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Best Kept Schools Competition

The aim of the competition

The aim of the competition is to promote greater public awareness in education among the general public, with a special focus on children, with help from their parents, teachers and communities. It is an extremely important and well supported aspect of our overall campaign, as well as undertaking amenity projects in school grounds, children are now involved on an ongoing basis on litter patrols within school grounds and various projects were undertaken during the year.

Rules of entry

  1. The competition is open to all primary and secondary schools in the Town Council area of Ennis.
  2. All entries should be made on the application form provided for the competition.
  3. All schools in the Ennis area will be invited to participate in the competition and marks will be allocated on the following basis:
    Overall development approach, including
      • Involvement in the Green Schools Competition - 50 marks
      • Litter control/litter awareness projects - 40 marks
      • Recycling projects - 40 marks
      • Wildlife and general environmental projects - 40 marks
      • Appearance and presentation of school buildings and yard - 40 marks
      • Community projects including links with the Tidy Towns Committee - 40 marks
      • Total Marks - 250
  4. Prizes for the competition will be plaques and cheques for the following:
      • Overall winner
      • Runners up
      • Best litter control/litter awareness projects
      • Best environmental awareness projects or wildlife project
      • Highly commended

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Adjudication criteria

  1. Overall developmental approach
    We are looking for evidence that there is a forward thinking approach in relation to the school grounds, types of projects that are to be carried out by the school, in terms of planting, wildlife projects, education etc. We will look for evidence that all pupils are involved. We would like to encourage you to produce a very simple works programme or plan which will guide your Best Kept School activities.
  2. Litter control/litter awareness projects
    The adjudicators will look for evidence that students are involved in activities such as Litter Picking, Junior Litter Warden, class projects on litter awareness, research, projects involving local issues that could be addressed, for example, black spots, litter bin surveys, graffiti, chewing gum on street surfaces. Other suggestions include the showing of anti-litter films (ENFO has videos available on litter and environmental issues).
  3. General appearance and presentation of school buildings and yard.
    In this section of the adjudication criteria, the adjudicators will assess the presentation of school buildings, for example, overall attractiveness, level of maintenance and the retention of traditional features such as sash windows where appropriate and will also assess areas and buildings, e.g. yards, together with the treatment of boundary walls, fences and any roadside areas. Areas will be judged in terms of their overall attractiveness, e.g. appropriate landscaping, grass cutting, litter control, weed control and their appropriate use, e.g. recreational facilities.
  4. Recycling initiatives
    Judges will look for evidence that all pupils have an awareness of the importance of recycling and that they put this to practical use. Projects carried out have included the provision of recycling bins in schools, segregating rubbish, "Art from Waste" projects and other waste materials projects.
  5. Wildlife and general environmental projects:
    Projects under this heading could include:
      • Planting of wild flower gardens
      • Planting of shrubs and flowers within the school grounds
      • National tree week activities undertaken by pupils within your school
      • Provision of trees in open areas of grass or other ground cover within the environs of the school
  6. It is also suggested that provision of 3D projects, such as sculptures and raised flower beds etc should be looked at.
  7. Community projects including links with the Tidy Towns Committee.
    In this section of the adjudication criteria, the adjudicators will be looking for evidence that pupils within your school have involved themselves in community projects and local tidy towns activities in the school year.
    Projects might include:
      • Involvement in tree planting and education projects, initiated in National Tree week
      • Adoption of an area by a group of pupils within their school or adjacent to their homes
      • The undertaking of clean up projects
      • Participation in the St. Patrick's Day Parade demonstrating an environmental theme.
  8. Overall Approach
    Marks will be awarded in recognition of exceptional efforts which have been undertaken to overcome any highly intractable problems in schools. Points raised by some participating schools, in relation to certain schools being restricted, in terms of the green areas and space available to them, will be taken into account, by the adjudicators.

Application form

This competition is advertised annually in April and details and applications forms for 2012 will be available once the 2012 competition is announced.

Page last reviewed: 28/02/12

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