Summer term is never complete without a school tour, providing Inishowen children with lots of ‘spraoi agus spórt’.
In case your Irish is a bit rusty, this means ‘fun and games’ in English! But it’s also the name of award-winning Carndonagh social enterprise, Spraoi agus Spórt, who’ve been running school tours since lockdown.
“All of our classes did the Spraoi school tours last year during Covid,” says Mary McGonagle, principal of Scoil Treasa Naofa in Malin. “It would have been very difficult to manage any tours at all without them.”
Mary says though the restrictions are now gone, they opted for Spraoi agus Sport tours this term. “We picked Spraoi for several reasons for our Infants, First and Second Classes. The location was very handy, being so close by, so there was no long journey to face for younger children.”
“But it was also because they offered such a wide range of activities – everything from outdoor play, to tech and crafts. They cater for all the children, whether they are sporty, arty or have special needs. Also, the staff are very organised and tailor their activities to suit your exact needs.”
Mary says the children had a great day, which included a treasure hunt, trip to the play park, ice cream, and a visit to the Sensory Room. “In the Digital Creative Lab, they learned how to add their own individual names to bedroom door signs. So, they gained some digital skills and each had something special to take home with them.”
Joanne Kelly, Principal of Glentogher National School, says they have used Spraoi school tours for the last two years and “really enjoyed them. We have done surfing for the senior classes and the younger ones have gone to Spraoi to make teddies and t-shirts.”
“Spraoi offers schools a different type of tour. It doesn’t involve going on a bus for over an hour, but it does have all the fun and adventure. It offers children the opportunity to do things they haven’t done before, such as the Digital Creative Lab and surfing. The tours are very well run and enjoyable, and I look forward to using Spraoi again in the future.”
Spraoi co-founder and chief executive, Helen Nolan says they started the tours when schools’ options were limited by Covid. “We were delighted with the response! It is testament to our service delivery that a number of schools returned to Spraoi again this year for their tour.”
Helen says these schools supported their social enterprise, protected jobs and reduced their Co2 emissions by choosing Spraoi school tours. “This is a win for the local economy and the environment.”