Dunluce School Pupils are ‘On Top of the World’

Giant's Causeway helps Antrim class win plaudits and prizes

Pupils from Dunluce School are on top of the World – or World Heritage Site, after winning a local heat in a prestigious competition organised by UNESCO, the organisation responsible for awarding and overseeing World Heritage Site status.

They recently entered an exciting competition to reveal what makes Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage site - the Giant’s Causeway - special to them. The response resulted in some really motivating pieces of work, which all helped to capture the essence of how young people are connecting with the Giant’s Causeway.

Pupils were asked to create a brochure, collage, poster, podcast or poem, which effectively communicates how they view their local World Heritage Site.

Six pupils from Dunluce School, Courtney Dinsmore, Gillian Goodman, Rebekah January, Mark McClenaghan, Daniel McKee and Charles Moore created the inspirational entry which won the competition.

They went on to represent the Giant’s Causeway at the 2009 UNESCO UK World Heritage Youth Summit held on 22 May in Lyme Regis, England. The Summit consisted of schools representing 10 World Heritage Sites and was opened by Professor Walter R. Erdelen, assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences for UNESCO.

The winning entry was designed around the theme World Heritage and Identity. The judging panel appreciated the artistic approach taken by the pupils and were impressed with how the piece reflected the rich mythological aspect of the Causeway.

The mythology surrounding the Causeway spans for centuries, and helps to form part of the identity of the Causeway itself. It has influenced the lives of many in the past and continues to touch the lives of visitors today.

Commenting on the competition, Lisa McCaughan, National Trust, Environmental Learning Officer, said: 'This has been an extremely exciting competition and I congratulate whole heartedly the local schools who participated so enthusiastically.

'The judges had a very difficult choice. I am delighted that the pupils from Dunluce have had the chance to participate in the wider UNESCO UK World Heritage Summit. During the conference the young people represented Northern Ireland and the Giant’s Causeway magnificently and it was an enriching experience for everyone.'

Elizabeth Harrison, Head of Art from Dunluce School, added, 'I am delighted for the pupils who have won and know that they have learnt much from the experience of attending the UNESCO world Heritage Site Youth Summit in England. They worked hard on their entry, even staying behind after school to complete it. The prize is well deserved and much appreciated.'