Trio of important awards for Derry primary school

Celebrations at Steelstown Primary School

A Derry primary school is celebrating a trio of awards.

Steelstown Primary School has received a FairTrade ‘Fair Aware’ award, a Sustrans Bronze Award for Excellence in Active School Travel and have also maintained their Green Flag status in recognition of environmental sustainability work carried out at the school.

Principal Siobhan Gillen said she was delighted for everyone involved in the projects.

“It is great to have all our children back in school and to see so many positives,” she said.

“Our pupils have been amazing, so adaptable and have shown great resilience.

“Great work has been seen daily on the online platforms and supervised learning in school during each lockdown, but we are so delighted to have all them back in school with face-to-face teaching.

“There is so much positivity here at the moment. So much good is happening and it is so heartening and uplifting for everyone.”

Commenting on picking up the Green Flag Status once again, Mrs. Gillen said: ‘We are delighted to receive the Green Flag status again in recognition of our environmental sustainability work.

“Both staff and children continue to work hard in keeping Steelstown P.S. and Nursery Unit eco-friendly every day.

“A special thank you to Mrs O’Neill, Mrs McGlinchey, Mr Duffy and Miss Lynch and all our Eco committees for their hard work in having and keeping Steelstown an eco school.

"We were also recently awarded the Fair Aware Award for teaching our children and community the benefits of being aware of Fair Trade as well as the Sustrans Bronze Award for excellence in Active School travel.”

Bronagh Lynch, the school’s eco co-ordinator, said: “Our boys and girls have taken part in lots of ‘Active Travel’ initiatives, so we are delighted to have achieved the Sustrans Bronze Award.

“We are working closely with our ‘Active School Travel Officer’, Richard Farrow, to help us move towards achieving our Sustrans Silver Award later this year.

“Ronan McLaughlin has been a great support in the past also. Alongside ‘The Big Pedal’ we have scheduled our ‘Ditch the Stabilisers’ and ‘Cycle Skills’ initiatives for the Summer Term.

“During lockdown we spent time learning remotely about Fair Trade. Our staff and pupils have become ‘Fair Aware’ and we will continue promoting this awareness throughout our school."

Photographs by Jim McCafferty

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