A CELEBRATION of commitment and teamwork was held recently in St Fiacc’s NS, Graiguecullen. The occasion was the raising of the much-coveted flag awarded to the school in recognition of its achievement in becoming a ‘Digital School of Excellence’.
Assistant principal Pauric Bolton’s vision led to the formation of a digital schools committee. This group undertook many months of investigating and fact finding before putting an impressive programme in place. Funds were invested, staff were upskilled, experts in the field were consulted and the end result was a school community committed to excellence in IT development.
Currently in St Fiacc’s, 40 teachers’ laptops, 37 iPads and interactive whiteboards are in daily use. Communication with parents and pupils is conducted through the school’s website and school blogs on a weekly basis. Many of the pupils have access to ‘pupil laptops’, which are used to access the curriculum, both in class and in the resource rooms. The children are introduced to the use of iPads in junior infants and their skills are developed as they move up through the school. To ensure that the boys and girls receive the best possible IT skills, teachers are continually undertaking courses and developing knowledge in this area.
Principal John Brennan spoke proudly of the school’s achievement and welcomed Tomás Ó Ruairc and senator Jennifer Murnane O’Connor to the ceremony.
Mr Ó Ruairc, director of the Teaching Council, is no stranger to Graiguecullen. A native of Ballyhide, he attended the former Graiguecullen Boys’ School and he cites his first-class teacher Mary Kenna as being the influence who inspired him to follow in her footsteps into the teaching profession.
Mr Ó Ruairc was delighted to attend the celebration and enjoyed the entertainment provided by the sixth classes, school choir and guitar groups. Senator Murnane O’Connor applauded the work undertaken by the school community and spoke of the development of education in the Carlow region.
Mr Ó Ruairc presented the weekly certificates of Gaeilgeoir na Seachtaine and Student of the Week to the proud boys and girls before he and Jennifer raised the flag. All of the pupils joined in the school anthem The boys and girls of St Fiacc’s and the ceremony ended with an emotional rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann. It was a wonderful conclusion to a proud day for St Fiacc’s NS.