Ballyclare High picks up top accolade

Anna Craig and Allison McWilliams from Ballyclare High School accept the award for Best Kept Post-Primary School (North East). Also pictured are  John Laverty from sponsor Open + Direct, teacher Alison McCollum, Joe Furphy OBE, Vice-Chairman, Northern Ireland Amenity Council and Doreen Muskett MBE, President, NIAC. INNT 24-804CON

Anna Craig and Allison McWilliams from Ballyclare High School accept the award for Best Kept Post-Primary School (North East). Also pictured are John Laverty from sponsor Open + Direct, teacher Alison McCollum, Joe Furphy OBE, Vice-Chairman, Northern Ireland Amenity Council and Doreen Muskett MBE, President, NIAC. INNT 24-804CON

There was success for Ballyclare High School as it picked up a prestigious award in the recent ‘Best Kept’ awards.

The Rashee Road school won gold for the North Eastern educational region in the Open + Direct ‘Best Kept’ School Awards, which were organised by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council,

The awards recognise schools which have made a dedicated effort to smarten up their grounds by keeping them tidy and by using their green fingered skills to bring their environment to life.

This year saw over 200 entries from across the country, in what is the competition’s 25th anniversary year.

To earn their new titles, each school had to demonstrate an absence of litter and general cleanliness, environmental enhancement such as flowerbeds and baskets, as well as evidence that both pupils and staff had worked together.

The awards ceremony was held at the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on, Tuesday, June 7, with entrants divided regionally into three categories. These were pre-primary, primary and post-primary.

President of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council, Doreen Muskett MBE said: “Every year the standard for this competition grows, with schools consistently proving their dedication to environmentally-friendly projects. Each region submitted strong entries with many enhancing small or limited areas with their creative thinking and innovative ideas which took hard work and determination to achieve.”

“I would like to congratulate all of our winners and finalists this year who showcased their teamwork mentality and proved themselves to be the very ‘Best Kept’!”

John Laverty from Open + Direct, now part of Abbey Insurance Brokers, shared his congratulations for all winners, saying: “The level of effort shown by schools throughout each region has been nothing short of fantastic.

“To see teachers and students working together to improve their surroundings in an eco-friendly manner is both inspiring and a great message to send out to the wider community.

“On behalf of all at Abbey Insurance Brokers and Open + Direct I would like to offer our congratulations to all who have earnt the title of ‘Best Kept’, as well as all other schools who entered the awards and took the steps towards tidying, beautifying and taking pride in their school or college.”