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Pupils get back to mother nature with new sensory garden

Outdoor lessons in the new sensory garden that was opened at St Columba's, Straw. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

A RURAL primary school has underlined its commitment to children's well-being with the opening of a new sensory garden.

St Columba's PS Straw, which has been delivering education to the children of the parish of Ballinascreen in Co Derry for more than 50 years, moved into a new £2.69 million building in 2013.

The school strives for "the holistic development" of its children "by providing a wide range of enriching experiences".

The new garden is designed to help the school promote mindfulness among its pupils.

Principal Fiona Kennedy said funds for the garden were raised by the Parent-Teacher Association and Mid Ulster Council while it was built by Conservation Volunteers.

"The children love it. More kids need to get back to mother nature and be allowed to get dirty," she said.

"This is getting children outdoors and respecting the outdoors. There's an outdoor classroom with seats out of logs. Within 10 minutes you can see they have calmed down."

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