Schools

The Ballinderry River and its tributaries are an excellent place to learn about our precious freshwater environment and the wonderful wildlife that lives all around us.
We offer a wide range of education options to suit you and your student’s needs, these include:

Visiting our River School and Conservation Breeding Centre just outside Cookstown to learn about our precious rivers and loughs, the wildlife that call them home and how we interact with and depend on freshwater in our everyday lives.

Using the river as an outdoor classroom to learn how rivers change as they move through the landscape and the beasts and bugs that lurk beneath the ripples.

Bring the river into your school to learn how rivers change over time and even run your own breeding centre for trout in your classroom.

The Trusts dedicated Learning and Outreach Officer has developed resources which help you, as teacher, bridge a number of topics in the delivery National Curriculum targets for Key Stages 1 to 3.

Key Stages 1 to 2 – World Around Us, Literacy, Numeracy, Music can all be targeted.

Key Stage 3 - Science and Geography are the main topics addressed.  

Contact our Learning and Outreach Officer to book a visit on 028 867 61515 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


River School Visit

Carry out activities and experiments in the River School to learn about our precious freshwater environment and how we interact with it. 

Then take a tour of our Conservation Breeding Centre to get up close and personal with some of Europe’s most endangered freshwater species, including the ancient freshwater pearl mussel and the snappy white-clawed crayfish.

Key Stage Group
Key Stage 1-2 - World Around Us, Literacy, Numeracy, Music
Key Stage 3 - Science and Geography

Number of students
30 pupils (or nearest class-size).
This group will be split into two, each group rotating between the River School activity session and the tour of the Conservation Breeding Centre.

Duration
2 hours        One River School activity and tour of the Conservation Breeding Centre
3 hours        Two River School activities and tour of the Conservation Breeding Centre


River Study Trip

Accompanied by our Learning and Outreach Officer, travel from the source of the Lissan Water on Slieve Gallion to its mouth as its joins the Ballinderry River, and discover how rivers change as the move through the landscape and over time. 

Find out what the freshwater mini-beasts can tell us about the health of the river and discover how water has been used on the Lissan Water through time.

Key Stage Group
Key Stage 1-2 - World Around Us, Literacy, Numeracy
Key Stage 3 - Science and Geography

Number of students
30 pupils (or nearest class-size).

Duration
Half day and Full day river study trips available


Rivers on the Move

Rivers on the Move is interactive river in a box which simulates how rivers form – in the classroom. 

This is the only model of its kind in Ireland and allows students to become river managers and experiment with building bridges and other structures and experiment with different types of riverbank protection options to see what affect this has on the river. 

You can also be a bit more daring and change the course of the river or create a flood to see what happens.  River process, which are often hard to describe happen in seconds before your eyes.

Key Stage Group
Key Stage 1-2 - World Around Us, Literacy, Numeracy
Key Stage 3 - Science and Geography

Number of students
Ideally around 15 children per session. 
This model can be set up in a school sports hall or open space so that as many children as possible can experience the model over the course of a day.

Duration
45 minutes per session.
Up to six session can be held in one day at a school.


Trout in the Classroom

(only available to schools in the Ballinderry River system and western shore rivers and streams, see Trust Area for map)

Visit our breeding centre in November to see how trout eggs are collected and fertilised, then in January we will set up a mini-breeding centre in your classroom containing trout eggs which you can watch hatching and the trout fry developing before visiting the river to release your trout in March.

Key Stage Group
Key Stage 1-2 - World Around Us, Literacy, Numeracy

Number of students
30 pupils (or nearest class-size).

Duration
November:
2 hour trip to The Rivers School and Conservation Breeding Centre
January:
1 hour ‘Introduction to your mini-breeding centre’ in your classroom
February-March:
Mini-breeding centre in your classroom for around 6 weeks
March:
Half day trip to a location on the Ballinderry River near your school