Castleroe PS and Ballyhackett PS, Castlerock are part of the Primary Integrating/Enriching Education Project (PIEE) which is managed by NEELB and funded by the International Fund for Ireland and the Atlantic Philanthropies. Both schools have been continuing to promote sharing between their schools and have been benefiting from a teacher who has been employed to work in both schools.
The aim of the project is to develop sustainable cross community partnerships by providing opportunities for curricular-based shared classes, extra-curricular activities, joint staff planning and development and joint governor and parent events.
Over the past three years this project has enriched pupils’ experiences in all areas of the curriculum including:
Pupils have had ongoing opportunity to develop their skills in music, drama and art. In 2018, all pupils took part Music in March event in Coleraine Town hall to a sold our audience. Joint choirs have been successful at Coleraine Music Festival and junior pupils have entertained parents and grandparents to showcase their after schools activities. In February 2020, a choir of 56 pupils attended the Peace Proms in the Odyssey Arena – a very memorable experience!
Pupils and staff regularly use ICT to communicate with each other. Pupils have taken part in video conferencing where they have showcased their work. In addition, an ICT after-school club is held in Castleroe PS for pupils from both schools. Pupils have opportunities to create imaginary characters and produce a short animation film.
Pupils have the opportunity to explore a variety of different sports through shared classes and after school activities.
Teachers have planned detailed topics through which pupils have opportunity to develop skills and gain knowledge of the local area. P1/2 pupils together explore the topic of ‘People Who Help Us’ and have had visits from a local dentist, police officer and shopkeeper. P3/4/5 pupils have enjoyed exploring the topic of ‘Water’ where they visited Portrush Lifeboat Station and had talks about water safety. P5 went on to explore this topic in greater details through WAU science lessons. P6/7 enjoyed studying the rainforest together and have enjoyed amazing art projects this curriculum area.
Pupils from both schools enjoyed six weeks of Beach Club at Castlerock Beach. Lots of learning and fun was had together, new skills acquired and friendships developed.
Pupils have enjoyed getting to know one another and building relationships with their peer group in another setting. Many of these children go on to the same secondary schools and this is a wonderful opportunity to develop friendships at an early stage.