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Is ábhar áthais agus mórtais dom cuireadh a fháil ó Phríomhoide S. N. Charnáin cúpla focal a chur le chéile ag an tráth speisialta seo—tráth chomóradh céad bliain na scoile. Téann mo chuimhne siar fada go leor ar na cuairteanna a thug mé ar an scoil agus ar an bhfáiltiú a bhí romham i gcónaí ó chlann Uí Riagáin agus ó na hoidí eile a bhí ag gníomhú chomh dian sin ar son leas na bpáistí. Traoslaím leo as an deachríoch a bhain siad amach de thoradh diansaothair. Traoslaím leo, freisin, anois, leis an mBord Bainistíochta, leis an bpobal, agus leis an gCoiste Eagarthóireachta as an leabhrán cuimhneacháin seo a chur ar fáil chun bunú na scoile céad bliain ó shin, agus saol na scoile idir an då linn, a chomóradh. Táim cinnte go mbeidh a lán iarscoláirí agus tuistí ag dul siar ar bhóithrín na smaointe agus na staire chun gealú a chur ar tharlóga suimiúla i saol an scoil-cheantair, agus chun ceangal a choinneáil idir an seanaimsir agus an ré nua atá ann agus muid ag brostú go deireadh na ficheadú aoise.

Primary education has come a long way since the Irish national school system was commenced away back in 1831. In that year, the first details of the new system were announced by Edward Stanley, Chief Secretary to the Duke of Leinster, in what is known as the Stanley letter. Now 150 years or so later, we are looking forward in the near future to a new Education Act which will set the foundations for all aspects of education in the new century that is just upon us. In the past year, two very important reports on Primary Education were published and they are of great interest to educationists and to the general public—one, the Report of the Review Body on the Primary Curriculum; the other, the Report of the Review Body on Primary Education.

Inspection has always been an important element of the system. My own experience as an inspector, over the past 30 years, has been one of great joy and satisfaction in all my contacts with teachers and in my witness to their great dedication and earnest endeavours on behalf of their pupils. The schools in the parish of Athenry, including Carnaun, are well known for their participation in many inservice projects. They also played a significant part in the Health Education Pilot Project, begun in the 1970s, and which later resulted in the compilation of a special booklet of lessons and notes for senior standards in Primary Schools. This booklet was later distributed to all schools in the Western Health Board area.

The curriculum which is in use in our Primary Schools at present dates from around 1970. A key element in it highlights the necessity of good relationships at all the various levels. Carnaun and all the neighbouring schools play their part in ensuring that such is the case. As a result, pupils enjoy their days at school, they respond in a confident manner, they speak and articulate with greater clarity. The school plan is another significant feature of the school in action; it reflects as clearly as possible the thinking of the staff as a whole so that the end result will be greater and more rewarding than what might be attained by each individual staff-member acting in an individual way only. And, of course, where would we all be without the parents? They have a new role to play in the education process. Their co-operation with teachers is of the utmost importance.

All parents are by nature keenly interested in the health, welfare and proper training of their children. The school plays an additional role to that of parents in order to help them achieve the desired objectives. I would make a simple plea in order to emphasise the importance of both sides complementing each other’s role rather than to be visualised as being in any way competitive in the general effort.

Parents can reflect their co-operation in many simple ways. For example, they can help in the development of mother-tongue by conversing with their children at meal times, by story- telling, by discussing and processing information received on radio and television programmes. Local and environmental studies—such an important part of our curriculum can be stimulated and supported under guidance provided by the school. The spiritual and characterial area of child-training applies to all parents; from the child’s earliest years, parents can set suitable tasks for their children and build in an equitable reward system. Tasks shared by parent and child are the best of all, e.g. planting flowers and seeds in the garden, servicing a piece of machinery, helping inside the house, etc.

The formation of sound, healthy relationships within the home is of paramount importance, in this matter, the school can only build on the foundations laid in the home. What are the qualities which underpin good relationships? To mention a few—keeping promises, forgiving wrongs and slights, making-up after stormy moments, offering kindness and help with no reward expected, loyalty to one another, sincere praise for worthy effort, spotlighting offensive and unacceptable language and behaviour for what it is. Of course, everybody in the community can support both parents and school in furthering all these laudable aims

Carnaun National School has just completed 100 years of patient and dedicated effort. It is about to receive a fresh structural face-lift and to extend its premises. I wish all its pupils, parents, teachers and Board

Go n-éirí go geal leo uilig ins na blianta romhainn amach.

Ni aon dochar, freisin, ag an tráth seo tri tréithe na Féinne a mheabhrú dúinn go léir agus muid ag breathnú romhainn isteach san aois nua: “Glaine ár gcroí, neart ar ngéag agus beart de réir ár mbriathar”.

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About this record

Written by Éamonn ÓCiardha

Published here 05 Feb 2021

Page 218 of the The Carnaun Centenary Book archive.

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