Green Schools

It’s lashing rain and there are brollies up all over Beruti. It rained heavily throughout the night, reminding me of home as I lay awake listening to it beat against windows.

I thought of my new friend Luz, the English primary head, whose son gets married today. She was relying on good weather for the garden reception, expecting Argentinian not Irish weather..

My Ideas - 10Our Argentinian friends aren’t happy with this changeable weather. Understandably, they blame climate change and El Niño, shake their heads, complaining it’s not normal.

It’s December, nearly summer and it should be sunny. They’re used to sun in Argentina, it’s dependable, it’s on the flag.

Except we can no longer depend on traditional weather patterns.

World leaders met at the Paris Climate Summit recently to agree decisive actions to fight global warming. Thankfully, schools around the world are already leading the way.

My home school, Blarney Street CBS, Cork is about to be awarded its sixth Green Flag, this time for Global Citizenship. This distinction is given by Green-Schools, known internationally as Eco-Schools, an international environmental education programme which acknowledges long-term, whole school action.


Thanks to the leadership of teachers, Noreen Guiney and Kieran Murphy, our Green School committee ,of students and staff, has been awarded flags for water and energy conservation, waste management , transport and promoting biodiversity.

Over here in Colegio Cardenal Newman, I also see teachers like Daniel in the secondary and Vivienne and Giorgi in the primary  working on whole-school environmental projects.

Blarney Street and Newman have so much good practice to share  that it is wonderful that Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders (EREBB) provides a network and platform for us to cooperate.

Since arriving I have made wonderful friends in Newman The principals, Leo, Mauje, Luz and Silvia, welcomed me with a hug on the first day and invited me into the school, explaining their systems and procedures. They are good company and we have plenty to talk about as we share a huge enthusiasm for teaching and learning.

My Ideas - 11 (1)

It’s incredible for me to be on the other side of the world and as far from Ireland as I can possibly get, yet  I can slot in to daily life here.

I fit in because teachers all over the world have so much in common. Teaching is a wonderful profession with shared goals, understanding and camaraderie.

I have so many teacher friends and now after this trip I have even more. I really hope it stops raining for my friend Luz´s wedding


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