Schools building bridges together...quite literally!

This autumn has seen an exciting and final year of the Sharing Education Project in the Ballymoney area.

The project has involved local primary and secondary schools in a number of programmes, one of which uses Technology as a vehicle for learning and sharing.

For this programme Dalriada School, in partnership with Ballymoney Model Integrated School, The Leaney, St Brigid’s and Sandelford School, has been involved in 8 weeks of events centred on the theme of Building Bridges.

The programme began with visits to Sandelford School, and lots of fun ice-breakers, so that all pupils could get to know one another. The next stage brought over one hundred pupils to Dalriada. There they were placed in smaller groups and, guided by their own teachers, along with Technology staff and 6th Form mentors from Dalriada, they learned about the Science of Materials and the practical challenges of building bridges.

The final four weeks introduced the pupils to Drama as well. They were led by facilitators from Big Telly and used lots of fun games and role plays to build bridges between individuals and create trust and respect in a lively environment.

This year the pupils had an exciting addition to the programme when the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) brought their ‘Build a Bridge in a Day’ to the town for two mornings. The bridges were erected in St Brigid’s and Ballymoney Model Controlled Integrated Primary Schools, thanks to the generosity of the Principals and staff. The project was supported financially by Translink and Sustrans, enabling over 100 children to see this major work of construction and to hear brief talks on Engineering and the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths related subjects (STEM). We are very grateful to Ballymoney Borough Council, ICE, Translink and Sustrans for this support and for making our project so dynamic this year.

The Building Bridges Project concluded with a Celebration in the John Armstrong Hall, in Dalriada School, where the children’s work was exhibited and teachers, families and pupils were able to meet one another.

The children received prizes for their work and thanks were expressed to a number of people, especially Mr Alan Robinson, Head of Technology and his colleagues Mr Andrew Nelson and Mr Andrew Surgenor, as well as the Principals and teachers of the partner schools.