Carrickfergus Central Primary School is celebrating being awarded a prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag by the environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.
The Eco-Schools Programme is reportedly 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.
Its participatory approach and combination of learning and action makes it an ideal way for schools to begin improving the environments of schools and their local communities.
Eco-Schools work through a simple seven-step process resulting in the programme becoming central to the school’s ethos and schools can choose from 10 eco-topics ranging from litter and waste to energy, biodiversity and transport to name a few.
Eco-Schools work towards achieving awards - bronze, silver and the prestigious Green Flag. The internationally recognised Green Flag which Carrickfergus Central have won is the highest award given to Eco-Schools and symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity.
The school focused on Healthy Living for their major topic.
All staff and children participate in The Daily Mile each day, have a healthy tuck shop in the mornings and the Eco-Council do regular break time spot checks.
Carrickfergus Central PS has been involved in the Sustrans programme and were awarded the Silver Sustrans award. They came first in The Big Pedal in their region and were given bicycle racks to use in school.
The school focused on Biodiversity and Waste for their minor topics.
The front and back gardens have been transformed and parents and grandparents helped to make wooden planters, bird baths and birdhouses. The children enjoyed planting flowers and plants to encourage bees and butterflies into the garden.
They now grow their own fruit and vegetables and the children made planters out of recycled bottles and tyres.
They are looking forward to making a greenhouse out of plastic bottles next year.
The International Eco-Schools Programme is operated in Northern Ireland by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and is a free to enter programme.
For more information, visit the website at www.eco-schoolsni.org.