Ardoyne pupils share their experiences with County Offaly school

June 5, 2024 | by magnews24.com

PRIMARY school pupils in Ardoyne have formed an alliance with a school in the Republic of Ireland in a cross-border project called ‘My School, My Environment’.

The link between Holy Cross Girls’ School and Daingean National School in County Offaly has allowed teachers and pupils from both schools to explore the science of the shared issue of climate change and the wide range of differences in their community, environment, and schooling.

Thanks to funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs Shared Island Civic Society Fund, which supports practical North-South co-operation, the Goliath Trust in Belfast was able to work with Midlands Science to provide best practice STEM outreach workshops with teachers and students and to link students across the country.

The Goliath Trust seeks to raise funds to help address the persistent problem of educational underachievement in the North’s most disadvantaged areas. Their mission is to provide targeted financial support to schools that are most in need.

This project allowed fifth class students in Holy Cross Girls’ School in Ardoyne  and their counterparts in Daingean NS to share their experience about their schools and their environment with a focus on the joint topic of climate change.

Alan Abernethy, Chair of The Goliath Trust said: “This was a wonderful project helping the pupils from both schools using STEM subjects to compare their day-to-day environment. 

Students of Ms Laura McCann’s  P7 class of Holy Cross Girls’ School seek reassurance from Midlands Science's Criodán Ó Murchú

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Students of Ms Laura McCann’s P7 class of Holy Cross Girls’ School seek reassurance from Midlands Science’s Criodán Ó Murchú

“While the schools are based in rural or city locations, they were excited to share their experiences. Midland Science brought the two classes together and they established a connection between the schools which we hope is beneficial to all.”

Holy Cross coordinator and teacher Laura McCann said her students enjoyed working on the project and urged other schools to get involved.  

“This project empowered our pupils to think positively about the community that they belong to. Furthermore, it generated great excitement and enthusiasm when sharing their project digitally with the pupils of Daingean National School.  

“It enabled the pupils to focus their lens on their own locality and environment and highlight the positive projects and initiatives that exist in their community, Ardoyne.

“Secondly, they widened their lenses, they appreciated the similarities and differences of the community of the pupils’ at Daingean Primary School – it also further developed their skills in geography.

“This programme provided the pupils with the opportunity to research and share information about their school’s locality and its history. The pupils shared this information with a more rural school, Daingean National School in County Offaly. This enabled the pupils to compare and contrast rural and inner-city school settings.

The P7 class of Holy Cross Girls School, Belfast who were partnered with the 5th class of Daingean NS in Offaly  throughout this exciting project

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The P7 class of Holy Cross Girls School, Belfast who were partnered with the 5th class of Daingean NS in Offaly throughout this exciting project

“This project empowered our pupils to think positively about the community that they belong to. Furthermore, it generated great excitement and enthusiasm when sharing their project digitally with the pupils of Daingean National School.  

“It also enabled the pupils to appreciate the community that they belong to and encouraged them to consider what community life is like outside the setting of inner-city Belfast.


Do you have something to say on this issue? If so, submit a letter for publication to Conor McParland at c.mcparland@belfastmedia.com or write to Editor Anthony Neeson at Andersonstown News/North Belfast News, Teach Basil, 2 Hannahstown Hill, Belfast BT17 0LT

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