The school celebrated its annual Prize Distribution on Thursday 27th October, and we were delighted to welcome a number of distinguished guests, including representatives from NICIE and the NEELB, not forgetting, of course, the huge number of Year 12 pupils who returned to collect their GCSE certificates and other special awards.
This year our guest speaker was Mrs Roisin Marshall, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education.
She commented, “I would like to thank Mrs McGarry and the Board of Governors for inviting me to your Annual Presentation of Awards this evening.
It is about Rejuvenating - looking at what is good and works well and building on that. The school has had some challenges but that has made it stronger and better. This school is a school in and for the community and nowhere is a place more deserving of an Integrated school.
It is about Excellence - high expectations, being the best that you can be, whatever that best is.
Together these are what make Crumlin Integrated College different to all other schools with its ability to teach children at all levels, its ability to attract families from Catholic, Protestant, other beliefs, cultures and communities together from a wide range of social backgrounds reflecting a true picture of the world in a school environment.
The biggest thing a parent can say is, “I trust you as a school with my child's education.” That is huge. Thank goodness for good Integrated schools who genuinely see the benefits of siblings all being able to go to the one school regardless of their ability. This school's results are phenomenal. Thank goodness for schools who believe in educating the whole child, not just one aspect. Here in Crumlin Integrated College the BoG, teachers, classroom assistants, Principal and SLT are concerned with the whole person as well as the academic side. Because we are not all academic. Some of us are differently abled and good at so many other things and we forget to count them, but tonight I am glad to see Crumlin celebrate all talents and abilities. And what fantastic results from pupils who are going places here at Crumlin. I see the pride you have in yourselves and in your school. That is palpable and you are the best ambassadors for your school.”
Mrs Marshall concluded, “I will leave you with a quotation from one of my favourite poems by Robert Frost: 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and you chose the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference.' Crumlin IC is being the difference it wants to see in NI. My invitation is for you to be the change you want to see in your communities and families. You are lucky even though you might not realise it ...yet.
I wish you all good luck. Know that NICIE and the IEF are walking with you down that less travelled route and trying to signpost it as a way for others. Thanks for inviting me, for the fabulous entertainment and for reminding me of why I do the job I do. I hope you find your passion and be the best that you can be at it.”
In her address, Mrs McGarry, Senior Leader in Charge commenced her speech by commenting on an Annual Report, “…which paints the picture of a pupil centred, purposeful, achieving and highly successful school now firmly embedded in the Crumlin community and wider area. In fact a report of which any school would be proud. Tonight, we celebrate the rejuvenation of the college particularly over this past year, and pay tribute to the hard work of the pupils, staff (teaching and non teaching), parents, governors and the local community, all of whom deserve the highest of praise.”
Mrs McGarry highlighted the many achievements throughout the school year both inside and outside of the classroom. She referred, in particular, to several pupils who achieved outstanding GCSE results: JP Macauley, Kerry Callaghan and Adam McGuckin. She also highlighted the importance of pupil attendance at school, “we firmly believe that attendance is linked to academic performance. There really is truth in the Department of Education’s website - Miss school - miss out!” Mrs McGarry continued, “2015/16 also saw the introduction of a Shared Education Project with the aim of developing community relations, reconciliation and school improvement. This programme afforded opportunities for us to work, develop and deepen our collaboration with our highly respected Governors, colleagues, and pupils from St Joseph's , Gaelscoil Ghleann Darach and Crumlin Integrated Primary School. On a personal note pay could I also pay tribute to the principals , Mr Barry Traynor, Mr Stephen Wallace and Mrs Christine Boal for their support and vision as we together lead the children in our community to a better future.” Mrs McGarry went on to thank the members of the CSIE parents support group who are, “…passionate in their drive to reignite the school in the community have worked tirelessly to retain post primary education in Crumlin and for all of their efforts they are worthy of great praise. We are here today because of your commitment, drive and enthusiasm.”
Mrs McGarry concluded, “There are lots of children, for whatever reason, spending hours on buses travelling out of Crumlin when they can receive a high quality education on their doorstep – not to mention the excessive cost of bus passes which the Department of Education fund even though they say that they have no money! This is a good school in the heart of the community - a Good school that was recognised by the ETI during their last visit. Enrolment numbers are improving as evidenced by the increased population of almost 40% and I see no reason why this should not continue. We are a strong, sustainable, successful integrated school delivering a high quality education and serving the needs of the children in Crumlin but to achieve our full potential we need local parents to have confidence in us and send their children to the school.” Supper was served in the sportshall to over 300 guests where new friendships were formed and old acquaintances reunited.