St Francis NS gets off to a flying start!
SAINT Francis NS completed the first school year in its new home on the Rock Road and pupils and staff are now enjoying their summer holidays like their counterparts in other schools.
It was a momentous year for the school with the official opening of its new two storey building last December which was attended by Archbishop Eamon Martin. The school started up in 2007, and spent until last September in temporary accommodation in prefabricated classrooms beside the Parish's community centre.
Work only commenced on the new building the previous February but contractors Stewart Builders had it ready in time for the start of the new school year by which time the school population had grown to under a 100 pupils with a staff of seven including four teachers. The school opened with 20 pupils and two teachers, and come this September will have classes up to fourth class.
The building can accommodate over 200 pupils, and comprises additional learning support facilities, a library, general purpose room, staff room and office.
Principal Oreena Lawless said it has been 'great fun getting used to the facilities and space. There have been major adjustments made by the children having been in prefab classrooms for so long. They finally can take messages between classes without going outside'.
'Having a proper playground has been terrific too - lots of room for basketball, football and for the infants to play without being in the way of flying balls! Having a large playing pitch is terrific now since the grass has grown and been managed. So many new things to get used to! Having a proper PE hall and a library are the icing on the cake', she added.
The school finished off a wonderful year by being named the North Louth Environmental School of 2014. This was by virtue of qualifying for its third Green Flag and awarded a Platinum Environmental Award by Louth Co. Council by successfully taking part in the Louth Co. Council 'Eco-Tribe' challenge.
Miss Lawless admitted 'we are still getting used to it all and look forward to having new children and a new teacher start with us in September. Hopefully, the 2014-2015 school year will be just as successful'.