A new city primary school, which received funding of €3.9 million from the Department of Education, was opened by Minister Eamon O’Cuiv recently.
The St John the Apostle school in Knocknacarra boasts 16 classrooms, a learning support room, library, multi-purpose room, staff room, hall and offices.
He described it as a “magnificent state-of-the-art” school which will cater for the needs of the current generation of children in Knocknacarra as well as many generations in the future.
He said the facility provides a 21st century education for 150 children with the use of an interactive white board, teaching laptops and visualisers as well as digital cameras and a laptop trolley which allows each child access to a laptop in the classroom.
He said traditionally in Ireland, the local school has always played a very important part in the life of the community.
“ The building we have opened is a magnificent purpose built facility that will benefit the community here in Knocknacarra for many generations to come. The work is a credit to all those involved. I am pleased to note that the Department of Education and Science provided funding of some €3.9 million towards this project.
“I wish to acknowledge the active and generous support given to the school by the parents and members of the local community, particularly in their fund-raising activities. I am aware that a very strong partnership has already been established between the parents and the school staff, and that partnership provides a sound, solid base for the continued development of the school.”
He said the primary curriculum requires teachers to use a broad range of teaching methodologies and this places considerable demands on school resources and facilities.
“It is my belief that this wonderful building will enrich the whole school community in Knocknacarra, and that it will facilitate the delivery of a high quality education service to the pupils.”
Children symbolise our hopes for the future and they are what all our efforts are about, he stated.
“Many have witnessed the growth and development of this school. From its early life in rented premises with just 24 pupils on roll, the school has grown and evolved. Indeed, it is still evolving, and when it is working at full capacity, the school will have boys and girls from infants to sixth class, and all of the 16 lovely new classrooms will be needed.
“Much of the responsibility for pushing on with the building project has fallen on the shoulders of the principal Mrs Noreen Healy. The rest of the teaching staff and all the ancillary staff have also played a very important part.
“This is still a very young school but already so much has been achieved. There is a strong emphasis on sport and children can take part in football, hurling, athletics and swimming. Information technology is used in a creative way to make teaching and learning interesting and fun.”