ST OLIVER Plunkett Primary School have celebrated their success after winning a gold award at the 'Oscars of Education' -– the prestigious Pearson National Teaching Awards.

The school picked up the gold award in the 'Making a Difference Primary School of the Year' category for the school's "unwavering commitment to its students and the wider school community".

The award was presented in front of millions of TV viewers on BBC’s The One Show on Thursday.

The judging panel said they were very impressed with how the school prides itself on embracing pupils coming from all social and economic backgrounds and successfully delivers a 21st century curriculum using modern technology whilst also tapping into numerous sporting bodies as well as comprehensive music classes.

The school was also commended on the support offered to the wider community in West Belfast through its partnerships with local community groups, charities and on the school being recognised by the Alzheimer's Association as a dementia-friendly school.

St Oliver Plunkett was also recently awarded the Lord Mayor's Certificate by Lord Mayor Ryan Murphy recognising the Year 7 intergenerational project with Louisville Nursing Home. The school have also been hosting 'Stay and Play' sessions for all nursery and pre-school aged children, building on relationships with St Oliver Plunkett Nursery and Pre-School.

Speaking on receiving the award Principal of St Oliver Plunkett, Paddy McCabe said: “We were honoured and humbled to be recognised by The Pearson Teaching Awards as Primary School of the Year: Making a Difference.

"I am delighted for the staff team, our parents and pupils and indeed our community. I was especially proud to receive the award because of that title, 'Making a Difference'. Having been a past pupil I know the impact that the school had on me and continues to have on children in our community to this day.”

Eve Bremner, Chief Executive of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS,) said the award was a wonderful recognition for the hard work and commitment from staff at the school.

"Inclusivity is at the heart of Catholic Maintained Schools' ethos and St Oliver Plunkett PS is a great example of how our schools develop and care for all children; as well as engage with the wider community, other schools and organisations.

"I am grateful to the school for all they have achieved despite the many pressures facing education in Northern Ireland and I wish them every continued success."

Sara Long, Chief Executive of the Education Authority said: "The Pearson Award is testament to the school's dedication and commitment to its pupils and the wider school community and a reflection of the real impact teaching has on the lives and education of our young people.

"I also congratulate all of the silver winners from across Northern Ireland who are representative of the tremendous work all of our staff do in delivering better outcomes for children despite the many challenges facing the education sector."