First Minister joins Newry business man to celebrate collabrative learning
First Minister Peter Robinson underlined his support for cross-community education when he awarded “graduation” certificates to hundreds of primary pupils involved in a collaborative learning project. Thirteen schools, from the Maintained, Controlled and Integrated sectors have joined the Sharing Languages-Sharing Cultures programme, run by Shimna Integrated College and co-ordinated by teacher Laura O’Hare.
Two hundred and fifty three children from schools in the Kilkeel, Castlewellan and Newcastle areas wore graduation gowns and mortar boards to receive certificates for their achievements in the scheme. The ceremony continued with dance, a multilingual choir and a solo performance from internationally-celebrated singer Tommy Sands.
Mr Robinson was joined on the platform by Newry businessman Dr Gerard O’Hare, a key supporter of the project. Dr O’Hare said, “I think this project is a fantastic opportunity for these young graduates and I am delighted that our First Minister Peter Robinson recognises that by joining us at the event. As we become a more multicultural society here in Northern Ireland it is vital that our young people understand and respect other cultures. From a business perspective it is essential for growth in many industries that a company can operate in other markets. By giving our young people a grasp of other languages and cultural diversity we are creating future adults very able for the world of business.”
At the event, Dr O’Hare also accepted a Times Educational Supplement ‘Outstanding Community Partnership Award’ for the project on behalf of the funders and schools.
N.B Pictures kindly provided by Declan Roughan
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