Phoenix Integrated Primary School was a hive of activity recently as they launched the celebrations for their 10th anniversary.
IEF Campaign Chair Baroness Blood was among the invited guests who joined the party as the school marked ten years of integrated education in the Cookstown area.
Representatives from the main churches also joined the current and founder Governors of the school to celebrate its success within the local community.
The whole school came together for birthday cake and a balloon release so if you come across a Phoenix IPS balloon, please contact the school as the children are tracking their travels.
The MAIL went along to the school and spoke to Primary 7 pupils about their experiences at Phoenix, their answers are in the video above.
Gertie Connolly, first Chairperson of the school commented on her pride on the development of the school.
Phoenix IPS rose from small beginnings in 2004 with 12 pupils and in 2014 the school welcomed 180 pupils for the new term.
Things are certainly looking bright for Phoenix as they look forward to the next stage of their development.
Principal Heather Watson told the MAIL: “We are looking forward to major improvement on site this year, with the addition of two new classrooms, office space, a special needs room, additional storage and much needed additional play space for the children.”
Chairman of the school’s Board of Governors, Mr Marriott said: “The next phase of building work will see state of the art facilities at Phoenix IPS. These facilities will not only enhance the overall education of our pupils but will also be a valuable resource for the local community.”
Integrated education is at the heart of Phoenix Integrated Primary School and the school works hard to promote this not only within the school but also in the local community.
Mrs Watson explained: “The school promotes shared education working closely with local schools through projects such as Speedwell Trust, Good Relations in Primary Schools and CRED.
“The school is involved in the local community, leading church carol services and singing in the town centre for Christmas shoppers.
“The promotion of equality and good relations extends to everyone in the school and to their families regardless of their religious, cultural or social background. Integrated education is value-driven and child centred. It is delivered through a holistic approach with an emphasis on developing every aspect of a child’s or young person’s potential.”
Education Minister John O’Dowd recently visited the school to view first hand the growth of the school and plans for future development.
In discussing the great work of the school he said: “I commend the Board of Governors, the Principal Heather Watson, the staff both teaching and non-teaching and the entire school community on their hard work and dedication to delivering education for the children of the area and wish them the very best for the future.”