Holy Child Primary School
School website: www.holychildps.com
Subject: Primary school teacher.
Your place of birth: West Belfast.
Studied at: Holy Trinity, St Mary's CBGS, University of Ulster Coleraine and University of Cumbria.
First Job: Curley’s ‘The Friendly Store’ supermarket.
What it taught me: It taught me the importance of friendship in the workplace and the importance of kindness and manners. It also helped with socialising skills – Curley’s staff were good at that!
Family/status: Widower with two young children; Ryan aged 7 and Jay aged 5.
Best advice anyone ever gave you: Simply to work hard, try your best and be nice to others. Don’t dwell on mistakes, turn them into something positive.
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Try to make learning fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously, remember you’re teaching young children. If a child is happy coming to school, the child will learn. The reward you get from helping children to reach their potential is something not many other jobs can offer.
My name is Norman Cunningham and I’ve been a teacher at Holy Child for around 14 years. I first subbed in Holy Child in 2007, got a year’s post in 2008 and I’ve basically been here ever since.
My own educational pathway started at Holy Trinity PS before moving on to St Mary’s CBGS. I have been very lucky to have been taught by some wonderful, inspirational teachers, who always encouraged me to do well. I’m very grateful for that.
I later studied psychology at the University of Ulster Coleraine before moving to the north of England, Carlisle, to complete a PGCE in primary education. I’ve always been very keen on sport, playing football, Gaelic and more recently cycling after a cruciate ligament injury halted a not-so-promising football career.
In 2019 I married the love of my life, Gemma. We’d been together from the ages of 17 and 16 respectively. Sadly I lost Gemma to breast cancer in January 2021. I’ll always be grateful to Gemma for her love and support, especially during my early teaching career, she made a lot of sacrifice and I couldn’t have done it without her. Her legacy lives on in our wonderful children Ryan and Jay.