Eco Schools

Ulidia is an Eco School
Empty section. Edit page to add content here.
Eco schools The primary aim of the Eco-Schools scheme is to combine learning and action for the improvement of the environmental performance of Eco-Schools. The Eco Schools programme aims to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and ethos of a school. This should include the students, teachers, non-teaching staff and parents, as well as the local authority, the media and local businesses. Eco-Schools endeavours to extend learning beyond the classroom and develop responsible attitudes and commitment, both at home and in the wider community. Its participatory approach and combination of learning and action make it an ideal way for schools to embark on a meaningful path to improving the environments of schools and their local communities, and of influencing the lives of young people, school staff, families, local authorities, NGOs, and all other bodies involved in this vitally important area of work.


Here in Northern Ireland, the Eco-Schools Programme is operated by TIDY Northern Ireland, an environmental charity. The principal sponsor of Eco-Schools is Airtricity with further funding and support provided by the Department of the Environment and other organisations. The majority of local councils and our delivery partners also offer invaluable practical support for the programme.


Eco Code

Our new Eco Code was devised during Greenday 2012 by our first year students. Our eco code was created around our school name as it is OUR eco code!


Ulidia Integrated College is an Eco School.
Litter free school grounds are our aim.
In our lessons we learn about our environment and how to look after it.
Decisions are made together at Eco Club.
Integrated; we work together to improve our school environment.
All our actions will be carried into our community by sharing our experiences and knowledge.


In our form classes we have ‘signed up’ to our eco code by all signing our form copy and proudly displaying it on our form notice boards in our form room. Each year we review the eco code during an eco committee meeting.


Eco Committee

Our Eco-Committee was set up in 2007 by Mrs Buick. The committee meets at least once a term. In the committee we plan our activities, and make important decisions in a collaborative manner. The committee is chaired by the chair person who has been voted by the committee as their leader. Usually this post is held by a sixth form student who has earnt the respect of the committee members over many years committed membership of the team and committee. This post has been held for two years now by David McGuiness in year 14.


The committee includes students, school staff, and members of the school community such as parents and governors, and members of our local primary school. First meeting of the 2007 committee –


Eco committee 1-2000

Eco Team

The eco team meet each Thursday in GG2. All members of the school are welcome to come along and join in the fun! To keep up to date with our latest activities check out our school facebook page!!/ulidiaintegrated.collegecarrickfergus


Across the Curriculum


Joint unit of work based upon energy taught in collaboration with the maths, science, home economics, PE and Geography. Wind energy graphs maintained by maths department.


Home Economics

We cook healthy practical with the kids and encourage them to use healthier cooking methods, such as grilling rather than frying. From year 8 the pupils are taught the importance of nutrients and where these are found in foods. We also encourage the kids to eats 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle are constantly reminded. We also try to get pupils to enter cookery competitions using healthy ingredients for their dishes.


In the first three years in Home Economics, the pupils study:
1. packaging
2. Recycling.
3. Shopping with ethics
4. organic food,
5. food miles
6. gm foods


At GCSE these themes are consolidated by further looking at
1. organic food
2. food miles
3. gm foods
4. Save on water, food, electricity and fuel when possible, so a lot of discussion now takes places on suitable recipes for the credit crunch and nutritionally good food on a budget.



In the first three years in Music, the pupils study:

1. Recycling materials to make percussion instruments.
2. The fact that downloading music is more eco friendly than buying CD’s.
3. African culture and how they make a lot of their own instruments.


Religious Education

In the first three years in Religious Education, the pupils study:
“Whose Responsibility?” booklet – explores stewardship of the earth – Christian response /,native American/ Buddhist


At GCSE these themes are consolidated by further looking at
1. Poverty and Wealth
2. Care of the earth – environmental problems and religions’ response to these
3. Buddhism (Entry Level) care of the earth



In the first three years in Science, the pupils study:
1. the habitats around them using a range of measuring techniques to develop a thorough understanding about the balance of nature
2. Fossil Fuel usage and its impact and project work around the range of Alternative Energy sources
3. Types of pollution, how pesticides can enter the food chain and Eutrophication.


At GCSE these themes are consolidated and extended further by looking at:
1. Energy impact and some techniques of recycling.
2. Alternative fuels for transport – Hydrogen cells and Bio diesel.
3. Use of Superconductors as a future energy efficient alternative.
4. Calculating the energy impact of keeping electrical devices on stand by
5. The Greenhouse Effect – cause and impact.


At A Level these themes are consolidated and extended further by looking at:
1. Applied Science A level, students have to complete an analysis of the energy policy, energy consumption and strategies to save energy of a non domestic energy user (We have chosen Ulidia College as the focus)



In the first three years in Geography, the pupils study:
1. The water cycle and how it is affected by human interference.
2. Industrial pollution in Japan.
3. Recycling.
4. Types of energy, and their effects, including wind energy debate.
5. Urban pollution and how it can be prevented.
6. Development inequalities.
7. River pollution.
8. Transmission and effects upon development of Aids.
9. Economic, social, and environmental impacts of tourism.


At GCSE these themes are consolidated and extended further by looking at:
1. The Greenhouse Effect – cause and impact.
2. River pollution causes and effects.
3. Sea level rise.
4. Urban inequalities related to development.
5. Coastal pollution.
6. Population explosion.


Travel and tourism

At GCSE pupils study:
1. Types of transportation, and their environmental impact.
2. Economic, social, and environmental impacts of tourism.


At A Level these themes are consolidated and extended further by looking at:
1. Impacts of current issues upon the tourism industry.
2. Tourism as global phenomena.



We don’t sell any fizzy drinks we only sell what the department of Education allow. There are no sweets, chocolate, crisps etc on sale. There is no reformed chicken used in the kitchen it is all chicken breast meat. No food is fried it is either steamed or cooked in oven. I don’t salt any food and we don’t have salt sachets for the children, there is no tomato or brown sauce either.


I would cook dice potatoes about once a fortnight in the oven and we haven’t had chips here for about four years now and the children don’t seem to miss them. There is always mashed potatoes, baby, boiled and baked pots on every day. Vegetables and beans are on daily also, baked potato, and beans are popular. Pasta is also on daily. Granary bread is used for the sandwiches and we sell about 200 baguettes a day. Butter is not used on the sandwiches. If the children purchase a fillet burger the garnish of lettuce and tomato is free and most of the children take it.


We only sell about five different tray bakes and they are sold at lunch. Milk is on sale everyday as are yogurts and wheaten bread. Red meat is not on everyday and cooked ham is controlled also. We have no vending machines around the school so it is good that we can control what the children buy.



Healthy Living is fully integrated into the LLW schemes of work. Healthy living is promoted throughout the school using the healthy living notice board outside the school counsellor office. The school employs a dedicated counsellor for the students. Regular healthy living events take place such as the annual mental health awareness day, and the love for life days; during these events students have the opportunity to meet outside speakers and specialist experts in their field.

Green Day

Our annual Greenday event takes place in June. During the day all students in the school are off timetable to participate in the event. The aim of the day is to provide a ‘Whole school day of activities to promote care for our environment on a local, national and global scale’.


During the day year groups are mixed up and students participate in activities such as – gardening, Sustainability in the commercial world (IKEA), litter picking, making bird feeders, bug hunt, fair trade marketing, planting, weeding, bag campaign, and a whole school assembly. At the end of the day students receive a gift to keep. See photo Albums on school web page.




‘School grounds provide an ideal opportunity to introduce children to the natural environment and to biodiversity in a practical way. They offer a safe and potentially exciting facility for outdoor education that can complement classroom-based activities.’


At Ulidia Integrated College we are increasing our biodiversity by introducing more flora onto the school grounds and by encouraging fauna onto the school grounds.


Flora has been increased by planting plants and trees including fruit trees, and by planting wild plants in our disused land at the back of the school.


Fauna in encouraged through the bird box programme. Boxes are built in Technology, and placed around the school. Some of these boxes have a motion activated night camera in them and will upload live feed onto the school web site when active.



School Grounds

Our school grounds have been well resourced to provide an environment for our students to enjoy that is peaceful and comfortable. Benches have been placed for students to enjoy our beautiful location overlooking Belfast Lough, and our grass areas are well maintained to ensure safety and enjoyment. The playing fields are regularly used for lessons (not just PE!) so that students can learn from our natural environment such as microclimate studies of our school grounds.



In March 2013 Ulidia Integrated College became the first school in Northern Ireland to achieve ‘Zero Waste’ status. This was achieved as Ulidia sends no waste to landfill. At Dec 2012 47% of waste generated at Ulidia Integrated College was being put into landfill. The action plan has allowed the school to develop sorting of litter at the point of disposal with segregated bins, this has been a success but some minor contamination still occurs. This contamination is resolved by ISL secondary sorting at the factory.


Working in collaboration with ISL the school has now at the end of the pilot period returned 0% to landfill. At March 2013, 0% of waste is being put to landfill. Working with ISL has been a positive experience, the school has been provided with new bins, support and excellent customer service. We do not see this as a short term project but as a long term change to our waste disposal. Future plans are to reduce contamination, this was achieved by further investment in new segregated bins, and promotional activities in the summer term.


The Governors of Ulidia Integrated college have demonstrated their commitment to the Eco Schools programme by partially funding the building of our own wind turbine.


The turbine was installed in summer 2007.




At Ulidia we hold regular litter picks, including as part of our greenday event, and as part of the ‘Big spring Clean’. The school governors have invested in tribal design bins which were designed by the students in art, these bins have been placed around the school and remain a talking point! Throughout our school we also have bins for recycling plastic bottles to reduce litter.


Every classroom in Ulidia Integrated College has a multilingual paper bin, to promote modern foreign languages and also recycling.


We carry out a litter survey at least once a year using a quadrat to accurately monitor litter in our school.


Ulidia Integrated College has participated in the Wrigley ‘litter less’ campaign since 2011, gaining finding to run litter campaigns from Wrigleys. This has led to the successful focus on gum litter around our school. Gum litter has reduced, though sadly, not disappeared!


Michelle Tsang designed our poster campaign to reduce gum waste, her poster is on display throughout the school.


Healthy Living

Healthy living is promoted throughout the school using the healthy living notice board outside the school counsellor office. The school employs a dedicated counsellor for the students. Regular healthy living events take place such as the annual mental health awareness day, health hub, and the love for life days; during these events students have the opportunity to meet outside speakers and specialist experts in their field.

Global Perspective

‘Young people need the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that will enable them to participate as full members of a global society. As global citizens, they need to consider rights and responsibilities and the role of citizens in a democratic society.’


In Ulidia students are given the opportunity to participate in elections to elect their class representative for the student council. This is through an official election campaign period and voting event which enables students to experience democracy in action.


Within the global environment our students are encouraged to make positive decisions through an extensive range of experiences such as fair trade education and marketing, and our Kenya project.


Students fund raised for many years to provide funds for the Kenya project. During the project students travelled to Kenya to assist with the building of school buildings and drainage for the buildings. The students experienced what life was like for others the same age as themselves who lived in Kenya.


Download (PDF, 711KB)

Travel Challenge Case Study on Ulidia

2006 – 2007 Eco School Bronze Award

2007 – 2008 Eco School Silver Award

2008 – 2009

2009 – 2010 Act on Climate Change – First place

2009 – 2010 School Given Energy Rating ‘B’

2009 – 2010 Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening Level 1

2009 – 2010 Green Flag Award

2010 – 2011 One Big Idea Competition – First Place

2010 – 2011 Wrigley’s Litter less campaign funding

2010 – 2011 Participation in Climate Week Challenge

2010 – 2011 Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening Level 2

2010 – 2011 Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening Level 3

2011 – 2012 HSBC Eco Code Competition – First Place

2011 – 2012 Wrigley’s Litter less campaign funding

2011 – 2012 Calor Gas (Ireland) Tell the Future Competition – Third Prize

2011 – 2012 Woodland Trust Green Tree School – Bronze Award

2011 – 2012 Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening Level 3 . Participation in Climate Week Challenge

2012 – 2013 Second Green Flag Award

2012 – 2013 Invited to speak at Climate change conference at Stormont

2012 – 2013 Wrigley’s Litter less campaign funding

2012 – 2013 Participation in Climate Week Challenge

2012 – 2013 Airtricity Eco Committee of the Year (Senior) – Third Place

2012 – 2013 UNESCO Young Environmentalist of the year (Waste category) Ulster

2012 – 2013 UNESCO Young Environmentalist of the year (Waste category) . All Ireland Finalist

2012 – 2013 ‘Zero Waste’ Status Achieved

2014 – 2015 Awarded third Green Flag

2014 – 2015 Eco Challenge (Carrickfergus) winners

2014 – 2015 Awarded Eco School Ambassador status

2014 – 2015 Became a Fair Trade School with ‘Fair Aware’ status

2014 – 2015 Most Eco Journeys over a two week period by a class, prize awarded to 9CNV

2014 – 2015 SSE Post Primary Eco committee of the year (2nd place)

2015 – 2016 Fair Trade Aware Award

2015 – 2016 Woodland Trust Gold Award

2015 – 2016 Irish Times ‘Green Award’ Finalists

2016 – 2017 Global Learning Programme Level 2

2016 – 2017 Awarded fourth Green Flag

2016 – 2017 Translink travel challenge – most eco journeys – winner

2016 – 2017 Young reporters for the environment, global collaboration category- NI winner

2016 – 2017 Young reporters for the environment, global collaboration category -International winner

2017-2018 Coca-Cola Coast Care Awards – ‘Brighter Futures’ Joint Winner


We communicate what we do at our events by using the school facebook page, and twitter feed. Local press are also utilised to promote our actions. The school Website is updated daily to increase awareness of school events. Students are regularly kept updated through school Assemblies. And of course word of mouth!