Four national schools throughout the Burren region are set to take on the Áitbheo Primary Programme for the new school term through to March, developed and delivered byBurrenbeo Trust.
The selected schools are Moy, Carran, Corofin and Ballyvaughan. Burrenbeo Trust has already guided five schools through Áitbheo last term, and has seen a high standard of engagement and interest in this new programme.
“Following the high standard of applications and seeing their potential, we’re excited to be working with the chosen schools in exploring their local natural and cultural heritage, developing stewardship and pride of place, and learning from them in turn about their local areas” explains Áine Bird, Áitbheo coordinator.
“Áitbheo is delivered free to schools but costs Burrenbeo Trust about €1200 per school. While this is a significant investment from a small organisation, we believe it’s an investment worth making – in the long term, the local community is best placed to protect its place.”
The Áitbheo programme aims to increase awareness and foster appreciation of the wealth of natural and cultural heritage in one’s place, with the school serving as a starting-point for investigating the local area. It offers a hands-on and fun learning experience, as well as encouraging independent research and debate, and developing key aspects of the literacy, numeracy, science, history and geography curricula.
On completion, the students graduate as certified Young Place Heroes, with a bank of knowledge and enthusiasm that they will carry with them for years to come. An evolved successor to the Ecobeo programme, through which over 1000 primary school children from across the Burren have graduated as ‘Burren experts’, Áitbheo is designed to work in schools throughout Ireland.