St Columba's Straw

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June Newsletter 2018

June 28, 2018

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Thank you to all who helped make this a wonderful year. Our Board of Governors, PTA, staff, pupils and their families.



What is STEM?

Stem stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths St Columba’s PS staff pinpointed the teaching of STEM as an area for development on our school development plan. This is linked closely to our work in World Around Us (where we teach elements of geography, history and science). Our teachers accessed wonderful Enthuse training and then applied this throughout their curriculum. Over the past two years the impact on our children has been wonderful and their enthusiasm for STEM is a delight to see. This is so important in a world where many future jobs are likely be in this field. Our teachers were recognized by Enthuse and the Education Authority for their outstanding delivery of STEM.



We have been accredited as a Level 2 Global Learning School which is the highest level achievable. We were one of 8 schools in Ireland shortlisted for the Oscar Romero Award, which was held in Maynooth, for our work in helping children gain an insight into injustice and the plight of refugees.


Our work for the ECO-Schools programme has been deemed so impressive that we have been awarded Ambassador School status. This is a great reflection of the wonderful work being done throughout the school. Many thanks to our Eco-Schools Coordinator, Mr. Brunton was also individually recognized for his work at the ‘Live Here Love Here ‘awards ceremony. This fabulous work with ‘Blooming Ballinascreen’ (where all five schools in the parish have got together to form ‘Screen Eco-Schools)’ also won the top award on the night!!’

CPD Transition Project

We have been working closely on the CPD transition project with St Colm’s High School, to which many of our pupils transfer for second level education. The excellent work between the literacy coordinators Mrs. Watterson and Mrs. Donnelly and between the two schools has been highly praised by Mrs. Eileen Rowntree who leads this programme. The work ensures that there is no overlap between P7 and first year and that the teachers share ideas and good practice. It also ensures that pupil transition to their next school is as smooth and as easy as possible for the children involved. Mrs. Rowntree described the situation here in Ballinascreen as ‘utopia.’ As a result, Mrs. Donnelly has been asked to write a case study for ‘The Bridge’ magazine.



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