The Minister for Education Mr John O'Dowd, MLA visited Ballyoran Primary School on Thursday 13th October 2011. During his visit the Minister met with pupils, teachers, school staff, representatives from the Board of Governors and the school chaplain Fr Michael O’Dwyer. He had the opportunity to hear about the educational experience being provided as well as the range of clubs and extra-curricular activities run by the school to further support and develop the children.
He said: “It has been a pleasure to visit Ballyoran Primary School today. I was very impressed by the dedication of the staff and the enthusiasm of the children. In particular I was interested to hear about the school’s Pupil Council which provides the children with a platform to put forward ideas and bring about positive changes in their school. Many good ideas have been brought forward and implemented such as more activities in the playground at lunchtime, more after schools clubs and a new school website.
“It says a lot about the management of the school that they are prepared to engage with their pupils and listen to their views. But more importantly, it speaks volumes about the children involved that they are keen to make a difference.”
The Minister continued: “As well as learning through the core curriculum, the children and young people at the school are involved in a number of other activities. These include a range of services offered through the Extended Schools Programme which has been funded by my Department.
“These schemes include a breakfast club which has been put in place to help encourage healthy eating, a homework club aimed at improving numeracy and literacy by providing ICT facilities and a supportive environment in which pupils can complete their homework, and a reading partnership where classroom assistants work with pupils to improve their reading.
“Ballyoran Primary School also places emphasis on the important role of sport in a child’s development. The school participates in the GAA strand of my Department’s Primary Sports Programme. This is a great way of encouraging children to embrace physical exercise and I hope the pupils here are enjoying being part of this great programme.”
In conclusion the Minister said: “I have enjoyed my visit to Ballyoran Primary School today and I thank everyone involved for their welcome. I would also like to commend the Board of Governors, Principal, teachers and all the staff for their continuing hard work.”
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