For the past couple of months we’ve been working with the senior classes in Peterswell, Tubber, Tierneevin and Ennistymon National School and Mol an Oige Ennistymon. The students have been undertaking a study of their local places, considering their built, natural and cultural heritage. The Áitbheo programme uses inquiry learning methods, which involves the students questioning and researching their places for themselves. Burrenbeo Trust facilitate the students learning and encourage critical thinking around the issues which arise in their local place.
Throughout the programme students complete a ‘Thought Book’ where they record their thoughts and feelings on the topic at hand and their place. The programme culminates in an active stewardship project which the students have to complete in order for their school to be awarded the ‘Áitbheo Primary Gradam’. The students (with the help of their very supportive teachers!) are currently undertaking these projects and will graduate in the coming weeks. The projects are devised and planned by the students. Projects underway include developing a local biodiversity trail, researching and compiling information on four local monuments, a litter pick and poster campaign and an information campaign focused around preventing destruction of natural habitats.
Here’s some of what they said in their thought books;
- Before the Áitbheo programme at my school I thought my place was pretty boring, I didn’t know a lot about nature but now I think differently. I think my place is amazing and I’m lucky to live here. I wonder if people in my place know enough about it and how to protect it. The Áitbheo programme has probably changed the view of our place dramatically. I wonder if other people in other places of the world care about their place.
- I think a lot of people take our local place for granted. There are so many places to visit around here, it is a great place to live.
- I think my place is interesting because it has a lot of ancient monuments. I wonder in a couple of years will my local place be full of buildings and all of the monuments are gone? I really want to help with the environment and care for animals.