The Green Gathering event captivates students

Susana Núñez, Second-level Education Officer

Educate Together’s annual Ethical Education student event for second-level took place on 23rd March. This year the event was hosted by Sandymount Park Educate Together Secondary School in Dublin and gathered 170 students and 30 school staff representing 19 schools from across the network.

This year’s event focused on Sustainable Development Goals 12, 13, 14 and 15 and gave students an opportunity to explore and reflect on the impact that human activity has on the planet but also the responsibility that we all collectively have to take action against this catastrophic impact.

Our keynote speaker, ecologist, environmental policy analyst and broadcaster Anja Murray, commended young people’s commitment to be activists in the crucial areas of climate change and the protection of nature during our welcome assembly. She also encouraged students to continue their involvement in climate activism and challenging the status quo.

Educate Together CEO Emer Nowlan also commented on the importance of activism and how Educate Together second-level schools were the direct result of a community of people who wanted a new form of democratic, inclusive, learner-centred education in Ireland.

Students were at the very centre of the organisation and delivery of the event this year with students from Celbridge Community School, Clogher Road Community College, Clonturk Community College, Galway ETSS, Malahide Portmarnock ETSS, Sandymount Park ETSS and Stepaside ETSS leading the planning and delivery of the event as part of their work in the student advisory group.

Participants took part in student-led workshops and had an opportunity to spend time in the exhibition hall where many schools showcased their Global Citizenship and Ethical Education projects. ISSU, Friends of the Earth and CASC (Climate Action Short Course) also joined us and shared information in the exhibition hall. WorldWise Global Schools (who part funded the event) hosted a graphic harvesting wall where students were invited to share their thoughts and learning from the day.

The event’s communications team composed of students from the advisory group did a great job capturing some of the atmosphere and learning from the day. They hosted a student takeover of @EducateTogether’s Instagram account on the day and showcased the fantastic work taking place at the Green Gathering throughout the day. You can still see their social media skills at work on Instagram.

Jamie Macgiollabhain, Sustainability Officer with ISSU, made some very encouraging remarks during our final assembly commenting on how impressed he was with the active engagement they had witnessed throughout the day and students outstanding knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The event was deemed a success and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who attended and we wish to thank everyone involved in the planning and delivery and to everyone who took part in it.


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