As pupils, and teachers, look forward to some well-earned Easter eggs after all their hard work this term, we find out what’s been happening in, and out, of classrooms across the country…
Congratulations to ten-year-old Caoimhe Gunning, from Holy Family Primary School in Magherafelt who enjoyed an exciting illustration workshop with her class thanks to her outstanding artistic talent. Caoimhe’s entry was chosen as the overall winner out of over 3,000 submissions from across Northern Ireland in a Superfast NI colouring competition in partnership with Ni4kids which was launched to highlight the ‘Life’s Easier with Superfast’ campaign with parents. Leading illustrator, Julie Woods, designed an illustration of a Superfast family as part of the campaign, and primary school pupils were asked to bring the Superfast family to life to win a unique illustration workshop and £300 Apple Store gift voucher for their class.
Pictured: Julie Woods, Caoimhe Gunning and pupils from the P6 class at Holy Family Primary School.
Integrated Education Month 2017 launched in March with a Celebratory Walk marking 35 years of Integrated Education in Northern Ireland. The symbolic walk from Arnavally to Stormont left Ardnavally Scout Centre, the original site of the first integrated school, Lagan College, and travelled 5.8 miles to the front gates of the Stormont Estate where they met over 500 children, teachers, parents and supporters from integrated schools and colleges across Northern Ireland. A time capsule containing a sod from the first school site (Ardnavally) was then handed over by founding parents Cecil Linehan and Anne Odling-Smee to pupils from two of the newest integrated schools, Killyleagh Integrated Primary School and Loughries Integrated Primary School.
Bready Jubilee Primary School’s hockey team have qualified for the Ulster Championship Finals after winning the Western Region McCloy Cup qualifiers in Omagh earlier this month.
The victory represents a remarkably quick turnaround for the Strabane school who have only been playing together for a matter of months through Derry City and Strabane District Council and Sport Northern Ireland’s Everybody Active (EBA) 2020 programme. Their EBA Coach Kathryn Rough has been visiting the school to deliver tuition since early January and believes they can now go on to make an impact at the provincial finals in Lisnagarvey. “I was extremely pleased and impressed with how they played,” she said. “We have been training on the tarmac of the school playground so to go onto astro turf for the first time and win a tournament is outstanding.”
Ballinderry Primary School and Nursery Unit hosted a group of visiting teachers from Pudong Education Board in Shanghai who were attending an Educational Research Exchange Project. It is a well-known fact that students from Shanghai score very highly in PISA testing and the idea behind the exchange project is to take the best of what we are doing here in Northern Ireland and apply it in their own schools. The visitors were given a tour of the school and grounds and an opportunity to observe lessons in every class.
Visiting teachers with Ballinderry PS Principal Mrs L Magowan (centre)
Northern Ireland’s best breakfast show duo, Stephen Clements and Cate Conway from Q Radio, made a special visit to Strandtown Primary School in East Belfast to surprise one of their Year 7 pupils. The class had been asked to write and send a letter to a celebrity, and 11-year-old Naomi Wilson chose Stephen Clements, saying that listening to him and Cate was the best way to start her day. Just asking for a reply and an autograph if possible, Naomi was shocked to arrive at school to find the Q Superbus parked outside, with Stephen and Cate broadcasting live and waiting to meet and interview her on air. Stephen siad: “I was genuinely chuffed when I read Naomi’s letter and rather than just send a reply, we wanted to do something special for her and the Year 7s at Strandtown.”