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Good Relations Project promotes lessons in shared education

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Pupils from local primary schools have enjoyed new learning opportunities through a Shared Education project organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Good Relations team in association with the Education Authority.

The Education Networking Programme aims to contribute towards a shared education network across the Borough and encourage teachers to explore opportunities for pupils, families, school staff and the wider community to learn, play, share and achieve together.

The partnerships included St Brigid’s Primary School (Ballymoney) and Leaney Primary School, Bushvalley Primary School (Stranocum), St Patrick’s Primary School (Glenariff) and St Ciaran’s Primary School (Cushendun),Ballykelly Primary School and Faughanvale Primary School, as well as St Joseph’s Primary School (Dunloy) and The Model Controlled Integrated Primary School (Ballymoney).

Some of the pupils visited Garvagh Forest to learn about diversity and interdependence in the natural world while others took part in science and technology activities with ‘Go Fly Your Kite’. For younger pupils there was a visit from The Big Telly Theatre Company’s Bear Hospital while the Nerve Centre facilitated an animation, video and green screen project.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Sean Bateson said: “New legislation in 2016 has laid the foundations to encourage, facilitate and promote Shared Education between pupils of differing religious beliefs, and of differing socio-economic situations. Council’s Good Relations team is working with the Education Authority to add value to the work that they are already doing in the schools within our Borough. We hope that these projects will help to establish and maintain good relationships between children from different backgrounds who would otherwise not have this opportunity.”

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Good Relations Officer Joy Wisener added: “Through projects like this we hope that our young people can be more engaged in bringing the community together. The Education Networking Programme also includes a conference in February for teachers who lead on Shared Education within their schools. It will provide an opportunity for schools to learn from each other and to meet other organisations who may be able to facilitate some of the sessions when pupils come together. The projects that have taken place recently in some of our local school partnerships will also be showcased at the conference.”

This project has received financial assistance from The Executive Office as part of the District Councils Good Relations Programme which is committed to delivering on the T:BUC strategy (Together Building a United Community).

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