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St. Colmcille's Primary School
and Learning Support Centres

๐Ÿƒ Eco Committee ๐Ÿƒ

Please enjoy the following video made by our P4/5 class, with lots of tips on how to reduce plastic pollution. The children in Miss Barbour’s class have been working very hard to learn more about plastic pollution and have created this short video to help educate us all with some simple ideas that we can implement to reduce the amount of single use plastic waste in our environment.

P4/5 Plastic Pollution

Still image for this video

๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒณโ™ป๏ธ Earth Day Celebrations ๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒณโ™ป๏ธ

We celebrated Earth Day at St. Colmcille’s on the 22nd April. This year’s theme was ‘Restore our Earth.’ 
Each key stage had a different focus throughout the day and completed activities related to key environmental issues. Our Foundation Stage pupils read the story of ‘Somebody Swallowed Stanley’ by Sarah Roberts and carried out a number of activities on plastic pollution. In KS1 the focus was the story of ‘The Lorax’ by Dr Seuss. They looked at the importance of planting flowers and trees and their impact on the world. KS2 worked on completing a project on C2k NewsDesk to inform others about key environmental issues like Climate Change, Plastic Pollution etc.

We were very impressed with the enthusiasm and engagement of all children throughout the day and have seen a great change in attitude and behaviour towards our environment and looking after our Earth.

๐Ÿšถโ€โ™‚๏ธ ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผ Well done to our Journey to Santa Challenge winners! ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผ ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™‚๏ธ

โ„๏ธ Winter Workshops โ„๏ธ

Our Foundation Stage were treated to a fantastic outdoor workshop delivered by Liz Farnan this week on biodiversity and how our local wildlife prepares for the Winter months.  Liz is an environmental educator and shared her wealth of knowledge of local wildlife with the children.  We listened to a lovely story called, ‘Winter Song’ which was about different birds and how they might migrate for the Winter or stay at home and need us to provide food for them.  We hung bird feeders in our trees in school and have been having great fun watching out for the different birds who have been visiting.  We have spotted some Pied Wagtails, Starlings and Magpies.  We also looked at the various plants and trees in our Eco Garden and used leaves and twigs to make Christmas tree decorations for our tree.  We finished our session by playing some games pretending to be animals that hibernate and birds foraging in the Winter.  

๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฟNature Collages Made by Nurture ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ


This week our Nurture class have been exploring the natural materials around the school grounds that have fallen throughout Autumn to create an Autumn Collage.  Haven’t they created some beautiful pictures? ๐Ÿ˜

๐ŸŒŸBe Bright Be Seen ๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸAutumn Assembly๐Ÿ


Miss Vaughan delivered our first virtual Eco assembly of the year and provided a re-cap on what Eco Schools is and why it is important to look after our planet ๐ŸŒŽ

As Friday was the last day before our mid-term break, Miss Vaughan discussed the importance of travelling safely in the darker mornings and evenings.  We are an Active Travel school and as such, we must also focus on how to travel safely.  In the Autumn and Winter months we must remember, ‘Be Bright, Be Seen.’  Wearing bright, fluorescent clothing with reflective strips will help us be seen by others, especially drivers when travelling actively.

๐ŸŒŸFirst Meeting of the Year ๐ŸŒŸ


We had our first meeting of the year this week and Miss Vaughan was very excited to meet the new Eco Committee.  The boys and girls were very enthusiastic and came to the meeting with great ideas for the year ahead.  We introduced ourselves and discussed our plan for the next meeting.  Each representative went back to their class to remind them of the correct use of our three bins as it was reported that some classes had forgotten.  This looks like a dedicated and hard working Eco Committee for 2020-2021! 

๐ŸŒฑ LSC4 Outdoor Learning Space ๐ŸŒฑ 


This year LSC4 have decided that they want to develop an Outdoor Learning Space beside their classroom.  
This space will provide a calm and relaxing area for pupils when they need it.  They will also become responsible young people as this will be their area to care for and maintain.  LSC4 have some wonderful ideas to expand this space such as planting more herbs and veg and carrying out practical activities and lessons outdoors.  We are looking forward to seeing the final result LSC4.  Keep up the good work! ๐ŸŒŸ

๐Ÿ—ณEco Committee Elections ๐Ÿ—ณ 


The time has arrived to choose our new Eco Committee for the next year and I am so excited to get it up and running! ๐Ÿ˜ 


  • A representative from each class in P4-P7 will be chosen to represent their year group. 
  • Any child that has an interest in the Eco Schools programme will have opportunity to complete an application form outlining their interests and ideas.
  • The three children in each class who have made the most effort and shown interest in their application form will have their names selected for a vote.
  • Classmates will have the opportunity to vote for the child they feel will represent their thoughts and ideas successfully at meetings.
  • The child with the most votes will be selected to represent their class as a member of the Eco Committee.


Good Luck and I am looking forward to meeting our new committee of 2020-2021! ๐Ÿ€ 


Miss Vaughan 

Congratulations to Miss Vaughan and the schoolโ€™s Eco Committee for their sterling efforts in obtaining, for the second time, the prestigious Eco Schools โ€˜Green Flagโ€™ for St. Colmcilleโ€™s Primary School. This award reflects the work that Miss Vaughan, Mrs Oโ€™Dowd and the children that make up the Eco Committee, have carried out to make sure St. Colmcilleโ€™s is continuing to sustain school improvement in all areas.

Butterfly Life Cycle Video

Still image for this video
LSC1 have created this video to explain the life cycle of a Butterfly during their Minibeast topic.

Well done to Beth for taking part in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Environmental Youth Speak competition. Beth worked really hard on her speech and delivered a very insightful speech regarding eco awareness and how we can help protect the environment. Beth is pictured receiving her certificate of commendation from Mr Mark Murnin, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

Miss Vaughan, Miss Oโ€™Hare and Mrs Oakes accompanied some members of the Eco Committee to a local Tree Planting event today. This event had been organised by Rachel Wilson and the Eco Club at Down High, who had been working with the Newry, Mourne and Down District council to create a new community woodland at Dunleath playing fields.

Ditch the Stabilisers Event

Christmas Jumper Walk

Switch Off Fortnight begins with an assembly from our Eco Committee

One of our targets this year is to address ‘Energy Waste.'

We are taking part in the ‘Switch Off Fortnight’, which is a fun and engaging campaign. Children discover how much energy is wasted throughout a school day and put strategies in place to minimize waste.

12th – 23rd November

How does it work?

Week 1background research and campaign design

  • Students learn why it’s important to try to save energy.

  • They go undercover and complete a school audit to find out where energy is being wasted

  • Plan a campaign that will help persuade everyone in school to try to use less energy.

  • At the end of this week, they put up posters and plan a week’s energy saving activity


    Week 2 - campaign activation – spreading the word!

  • During the week – the school holds activities that will help everyone get involved with energy saving – e.g. rewards for the class who is the best at remembering to turn off electrical appliances and lights, when they’re not being used.

  • At the end of the week – the students complete a second school audit, to find out how behaviour has changed.

  • Students share the results with the school and encourage everyone to keep up the good work all year round.


Autumn Eco Newsletter

Monday Eco Club - Creating homes and food for Wildlife

The P6 children carried out a school grounds survey and suggested ways we can use our outdoor areas as fun and engaging areas of learning.

Our New Eco Committee for 2018-2019

Eco Committee Selection Process

The voting process is underway, here in school as the children in each class vote for their class representatives to be on this year's Eco Committee.  Pupils had to complete an application form and put their case forward in front of their classmates.

Each class will now wait for the triumphant winners names to be released!


P3 Elections

The whole school were treated to a visit from Noel and his Arc 21 Bus.  Noel talked to the children about waste and what we can do in school and at home to minimise the amount of waste arriving at landfills.  He showed examples of how to reduce, reuse and recycle.

The younger children reused old newspaper to plant seeds that can be planted into the ground and the older children took part in a quiz to see how much information they had retained.

Arc 21 Bus Visit

Well done to our 'Earth Week' winners! The children were asked to make and design models out of old plastics and household items that focused on the theme of being 'Eco friendly'. Our winners were Oscar Manley, Ethan Rooney, Miley Keenan, Aoibheann Crothers, Orlaith Gregge, Aleesha Douglas, Jenny Kordys and Cora Fitzsimons. They are pictured with Eco Schools Co-ordinators, Miss Gemma Vaughan and Mrs Colleen O'Dowd.
I would like to congratulate Miss Vaughan and Mrs O'Dowd for leading the staff, pupils, parents and school community through the criteria for achieving the Sustrans School Silver award. Claire Lundy, from Sustrans, will present us with our certificate and plaque tomorrow.

Some of our pupils enjoying the Eco Garden in this lovely sunny weather

We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who braved the elements this morning and arrived to school by bike or scooter! We were really pleased with the turn out, especially when we went into the classrooms to find so many children dressed up in Superhero costumes to participate in the day, despite the weather.  There are also a number of children who have been travelling by bike or scooter during the past two weeks and we have entered all of your results onto the Big Pedal website and we really appreciate the effort all children and parents have put into this event!


Well done everyone!

The Big Pedal 2017

Get set… we’re taking part in The Big Pedal 2017, the UK’s largest inter-school cycling and scooting challenge that inspires pupils, staff and parents to choose two wheels for their journey to school.


We are running the challenge from 20th - 31st March. Following on from the success of our 1 day event last year, we felt children would enjoy participating in the 2 week event. It’s free to enter and we would love everyone to be involved.


The details

On each day of the challenge schools compete to see who can record the greatest number of pupils, staff and parents cycling or scooting to school.  There will be class challenges, fun lessons and the 'secret sleuth' will be out looking for bikes and scooters throughout the 2 week event.


Our best 5 days will determine our final position in the challenge. We’ll be competing against other schools right across the UK, and if we clock up the most bike and scooter journeys we’ll win!


Why we’re taking part

It’s a great way to get more of our pupils travelling to school on their bikes and scooters. We will be competing to become one of the UK’s top schools for two-wheeled journeys and will be in with a chance to win prizes including bike and scooter stunt shows and fantastic cycle and scooter storage.


Superhero fundraising day

On Friday 31st March we'd love our pupils to be involved in Sustrans' Superhero Day by dressing as their favourite superhero in exchange for a £1 donation.  This gives everyone child the chance to be involved in the Big Pedal even if they don't cycle or scoot to school. 


What’s next?

All you need to do is encourage your child(ren) to cycle or scoot to school every day during the event, and join them on their way – parent and sibling journeys count too!


For more information about the event go to


Please get in touch if you have any questions.


Enjoy the ride!

Fairtrade Fortnight

As our Fairtrade Fortnight came to a close, the Eco Committee met on Thursday to count all the Fairtrade wrappers collected by each class.  The winning class was the P4 class and they were all rewarded with a Fairtrade break on Friday morning.  They received Fairtrade hot chocolate and toast with Fairtrade toppings of jam and honey.  Each child also received a Fairtrade chocolate bar and banana.  A great morning was had by all and we are so pleased with the enthusiasm from all classes throughout the past fortnight.


Well done to everyone who took part and congratulations to P4!



Newry, Mourne and Down District's Eco Calendar Winners!

Image result for sustrans

Today we carried out our first Sustrans Active Travel themed day with our 'Ditch the Dark' day. 

The theme of the day was Be Bright, Be Seen. To raise awareness of safe travel to school as the days become darker, children were asked to cycle, scoot or walk to school looking as bright and shiny as possible!


This day supports our involvement with Sustrans and promotes active and sustainable methods of transport.  We had a fantastic turnout today and were also happy to see many of the bikes and scooters decorated and 'blinged up' to stand out and be easily seen on the dark roads.


Miss McCullaugh's P2 class held their first assembly this morning and taught us the important message of road safety and the need to 'Stop, Look, Listen and Think' before we cross a road.  At the end of the assembly we announced the winners of our Autumn Challenge and these children received a prize. 


The message we tried to promote today is a very important  one as we enter into these dark Winter months.  We believe active travel is a great method of transport but we also need to stop and think and be aware of the rules of the road and how to travel safely.  Today was a fun and enjoyable way of delivering this message and we were so proud and pleased with the support and participation from all children and their family today.


Thank you.


The Green Team.

We are so pleased with the effort everyone made to join in with our Ditch the Dark day!

Eco Committee 2016/2017

New Eco-Gardens!

We would like to thank all the families and children who supported the school today in our participation of the Big Pedal!  It was a huge success!  The children had a great day travelling actively to school on their many bikes, scooters, flickers and even go-karts! 

Throughout the day every class had a visit from Pamela (Sustrans) who carried out different tasks related to bike safety and awareness.  The children thoroughly enjoyed learning about the different parts of a bicycle and how to repair a puncture.  We also looked at bike safety and it was great to see so many of our children wearing their high visibility vests from Sustrans to travel safely to and from school today.  Hopefully we will see these vests more often on our active journeys to and from school.





Get set… we’re taking part in The Big Pedal 2016, the UK’s largest inter-school cycling and scooting challenge that inspires pupils, staff and parents to choose two wheels for their journey to school.  Powered by Sustrans and funded by the Bike Hub, the challenge runs from 18 to 29 April. It’s free to enter and we would love everyone to be involved.


The details

On Friday 29th April we are holding a one day cycle/scoot to school fundraising event to see if we can encourage as many pupils, staff and parents to choose this active travel method. This day will determine our position in the challenge. We’ll be competing against other schools right across the UK, and if we clock up the most bike and scooter journeys we’ll win!


Why we’re taking part

It’s a great way to get more of our pupils travelling to school on their bikes and scooters. We will be competing to become one of the UK’s top schools for two-wheeled journeys and will be in with a chance to win prizes including bike and scooter stunt shows and fantastic cycle and scooter storage.


Superhero fundraising day

As part of our Big Pedal event on Friday 29th April we’d love our pupils to be involved in Sustrans’ Superhero Day by dressing as their favourite superhero in exchange for a £1 donation. This gives every child the chance to be involved in the Big Pedal even if they don’t scoot or cycle to school that day.


What’s next?

All you need to do is encourage your child (ren) to cycle or scoot to school for the event, and join them on their way – parent and sibling journeys count too!  For more information about the event go to  Please get in touch if you have any questions.


Miss Vaughan and Miss McCullaugh


Sustrans Bikeability Cycle Training


As part of our school’s involvement with the Sustrans Active School Travel Programme children in Primary 6 took part in Bikeability Cycle Training. This cycle training is designed to give young people the skills and confidence to ride their bikes safely on today’s roads.


The training consisted of two levels. During Level 1, children learnt how to control and master their bikes in the playground. Basic bike control skills were also covered including starting and pedalling; stopping; manoeuvring; signalling and using gears on the bike. During Level 2, children were shown how to cycle safely on quiet roads near the school. Level 2 gives children real cycling experiences so that they are able to deal with traffic on short journeys such as cycling to school.

Sustrans Bikeability Cycle Training

This year we are taking part in the Sustrans Active Travel Challenge programme.  This began with a hands up survey carried out in ks2 to find out how many of us travel to school in an active way.


On Friday 16th October we had our first 'Be Bright, Be Seen' day, which was a big success.  As part of the Sustrans programme we want children to think about travelling safely.  We are moving into the dark Winter months and believe that this message of wearing something bright/reflective was an important one to remember when we are out and about this Autumn/Winter.



The school year began with a big clean up of our Eco Garden. The children from KS2 have been working very hard to get the garden ready for us to start carrying out some new ideas to improve it this year.

Eco-Schools 'Green Flag' Success!

Translink Presentation Day

Eco Staff took four representatives from the ECO council to the Translink Central Station in Belfast. 


The children gave a short presentation in front of the other schools present about our Translink Challenge in the form of pictures and a sound poem.  The school was awarded with a certificate of participation and an award for the overall winners of the Translink Challenge in 2015.


The children were brilliant representatives of the school.  We were extremely proud of them and all the hard work the whole school and ECO council have done this year that led to this achievement.

Thank you!

Translink Presentation Day

Congratulations go to the Eco-Council for winning the Translink NI 'Eco Schools Travel Challenge'. The Eco-Council had to submit a 200 mword project summary with photos and data illustrating a creative approach to the 'Travel Challenge'. The Eco-Council have won £150 for school and a free Ulsterbus travel for one class for their end of year school trip. The children will visit Central Station, Belfast, on Thursday 11th June to take part in the prize-giving ceremony on behalf of St. Colmcille's. Well done to our Eco-Council!!.

Arc ECO Bus

Every class had the opportunity to visit the ECO bus and participate in a workshop related to the theme of, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  When each class arrived onto the bus they were shown various items that have been made from recycling and reusing materials.

P1 - P3 created small pots from recyled newspaper and were able to plant cress seeds.

P4 - P5 designed and created small badges.

P6 - P7 took part in an interactive quiz about 'waste' and how imporant it is to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Everyone had a great day and we would love the see the Arc ECO bus back in St. Colmcille's again.

The Green Team would like to thank all the children, staff and parents/guardians who attended our, 'Walk to School Day' and made it such a huge success.  We hope you had as much fun as we did!

Eco School's Walk to School Day

Eco Council February 2015

Cash for Clobber Update

So far we have collected around 50 bags.  This is absolutely fantastic and our thanks and appreciation go out to everyone who collected and supported the, 'Green Team.'  We are hoping to have all the bags collected by Friday 27th February.  If you are having a big clear out during mid term please put any clothes, linen, bags or shoes into a black bag and send them into school.  Every little helps.


Thank you.

The Eco club and comittee have been working hard creating our Eco code. Watch this space....

Planting Flowers into Recycled Wellington Boots.

Thirty trees were planted by the Eco-Club into large pots to protect them from the harsh weather this Winter.

Eco-Council News 2014-2015

The Eco-Schools Co-ordinators, have been working hard to organise workshops and educational visits for the pupils to participate in and for St. Colmcille's to qualify for our 'Green Flag' award. In March there will be composting workshops for the children from P1-P4 and in April there will be recycling workshops for the children from P5-P7. Keep an eye out for the reports to be published below and in the Latest News section.


The children from the Eco-Council were busy making the first St. Colmcille's mini-beast hotel.  This is part of our bio-diversity programme.  The children received great help from Abbie Mc Sherry, bio-diversity officer from Down District Council.







Bug Hotel - now taking bookings...

Litter Picking - To Improve The School Grounds

St. Colmcille's Primary School wins Eco-Council Silver Award

Eco Club - Designing Bird Boxes - Tuesday 4th March๏ปฟ

Seamus and Joseph proudly displaying the bird nesting boxes that have been designing and making in the Eco Club. Miss Davey has been developing this initiative with her club and we look forward to all the nesting boxes being positioned around school.

Eco-Council Composting Workshops - Wednesday 26th February

Miss Davey, Eco-Schools Co-ordinator, organised Lucinda White (Assistant Education Officer, DDC) to come to school to take composting workshops for the children from P1-P4. The children enjoyed learning about the ways to recycle around school and home and took part in making flower pots from old newspapers. The children are really looking forward to seeing how their cress and sunflower seeds grow.

Composting Workshop