On Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 March, St Paul’s hosted a cultural awareness event which was funded through the CRED enhancement scheme.
The CRED enhancement scheme is funding from the Education and Library Board which has been designed to support school and youth settings in the implementation of the CRED policy. The criterion for funding is taken directly from the CRED indicators which accompany the Department of Education CRED policy.
The event was held in the St Paul’s assembly hall during which non-national students set up stalls with information about their culture, artefacts, traditional clothing, sample dishes and traditional customs. Year 8 students from St Paul’s, St Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen and Newtownhamilton High School, then had the opportunity to go around in small groups to take part in the activities and listen to interesting facts about each culture.
It is hoped that the event will promote an awareness and appreciation of the different cultures within the local community and help our students develop a mindset that embraces diversity.
Pictured above are students from St Paul’s Bessbrook and Newtownhamilton High School showing off their patches that they did as part of the Shared Education Programme (SEP).
Year 8 pupils from both St Paul’s and Newtownhamilton High School met recently to discuss the work they have done to date on their joint patchwork quilt project.
The children spoke freely about their patches and everyone gained a real insight into the similarities of each others cultures.
Both schools shared in swapping patches of each others work, and both sets of pupils realised that it can be difficult to give up things that are precious to us, but in order to get two quilts, students from both schools needed to sacrifice their patch so they could be combined together to become a quilt.
The students from both schools will meet up again during the first week in December to see the final quilt that has been produced from their patches.
Over the past two years students from 10/82 have participated in a joint programme of study for ‘Learning for Life’ and work with students from Newtownhamilton High School. As a continuation of this SEP initiative, a joint workshop based around the theme of “Democracy in Northern Ireland” will take place throughout this academic year.
Newtownhamilton High School hosted the first session which took place on Friday 12th October. During the first session the students explored the themes of democracy; they looked at how democratic and non-democratic societies operate.
Pictured above are pupils from St Joseph’s Primary School, Meigh and Bessbrook Primary School with Sue McGrath the Science Magician
Recently at St Paul’s students from the Learning Support Centre, Rathore School, Bessbrook Primary School and St Joseph’s Primary School, Meigh, experienced a Science Magic show.
Sue Mc Grath, from the Institute of Physics and “Science2 Life”, gave the pupils a very enlightening and enjoyable experience. She made science relevant and attainable for all pupils, using materials that are easily found in our own kitchens. She captivated the children’s attention and involved them as volunteers every step of the way. All had a very enjoyable experience.
This activity was part of the PEACE (Partnership, Education and Community Enrichment) initiative set up by the Shared Education Programme. This programme aims to encourage schools to make cross-sectoral collaborations an integral part of school life, creating enhanced educational and personal development opportunities for everyone involved.
St Paul’s High school was delighted to welcome Newtownhamilton High school for a continuation of their joint Learning for Life and Work project. This project involves the pupils working together on various art and sporting activities.
This was part of the PEACE (Partnership, Education and Community Enrichment) initiative set up by the Shared Education Programme. This programme aims to encourage schools to make cross- community collaborations an integral part of school life, creating enhanced educational and personal development opportunities for everyone involved.
The pupils had a brilliant time creating there festive decorations as well as having a sporting challenge, and they are really looking forward to their next encounter._
Mr Martin Canavan and students from St Paul’s High School, along with Mrs Caroline Alexander and students from Newtownhamilton High School, who are working together as part of the Shared Education Programme.
St Paul’s High School Bessbrook and Newtownhamilton High School are continuing their partnership links through the Sharing Education Partnership. Students and staff from both schools are working closely cross community projects to promote mutual understanding.
This is the second year of the programme and involves Year 9 pupils from both schools. The work they will carry out will hopefully be of benefit to themselves and also to the wider community in South Armagh.
As part of the Sharing Education Project (SEP) the Learning for Life and Work departments within St Paul’s High School and Newtownhamilton High School have been working together on a unit of work entitled My Cultural Identity over the past year. The programme has been designed by staff in both schools to encourage students to investigate aspects of our cultural identity and to promote a greater understanding of the unique traditions and customs that exist within all communities in Northern Ireland.
On Friday 15th April the culmination of the first year of the collaborative project was marked by a Cultural Identity Show in St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook. This event provided students with a platform to showcase their talents. The performances included Irish and Ulster-Scots dancing, traditional instrumental music performances as well as a celebration of an array of time-honoured songs from both cultural backgrounds.
The over-riding success of the event has been the opportunity for staff and students from both schools to work together to enhance not only the curricular aspirations of the project but moreover to continue to forge meaningful and lasting relationships between the two partners.
Pictured is Mrs Noella Murray (SEP Co-ordinator), Ms Joanna Ferris (Teacher in Newtownhamilton High School), Mr Mark Baker (SEP - QUB), Mrs Una McNulty (Vice-principal of St Paul's H.S), Mr Oliver Mooney (Principal of St Paul's H.S), Mr Garnet Mullan (Principal of Newtownhamilton H.S), Ms Clare Maguire (LLW Co-ordinator St Paul's H.S), Ms Joanne Leonard (Teacher in St Paul's H.S) along with a group of students who took part in the Diversity Celebration Show
As part of the Sharing Education Programme (SEP), St Paul’s High School and Newtownhamilton High School have begun a collaborative programme to create a joint rugby team. This is a first for the South Armagh area and involves students in Key Stage Three from both partner schools working together to develop their interpersonal and team building skills.
Over the course of the academic year, thirty students have been participating in a training programme facilitated by Mr Jonathan Black, Newtownhamilton High School, and Mr Martin Rafferty, St Paul’s High School.
On Wednesday 6th April the team enjoyed an intensive training session hosted by the Acton Adventure Centre at Poyntzpass, before returning to St Paul’s to compete in a mini-tournament.
The tournament allowed the two schools an opportunity to launch their new strip, which was designed by students from both schools, and bearing the logo of their proud sponsors CR Sports, Newry Physio & Sports Injuries Clinic and Mc Cartan, Mc Lornan and Associates Dental Surgery Bessbrook.
The new team are looking forward to competing against other local rubgy teams in the near future.
Principal of St Paul’s High School, Mr Oliver Mooney, said that he was “delighted to see the new joint rugby team compete in their first tournament.” Mr Mooney added, “This initiative is an integral element of our PEACE project, and advances the aims and objectives of our programme. We now can see the project coming alive as our students continue to make real and lasting friendships.”
Mr Garnet Mullan, Principal of Newtownhamilton High School, paid tribute to the contribution of the students who have given up their time to become involved in the rugby team and to the staff of Newtownhamilton High School, and St Paul’s High School, who have shown dedication and commitment to the spirit of the SEP programme.
The recent launch of an innovative cross-community inter-school initiative was celebrated in the Canal Court Hotel, Newry.
Partnership for Educational and Community Enrichment (PEACE) in South Armagh is a collaborative programme which is funded by the Shared Education Programme (SEP).
SEP is a three year programme which promotes reconciliation by facilitating collaboration and sharing between schools across Northern Ireland. The programme is funded by the International Fund for Ireland and Atlantic Philanthropies and is being managed by Queen’s University Belfast.
The partners involved in the PEACE Initiative include St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook who will lead and manage the programme as host school, Newtownhamilton High School, Rathore School for Children with Special Educational Needs, Bessbrook Primary School, St Joseph’s Primary School, Meigh and St Joseph’s Primary School, Bessbrook.
The core aim of PEACE is to promote a learning environment to ensure that all students irrespective of academic or physical ability are respected and valued within a framework designed to promote the ethos of collaboration across all communities within South Armagh. It is our intention to create a culture of inclusivity whereby students and teachers from a range of religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds come together to enhance their educational experiences and develop a new mindset that embraces diversity.
Students from all of the partner schools will be involved in a range of weekly activities across all areas of learning including, Performing Arts, Sport, Learning for Life and Work, Science and Modern Languages.
Mr Oliver Mooney, Principal of St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook conveyed his appreciation for the support of each of the partner principals and their respective Board of Governors. He commended their commitment to our targets of inclusion for all and ensuring that all pupils learn to respect and value each other’s traditions.
Pictured above is Mr Oliver Mooney (Principal of St Paul’s High School), Mr Garnet Mullan (Principal of Newtownhamilton High School), Mr Raymond Cassidy, (Principal of Rathore School for Children with Special Educational Needs), Mr Albert Maguire (Principal of Bessbrook Primary School), Mrs Sheila McArdle (Principal of St Joseph’s P.S, Bessbrook), Mr Brian McKinley (Principal of St Josephs P.S, Meigh), Mrs Una McNulty (Vice Principal of St Paul’s High School) and Mrs Noella Murray (SEP Co-ordinator)
St Paul’s High School is a thriving, innovative educational community of almost 1500 students of all abilities, from children with learning difficulties in our Learning Support Centre to high calibre academic achievers in our AS, A2 and Applied Post-16 courses.
All classrooms are equipped as standard with interactive whiteboards, and students and staff are encouraged to make the fullest use of technology for learning and teaching.
The school, which was established in 1966 with the aim of providing its pupils with a Christian education within the Catholic ethos, is situated on a modern campus in pleasant rural surrounding in the townland of Carrickbracken, County Armagh.
St Paul’s High School was designated by the Department of Education as a Specialist College for Science in 2008, and the school was awarded the BECTA ICT Mark in 2009.
St Paul's High School, 108 Camlough Road, Bessbrook, Newry BT35 7EE