There were magical scenes at Cliftonville Integrated Primary School yesterday (Wednesday 11 December) as P1 and P2 children shone in their nativity play in the presence of some VIP guests who have been supporting the thriving North Belfast school.
Parents, pupils and staff were joined by Baroness May Blood, Campaign Chair of the Integrated Education Fund, Alan Nappin of the ARN Foundation and Desmond Wilson of the Wilson Group.
Principal Bill Fletcher joined deputy chair of the Board of Governors, Rev Jim Williamson, in thanking the guests for their generous support.
The ARN foundation is supporting the development of a new outdoor classroom and polytunnel which will enable Cliftonville IPS pupils and the wider community to enjoy gardening. The project is aimed at encouraging an appreciation of the natural environment and at promoting healthy eating. The new facility will be key to teaching the children (and their families) about the value of growing their own fruit and vegetables, with the polytunnel allowing for activities all year round.
Desmond Wilson of the Wilson Group is very kindly supporting Cliftonville IPS’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library for the next three years. The Imagination Library is a book scheme for children up to 5 years old, in which pupils receive a new book every month sent to their home, helping to improve literacy skills and develop a love of reading. The Cliftonville Dolly Parton Library is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.
The projects are just two examples of some the exciting work currently being developed by the primary school, which is currently celebrating ten years as an integrated school. Since parents voted for transformation to integrated status the school has gone from strength to strength, with pupil numbers increasing from 145 pupils in 2009 to almost 400 today.
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