Sharing A Celebration of Success

It was a beautiful June afternoon when pupils, staff, parents and distinguished guests from Crumlin Integrated College, Crumlin Integrated Primary School, Gaelscoil Ghleann Darach and St Joseph’s Primary School gathered in the College assembly hall to celebrate the successful completion of year one of our Shared Education Project.Mrs McGarry opened the event by welcoming everyone, including the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Councillor John Scott, to the College and introduced the guest speaker, Lisa Kirkwood, Learning and Outreach Officer from Ballinderry Hatchery.

Pupils from each of the participating schools addressed the audience outlining the organisation of the groups; providing examples of the subjects studied and work undertaken; reciting poems they had written and giving an “interview to a news reporter” on the success of the project.

Our guest speaker, Lisa Kirkwood, then gave her address and informed the audience of the Hatchery’s involvement in the work of protection, conservation and education in and around Lough Neagh. This school year they have worked with over 25 different schools and were particularly impressed with our project and the pupils willingness to engage. Lisa impressed the need for educating young people and providing a better understanding of the environment of waterways so that they will become adults who know how to be act responsibly around our local rivers and lakes.

The four school co-ordinators, Mrs J Campbell, Mrs K Magee, Mrs V Wright and Mr S Wallace then presented Certificates of Participation to the pupils in their groups before the audience were shown an audio visual presentation of the journey travelled during the project. Afterwards, the presentations continued with framed copies of our new Shared Education Vision, “Working Together For A Brighter Future”, being given to the four school Principals/Senior Leaders.Mrs McGarry closed the formal proceedings with a vote of thanks to the many people who had worked so hard to make the project such a success including the pupils who have been great ambassadors for the town of Crumlin. “We may all be different, but in Crumlin we all swim together.”

Everyone then joined the Mayor in the Sports Hall for the ceremonial “cutting of the cake” and an opportunity to chat informally about the project over a delicious afternoon tea.

“It is absolutely fantastic that this project is taking place in Crumlin. The schools have chosen a topic of interest to the children and I wish both project and the schools involved all the best for the future. I have requested a copy of the Shared Education Vision for my parlour in Antrim.” Councillor John Scott, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

“I am delighted that the four schools involved have come together so enthusiastically. Today’s atmosphere shows that there is a genuine desire and willingness for the Project to continue.” Roisin Lynch, SDLP.

“It is wonderful to see Shared Education working in practise with the development of a programme that is sustainable for the future and brings about educational and reconciliatory outcomes.” Frances Donnelly, Development Officer, Shared Education