PUPILS and staff at Hazelwood Integrated Primary are celebrating two major achievements - becoming the first official ‘Forest School’ in Northern Ireland, and winning a second Eco-Schools Green Flag.
The school received the ‘Forest School’ award from the Northern Ireland Forest School Association in recognition of its vision and safe practice in using the adjacent Throne Wood as an outdoor classroom.
The Wood is a valuable learning resource that enhances pupils’ learning experiences. As many as 200 pupils explore the woodland each week, identifying trees and flowers, learning about animal habitats, building dens and natural art.
Lessons and activities teaching the children about exploration and biodiversity have been instrumental in helping the school achieve Green Flag status as an Eco-School (pictured inset).
Working to secure the school’s second Green Flag, pupils from P1 to P7 learned out about a wide range of important subjects, including saving energy, composting food waste and protecting local wildlife.
Eco-Schools is a government programme set up to help schools become more environmentally sustainable. Hazelwood has been involved in the project since 2008.
For more information about the Forest Schools initiative log on to www.nifsa.org