Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


School gets a glowing report from inspectors

Pupils Cherin Jose, Fintin Zhang, Emma Ewing, Anna Furey, Faustas Paurys and Evalin Paulson, show off the school's new multicultural murals. US3708-551cdTHE PRINCIPAL of St Joseph's Primary School, Mrs Maria Gough, has praised her staff for 'going that extra mile' after the school received a glowing report from Department of Education Inspectors.

In the report the quality of the arrangements for pastoral care and child protection in the school are described as 'very good'.

The inspectors go on to praise 'the high quality of the working relationships based on mutual respect and understanding throughout the school', the excellent behaviour of the 'well-motivated and articulate children, who respond positively to their teachers', the contribution made by the teaching and support staff to the children's well-being and learning experiences and the effective ways of communicating with all parents and working alongside other agencies.

They also highlight other significant strengths including 'the high quality of the teaching observed; the majority of which was consistently good or very good, with approximately one-fifth of the lessons characterised by excellence'; the good standards achieved by most of the children, in line with their abilities; the conscientious staff and their commitment to the professional development and evaluation of learning and teaching strategies and their involvement in a wide range of valuable educational initiatives. They praise the 'effective and child-centred leadership' of the Principal and the strong support of the governors and parents for the Principal and staff.

Mrs Gough described the report as an 'excellent outcome' for the staff and the hard work they put in. "Parents entrust us with their child's educational, social and emotional

development and as a staff we work hard at ensuring that each and every child's needs are met so that every child can strive for excellence in everything they do," said Mrs Gough. "We have the family at the heart of our school. We provide a service from 8am-5.30pm daily to provide parents with wrap-around child care which helps them to work, return to work or study."

She paid tribute to Melissa Butler and her team of classroom assistants who provide this service.

Their 'Cool Kids' was awarded a Quality Assurance mark by Playboard, the NI Agency who promote the child's right to play.

"All the staff in St. Joseph's go that extra mile," said Mrs Gough "to make sure that each family is fully included in the education of their children." She said she was particularly thrilled to read comments hy the inspectors such as: "This school

promotes diversity and inclusion and the education and welfare offered to children and families and in particular to those from ethnic minority communities, is at the heart of the school".

Mrs Gough said the inspection has not only endorsed the excellent educational provision in St Joseph's but comes with the news received earlier in the year that St Joseph's Primary School will remain on the Castle Street site as The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools concluded their review of Catholic Education in Lisburn.

"She said she was assured that the school would not be amalgamated with any other.

" It has been an excellent outcome to the worry and stress caused by the review," said Mrs Gough.

The school's Open Night for the next school year is on Tuesday, November 25.

Spanish tutor Calanthia Lilburn with St Joseph's Primary 2 children. US4108- 126A0

Spanish tutor Calanthia Lilburn with St Joseph's Primary 2 children. US4108- 126A0


Ulster Star