Scoil Mhuire Knockavilla Shortlisted for Eco Rangers School of the Year Award

Sian Moloughney

Reporter:

Sian Moloughney

Pupils of Scoil Mhuire Knockavilla

Pupils of Scoil Mhuire Knockavilla

Bord na Móna have announced the shortlist for their 1st Annual Eco Rangers Awards and Scoil Mhuire Knockavilla is amongst the final 12.

This year, the Bord na Móna Eco Rangers schools programme saw a record number of 660 schools sign up across the country, with over 50,000 children participating in the programme this year. 

Scoil Mhuire Knockavilla

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.” 

Anne Dalton, Teacher, 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. 

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.