Exceptional pastoral care rewarded at two controlled schools

Carrickmannon Primary School, Ballygowan and Knockavoe School, Strabane have been recognised for their exceptional pastoral care at an awards ceremony hosted by the Department of Education and the Public Health Agency (PHA) at Stormont.

Carrickmannon Primary School

The Derrytrasna Pastoral Care award, now in its 5th year, was created by the Department of Education in collaboration with the Public Health Agency in 2014 and seeks to recognise through nominations, those school communities that have demonstrated exceptional effort in supporting the pastoral care of pupils and their families. Awards are made in the nursery, primary, post-primary and special school sectors.

Sharon Lennon Head Teacher Carrickmannon Primary School commented:

“When parents take the time to write a nomination it is very humbling and we were delighted to be put forward for this award. At Carrickmannon pastoral care is our highest priority as children will only reach their true potential when they feel safe, happy and are ready to learn. To receive our Derrytrasna Award today was truly an honour and is recognition of the caring support given to everyone who is part of the Carrickmannon Primary School family. “

Ms McComish, Principal Knockavoe School said

“This award is a wonderful achievement for the staff, pupils, governors, parents and whole community in Strabane and the surrounding areas. It celebrates and showcases the dedication and excellent care, love and encouragement shown by staff who help all our pupils to “reach for a brighter future” on a daily basis.

“We as a school community, are humbled to have been nominated for this award and are hugely delighted to have been selected as the winner. Thank you to all the parents who support us as we welcome their children to our school – you make us who we are!”

Presenting the awards Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Education said:

“The quality of this year’s nominations are testament to the high level of pastoral care being provided in our schools and reflects the high regard local communities have for their schools. 

“Pastoral care is an integral part of the school experience. Young people, as they grow up, face so many challenges and it is reassuring that, for some, their school is seen as a source of reassurance, and support.

“Exceptional pastoral care is not about the everyday support that schools offer their pupils; it is about those schools that go that extra mile, beyond what might reasonably be expected, to support young people’s emotional health and well-being; support that had a genuine positive impact on those who received it.”

Also presenting at the ceremony was Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager, Public Health Agency, Hilary Johnston, who said:

“Good pastoral care is essential in supporting pupils in terms of their personal and social development, including mental and emotional wellbeing, educational attainment and future life outcomes. 

“Children who enjoy and thrive at school are more likely to achieve good qualifications, which in turn are more likely to lead to a fulfilling job directly benefitting health and quality of life”.

“I commend this year’s winners for their commitment to pastoral care.”

Carrickmannon (photo above) Primary School caption

Derek Baker, Department of Education; Kate Brassington nominating parent; Sharon Lennon Head Teacher Carrickmannon Primary School; James Brassington; Rosemary Brown Teacher; Hilary Johnston, Public Health Agency with pupils Roseanne and Ivy Brassington and Ryan Meharry

Knockavoe School (photo below) caption

Derek Baker Permanent Secretary Department of Education; Denise Geary, Joanne Patterson Teacher Knockavoe School; Rebecca Geary pupil Knockavoe School; Eamon Geary; Martina McComish Principal Knockavoe School and Hilary Johnston Public Health Agency


10 April 2019