16 June 2022
By Tom Collins
Students from Bunscoil na Toirbhirte, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork took part in a beach
exploration workshop hosted by Green-Schools at Tramore beach, Co. Waterford, on
Tuesday, June 14. The group is one of 80 classes from 38 primary schools nationwide that
recently took part in the SeaKeepers Project, and were the lucky winners of this year’s field
trip to the beach. The SeaKeepers Project is an initiative of the Green-Schools Marine
Environment theme, which provides primary school teachers with a suite of resources and
lesson plans focusing on the ecology of six native Irish marine species.
The aim of the project is to increase young people’s knowledge of Ireland’s marine
biodiversity and to foster a deeper appreciation for our coastal habitats and sea-life. 32
students from 3rd class attended the workshop in Tramore which focused on exploring
marine biodiversity and celebrating our oceans and coast. The students took part in a range
of activities and games, including rocky seashore BioBlitz, seaweed tasting, marine litter
relay race, and a sand art competition.
Bunscoil na Toirbhirte is a 300-student girls’ primary school in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. They
have been working on the Green-Schools programme since 2007 and are currently working
towards their eighth Green Flag focusing on the Global Citizenship Marine Environment
theme, which is supported by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
As part of their work on this theme they are learning about the impacts of marine litter on
ocean and coastal environments, raising awareness and looking at ways to reduce their use
of single-use plastics.
Green-Schools National Manager Cathy Baxter welcomed the students to the seashore:
“We’re delighted to provide an opportunity for these students to get out of the classroom
and experience the coastline first-hand. We hope that the SeaKeepers Project and the
Green-Schools Programme will encourage children to enjoy the wonders of our shores with
their friends and families this summer and into their future.”