Scoil Ghobnatan is Ireland’s Travel School of the Year, and Walking School of the Year

Pupils at Scoil Ghobnatan pictured this Tuesday after being named Ireland’s Travel School of the Year. Pic, S Murphy.

Congratulations to Scoil Ghobnatan and their Green Schools Committee who cleaned the boards at the Travel Challenge Awards Ceremony in the Hilton Hotel in Dublin last Wednesday. The pupils, parents and staff of Scoil Ghobnatan participated in the Green Schools Big Travel Challenge in February.  Working on their fourth green flag, the Travel Flag, the Green Schools Committee decided to participate in this challenge to promote walking and park ‘n’ striding to school. This was a whole-school initiative which involved daily recordings of walkers and park ‘n’ striding to school, SESE lessons on global warming and fossil fuels, visiting the website to explore road safety and learn the Safe Cross Code, as well as many class activities, for example composing poems on walking to school etc.
During the ten-day challenge, the Green Schools Committee was extremely busy delivering daily bulletins over the intercom, keeping staff and pupils motivated and informed, as well as announcing the daily winners of the Golden Boot Award to the classes with the highest percentage of walkers and park ‘n’ striders each day. You can imagine our delight when we were nominated for an award at the Travel Challenge Awards Ceremony in Dublin, so it was with great excitement and anticipation that our Green Schools Committee travelled to the Hilton Hotel for the Awards Ceremony. Fortunately for us, we had the opportunity to avail of a guided tour of Kilmainham Gaol prior to the ceremony. This was a moving experience for all the committee members and one of the many highlights of the day. When we arrived at the Hilton Hotel the excitement was palpable. We had time to meet and greet the pupils of the other seven nominated schools from all over Ireland and to view their display boards. Michael John O’Mahony, Director of An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit, welcomed everybody. In his speech he commended Green Schools Committees from the various schools for their tireless commitment to encouraging their school communities to walk, cycle, scoot, park ‘n’stride, use public transport or carpool instead of using the private car on the school run.
Guest speaker John Sweeney, Irish Climate Analysis and Research Unit at Maynooth University, presented a very interesting and relevant powerpoint on global warming and our carbon footprint.
Finally came the moment we had all been waiting for. We were totally elated and overjoyed when we discovered that not only had we won Walking School of the Year 2017, but we had also won the overall prize, Ireland’s Travel School of the Year 2017 plus a cheque for €1000 for our school. We are very proud of the pupils and staff of Scoil Ghobnatan and especially proud of our hard-working and dedicated Green Schools Committee. They continue their work this week, promoting National Walk to School Week.
So, from all of us at Scoil Ghobnatan, remember, ‘Hit the Street With Your Feet,’ and “Save Fuel, Be Cool and Walk to School.’