The students from sixth class were presented with the Something Fishy perpetual trophy by Pat Breen TD, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, at Treacys West County Hotel in Ennis yesterday (Monday 25 November).
Doora National School received the national accolade after being commended for their Something Fishy blog project, which saw them complete artwork on the life cycle of a salmon, report on a field trip they took with local fisheries officers and produce an exercise book.
The blog was accessible to their peers and members of the public on Somethingfishy.ie with a view to sharing their learning experiences and to increasing awareness of their fisheries resource in the local community.
It followed months of engagement by the students in the education programme which saw them work with IFI’s Fisheries Officers from the Shannon River Basin District to learn about their local fisheries resource.
The winners were chosen to go forward to represent their region by Clare Education Centre in June.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, 104 national schools and 12 education centres took part in the fisheries education programme which reached over 2,000 students across the country.
As part of Something Fishy, students learn about fish and the environment, enjoying classroom based activities as well as a practical field trip with fisheries officers. The Something Fishy programme is an initiative of IFI in partnership with Blackrock Education Centre.
Speaking about the Something Fishy award, Minister Pat Breen said it “is particularly special as we celebrate the International Year of the Salmon in 2019, an initiative which hopes to raise awareness around the different challenges that face the Salmon species today”.
‘The level of creativity, passion for learning and enthusiasm shown in their project stood out’
IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said: “The students and teachers of Doora National School submitted an impressive project for assessment. The level of creativity, passion for learning and enthusiasm shown in their project stood out and deserves recognition at this national level.
“We would like to thank Clare Education Centre and our partners in Blackrock Education Centre for their support in bringing the programme to the high standard that it is today.”
Ross Darmody, teacher of the winning class in Doora National School, said: “We are proud of the students here at Doora National School for their inspiring enthusiasm to engage with and learn about the fisheries environment and its species.
“The programme is cross-curricular and draws together geography, science and ICT as well as ensuring that the learning is fun for everyone through the interactive online ‘Something Fishy’ resources.
“As a school we look forward to working with Inland Fisheries Ireland again in the future to bring this programme to even more students.”