Schools in Newry, Mourne and Down Celebrate Eco-Schools Green Flag Awards
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council hosted children and teachers from across the district in Warrenpoint Town Hall in recognition of their environmental work at the annual Eco-Schools Green Flag Awards. Sixteen local schools received Green Flags, with others being recognised as Ambassador Schools. The Eco Schools Green Flag Awards for 2022 have been sponsored by educational supplies and learning resource company, Nexus.
Schools honoured at the Green Flag event included: Academy Primary School, Saintfield; Annsborough Integrated Primary School, Castlewellan; Bunscoil Bheanna Boirche, Castlewellan; Dromintee Primary School, Newry; Mullaglass Primary School, Newry; Sacred Heart Grammar School, Newry; Sacred Heart Primary School, Dundrum; St Clare's Abbey Primary School, Newry; St Colman's Primary School, Kilkeel; St Joseph's Primary School, St Joseph's Primary School, Strangford; St Joseph's Primary School, St Malachy's Primary School, St Patrick's Primary School, St Patrick's Primary School, Legamaddy; St Bronagh's Primary School, Rostrevor.
Ambassador Schools included Cumran Primary School, Clough; Down High School, Downpatrick; St Brigid's Primary School, Newry; St Bronagh's Primary School, Rostrevor and St Mary's High School, Newry.
Biodiversity Champion for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, sponsored by Radius Housing was Sacred Heart Grammar School, Newry.
Eco-Teacher of the Year for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council sponsored by Twinkl was Bronagh Reid, St Patrick's Primary School, Legamaddy.
Eco-School of the Year for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council sponsored by NI4Kids was St Joseph's Primary School, Strangford.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage, said, “Our local children work tremendously hard and their passion for the environment is inspiring. Their commitment is seen first-hand by our council officers when they visit our schools and work alongside them in our local parks to improve biodiversity. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to recognise the efforts of our young people.”
Cllr Savage continued, “Each and every school here today has something to celebrate, whether they’ve received their full green flag or are making good progress towards that goal. The ideas that our local schools, teachers and Eco-councils progress are very suitable to their space and improving their community.
“The Eco-Schools programme brings environmental issues right into the heart of the curriculum which gives me great hope for the future. I’d like to congratulate the children, their teachers and their parents for being such a shining example to us all.”
Charlene McKeown who manages the international Eco-Schools programme in Northern Ireland on behalf of environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, said, “The Eco-Schools team has been really impressed by the quality of applications from schools in Newry Mourne and Down. Schools have had a difficult time during the pandemic but teachers and eco co-ordinators at so many schools have worked very hard to build our Green Flag ‘seven steps’ approach back into the daily lives of their pupils. We’ve been providing extra support through our new network of field officers and are delighted to see that approach being wholeheartedly embraced by schools. I would like to thank all of our sponsors for helping us to continue to grow the Eco-Schools programme and investing in the future of our children and our planet.”
Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Ian Humphreys said, “We are so proud of our flagship Eco-Schools programme. The opportunity to award schools with their Green Flags is a moment to reflect on how far we have come in terms of environmental education but also to say that we cannot rest on our laurels. The environmental emergency facing our planet is real and Eco-Schools is helping to educate and inform our young people so that they can be part of the change that is urgently needed.”