New Eco Garden for St Joseph's
New Eco Garden for St Joseph’s!
St Joseph’s Primary School, Carryduff, marked the official opening of its new Eco Garden today by inviting a range of guests to join it in celebrating the completion of this new feature.
Environment Minister, Alex Attwood cut the ceremonial ribbon and planted a tree to officially open this facility.
In September 2011, Down and Connor Diocesan Public Private Partnership (PPP) project delivered an impressive, innovatively designed school and nursery unit for up to 472 children. The Eco Garden is the final phase in this project.
Speaking after the ceremony, Principal Mr Dominic Donnelly said:
“We are delighted with our new Eco Garden and we would like to thank all those who have helped us from the inception of this project to its completion. The Eco Garden is actually situated on a sunny slope and consists of a small orchard in its upper reaches leading all the way down to a woodland walk. Other features include a pond, vegetable plot, herb garden and a mini beast hotel. It will facilitate learning on so many different levels. Primarily, it will provide learning opportunities for the children in topics relating to the ‘World Around Us.’ Already the children have been involved in a variety of learning activities from pond dipping to recycling as well as growing their own fruit and vegetables as part of a our whole school “Healthy Lifestyle” policy.
The provision of this new Eco Garden will have a beneficial impact upon the whole school community and we look forward to many happy years educating and inspiring generations of children through activity based learning in what is effectively an outdoor classroom.”
Commenting on the new Eco Garden Environment Minister, Alex Attwood commented: “It is great to see young people taking a keen interest in their environment. I am privileged to be here today to officially open this wonderful outdoor classroom. It is clear that the children are already benefiting from it and learning about the importance of their environment and how it can help them be active and healthy.
“I congratulate you all on having the vision to use your school grounds in this way and in particular the Eco-Committee who are providing such leadership within the school.”
Mr Jim Clarke, Chief Executive for the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) said,
“Since it first opened in 1955 St Joseph’s Primary School has consistently fostered an inclusive and supportive ethos which encourages every child to develop and achieve. In a recent inspection, the Education and Training Inspectorate recognised the quality of education at St Joseph’s as ‘outstanding’.
“The education provided by the school will be enhanced by this innovative Eco Garden. This will ensure that the current pupils and future generations of young people will continue to have the best possible educational experiences. The children of St Joseph’s and their parents can be justifiably proud of this wonderful addition to their school.