St Saviour’s celebrate growing community with opening of school extension
There were celebrations at St Saviour’s National School in Rathdrum this afternoon (Tuesday October 15) as the new school extension was officially opened. Archbishop Michael Jackson was on hand to cut the ribbon and he also dedicated the new building. The whole school turned out for the occasion and many parents joined the festivities.
The extension saw the construction of new classrooms and a new room for the Hub, the school’s dedicated resource area.
The Rector, the Revd Brian O’Reilly, welcomed everyone to the school and said that the children were central to everything that happened at St Saviour’s. He said that they strove at all times to provide a safe space for the children and the school had great teachers and staff, led by the principal, Antoinette Doyle. He said that the school would not be resting on its laurels. Having added an extension and PE hall in 2016 in addition to the new Hub and classrooms opened today, a further extension is already being planned.
Archbishop Michael Jackson said he was delighted to be back in St Saviour’s NS and noted that the new extension gave pupils the opportunity to live their lives to their full potential. He said that the development of the school could be attributed to all who were associated with St Saviour’s, past and present.
“As well as building an extension to the school, we are building a fresh community. At this time we remember children like us who are in Ukraine and Russia and the Middle East who treasure their education,” he commented. “To the principal and all associated with St Saviour’s thank you for building this school community and thank you for being back at school and making a go of it. Thank you for your commitment to the children and to keeping the spirit of the school alight.”
The principal, Mrs Doyle, thanked everyone from the school and the wider community who had joined them on their special day. She said that St Saviour’s enrolment had doubled in recent years, which necessitated the extensions, but throughout that they aimed to preserve the school’s ethos. They aimed to provide a climate where all pupils could flourish and to educate pupils in line with the Christian principles of love and respect, she added.
Mrs Doyle said that the staff and the pupils had adapted during the time when the extension was being built. She thanked the architect, builders, the board of management and all who helped ensure the project ran smoothly.
“At times it wasn’t pleasant but everyone dug deep and we had our eyes on the prize. Now we have lovely new classrooms and a cool new lift and the Hub is a beautiful space where pupils can attend classes while also attending mainstream classes,” she said. “Our staff is growing, our school is growing but it is most important to preserve the ethos of the school. Rathdrum is growing and the school will inevitably grow with it but we hold onto our values and keep children central in those.”
The pupils were central to the celebration with 5th and 6th classes giving a recorder recital and two excellent musicians, Ciara and Nina, giving a piano recital. 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes and junior and senior infants sang hymns and 4th and 5th classes led the prayers. Sixth class also shared their memories of the building project.