Nature Therapy Taster Half Day at Sonairte Co. Meath

Proposal for Nature Therapy Taster Half Day at Sonairte Co Meath 


Proposed Program Outline

The Nature Therapy Taster Half Day will be a mix of outdoor experiential sessions and indoor group work and reflection. The taster session will consist of a number of gentle nature-based activities to support participants mental health and wellbeing and encourage social connection and emotional expression The sessions will also aid relaxation and cognitive restoration and enhance their nature connection so they will integrate nature experiences into their daily lives to build resilience and enhance coping. 

The 5 pathways to nature connection, established by the University of Derby will underpin the program. These pathways include beauty, meaning, compassion, emotion and the senses. All the nature-based activities will include some of these elements and involve mindfulness activities, gentle sensory engagement, gentle stretching and breathing techniques, nature poetry, mindful movement and eco art. 

                                                                       Monday 27th June 2022


10am- 10.15am:  Arrival and Welcomes

10.15- 12pm: Nature Therapy Taster Session (Outdoors)

( This will include therapeutic activities based on the 5 pathways to nature connection: Beauty, Meaning, Compassion, Senses and Emotions. It will also include breathing techniques, mindful movement and mindful tasting in nature)

Break: 12pm- 12.15pm

12.15pm- 1 pm  Creating a Nature Based Wellbeing Plan (Indoors)

( This will involve developing an inventory of nature activities participants can engage in using their 5 senses. Participants will be able to identify aspects from the natural environment that help keep them well. They will also learn about the benefits of bringing nature into their homes for positive health and wellbeing)


1pm- 1.30pm  Nature Based Expressive Arts for Wellbeing (Outdoors)

( Eco art and  nature poetry will be explored)

Group reflection, signposting and closing gathering.


My Little Library Book Bag for all Children starting school



Little Library Book bag against a coloured background

To help children to navigate starting school, libraries have put together a bag of books just for them that can be collected at any library.

The ‘My Little Library Book Bag’ initiative is a collaboration between libraries and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth as part of the First 5 Strategy.

As part of the initiative, a ‘My Little Library Book Bag’ is available free for every child starting school in 2022 to help them to prepare for this big step.

Children and their parents or guardians can collect the bags at any library throughout the country.

Each My Little Library Book Bag contains:

  • Three books on starting school, making friends and being comfortable to be yourself
  • A story card on going to the library
  • A postcard the child can write or draw on and send to their new teacher, or bring to give to the teacher on their first day at school
  • Their very own library card and special ‘My Little Library’ cardholder

Book bags are available in both Irish and English.

Libraries can’t wait to welcome all the 4 and 5 year old children in to collect their book bags and begin their library membership journey.

We hope that once they visit the library to pick up their book bag, our new library members and their families will come back regularly to keep their bag filled up with borrowed books and to take part in story times, classes and all the other events we have to offer at the library.

More supports to help the transition to primary school are available on the Let’s Get Ready page on

National START Program


The START campaign is back on radio, TV, video on demand, digital and social media for 5 weeks.

‘Let’s go easy on the treats’

Parents and guardians told us they know their children are having more treats and they want advice for talking about it and giving children less treats. ‘Let’s go easy on the treats’ encourages parents and guardians to keep treats to small amounts and not every day, and we’re offering lots of tips at


Useful resources

There are a range of START campaign resources on our dedicated START partner page. This includes advice from experts, healthy snack optionsand a suite of social media assets. START information leaflets and posters, as well as other healthy eating resources such as recipes and meal plans, can be accessed here.

  • To order START materials visit  and select “Healthy Eating” from the drop down menu or search START as a keyword.

Parents looking for ideas on how to reduce treats? Start with smaller treats less often and swap to healthy snacks when the kids are hungry. For more visit


Start your kids on the way to a healthier life with smaller treats less often and healthy snacks when the kids are hungry. For more ideas visit


Story Seeds-Adventures around Drogheda

The Story Seeds project first sprouted in 2021, a collaboration between Fighting Words, An Garda Siochána and local schools-new stories to celebrate the areas where we all live, work and play.

Fighting Words is a creative writing centre established in 2009 by Roddy Doyle and Séan Love in Dublin. Fighting Words aims to help students of all ages to develop their writing skills and to explore their love of writing.

Here at St. Joseph’s Mr. Carberry’s and Mr. Mc Cann’s class participated in the project in January 2022. The boys were presented with their published stories by the Garda Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Congratulations to all the young writers for a fantastic achievement.

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Anti-bullying Letter to schools from the Department of Education

Dear Principal,


As you may be aware, the Department of Education has commenced work to review the Action Plan on Bullying and the Anti-bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-primary Schools.


The review will take account of the significant developments and relevant research since the Action Plan and Anti-bullying Procedures were published in 2013. It will also specifically consider cyber bullying, identity bullying and sexual harassment, among other areas.


The Department have been planning and organising as broad and inclusive a consultation process as possible as we believe it is of upmost importance that this work is informed by the views of all members of society.


A key component of the consultation process is a public consultation where written submissions can be made and an online questionnaire can be completed. These submissions will help ensure that our work to prevent and tackle bullying in our schools will be informed by the views of as many children and young people, parents, school staff, education partners and individual members of the public as possible.


This consultation process will open on Thursday 26 May 2022 and will remain open until Tuesday 21 June 2022.


We would like to invite you to participate in this consultation process and we would be grateful if you could also encourage school staff, parents, students and other members of your school community to also participate.


The consultation can be accessed on


You may wish to consider using the paragraphs below in communications with parents or other stakeholders. We will revert in the new school year with further information, to keep you updated on this work. We look forward to hearing the views of your school community.


Thank you for your support as we continue with this important work.


Yours sincerely,

Judith Lyons

Principal Officer

Parents and Learners Unit

Suggested material for school newsletter


The Department of Education is currently reviewing the Action Plan on Bullying and the Anti-bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-primary Schools. As part of this work the Department is seeking your views about what should be done to prevent and tackle bullying in our schools.


The Department is inviting you to make written submissions and to complete a short questionnaire as part of the public consultation process. The consultation can be accessed on . The closing date for receipt of submissions is Tuesday 21 June 2022.