KNOCKAVOE School and Resource Centre recently celebrated its ‘Rights Respecting School’ gold award.
This outstanding achievement acknowledges the importance that the school accords to pupil voice, and the school’s efforts in creating a culture in which each individual child is given the opportunity to fulfil their potential without limitations
Pupils, staff, parents and members of the wider school community were welcomed to the event by principal Martina McComish, who highlighted that “today was a day to be proud of everything that they do at Knockavoe”.
Controlled Schools' Support Council (CSSC) representatives included chief executive, Barry Mulholland and Tracey Woods, school support officer.
Teachers Roisin Bradley, Emma Wallace and Lyn Gibson have been at the forefront of leading the school’s efforts to acquire this accreditation.
The journey, hard work and dedication of staff and pupils was summarised in a poem, written and read by Roisin Bradley.
Entitled ‘Our Rights Respecting Journey’, the poem referred to the school’s Student Council as a champion of pupil voice and paid tribute to the charitable efforts of pupils which have included Fair Trade coffee mornings.
Pupil Sarah Jayne received a standing ovation for her solo performance of ‘Holy Night’, as did pupil Tristian who sang ‘You can count on me’.
Ann Marie Poynor from UNICEF invited the Student Council to the stage and commended the school on its nurturing environment which was acknowledged in November by Nurture UK when the school was awarded the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark.
In addition to acknowledging the work of pupils and staff in achieving the award, Martina McComish also recognised the significant contribution that the local community makes to the functioning of a school in which pupils feel a sense of worth, a sense of being and a sense of belonging.
Barry Mulholland chief executive of CSSC, who attended the event said: "Congratulations, another fantastic achievement for pupils, staff, parents and friends of Knockavoe Special School.
"This is a wonderful school, loved by the children and appreciated by the wider community. The leadership here in Knockavoe is outstanding, as is the learning and teaching.
“I would particularly want to pay a tribute to the principal, Martina McComish, for her dedication and commitment to the school and the children and wish her all the best for her forthcoming retirement".