St Columba’s is a co-educational school which educates pupils between the age of four and eleven. We have three composite classes comprising of 64 children in total. As a result of the small school community we can provide a lot of one to one support and we pride ourselves on catering for the individual child.
A Family School
St Columba’s remains a small family orientated school where all pupils are known individually by all members of staff thus promoting confidence and self-esteem. We put a very strong emphasis on the three-way partnership between home, school and our parish community. Regular contact between parents and the school is encouraged and a very active Parents’ Association continues to support the school through a variety of community-based events throughout the year.
A Community School
Our school Chaplains, Fr. Colhoun and Fr. Varghese, play an important role in the life of the school and in the preparation of the pupils for the Sacraments. All of our pupils regularly take part in services at our local church, St Mary’s Oratory, either as altar servers or readers.
The social development of our pupils, both in and out of school, is extremely important. Through attending school within their community they can maintain strong links with their school friends outside school hours, at play, birthday parties etc. Such interaction encourages within the pupils, a sense of community.
We have continued to maintain good relations with the local Newbuildings community and participate in organised events to foster positive relations with our partners in Newbuildings P.S. and beyond.
An Achieving School
St Columba’s, with the dedicated commitment of our staff, and the excellent support of our parents, continues to maintain a very high standard of education. Provision is made for children of all levels of ability. Where needs are identified, support is provided and challenges met. As a result, we have had extremely high levels of achievement in the End of Key Stage Assessments and in the U.I.C.T. Accreditation. The majority of our pupils choose to attend the local Grammar schools and are very well prepared for the transition from primary to second level education. We regularly receive commendations about the children on their excellent attitude and performance from the schools who receive our children. In addition, we also had an excellent Inspection Report from E.T.I. in February 2009.
We pride ourselves on our achievements in instrumental music, with excellent support from the Western Education and Library Board tutors. A very high percentage of our pupils receive instrumental tuition. The very successful Musical Pathways Programme has also been extended throughout the school catering for children from Foundation Stage right up to Year 7. We recognise the importance of the global aspect of the Curriculum and have introduced the teaching of Spanish language and culture throughout the school. This programme is delivered by a native Spanish speaker, Señora Karla Llama and has been an overwhelming success.
Our pupils are encouraged to take part in a variety of music competitions such as the Derry Feis, as well as competitions in art, Poetry, Writing, Quizzes, Football, Gaelic, Cricket, Technology and Public Speaking. We feel that all our pupils should be provided with opportunities to display their many talents to a wider audience, and participation in such competitions has resulted in a high level of success, further enhancing self-esteem of the pupils and adding to the sense of achievement for the whole school community.