Carrick school reopens with integrated status

September 1 was an historic and emotional day for all members of the Carrickfergus Central Primary community as the school formally transformed to integrated status and became ‘Central Integrated Primary School.’

Monday, 6th September 2021, 11:38 am

The Thomas Street school is now the second integrated primary school in Carrickfergus, alongside Acorn Integrated PS.

Speaking to the Times, Principal, Mrs Nuala Hall said: “The school has been working towards this day for a number of years and the whole school family have been involved throughout the process.

“I believe that this is a very positive step, not only for the school, but also for the town of Carrickfergus. We can now continue to build on our already inclusive ethos and our commitment to welcoming pupils from all backgrounds.

Principal Nuala Hall (centre) with Andrew Norrie (Parental Engagement Manager Integrate My School) and Roisin Marshall (Chief Executive of NI Council for Integrated Education).

“We are delighted to be able to offer more integrated places for children and their families in the Carrickfergus area.

“The whole school community are looking forward to the many exciting challenges that lie ahead.”

Mrs Hall added: “Following the then Education Minister, Peter Weir’s decision to approve transformation to integrated status on April 19 2021, the school community have had to work quickly to decide on a new school name and uniform.

“Several name choices were put forward and following a parental vote ‘Central Integrated Primary School’ was chosen.

“The governors of the school were delighted with this choice as it retained part of the history of the school. The badge for the new school uniform was based on a design by a Primary 1 pupil at the school and it features a castle which was a prominent part of the Carrickfergus Central Primary School badge and a dove of peace symbolising our hopes for the future, not just of the school, but for Northern Ireland as a whole.”

The school’s enrolment has almost doubled in the last six years and Mrs Hall believes that this has been largely because the local community were aware of the school’s plans to transform to integrated status.

Mrs Hall concluded: “This is only the beginning for Central Integrated Primary School. The school’s future is bright, and we will continue to ensure that every child in our school receives an outstanding education in a nurturing and inclusive atmosphere.”

History was made in Glenarm on Wednesday (September 1) as the first Catholic primary school in Northern Ireland to change to integrated status welcomed pupils back after the summer break.

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