Monthly Archives: October 2015

Green Flag Ceremony – Bio-Diversity


IMG_4071    IMG_4094On Friday, October 9th, we held our flag raising ceremony to celebrate gaining our 5th Green Flag for Bio-Diversity Awareness. Our guest speaker for the ceremony was Ruth Gai-McKeever, from An Taisce, who was also one of the first pupils registered in our school when it opened in 1990. Ruth also brought along her ‘friend’, the Green Schools Bee Mascot.

The ceremony began in the hall with a welcome from Maryam (6th), a member of the out-going Green Schools Committee. We then had a short talk from Anne Bradley, our Green Schools co-ordinator, who reminded the children of the achievements made towards achieving our 5th Green Flag. Ruth then gave a talk to the children on behalf of the Green Schools governing body, An Taisce, asked them some questions and showed some slides of their work towards the Green Flag. After that Daisy (3rd) announced that we would all move outside for the raising of the flag. Eve and Daisy, from 3rd class, carried the flag as the children moved outside, led by Ruth and the Green Schools committee.

When everyone had assembled outside, Eibhlín (4th) introduced the 6th class singers singing Riptide. Eve then announced that Dennis would lower the old flag, accompanied by Ilana (5th) on the violin. Jack (4th) and Eibhlín placed the flag on the table for folding and it was then folded by Hannah (6th) and Catherine (5th).

Jessie (5th) picked up the flag and passed it to Maryam. Jessie then announced the raising of the new flag by Ruth and Dennis, accompanied by Lola (4th) on the flute. Finally, Jack introduced a specially commissioned poem, written by Mia (4th class) and read by her classmate, Maebh. Hannah then closed the ceremony by thanking everyone who took part and we finished off with everyone singing our Diversity song, Everyone Belongs.

Bio-diversity and me

Why does the wind blow and rustle the leaves?

Why do we wake up to the birds in the trees?

It’s simple, really, no mystery,

The answer to all is bio-diversity.

It created man, how do we re-pay?

We made sure one was happening today.

Here in the school, we planted many a tree, many a plant too.                                           IMG_4087

Bio-diversity is everywhere, don’t say I’m wrong.

It sings itself just like a song.

Winter, Summer, Autumn, Spring

Bio-diversity is everything.                                                                              IMG_6825

By Mia Stephenson, 4th class.

One Day Together for ET

Educate Together is really on a tipping point from being a small movement of like minded people to a real choice for all families in Ireland. (

On Sunday September 23rd, The Sunday Business Post published a very interesting and timely article on the rising demand for alternatives to the “one size fits all” system of education which has prevailed in Ireland until very recently. More and more families require an education system that truly reflects the more diverse society that is Ireland today and as such are actively campaigning in their own communities for more Educate Together schools to be built, while Educate Together has been calling on the Minister, Jan O’Sullivan, for immediate action to establish equality based schools around Ireland. (See full article on

Thousands of students have had their primary school education in Educate Together schools since the first ET school, Dalkey School Project, opened in 1978. Although opened much later, in 1990 as South City School Project, RETNS is one of the older established ET schools and as such was one of the pioneering schools at the time. A group of very dedicated people worked day and night to find premises and set up a school which today has a demand for places which far exceeds its capacity.

Children in the school today know little of the work involved in setting up and resourcing a school from scratch, but through our 25th year anniversary project Aistear na Scoile we hope to develop an interest and insight into the history of the school and an appreciation of the work of those involved in starting a school because they believed passionately in an education system that would be equality based, democratic and ethical.

Part of our responsibility in educating children is in helping them establish links to the wider world and to be aware that they are part of a global citizenship that requires them to look beyond themselves. This year our work towards our 6th Green Flag – Global Citizenship, Litter and Waste takes up that theme, as will our work on the history of our school, linking to the National 1916/2016 Commemoration, Aistear na Tíre .

In order to develop our links with the wider Educate Together movement we are delighted to participate in the Educate Together fundraising event, One Day Together, which will encourage our pupils and families to support the ET network in ensuring that all parents in the future have choice in the education of their children.

In order to give our senior pupils an insight into the work of ET, Fionnuala Ward, Education Officer with ET, will visit the school to talk to pupils and give them the opportunity to ask questions. Hopefully visits such as this will also allow pupils to look outside their own school to our wider Educate Together community, in preparation for their work on becoming good global citizens.

We are asking all our families to get involved in One Day Together, to be part of the National Educate Together fundraiser and to help ensure that parents of the future have real choice, a real alternative in terms of the education of their children, and can avail of a network of support that is fully resourced and well equipped to meet the demands of this ever-expanding sector.