Abbey Community College
Together Towards Excellence


The 2023-2024 school year marked an exciting time in Abbey Community College's journey towards Sustainability.
Things began in basic fashion - as both staff and students were surveyed, with the goal of establishing attitudes and behaviours around Sustainability. Results showed that although knowledge around the subject was high, there was a desire from the community to engage more widely in sustainable practices.
This led to the formation of the "Sustainability Committee", which was a mix of staff and students (ranging from 1st - 6th Year).
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The concept of Sustainability is so broad and can be intimidating - where does one start?
A decision was made to keep it simple, which led us to the slogan #ASmallStepTowardsSustainability
Our "Sustainable Thought of the Week" was shared with the whole school community every Monday through Microsoft Teams and our social media channels.
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Our wonderful students rolled out the "Going Out? Lights Out!" initiative, where the school community was encouraged to reduce energy waste, by turning off lights, projectors, laptops, etc. if they were not in use.
We then decided to highlight the issue of single-use-plastics via our second initiative - "No Plastic? That's Fantastic!". Efforts were made to promote reusable cups/bottles and flasks, which would not only benefit the wider environment, but our own fantastic school community. Although the response was satisfactory, it is something we hope to continue tackling next year.
Our next step, was in fact a "big step" towards sustainability. We ran our inaugural "Sustainability Week" in early April. It proved to be a great success. Each day was aligned with the a specific goal from the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
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We launched it to the whole-school community on the Monday morning over the intercom. This was followed by Odile Le Bolloch from the EPA, who visited 1st Years, and spoke about the issue of food waste.
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Tuesday 9th saw members of our student committee engage in student-led teaching to 1st Years. The topic centred around the issues which arise because use of plastics.
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We ran a whole-year quiz for 1st Years in conjunction with this teaching, with great fun had, as well as learning about Sustainability.
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Writing and Art competitions were held, with outstanding artwork, poems and stories submitted by students from across the school community. All work had to relate to the theme of Sustainability. Prizes were allocated to the various winners.
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Other events which took place throughout the week included some members of staff going "Old School" for the day. In an attempt to reduce electricity usage, whiteboards/laptops/projectors were turned off for our "Technology Detox Day". Feedback was very positive.
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Friday 12th focused on Wellbeing, where a whole-school "Drop Everything and Read" was carried out, while staff and students were encouraged to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take walks/breaks from the classroom and make use of our lovely outdoor space.
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Our 6th Year committee signed off the week by delivering a reflective speech over the intercom. In it they applauded the great work that was done by everyone and encouraged the school community to maintain and build on the progress made, in the years ahead.
We look forward to continuing our work in the coming school year.
Abbey Road, Ferrybank, Waterford, Ireland.
051 832 930
© 2024 Abbey Community College