Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has visited Jordanstown School to meet staff and pupils and sample the state-of-the-art facilities.
The school is the only facility in the UK and Ireland which caters for both visually impaired and deaf children.
The Minister was welcomed to the school on Thursday, June 28, by Principal, Anne Magee, the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr Noel McCormick, and the two oldest pupils, Dale Talman and Emma Davey.
Mr O’Dowd impressed children, parents, teachers and staff as he communicated with them in sign language and was put through his paces by the children who quizzed him on his background.
Principal, Anne Magee, said: “We believe that Jordanstown School now and in the future has something very distinct to offer children and young people with sensory impairments in partnership with their families, professionals and organisations involved with them.
“Parents may choose the school as the most suitable learning environment for their child on a full-time basis, for limited periods to acquire specific skills or as part of a dual placement.”
The Principal added that the school’s modern facilities are open to all across Northern Ireland, and she added: “We trust they will bring benefit widely, far beyond our formal enrolment, for many years to come, with the support of the Minister and education authorities.
“We are really pleased to have the Minister visit. We work extremely hard in the school to make this a first class learning environment for the children and it is great to have that recognised.”
Following the visit, Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “I welcome the opportunity to visit Jordanstown School and meet with the pupils, staff, governors and parents.
“Every child has different needs and deserves to have access to a wide-range of curricular and extra-curricular activities which will help them realise their full potential.”
He added: “During my visit, I was impressed by the vibrant social activities on offer including a music recording studio, art and technology rooms, a climbing wall, a five-a-side football pitch, tennis courts and a running track. These activities combined with the school’s caring ethos and excellent pastoral care programme all help enrich and enhance the lives of the pupils attending there.”
The Minister thanked the Principal and school staff for their hard work and dedication. He also commended the school for its extended schools programme which not only offers additional activities for its pupils but also provides adult classes within the local community.