BALLYSALLY Primary School welcomed Lord Drumglass to share in their celebration of being re-accredited with the Marjory Boxall Quality Mark Award on Thursday.
Principal Geoff Dunn spoke of his delight at accepting this important award on behalf of the staff and Governors.
“Ballysally Primary is the first school in Northern Ireland and one of only seven or eight schools in the United Kingdom to have been re-accredited with this prestigious award,” he said.
“The final report from the Awarding Body, ‘The Nurture Group Network’, highlights the standard of care as being, ‘excellent’.
“As a school we seek to ensure that every child is safe, secure and valued, placing high emphasis on the development of self-confidence and self-esteem. The warmth of the nurturing ethos of our school is commented on by almost every visitor who comes through our doors.
“Indeed, recently a parent told me that she felt as if the school had given her family ‘a great bug hug!’ We believe that where pupils and families are encouraged to learn together, children have the best chance of achieving educational success.”
Mr Dunn described the dedication of the staff as outstanding.
“I wish to pay particular tribute to Mrs Linda Lewis, Mrs Jill Smith and Mrs Tina Kane who are highly skilled and passionate in developing children’s educational experiences on daily basis.
“A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to gain this award as the Nurture Group Network rigorously examined a portfolio of evidence and visited the school.
“The school is highly indebted to the Department of Social Development who have funded the successful programme over a number of years.
“This funding has enabled us to deliver a carefully tailored Nurturing programme, whilst enhancing the children’s experiences through educational outings for all classes, additional resourcing, a daily portion of fresh fruit, toast and healthy water breaks.
“Over the past 18 months community links are being strengthened through a collaborate approach to Nurturing as we work alongside Ballysally Presbyterian Church, Focus on Family, SureStart and Ballysally Nursery School.”
On Thursday Lord Drumglass, a former principal himself, visiting the school on Thursday, said: “This award is recognition of an important and life-changing approach to learning.
“It is very good news for the boys and girls of Ballysally Primary School, for their families and for the entire Ballysally community.”
Also attending the occasion was Coleraine UUP councillor David Harding, who said: “The happy and enthusiastic children attending Ballysally Primary School are a credit to their parents and the wonderful work being done at this school.
“ They represent the real story of Ballysally which is of a lively community working together to make a good place to live. Coleraine Borough Council is helping to make a real difference to the lives of the people who live in Ballysally by working with the many community groups and agencies who are active in the area.
“It would be a terrible shame if the grossly distorted picture being presented by the BBC damaged in any way the years of effort which have been devoted to improving the lives of the people who really represent Ballysally.”