Pupils say no to gas guzzlers

HOW MANY CHILDREN CAN FIT INTO THE BACK OF A KIA? - Members of the St. Patrick's P.S. Eco Committee, pictured on a visit to Todds of Campsie Kia garage. (KV3012AQ02)

HOW MANY CHILDREN CAN FIT INTO THE BACK OF A KIA? - Members of the St. Patrick's P.S. Eco Committee, pictured on a visit to Todds of Campsie Kia garage. (KV3012AQ02)

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Pupils from St. Patrick’s Primary School in Pennyburn got the chance to put what they had learned in the classroom into practice when they paid a visit to Todd’s of Campsie Kia garage recently.

Kia is one of the world leaders when it comes to the design of eco-friendly cars.

St. Patrick's P.S. 'Eco Committee' pictured at Todd's of Campsie Kia garage. Included, from left, is Jonathan Todd (Sales Manager), Gareth Austin (Horticulturist) and Mrs. Adlard (teacher). (KV3012AQ01)

St. Patrick's P.S. 'Eco Committee' pictured at Todd's of Campsie Kia garage. Included, from left, is Jonathan Todd (Sales Manager), Gareth Austin (Horticulturist) and Mrs. Adlard (teacher). (KV3012AQ01)

All of the pupils are in primary five and are all members of the school’s Eco Committee.

For the last couple of months the children have been focusing on how to make their school more eco-friendly.

With the help and assistance of teacher Mrs. Adlard and horticulturist, Gareth Austin, the children have changed their school into top class eco-friendly zone but the recent visit to Todd’s of Campsie was to show them how the motor industry is also trying to preserve the environment.

“This is amazing. I find this all very interesting,” said nine year Adam Breslin.

St. Patrick's P.S. pupils Jenny O'Brien, Calum Duddy and horticulturist Gareth Austin have look at the Kia Eco car's engine. (KV3012AQ03)

St. Patrick's P.S. pupils Jenny O'Brien, Calum Duddy and horticulturist Gareth Austin have look at the Kia Eco car's engine. (KV3012AQ03)

“It’s been great fun coming here and I have learned a lot about how the cars are eco-friendly.”

The students were given a guided tour of the Kia garage where work is carried out on the cars and they were also shown around the showroom and allowed to get into some of the cars.

“This is just the best day ever,” said nine year-old Faye Sharkey.

“We have been learning all about the environment and the impact of pollution but we have also been learning about things that we can do to ensure that the environment is preserved.

“I like lovely flowers, animals and trees but if we don’t take care of environment then they will become extinct.”

School teacher, Mrs. Adlard, insisted that whilst it was important the children listen and learn in class it was equally important for them to experience the practical side.

“It’s all well and good telling the children this and that but they have to be able to come on visits like this one.

“Teaching the children about the environment is important and it’s also a lot of fun but it’s through such trips as this one that we are able to bring the subject matter alive for them.

“This is their first time out of the classroom as the eco-committee and from what I can tell they are all having an absolute ball.

“The children are really passionate about the environment and it’s hopefully through such approaches as this one that we can help them make a difference and take responsibility for the environment around them.”

Horticulturist and community gardener, Gareth Austin, said working with the group was rewarding and added that he’d never seen such passion for all things green amongst a group of such children.

“This is one of the best groups I have ever worked with - they are all so enthusiastic.

“Young children get such a bad press some times but I can tell you that they take more of an interest in the environment and in preserving it than most of the adults I know.

“It’s amazing to see a local primary school now has an Eco Committee. It’s about making the topic of the environment fun and attractive to them and all you have to do is look at their faces today to see that we are doing just that.”

Nine year-old Bebhin Lynott said that whilst the trip to Todd’s of Campsie was by the far the group’s most exciting to date, she said that working on compost heaps and flower beds in school was also enjoyable.

“I think you learn more about something when you actually get your hands dirty,” said Bebhin.

“In recent months we planted some flower seeds and they eventually grew into Pansies and Daffodils - it was great fun.

“I have had a great time out here today and hopefully we can come back again to find out more.”

Nine year-old Ryan Doherty said that he enjoyed the trip and said that it was thanks to Gareth Austin and teacher Mrs. Adlard that the topic of the environment appeared interesting.

“Mrs. Adlard and Gareth Austin are great. They are great fun and very helpful. It’s always nice to get out of school but we are learning things out here too. I’d like to come back again sometime soon.”