1. Not requesting children to purchase new twistables each year. Not sure about others but my house is coming down with twistables with new packs bought each year despite probably only needing a small few specific colours to be replaced. The amount of plastic waste in those alone!
      2. Reduce our carbon footprint by encouraging walk to school on cycle on Thursdays more than twice a week.
      3. Look at buying products that don’t use unnecessary packaging.

       

      • #195271
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Aoife,

        Thanks for sharing your experiences here. I can only imagine how treacherous the conditions are on winter mornings. I agree with you in terms of not remembering weather conditions like we are currently experiencing when I was younger – what strikes me now is the ‘extremes’ we are getting – temperatures not rising above 0 degrees for a week in winter and temperatures not falling below 20 degrees for a week in May!

        You have chosen 3 simple, but effective ways of making a difference locally. If measures like these were undertaken on a widespread basis, there’s a real chance that there would be greater widespread public awareness of the need for further action .

      • #195423
        Ailbhe Harding
        Participant

        Hi Aoife,

        I agree with you – I don’t remember the seasons to be as extreme when I was a child compared to now. I can count the among of snow days we had as children, whereas now they are becoming far more frequent!

        Encouraging the students to reuse their Twistables is a great idea. There can be a lot of pressure on parents to provide brand new resources every year so I feel that this would be something that would not only help the environment, but would also alleviate a lot of stress at home.

      • #204767

        Aoife, I can totally relate to the twistable saga! Our house is full of twistables!!!

    • #195417
      Ailbhe Harding
      Participant

      While I am teaching in Dublin, I am originally from Galway and the impacts of climate change over the last number of years have been very evident in my local community. Flooding has been a relatively regular occurrence from both rainfall and along coastal areas. Websites such as https://coastal.climatecentral.org/map/ show shocking predictions for how the coastal landscape of Ireland will be impacted by rising sea levels by 2050. While I feel that showing these websites in school would alarm and worry the children, I think that it is an eye-opening resource for us as adults and certainly makes the possible outcomes of climate change at a local level very real.

      On a small practical level, some of the activities that I would encourage the children to implement in order to slow down climate change would be:

      1. Use the school Chromebooks to research the meaning of climate change and what we can do to help. This would ensure that there is no misinformation and would highlight to the children that small changes make a big impact. They could then design posters or informational pamphlets to pass around the school to educate others on what they can do in the classroom or at home to make a positive changes.

      2. Walk or cycle to school instead of drive. The majority of our students live in close proximity to the school. It would be nice to organise weekly initiatives such as “Walking Wednesday” to encourage them to be more aware of travelling to school by foot rather than by car.

      3. Recycle. Ensure that the recycling bins in school are clearly labelled so that there is no misunderstanding. Older children could hold workshops with younger classes to explain the importance of recycling and to play games to teach them which materials can be recycled.

       

       

       

    • #195426
      Susan McMahon
      Participant

      In our school, we have been noticing the effects of climate change, mainly through the different weather patterns we have been seeing. There have been strong winds and heavy rain storms, as well as an extremely hot June. It is important to discuss the effects of climate change with the children during these weather events. They made their own rain gauges, and compared data recorded from previous years.

      The children are also involved in reducing their carbon footprint by switching off the lights when they leave a room and making sure the whiteboard and laptops are not left on standby. We also encouraged a walk to school week, and we try to avoid as much plastic waste as possible, i.e. with reusable water bottles.

      Finally, we could try (again!) to cut down on the amount of photocopies that we use. Last year we changed from a printed newsletter to an electronic version, and I would like to see more electronic methods of communication being used.

      • #195584
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Susan,

        I think so many of us here will share your thoughts and memories of an extremely hot May/June. Being in a small, prefabricated building with 28 5th class boys is not exactly a learning environment that is conducive of productivity!

        Your point regarding photocopying is extremely relevant – schools are likely to be one of the guiltiest workplaces in terms of wasted paper use. I was speaking to a deputy principal in a secondary school last year who had gone 1:1 with digital devices and were 100% paperless. They were saving €20,000 each year on paper alone (extras for ink, maintenance, etc.). The environmental and cost benefits will surely see more schools place tighter limits of the amount of photocopying being done.

      • #203919
        Pauline Cahill
        Participant

        Our school is similar to Susan’s in that the children are very aware of their own carbon footprint already and try to do small things to help. The Green Flag and other initiatives are very helpful in raising awareness in the school. They are also aware of campaigners like Greta Thunberg and have related more to her because of her age. Encouraging children to be active in climate change at this age should hopefully follow through as they get older.

    • #195647
      Niamh Brady
      Participant

      Climate change is indeed having a significant impact on Ireland, affecting various aspects of its environment, economy, and society. Here are some ways in which Ireland is experiencing the effects of climate change:

      • Extreme Weather Events: Ireland is witnessing an increase in extreme weather events such as storms, heavy rainfall, and flooding. These events can lead to property damage, displacement, and disruptions to transportation and infrastructure.

      • Rising Sea Levels: As global temperatures rise, so do sea levels. This poses a threat to Ireland’s coastal regions, including cities like Dublin, Galway, and Cork. Rising sea levels can result in coastal erosion, loss of habitats, and increased vulnerability to storm surges.

      • Changes in Agriculture: Ireland’s agriculture sector is being affected by climate change. Shifts in temperature and rainfall patterns can impact crop yields, livestock health, and overall agricultural productivity. Additionally, changes in climate can affect the timing of planting and harvesting seasons.

      To engage pupils in exploring climate change further you can:

      • Teach students about the causes, impacts, and potential solutions. Use a variety of resources such as documentaries, articles, and interactive activities to engage students and encourage critical thinking.

      • Encourage students to take part in practical activities that raise awareness and promote sustainable practices. This could include organising school-wide initiatives like recycling programs, energy-saving campaigns, or establishing a school garden to learn about sustainable food production.

      • Engage students in local environmental issues and encourage them to take action within their communities. This could involve organising a community cleanup event, participating in local climate change protests or initiatives, or inviting guest speakers who work on climate change-related projects to share their experiences.

      To make the world a better place and slow down climate change you could:

      • Encourage sustainable practices among your pupils and within your community. Teach them about energy conservation, recycling, reducing waste, and using public transportation or carpooling. Small actions like turning off lights, unplugging devices, and minimising water usage can collectively make a significant impact.

      • Educate students about the benefits of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Encourage them to advocate for renewable energy initiatives and raise awareness about the importance of transitioning from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives.

      • Engage students in activities that promote afforestation and conservation efforts. Encourage tree-planting initiatives, participate in local conservation projects, and teach students about the importance of preserving biodiversity and ecosystems.

      We noticed a huge increase in littering around our town so this year we engaged in the Picker Pals Programme. It has had a positive impact in the area. Members of the community have stopped when we’ve been litter picking and commended the students on their efforts. By incorporating education, practical involvement, and community engagement, we can inspire the next generation to be actively involved in addressing climate change and making a positive impact on the world.

       

    • #195666
      Niamh Hanlon
      Participant

      The impact of climate change in my area is mainly more severe weather events such as snow and storms which have led to a number of school closures in recent years. It would be interesting to explore these weather events in more detail with the children as case studies and to research similar events in history. This could be a nice thematic project incorporating SESE, data in maths, art, musical sound scapes etc.

      Primary school children can play a significant role in taking action against climate change including the following ways:

      1. Raising awareness: Students could raise awareness about climate change in their community by arranging assemblies/ project showcases etc. to educate their peers, teachers and parents about the causes of climate change and actions that we can take. This in turn could inspire others and encourage more sustainable practices.

      2. Promoting sustainable practices: Children can lead by example and promote sustainable practices such as recycling, turning off lights and water conservation. Initiatives like ‘bike to work’ or ‘plastic free lunch boxes’ could encourages small changes on a school wide scale.

      3. Advocating for change: It is so important that students find their voice when it comes to important issues as well as awareness of policies. Students could write letters to principals/ council representatives/ government etc. to express views and ideas on climate action.

      • #195680
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Niamh,

        The widespread school closures that have resulted from the extreme weather events of recent years will certainly bring this into sharp focus. The fact that this is an issue in the lives of children really seems to resonate with them, and they are making small changes themselves to support this. Your suggestions are all practical and easy to implement in a classroom / whole school context. Sustainable practices are something which can be promoted on a whole-school basis. There’s scope to have some large-scale projects each year to raise awareness around your practices. Sustained work in schools can have a knock-on effect in terms of actions in the community.

      • #196156
        Michael Conway
        Participant

        I love your ideas for raising awareness and advocating for change. Being a responsible citizen and using your voice to draw attention to key issues and respectfully express them to appropriate representatives are a key responsibility that we need to nurture from a young age- social responsibility. People listen if there is action and passion behind a message. Being an advocate for a better world needs individuals who express this passion in constructive ways and empower themselves and others to make the change.

    • #195871
      Eimear Boyce
      Participant

      Having taught in a mountainous rural location, extreme weather conditions often affected the locality and school. During the harshest weather in winter it is often the case that the school will close for many days and the people in the locality become housebound. These situations use to be once every few years and now it occurs for weeks on end every year. It is important to discuss with children that these weather conditions are a direct result of climate change- it gives children a real life perspective of climate change as it is something they all experience every year.

      In school we can:

      – Raise awareness

      – join in with local organisations like our fantastic tidy towns committee

      – start a school wide initiative to reduce our carbon footprint

       

    • #196155
      Michael Conway
      Participant

      Reflect on how Climate Change is impacting on your own local area and how you would engage your pupils to explore this further. Suggest three actions that you can do to make the world a better place and slow down climate change.

      Coastal erosion is a key concern in the local area and is quite visible. Coastal road sink holes and parts of the coast falling into the sea as well as beach erosion are real concerns and have a detrimental impact to the local area as well as homes and transport links.

      Children could collect information from local newspapers and the media to explore this further. They could research the causal factors of coastal erosion and identify the ways in which this can be reduced.

      They could explore the local impact- interviewing people in the community, talking to a climate expert (invited in for a talk) and visit areas of coastal erosion (health and safety needs to be adhered to).

      Ways in which we can help:

      1. Reduce our energy wastage- turn off lights, do not leave the TV on standby, choose appropriate times to use appliances, replace old bulbs with energy efficient ones.
      2. Look at what we use for fuel at home- turn down the thermostat a little, reduce shower lengths to avoid wasting water, look at water usage- water butts and old dish water in a basin can be used to water plants etc.
      3. Reduce fast fashion- upcycle and recycle items. Reduce reliance on packaging. Buy local if possible. Walk to school if possible or car pool etc.
    • #196168
      Triona Mullally
      Participant

      <p class=”MsoNormal”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 107%; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; background: white;”> </span></p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 107%; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; background: white;”>In our school we are fortunate to have the space for a small school garden. Each class has their own raised plant bed. Different vegetables are sown in the spring and in September when the children return to school they harvest the vegetables and make soup. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”> </span>Our school recognises the importance of nurturing the mental and physical wellbeing of our pupils through outdoor learning</span>.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 107%; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; background: white;”>We can encourage less transportation to and from school. We have an initiative called WOW (Walk on Wednesdays).Children can be encouraged to walk/ cycle to school. We have done this in the past and it has been very effective in encouraging children to rethink how they travel to and from school each day.</span></p>

      <h2 style=”background: white; margin: 0cm 0cm 13.2pt 0cm;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 107%; font-family: ‘Calibri’,sans-serif; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; color: windowtext; background: white;”>As part of our green flag we focused on water conservation, its one of the</span><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 107%; font-family: ‘Calibri’,sans-serif; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; color: windowtext; mso-fareast-language: EN-IE; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;”> themes of the Green-Schools programme. Our school looked at developing awareness around water conservation and how to effectively manage this important resource in our schools and at home. The pupils in our school came up innovate on how to conserve water in our school. We filled water bottles and put them in the toilet cisterns so when the toilet is flushed not as much water is needed to fill the cistern. </span></h2>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 107%; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-language: EN-IE;”>I feel that schools are doing a huge amount of work on </span><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 107%; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; background: white;”>Climate Change and how it is impacting on our own local communities and engage with our pupils on these issues.</span></p>

    • #196225
      Hugh Rooney
      Participant

      I live in Sligo and the affects of climate change can be seen with coastal erosion along the Northwest coast, an increase in storms which causes flooding and rising sea tides. I live near strandhill beach, and the effects of climate change are evident in erosion of sand dunes and increase in flooding during winter storms. I think local communities are more aware of climate change over the past ten years and there is much greater understanding of the negative affects of climate change in local communities. To make the world a better place I would suggest that schools first become involved in local events whether that is a beach clean-up, planting trees or caring for the school garden. By first caring for the local environment, children can see first hand the positive impact this can have. I would also encourage greater recycling within our local school and community. I would also encourage children to walk or cycle to school where possible to reduce carbon emissions

      • #196247
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Hugh,

        Living in such a lovely part of the country has many benefits, but it must be heart breaking to see the impacts of coastal erosion over the years. The severe weather events we are experiencing must be eroding some of the beautiful terrain there. In terms of drawing awareness to it in primary schools, there is potential to show some old images of certain landmarks and visit them today in a ‘compare and contrast’ activity. Giving children the concrete evidence of changes that have happened/are happening in their area can be powerful. The beach clean up is a great idea in your area, and you could incorporate other lessons and learning while you’re there!

      • #196880
        Imelda Whelan
        Participant

        Hi Hugh,

        Coastal erosion and landslides are a problem along the east coast also. As a result TCD have set up a voluntary coast watch team asking coastal walkers, sea kayakers etc to logon and report new landslides.

    • #196236

      It’s important to be aware of how climate change is impacting our local area. In my area, we’re seeing more extreme weather patterns and rising sea levels that are threatening our coastline. To engage my pupils in exploring this further, I would create a project-based learning experience that would allow them to research and analyze the effects of climate change on our local area. They could present their findings through a variety of mediums, such as posters, videos, or oral presentations.

       

      To make the world a better place and slow down climate change, I would suggest the following three actions:

       

      1. Reduce our carbon footprint by consuming less and recycling more. This could include using public transportation, composting, or reducing our water usage.

       

      2. Plant more trees and support reforestation efforts. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

       

      3. Advocate for policies and regulations that support renewable energy and limit the use of fossil fuels. This could include supporting local politicians who prioritize environmental issues or attending climate change rallies and protests.

      Overall, it’s important to educate ourselves and others about the effects of climate change and take action to reduce our impact on the environment.

    • #196259
      Sam Briggs
      Participant

      The impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly evident in Dublin. Rising sea levels pose a threat to coastal communities and attractions like Bull Island. Erratic weather patterns have led to more frequent and severe storms over the last number of years, causing severe flooding and damage to my local area near the coast. These changes are not only significant from an environmental standpoint but also haveserious implications for our daily lives and the future of our city.
      To engage my pupils in exploring these climate change issues further, I would adopt an interactive and experiential approach. Our school is lucky to be right by the coast, so I would organise field trips to local environmental sites, such as the Dublin Bay Biosphere Reserve, where students can observe first-hand the impacts of climate change and engage in discussions with local experts. Our local library also regularly hosts climate change workshops for senior classes.
      To make the world a better place and slow down climate change, I would implement three actions in my classroom. Firstly, I would emphasise the importance of reducing our carbon footprint by encouraging the sustainable practices already in place in our school, such as recycling, composting, and reducing energy consumption. We have a green school committee to help implement these healthy habits. We have regular discussions on the impact of individual actions and how small changes can collectively make a significant difference. I would promote environmental activism by encouraging students to participate in local and global initiatives. We could organise campaigns to raise awareness about climate change and its effects, engaging with the wider community through workshops in the local library. I feel this could empower students to become advocates for change and encourage others to take action.
      Lastly, I would incorporate climate change education across various subjects, integrating it into the curriculum. For example, in science, we could explore the science behind climate change, including greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon cycle. In geography, we would analyse the geographical impacts of climate change on a local and wider scale. By incorporating climate change into multiple subjects, students would gain a more comprehensive understanding of the issue.

    • #196528
      Saoirse Rooney
      Participant

      I work in an urban school in Dublin. Thankfully we have not noticed huge change in my local school area. There is a tributary river to the Dodder flowing by my school and children are fascinated with it when there is increased water flow. The river is well managed but occasionally there is slight flooding in the locality. The River Dodder is a wonderful resource to help engage the children on climate change. There has been huge money invested in cycle paths and walk ways along it bringing it to the centre of many leisure activities in the community. When there has been increased rainfall we can see the devastating power of water and can imagine other communities in the world not so fortunate as our own. We have completed local studied on the wildlife and the benefit of the River Dodder.  It would be easy to discuss the effects of climate change on the River Dodder.

      I would suggest linkage with the Green Flag programme on conserving water. Many activities and surveys could in the classroom to discuss saving water in school and in their homes. This could be done in conjunction with a local study of the River Dodder incorporating History, Geography and Science. The melting of the icecaps with increased global temperatures could be linked into this water theme and the influence of it on Dublin and other vulnerable areas in the world giving children a global view on Climate Change.

    • #196635
      Aisling Corbett
      Participant

      In my local area, climate change may lead to rising temperatures, increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like heatwaves or storms, changes in precipitation patterns, and potential impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity. These changes can have consequences for agriculture, water resources, natural habitats, and overall community well-being.

      To engage pupils and explore climate change further, I would adopt the following approaches:

      Education and Awareness: I would incorporate climate change topics into the curriculum, providing age-appropriate lessons on the causes, impacts, and potential solutions. Interactive discussions, online resources, and engaging activities can help students understand the urgency of climate action and inspire them to become advocates for change.

      Local Case Studies: I would encourage students to research and analyse local climate change impacts. This could involve investigating specific environmental changes or interviewing local experts, policymakers, or community members affected by climate change. By understanding the local context, students can develop a stronger connection to the issue and explore potential actions that are relevant to their community.

      Hands-on Projects: I would encourage students to undertake hands-on projects that address climate change. This could include initiatives like reducing energy consumption in the school, implementing recycling programs, organising tree planting campaigns, or advocating for sustainable practices in their homes and local community. Students can see tangible results and develop a sense of empowerment and responsibility for creating a more sustainable future.

      Three actions that can make the world a better place and slow down climate change:

      Reduce Carbon Footprint: Encourage students to reduce their carbon footprint by adopting sustainable lifestyle choices. This includes promoting energy conservation, advocating for public transportation or carpooling, reducing waste, and choosing eco-friendly alternatives.

      Support Renewable Energy: Encourage students to advocate for and support renewable energy sources. This can involve researching and promoting renewable energy options like solar or wind power, raising awareness about their benefits, and advocating for clean energy policies at local and national levels.

      Promote Environmental Awareness and Advocacy: Foster a culture of environmental awareness and advocacy among students. Encourage them to become climate ambassadors by participating in environmental campaigns, spreading awareness through social media or local events, and supporting organisations working towards climate action.

    • #196774
      Laura Smyth
      Participant

      Living & teaching in an urban area we see the effects of climate change locally in the form of more frequent extreme weather events & change in temperatures. I could get my students more involved in exploring this by researching data relating to these issues & exploring what changes have taken place over the years. we could also learn how to record weather & do that over the course of the year and compare to figures we found in research. We could look at how extreme weather events are caused and why they have become more frequent. In general giving the students knowledge and experience of how weather happens, how it has been changed over time, what has caused the changes and what we can do to reverse these changes.
      Sone of the ways I can help make small but significant changes:

      Reduce waste: both at home & in school recycle carefully.
      Active particiaption in the schools Green schools policies around waste. Cut back on food waste at home through proper meal planning and food storage. Photocopying limits on school photocopier do people have to really think about what they are printing.

      Reduce energy consumption: using car less-walking to local shops more often, using public transport instead of always bringing car. Walk on Wednesdays/Scoot to school initiatives-encourage this with children in school. Getting my own kids to cycle/walk to school. I liked the suggestion given by someone on the forum for getting the local Garda involved to do safe cycling to school. Plugging out appliances at home at night. Energy Monitors in the class to switch off lights & whiteboard etc.

      Creating biodiversity: Planting colourful flowers to encourage bees, less mowing of the lawn or allowing a wild patch in the garden to flourish for bees. Perhaps starting a wild flower garden in school and raising the awareness of this with the children who will then raise it with their own families

      I will definitely be advocating the use of the lesson plans explored in this module in my school for the following year. I think they explain climate change to the children in a very practical way and give them all the knowledge they need to advocate for climate change without scaring them. It allows them to challenge their thoughts on how we affect the world we live in and how the people who are most marginalised are the ones most affected. I would be encouraging the children to spread their awareness afterwards possibly through a local poster campaign and writing to local & national politicians advocating for improvement in Ireland reaching its Climate Change Targets.

    • #196783
      Sarah Muldowney
      Participant

      The affects of climate change can be seen in our local area in the form or rising temperatures, extreme wind and rain, as well as rising sea levels. I think one thing that I have noticed since learning to drive is the extreme dangerous conditions that are a direct cause of climate change. These extreme conditions impact the local environment around us and it is important for children to be aware of this change in their world.

      In the classroom, I think I would educate the children on what the meaning of climate change is and what they can do as children now to help, but also in the future.

      Three actions we can take are:

      1. Reduce carbon footprint by turning off appliances.

      2. Children could create projects and speak out about climate change to younger classes about actions they can take.

      3. Recycling and upcycling – reduce fast fashion and look at ways we can reuse household/classroom waste for new purposes, even art lessons.

    • #196784
      Sarah Muldowney
      Participant

      The affects of climate change can be seen in our local area in the form or rising temperatures, extreme wind and rain, as well as rising sea levels. I think one thing that I have noticed since learning to drive is the extreme dangerous conditions that are a direct cause of climate change.

      In the classroom, I think I would educate the children on what the meaning of climate change is and what they can do as children now to help, but also in the future.

      Three actions we can take are:

      1. Reduce carbon footprint by turning off appliances.

      2. Children could create projects and speak out about climate change to younger classes about actions they can take.

      3. Recycling and upcycling – reduce fast fashion and look at ways we can reuse household/classroom waste for new purposes, even art lessons.

      • #199627
        Deirdre O’Brien
        Participant

        I completely agree, the children must be given a platform to discuss and promote what they have learned.

    • #196808
      Laura Smyth
      Participant

      Living & teaching in an urban area we see the effects of climate change locally in the form of more frequent extreme weather events & change in temperatures. I could get my students more involved in exploring this by researching data relating to these issues & exploring what changes have taken place over the years. we could also learn how to record weather & do that over the course of the year and compare to figures we found in research. We could look at how extreme weather events are caused and why they have become more frequent. In general giving the students knowledge and experience of how weather happens, how it has been changed over time, what has caused the changes and what we can do to reverse these changes.

      Sone of the ways I can help make small but significant changes:

      -reduce waste: both at home & in school recycle carefully. Active participation in the schools Green schools policies around waste. Cut back on food waste at home through proper meal planning and food storage. Photocopying limits on school photocopier do people have to really think about what they are printing.

      -reduce energy consumption: using car less-walking to local shops more often, using public transport instead of always bringing car. Walk on Wednesdays/Scoot to school initiatives-encourage this with children in school. Getting my own kids to cycle/walk to school. I liked the suggestion given by someone on the forum for getting the local Garda involved to do safe cycling to school. Plugging out appliances at home at night. Energy Monitors in the class to switch off lights & whiteboard etc.

      -creating biodiversity: Planting colourful flowers to encourage bees, less mowing of the lawn or allowing a wild patch in the garden to flourish for bees. Perhaps starting a wild flower garden in school and raising the awareness of this with the children who will then raise it with their own families.

      I will definitely be advocating the use of the lesson plans explored in this module in my school for the following year. I think they explain climate change to the children in a very practical way and give them all the knowledge they need to advocate for climate change without scaring them. It allows them to challenge their thoughts on how we affect the world we live in and how the people who are most marginalised are the ones most affected. I would be encouraging the children to spread their awareness afterwards possibly through a local poster campaign and writing to local & national politicians advocating for improvement in Ireland reaching its Climate Change Targets.

      • #197158
        Fintina Kealey
        Participant

        Hi Laura, I like your point about reducing photocopying in school and really thinking about what is purposeful and needed before just photocopying and wasting paper. I feel as teachers we often over photocopy “just in case” and then the paper never gets used. It is important as teachers that we practise what we preach.

    • #196840
      Niall Hickey
      Participant

      Climate change is indeed having a significant impact on Ireland, affecting various aspects of its environment, economy, and society. Here are some ways in which Ireland is experiencing the effects of climate change and in my local area in west Clare.  Ireland  is witnessing an increase in extreme weather events such as storms, heavy rainfall, and flooding. These events can lead to property damage, displacement, and disruptions to transportation and infrastructure.
      • Rising Sea Levels: As global temperatures rise, so do sea levels. This poses a threat to Ireland’s coastal regions, including counties like Clare and in my local area where rising sea levels have eroded all the dunes and land is being lost at a high rate near the sea. There is also lots of GAA teams training on these dunes which is effecting and loosening the sand and causing further erosion to our coastline. Rising sea levels can result in coastal erosion, loss of habitats, and increased vulnerability to storm surges. Ireland’s agriculture sector is being affected by climate change. Shifts in temperature and rainfall patterns can impact crop yields, livestock health, and overall agricultural productivity.

    • #196859
      Daniel O Donoghue
      Participant

      Like many or nearly even all participants in this course, climate change is causing more frequent and severe storms in my local area, leading to flooding and property damage. Additionally, rising temperatures and changing weather patterns are affecting local agriculture and wildlife, with flooding a regular issue when it rains for a prolonged period of time.

      I think it’s important to educate students about how climate change is affecting their local community. One way to engage pupils is to have them conduct their own research on the topic and present their findings to the class. This could include studying the impact of climate change on local flora and fauna, as well as the effects of extreme weather events on the community. Additionally, encouraging students to participate in local environmental initiatives, such as local clean-ups on the streets or rural roads or tree planting, can help them develop a sense of responsibility and ownership over the issue.

      Three actions that I could undertake are:
      1. Reduce your carbon footprint by using public transportation, biking, or walking instead of driving.
      2. Conserve energy by turning off lights and appliances when not in use, and using energy-efficient products.
      3. Support renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, and advocate for policies that promote sustainable practices.

    • #196876
      Imelda Whelan
      Participant

      <p class=”MsoNormal”>We are an urban school based on the fringe of Dublin city. One environmental change that we have noticed in recent years in the number of urban foxes that are around our school environment. Local animal experts tell me that this is as a result of reduction in food sources for foxes in rural settings that is driving them in to more residential areas where they are sourcing food from a domestic based supply. Our CCTV footage pays testimony to the larges number of foxes roaming our school grounds at night and indeed for nocturnal creatures they are frequently seen seeking food in the daytime after the children have been out to yard.
      In terms of 3 approaches that I would like to grow/establish
      We currently have a school garden where we are establishing a plant/harvest/ cook plan. I would like to continue to develop this
      I would like to focus on reducing our water usage and look at the viability of rain water harvesting
      I would like to look at reducing our overall energy usage

      • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by Imelda Whelan.
    • #197157
      Fintina Kealey
      Participant

      Climate change is evident through warmer bursts of heat in summer and wetter conditions during the winter. This aspect of climate change is having a huge impact on local farmers as the seasons are not as they traditionally were and weather has become unpredictable for growing crops and storing fodder for winter. Although some aspects of farming practices have been linked to climate change and negatively contributing, it has impacted their livelihoods as they find it difficult to grow and harvest crops with the adverse weather changes in recent years.

      Actions to slow down climate change can be done by educating children about sustainability, how to recycle in the classroom and by taking children to local recycling centres to show them how they can make this common practice in their own homes.

      Sharing lifts were possible to school for teachers who live further than walking distance from a school to act as role models for pupils. Having a green schools committee to promote a walking bus (whereby children gather at a certain point and collectively walk to school together) or WOW (walk on Wednesday) or COW(cycle on Wednesday) initiatives are also small changes which can show children how we have the power to slow down climate change.

      Encouraging Children to use reusable water bottles as part of their lunches is also a way to teach about sustainability and not using single use plastic in our daily lives where possible.

       

      • #197218
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Fintina,

        I’m sure many farmers in rural Ireland are tearing their hair out at different points of the year, as weather conditions make it extremely difficult for them to do their job. Conducting some experiments on the effect of no rainwater (or too much rainwater) on soil, crops, etc. may be useful if you knew a prolonged period of extreme weather was coming. The Green Schools committee has a huge role to play in schools in my opinion – giving children autonomy and ownership over this initiative can see greater buy-in and ensure that the message is being led and spread among the student body.

      • #198347
        Michelle O Regan
        Participant

        Climate change is impacting my local area in many ways. A physical impact that the change in climate is having on my local area is the change in weather and flooding. Flooding has become more of an issue in the recent past, and this is very clear for all to see. Areas of the town which never suffered from the ill effects of flooding are now flooded on almost an annual basis. The children could keep a record of flooding in the town and areas effected. We could study what is causing flooding to be more common and how to prevent flooding in the future. Monitoring the level of rainfall would also be an interesting task. Children from all classes could participate in the study in collating and interpreting the data.

        Slowing down climate change is not just a topic for governments and agencies, it needs to happen at local level and the children need to be encouraged to believe this.

    • #197166
      Patrick Curran
      Participant

      I recently read an article which stated that flowers are now blooming on average 1 month earlier than they did in 1987 on account of our warmer climate. This is certainly something that I have noticed locally, particularly at the outset of spring.

      As discussed by other participants, one of the other most apparent impacts of climate change in Ireland is that of the weather. Heavy rain leading to floods, extreme storms, and school closures due to snow have all become more frequent. These events are now the norm for the children that we teach, but are certainly cause for concern for those of us who have been able to track their emergence in recent years.

      There are many excellent books which introduce the topic of climate change and sustainability to children in an interactive, engaging way. One book that I have used in the past is “Michael Recycle” by Ellie Bethel. This tells the story of Michael Recycle who saves a town from drowning in rubbish, and shows the inhabitants how to recycle.

      Some relevant activities that have linked nicely with the book are:

      – Children design posters for display around the school outlining why recycling is important.

      – Children write a procedure in English showing how to correctly sort rubbish from their lunchboxes for recycling.

      – The class make a presentation at assembly about recycling and how each class can recycle effectively.

      – A school art competition to design a Recycling Hero (using recycled materials).

       

    • #197197
      Katie Doyle
      Participant

      The biggest threat caused by climate change in my area is the rising sea levels. I live in a coastal village in Dublin and recent studies by dublinclimatechnage.condema have projected that as coastal region, Dublin is also faces significant risk of sea level rise, and this would have significant impacts on the county and its infrastructure. Following recent extreme flood events and predictions of sea level rise due to climate change, Dublin City Council carried out a review of the capacity of the existing coastal flood defences to provide protection for urban areas. Dublin City Council calculates that over the last 15 years, the Average Annual Sea Level in Dublin Bay appears to be rising faster than initially projected. This, coupled with increased wave heights, tides and frequency of coastal storms, storm surges, means that coastal communities will face increased economic, social and environmental vulnerabilities if we don’t act now.

       

      I also teach in a seaside village so I think its important to educate the children about the threats climate change has to our oceans and seas.

       

      In a previous teachnet course , it focused on how to bring the subject of climate change to your classroom. Resources such as ted talks by Greta Thunberg are a great way of gathering interest with the students and allowing them to relate to another young person speaking about the topic.

      • #197219
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Katie,

        I’ve seen images and articles in recent days about the ‘marine heatwave’ that is currently happening in Irish waters. We are looking at sea temperatures that are 3-4 degrees above average for this time of the year. Given the projections you have listed in your post, this is quite worrying.

        Having so many facts and statistics is useful, as it allows students to see the impact that climate change could have on their own area as they grow up. Living near the seaside has many advantages, and getting the children invested in this field is really important, as their behaviours may have a positive impact on the wider area/community.

    • #197209
      Sam Wright
      Participant

      Climate change is undeniably impacting my own local area in Dublin. Rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and changes in precipitation patterns have become increasingly evident. These changes have consequences for our environment, economy, and overall well-being. For instance, we witness more frequent and intense heat waves, flooding, and coastal erosion.

      To engage my pupils and explore the impacts of climate change further, I would adopt a hands-on and interdisciplinary approach. Field trips to local natural areas, such as parks or coastlines, would provide tangible examples of climate change effects. This could be complemented by research projects, discussions, and guest speakers who specialise in environmental science.

      To make the world a better place and slow down climate change, I would encourage three actions among my pupils. Firstly, I would advocate for sustainable transportation by promoting walking, cycling, or public transportation instead of relying on cars. Secondly, I would emphasise the importance of conserving energy and reducing waste in our daily lives, encouraging behaviours such as turning off lights, unplugging devices, and recycling. Lastly, I would encourage my students to become conscious of fast fashion and the increase in waste it can cause.

      By instilling these practices and values in our pupils, we can collectively contribute to mitigating climate change and creating a more sustainable future for our local area and the world at large.

      • #197220
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Sam,

        The hands-on and interdisciplinary approach you have discussed sounds excellent. Allowing the children to see locations first-hand and get a ‘feel’ for the place is so important. Simply discussing rising sea-levels in isolation can be difficult for a child – however, seeing the locality and the shops, businesses, etc. on the waterfront can bring the issue to life. Going to earlier modules, we looked at global interconnectedness and the link between local issues and global issues. Allowing the children to see all the dangers and risks of climate change that are present within a short trip of their school can highlight just how relevant this ‘global’ issue is locally.

    • #197350
      Noreen Keane
      Participant

      Climate change affects everyone. Our school being in an urban area, greenhouse gas emissions impact us and also the extreme weather conditions in the last few years.

      To investigate the emissions the children could be surveyed on how they travel to school. I would get them to graph the data collected. An ‘interview’ with our lollypop lady to get her thoughts could be another component to our detective work. Satellite data and images of our locality would be central to our investigation to help identify any possible trends allowing us to make our own judgements. With this knowledge, I know, the children will lead and make a difference, however small. This would tie in with the Green Schools Programme.

      The significant weather events in the last few years and climate change could be brought to life in the classroom. Greta Thunberg is a great role model and children can identify with her. Her Ted Talk is well worth a watch. We must change and act NOW, as she says, and we as teachers must help spread that message amongst our young. Climate Aid 2020 video has the powerful and clear voice of Sir David Attenborough whom the children are familiar with. A short clip to engage and motivate us. HOME is so informative to watch, while also being very moving about our beautiful planet. It conveys a powerful message about the climate change crisis. It is beautifully shot and the main thought I was left with after was ‘What’s important is not what is gone, but what remains.’ Again, we must act NOW. We, as teachers, should use this content to motivate the children to start making changes, and show them the importance of each individuals part in this climate change crisis.

      Allowing the children to be ‘gardaí glasa’ for the class – they enjoy making a discovery, especially catching other classes out! Being a detective gives them a responsibility and encourages team building skills and the need to be accurate with their results.

      We, the educators, need to get the children working as science detectives and reporters, giving them power and responsibility to make changes to the way we live and make a difference. There are lots of possibilities across the curriculum to do this.

       

    • #197491
      Eimear Donohoe
      Participant

      Increased heat (although this is lovely) and drought can have a negative impact on local farming as it will reduce crop yields.

      Farmers in turn are struggling to keep going to stay and have to look for ways to adapt to changing conditions. Unfortunately for consumer’s prices of products will likely increase. Local farmers are fearful for their herds of cattle also as they try to get water to them. Of course the general population are taking advantage of the heat and filling up their paddling pools and at the same time the country is being put on hose pipe bans.

      Flooding is recent years has had a big impact on homes and business in the local area as the local river rose and did damage to many homes and businesses.

       

      Climate change and the impact on the environment could be taught through SPHE and Geography and still could make and present project for the class. Perhaps during Science week the focus for that year could be on climate change and the whole school place their learning focus on climate change for that week. Parents could be invited in on the last day of science week and the learning ,be it experiments, presentations or projects could be presented at a school assembly.

       

      Three things to make the World a better place and slow down Climate change.

      1. Conserve energy on a daily basis. This can be promoted in home and in schools. Simple changes like turning off lights, taking shorter showers, run appliances at home (dishwasher, washing machine) on energy saving modes.

      2. Walk, cycle or use public transport. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by walking and cycling, car-pooling or taking the bus or train would have a very positive impact on climate change.

      3. Recycling: Recycling plastics, cardboard etc at home and getting your green schools committee to put a big push on to engage in this process in schools would also have a positive impact on global warming and climate change.

       

       

    • #197495
      Patrick Brophy
      Participant

      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.

      • #197507
        Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
        Course Facilitator

        Hi Patrick,

        Your story from Australia is shocking but as you righty point out a similar fate could await many Irish coastal town if something significant isn’t done to combat climate change. As mooted it about starting locally and looking at changing the way students travel to school (despite the weather extremities) is a significant step in the right direction. Also the sustainable initiatives your school run as outlined are all with commendable, particularly the jersey swap day so much more sustainable and significant cost saving for hard-pressed families also. Unfortunately, in the bigger scheme of things, there’s little chance of the big brands and indeed teams adapting a similarly sustainable philosophy instead of needlessly changing kits annually, it’s far too big of an earner commercially.

      • #198164
        Mary Mc Elvaney
        Participant

        Hello Patrick,

        I remember seeing a newspaper article about coastal flooding in Ireland in years to come. Some of the research in this module shows that we have a lot to do in Ireland by 2030.

        The jerseys are a great idea. We have a uniform drive at the end of year for parents to donate any uniforms that no longer fit their kids.

    • #197876
      Ann Gaughan
      Participant

      CClimate change is definitely affecting us all at a local and global level. The rise in temperatures and then flash flooding is very evident, storms during the summer with regular thunder/ lightning..its unavoidable. With the older classes, I believe the Green schools programme does a lot to promote these issues , we are after obtaining our flag for travel where children were encouraged to take the bus to reduce our carbon footprint. Although the number of cyclists increased, it was not safe for us to promote car pooling, walk, cycle, scoot so we were limited in our actions. In the future I would like to look at trnds in countries that have high populations/ high carbon footprints and encourage the children to take action by sending an email to a local minister or someone in power.
      This year we took part in the IN Your shoes campaign, where children brought in trainers and football boots in good condition, but no longer fit them. These shoes were passed on to children in poorer countries. I love the idea I saw here by a poster where older kids brought in jerseys for the younger children. I think this is such a great idea to encourage sustainability…plus kids would love it! We have done this before with books and school jumpers but never thought of doing it with jerseys! And the county jerseys last for ages.. great quality!

    • #198030

      We have noticed that seagulls are making their nests on the roof of our school in the last few years.You can see seagulls scavenging and swooping in parks and schoolyards near bins  looking for food, something which was not seen 20 years ago.Seagulls are moving inland because of the lack of fish in the oceans because of over fishing and climate change.

      Local flooding is another  factor which denotes climate change and global warming.Many houses in the school locality were flooded a few times in the last 10 years and we even had a problem with flooding in our lower yard because of torrential, monsoon type rainfall in short space of time.

      We have a very pro active Coiste Glas which is making the pupils aware of Climate Change issues and getting the children active in doing project work and presentations and going on a visit this year to the  Dublin Waste to Energy (Covanta Plant) in Ringsend.The children were very animated and informed after  their visit there.I think that it really opened their eyes to the need to reduce our production of waste.

      1. I would emphasise the need for reducing waste within the school itself e.g the use of reusable water bottles and lunch boxes.

      2. To arrange recycling / swop shops in the school maybe once every term to swop school uniform items, football boots and helmets, books, games and toys to emphasise the need to re-use and pass on items as opposed to dumping good usable items in bins.

      3. I would arrange that all classes should be able to visit a landfill and the  National Waste to Energy Plant in Ringsend to give the pupils a more realistic view of their consumer consumption and the ever increasing prodution of waste and its implications for us and our planet.

      • #198916
        eimear o callaghan
        Participant

        Your post really resonated with me Caitlin. I too have noticed an influx of seagulls in my area and we live 25 minutes away from the coast clearly an affect of climate change. We also have a roaming fox walking around the junior and senior yard at break time, looking for scraps of food due to the continual building in the area, the local wildlife are being compromised. Because of this, we have had to insist that the children do not bring food of any kind to the yard. So those half eaten sandwiches have to stay in the lunch boxes for now and teddy bear picnic’s are on hold.

    • #198082
      Emma Molloy
      Participant

      Climate Change is impacting my local area in many ways. One such way is more extreme weather conditions. For example, I live near the sea and storms are undeniably becoming more prevalent. We regularly hear of weather warnings. These have resulted in certain bathing spots being closed and, in more extreme cases, schools closing for multiple days. We, in Ireland, are not used to extreme weathers but in recent years we are certainly seeing more flash flooding, storms, gale force winds. This change can be explored with pupils through the SESE subjects. In Geography there is a whole strand about weather and this could tie in with History and the change over time in our weather patterns.

      Three actions I would take, in my classroom, to make the world a better place:

      • One electricity-free hour per day.

      • Ban single-use plastics.

      • WOW (Walk on Wednesday) – This is an initiative that is already up and running in our school.

    • #198163
      Mary Mc Elvaney
      Participant

      Climate change is changing my local area in several ways:

      Traffic and parking shortages is noticeable in the local urban area. Travel – by foot or cycle when possible. Increased use of public transport would also reduce emissions. My school also completed the W.O.W. Walk on Wednesday.

      Litter- Littering has become a big issue on the streets and by the coast. It makes the area look unsightly. Sharing the benefits of reusable objects in favour of single use plastics would highlight how many items are sent to landfill without being recycled correctly. Correct signage on bins would encourage students to share the 3’R’s at home.

      Cliff walk has seen erosion and fall of rock in the past year.

      1. Litter picking- Follow the local initiative of ‘3 for the Sea’ by picking up 3 pieces of litter by the coastal area. Our school has a ‘Green School Thursday’ in which the winner of the greenest class is announced. They get an opportunity to use the litter pickers to collect litter around the school grounds. A poster competition would encourage classes to make a collective effort to win the award.

      2. Bio-diversity- maintain the wildflower area and filling the bird feeders with nuts. Planting and watering the school garden that contains plants and herbs. To protect areas for bees.

      3. Watch energy usage- lights, interactive whiteboard and encourage students to share this message at home by sharing a speech/ persuasive writing on wasting energy.

       

    • #198189
      Niamh Mc Hugh
      Participant

      In my local area we have seen a drastic change in weather patterns over the last number of years and parts of the surrounding areas have been hit with sever coastal erosion. I think one of the first things that needs to be achieved is to educate the children and their families on the links between the green house gasses that are emitted into our atmosphere as a result of human actions and the direct effect this has on climate change and particularly linking it to the visual changes they can observe first hand in our locality. Although climate change is very topical in the media at the moment I still think that children haven’t quite made the connection between this and our everyday actions. The next thing I think would be important is to support the children to explore ways in which they can have a positive impact on climate change. Encourage them to engage in everyday actions such as reducing our energy consumption, conserving water, using composting and recycling instead of just landfill and encouraging less waste and the use of more sustainable materials. When these practices have been established and the link between these actions and helping to reduce climate change is understood I think the next step would be to guide children and families as to how they can have a bigger impact in the wider world. Support them in using their voice to lobby leaders and government at local levels on issues that are directly impacting them so that they can see how even individuals can have a positive impact on how we address climate change in our local communities.

    • #198204
      Peter Mc Mahon
      Participant

      Climate change is having a major impact in my local area, results of which have even taken place as recently as this week. The weather conditions in each season have become more extreme, with gale force winds, snow days, storms and icy conditions taking place but to name a few. In recent years, the school has had to close due to storms and snow, something that I cannot remember ever occurring when I was in primary school. Even this week locally, we have experienced flooding and road closures, something that I never thought I would imagine in the month of July! I think that the children need to be made aware as to why these extreme weather conditions are occurring. The impacts that these weather conditions have on the locality could be taught through Geography lessons.

      3 actions I would use to make the world a better place and slow down climate change:

      1. reusable water bottles: currently in my school children receive water bottles each day, resulting in a lot of unnecessary waste.

      2. encourage children to walk, cycle or get public transport where possible as opposed to driving.

      3. classroom monitor: the job of classroom monitor could be given to 2 pupils who remind to turn off lights, plugs, boards etc. when not in use, and can also monitor waste being put in the correct bins.

       

      • #198221
        Helen Walsh
        Participant

        Peter,

        I agree that it is the simple actions that begin to make changes which need to be encouraged – reusable water bottles, walking/cycling & monitors to turn off lights, close doors etc. make a difference when they are carried out consistently and are everyday activities that are simple for the children to be involved in.

      • #198230
        Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
        Course Facilitator

        Hi Peter,

        What you’ve outlined about the adverse effects of climate change in your locality is sobering and unfortunately reflected the length and breath of the country from other experiences shared on this forum. The reality we can see locally, nationally and internationally, the extreme heatwave currently ongoing in Europe for instance is a sobering demonstration of the impact of climate change.

        The three actions you’ve outlined here are practical and achievable. Combatting climate change is all about the locality and as you reference prioritising the way people travel to school is an important step and not just because of the impact on greenhouse emissions but also providing additional opportunities for exercise which is a really important part of children’s health and wellbeing.

    • #198218
      Helen Walsh
      Participant

      Sea levels in the Cork harbour area have risen by approximately 40cm since 1842. The local authority is seeking public engagement in the first of the plan aimed at increasing resilience against the impacts of climate change. According to a baseline evidence summary report published by the council, coastal erosion and flooding are likely to become more frequent unless action is taken to reduce emissions.

      Everyday actions such as encouraging ‘cycling to school’ could be introduced as simple ways to make a difference. As cycle lanes are being introduced more and more, the students could use a walking debate activity with follow up actions regarding how to improve unsafe roads in their locality. Also, the students could research the ‘cycle to work’ scheme & encourage staff who live within the locality to make use of the scheme.

      Students could also carry out a survey to research how to reduce energy consumption throughout the school – initiatives such as last person in/out closes the door behind them are very simple yet need to be encouraged. There is no doubt that the children will come up with many ideas and get on board with reducing energy consumption.

      Encouraging the children to take ownership of conservation at home could extend the research carried out in school – parents and the local community may then work together to take action within their local environment with links to taking actions locally that have an impact globally and foster a sense of connection.

    • #198375
      Kevin Barry
      Participant

      Climate change can have diverse impacts on different regions, including rising temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, increased frequency of extreme weather events, and changes in ecosystems. These effects can vary depending on geographic location and local conditions. However, the global nature of climate change means that no area is entirely immune to its consequences.

      To engage pupils in exploring climate change further, I would:

      Raise Awareness: I would organise educational activities, presentations, or workshops to inform students about climate change and its local impacts. I would encourage discussions on the causes, consequences, and potential solutions related to climate change.

      Conduct Field Studies: I would encourage students to conduct field studies or research projects focused on local climate change impacts. This could involve assessing changes in local biodiversity, studying the effects of climate change on nearby ecosystems, or investigating the relationship between extreme weather events and community resilience.

      Promote Action and Advocacy: I would empower students to take action and become climate advocates in their community. I would encourage them to participate in local environmental initiatives, organise awareness campaigns, or engage with local policymakers.

      Now, regarding three actions that can contribute to making the world a better place and slowing down climate change:

      Transition to Renewable Energy: Advocate for the adoption of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. Encourage the use of clean energy alternatives in your community, school, or home. Supporting renewable energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps mitigate climate change.

      Reduce Carbon Footprint: Promote energy efficiency and conservation practices. Encourage students and the wider community to reduce energy consumption, adopt sustainable transportation options (such as biking or carpooling), practice waste reduction and recycling, and support sustainable food choices.

      Plant Trees and Restore Ecosystems: Encourage tree planting initiatives and restoration of local ecosystems. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and help combat climate change. Engage students in tree planting activities and educate them about the importance of preserving and restoring natural habitats.

      • #203756
        Caroline Walsh
        Participant

        Car pooling is a good way for staff to help reduce harmful emissions. When I started teaching about 20 years ago, a lot of the staff car pooled. This was due possibly to not all teachers having cars and now it seems much more people are owning cars at a younger age. Maybe it is an initiative school staff could run, even if was possible just a few days a week it would  be  better than none.

      • #203913
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Caroline,

        I agree with you regarding the importance and usefulness of car pooling in this regard. However, it does seem like it is reducing in popularity in recent years. Policymakers and politicians should be prioritising this, and offering incentives. I have heard of a recent spot along a slip road to the N7 where people parked to car pool to work getting hit with clampers. All the cars sitting there were clamped – we really need some form of facility where people can leave their cars and adopt this practice.

    • #198550

      Climate change is affecting my local area in different ways over the past years. For example, In the Winter we have seen school closures due to snow or pipes freezing. Children have not received yard time on some Winter days due to the icy conditions outside. Salt had to be put on our school lane to prevent the children from falling when entering or leaving school. When the snow would melt, roads would flood which resulted in Road closures.
      To encourage my students to explore this further, I would invite my students to complete research on the impacts that climate change is having on our local area. The children could also visit a beach and use photographs to examine how the coastline has changed over time. Additionally, the children could investigate the topic of flooding and visit the local river that occasionally floods its banks after a heavy rainfall. This should enable them to make connections.
      Three things I can do in my classroom to make the world a better place and slow down climate change is:
      • Have a recycling bin in my classroom to encourage children to recycle and use the appropriate bin to put their waste in.
      • Reduce energy consumption by turning off the lights when not in use.
      • Encourage children to walk/scoot to school instead of taking the car or to engage with car pooling.

      • #198568

        I also liked the lesson 1 resource in the slideshow as it provides an introduction to children on climate change and can also be used to revise this topic in the older years who may already be familiar with the topic of climate change.

      • #198752
        anny hynes
        Participant

        Hi Danielle,

        I actually hadn’t thought about the school closures for snow.  That hadn’t happened in a while and there were some mornings we opened and there was still snowfall.  I think it would be a great idea for the students to explore this pattern further.  I have thought of something similar, in our school.

         

    • #198627
      eimear o callaghan
      Participant

      I found it really helpful to read suggestions from fellow teachers. I think there is more that I can do to help within my school community.

      1. Encouraging children to bring in beeswax paper instead of clingfilm for their sandwiches.

      2. Use a small towel to use to dry their hands instead of the blue roll or white paper to dry them, a refillable water bottle ( instead of plastic bottles).

      3. ‘Walking Trains’ to school to help change the culture of pupils getting lifts to school in cars. Prizes for scooting and walking.

    • #198632
      Kieran Ormond
      Participant

      I think the county of Kilkenny has been equally as affected as anywhere in the country with climate change. Having the River Nore run through the city, it is of course prone to flooding. A couple of years ago, I recall showing the class ‘Then and Now’ photos of the Kilkenny castle, with and without the canal. This was more to highlight prevention of flooding than Climate change and the worsening of conditions. Like others in this forum, I would be cautious of addressing Climate Change without concerns of children’s anxiety about the topic but I think well formed lessons with a focus on prevention and care of the environment are always beneficial. April this year had a lot of exposure to Climate change headlines with ‘the wettest March on record’, and allowed for schools to draw attention to the way Climate in Ireland is changing.

      3 actions that I have seen in schools to slow down Climate change would be;

      1. Recycling initiatives, many schools now go down the path of taking your rubbish home but in my experience this leads to everything being thrown in waste at home. Schools that allow children the initiative to distinguish, sort, clean and categorise recyclables is much better.

      2. Gardening- Seeing trees, plants and fruit grow can be easily achieved and very exiting for primary students.

      3.Transportation Survey- With whole-school competitions to encourage people to walk/cycle/scoot and bus to school, it opens the door for the greener choice to be made when the competition ends.

    • #198639
      eimear o callaghan
      Participant

      Climate change affects us all.  From rising sea levels to increased rainfall and flooding ( like the river Dodder as discussed by Siobhan).Todays headline on RTE brings this to light with the headline ‘Ireland warmer, wetter and sunnier over the past 30 years,’ where temperatures and rainfall have increased significantly. These rising temperatures can have major impact on water resources and agriculture as well as delicate ecosystems. It is also important to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency. We can do this by using more sustainable transport. Both I and many other members of staff have ecars. It is important to educate pupils how they can little changes they make, can make a huge difference.
      I found it really helpful to read suggestions from fellow teachers. I think there is more that I can do to help within my school community.
      1. Encouraging children to bring in beeswax paper instead of clingfilm for their sandwiches.
      2. Use a small towel to use to dry their hands instead of the blue roll or white paper to dry them, a refillable water bottle ( instead of plastic bottles).
      3. ‘Walking Trains’ to school to help change the culture of pupils getting lifts to school in cars. Prizes for scooting and walking.

      • #198814
        Christine O’Brien
        Participant

        I really like the small steps that you have included.  I think. little by little, introducing these ideas could have a profound affect on the school community and the wider community at large.  As these suggestions directly affect parents, I think it is important to include their voice, along with that of the student’s prior to a class beginning down the route of campaigning for these changes.  Perhaps the students could even engage in research with the parent body

      • #202589
        Teresa Gillespie
        Participant

        We used to encourage children to bring their own toilet bags with a facecloth to reduce the environmental impact of using enormous supplies of hand towels in the classroom toilets.  I am going to suggest we bring it back again in September and keep track of the money saved which could be invested in school equipment.

    • #198750
      anny hynes
      Participant

      When reflecting on climate change it is a lot easier to see it globally and nationally rather than in my own area. But after reading the posts from other participants, I was reminded of some fairly treacherous journeys I had to take to school. I live at the foot of the mountains and to avoid the crazy traffic, we take the mountain route. The last few years, there have been mornings where we cannot chance it as the temperatures have been so low. That is a direct result of climate change.
      I think getting children to monitor temperatures, rainfall, wind speed etc. at the same time each year, we could compare and contrast the results as a whole school initiative. We can compare similar results online and each group/pair could select a country in Europe and do research on weather forecasts etc and compare their change in climate temperatures etc. This could be very interesting and worrying at the same time.

      Three suggestions to slow down climate change
      1) Continue our WOW and COW initiative – we do Walk on Wednesday an Cycle on Wednesday each week. We also facilitate a park and stride option once a month.
      2) We recently started a school garden and have herbs, potatoes, cabbage, carrots and some wild flowers. We try and share the ‘fruits’ of our labour among the children by doing cookery classes in school with our produce. We hope this might promote families to start their own little gardens.
      3) Continue our beach clean up bi annually.

    • #198812
      Christine O’Brien
      Participant

      Climate change is affecting the school’s local area. We are seeing increased river flooding in the town. Due to increased frequency of storms in recent years, flash floods have increased dramatically. This has affected every individual in the town as the river flows through the centre. It has negatively impacted on business and property in the area, as well as putting local flora and fauna at risk. It has damaged local Tidy Towns projects that focus on increasing biodiversity etc.

      Three actions to make the world a better place and slow down climate change:
      1. Focus on sustainable transport options with a low carbon footprint ie. walking, cycling, or using public transportation whenever possible
      2. Focus on energy efficiency/renewable energy. Use LED light bulbs, turn off lights and appliances when not in use
      3. Advocate for change through raising awareness, lobbying and protesting

      In the classroom, these could be implemented as follows:
      1. Sustainable transport – children launch and run a campaign based on sustainable transport e.g. WOW i.e. Walk-On-Wednesday, Scoot/Cycle to School Week
      2. Energy efficiency – Green Schools Initiative. Lightbulb survey. Write to the BOM requesting move to LED light bulbs. In-school campaign to turn off lights and appliances when not in use
      3. Make posters/banners and coordinate a local protest on climate change with other local schools, the Tidy Towns committee, other local organisations and local representatives. Invite local media

      • #198825
        anna keyes
        Participant

        I love these hands on and engaging ideas!

    • #198823
      anna keyes
      Participant

      To engage my students in learning about Climate Change I would use:

      Experiential Learning: Create interactive lessons that combine scientific knowledge with practical experiences. Students can participate in field trips to local parks, where they can observe and document changes in the environment.

      Project Based Learning: Foster a sense of agency and collaboration by setting projects that allow students to explore climate change solutions. They could design and implement recycling programs in the school, host an awareness assembly, design posters/ dramas/ songs, collect data from classes and teachers on fuel use…

       

      As regards the three actions to slow Climate Change, I would say that we must switch to renewable fuels and ban the use of fossil fuels, Education and retraining and reforestation and preservation of green spaces.

      • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by anna keyes.
    • #198914
      Julie Murphy
      Participant

      Climate change is a huge problem.
      I think the seasons can be extreme. Winter has extreme cold temperatures.
      We can make an effort as a community to help counteract this situation,
      We could walk or use public transport instead of going to school or work by car.
      Ensure we continue to recycle and avoid buying items with uneccessary packaging.
      We need to avoid using the photocopier every day and reduce its use by ensuring to use our interactive whiteboard to display the page.
      We could use inkjet printers which allow for the refilling of ink. We do not need to continue to replace the ink cartridges anymore.
      A class could go litter picking in our local community area.
      I think it is important as a community to get together to reduce our carbon footprint and work together to come up ways to protect our environment.

    • #199109
      Grainne Murphy
      Participant

      Climate change has had an impact in our local area in two ways. Firstly, an increase in storms and adverse weather conditions and secondly, an increase in flooding in certain parts of the locality that are beside the river. Children in our school are able to see for themselves that climate change has an effect on their lives. It is also important to teach that it affects peoples lives all over the world in different ways – some more severely than others. I would use the 5 lessons outlined in this module to teach about climate change as they have clear engaging activities and really clarify the necessity for actions to slow down climate change. 3 actions are as follows:
      Have energy monitors in each classroom that rotate weekly whose role is to turn off light switches, plug out appliances, turn off the interactive whiteboard, make sure taps are turned off etc.
      Have a whole school energy free 15 minutes once a week where we turn off all sources of energy
      Place a big focus on reduce, reuse, recycle – particularly on reusing

      • #199235
        Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
        Course Facilitator

        Hi Grainne,

        I think no matter where children are growing up in Ireland today, they can see the effects of climate change, an unfortunate reality. For instance, the number of extreme weather events that have occurred over the past 5 years is more than many would have experienced in a lifetime up to this. In your locality flooding from the nearby river must have a huge impact, particularly on farming families and using this shared experience is a powerful springboard for engaging a class/school drive to combat climate change as you’ve outlined.

    • #199154
      Amy Craven
      Participant

      Our school is located in an area beside the canal and recently experienced intense flooding due to climate change. The local council has said that due to increased development of patios and extensions in the area has increased impermeable surfacing combined with more intense rainfall, has increased the frequency and severity of flooding.

       

      To explore this issue further, we would look at photos of our area in the past and present and compare the differences. Also, we would look at newspaper articles relating to the flooding. We could contact the local city council and ask about what plans are in place to avoid this happening again.

       

      Some of the actions I would take to slow down climate change would be a litter pick up in the area. We would assign each class a different road and ask for pickers, bags and high vis jackets from the local council. We recently took part in a litter pick up with our school and we couldn’t believe the amount of litter on the streets, particularly dog waste.

       

      However, something that the children themselves noticed was a huge lack of bins in the area. Our second action would be to create posters to promote binning litter in the area and also writing letters to our local council to ask about more bins that could be collected frequently.

       

      • #199276
        Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
        Course Facilitator

        Hi Amy,

        Interesting that the  increased frequency and severity of flooding in your area isn’t just down to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change but that urban/over development is partly responsible as it is effecting natural drainage. I particularly like your suggestion of engaging in action research type investigations, studying aerial photography, local newspaper articles and getting input from the local city council on the prevention measures they have developed. This approach makes the exploration of climate change more meaningful and real for your students.

    • #199402
      Julie-Ann Murphy
      Participant

       

      Climate change is a big issue in my classroom and something that I endeavour to teach my pupils about. In our local area one very obvious impact of climate change is flooding. In recent years the flooding on school routes and the school playground are very obvious. I would engage my pupils in discussions about how this flooding has happened. We would talk about how our school was originally built on a green site on the edge of the town. Now, however, it has been greatly extended and all surfaces around it are either concrete or tarmac which leave nowhere for excess water to soak in. I would complete experiments about the type of drainage different surface coverings can offer and watch videos in relation to it. We would plant native trees on any existing grass area if possible.

       

      Leading on from this we would discuss the very serious issue of melting ice caps. For younger pupils they can be introduced to this by watching the movie Ice Age, The Meltdown. Experiments with ice cubes bring a tangible experience to this where children create their own plasticine polar bears and leave them on ice cubes while slowly adding warm water to their tub. As they see the ice melt before their eyes the get a powerful message about the destruction of the habitat for polar bears and other Arctic animals.

      Another impact of climate change is the increase in temperatures. We would explore temperatures throughout the world, investigate what the weather was like when their grandparents were young and explore possible reasons for any changes. I would install a waterbutt at school to collect rainwater for times when the school flowers, pots and garden requires extra watering and encourage the children to do so at home too.

       

    • #199514
      Deirdre Seery
      Participant

       

      Climate change is having a significant impact on Dublin with rising temperatures, more frequent weather events and increased flooding and erosion along the coast. As teachers, it’s important that we engage students in exploring these issues and encourage them to take action to address the challenges posed by climate change. One way to engage pupils is to incorporate climate change into the curriculum across different subjects. For example, in science, students can learn about the causes and effects of climate change while in geography looking at the impacts of climate change on different regions around the world. Another way to engage pupils is to provide opportunities for them to take action to address climate change for example a recycling program and working with local organizations to support community Led initiatives to reduce carbon emissions.

      To help slow down climate change there are many actions we can take to help reduce our carbon footprint by using public transport cycling or walking instead of driving. In our school, we have a walk cycle and skate initiative instead of being dropped at school by car

      2) Conserve energy by turning off lights and electronics when not in use and using energy-efficient appliances. In our school, we have eco-warriors who are involved in this. We also do one hour a week without electricity in the school.

      3) Support local initiatives to reduce carbon emissions such as community gardens, renewable energy projects and green infrastructure.

      In the class, we can encourage students to act by providing them with opportunities to learn about and engage with these issues. This could involve organizing a schoolwide climate action day where students can share their ideas and initiatives for addressing climate change. We can also provide resources to support and help students act such as providing information and local organizations that are working to address climate change. Overall by engaging pupils in exploring the impact of climate change and encouraging them to take action to address these challenges, they can help create a more sustainable future for all.

       

      • #204370
        Darragh Greene
        Participant

        Incorporating climate change into the curriculum across various subjects is a brilliant way to foster understanding and empower the next generation of leaders. The hands-on initiatives like the recycling program, community-led projects, and your school’s walk cycle and skate initiative demonstrate a strong commitment to reducing carbon emissions. I love the eco-warriors conserving energy and the school’s weekly electricity-free hour. These practices not only save energy but also serve as a powerful reminder of the impact we have on our environment, and I plan to adopt them in my own school.

        Supporting local initiatives like community gardens and renewable energy projects not only makes a tangible difference but also instils a sense of community and responsibility among students and the idea of a schoolwide climate action day is fantastic! Providing students with a platform to share their ideas and initiatives empowers them to actively contribute to a sustainable future.

         

    • #199536
      Celine Glynn
      Participant

      The area of climate change that affects my school in Dublin the most is coastal erosion. In Ireland, as an island we are seeing huge problems in this area and while each local authority has preservation plans, there is currently no national plan. We would look at how climate change is causing the earth to heat up and the water levels to rise. We would discuss the global impact that this is having on wildlife and ecosystems. Then we would look closer to home and investigate the effects that this is having in IRELAND. We will take a few examples of rivers flooding before looking at how Dublin is coping with this global change. I will show the children some examples of how Dublin is trying to minimise the damage of rising sea levels. The children will work in groups and make a national plan for dealing with rising sea levels. We will finish by identifying a few ways that we can make a difference as a school by conserving energy.

      • #205392
        Deirdre Maye
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Celine,

        Thank you for your post.

        This approach makes the exploration of climate change more meaningful and real for your students. I’m sure the children really enjoyed doing this project and learned  lot too.

    • #199558
      Kate McCarthy
      Participant

      Climate change is certainly having a major effect on my local area. I think it really important to explore and discuss these effects in schools so as that children are aware of the changes that are happening.

      Firstly, as many others have mentioned, the continuous adverse weather conditions cause major problems. I have noticed how the city and my smaller town has been affected by flooding in recent years. I also believe that storms where not nearly as frequent nor as extreme when I was in school.

      Another effect of climate change in my area is loss of wild life. It is very saddening to see deforestation in my area which I think is contributing to a reduction in the number of squirrels and other wild life. I would love to explore this topic in the classroom. I would do this by analysing and recording the types of trees and grasses local to our area and then delve into what animals like to live in these surroundings. Children could undertake a research project on the various wildlife and create a presentation on why deforestation has negative effects.

      Ways in which I would act in hopes to slow down climate change would be

      – reducing the amount I use my car, carpooling when possible.

      -make a more conscious effort towards recycling and reducing waste

      -Reduce my energy consumption

       

    • #199625
      Deirdre O’Brien
      Participant

      I think climate change is having a major impact in every area. I think the most obvious impacts can be seen in our weather patterns at present. Extreme flooding, extreme heat and yesterday, a twister in Milan, a country not known for that kind of weather event. In my area, those seeking planning permission in areas near minor streams are being asked to have flood risk assessments conducted in light of these extreme weather events and the possibility of future change. I think it is vitally important that we engage children on the issue as it will impact their futures massively. I think a creative approach is necessary but respect for our world must be embedded as part of our day to day teaching and life in the classroom. It is the hope that children will bring what they are taught back to their own homes and into the future. Three actions I think we need to consider:
      • Lobbying the government for more public transport in rural areas. It is not widely available and often unreliable.
      • Offering more electric car charging points to make buying an electric car more feasible.
      • Inviting guest speakers to speak about climate change and global goals.

      • #199710
        Aoife Slacke
        Participant

        Planning guidelines have really been affected by this, saw this recently when we applied. THink having speakers in is always a great idea

    • #199704
      Aoife Slacke
      Participant

      The main ways I can see Climate change impact in my local area are:

      Temperature nationally have raised by .7% nationally

      Weather patterns have become more extreme leading to more intense drought spells and flooding events. I have seen farmers in my locality trying to cope with this by sowing more drought resistant species of fodder crops. Also local town planners have had to modify their planning requirements to take account of the above.

      Things that we can do in the schools:

      Have the children use reusable water bottles, lunch boxes etc

      Reduce our carbon footprint – encourage the children to walk, bike or scoot

      Have energy monitors – making sure lights are turned off, Blinds are closed in evening, door closed etc

      Focus on our school garden – planting trees, pollinator plants, bug hotels etc

      Water conservation – Eco flush system and auto shut off in the taps. We have a water harvester which is recycled into flushing toilets

      • #199746
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Aoife,

        Your ideas really speak to the small changes that we can make (both in schools and at home) to tackle the climate and energy crisis. These changes can very much be led by the kids – allowing them to document all they have done based on a set criteria over a week would be a great way of sustaining the momentum. As previous posters have mentioned, a green schools committee can very much be the driving force of this. Class representatives could be tackled with pulling blinds, turning off lights, counting the number of children with reusable bottles, those using biodegradable packaging over tinfoil, clingfilm, etc,

    • #199724
      Ellen Stack
      Participant

      The results of climate change are easy to recognise in recent years. In my locality, the wind and storms have caused regular roadblocks and power outages. This has resulted in the main road to school being inaccessible and also the school operating without broadband regularly. It has also meant that there have been some school closures due to power outages. This was a good discussion point within the school and Green Schools committee as students themselves began to plan at school level and initiate changes made by both students and staff. This started on a small scale in reducing photocopying, litter picking and sorting rubbish correctly in classroom bins but moved onto a bigger scale in terms of project work. As another participant mentioned, fast fashion has become a huge issue in society today. I was so impressed to see students so engaged in a project based on this topic and conducting their own research and discussing second hand alternatives and being an informed consumer.

      • #199972
        Louise Brosnan
        Participant

        Our school has also been affected by storms over the last number of years and has been damaged by flooding. Storm Barra last year caused a lot of damage and seeing the result of this damage really brought it home to pupils about the impact that climate change is having on us and that we have a shared responsibility to come up with alternative ways of doing things.

    • #199967
      Louise Brosnan
      Participant

      Climate change is having a significant impact on the whole island of Ireland, with various environmental, social, and economic consequences. Rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and increased frequency of extreme weather events are some of the key effects being observed. To slow down climate change and create a better world, schools can play a crucial role by implementing three actions: promoting environmental education, adopting sustainable practices, and advocating for policy changes.

      Firstly, schools can prioritize environmental education to raise awareness and understanding of climate change among students. This can be achieved through incorporating climate change and sustainability topics into the curriculum across various subjects. By teaching students about the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to climate change, schools can empower them to become informed and responsible global citizens. Additionally, organizing workshops, seminars, and guest speakers by experts in the field can further enhance students’ knowledge and engagement with climate change issues.

      Secondly, schools can take concrete steps to adopt sustainable practices within their school surroundings. This includes implementing energy-efficient measures such as using renewable energy sources, installing energy-saving equipment, and promoting responsible energy consumption. Schools can also encourage waste reduction and recycling by providing proper waste management systems and educating students about the importance of recycling. Furthermore, promoting sustainable transportation options like walking, cycling, or carpooling can help reduce carbon emissions associated with daily commutes to school.

      Lastly, schools can actively advocate for policy changes at local, national, and international levels. This can involve engaging with local authorities and policymakers to promote the adoption of climate-friendly policies and regulations. Schools can organise campaigns, petitions, and awareness events to highlight the urgency of climate action and the need for sustainable policies. By involving students, teachers, and parents in these advocacy efforts, schools can amplify their impact and contribute to a broader movement for change.

      In conclusion, climate change is already affecting Ireland, and schools have a crucial role to play in addressing this global challenge. By promoting environmental education, adopting sustainable practices, and advocating for policy changes, schools can contribute to slowing down climate change and making the world a better place. It is through collective efforts and individual actions that we can create a sustainable future for generations to come.

      • #199995
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Louise,

        Thank you for your detailed post here. I’m struck by how you have raised the point of being able to cover the causes and impacts of climate change, as well as the potential solutions. Many of us can be guilty of assuming there is a level of prior knowledge there, and that children are ready to jump straight towards the ‘solutions’. Having a sequenced programme that allows children to see the many causes of climate change, as well as the impacts it is having around the world will make their ‘solutions’ that bit more relevant and focussed. I think it would be an amazing thing if schools from across the country came together to advocate for policy changes – this would be a powerful message to policymakers and those in government.

    • #200370
      Kathleen Murphy
      Participant

      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; border: 0px; font-size: 12px; margin: 0px 0px 1.6em; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif;”>Reflect on how Climate Change is impacting on your own local area and how you would engage your pupils to explore this further. Suggest three actions that you can do to make the world a better place and slow down climate change.</p>
      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; border: 0px; font-size: 12px; margin: 0px 0px 1.6em; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif;”>Post a reflective piece (150 words min) on how you would do this in your classroom to this forum as a reply to this post.</p>
      Climate change is evident all around us, I live in a coastal area of north west Donegal and over recent years we have seen the impact of storms on our local coastline.

      With my class I feel a very valuable lesson would be to monitor water levels at a coastal area near to the school. I would get the children to note that until recently this area was a grassy area and had cows on it but over the last year it has been taken over by the sea. It is important that the children begin to recognise the impact that rising sea level have on out area.

      Three Actions we could take to slow down climate change:

      1. Install bike racks in our school to encourage children to cycle to school.

      2. Turn down our school thermostat by 1 degree and draught proof the doors and windows.

      3. Continue to promote reduce, reuse and recycle in our school.

      • #200504
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Kathleen,

        Having such a natural resource on your doorstep is such a powerful teaching and learning tool. There is scope to integrate history and examining photos from the past and the changes that have occurred. Children seeing the impact this is having in their own community hammers home the need for changes to occur. The changes proposed are all very easy to implement – if school buildings were to get a retrofit it would make turning thermostats down so much easier and would create more sustainable practices for many years.

    • #200385
      Naomi Curran
      Participant

      I am very lucky in that I live in a small rural area in which climate change has not impacted me personally. However there is always ways in which myself and my class can help with climate change. I suggest three actions that students can do to make the world a better place and slow down climate change.

      Action one-This year we did bike week and the lady conducting the course suggested to the children that they should cycle their bikes to school rather than get their parents to drive them. I noticed a huge difference in the number of children cycling to school the week after rather than getting their parents to drive them. I was delighted to see this as not all children engage in physical activity on a daily basis.

      Action two-plant trees in the school garden. Thankfully, we are a school that are really into the garden. We have a poly tunnel to grow vegetables in, an area to grow wild flowers and down at the back of the school this year we sowed native Irish trees. On Fridays, the children sell flowers and vegetables to parents at the gate at school home times.

      Action three-we invested in a water dispenser this means that children don’t have to waste running water from the tap and just use the correct amount that they need to put into their water bottle that they also bring in from home.

       

      • #200995
        Keelan Conway
        Participant

        Hi Naomi,

        The idea of installing a water dispenser appeals to me particularly. I have found in my classroom that the tap is often left running when it is not needed. A water dispenser would solve this issue! Thank you for sharing.

      • #202426
        Frances Walsh
        Participant

        Hi Naomi, I love the idea of a water dispenser also. Such a simple idea but no doubt it would cut down on water wastage! Also, I really like the idea of planting tress in the school garden.

    • #200990
      Keelan Conway
      Participant

      The effects of climate change in my own local area are not as visible as some others have described in this form. Of course, we are experiencing changing weather patterns and more extreme weather, which does impact the children in our school. This year, we had a particularly dry month of May, and children in my class who come from a farming background were vocal about the concerning dry weather which was having a negative impact on their lives.

      One action I will seek to carry out with the children in my class in an attempt to slow down climate change is litter picking within our local community. This is a simple activity, hands-on activity which informs the children’s understanding of community involvement.

      Another action I will undertake with my class is considering if children could use other modes of transport where possible. I have heard of other schools conducting a ‘Walking Wednesdays’, which I think would be beneficial.

      Finally, I will aim to make a personal effort to minimize the amount of paper I use through photocopying. On school placement, I was certainly guilty of overusing our school’s photocopier. In my career going forward, however, without the pressures of school placement, I will consciously attempt to minimize the paper trail of the classroom in which I teach.

      • #201005
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Keelan,

        It’s certain that the farmers were not in any way happy with the prolonged period of dry, hot weather in May and June. However, you’ll often find that they don’t like prolonged periods of wet weather either. The issue of photocopying is a massive one – we are a large school, but are printing/photocopying in excess of 200,000 papers annually. I find this to be an incredible number and one which shows little regard for environmental awareness – there are any steps that can be taken to lighten the load a bit, e.g. use of online tools, projecting to the IWB, printing on both sides, re-using pages printed in error for rough work, etc.

      • #206800
        Vivienne Doyle
        Participant

        Hi Keelan,

        I love the idea of Walking Wednesdays, I am based in a city school so I think this is something that we could consider implementing in the coming school year.

        I find that printing back to back helps with reducing photocopying – hope this helps.

    • #201510
      Dara Feiritéar
      Participant

      I think the effects of climate change can be seen clearly in our community. The seasons are changing, our warm weather usually peaks in May/early June and our summers are much wetter but humid. We were lucky to be able to hold a sports day this year, it is usually left until the month of June, and we were lucky to receive a day without rainfall towards the end of the month. I have seen flooding in my area but much of this is down to poor planning and regulation during the Celtic tiger era where housing developments were built on land that was not suitable I.e. flood plains.

      Our school takes part in ‘Cycle to School’ days, we have installed a water fountain to reduce water wastage and the use of plastic bottles, and all our classes participate in the recycling of materials. 3 new initiatives that I would like to trial would be reducing the amount of children coming and going from school using cars, most children coming to school are being brought from areas that are very much within walking distance 2) I would like our school to have solar panels installed 3) for our lunchbox contents of all to be plastic free.

    • #201512
      Dara Feiritéar
      Participant

      During Covid our school ruled that all packaging/rubbish that came as part of lunch must be taken home as the use of bin was seen as a place where children congregated for a chat. The rule is still in place, as it reduced the amount of waste that the school produced drastically and much of the food in lunchboxes is now of better quality.

      To encourage our children to walk/cycle to school a survey to see how far that they live from the school and to show them that it is very possible to walk to school on most days. This can be done as part of maths and also encouraging poster could be made during art.

    • #201680
      Dervilla Ryan
      Participant

      Write a reflective piece on how Climate Change is impacting on your own local area and how you would engage your pupils to explore this further. • Suggest three actions that you can do to make the world a better place and slow down climate change. • Post a reflective piece on how you would use the lesson in your classroom to the forum

      In recent years, Dublin has experienced many adverse effects of climate change.
      Dublin has experienced a huge increase in extreme weather events, and their effects can be seen in extreme heat or cold spells in our temperatures, which have caused snows and heat waves, violent winds, and heavy rainfall resulting in flooding. We are currently experiencing the wettest July on record paired with the hottest 20 years globally recorded over a 22 year span. These extreme weather patterns and changes have wreaked havoc on our country. We all remember the recent storms like Ophelia, the Beast from the East and the heat wave during the summer of 2018 which all put local and national infrastructure at risk, such as electricity and water supplies. This increase in extreme wind events alongside a rise in sea levels and coastal storms could lead to habitat loss and damage, due to coastal and soil erosion. Responding to climate change is vitally important. To engage my pupils to explore this further i would use the series of lessons designed by Plan International in the Development Education Handbook. We could study weather patterns locally and their impacts and take action in our school and communities on raising awareness and small changes that we can do to help reduce climate change:
      For example:
      Promoting and advocating the Green Schools programme. Having student ambassadors across the school to monitor how we operate responsibly is vital.
      Promoting biodiversity in our school garden, growing fruit and veg, planting wildflower gardens in the community.
      Community clean up.
      Promoting reducing waste, reusing and repurposing and recycling items in school and at home.
      Banning plastic bottles in school.
      Researching ways that we can reduce our energy consumption at home and in school.
      Choosing green ways to travel, walk/cycle or scoot to school etc.

    • #201886
      Declan Hogan
      Participant

      Climate change is impacting my local area in a number of ways, including more extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and changes in plant and animal life. I would engage my pupils to explore climate change by taking them on trips to see the impact of climate change in our local area. We could also talk to local experts about the impact of climate change and how it is affecting our community.

      Here are three actions that I can do to make the world a better place and slow down climate change:

      Reduce my carbon footprint. I can do this by driving less, using public transportation, and recycling.

      Support renewable energy. I can do this by signing up for a renewable energy plan with my utility company or by investing in solar panels for my home.

      Get involved in my community. I can volunteer with an organization that is working to address climate change, or I can write to my elected officials about the importance of taking action on climate change.

      I believe that it is important for us to take action on climate change now. The longer we wait, the worse the impacts of climate change will be. By taking action, we can make the world a better place for future generations.

      Here are some additional ideas for how to engage pupils in learning about climate change:

      Have pupils research the impact of climate change on different parts of the world.

      Have pupils create a climate change awareness campaign.

      Have pupils participate in a climate change protest or rally.

      By engaging pupils in learning about climate change, we can help them to understand the issue and to take action to make a difference.

      • #201906
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Declan,

        Thanks for your post. I think your three suggestions for tackling this are all very effective and in-line with steps we all ‘should’ be trying to take, when possible. However, there needs to be a lead taken from government and the department in this regard to support our endeavours. We are currently in the process of having a full re-build of our school, and it beggars belief that no provisions are made for the inclusion of renewable energy sources. There needs to be more joined-up thinking, and communities must see steps being taken by organisations across the board in order to tackle this issue and provide more authenticity to their arguments and policies.

      • #202374
        Maire Stokes
        Participant

        Renewable energy for my home is something I’m hoping to do in the next two years Declan. It would make a massive difference if many households were using this form of energy exclusively.

    • #202367
      Maire Stokes
      Participant

      The effects of climate change are definitely evident in our area. Flooding would be the main issue, with our local lake level rising much more frequently & for longer periods. It floods out on walkways, picnic areas & roads. The children in my school notice this as it impacts family activities & journey times. Some local roads have had to be raised in recent years while others continue to flood.
      Flooding on our playgrounds has also become an issue at times, probably more of what I would term waterlogging, this wasn’t happening as frequently in my  10 years of teaching. At that time our yards were smaller with grass banks which wearable to soak more rainfall. The children sometimes have to stay inside even though the rain has stopped.
      I would use these life experiences of the children locally to explore the melting ice caps & its direct effect on animal life in the arctic & Antarctic regions. I would also focus on the resultant rising sea levels to learn about flooding in countries such as Bangladesh, focusing how it impacts children.

      Actions I would take are:
      Shop wisely & use the food I buy
      Turn off power sources when not in use
      Wash clothes at lower temperature

      • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Maire Stokes.
      • #202484
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Maire,

        Being able to witness such stark examples of climate change within the school grounds and local community is a stark reminder of the huge impact this is having on us at a local level. Children, too, will notice the impacts of climate change and how it affects their playtimes, etc. We need to outline the reasons for this and provide more education around ‘why’ this is happening and the steps that can be taken to slow the rate of change in this regard. Like so many of the posts of this forum, you have suggested some practical and easy-to-implement steps that all of us can take. There is little ‘negative impacts’ that could ensue from turning off power sockets / washing clothes at a lower temperature.

    • #202416
      Joanna Hughes
      Participant

      I live in an area close to both a beach and a river estuary. For us, climate change has affected the weather in Ireland with more rain and storms predicted (Information from research on citizens advice.). In my local area this means the river has broken its banks on more than one occasion, leading to flooding, roads being impassable. The sand on the beach has also been eroded and redistributed during periods of storminess. This all has an impact on the local wildlife that build their houses along the beach and river banks. It has also impacted locals as it is more difficult to get home insurance, and people need to be prepared for storms with sandbags and supplies.
      I think my pupils could explore this further with an active research project; photographing our local habitat as a class field trip. Researching the wild life in our area that make the beach and banks their homes. Documenting the damage that storms and more rainfall (flooding) can cause. To be honest, I think it could make a very interesting science project for the whole school to participate in. We could also create rain gauges and start a running monthly record and compare months.

      3 actions I feel are easy to take in terms of accessibility to everyone are:

      Using public transport/non-emissions ways of transport/walking whenever possible
      Introducing a vegetarian day into dinner every week. And trying to use local produce when possible.
      Making sustainable food and fashion choices

      I think this lesson could be a really nice thematic topic and integrate English, maths, science, geography, history, art, SPHE and PE all in one. It would also be a lovely theme to take for Science Blast.

      • #202496
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Joanna,

        It must be very difficult for the local community when these extreme weather events hit and bring devastating consequences. However, you have succinctly referred to the learning potential that such events offer for children. Being able to actively research what has happened/is happening, and visibly see the changes could be powerful. It could inspire these young people to be future community leaders, and campaign for measures to be put in place to limit the impact of these weather events. The science/geography investigation would be underpinned by numerous principles from the 1999 curriculum, and would offer such a rich learning experience.

    • #202423
      Frances Walsh
      Participant

      An aspect of climate that is particularly evident in my local area is localised flooding. In the recent summer months the local town as well as surrounding areas have experienced localised flooding due to increased rainfall during the summer months.  This flooding had caused extensive damage to local businesses as well as homes.  To further highlight this issue children could examine and compare the amount of rainfall in the local area in recent months and compare it to other records of this rainfall.

      There are a number of different ways that we can slow down climate change and make the world a better place:

      1.  Encourage the use of  transports methods that do not use fossil fuels such as walking and cycling. Our school is located in the centre of a town yet still may parents drive their children the short distance to school. We need to promote initiative such as WOW (Walk on Wednesday) and cycling initiatives within our school community.

      2. We all need to become far more aware of our energy usage and consumption. Simple steps such as turning off lights after leaving a room and not leaving electronics on stand-by when not in use need to become normal everyday occurrences. Reminders could be displayed all around a school to encourage this.

      3. The three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle need to be intrinsic in our lives. We need to reduce our use of plastics and other material, reuse materials as much as possible and recycle as much as we can. We can promote the three R’s in school by banning the use of single use plastics such as bottles, encourage the reusing of materials through art lessons and set up a proper recycling system in the school.

      • #202945
        Danielle Phillips
        Participant

        I agree with all of your suggestions. Especially becoming more aware of our energy usage in school. It is easy to leave lights/projectors etc on when you are in a rush to get the children somewhere in time. We have classroom electricity monitors and their job is to check everything is off before we leave the classroom. They really enjoy the responsibility and gives the children an awareness of energy saving.

    • #202587
      Teresa Gillespie
      Participant

      Climate change has had a marked effect economically in my area. The reason I am aware of this is because I have close friend in the Chamber of Commerce . Hotels, restaurants, bars and places of interest which would normally be operating at full capacity in July are experiencing record cancellations of bookings which has been attributed to the incessant rain in the last few weeks. Families with young children in particular are choosing to take to the skies and head for a more sunny clime rather than have to go to the extra expense of entertaining children in indoor places when they can’t take them to the beach, to a playground, hillwalking or other outdoor leisure pursuits because of the weather.

      This could be explored further in the classroom by taking a look at levels of precipitation in Ireland in the last year. October 2022, March 2023 and July 2023  have had the highest levels of rainfall for those months since records began in Ireland.

      Three actions to make the world a better place and slow down climate change:

      1) Be more aware of our  own carbon footprint and the effect  our non essential air travel has on climate change.

      2) Make an effort to live more sustainably by avoiding single use plastic, donating unwanted items, saving water, reducing meat consumption, reducing /eliminating fast fashion purchases, making homes more energy efficient, reducing food waste etc

      3) Clean up the local environment by disposing of unwanted goods properly and educating others to do the same and participating in local clean ups of parks, rivers, lakes, beaches  organised by Tidy Towns or other  environmental organisations.

       

      • #202645
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Teresa,

        It’s shocking to hear that businesses are being affected in such a severe way by the persistent rain over the last month. Indeed, tourist destinations in southern Europe are being hit in similar ways (only in that case, people are looking to avoid the intense heat). The current statistics relating to climate are pretty damning and it certainly seems to be accelerating sharply over the past few years. Carbon footprint is a major one that so many of us could improve upon – the notion of car pooling when people are heading in the same direction seems to be tailing oof, but is something which could be a small step towards reducing overall footprint.

    • #202674
      Eleanor Curran
      Participant

      You only have to look at the last few months to see the effects of climate change. We had the driest and warmest May but  the wettest July on record. IN the last 20 years we seem to be breaking records with coldest ,hottest, wettest and  driest conditions. This is proof how climate change is effecting us everyday on a local level.

      Reduce, Reuse and recycle are my 3 steps.

      Reduce: I would make them conscious of the amount of materials that they consume on a daily basis- they must take all rubbish home with the, encourage lunch boxes rather than tin foil etc.Turning off lights at break times, I would have energy monitors to check around school and turn off lights, close doors and windows and check taps.

      Reuse: I would encourage my class to use both sides of paper, I would use scrap paper for art, refill water bottles and lunch boxes etc

      Recycling: have different bins on the go in the room and make sure children know the differences in them, or you could get rid of blank bin altogether so children will have to take their rubbish home with them.

    • #202752
      Sinead Moore
      Participant

      I am living in a rural area of Ireland where the effects of climate change are becoming more and more obvious with each passing season

      In my locality we have seen frequent wind and storms that have caused regular roadblocks and power outages. This may have been the case for many years during the Winter season however now I am noticing it other seasons too! These storms have resulted in school closures dur to road blockages or the school operating without Internet.

      Within my school we have a very active green schools commitee. The school regards this committee with great importance and there is a rigorous screening to get onto the committee. The staff want to ensure students are passionate about the topic and willing to work hard to make a change.

      Some changes our commitee have brough about include;

      A drive on reducing photocopying

      Regular extended lunch breaks to collect litter and litter picking and sorting rubbish correctly in classroom bins competitions.

      Checking classrooms for lights on/boards left on during lunchtime.

      Incentive for walking or car pooling to school.

       

      Outside of the green school committee some of our 6th class students became interested in the topic of fast fashion. They chose to investigate a popular fast fashion website and create a project of their findings. After a number of weeks of independent research the students presented their projects to the senior end of the school. Once their statistics had reached the shock factor, they didnt leave it there, they went on to host a fashion show of ‘thrifted’ outfits as well as a list of charity shops in the area. Next year we plan to host a fashion swap for 5th and 6th class where students can trade old clothes for new.

       

      These are just some of the areas my school is working on to reduce the effects of climate change. I read in another participants post about having students write to decision makers and question their choices regarding climate matters. I think this is a fabulous idea as it incorporates a writing genre and a range of skills. I look forward to implementing it next year.

       

       

      • #202787
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Sinead,

        Thank you for your post and for your numerous practical suggestions for limiting our carbon footprint/waste in addressing the climate change challenge. The work of Green Schools’ committees is often underappreciated, but it is right to give credit to the work they are doing up and down the country. Having student ambassadors is so important, and adds extra authenticity to the initiative. The correct sorting of litter is a very important job – we had a guest speaker a number of years ago who told us that one contaminated item in a recycling bin (e.g. an unwashed yoghurt tub) renders the entire bin contaminated. If this is true, it puts extra importance of ensuring rubbish is sorted correctly.

    • #202757
      Barry Wall
      Participant

      Climate change is having a negative influence on the lives of the children in our classrooms. The seasons of the year no longer follow the patterns which they once did. As I write this piece the children (and teachers!) are looking out at another day in a long consecutive run of poor weather. Should the children and their parents decide to go on holidays to avoid the rain they will most likely choose a destination in central Europe which is ironically feeling the impacts of climate change on the opposite extreme level. These weather extremes are having a terribly negative influence on plant and animal life. It is sad that this is our own doing.

      The children in most Irish schools are very much aware of the topic of climate change and it is a topic in which students could get behind and support.

      The way in which I would try to broach the topic would be firstly to see if there are any education centres or local “gurus” currently running workshops on the topic. They would provide expert knowledge and engaging powerful content that would really catch the attention of the students.

       

      Secondly I would split the class into 2. The first group would look at how marine and animal life are being impacted by climate change and ways in which these impacts can be combatted, whilst the second group would look at how us as humans are being affected. The students from 5th Class could present their findings to 4th Class.

       

      Finally I would try to ensure that parents are being educated on the topic as well by either holding an evening at the school with the guest speaker from point 1 or having the children present their findings from point 2. Ideally both could be done.

       

      • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Barry Wall.
    • #202820
      Kate Liston
      Participant

      Climate change is having a significant impact on the local coastal environment where I live, from increased sea levels to the disruption of habitats for local wildlife.

      In the past I have run a series of lessons on plastic and it’s impacted on climate change. We have looked at the over use of plastic packaging in our supermarkets and and created a “plastic challenge”. This is where families in our school were to create their weekly shopping list and try to see how many of these items they could but that weren’t wrapped in some sort of plastic. We asked them to post their results on social media and we tagged the supermarket chains where they had shopped. We also asked children in one class to bring in one weeks of their plastic waste and we created a plastic mountain on our school grounds and again posted it on social media. We hoped that these actions in some way raised awareness about how much plastic we are wasting on a daily basis We encouraged children to also do a “2 minute beach” clean every time they visited the beach and to post about it on social media.

      • #202913
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Kate,

        Thank you for you post. Your series of activities around the use of plastic in packaging and the harmful impacts of plastic on the environment are excellent. They really showcase how social media can be used in a positive light. This is also a powerful message for the children. Being able to tag supermarket chains and have visual representations of the plastic produced in a week by a school is a great way of proving a response and gathering traction with the wider school community (and potentially nationally).

    • #202940
      Danielle Phillips
      Participant

      In the area my school is in we have not been directly affected by climate change. There has been an obvious change in weather conditions and often we experience storms and high winds which we are not used to. It means that on a number of occasions children have missed out on certain activities and yards due to the bad weather. There has been some local flooding but nothing that has stopped us from continuing with our normal school day. The children have definitely become more aware of the weather and often comment on it.

      There are a number of thing that can be done in order to actively involve the children in contribute to the slowing down of climate change.

      1.Encourage children to reuse bottles/lunchboxes etc as often children will use plastic bags and buy plastic bottles

      2.Parental involvement- include parents and families in school initiatives

      3.Lights/Electricity- we have light monitors in our school- older children who are responsible for checking light usage etc

      • #203218
        cristina bermudez
        Participant

        Hi Danielle,

         

        you have outlined some good practical solutions that children can become involved in. great idea for future reference thanks

    • #203217
      cristina bermudez
      Participant

      Hi, I know that climate change is having a major impact on the bee population. around the world, the bee population is in decline. An increase in rainfall can have an impact on bee pollinating patterns. their habitats can become destroyed due to weather extremes, reduced habitats, and the changing patterns of plant growth. due to changes in weather, changing patterns of plant growth can have massive impacts on bee pollination.

      In our community, we raise awareness of having bee-friendly plants and flowers and we have a fairy trail and a walkway that is dedicated to the bee population of our community. the secondary school has raised awareness among pupils by providing a beekeeping course for 4th-year students. The community residents that help to clean up our town and look after the plants and flowers around the town promote and provide bee-friendly flowers on the main street. not only does it look very aesthetically pleasing, but it also provides for our local bees.

      this would be a good lesson to introduce students within primary schools and see what the local community is doing to support the bee population. research and projects on bees and how climate change is impacting the decline of bees. what would happen bees become extinct and how to help save the bees!!

      • #203323
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Cristina,

        It’s very disheartening to hear the impact that extreme weather is having on the bee population. Bees have a really important environmental role to play. The work being done in your community is a testament to local volunteers, and it’s clear that a priority is being placed on doing everything possible to conserve the bee population. Getting the secondary school involved as well is really important, as it provides transition from primary, and leads to a greater chance of these young people carrying on the work as they move into adulthood.

    • #203262
      Yvonne Newman
      Participant

      Our school is located near a river and many of our pupils live in housing estates around this floodplain . Prior to covid our local area was very much damaged by flooding . The extremes in heat are also side effect of climate change . When the weather gets good in Ireland there are very high temperatures in Ireland which are not normal summer temperatures . This June 2023 the temperatures were stifling . The extremes of climate in Ireland and also the growing sameness in the 4 seasons in Ireland is a result of climate change , Daffodils sometimes bloom in January and often our leaves turn autumn colours in Autumn.
      The ways we can help children contribute towards climate change is to develop awareness through the lesson plans on climate change in Plan International Ireland .
      Continue to develop our school garden and wildflower gardens .
      Monitor the amount of electricity we are wasting during the day with whiteboards, class chromebooks , lights .
      Recommence the WOW and COW days where pupils and parents are encouraged and rewarded for walking and cycling to school .

      • #203324
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Yvonne,

        Thanks for your post. As you have said, raising awareness of noticeable changes in the local area as a result of extreme weather is so important. If children can visibly see changes occurring, there is likely to be greater buy-in in terms of ‘taking action’. The use of strategies such as WOW or COW are very effective for supporting a number of development education themes. Indeed, promoting it across other days of the week may also be beneficial.

    • #203342
      Anderley Kooner
      Participant

      Now, more than ever, climate change is an important and current topic. The children would have heard of the many different weather patterns across the world and how this is having a negative impact on many peoples lives both locally and globally. Even this Summer the fact it was the wettest July on record in Ireland and there have been forest fires and heatwaves in central Europe highlights how climate change is impacting us all. Although it is a tragedy that so many people’s lives are being affected, the fact it is such a current topic means the learning for children is more relevant and they can relate to the need for action immediately. Discussing what the children know or have heard over recent years and months and using this as a springboard for their learning will ensure a deeper understanding and engagement on the topic.

      Three ways in which I would implement the topic of Climate change would be:

      Implement some hands-on climate change focused activities with the children to help them understand the Science behind some the topics. For example, using container of water to give children a visual for the effects of climate change on glaciers and sea levels. Place some clay or play dough at one side and put ice cubes on top, then fill the other side of the container with water that doesn’t reach the ice. Mark the waterline and see how it rises as the ice cubes melt.

      Involve the whole school in ways in which we as a community can make a change. Allow the children to mind map some of their own ideas and discuss how the different classes can all work together to achieve a goal. For example, recycling, litter collecting or use of electricity across the school and reducing this.

      Ensure that Climate change is not a once off topic or week the children engage with and then forget about. Work would need to be done with the teaching staff of how to include in fortnightly planning, even it is checking in on the whole school activities or reviewing what has been achieved so far. As the information in the slides highlighted, strategies need to be reviewed and assessed continuously for it to become meaningful.

    • #203359
      Shona Barrett
      Participant

      The impacts of climate change are undeniable and are becoming increasingly evident in the Dublin area where I am from. As recent as a few days ago there was severe flooding due to the bursting of banks due to rainfall in the Clontarf area which destroyed many cars and numerous properties. As we are aware rising sea levels pose a serious threat to coastal communities. As was confirmed in recent days July 2023 has been the wettest July on record and I believe that this is no coincidence. Contrasting that June 2023 was our hottest and driest June. These erratic and changeable weather patterns have led to serious droughts on one hand as well as more frequent and severe storms that have caused severe flooding and damage on the other. It is clear that these changes in weather not only have a irreparable impact on environment but also have a seriously damaging effect on our day to day lives.

      To engage my pupils in exploring these climate change issues further, I think that it would be of great benefit to organise a field trip to a local beach, where students can observe first-hand the impacts of the damage that climate change has done and engage in discussions with local experts. Locally within the school we would continue to implement recycling, energy conservation in terms of electricity. Our Green schools committee is prominent within the school community and the representatives of this committe are always on hand in each class to promote these good practices by using checklists as well as our rhymes and poems.

      I will be teaching 6th class next year students and I believe that in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the issues surrounding Climate change it would be best to incorporate it across various subjects. This would enable us to explore the science behind climate change as well as being able to analyse the geographical impacts of climate change on a local and wider scale by using case studies of certain areas that have been disproportionately effected.

    • #203708
      Darragh Greene
      Participant

      In my local area, the effects of climate change, particularly flooding, have become more pronounced over the years due to the unpredictably of the now common heavy downpours overwhelming our drainage systems and causing flooding in low-lying areas. This has not only led to property damage but also poses risks to the safety and well-being of our community members. Witnessing these changes firsthand is a stark reminder of the urgent need to address climate change.

      To engage my students in exploring this issue, I would adopt an age-appropriate approach. Firstly, I’d organize interactive sessions where I explain the concept of climate change using simple language and relatable examples. We would use visuals and stories to help them grasp the idea. Next, I’d take them on a nature walk, discussing the impact of flooding on local plants and animals, fostering a connection between climate change and their surroundings.
      Hands-on activities like creating mini “flood models” using everyday materials would help them understand the mechanics of flooding. Collaborative projects such as making posters or short videos to raise awareness within the school and local community would empower them to take action.
      Three actions that I would encourage them to take to slow down climate change are:

      1.Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Teach them the importance of conserving resources by reducing waste, reusing items, and recycling materials like paper, plastic, and glass.
      2.Plant Trees and Gardens: Engage them in planting trees and creating small gardens, explaining how these actions contribute to absorbing carbon dioxide and improving air quality.

      3.Energy Saving Habits: Encourage them to adopt energy-saving habits like turning off lights and electronics when not in use, and to unplug chargers.

      In my classroom, I envision a lively and engaged atmosphere. I would use colorful visuals, interactive discussions, and hands-on activities to make the learning experience enjoyable and impactful. Field trips to the local estate and farmland affected by the flooding would create a Personal tangible connection to the reality of Climate change and By connecting the local effects of climate change to their everyday lives, I would empower my pupils to become young climate advocates, equipped with the knowledge and enthusiasm to make a positive difference in our world

    • #203725
      Niall Fitzgibbon
      Participant

      As we are all aware, Climate change is having a serious effect on our planet. This summer alone, we can see the scorching temperatures in places like Greece and other parts of Europe as well as a huge increase in wildfires. Portugal is currently battling to contain wildfires which have engulfed thousands of hectares in the last few days due to soaring temperatures. Here in Ireland, the weather is becoming more changeable and severe than ever before with increased rainfall and storms resulting in flooding, causing damage to property.

      Three actions we could do to make a world a better place and slow down the effects of climate change would be:

      1. Encourage pupils and teachers to walk, cycle or scoot to school if possible rather than drive. In our school, the green schools committee came up with an idea to encourage students to walk to school on Wednesdays. A record was taken each morning of how children got to school and the class who walked, cycled or scooted to school the most got the day off homework.

      2. Encourage greater biodiversity in our schools. We have a lovely school garden and a polytunnel. students are regularly given opportunities to come out and help in the garden, planting vegetables, watering the polytunnel, etc.

      3. Encourage students to reuse and recycle more

      I found the lesson plans in this module very beneficial and will definitely incorporate them into my teaching this year.

    • #203753
      Caroline Walsh
      Participant

      Unfortunately, in 2018, Ireland was ranked the worst in Europe for performance on climate change. As a country, we have a lot to do in this area, there are a lot of changes that need to happen and everyone needs to understand their important role in slowing the effects of climate change together.

      I work in the Dublin area area and climate change is impacting and will impact on this area going forward. There is an increase in storms and rainfall causing flooding. Just recently in Clontarf, there was significant flooding.

      I think we have all noticed a rise in temperature in general. The rise of sea levels and the risk of coastal flooding is going to be harmful to a coastal city like Dublin. Flooding effects water quality and is significant in a large population in Dublin city. We are all familiar with various boil water notices that are put in place.

      I think we have also notices changes in nature, flowers appearing much earlier than normal due to higher temperatures in late winter or early spring.

      Three actions that would help make the world a better place by slowing down climate change include:

      1. Walk, Cycle or take public transport. Many schools have initiatives for this e,g ‘Walk to school Wednesdays’ etc. Choosing not to use our car reduces greenhouse gas emissions and also help our health and fitness.

      2. Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle. We can do this with clothes, electronics and plastics as these cause carbon emissions at each point in production. We can shop second hand. We can make a conscious effort to repair instead of buying new. We can throw away less food as if we waste food, we are wasting the resources and energy used to grow, package and transport it. With the hot lunch scheme in our schools at the moment, I think there is more that can be done to reduce the food waste. Some staff eat some of the lunches that are left over as children are absent but many the company has a responsibility in this regard, to link up with other agencies and collect and pass on the food to others. There is a difficulty in this around the hot food having to be eaten within a particular time frame but I’m sure there are ways to solve the issue if it is seen as something we can do to help. It would also be good for the children to see this.

      3. Be mindful how we spend our money – we should choose to buy products from companies who use resources responsibly and are committed to cutting their gas emissions and waste.

      • #205496
        Sarah Coughlan
        Participant

        Hi,

        Thank you for all the great ideas. I will certainly apply these to my school next year where possible.

      • #206439
        Ann-Marie Ronan
        Participant

        Being mindful on how and where we spend our money is a good idea! Choosing and looking into companies more to see if they are using resources responsibly is something definitely worth doing! Thank you.

    • #203772
      Peter Gillooly
      Participant

      The local environment has certainly been affected in a number of different ways. I work in the GDA and quite close to our local parklands in Ballyfermot but also to Phoenix park. One thing we have noticed from looking in these local areas are fewer signs of wildlife and bugs, we also done an investigation on bees in the locality which we found there to be a shortage of. It’s not just wildlife that’s being affected but ecosytem’s and plants also. We have all noticed a greater tempature increase. As well as this, rising sea levels, lake levels and local deforeststation. All of these have affected our local environments.

      Steps we can take:

      1. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle- It is important for us as educators to re-inforce this message consistently to our children in the schools and help them to constantly take these steps in order to improve our environment.
      2. Save Water- Running small iniatives in the school and encouraging children to save water in their own environments is paramount.
      3. Investigate and assist local environments and school environments with the environment’ for example running local STEM projects, investigations and putting things in place to help our environment.
      • #206324
        Deirdre Ryan
        Participant

        Hi Peter,

        I agree, there is huge potential and scope to link this topic to STEM activities and experiments.

      • #206601
        Deirdre Maye
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Peter,

        I think climate change is having a major impact in every area. I think the most obvious impacts can be seen in our weather patterns at present.

        You have some very interesting projects which I’m sure the children will enjoy working on during the year.

    • #203899
      Aoife Dorrian
      Participant

      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Climate change is impacting our local area in a number of ways. However, thankfully climate change has not heavily impacted our school as of yet compared to some of the ways mentioned above. Our school mainly sees the impact of climate change through the drastic weather we have been experiencing in our seasons. For examples, the storms that would cause trees and large branches to fall down making our school an unsafe place to be that day of the day after the storm. I think that if the school is made close due to the impacts of the weather, it is important to teach the children that this is a result of climate change and discuss what changes we can make to help our environment. </span></p>
      <span id=”docs-internal-guid-3aa62870-7fff-61d7-fdd2-33bb08f4f90c”> </span>
      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>One action we can take, which our school places a large emphasis on is walking, cycling or scooting to school as often as you can. The next would be reducing the use of plastic as often as we can. Do we really need to laminate as often as we do? And the next would be turning off the backlight of the interactive board when you are not using it or when you are not in the room.</span></p>

    • #203915
      Pauline Cahill
      Participant

      I think the thing that is most noticeable in our area is how much heavier the rain is as well as the increase in the amount of rain. The heavy showers are unpredictable and can often result in flash flooding in the area. These heavy showers often coincide with the arrival or dispersal of children from school. This has impacted the way in which children travel to school, as well as less yard time.

      I teach 3rd Class and I have heard the children discuss climate change. They are very aware of the things like electric cars and the importance of disposing of their rubbish correctly and recycling. There are a number of ways in which we could approach this.

      I think the first thing to do would be to revise ‘The Water Cycle’ so that children are aware of where rain comes from.

      I would then continue with the lessons on Climate Change using the Plan International Teachers Handbook so that they would have a good understanding of what it is and what is happening in the world.  Using this knowledge, we would look at what we could do to help in this specific area or if an overall approach would be more appropriate.

       

      Three actions that could be taken to slow down climate change in general are:

      -Ensure that waste is disposed of correctly, recycling and composting where possible.

      -Encourage the children to use scooters, bikes, buses etc. to get to school where possible.

      -Encouraging the children to support local where possible.

       

      • #205839
        John Merrins
        Participant

        Hi,

        I really like some of these suggestions, these could definitely be implemented in an urban school as many children would have the option to walk to school instead of being dropped by car.

    • #204147
      Michelle Ryan
      Participant

      Climate change has had a huge impact on our local areas. The heavy rainfall in recent weeks has caused flooding of our town and the river to burst. It also has an effect then on children who spend their summer mostly indoors as opposed to being out and about. I think it would be important to engage children in these more local effects of climate change rather than constantly talking about ice caps melting etc. which can be extremely worrying for some children.

      3 actions we could do to slow down climate change are:

      1. Continue to reduce our waste, recycle as much as possible and reuse what we can. These practices have been in our school a long time but may need to be refreshed to remind children to engage in more creative ways to reduce waste

      2. Save water. While it may seem simple, we still can forget to turn off the tap while we brush our teeth or we may let the water run for a while before filling up our bottles. We have had a boil water notice recently and it is a good reminder of how wasteful we can be with water

      3. Walk or cycle as much as we can. Walk on Wednesday was a great initiative we implemented the past few years but we could definitely expand that now to more than 1 day a week.

      I think lessons on these habits would be a great reminder to our pupils of the real effects these small actions can have on climate change. Also, to remind them that climate change effects are not the same to everyone and that other children in other parts of the world may be affected much more than we are at the moment.

    • #204736
      Éadaoin Garrigan
      Participant

      It is evident that climate change is having a huge impact globally and of course this impacts the local area also. Where I live, like many parts of the country, we have seen more in the way of extreme and unusual weather over the last number of years. There has been increased rainfall amounts which has led to localised flooding and in addition, there has been an increase in heavy winds which has caused both structural damage and also damage to power lines and so on. It is also clear that climate change is having a large impact on various ecosystems in the local environment. Three actions that we could take to make the world a better place and slow down climate change are as follows – encourage children to reduce reuse and recycle through the use of recycling bins in the classroom and also making use of a school compost bin. We could also encourage biodiversity in the school garden by leaving grass to grow during early summer and planting various plants. We could also attempt to conserve rainwater through a collecting device and then use this in other ways.

    • #204781

      Climate change is having a significant impact on the west of Ireland. The effects of climate change can be seen in our local area in the form of rising temperatures, increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like storms or heatwaves. These changes can have consequences for agriculture, water resources and overall community wellbeing. These events can lead to property damage, displacement and disruptions to transportation and infrastructure.

      In the classroom I would educate the students on what the meaning of climate change is and what they can do to help.

      3 actions that could be taken to slow down climate change in general :

      Ensure that waste is disposed of correctly, recycling & composting where possible.

      Save water.

      Walk, cycle or take public transport.

      • #204817
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Bríd,

        Thanks for your post and for sharing your first hand experiences of the impacts of climate change on your locality. The impact of extreme weather on agricultural practices in rural Ireland is a major concern, and one which will continue to gather significance if these extreme weather events continue. Educating the children around the impacts of extreme heat/rainfall on crops and animals is an important element in raising awareness of this. Your suggestions are all so practical and easy to implement in schools – they are all areas that the student body could take ownership of, and the student council/green schools committee could be very active ‘on the ground’, ensuring these are implemented.

    • #205295
      Jamie Owens
      Participant

      Climate change can have significant impacts on coastal towns like my local town, including rising sea levels, increased frequency and severity of storms, erosion of coastal areas, and changes in weather patterns. To engage pupils in exploring the impacts of climate change in the area you could organise field trips in local area, a guest speaker to come into the school or a project based learning based on the local area.

      Field Trips and Local Observations: Take students on field trips to observe and document first hand the effects of climate change in the area. Visit vulnerable coastal areas, record changes in sea levels, erosion pattern etc. Encourage them to take photos, notes, and sketches to create a comprehensive record of the changing landscape.

      Guest Speakers and Interviews: Invite local experts, environmental scientists, and community members who have witnessed the changes in the area over the years. Arrange interviews or panel discussions where pupils can ask questions and gain insights into thef climate change’s on their town.

      Project-Based Learning: Assign students to research and develop projects that address specific climate change challenges facing the area. Examples could include creating informative posters about coastal erosion and adaptation strategies, designing sustainability proposals, or developing educational campaigns to raise awareness about climate change impacts within the community.

      I feel by doing the three actions mentioned above the children would gain a deeper understanding of climate change’s impact on their community and take meaningful steps to contribute to a more sustainable future in their community.

    • #205297
      Ronan McGrath
      Participant

      The fight against climate change is possibly the number one issue in the world today. On the news we see how it affects countries in Africa and Asia, but it is also happening here in Europe. While this summer hasn’t been extremely nice in Ireland, with the sun barely shining and plenty of rain, the opposite has been happening right across Europe. However, in previous summers we have had unbelievable weather. At a local level, we saw rivers dry up and lakes not reaching previous levels. This affects some people personally in the water sports that might use the rivers for their sports, such as kayaking and fishing. It also has a more important affect on local farmers and their produce. For a major impact to take place with our climate large companies need to act. However, young children need to be taught the importance of why to act so they can make a difference in the future. There are many ways this can be done. In previous years, my school has organised a screen free day. The children raise a small bit of money to have a day without screens. This is usually a fun day playing board games, but the children are not allowed screens for 24 hours. That means no laptops, tablets, TV and even no phones. Hopefully with the weather taking a turn, we could take advantage of the warm sunny days and get out of our classrooms. Turn off the lights and unplug the devices and do a few lessons outdoors. This can be done in many subjects, such as art, PE, a maths trail and reading. This year we did paired reading between 6th class and senior infants. The lessons took place outdoors, due to the weather being so nice. It was a great success. Finally, the children could do projects on climate change. Culminating with them writing to their local TD’s, senators, and councillors, giving ideas on how to tackle the problem.

      • #205359
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Ronan,

        Thank you for your post. As you have correctly pointed out, the fight against climate change is certain one of the most prominent global issues we are facing. It is 100% a global issue, and there are no areas that have not began to see some changes in their climate. Each year, we seem to hear of more forest fires in the summer and more bouts of extreme snowfall in the winter. The fires in Hawaii are just another example of a ‘new’ location being added to this growing list. This issue requires a global response, and string leadership from those who are contributing the greatest to the issue. Education for children around the things that are contributing, and what actions can be undertaken to halt the acceleration of climate change.

    • #205458

       

      BRÍD-SÍLE Ní Fhlatharta

      Participant

      Climate change is having a significant impact on the west of Ireland. The effects of climate change can be seen in our local area in the form of rising temperatures, increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like storms or heatwaves. These changes can have consequences for agriculture, water resources and overall community wellbeing. These events can lead to property damage, displacement and disruptions to transportation and infrastructure.

       

      In the classroom I would educate the students on what the meaning of climate change is and what they can do to help.

       

      3 actions that could be taken to slow down climate change in general :

       

      Ensure that waste is disposed of correctly, recycling & composting where possible.

       

      Save water.

       

      Walk, cycle or take public transport.

      It’s important that we as educators encourage our students to gain a deeper understanding of climate change’s impact on their community and that they take meaningful steps to contribute to a more sustainable future in their community.

    • #205494
      Sarah Coughlan
      Participant

      In Ireland, the beautiful landscapes we love are changing due to climate change. The weather is getting different and this affects our environment. Our coasts are getting smaller because our sea levels are rising. Sometimes it rains too much or too little, which can harm farming.

      To help students understand this, we can do different things. Inviting guest speakers to talk to the students about climate change can help greatly. We can also learn from the past on how people used to take care of the environment. In the classroom, we can encourage good habits such as turning off the lights, don’t let the tap run, ensure we dispose of waste correctly etc.

      As teachers we must educate students on the importance of looking after our environment and ensure that students have a deep understanding of the impact of climate change in our community and are aware of some action steps they can take to ensure a more sustainable future.

    • #205835
      John Merrins
      Participant

      With the ever-changing climate and unpredictable weather patterns a primary school teacher has many experiments and activities which they can use to develop and deliver a lesson. Within the coming year I hope to carry out experiments comparing rainfall between all the seasons. I hope that this will allow students to not only become familiar with scientific equipment but also be able to construct charts and graphs which they can then use at a later stage in the year to compare to write a final report on the year which has been observed.
      As a class group we would then brainstorm ideas about three actions that we could take as class to slow down climate change. I would be suggesting limiting paper use both by staff members and the students themselves. Implementing a strict policy on recycling within our classroom and finally looking at our own electricity use within the classroom environment and hopefully cutting down considerably on its use.

      • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by John Merrins.
    • #205847
      Anna O’Gara
      Participant

      <span style=”color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>Climate change is affecting our local area in lots of ways. I am living close to the River Dodder. Dublin City Council is looking to clean the rainwater flow off the roads before it gets to the river, to avoid flooding. The project is called rainscapes. Increased flooding in local areas  is a clear indicator of climate change.</span>

      A wildflower garden is an excellent way to increase biodiversity in your school and welcome bees into the garden who are the most important insect in the world. The bees pollinate plants and make food.

      A Green School Committee can campaign against climate change issues and hold various weeks in the school year- Walk to School Week, Cycle to School Week, Recycling Week, Marine Week.

      Light monitors in each class ensure that lights are turned off/ switches off when they are not in use.

    • #205893
      Gwyn Bhreathnach
      Participant

      I live along the coast and my school is nearby  in portmarnock.  Long term use of the sand dunes has had an impact on the Dunes in both areas, particularly on the wildlife and the nature reserve in Dollymount. As a school we have brought the children on field trips down to the beach and taught the children about the long term impact we are having on the Dunes and how important it is not to walk on them so that we can preserve our wildlife.
      The three things we can do are already in effect in our school but each year we try to build on our Green Schools initiatives:

      1. We are very fortunate to be situated in an area of natural beauty and nature. Our green schools committee have created a wormery, we engage with composting around the school, along with lots of nature trails to encourage the children to think about  our wild life and our nature which is so important to preserve.

      2. We strongly encourage walking to school more. We are also involved with the council around building safe cycling routes to school. We have I stalked cycle racks for teachers and will develop this once the cycle route is complete so that children can safely cycle to school and stay out of cars more.

      3. We monitor our bins, ensuring the message around recycling and reusing is sent out in a daily basis across the school. We re-use through art projects and the children have engaged with Climate Change through this Programne.  All of this work is done under  the children’s leadership and using the children’s voice which enables more participation and engagement.

       

      • #205937
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Gwyn,

        Thank you for your post. I always find it quite disheartening when I read of the impacts of climate change and sea-level changes on wildlife. Children generally are fascinated by nature and animals, and seeing the impact this is having may be beneficial in securing greater investment from the children. The work being dine by the Green Schools Committee in your school (and many others) is commendable. The creation of a wormery and the promotion of composting around the school is a wonderful initiative that gets everyone in the school community involved in promoting sustainability.

    • #206044
      Niamh Flannery
      Participant

      Climate change is very evident in our weather and seasons. I live in a rural village so we do not have the same opportunities for climate change action as bigger towns or cities. However, the children in the area would love to learn about the causes and impacts of climate change as they will see the damaging effects in the future. Learning about renewable and non renewable energy would be very valuable to them as they get older. Three actions that myself and my class could do I to make the world a better place:
      1- recycle properly
      2- walk or cycle to school rather than taking the car
      3- Turn off lights and power eg the interactive white board, when not in use.

      • #206593
        Deirdre Maye
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Niamh,

        Thank you for your response.

        Climate change can be visible in rural areas.  The impact of rain on farming is a very popular topic of conversation.

        I like your action plan and the children will definitely be able to chieve some of these actions.

    • #206317
      Deirdre Ryan
      Participant

      Unfortunately it is very easy to see the effects of climate change in our local area and beyond. The increasing level of rainfall and number of storms are clearly evident-we’ve just had the wettest July on record! Due to this increase our local river now floods much more frequently causing irreparable damage to historical sites, spoiling local beauty/nature spots and of course damaging local properties. When the river floods thankfully it doesn’t reach the school but traffic, local buses etc. are all effected, and thus children and their families are impacted. I think in general children are very aware of climate change and its consequences on some level, and they engage really well with the topic. We as educators can incorporate environmental education and development education themes/issues across all classes i.e. as part of the SSE process. 3 actions that myself, my class, my school and possibly the local community could make:

      Developing our school garden-promote and encourage biodiversity by planting wild flowers and pollen friendly plants, and growing our own crops.

      Reigniting the good work done with the Green Flags over the years and revisiting all actions and seeing how we can build on these. (Relaunching audits, WOW days, projects etc.)

      Reducing, reusing and recycling more throughout the school.

    • #206446
      Ann-Marie Ronan
      Participant

      Climate change has affected my local area through the drastic weather. The levels of rainfall, the lack of rainfall, the rising temperatures, the river flooding, the disruption of water quality and power outages.

      Some people in my local area took part in ‘No Mow May’ this year. This involved leaving the grass grow and not using lawnmowers for the month of May. Many wildflower gardens have been planted locally also.

      There are many ways students can be involved and educated on climate change. Firstly, there is a world of resources available online. From YouTube clips, photographs, newspaper articles etc. It is always beneficial for children to learn using a hands-on approach also.

      The Green School code in our school – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is ongoing. Each class is encouraged to implement these strategies daily.

      The slogan our school use for energy consumption is ‘Be Smart, Be Cool, Start Saving Energy in School’. The ‘Energy Police’ are usually out in full force!!

      Active Schools and Green Schools combined encourage the walking / cycling to school. WOW days ‘Walk On Wednesdays’ are a big hit!

      In recent years, the school has created a garden for growing vegetables. So much learning has taken from this garden being created!

       

      • #206582
        Deirdre Maye
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Ann-Marie,

        It is important for students to understand how climate change is affecting their local area.

        You have some great initiatives set up in your school, I especially love the vegetable garden and you can have so much learning from this by taking it into the kitchen.

        Keep it up!

    • #206907
      Sarah Farrell
      Participant

      Climate change is rapidly affecting our world and it is important for children to learn how climate change is affecting their local area. Flooding is evident in my locality. Rising sea and river tides has brought about extreme flooding and considerable damage to homes and amenities in my locality. It has also had a negative effect on water quality for plant and animal life, fish and sea life. It is also evident in our drinking water where many homes must use a water filter. Children in the local schools can learn about this by doing research on water quality in their local area and compare it with water samples from another area. The children can also do projects on how poor water quality effects plant and animal life. Projects can be done on a local and global level to help the children realise that this is a world -wide issue.
      Having open conversations with children about climate change and how it is affecting their locality is a good place to start. Allowing the children to actively engage in raising awareness of climate change will help them to engage, understand and empathise with the topic. I suggest activities such as tracking weather through weather reports and reading real life stories of how weather is effecting peoples’ lives will help show that action is needed.
      Trips to the local beach to witness sea erosion would also make this topic more real and accessible to the children. Discussing current governmental initiatives with the children will educate them further and help empower them to participate in change. For example the introduction of a cycle lane in my local area. Children can engage in a walking debate to highlight the pros and cons of this initiative.
      In the school I work in the children and staff are very good at recycling and reusing. The next step, and one that is often overlooked it to ‘reduce’. It is important to teach the children that we first need to reduce the amount of things in our lives.
      A school garden is also a nice idea to teach children about the importance of plants and also shopping locally.
      Getting involved with the local Tidy Towns Committee in litter picking is another idea action to engage in.

    • #206919
      Patrycja Mazurczak
      Participant

      Climate change is impacting the local area in a number of ways. I live near the coast and the effects of climate change can be seen in coastal and river flooding, water quality warnings, intense weather conditions ranging from heavy rainfall to prolonged periods of dry conditions. To engage primary school pupils, I would promote open discussions about climate change. This can be accomplished by looking at weather charts, examining changes in ecosystems and participating in local events eg beach clean ups.

      Theee actions I would promote in a primary school classroom to make the world a better place and slow down climate change are:

      -Creating a school garden and encouraging others to plant more trees while also using this are for composting

      – Comsume less, recycle more and reduce energy consumption by assigning someone to be an “energy saver” each week/researching and promoting renewable energy sources eg solar power to raise awareness about their benefits and advocating for clean energy policies nation wide

      -Make an effort each day to use public transport/walk/cycle to school

    • #207017
      Vivienne Doyle
      Participant

      Climate change is impacting my local area with recent rainfall in Cork. With July being reported the wettest July on record. This is impacting the local area as there has been reports of burst pipes, flooding and power cuts. The recently published TRANSLATE climate projections, optimised for Ireland, indicate future increases in average annual temperature and rainfall, as the climate continues to warm
      I would engage and motivation my students to investigate climate change by bringing them on field trips to witness the effects of climate change in our community. I would come up with activities that help the students to raise awareness of Climate Change in our area. I would try to organise that the class/school could also speak with local experts on the effects of climate change on our town.

      Here are three things I can do to help make the world a better place and limit climate change.I could participate in my community. I can help by volunteering with a climate change organisation or writing to my political authorities about the necessity of taking action on climate change. I would like to help out with Tidy Towns. I could work on reduce my environmental impact for example my carbon footprint. This can be accomplished by driving less, taking public transit, and recycling.Another small but effective action I could do would be to turn off lights/switches when they are not in use.

    • #207161
      Lorraine Cleary
      Participant

      In our area there is a river that floods often in early Spring when the water table is already high, but the increased rainfall in recent years has increased the incidents. In our school we have engaged with the Picker Pals program for the last 2 years and our children go out with parents in turns at night collecting and recycling where possible, rubbish they find. During Winter and Spring a focus is centered on the River banks and river to ensure drains are not blocked.

      Another action we could take is to gather people in the school and wider community to plant trees and plants along the river banks to increase water absorption, rainfall collection and slow down the rise of the river.

      3 actions we can take in school

      1. As part of Active Flag last year we encouraged initiatives to walk/scoot to school. It will be more difficult this year as we are moving locations and it will be a longer journey, so we will have to more strongly motivate to keep the initiatives going. We are considering organising a CycleBus as they have in Galway as  there are no bicycle lanes yet on our new roads. We need to write to the council to get the cycle lanes painted. This will reduce the burning of motor fuel.

      2. This year we will be applying for our Green School Flag. So we will be actively encouraging the recycling of rubbish and reusing of materials in the classrooms. We already encourage the children to take home their left over food to be composted by when we move to our new school we hope to purchase a composting bin. Some of our leftover food is fed to our wormery.

      3. We are quite committed to teaching and living Biodiversity as much as possible. We have designated wild flower gardens around the school to encourage bee pollination. We have a wormery up and running and a bug hotel and different classes are given responsibility for maintaining them. We currently have an allotment where we grow vegetables, pumpkins and sunflowers. We reuse the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Groups from each class are taken to dig, plant, weed and harvest throughout the year.

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