Carnaun School Organic Diary Feb 2006

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Galway Science and Technology Festival Galway. Michael Mullins, David Williams, Conor Cooley and Sarah 0’Regan promoting Organic Science for Carnaun School, Athenry.

Carnaun School ends the year on a busy note! The past few weeks were all “go” with not a minute to spare!

We got an invitation to attend the National Conference and IOFGA A.G.M. and were delighted to be awarded their “National Award for Excellence in Education in Organic Gardening” and all that just for doing something we love doing!

Having been away for some time in Stralsund, on the Baltic Sea, for a Comenius Schools Partnership project meeting, and watching the Geese and Swans heading off towards Ireland there was a lot of catching up to do when I came back but we took a day off to join Gordon D’Arcy, on a nature walk in Coole Park, near Gort. We had a lovely day and learned all about the swans, geese, ducks and many other birds on the Coole turlough.

During the Galway Science and Technology festival week we had lots of visitors to see our science projects especially the solar panel. Even Leo Enright the Radio and TV Science presenter came with a camera crew to film for news2day on RTE Two. Here we were interviewed by some students from another great ”science” School, Killeeneen National School.

Filming for RTE 2 – news2day – were Aisling, Jenifer and Jack from Killeeneen National School, RTE Cameraman, Leo Enright, David Williams, Paul Tracey and Conor Cooley Project leader “Solar Power as Alternative Energy in the School” ( and hiding in the background is Brendan ‘Speedie’ Smith always a very welcome to our School)

Later in the week Dick Warner, environmentalist, author and TV presenter dropped in to join us on a walk in our heritage trail. He was very impressed.

We had a stand at the Galway Festival of Science and Technology and even though the primary schools were left in another venue, on their own, away from the main show and all the big businesses, that could provide us with important contacts and possibly sponsorship, we had a great day.

And while we showcased many science projects definitely the most interest was shown in the Organic Gardening Project and we had lots of questions and enquiries from both young and old.

Finbarr O’Regan, Principal Teacher

Childrens’ Diary: While we gave Dick Warner a tour around our three-acre site he listened to what we told him and, now and again, gave us little snippets of knowledge on various things we encountered. We learned a lot about the identification of trees, in winter, by their buds and about the birds’ digestive system and why we often see them taking up little stones and grit from the sides of paths and roads.He told us that our ‘crows’ were really rooks and that they had a little bald patch near their beaks so that they could keep themselves clean while eating. And that alder trees can grow on poor soil because, like legumes, clover and furze they put nitrogen back into the soil. We also learned from him that hurling was traditionally played only in limestone country as they ash trees, the material for hurls, grow best on limestone soils. And we told him that explains why Galway got five all-stars this year.

Dick Warner with the Junior Pupils on the Carnaun Nature Trail

Dick also explained why the hare eats the bark off young trees as he is trying to keep the open spaces for himself. He named Enda Trowell’s ‘Butterfly plant’ – a shrub which attracts all the bees and butterflies – as ‘sedum’.

We really enjoyed our day with Mr Warner and we think he liked our nature trail also. He tasted the brussels sprouts and decided that they were delicious, he told us that our compost was excellent and was delighted to receive copies of ‘Organic Matters’ magazine, which featured out School’s Organic Diary. We hope he comes to visit us again.

Róisín and Michael 6th class.

Editor’s note: This article was, one of many ,written in Carnaun School, Athenry, from 2006 onwards, for IOFGA’s Organic Matters Magazine, Editor Cáit Curran!

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About this record

Written by Finbarr and the Carnaun Pupils

Published here 17 Feb 2024 and originally published February 2006

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