Creevelea NS, outside of Drumkeerin are opening their doors from January 28 - February 1 to allow parents and pupils to come and see their unique primary school in the hope of attracting new students for next term.
The two teacher school which celebrates it’s 80th anniversary this September holds a special place in the community, and provides an exceptional education, of almost one to one tuition to each pupil.
Principal Mary Dolan is very proud of the modern school, which is equipped with the latest technology, has the benefit of a recent extension and facilitates a wide and varied curriculum. Ms Dolan and Deputy Principal Sandra Fitzpatrick are joined by a part time resource and learning teacher Sarah Carty along with Secretary Eileen McHugh. The school welcomes a number of professionals to teach and facilitate a number of activities throughout the year, which all the children said they loved.
The school has DEIS status which means it receives extra funding from the Department of Education for extra curricular activities that help make school a fun and enjoyable environment. The pupils of Creevelea were only too happy to explain to the Leitrim Observer the extra classes they enjoy. These include music classes by Sean Crowe, animation workshops, book club, creative art classes with local sculptor Karen Webster, drama with Mary Blake, dancing, and coaching in GAA, tag rugby, soccer, athletics, tennis, volleyball and basketball. The pupils also take swimming classes and partake in a number of school outings each year.
The pupils are proficient in computer skills, they use laptops for research on projects and even display power point presentations!
The large classrooms in Creevelea NS are an explosion of colour and the artistic decorations, exhibitions and diagrams were all created by the pupils. The kids explained the process behind their marbelling pictures, their clay water exhibitions, their homemade books and the beautiful wall hangings. They also showed the paper their ‘Tell Creevelea Story’ display which includes history on the area.
In an effort to entice new pupils to the unique school, Principal Mary Dolan is holding an Open Week at the school from Monday, January 28. All local play groups have been invited to attend with their leaders and parents. The playgroup kids will be able to see an exhibition of their pictures on healthy eating displayed in the school for their visit. There will be fun and games, face painting, crafts, interactive storytelling and cooking for the kids to show them some of the aspects of Creevelea NS.
What are the benefits of attending a small school? The pupils had no problem telling the paper what they like best. From more time to learn and understand new things, getting to know everyone, more time on the laptop, more activities, school trips and entering more fun competitions!
Mary Dolan said parents are delighted with the amount of “one to one” time spent with students and said this is especially beneficial for students that struggle with a certain subject or who just need added explanation. It is obvious from watching the kids that the older pupils care for the younger ones and help them, which in turn gives the young pupils more confidence. The pupils uniform tracksuits are sponsored by a local windfarm. The Principal said although the school holds two parent teacher meetings each year, they also facilitate an open door policy where parents can come in and speak to the teachers any time they want.
Creevelea NS, located beside St Brigids Church is open for prospective pupils and parents from January 28 - February 1. For more information call: (071) 9648223.