Blog : Education



Healthy Kidz has built a strong reputation for delivering hugely successful in-school health programmes, that focus on holistic physical activity that encourages general health and wellbeing. However, with the result of school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, Healthy Kidz have not rested on its laurels. Instead it has created a pioneering online platform that will encourage pupils to maintain healthy lifestyles that can be sustained outside the classroom.

Harnessing the power of technology, this new online platform allows teachers to access a wealth of engaging and fun cross-curricular lesson plans and educational activities via the Healthy Kidz dashboard.  It covers physical, wellbeing and general health and each lesson completed adds to every child’s health profile, with comprehensive health and activity reports generated on an individual, class and school level. These reports are instantly available for boards of governors, principals, teachers, pupils and parents.

In addition to the dashboard, every pupil has access to the free Healthy Kidz app. The app further encourages all children to continue their health and well-being journey outside the classroom. Pupils redeem points awarded for completed lessons and recorded at-home activities, enabling them to upgrade their Virtual Buddy avatar and move up the Healthy Kidz class league tables.

Healthy Kidz Director of Coaching Paul Carvill said: “We have been working extremely hard on this exciting new venture for Healthy Kidz. Developing our digital programme over the past number of months has resulted in a one of a kind online platform that will help teachers to deliver, record and report on their pupil’s health and wellbeing.

“As the result of schools closing, we had to be inventive.  Our virtual sports day in June was a huge success with over 500 schools signed up to take part in Northern Ireland.  This online solution worked, so school began requesting more online resources.  Now we have an online platform that we are really proud of and its potential impact to schools and pupils globally.”

Paul adds, “We understand time constraints that principals and teachers are under, so the platform’s bespoke design is easy to navigate for teachers and live reporting functions mean the schools can access downloadable data at the click of a button.”

Principal of Hart Memorial Primary School and one of the first local schools to sign up to this year’s new digital solution, Julie Shipley said, “I’m thrilled to be on board and believe Healthy Kidz has a huge part to play in our school this year, especially when it comes to the health and wellbeing of our pupils.”

Whilst Healthy Kidz is open for schools across Northern Ireland, it is also calling on local businesses to partner with them in order to support the implementation and further development of the programme.

If you would like to know more about Healthy Kidz Digital Programme, register your school or how to get involved as a corporate partner, please get in touch at



Employment initiative, Let’s Work has received just under £1.7m funding from Northern Ireland Executive’s Social Investment Fund under the Delivering Social Change framework.  The programme aims to increase employment in areas of socio-economic needs across Northern Ireland and has welcomed over 50% participation since the scheme launched in September 2019.

Carrickfergus Enterprise is project managing the scheme alongside employability specialists, Network Personnel and it is set to be completed by December 2020 as its aims to engage with up to 160 participants from the top 10% or 20% socially disadvantaged areas including: Larne, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey, Antrim, Coleraine, Magherafelt, Cookstown, Moyle and Ballymoney.

The employment training programme will widen access to job opportunities and create meaningful pathways to employment.  The goals of the project include, reducing the number of unemployed people in the Social Investment Fund Northern zone, improve skill levels of long term unemployed, and increase personal confidence.

In just over 3 months, 53% of 160 participants are positively benefiting from “Let’s Work” and the next year will see further engagement to support people to enhance their skills, encourage training accreditation and convert work placements into full time equivalent roles.

Vice Chair of Carrickfergus Enterprise David McIlhagger said: “This significant investment and support for those who are unemployed is really encouraging. Our ethos at Carrickfergus Enterprise is to create jobs and we have already seen great success in terms of placing participants with key employers as well as developing participant skills and knowledge. Let’s Work encourages participants to strive toward a fresh start in employment as well as supporting businesses in gaining a skilled and knowledgeable work force. Through working closely with the project partners, we are seeing real change not only in attitudes but in lowering unemployment in lower socio-economic areas across Northern Ireland.

“Carrickfergus Enterprise has been responsible for a breadth of employability and business successes across the province.  This large-scale project can make positive changes to peoples lives and can go some way towards addressing some of the key barriers to employment and create positive news for the area.

Alex McKee from Network Personnel said, “We are delighted to be the Service Delivery Organisation for “Let’s Work”. The person-centred ethos of the project perfectly complements our existing suite of employability provision, bridging the gap for individuals who are furthest removed from the labour market and who will benefit most from a structured programme of support during their first few months of employment. By facilitating a perfect match between employer needs and participant aspirations, we can ensure a rewarding and mutually beneficial experience for both parties. “Let’s Work” is a fantastic grassroots stepping stone which will vastly enhance the long term employment prospects for a great number of people in our local communities”.

Dr Mark Browne – Director of Strategic Policy, Equality & Good Relations in the Executive Office added: “The Social Investment Fund was designed to find solutions to deliver real, lasting benefits for communities that need it most.  I am delighted that the £1.7m allocated to this project will assist with improving training and employment skill levels to enable access to job opportunities. It is great to see how this project is already benefiting those most in need across the SIF Northern Zone and adding to the great work already supported by SIF.”



The biggest maths festival in the world is almost here and there is still time to register! Maths Week Ireland is taking place from October 14th – October 22nd.

Taking place in schools, colleges, museums, universities and communities throughout Northern Ireland, Maths Week 2017 is set to deliver another spectacular programme of events designed to make maths fun.  Hundreds of schools from across the province have already registered online to join in Maths Week 2017 and organise their own in-school events supported by which offers resources and ideas, competitions and challenges.

With a history dating back to the Egyptian and Greek era and beyond, Maths remains the most popular A-level subject in Northern Ireland, making it an impressive three years in a row at the top of the table.

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To mark Harvest month this October and as part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is giving local schools the opportunity to win all they need to grow their own produce.

With some of the best producers and growers based in the Lisburn & Castlereagh area, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is keen to encourage the next generation of talented growers and is calling on green-fingered local pupils to submit a poem about the importance of Harvest.

This initiative is intended to broaden children’s understanding of agriculture and to promote healthy eating options with a balanced fruit and vegetable-filled. Growing fruit and vegetables in the garden at your school is a fantastic way to demonstrate the link between the food we eat, the seasons and the land.

Participating schools will have the chance to win a set of allotments, enabling pupils to fully immerse themselves in the harvest season. The prize includes two wooden allotment frames, soil, seeds, guides and a visit from an experienced gardener who will host an educational lesson on planting and tending.

Cllr. Uel Mackin, Chair of Lisburn & Castlereagh’s Economic Development Committee, explained the benefits of instilling this interest at a young age.

“I would encourage all local schools to reach out and get involved in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Harvest Competition. The aim is to encourage the younger generation to get involved in, and fully appreciate, the process of growing, harvesting and eating fruit and vegetables.”

“Those involved will reap the benefits of seeing first-hand how their hard work and care can produce an array of fruit and vegetables. It will be exciting process to chart the progress of each allotment and see local school children’s hard work come to fruition,” added Cllr. Uel Mackin.

To be in with the chance of winning this fantastic prize for their school, pupils are requested to submit a poem around the theme of Harvest to a select panel of judges.

To enter, simply submit your harvest-themed poem by Friday, October 21st to LCCC Harvest Competition, C/O Rumour Mill PR, First Floor Cranmore House, 611A Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7GT or email



1505123Leading arts venue, the MAC, is calling upon Lisburn businesses to sign up to its ‘Give the Gift of Theatre’ initiative to enable four local primary schools – Forthill Integrated Primary, Brownlee Primary, Ballycarrickmaddy Primary and Beechlawn School – to experience a special trip to the theatre this year.

Some 3,500 school children will visit the MAC’s Christmas production of Pinocchio, starting in November. However, the cost of travel for these schools can be a burden and many schools simply can’t afford to come. That’s why the MAC launched its innovative ‘Passport to the MAC’ programme, which provides schools, such as Forthill Integrated Primary, Brownlee Primary, Ballycarrickmaddy Primary and Beechlawn Schol, with a bursary towards travel expenditure.  As a charity, the MAC is calling on Lisburn businesses to support the scheme by donating £350 towards travel costs for one of the above nominated schools in their area this Christmas.

Anne McReynolds, Chief Executive at the MAC added: “This scheme was created in order to give schools support with additional costs associated with taking their pupils to the theatre.  We know that often the barriers for schools come down to pounds and pence and as the MAC has been designed for all the people of Northern Ireland, we want to actively enable as many young children as possible to experience the magic and transformative power of the arts.

“I would actively encourage any local business who usually buy Christmas cards or makes a charity donation on behalf of its staff, to this year consider the MAC charity and help us to support school children in their neighbourhood.”

To take part in the ‘Give the Gift of Theatre’ initiative businesses are invited to sign up to make their donation by contacting Melissa McMinn at the MAC on 028 90892966 or email

For all press enquiries, please contact Samantha Livingstone at Rumour Mill PR on 028 90682185 or email

Notes to Editors:

  • Businesses are asked to donate £350 (or more!) towards the school’s transport costs.
  • The MAC will match the business with a school
  • There will be a PR opportunity for each business to promote the story on their website and social media channels
  • The following schools require support:
    1. The Thompson PS, Ballyrobert
    2. Ballyvester PS, Donaghadee
    3. Forthill PS, Lisburn
    4. Brownlee PS, Lisburn
    5. Tir Na Nog, Ballyclare
    6. Beechlawn School, Hillsborough
    7. Ballycarrickmaddy PS, Lisburn
    8. Fairview PS, Ballyclare
    9. Recarson PS, Omagh
    10. Rathmore PS, Bangor
    11. Kings Park PS, Newtownabbey
    12. Culnady PS, Maghera