Other News In Brief

Innovative 'Books And Boots' Programme Praised

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has praised Millisle Primary School for their innovative 'Books and Boots' programme, which rewards children reaching a reading word count target with a weekly football coaching session with local football star and Linfield FC captain, Jamie Mulgrew.

Speaking during a coaching session at the Millisle Primary School, the Minister said: "This is a simple and effective programme designed to get children engaged in reading. Programmes like this help to address the long-standing issues associated with educational underachievement, including encouraging pupils to read. This is one example contributing to the broader work associated with the delivery of the Fair Start report published on 1 June 2021.

"Millisle Primary has seen some excellent results from the scheme. In previous years, pupils were so keen to participate in Jamie's sessions that they reached every single one of their reading targets set by the school. In fact, I'm aware that in the previous academic year, four pupils within the scheme had read over a million words with one of those pupils passing the three million mark and a further four pupils had surpassed the half a million mark within the same time frame.

"I'm very supportive of measures, such as 'Books and Boots' that help to encourage positive attitudes to books and enable children to enjoy reading for pleasure."

In September 2016, Millisle Primary School introduced the new 'Books and Boots ' reading programme. The scheme allows pupils to build a word count by reading books and novels of their choice. Using computer software, pupils can answer questions in order to verify they have read and understood a given book.

Millisle Principal Ian McManus said: "The combination of good quality, engaging literature and the lure of football coaching has been the secret to the scheme's success. The boys and girls respond very well to Jamie. As well as being articulate and enthusiastic, he is one of local football's most decorated players. This makes him an ideal role model for our pupils.
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"The scheme has had five full years of operation in the school with countless case studies showing pupils with increased confidence, skills and academic attainment."

BCC To Host One Millions Trees Project Event

Belfast City Council will be giving free trees away to a good home this Saturday (27 November) to encourage residents to plant trees across the city as part of Belfast City Council's One Million Trees project.

To mark National Tree Week – the UK's largest annual tree celebration – the Council has announced an event at the bandstand in Ormeau Park from 10am – 3pm. Members of the public will also have the chance to listen to some poetry and folklore, and have the opportunity to learn about the history of woodlands across Ormeau and Belvoir.

Belfast One Million Trees aims to plant one million native trees across Belfast by 2035 in an effort to reduce carbon, improve air quality and reduce flooding.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl said: "The challenge to plant one million trees by 2035 is very ambitious and we know this- but that doesn't mean it isn't achievable.

"Since Council announced a climate emergency in 2019, we have been proactively taking a lead in tackling climate change. Having just returned from COP26, it is fantastic to hear about the progress being made with the One Million Trees project and it is really encouraging to hear that over 40,000 trees have already been planted in the city and city regions since the project was launched last year."

Video Reportedly Show Police Officer Punch Man In The Face During Arrest

A video that reportedly shows a police officer punching a man in the face during an arrest in Moy, County Tyrone, has been referred to the Police Ombudsman.

According to reports, the incident occurred on the night of Saturday 20 November, during which two men were arrested and subsequently charged with assault on police and disorderly conduct.

A video of the arrest later appeared on social media allegedly showing an officer punch one of the men in the face.

It is understood that the PSNI have not received any public complaints about the incident, but a police spokesperson said that the video and the incident had been referred to the Ombudsman's for review.

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