It has been a year like no other for children attending nursery schools across Belfast. For three months and counting, home-schooling was the rule of thumb as classrooms closed and children were unable to attend nursery school — or meet their chums.
It is that time of the year when parents have to decide which school they would like their child to start Primary 1 in September 2021.
IN Gaelscoil na bhFál over the past 12 months, tagann an Ghaeilge agus forbairt an pháiste ar dtús, gaeloideachas, the Irish language and children come first. Throughout the school, teachers endeavoured to make activities as enjoyable as ever. The school's partnership with Páirc na bhFál and Oideachas Faoin Spéir/Outdoor Education continued with classes availing of the Falls Park, Bog Meadows, Willowbank Park and Gairdín na Scoile. R7 continued with their project work with Tools for Solidarity, working with the charity and learning about Needs and Wants and Basic Needs. In many ways it was an eye opener for the children, and R6 will continue with this project in the New Year. R5 meanwhile, eventually completed An Chéad Chomaoineach, a little late, but Is fearr go mall ná go brach! R5 also completed the important Fáinne Glas agus Teastas, this award for spoken Irish is an important step for Gaeilgeoirí óga na scoile as they improve and develop their language skills. R6 are preparing for their Fáinne Airgid and R7 are on their way to Fáinne Óir!!
Sport, Music, Drama, Health and Wellbeing, as well as developing the Native Tongue and Bilingualism, form a central role to everything going on in Bunscoil Phobal Feirste. The school is a hive of learning and activities and Bunscoil Phobal Feirste along with it’s Nursery, Naíscoil Bhreandáin, work closely with various organisations in promoting physical and mental wellbeing for all its pupils. The school runs Nursery and Early Years Yoga with ‘Yoga for Kids’, ‘Jump Jiggle and Jive’ Early Years dance Programme, as well as the ‘Healthy Body/Healthy Mind’ programme with ‘Phoenix basketball’ for the middle of the school. A Couch to 5K programme with the local athletics group/park run team as well as a daily mile Programme takes place in the school. Bunscoil Phobal Feirste also runs a mindfulness & yoga programme with another of its partner organisations, Tullymore Community Group. The children follow the health initiative, focussing on developing resilience, stress management and relaxation techniques over the course of the programme. The school has also been actively engaging in the NSPCC ‘Preventative Education Project’ for 4 years now, where children have been developing the skills and knowledge to equip and educate them with ‘Keeping Safe’ messages. Bunscoil Phobal Feirste runs a fantastic and very successful GAA Programme. It achieved its official recognition as a GAA centre of excellence in 2019 via the GAA 5 Star Programme. The school has a rich GAA history and achieved outstanding GAA success in more recent years culminating in 2019/20 Division 1 Cathedral Cup football title- The last competition completed before lockdown, defeating St Anne’s, St Brides and St Ita’s en route to lifting the title. The school also in recent Years, boasts provincial football titles (The Nicolas Baxter Cup and Corn Peile Gael Linn) as well as Camogie, Hurling and Handball titles. Bunscoil Phobal Feirste proudly works in partnership with Gaelfast GAA, Ulster GAA and its local clubs of O Donovan Rossa and Naomh Pól CLG in delivering its health and sport programmes. The school, through its packed after-schools programme, caters for a variety of other sporting and creative interests including Karate, Athletics, Dance, Drama, Music, Art and Gardening to name a few. This is coordinated by the schools Extended Schools manager Seán Mac Manas. James Brunton from the Brunton school of Karate has been helping build a great Karate Club at Bunscoil Phobal Feirste in recent years and its own staff expertise in the areas of Dance, Drama, Gardening, Music and Art ensure that all interests are catered for. The school, just before lockdown won the Féile Scoil-Drámaíochta drama competition with its fantastic production ‘Ciorcal an tSaoil’ where it staged a fantastic performance combining the story of the ‘Lion King’ with the unique story of the school’s own history as it approaches its 50th year in the 2021/22 academic year. The school choir group have recently sang at the switching on of Belfast City Centre Christmas Lights, and sang to a festive crowd of 12 thousand revelers in Gaeilge at City Hall. The popular Bunscoil school choir also bring it’s famous Christmas Carol songs beyond the walls of the school, singing in local old people’s homes and shopping centers in recent years.It’s very active student council have in been extremely busy in recent years, developing their own school development plan, anti-bullying charter and school history projects as Bunscoil Phobal Feirste approaches its 50th anniversary in 2021/22. Its most recent project, a video production on the school history and current set-up has been recently completed and is being launched on Thursday 3rd December via its website and social media platforms. The student council are also heavily involved in charity work, gathering funds and organizing events for groups such as St Vincent De Paul, Morning Star Hostel, Project Zambia, Kidney Research, Organ Donation charities, Trócaire, Palestinian Children, NSPCC and the Children’s Hospice. More great work from the student leadership group.
BLESSED Trinity College are delighted to have been awarded the Spirit of Catholic Education Award 2021, HIGH COMMENDATION. The yearly award event is organised by the Down and Connor Diocese Catholic Schools’ Support Service.