25
JAN
2018

Fred O'Connell NPC Innovation Award 2018

The Award recognises innovative partnership work between schools and parents which supports children to have the opportunity to reach their full potential

The NPC Fred O'Connell Award 2018 ceremony took place at the NPC Conference on Saturday the 16th of June 2018. 

This year we had two outstanding projects and the judges couldn’t decide between them so it was decided to award Joint 1st place to both entries.

  • Scoil Nano Nagle JNS Parents' Association, Clondalkin with their project 'Developing awareness of the importance of ‘wellbeing’ in the home and school' and 
  • St. Brigid's National School Parents' Association, Greystones, Co. Wicklow with their project 'Developing a student friendly ICT programme'

Scoil Nano Nagle JNS Parents' Association's approach was a whole-school approach which can be sustained over time and involves students, staff, and parents.

The rationale was that improving the school environment and the provision of resources for ‘wellbeing’ would positively impact on the learning and on the overall mental and physical health of the children, families and the community. There were 3 Action areas:

Environment: A Parents Room and a School Garden were developed to enhance the school environment

Teaching & Learning:  The Parents’ Association developed mindfulness CD’s for the classrooms. Adult classes focusing on wellbeing were organised by the Home School Liaison Coordinator

Partnership: Directories of extra-curricular activities, and family support agencies were uploaded on the school website.

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St. Brigid's NS Parents' Association established a student-friendly ICT programme to equip children with crucial technology skills. 

In an effort to proactively support the implementation of the Department of Education and Skills ‘Digital Strategy for schools 2015-2020’, St Brigid’s Parents’ Association, in partnership with the school, established its own Digital and ICT Subcommittee in April 2017. The goals of the Subcommittee were:

  • To enable all students to be equipped with essential computing skills in desktop management, word processing and PowerPoint.
  • To help develop digital education in St. Brigid’s to encompass digital audio-visual skills and basic programming in line with the Departments guidance and best practice. 

They have created a self-sustaining programme guided by the school and the parental team to support digital education in the school and have plans to further develop this with local TY students.

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  • In 2nd place was Emper National School with their project 'Development of a school play area'. 

Emper National School is a Partnership Schools Ireland school. One of the ideas that emerged from their Action Team for Partnership brainstorming session was that of a playground to assist in the physical and mental wellbeing of the students through playtime, lunchtime breaks and unstructured activities.

They discussed many potential plans and had drawings compiled. On securing a grant via the CLÁR initiative, and with a local contribution the playground was completed. 

The children of Emper are certainly making good use of their playground and it is and will continue to be of enormous benefit to the community in general.

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  • In 3rd place was Glinsk National School with their project 'Involving Parents and the Community in Education'.

The Parents' Association involved parents and the local community in the education of the children and encouraged volunteering to enhance the educational experiences of children.

In the current academic year they have achieved a huge response from parents and the local community which has been of significan benefit to both children and parents.

Some of the many volunteering events that occurred this year have been Cooking, Knitting & Crocheting, Lego Leagues, and a Junior Entrepreneur Programme – Dragons Den.

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The following entrants were awarded certificates of achievement for their entries to the Award:

  • Ard Rí Community National School, Navan
  • Rathduff National School, Grenagh
  • Rush National School, Dublin
  • Scoil Náisiúnta Na Naomh Uile, Cleggan
  • St. Colmcille’s National School, Knocklyon
  • St. Patrick’s National School, Baconstown
  • St. Patrick’s Primary School, Galway
  • Whitechurch National School, Rathfarnham