Staff and pupils from St Cecilia’s College have scooped the education initiative award for their efforts to become a dementia friendly school.
The schools was nominated for the award after deciding to become a dementia friendly school in September last year.
Now all St Cecilia’s College pupils and staff have been given the opportunity to learn about dementia and memory problems.
The training was delivered through the DEED (Derry Engaging and Empowering Dementia) project delivered by the Old Library Trust.
Key stage three pupils received training in personal development classes and a number of key stage four health and social care pupils are working on memory boxes with the Old Library Trust groups.
Key stage five students all received training through Enrichment and a number of A2 Drama and Theatre studies students performed a piece of devised drama on the theme of dementia at the Deed ceremony at St Cecilia’s on Friday, November 14.
The school was also pleased to welcome author Irene Mackay, a family carer.
Irene wrote ‘Ellie the Forgetful Elephant ‘ to support children in understanding what happens when someone has dementia, so they can continue to connect with people who are affected by the condition.
Through support from DSDNI the Deed project enabled Year 8 students from St Cecilia’s College to write a song to accompany the book, ably supported by St Cecilia’s music department.
The year 8 students recently performed their musical jingles for Mayor Brenda Stevenson at the Deed ceremony hosted by the school.
Donna Deery (Deed Old Library Trust said: “We did the workshops with the girls and staff, and when the whole school was trained we them up for the award.
“On Thursdays we did a memory group when the girls were able to work with people with dementia and develop skills.
“Dementia can be scary for adults to deal with, never mind children.
“There is the fear of doing the wrong thing, so what we are doing is breaking the taboo of what is dementia, how we treat people with dementia, giving people with dementia courtesy and respect.
Leanne Monk explained how those taking part included first year pupils right up to upper sixth.