St. Colmcille’s Primary School is the first primary school in Northern Ireland to be selected as a Mathematics Mastery partner school. This partnership empowers and equips staff to deliver an approach to teaching mathematics which draws upon international evidence, in particular Singapore and Shanghai. It is an exciting programme and we look forward to developing a strong relationship with the Maths Mastery team.
St. Colmcille’s Primary School staff worked with CCEA in publishing a teaching resource for schools called ‘Flight’. This thematic unit resource focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering (including ICT), and Mathematics (STEM). The unit also supports the statutory requirements for the Areas of Learning of the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 2, in particular The World Around Us and Mathematics and Numeracy.
Community of Scientific Enquiry
St. Colmcille’s Primary School worked alongside the University of Ulster in developing scientific enquiry as a tool to enhancing the learning experiences of children. The Primary Community of Scientific Enquiry is a new strategy for teaching science in The World Around Us at key stage 2 that aims to promote science, thinking skills and oracy. In a Community of Scientific Enquiry, children’s own questions about a scientific stimulus (demonstration or practical) are the starting point for enquiry. Watch the DVD showing how the six elements of the lesson may be delivered.
The STEM subjects are Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. St. Colmcille’s promotes STEM subjects through a thematic approach to learning. This work has been recognised as best practice by ETI, CCEA, NEELB and UU. NEELB TV have recorded elements of our ‘FLIGHT’ project demonstrating how the STEM subjects can be promoted in the primary school.
View Here (up to an including 09.38 on recording).
Leadership Development Partner
St. Colmcille’s Primary School has been selected by the Regional Training Unit (RTU) as a Leadership Development Partner. Part of this partnership involves providing support and placement for Trainee Headteachers and assisting RTU in delivering a range of leadership development activities across a range of programmes.
The Teaching Awards
The Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of teaching and learning. It provides a unique opportunity for everyone to say a special ‘Thank You’ to the inspirational and dedicated people working in schools. Every year the Teaching Awards Trust host an ceremony in Northern Ireland to present the winners with the coveted Silver Plato.
Mr B McKenna was awarded the Principal of the Year in a Primary School in 2005.
Investor in People Standard
The Investor in People Standard is generally associated with businesses who demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement at all levels. St. Colmcille’s tailored this business model to their school context and went for assessment towards the end of the 2011 school year. Following a four day onsite assessment visit the school was notified that it not only achieved the Investors in People Standard but has been recommended for a Bronze award.
The assessment report stated, “St. Colmcille’s Primary School is evidently a self-evaluating and high-achieving school, with outstanding pastoral, curricular and management processes in place to meet the needs of all stakeholders.” We, as a school community, are delighted at this recognition and look forward to working towards the ‘silver’ award in the years ahead.
The Eco Council were successful in renewing the Eco Schools’ Green Flag. The school was assessed by a representative from the Eco Schools organisation and the members of the Council had to demonstrate the school’s commitment to environmental issues. The assessor reported that she was very impressed not only with the hard work of the Eco Council but also with the knowledge and understanding of pupils throughout the school. Well done everyone!
Formula 1 in Schools Challenge
The school has had remarkable success in the Primary School Formula 1 in Schools Challenge. As part of the ‘challenge’ the pupils have to design, make and race a formula 1 racing car as well as present their project to a panel of international judges. Successes include:
- 2016 Runners-up in Northern Ireland Finals.
- 2015 Runners-up in the UK Finals. Northern Ireland Champions and winners of the best oral presentation.
- 2014 Northern Ireland Champions, winners of the best oral presentation and the fastest car.
- 2012 Northern Ireland Champions and winners of the best oral presentation.
- 2011 Runners-up in the overall competition and winners of the best oral presentation.
- 2010 Winners of the best oral presentation.
Rights Respecting School Award
St. Colmcille’s was awarded the Level 1 Rights Respecting School Award (RSSA) in May 2014. This award is based on the principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation. As a result the school has put the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of the school’s ethos and culture to improve well-being and develop every child’s talents and abilities to their full potential.
Our school is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. Our pupils and the school community learn about children’s rights by putting them into practice every day.
National Association of Advisers for Computers in Education
The National Association of Advisers for Computers in Education (NAACE) is a government-funded body responsible for promoting the use of ICT across the UK in schools and colleges. This body assesses competencies against a Standard framework and where best practice is observed an ICT Charter Mark is awarded.
Following an in-depth assessment process the school was awarded the charter mark in June 2014.
Primary Science Quality Mark
The Primary Science Quality Mark is an award scheme to enable primary schools across the UK to evaluate, strengthen and celebrate their science provision. Schools can achieve bronze, silver and gold awards.
Our school has been awarded the quality mark at gold level following an in-depth assessment process in September 2014. We are one of only three primary schools in Northern Ireland to have gold level Primary Science Quality Mark.