Thursday, March 12, 2015

Brannoxtown NS Open Day

Despite fairly inclement weather there was a good turnout at Brannoxtown NS's Open Day this afternoon, writes Brian Byrne.

Parents of students and families of prospective pupils were all treated to a wide range of projects undertaken by those currently attending the school as part of a curriculum that goes well beyond learning from books and pencils.

Experiments in electricity, presentations on nutrition, music from traditional instruments and cast-off bottles were just some of the colourful and fascinating elements of the Open Day, designed also to promote the school for new enrolments.

"The children have really enjoyed getting their projects together for today," says Principal Dolores Burke. "It's a great day for them, having a real audience for their learning. There's a great buzz."

There are currently 83 pupils in the 4-classroom school, which has a potential capacity of over a hundred. Enrolments are good at the moment, though Dolores says they fluctuate from day to day at this time of the year.

"Any Principal of a school like ours will tell you that you really won't know who you have until the first day in September."

The school currently has six room teachers as well as a Learning Support and a Resource Teacher, both of those latter shared through all classes.

The policy of the school is strongly tilted towards communication between the school and home and there's a very active Board of Management, chaired at the moment by John Kennedy, and a PTA.

Full use of technology is a feature of the school, with netbooks, laptops, and electronic whiteboards all part of the teaching infrastructure.

In addition, the school adheres to a policy of encouraging and developing healthy lifestyles amongst its pupils, and this is carried out by a committee of staff and parents, who monitor the nutritional and content makeup of lunches, for example.

There are more pictures here from today's Open Day.