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Last modified: 02 July 2012
Image: Michael W Richards
Ballycraigy Primary School, Co Antrim, has been awarded the RSPB Bronze, Silver and Gold Wildlife Action Award for the third time, as a result of creative and enterprising work carried out by pupils of Primary 2.
The award is a prestigious one as only four other schools achieved the gold award in Northern Ireland this year. However, what makes the school stand out from the rest is that they have managed to succeed in getting the gold award for the third time!
“The award is a great achievement and has encouraged the school in their pursuit of eco credentials,” said Jen Banks, RSPB. “As an assessor, I have to say that the work they produced was excellent.”
The class was presented with certificates officially by Dr James Robinson, Director, RSPB NI, on 26 June 2012, at the end of year assembly.
Dr Robinson said, “The RSPB would like to congratulate Ballycraigy Primary School in the amazing achievement of gaining their gold RSPB Wildlife Action Award.
“This is a great example of young people and their teachers “Stepping up for Nature” to protect the wildlife living in their school grounds. Through our NIEA supported education programme our education team is delighted to help the school each year achieve this award which delivers for the biodiversity element of Eco Schools and enriches the wider Antrim Borough environment.”
To obtain the award, the children had to complete over 18 actions with the emphasis on discovering ‘what’s out there’, ‘helping wildlife’, ‘being environmentally friendly’ and ‘spreading the word’. They even became political activists, by writing to their local MLA, Danny Kinahan, about the Marine Bill and urging him to protect the puffin habitats.
Aaron Calvert, students, said, “When I got the award I was so surprised that our class got it. I really enjoyed all the hard work especially doing the stuff outside!”
Looking after the environment is more of a relay race than a 100 metre sprint. The pupils of Ballycraigy Primary have put in many steps of that relay with three Gold Wildlife Action Awards. Although the school focussed on many environmental projects, it is hoped these pupils will remain inspired by their actions and will continue to look after their environment when they grow up.