Eco flag success for Ballycastle Integrated

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Ballycastle Integrated Primary School & Nursery Unit has been awarded a prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag by the environmental charity TIDY Northern Ireland.

The internationally recognised Green Flag is this highest award given to Eco-Schools and symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity.

The Eco-Schools Programme is the world’s largest Environmental Education programme and aims to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and ethos of a school.

Every pupil from Nursery to P7 has been involved in making Ballycastle Integrated a greener, more environmentally-friendly school. The main focus was waste with pupils not only becoming experienced recyclers of ‘rubbish’ but also being creative in how waste can be used for other purposes. There is now an expanded composting area including leaf mould, green waste, composting bins and the stars of the show – worms in the wormery!

The school’s Eco-Committee which is made up of pupils, classroom assistants and teachers were the driving force behind the various projects that the school has been working on since September 2012. The committee was supported by parents and Governors who got involved at different stages throughout the year. In fact everyone got in on the act with the ladies from the school canteen using some of the produce from the vegetable and herb gardens when cooking. Pupils have made delicious soup and pizzas – all with produce grown within the school grounds.

The school is fortunate to have a lovely woodland area known as ‘Newland’ which is being developed as an outdoor classroom. Within Newland the pupils have planted some native hedging and built shelters to attract wildlife including red squirrels.

From composting to gardening; from power-down Fridays to collecting rubbish on the beach and from hedgehog house building to feeding birds all the children have benefited from the school going green.

The school would like to extend thanks to the following partners who helped throughout the year: Ulster Wildlife Trust; National Trust; Greenlight Gateway; Groundwork NI; Glens Red Squirrel Trust; Moyle District Council and several businesses within Ballycastle. A special word of thanks goes to Ballymoney District Council for the support given to the school throughout the process.

Above all the whole school community would like to thank the pupils on our Eco-Committee together with Catherine Myer and Mrs Donald whose enthusiasm and commitment to the project have been an inspiration to everyone involved.

The International Eco-Schools Programme is operated in Northern Ireland by TIDY Northern Ireland.

Pictured above right are MrsEvans with Catherine Myer, MrsDonald and Eco Club members with the Ballycastle Primary School and Nursery school’s new Eco Schoo l Flag.INBM25-13 611F..jpg