Pupils from Hart Memorial Primary School have proved they are the best when it comes to being good citizens.
The P7 children beat pupils from across the province to win first prize in the 10-11 age group of the Youth Justice Agency’s Citizenship Competition, having made a DVD about their ‘Citizenship Journey’.
Meanwhile, four pupils from Portadown Integrated Primary School received highly commended awards in the same age group for their artwork.
Open to all 10-17-year-olds, the competition challenged young people to use their creative skills to demonstrate their involvement in active citizenship within their local community.
According to Hart teacher Jonathan Guy, the class was split into five groups and each group was given an iPad to gather evidence in the form of pictures, videos and interviews.
Areas explored included the school itself, where class representatives in each year group are elected to the school council, as well as the work of the Eco Council in helping the school become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
The DVD also highlighted the school’s work within the local community through the Intergenerational Project, which involves pupils and members of the PSNI, Craigavon Council and the Oaks Sheltered Housing.
It also showcased the work which has taken place between children, staff and parents of Hart Memorial and Presentation PS on a project to develop positive community relations.
The project, funded by the International Fund for Ireland, involved the children and staff participating in shared classes in each other’s schools, where they researched their own culture and learnt about other cultures within the group.
The project culminated in a cultural arts display entitled, ‘Our Shared Future,’ in The High Street Mall.
Said Mr Guy, “The children worked so hard and have a genuine sense of pride in their finished project. The trip to Stormont, complete with a free lunch and guided tour, was ample reward for the children but actually winning the Youth Justice Agency Award, of which there were 188 entries, was the icing on the cake.
“The children each received a bag of generous gifts and the class was presented with a £100 gift voucher for Argos. Two separate members of the Stormont team commented that the children from Hart Memorial were the best behaved school group that they had ever had at Parliament Buildings.”
Local actor and writer Dan Gordon entertained guests with his tales of working in the industry and encouraged winners to make full use of their artistic abilities.