St Colm’s High School in Draperstown won the sustainable school prize at the 2019 Times Educational Supplement (TES) awards.
Teachers from the 450-pupil school were presented with the prize at a ceremony in London.
Judges said they had improved pupils’ health and well-being through their environmental work.
“Regular eco-activities include litter blitzes, bird-feed workshops, painting fences, hedge planting, seasonal planting and making new objects from recycled materials,” the TES judges said.
Pupils regularly go into Draperstown to pick up litter and do other jobs to improve the town.
The school has also created a trail where local people can plant a tree in memory of deceased loved ones.
Over 250 trees have been planted as a result and the trail is used by pupils and the local community.
“Our grounds are always open to the public as a result,” said school principal Roisin McKenna.
Ms McKenna also told BBC News NI that the school ran a regular programme of exercise classes outside for both pupils and staff to improve their physical and mental health.
“Mental health problems are not just associated with adults but with children,” she said.
“In school we run a regular programme called exercise in the great outdoors.
“Pupils and teachers go out after school for half an hour to 45 minutes to exercise together, which is a bit of craic but also brings many benefits.”
Ms McKenna said that many of the schemes had been organised by the school’s eco co-ordinator Clare Devlin with the support of pupils and staff.
So, what is the school planning next following its UK-wide recognition?
“We’re hoping to go plastic free in September,” Ms McKenna said.
“So no plastic bottles will be brought into school.
“We’re hoping to give each pupil a reusable flask so they can drink their water.”