Cork teacher says first year at new school has been a ‘huge success’

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STRAWBERRY Hill NS is nearing the end of its first school year.

The new Cork Primary School was created through a merger of Sunday’s Well Girls’ and Boys’ National Schools.

Caoimhe Galvin, who teaches at Cork City Primary School, said the first school year had been a “huge success”.

Strawberry Hill NS students playing in their school‘s sensory garden

“The first year at Strawberry Hill was a huge success even in the midst of Covid-19. Students and staff blended well creating a whole new identity, and it was a pleasure getting to know each other. This has been particularly busy for our administrative staff,” she said.

Ms Galvin, who teaches reading recovery and works with pupils in kindergarten classes, said many exciting initiatives have taken place at the primary school since its inception.

“It was a very exciting time with the creation of a new crest, the design of a new school uniform and tracksuits. Many initiatives have also taken place in the school, including Creative Schools, Green Schools, Irish Sign Language and Vex Robotics. There have been many successes this year, including taking part in the Sciath na Scol final.

There are currently over 340 students at Strawberry Hill NS.

Ms Galvin said pupils have settled ‘seamlessly’ into the new school.

“The students have settled in well. It’s nice to go to class and see how well the boys and girls work together. They formed such beautiful friendships with each other. It’s great to see the student interactions during class, at yard time, in the sensory garden, in teams and committees.

The primary school teacher paid tribute to the parents for their support.

“Parents have been so supportive of the new school. We collectively realize the wonderful opportunity this represents for students. Attending a co-educational school prepares students for the real world, and having your children attend the same school makes life much easier. From September we will have our new school uniform and we can’t wait to see all our students wearing it.

Strawberry Hill NS students walking across the Shakey Bridge.  The new primary school is a merger of the national Sunday schools for girls and boys
Strawberry Hill NS students walking across the Shakey Bridge. The new primary school is a merger of the national Sunday schools for girls and boys

“The uniform will be launched at the opening ceremony on Friday, June 17. We look forward to welcoming parent participation in school events and initiatives again now that Covid-19 restrictions can be eased. Our parents’ association is actively involved in end-of-year events, including the toddlers’ open day and sixth form graduation, as well as preparing exciting events for the new school year,” said she added.

The Strawberry Hill teacher said the new school is more “inclusive” for everyone and creates a sense of school community.

“The school campus lends itself perfectly to our new school with a middle and high school connected to a multipurpose area. It’s a more natural setting, as students come from coeducational kindergartens and many go on to coeducational secondary schools. It’s more inclusive for everyone and creates a sense of school community. When the two schools merged, there was a sharing of resources and expertise that benefited everyone.

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