SCOIL CHAITRÍONA JUNIOR WINS EXPLORERS NATIONAL OCEAN CHAMPION AWARD
Scoil Chaitríona Junior wins Explorers national Ocean Champion Award. Scoil Chaitríona Junior, Renmore, Galway, has been crowned the national winner of the Explorers Ocean Champion School Awards 2023 for their Healthy Ocean project, ‘Caring for our Ocean’.
Scoil Chaitríona Junior applied marine themes (environmental care, cleaning up litter, looking after the animals in the ocean) across many different subjects throughout the year, from the sciences through to music and the arts. They shared stories about the ocean with a primary school in France, performed at the Marino Institute of Further Education and at the Féile Scoildrámaíochta inter-school drama competition.
“We were also extremely impressed with the school’s collaboration and engagement where the teachers and children worked with marine scientists from ATU to learn about seaweed and birdlife, and with artists through the Teacher Artist Partnership, as well as meeting with other marine educators,” said Mick Gillooly.
“These children stood out for their eagerness to learn about the animals in the ocean, and for sharing what they learnt with their community about protecting and caring for the ocean.
“Bringing the topic of marine conservation to local, national and international platforms shows an incredible amount of commitment from the staff, children and their parents,” he added.
Congratulating the children, teachers, and the Explorers outreach team, Mick Gillooly, Interim CEO of the Marine Institute said he was extremely impressed with the efforts of everyone involved: “The children’s enthusiasm was evident in many ways: in their shadow puppetry films, when they went on beach cleans, and in their musical performance ‘Fadhb na Mara’ about ocean conservation. Their work was exceptional.”
On behalf of the teachers, school principal Caitríona Daly said the award recognised their school’s commitment to learning about local areas – particularly their own seashore: Ballyloughane Beach: “We’re also delighted to have received an EU Blue Schools Award. This award recognises the school’s effort to becoming ocean literate and for being an ocean champion!”
Twenty-eight coastal schools participated in this year’s competition, creating healthy ocean school projects based on themes including Marine STEAM, Ocean literacy, SDGs and the Ocean and Marine Outdoor Education.
“Each school showed incredible initiative by using cross-curricular content in support of the Curriculum Framework that introduces key competencies for children’s learning. These projects certainly show how the ocean can be used for thematic learning and how a healthy ocean is relevant to daily life,” remarked Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Strategic Education and Communications Manager of the Explorers Education Programme.
The Healthy Ocean School project and Ocean Champion Awards is organised through the Explorers Education Programme and is the only ocean-themed award for primary schools in Ireland. It recognises the effort, commitment and collaboration of school management boards, teachers, children, and the Explorer outreach officers who have engaged in the all-school, marine-themed project.
The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute and is managed and delivered by the Explorers Team of Camden Education, Galway Atlantaquaria, SeashoreKids, Oceanics Surf School, Old Cork Waterworks Experience, Sea Synergy and Leave no Trace-Ireland.
For further information see www.explorers.ie