St. Paul’s Primary and Nursery School Slievemore has been presented with a national award for their excellence in supporting children within nurture groups.
The school secured the prestigious Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark Award from national charity, Nurtureuk and was presented with the accolade by Mayor of Derry & Strabane John Boyle. The award is reserved for schools which demonstrate exemplary practice in supporting a range of pupil needs in their school nurture groups, which are teacher-led groups that help children overcome barriers and make the most of school and learning.
Praising the school, Nurtureuk’s Chief Executive Kevin Kibble said: “St Paul’s Primary and Nursery School has evidenced its success in running an outstanding Nurture Group and the beneficiaries of their hard work every day are the children attending the school; their families and the wider community. Our standards to achieve this award are exacting and many congratulations are due to the staff and pupils at the school.”
School principal, Gareth Blackery, said: “Here in St. Paul’s, a consistent approach to caring shared by all school staff helps children become the best that they can be.
“This in turn opens the door to parents in a way that builds lasting community bonds for the good of all of us. We are on a very special journey here. It’s a good one.”
Amongst the guests was Fiona McCafferty, the first teacher to work in the nurture room in St. Paul’s from the outset six years ago. Fiona, in close collaboration with the then principal ,Catrina McFeely, worked for two years as the nurture teacher before her retirement in 2015.
She said: “I feel a great sense of pride for what has been achieved here over the past six years,” said Fiona. “And it is such a pleasure to come back and see how the children have progressed through the caring and consistent approach which is clearly shared by all.”
Current Nurture teacher Anne McGuiggan said: “As a teacher, spending quality time with a small group of children in the Sunflower Rooms is an absolute joy, but it’s not just one small group that benefits: I see the ripple effect of our Nurturing Ethos throughout the school every day.
“Our children know that we care deeply about them, and this is shown by their happiness in school, their positive relationships with us, and consequently, their fantastic behaviour. I couldn’t be prouder to work here.”
Mrs. McCann, Nurture Assistant, added: “It’s been a privilege and a truly humbling experience to have worked in the Sunflower Rooms this past six years. I’ve many wonderful memories with the children and their families here at St. Paul’s.”