Green Schools Programme and the Healthy Eating Initiative

We at St. Mary’s Secondary School are very proud of our school and we are constantly striving to improve the environment in which our students are learning. As part of this initiative we are working towards the Green Flag for litter and waste. The aim of the green schools programme is to increase student awareness of environmental issues through classroom studies and to transfer this knowledge into positive environmental action in the school and also in the wider community. As part of this initiative we are asking parents to help us in the reduction of school litter.

How you can help:

Each student should have a reusable water bottle not a disposable plastic bottle. The

students can refill their bottles at our new, filtered water fountain.

Use a lunchbox instead of tin foil, cling film, or plastic bags as these cannot be recycled.

Healthy Eating: As you may be aware, we are currently developing a Healthy Eating Policy for our school. For this policy to be successful, it is essential that a whole-school approach to healthy eating is taken – with students, parents and staff working together to provide consistent messages on healthy eating. For young people to achieve their full potential, it is essential that they eat healthily.

Healthy eating provides the building blocks for lifelong health and well-being. Adolescence is a time of physical growth and development – the most rapid since infancy. It requires adequate intake of energy and nutrients. Eating a nourishing breakfast and a healthy school lunch allows children to take full advantage of the education provided for them.

New initiatives: Students are asked not to bring pot noodles or other noodles or fizzy drinks to school anymore. This is mainly out of concern for students’ health. Pot noodles are high in salt and have been linked with many illnesses. Fizzy drinks are very high in sugar; they damage students’ teeth and make it difficult for students to focus in class.

Students are asked to follow a healthy eating policy (the same system that they followed in primary school) and to only have treats such as crisps, chocolate, cakes etc on a Friday. We would also ask parents to monitor students’ diets as they frequently go to the shop and buy noodles, chocolate and crisps. This is causing health issues for students. Instead we would suggest that they would eat fruits and nuts for their breaks and that lunches would also be balanced and healthy. More information on healthy school lunches can be found on hse.ie and safefood.ie.

We appreciate your support on this topic as we work together to create a cleaner, healthier environment for our students.

Many thanks,

Ms. Cross

Green Schools Committee