St. Senan's Sensory Garden opened
Before breaking up for the summer, staff and pupils of St. Senan's Primary School officially opened their very own Sensory Garden.
Described as 'a hidden treasure tucked away in the foothills of Vinegar Hill' the garden is the culmination of many years of work by teachers, parents and, of course, the students themselves.
Originally developed by the Green School Committee, the first iteration of the Sensory Garden in 2011 saw children from the ASD (Autism spectrum disorder) classes get involved in growing projects under the guidance of Helena McAteer.
Parents, led by Linda Murphy and Venie Mullett, then helped to create a designated Sensory Garden Committee, and the school held two Garden Festivals to raise funds for the Sensory Garden in 2013 and 2014.
With plans set in place by Deirdre Prince and work carried out by Michael Bennett, the garden began to take shape, with the glass house, the 'Amuigh Faoin Spéir' bench, bug hotel, water feature and colourful canopy added to the space.
The launch day started with a special assembly in the school hall, where Fifth Class pupils organised a presentation about the Sensory Garden, followed by 'My Garden' art competition winners being presented with their prizes. Mrs. Jenna Fitzgerald also presented prizes to the winners of the 'My Garden' photography competition, which was open to the local community. The choir performed a song specially composed for the occasion before
Margaret Bracken, Helena McAteer, Venie Mullett and Linda Murphy cut the ribbon to officially open the garden.
Discussing how the garden would be used in the coming years, Claire Nolan of St. Senan's said, 'The aim of the Sensory Garden is to provide a space in which senses are stimulated and minds can grow, and all children in our school reap the benefits of having this area. Our garden grows herbs that can be tasted, plants to smell, has wind chimes that can be heard, rocks and stones that can be touched and bright colours to be seen - all of which are only a snapshot of the sensory life of our garden.'