Carrick-on-Suir’s CBS Green School students marked Europe Day by staging a funfair style exhibition of their projects about the continent and EU that was visited by many prominent local politicians.
And to symbolise the friendship and unity across borders that the EU is all about, the school’s 179 students gathered in the playground at 12 noon the same day to link hands in a handshake for Europe event.
The celebration was the culmination of the Green School’s campaign to achieve a Blue Star Programme EU Flag, which is awarded to primary schools that foster better understanding and knowledge of the EU.
Fifth and sixth class pupils spent months working on the history, geography, politics, art and cultural projects showcased on Europe Day.
The projects included large replica models of famous European landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and Parthenon carefully built and painted in art classes.
Others focussed on famous European people, food and flags, key historical events and the EU’s institutions. There was even an on-line Seterra computer game project where students competed to pick out European countries on a map.
Lee Broxson (5th class) and Conor McGrath (6th class) both worked on the Parthenon replica. “It was really fun. We built it from looking at a picture of the Parthenon,” said Conor. Lee explained how they created it from a wooden frame, cardboard cereal boxes, empty Pringles tubes and papier mache over a period of two months.
The exhibition was visited by the school’s other classes and students’ families. To make it more fun, the students in charge of each project ran a quiz, game or competitions like a fun fair.
Deirdre Walsh, who teaches fifth and sixth class pupils, said the projects linked in with what students were learning in their class curriculum.
“We are trying to get the idea across that we are all different cultures but that we are also all Europeans and we need to start thinking that way,” she said, pointing out that students from several European countries attend the school.
Ms Walsh paid tribute to teaching colleagues Vicki White, the driving force behind the school’s Blue Star Programme, and Louise Brennan for their work in helping organise Europe Day.
Labour MEP Phil Prendergast took time out from the European election campaign trail to officially open the exhibition.
“In my 3 years as a MEP, I have never seen so much work put in by students to one of these events. It was absolutely astounding and their energy and enthusiasm was phenomenal,” said Ms Prendergast, who was interviewed by budding reporters Jack Keane, Dane Finn and James Daly during her visit.
Minister of State Tom Hayes, Mayor of Carrick Cllr Kieran Bourke, Sen. Denis Landy, Mattie McGrath TD and several local councillors also attended the event.
Meanwhile, CBS Green School is enrolling boys for 2nd to 6th class. Application forms are available from the school office or by calling (051) 641333.