St Joseph’s National School, Killenummery, Co Leitrim have been crowned the National Champions in the School category of the Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools programme.
The school is celebrating after being crowned Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools National Champions for 2022. A strong achievement given 19,500 school children from over 450 schools across the country signed up for the programme.
Farm Safe Schools Show
The whole school put on a brilliant show to celebrate as the whole community turned out to support the small rural school.
There was music, dancing and poetry as Martin Heydon TD, Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, with responsibility for Farm Safety was on hand at St Joseph’s NS, to present the prize.
Over the course of the programme, sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, schools engaged in a series of farm safety-themed modules. These helped them to be ambassadors for farm safety, empowering cultural change at home and in their communities.
Safety Parade Theme
The National winners from Killenummery chose Farm Safety as the theme for their St Patrick’s Day Parade. They had farm safety speakers come into their school and visited a farm to spot potential dangers. The pupils created some digital role play videos, showcased as part of their school blog.
As a prize, the school will receive €2,000.00 to spend on the wellbeing of their students. 5th and 6th class of Athlacca National School in Co. Limerick also took home the Class Champion Award, seeing them win €500.00 for their class. The innovative students created farm safety keyrings for tractors and ran an ‘Eye on Safety’ project as part of their submission.
Farm Safety Importance
Speaking at the prize giving, Minister Martin Heydon TD said: “The Farm Safe Schools programme plays an important role in our efforts to improve farm safety. By engaging with children, some of whom will be tomorrow’s young farmers, this programme is an opportunity to ingrain a lifelong culture of safety in their approach to farming”.
“The pupils of St Joseph’s National School are to be congratulated for their great effort and initiative in the projects they undertook to increase not only their own awareness of farm safety, but also to raise awareness in their homes and in their community.
“Through the Farm Safe Schools programme, we have been able to reach 19,500 pupils around the country in over 450 communities and they are now equipped to become champions for farm safety. This will make an important contribution in reducing the unacceptably high incidence rate of farm fatalities and serious injuries on Irish farms”
Farm Safe Schools Coordinator and AgriKids founder, Alma Jordan explained what made the winners stand out from the crowd.
“Our winners today have shown how capable they are by achieving superstar status. What led them to taking the top honours comes down to the way they took the information and disseminated it in their school and communities.
“St Joseph’s really engaged with the materials and created their own lessons through play. They invited speakers, surveyed farmers and then took the message to their community by choosing farm safety as the theme for their St Patrick’s Day parade. They even won the best parade entry.
“It sends a very powerful message to adults when young children take on such a serious topic.”
Agri Aware Executive Director, Marcus O’Halloran expressed his delight to the national winners.
“The Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools Programme is one of our most important as it aims to save lives by improving farm safety.
“The children are really bringing their learning home to their parents and grandparents. It is great to see the effort and imagination that goes into the annual submissions from the programme and the long-term benefits will be overall improved farm safety.”