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Taking School to Portstewart Strand

27th September 2019

Portstewart Strand becomes classroom for local school as part of shared education programme.

Portstewart Strand will be the classroom for pupils from St John’s and Killowen Primary School this month as they take part in a shared education programme. The school children will take to the beach to learn about the ‘World Around Us’ as part of a shared education programme. The programme is supported by Radius Housing as part of the Together: Building United Communities programme from the Laurel Hill Gardens housing development in Coleraine.

The programme, which brings together the young people from St. Johns and Killowen Primary Schools in Coleraine,  is designed to develop friendships, learn and have fun.  546 pupils from every year group on the schools will participate in a three hour class, which is linked to the school curriculum, on the Strand. The classes will be facilitated by Fred Corscadden, of North West Orienteering Club, who will teach the children about mapping, orientation, scale and distance, and learning about tides.

To help foster a responsible attitude toward the environment, the class will also include a beach clean-up, where pupils will pick up litter.  Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful kindly loaned a range of clean-up equipment including litter pickers, hi-vis vests, gloves and bags.

The programme is funded through the Coleraine T:BUC programme. Radius has a shared housing development in Laurel Hill Gardens, Coleraine.  The Good Relations Plan for Laurel Hill Gardens includes bridgingevents with the wider community which encourage a range of outcomes including shared education.

Speaking at one of the classes, Melanie Rintoul, a Communities Officer at Radius Housing said "We are delighted to have supported this programme of shared learning with St. John’s and Killowen Primary Schools. It was important that each pupil got the opportunity to take part.  This programme clearly reflects the wider benefits of living near a Shared Community.”

Arlene Moon, Principal, Killowen Primary School, said "Taking the classroom outside is always a great way to stimulate learning. Using Portstewart Strand, a wonderful beach which is right on our doorstep, to help deliver lessons has certainly helped increase interest with all the pupils, as well as cementing friendships between the two schools.”

 

Principal of St Johns Primary School, Helen McDonnell, added "This has made a real difference to the pupils of our schools many of whom do not get the opportunity to go to the beach or socialise with young people from the other side of the community.  Fun scientific learning in a great outdoor environment thank you Radius!”

Fred Corscadden, North West Orienteering Club SchoolsCoach, who facilities the classes, said "Portstewart Strand and dunes make a wonderful outdoor classroom for children to learn about their natural environment and have a bit of fun. And the view isnt bad either. Such a pleasure to work with children from St. Johns and Killowen and see them use their thinking skills to solve problems.”

The programme is funded through the Coleraine T:BUC programme. Radius has a shared housing development in Laurel Hill Gardens, Coleraine.  The Good Relations Plan for Laurel Hill Gardens includes ‘bridging’ events with the wider community which encourage a range of outcomes including shared education.

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