Knockavilla NS shortlisted for Eco Rangers School of the Year Award





Knockavilla NS shortlisted for Eco Rangers School of the Year Award

Knockavilla NS shortlisted for Eco Rangers School of the Year Award

There was great excitement in Scoil Mhuire Knockavilla last week when the pupils and teachers got news of their success in two national competitions.

Second and Third Classes, who have been carefully guided by their teachers Ms Healy and Ms Dalton, have been awarded one of 12 prizes in the Eco Rangers national awards. The school has also been nominated as finalists in the ‘The School of the Year Award’. The teachers and a group of pupils will travel to Boora Bog in Co Offaly during the week to take part in the award ceremony. Everyone is very excited about this wonderful honour and the recognition of the school’s great interest in nature and conservation of our environment. The Principal, teachers and pupils would like to thank our local Wildlife Ranger, Seán Breen for the enthusiasm he brought (as always) on his recent visit to our wildlife projects in school.

Commenting on the announcement, Sara Byrne, Brand Manager at Bord na Móna said: ‘I want to congratulate the 12 schools that make up the shortlist for next week’s awards. Schools from Kildare, Offaly, Tipperary, Limerick, Clare, Longford, Roscommon, Leitrim and Cavan have been shortlisted for next weeks awards. The Eco Rangers programme is about encouraging schools to make a small change and to get back outside, reconnect with nature and to protect the habitats near them. The introduction of the awards this year mean that we can recognise the efforts of the schools and showcase the changes that are happening in the schools across the country. The programme is linked to the school curriculum but by incorporating more time out in outside through playful exploring, it makes learning more enjoyable.” 

Teacher Anne Dalton at Scoil Mhuire Knockavilla, expressed her joy at making the shortlist: “Scoil Mhuire Knockavilla has found the whole experience of taking part in the Eco Rangers project to be a very positive and enriching one for our pupils and teachers. During the Eco rangers School Safari walk project we learned a great deal about the wildlife in our school and local environment with our local Wildlife Ranger. We learned about deer in our area and nesting birds. We visited the school’s vegetable patch, fed the birds and watched the insects and butterflies. We listened to the birds singing and watched the leaves coming onto our many trees."

Eco Rangers aims to reconnect children with nature and teaches them the importance of protecting nature through a series of educational and fun elements. Teachers are provided with all the tools they need such as teachers’ packs, lesson plans, classroom games and access to the Eco Rangers website with all the resources they need. This enables classes to embark on Eco Safaris, nature walks, where they can map out nature trails, look at and investigate flora and fauna, take photos or draw pictures and document what they see. 

Pic: Leah O'Dwyer, Cathal Heney, Senan Mackey, Adam Harris

Eco Rangers aims at encouraging children to learn about different habitats and ecosystems and recognise the importance of protecting them to eventually become Guardians of the Land. While the emphasis is on schools to participate in Eco Rangers, the introduction of the awards has resulted in the Eco Rangers website being populates with over 140 Eco Safaris across the country which can be enjoyed outside school hours by children and parents and the wider communities around Ireland.

Then to add to this excitement, on Thursday the school was informed of its success in The Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Science and Maths Plague of STEM Excellence for the 2017-2018 academic year. The judges complimented the teachers and pupils on the enthusiasm with which they have engaged in science, technology, engineering and maths work in all of the classrooms.

Pic: Aisling Carroll, Third Class in Scoil Mhuire  Knockavilla, with her letter informing her of her success in the Creative Writing for Youth Competition (Listowel Writers’ Week) with her teacher, Ms Helen Healy.

Congratulations also to Aisling Carroll from Third Class who, together with her class, entered the Creative Writing for Youth Competition as part of Listowel Writers’ Week. Aisling’s poem ‘Ophelia’ won 3rd prize in this prestigious literary competition. She will travel to the award ceremony in Listowel on May 30th. We are all very proud of her achievement and we hope she has a great day in Listowel.

Open Day in Scoil Mhuire Knockavilla: We look forward to meeting all the Junior Infants of 2018 and their parents at our forthcoming Open Day on Monday 11th June at 1:15. Invitations have been sent out to all the pupils who have sent in their applications for enrolment.