Food Waste Challenge

Ruth from “Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful” was in St Mary’s today to lead P5 in a Food Waste Workshop. Pupils discussed the issue of Food Waste in the 21st century and measures we can introduce to reduce it. This starts within our school and so P5 will soon commence a project relating to this topic. P6 and P7 also received a summary presentation in the form of a KS2 assembly.

Ruth is pictured with our Eco Committee who welcomed her to the school and thanked her for her time.

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The RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch

On Thursday, Primary 3 and Primary 3/4 took part in the RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch. The children reused old yoghurt pots to make bird feeders to encourage birds to visit our school and were delighted to see birds feeding from them. Both classes showed fantastic enthusiasm for learning about birds in our local area! The most common birds they identified were crows, blackbirds, wagtails and robins. Well done Primary 3 and Primary 3/4!

Media Workshop

Today a group of P6 pupils were invited to St Mary’s High School, Newry to participate in a Media workshop in collaboration with the BBC News Report and Eco Schools NI.

The P6 group had the opportunity to work with pupils from St Mary’s High School, Newry, St Mark’s High School, Warrenpoint and St Joseph’s High School, Newry in two workshops.

Workshop one introduced the pupils to report writing and journalism before moving onto the excitement of creating and editing their own News report for the Eco Schools programme. BBC reporter John was very impressed with their reporting skills and final editing of their News Reports! A very entertaining showcase of News Reports from our pupils!

Thank you to Miss Olivia McCann, Past Pupil of St Mary’s PS, who invited us today as part of the Eco Ambassador School Programme for a very enjoyable and well organised day.

Eco Schools “Green Day”

Sincere thanks to everyone who contributed towards our Eco Schools “Green Day” yesterday. The grand total of £242 was raised and this will go towards the continued upgrade of our bin system in school. In the 21st century, recycling is more important than ever and by educating the young now, we hope to reap the benefits in the future. Please continue to promote recycling using the three bins at our disposal: Brown; Blue & Black.

Bryson Energy Talk

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Primary five and six received an informative talk from the Bryson Energy group today. The children learned about the different types of energy and how to be more energy efficient. We look forward to introducing these new ideas into our school and homes. Another step on our Eco Schools journey.

Erasmus+ Eco Committee Tour

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This week, St Mary’s welcomed staff and pupils from our Italian partner school. One of the activities planned by the Eco Committee was to lead the group on a tour of our school grounds to show the wonderful work that has been taken place recently. This culminated with inviting the group to plant flowers in our new raised bed at the main school entrance. Our visitors really enjoyed this activity and the flower bed has already proven to be a big hit with pupils, staff, parents and visitors entering through the main entrance.

Gardening Club Update

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Our first ever after-school Gardening Club have just completed their second term of activities. The group have been working tirelessly to regenerate the Eco Garden and breath new life into it. The polytunnel has been recently recovered  and this will hopefully lead to an increase in growth. Crab apples tress, strawberries, onion sets, potatoes and lettuce and much more are currently being nurtured.

Last week, one of our budding gardeners took some rhubarb home and along with the help of his family, created a fabulous crumble that went down a treat in school.

A huge thanks to Alison from Ring of Gullion and also Tí Chulainn who we work very closely with on a weekly basis. Their assistance is invaluable and this sense of community collaboration  underpins what the whole Eco Schools programme is all about.

Big Spring Clean

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St Mary’s hosted a Big Spring Clean event during the whole of last week. Every class in the school held a litter pick in a zone assigned to them by the Eco Committee. The results were both satisfying and shocking in the same measure. It was wonderful to see the school cleared of all litter, but unfortunate to realise the scale of the problem in our school and community. It is important that everyone now takes ownership of their waste and we maintain the litter-free status that our school now enjoys. Thanks to all the pupils and staff for embracing this event and also to “Live Here Love Here” for sending out some gloves and bags for us to use.

Eco Schools Bronze Award

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St Mary’s Primary School, Mullaghbawn has been awarded the prestigious Eco Schools Bronze Award by the environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. Our Eco Committee delivered the news through the medium of “Prezi” at a recent assembly. The committee, to their credit, do not want to stand still and have already identified a number of areas we can work on in our pursuit of the Silver Award and ultimately the Green Flag. The Committee also used the opportunity to launch their new badges which they designed themselves along with Alison and Therese from Ring of Gullion.

In St Mary’s we have been working across all ten areas of the Eco Schools programme, with a particular focus on Biodiversity, Waste, Litter and Climate Change. An after-school Gardening Club in conjunction with Alison from Ring of Gullion has been established, there will  be a week-long “Big Spring Clean” next week and we have had a visit from the Waste Beater Education bus, to name just a few of the recent Eco activities in the school. All the while, teachers continue to incorporate Eco themes into the every day curriculum in their classes.

Thanks to Ring of Gullion and Mullaghbawn Community association, as well as the many other external organisations we have worked closely with. We hope to strengthen these connections further and forge new ones moving forward. Watch this space!