Marys Primary School
Response to Parish Survey Findings (2007)
the survey respondents had children attending St Mary’s
Primary School at the time the survey was conducted. It is
important to note that
the information presented in this section relate to St. Mary's
NS prior to its separation into two schools, a junior and senior
national school, in September 2007. 183 of these parents (or 93%)
expressed their satisfaction with the school. The
Board of Management of St. Mary’s are delighted that there
is such a positive appreciation of the school in the Parish. 93%
is a remarkable satisfaction rating in any survey.
All respondents to the survey, including the parents who answered the question
discussed in the opening paragraph, were invited to identify areas for improvement
or change. 241 of the 810 survey participants, representing 30%, responded
to this invitation. Most of the bigger issues identified were structural issues
such as the need for a larger school with appropriate facilities, the safety
and security of the students because of easy access to the street, the need
for shelter on wet mornings, improved car parking and disabled access. In addition
to initiatives taken at the existing school site, such as improved security
both within the school and at the school perimeter, the completion of the new
school, scheduled for the end of 2007, will address these concerns.
new school will include a theatre which will provide the children
with an excellent facility for drama and
indoor sport activity.
Since 1999, the
Board of Management of St. Mary’s School have campaigned
and negotiated for the building of the new Senior School on a green field
site across the road from the existing school and Church. This school is
scheduled to open in late 2007. While this new building will provide Blessington
children with the most up to date facilities for Primary education in the
country, the Board has also continued its work of maintaining and upgrading
the existing school building as can be seen in the accompanying photographs.
||New railings and gates were installed on all school
property and a swipe card security system was installed on all doors.
In the survey in 2002, concerns were also expressed about
class sizes and split classes. There are no longer split classes in the
school and in recent years, emphasis has been placed on reducing the teacher:
pupil ratio for the junior classes to give children the best possible start
to their education. Other respondents asked for increased efforts to eliminate
bullying. Among other steps taken to address bullying, the school held
a Bullying Awareness Week in 2006 to further heighten awareness of bullying
among students and parents.
Other suggestions included improved co-ordination, and advanced notice
of days off. Since the survey was conducted, the Department of Education
and Science has introduced standardised school holidays and the school
has endeavoured to provide parents with the greatest possible notice of
both holiday closures and other closed days through the distribution of
a school calendar at the beginning of the school year, individual notices
to parents, and the newly-introduced school newsletter.
Finally, some respondents said they would welcome more extra-curricular
activities such as arts and crafts, music, swimming and foreign languages
and would like to see increased emphasis on physical education, computer
training, and remedial teaching. Since the survey was conducted the school
has introduced a swimming programme and is also engaged in athletics, football,
gaelic, hurling, basketball and handball. Music classes are also facilitated
through the school. A new computer room, which is available to all classes,
was opened in 2003. Eight new remedial classes rooms have also been provided
and are designed to provide students with the best possible remedial service. German
is taught in 5th and 6th class. A correlated English language programme
has been provided for non-national children.
to the issues raised in the survey, the Board of Management, the Principal
and the Staff have
worked very hard to deal with these issues
and trust that readers will acknowledge the progress we have made to date.
We would assure all parents that in St. Mary’s we pride ourselves
on providing the best possible education and care for the children of the