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O’Dowd hails ethos of learning and sharing at Botanic Primary School

Education Minister, John ODowd, has commended Botanic Primary School, Belfast, on its ethos of achievement, sharing and mutual respect.
Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Around half of the school’s pupils are newcomers to these shores, with 22 home languages represented. The enrolment also includes a mix of religions as well as children from differing socio-economic backgrounds. Many of the pupils, whatever their background, also have varying special educational needs.

Speaking about his visit, the Minister said: “Botanic Primary School boasts a level of diversity among its pupils that epitomises the values of mutual respect and tolerance for other religions and cultures.

“The school has, over time, become naturally integrated, with differences celebrated and respected. This environment has enabled Botanic to engender within its children the admirable and, I believe, hugely important, tenets of effort, achievement and acceptance.”

The Minister continued: “With pupils from such diverse backgrounds and with a range of specific needs, it is testament to the skill and commitment of the teaching and support staff that children leave the school well prepared to continue their learning journeys. The Principal, Paul Bell, has put in place a range of innovative approaches to teaching a pupil body of this dynamic nature and I pay tribute to him and the Board of Governors on their leadership and vision.

“I would also like to highlight the strong support the school receives from the Belfast Education and Library Board and the regional Inclusion and Diversity Service, based in the North Eastern Board, in the form of regular support and advice from dedicated experts.

“This assistance coupled with the dedication of the staff, governors and parents has undoubtedly helped Botanic deliver what has been deemed by inspectors to be a ‘Very Good’ quality of education to its young people. Everyone connected with the school can be justifiably proud and I wish them the very best for the future.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Botanic Primary School was founded in 1939. More information is available on the Botanic Primary School website.
  2. The Department of Education has launched a new ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. The campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  3. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  4. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.