Derry’s newest school opens doors to 260 kids

A Nerve Centre BFI group pictured with Oscar winning movie director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce.
A Nerve Centre BFI group pictured with Oscar winning movie director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce.

Derry’s newest school has opened its doors to more than 260 returning and new pupils.

September 1, 2014, heralded a new beginning for special educational provision in the Derry area with the amalgamation of Belmont House School and Foyle View School to create Ardnashee School and College.

The newly amalgamated school will operate as a single school split over two sites – Upper Campus (former Belmont House School) and Lower Campus (former Foyle View School) and will provide an educational experience for pupils aged 3-17.

The newly appointed Principal, Dr Michael Dobbins, assisted by all his staff, continue to provide the high standards of education and personal development which has been experienced by pupils who previously attended both Belmont House School and Foyle View School.

He insists the history of both schools will be built upon in the newly amalgamated school.

The name of the newly amalgamated school was decided on by the pupils, parents and staff through text voting and is representative of the townland in which the school sits.

Ardnashee School and College’s vision is ‘See a River, build a Bridge’ and this is reflected in the logo of the new uniform, both of which were decided upon by the pupils, staff and parents.

Dr Dobbins says the vision for Ardnashee School and College will focus on an “innovative continuum of provision in meeting a diversity of need”.

“I am delighted to be part of the newly merged school and look forward to meeting all pupils and their parents in the year ahead.

“Ardnashee School and College builds on the excellent reputation of our city’s two special schools and signposts a new era for special education locally where the additional needs of all children and young people can be successfully met.”

In preparation for the opening of the new school, a joint staff development day took place to enable all staff to participate in shared professional development.