The Sky’s the Limit for Shared Education

Tuesday 10 November 2019

Pupils from shared education partnerships across Northern Ireland in Ballynahinch, Belfast, Dungannon and Magherafelt have come together to learn the many skills needed to build an aeroplane, with support from the Education Authority (EA) and the Ulster Aviation Society.

Group Shot Shared Education Build a plane project Image

Students from Aquinas Grammar and Wellington College, Belfast; The High School Ballynahinch, St Colman’s High School, St Colmcille’s and Assumption Grammar, Ballynahinch; St Patrick’s High School, The Royal School, Dungannon; and St Mary’s Grammar School, St Patrick’s College and Rainey Endowed School, Magherafelt pictured at the ‘Build a Plane Northern Ireland’ (BAPNI) project launch.

Photo credit: Alan Jarden on behalf of UAS

Under the guidance of members of the Ulster Aviation Society the ‘Build a Plane Northern Ireland’ (BAPNI) project offers young people the chance to build a Sherwood Scout, a two seater, high wing monoplane, which has a tubular framework with the wings covered in a specially treated fabric.  The aeroplane is being built at the Ulster Aviation Society Hangars, and is due for completion in 2021.


Seamus Bradley, Head of Shared Education and Sectoral Support in EA explains

“Projects like this give our shared education partnerships opportunities to work with experts, learn new skills together and develop friendships. We are delighted to support young people in shared education initiatives which can help educate, inspire and unlock interests which young people might have never known they had.”

Sean Reynolds, Chairman of the Build a Plane Project Northern Ireland highlights

“The aim of this project is to inspire, motivate and enthuse young people across our communities to come together and learn STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills as they build the aircraft.”

EA encourages and facilitates shared education partnerships among schools, across Northern Ireland. For pupils, it means participating in shared classes which have been jointly planned, delivered and evaluated by teachers from across the partner schools, it also presents unique opportunities to experience activities with other young people from different backgrounds.  

Last updated: 10/12/2019