A Loughgiel native has received a prestigious Primary Science Teacher of the Year Award.
Margaret McAuley, originally from the Co Antrim village, has taught at St. Mary’s Primary in Bellaghy for the past 16 years and she was presented with the accolade by the Primary Science Teaching Trust in Bristol at the annual Primary Teaching Science Teaching College.
The winner of the award becomes a Fellow of the Primary Science Teaching College (PSTT) and will also receive funding and support from PSTT to pursue their work in primary science education.
Margaret was nominated for the prestigious award by Dr. Martin Brown and seconded by Colin Press – both of whom know of her work in primary science through STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and Sentinus projects which her class presented at Queen’s University, Belfast, the Ulster University Jordanstown and also at Stormont over the past 12 years.
This work would entail practical science and technology work with the children in the classroom or visits to a company to observe at close hand.
Commenting on the award, recipient Margaret said: “I was shocked but delighted to receive the award.
“I have always strived to teach science and technology to all age groups during my career as a primary school teacher.
“I strongly believe that encouraging children to investigate, explore and observe familiar things from a young age develops a deeper understanding of the world around them.”
She added: “This early exposure to science and technology opens their eyes, stimulates curiosity in every day life, helps children apply directly what they have learned and provides a grounding on which they can build and embrace further study through STEM subjects.”