Friday, 26 March 2010

I have been a member of the Anglesey Ynys Môn U3A 9 University of the Third Age ) for the last 14 years. This is a society for retired people who wish to keep learning for pleasure. During that period I have given numerous presentations and also organised visits to interesting sites. By now, I hardly think that there isn’t a mansion house on Anglesey that we haven’t visited, also historical churches, archaeological sites and small businesses on our island.

Today’s visit was to a completely different venue. We visited a newly built primary school in Llangefni. Ysgol y Graig is an entirely eco-friendly school.

The school has been built from sustainable timber and local stone. It includes a host of energy saving features, including solar photovoltaic roof tiles, a wind turbine and a green seeded roof, which provides a natural habitat for plants and insects.

The architects also designed the school with skylights that flood the classrooms and corridors
with daylight, cutting lighting bills. They also specified super-thick, highly insulated exterior
walls, solid wood window frames and thick window glass to reduce heat loss.

All internal lighting is provided by movement activated energy-efficient lamps. It is estimated that the power generated by the photovoltaic roof tiles and the wind turbine will reduce the school's power requirement by approx. 45%, based on average consumption. All excess energy produced during school closure days is directed to the National Grid, which they in turn pay the school for, thus generating funds.
Also all the latest technological equipment has been implemented thus creating a model school of the future. Throughout their time in school, pupils to learn to understand how their environment is being regulated by eco-friendly materials, and solar powered lighting, heating and ventilation. Their understanding of this knowledge, they will take with them into their adulthood.

I had thirty U3A members in all who attended and we were warmly welcomed by the acting Head, Mrs Eiriannwen Williams. Mr. Owain Gwilym, the Deputy Head then showed us an explanatory presentation about the school and answered the many enquiring questions from a captive audience.