St. Mary’s Primary School, Draperstown has been named the ‘Best of the Best’ in the Best Kept School Awards 2018, sponsored by George Best Belfast City Airport.


The ‘Best of the Best’ award is given to the top performing school once regional awards have been received. Beating out 27 other schools on the day, St Mary’s has had previous success in the regional awards but had yet to be crowned the champions.


Judges were impressed with the immense feeling of involvement in the school and the high levels of recycling, along with impressive standards of environmental education.


Speaking at the awards, Doreen Muskett, President of the NI Amenity Council, said:


“The standard of entries this year was at a record high and each school that entered demonstrated an outstanding commitment to their pupils, staff and the environment.


“St. Mary’s Primary School went above and beyond the curriculum to encourage pupils to make a difference in their community and preserve the environment for future use. They should be extremely proud of their dedication and hard work over the years.


“The bar has now been set even higher for next year, as St Mary’s has a great feeling of belonging and ownership from all involved. We are delighted to reward St Mary’s as, not only the Best Kept Primary School in the North Eastern Region for a second year running, but the ‘Best of the Best’.”


The Best Kept School category was first awarded in 1991, with one school winner in each of the Education Authority regions, and since has been grown with regional winners now awarded in Pre-Primary, Primary and Post-Primary categories.


Stephen Patton, Corporate Responsibility and HR Manager at Belfast City Airport, said:


“On behalf of George Best Belfast City Airport, we want to congratulate the overall winners, St Mary’s Primary School, and every school that was shortlisted for the awards. It was an honor to attend the ceremony and see the incredible effort of each school that entered.


“Our continuing sponsorship of the Best Kept Awards plays an important part of our Corporate Responsibility program, which has supported over 150 local projects since the inception of our Community Fund.


“Corporate responsibility is central to our business and ensures we are playing our part as a major employer in the community.”


The Best Kept School Awards is part of the wider Northern Ireland Best Kept Awards initiative, now in its 61st year, which seeks to identify and celebrate Northern Ireland’s best looked-after towns, villages, schools, healthcare facilities and housing areas.

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