Fifth and Sixth class pupils of St. Mary’s Primary School, Strokestown celebrated a wonderful achievement on Wednesday, June 23rd as they raised their fifth Blue Star flag and received an award for successfully completing the Blue Star programme for five years. Sixth class pupil Grace King was very proud to raise the Blue Star flag for the school.
The Blue Star programme aims to foster a better understanding of the European Union and European cultures through creative activities and classroom projects that complement the Primary School curriculum. The programme helps pupils to understand the foundation and development of the EU, its cultural and linguistic diversity and how the EU affects the lives of Irish citizens. Senior pupils also learn French as part of this programme.
Each year the school celebrates Europe Day around May 9th. Europe Day celebrates peace and unity in Europe. Pupils and teachers usually organise a European show and Food Fair to celebrate Europe Day. Unfortunately this couldn’t happen this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Ms. Brehony, French teacher and Blue Star Coordinator invited Maria Walsh MEP to join the Europe Day celebrations on Zoom again this year. On Wednesday, June 3rd, Maria spent an hour on Zoom with Fifth and Sixth class pupils. Each pupil got the opportunity to present a summary of their project on the EU country they studied during the year and they proudly held the flag of the country. Every pupil had questions prepared for Maria.
Maria Walsh was very impressed with the pupils’ level of knowledge and understanding of the EU and she really enjoyed their presentations on the European countries. She was also impressed with the way the pupils introduced themselves in French.
She advised the pupils to continue learning European languages because the ability to speak and understand languages enables people to travel and work worldwide. Maria spoke to the pupils about her work in the European parliament in Brussels. She highlighted the importance of prioritising mental health in the EU.
Maria also discussed her experience of being a lady in politics. Maria is very proud of her native home in Shrule and she encouraged the girls to rally behind Mayo for Sam this year!! The pupils were overjoyed when Maria granted them a homework pass!
In the past five years, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Matt Carthy, a past pupil of St. Mary’s Primary School, Strokestown, and Mairéad McGuinness have all visited the school for Europe Day.
Maria Walsh thanked Blue Star teachers Caitriona Brehony and Annemarie Mulvihill and School Principal Anna Feely for all their hard work and enthusiasm with the Blue Star programme.