Pupils and teachers at a Lurgan nursery school are celebrating after winning a prestigious award for their environmental projects.
Drumnamoe Nursery School has once again been awarded ‘Best Kept Pre Primary School’ in the Southern Education and Library Board.
The school last won the title in 2007 and was highly commended in 2008 and again in last year’s competition.
In addition to winning this title they were one of only five schools in Northern Ireland nominated to go forward to the next stage of the competition - ‘Best of the Best’.
Drumnamoe was competing against four primary schools for the Best of the Best title: St Brigid’s (Magherafelt), Kilmaine (Bangor), Jones Memorial (Enniskillen) and Fane Street (Belfast). St Brigid’s was the overall winner.
Mrs Fiona McDonald, principal at Drumnamoe, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that we have once again been voted the best kept nursery school in the Southern Board.
“I realise that it is difficult for us to compete with primary schools, who have much larger grounds than ours; however, the judges’ comments were extremely favourable.”
The judges complimented Drumnamoe on having “a very imaginative garden area which is used to its capacity in the education of children about environmental issues.”
They went on to say: “Plans for extending the grounds are currently in progress. The school both inside and out is maintained to a very high standard.”
One judge added: “The staff of the school are committed to educating their pre school children to a very high standard on a wide range of environmental issues.”
The second judge said: “The garden at this school is exceptional in its utility of space. It has continued to evolve in a most innovative and imaginative way.
“This is an exceptional school staffed by dedicated and gifted teachers.”
Reflecting on the achievement Mrs McDonald said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of my staff for the excellent work they do all year round at Drumnamoe Nursery School.
“Special mention must go to Nicola Greene, our parent co-ordinator, who does a fabulous job in keeping our garden space immaculate throughout the year and comes up with great ideas for involving the parents and children.
“Thanks too, to Clarissa Rafferty (Nursery Assistant) for promoting ECO Schools’ activities and for teaching the children about recycling etc and to Karen Carroll (Class Teacher) and Lindsey Headley (Nursery Assistant) for their promotion of Health and Well Being throughout the school.
“All of the staff are doing an exceptional job in maintaining the best possible standards of pre school education for the children in the north Lurgan area.
“As principal of the school I am very proud to be part of an exceptional team, who are great to work with and who all have the children’s best interests at heart in everything they do.”