NPC Fred O’Connell Award 2017

NPC Fred O’Connell Award 2017

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

The NPC Fred O'Connell Award 2017 ceremony took place at the NPC Conference on Saturday the 10th of June 2017. Click here to see the award ceremony.

The Winner of the award was the Parent Association of St. Colmcille's Junior and Senior Schools, Knocklyon, Dublin 16, with their project 'Our understanding of a Parents' Association'.

Their Parent Association is quite different to a lot of other Parent Association committees given their volume of members as they are the largest primary school in the country. They have not had any fundraisers in a number of years, while running events and fundraising are the traditional ways of supporting the school community, there are many others and they embraced this as an opportunity to engage more members.

The Parent Association wanted a strong visual of what their Parent Association represents so they designed a new logo comprised of the school colours and in the shape of a shamrock representing three intertwined groups; the parents, the students, and the school. 

A parent who works in I.T. created a new website for the Parent Association and this includes a resource page with links to local clubs and sharing details of events in other local schools. They put a lot of time and effort into this website as they wanted to show parents that they are committed to building a strong community within the school and they realise how valuable the parent role is within a Child's education.

In 2nd place was the Parent Association of Scoil Iósaf, Castlemartyr, Co. Cork with their project the 'Redevelopment of the School Play Area'.

Following a talk on mental health and well-being, the importance of a stimulating environment for children in both the classroom and during playtime was raised by the Parent Association. Picture boards of proposed new features were designed and the principal recognising the value it could bring encouraged the Parent Association to develop same.  

The response from a call for volunteers and support from local businesses was overwhelming as everybody stressed the significance of a positive school experience. The Parent Association created a play area with sections for all with sports, music, sensory boards and analytic areas.

The result was a revamped improved play area which is now a massive addition to the school. All stakeholders of the school are delighted with the outcome and it really proved what a community working together can achieve.

In 3rd place was the Parent Association of Pope John Paul II National School, Swords, Co. Dublin with their entry a 'School-run Road Safety Campaign'.

Their school has grown exponentially over the years (to 700+ pupils) meaning the number of children and adults walking to/from school and the number of cars driving and parking near the school has also increased. In response to some worrying circumstances  the Parent Association felt they needed to be more pro-active in both promoting road safety to parents and, getting school run drivers to adjust driving behaviour to prevent accidents.

This included a road safety pledge by Parents/Guardians, a talk from the Road Safety Authority, distribution of car bumper stickers, introduction of a voluntary lower speed limit and one-way traffic system in front of the school.

The following entrants were awarded a Certificate of Achievement for their entries:
  • Carrigaline Educate Together National School, Carrigaline, Co. Cork
  • St. Patrick's Girls National School, Gardiner's Hill, Cork
  • Holy Family Senior National School, Swords, Co. Dublin
  • Glinsk National School, Glinsk, Co. Galway
  • Gaelscoil Faithleann, Killarney, Co. Kerry
  • St. Oliver's National School, Carlingford, Co. Louth
  • St. Patrick's National School, Baconstown, Enfield, Co. Meath
  • St. Brigid’s National School, Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Gaelscoil na gCloch Liath,  Greystones, Co. Wicklow

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