Assumption Grammar School is proud to have a leadership role within Northern Ireland’s Shared Education Programme. The primary objective of the programme is ‘to enable schools from different sectors to work in partnership to provide opportunities for pupils, staff and community to engage in collaborative and meaningful learning experiences.’
Since the initiation of the Shared Education Act in 2016, Assumption Grammar has joined forces with The High School Ballynahinch, St Colman’s High School and Sixth Form College and St Colmcille’s in Crossgar. Collectively, we have given hundreds of pupils from all key stages the chance to participate in varied extracurricular activities. For example, 20 Year 10 pupils performed extracts of Marie Jones’s critically acclaimed and locally set play, ‘A Night in November.’ This was supported by local based company, ‘Co-Operation Ireland’ whose aim is to resolve conflict in a divided society. Assumption Grammar’s Art Department also held workshops for the schools’ Year 11 pupils and this was led by professional artist, Fionnuala O’Neill. Together, they advanced their printing and painting skills, two major focuses of the GCSE syllabus. Looking from a more STEM based approach, 16 pupils participated in a partnership scheme entitled ‘Build a Plane’. This scientific endeavour saw children from across the country build a Sherwood Scout, a two-seater, high wing monoplane with tubular framework. Such opportunities have helped develop the pupils’ interpersonal and social skills as well as building cross-community understanding.
Staff from all schools can also benefit from being part of the Shared Education Programme through collaboration, training and mutual support. Teachers can avail of seminars relating to their subject or opt for ones of a more pastoral nature such as Mindfulness, SEN and Mental Awareness.
Shared Education is a system that unites educators and pupils. It ensures quality teaching and learning is both fluidic and reflective as it enables teachers and pupils alike, to learn through sharing best practise. Shared Education also helps our young people gain numerous transferable skills that will benefit them throughout third level education and employment.