SPRINGHILL in Moneymore has picked up a prestigious national award for it’s top notch schools’ education programme.
The National Trust property, alongside The Argory near Moy, Co Tyrone won the impressive Sandford Award in recognition of its outstanding contribution to heritage education.
Sandford Awards recognise quality and excellence in education services and are administered by the Heritage Education Trust.
Chief Executive, Gareth Fitzpatrick MBE, said: “Springhill is set in a quiet wooded corner of Northern Ireland with well-maintained gardens and a charming whitewashed Plantation House, making the exterior of the building a place to linger in and enjoy.
“It is an appropriate and correct setting for young visitors to experience the evacuees in the Second World War programme. They learn from focused activities and stories of actual events just what it was like to be a child in the early 1940s.
“How and why families lived with rationing, how they coped when commodities were scarce, and the process and causes of evacuation from the towns and cities to the countryside.”
Mr Fitzpatrick added: “Children are welcome at The Argory, which is a delightful Country Gentleman’s residence that shows the Edwardian life of the family and their interests. The emphasis on costumed interpretation is well presented and good manners are reinforced, with the House being the main focus for teaching. All the taught sessions take place in the appropriate historic environment, which helps to enrich the experience. Teachers can be certain that they will get a good overview, which will help to underpin their own work in the classroom.”
Praising the education team on their achievement, Billy Reid, Interim Director of the National Trust in Northern Ireland, said: “This is a fantastic achievement which recognises the excellent work undertaken at National Trust places to visit across Northern Ireland.
“The Trust’s Education Programme has proved to be extremely successful in developing children’s understanding of local history, science and the environment. The fact that we have picked up two awards speaks volumes about the dedication, commitment and creativity of our team of education guides, and I congratulate them on their achievement.”
The National Trust in Northern Ireland welcomes over 30,000 schoolchildren to its properties each year as part of its regional education programme.
The children take part in a broad range of subjects from the coastal environment to working conditions in the Victorian era. The Trust’s series of education programmes demonstrate how heritage facilities can serve and benefit the school’s curriculum, enabling people of all ages to come into contact with different aspects of heritage through enjoyable and innovative learning programmes.
As well as providing interactive learning in situ the programmes facilitate cross-community paired school partnerships and encourage mutual respect of culture and traditions.
For further information on the range of Learning Programmes available at Springhill. For enquiries, please contact on 028 8674 8210. For The Argory please contact 028 8778 9011.