Local schools recognised for going above and beyond

Education Minister, John O’Dowd and Mary Black, Public Health Agency (PHA)

have recognised schools for exceptional pastoral care at an awards

ceremony at Stormont.


Castlewellan Primary School, St Paul’s Junior High in Lurgan, Malone

Integrated College and Stanhope Nursery School in Belfast have all been

recognised for exceptional pastoral care of pupils and families at the recent

Derrytrasna Awards.


Speaking at the awards, John O’Dowd said: “Young people face many

challenges growing up and it is reassuring that schools can provide support

and help during difficult times in their lives.


“Exceptional pastoral care is not about the everyday support that schools

offer but rather it is about those schools that go the extra mile.  The

numbers and quality of applications received shows that there are many

excellent examples of outstanding pastoral care within our schools.  All

four winning schools demonstrated a whole school commitment and dedication

to supporting pupils’ individual needs with those needs being put to the

forefront of school life.”


Mary Black, CBE, Assistant Director Public Health, Health and Social

Wellbeing Improvement, Public Health Agency also congratulated all schools

who participated in the process and in particular those which have been



She said: “Young people think about their health holistically, their

emotional and physical wellbeing are intertwined and at the heart of their

wellbeing are their relationships with others. These will include friends,

family,  teachers and others.  Good pastoral care recognises the need for

pupils to experience good relationships within the schools community, which

can be central to building resilience and improving young people’s physical

and emotional wellbeing.”


Derrytrasna Awards launched last year and are named in honour of St Mary’s

Primary School, Derrytrasna who showed truly exceptional pastoral care to a

terminally ill pupil, Adele Madden.


Whilst there is currently no nursery category, the nomination for Stanhope

Nursery School made a strong case and the selection panel felt the school

should be awarded a certificate to acknowledge the quality of pastoral

care.  The inclusion of a nursery category may be considered for next year

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