Pupils at Hazelwood Integrated Primary School enjoyed a series of workshops led by past pupils from several different integrated colleges yesterday.
In a unique initiative, students at nine different integrated colleges and four primary schools across Northern Ireland have been taking part in the two-day ‘Back to School’ Roadshow, delivered by members of the Integrated AlumNI, the network of past pupils from integrated schools and supporters of integrated education in Northern Ireland.
The Integrated AlumNI unites former pupils who are keen to raise their voices in support of integrated education in Northern Ireland. Through support from the Integrated Education Fund, there are now active groups in Belfast, London, Liverpool and Edinburgh.
Together they create a support network for anyone from integrated schools whether they are moving away from home after leaving school, or remaining local and keen to give something back.
After the workshop Stuart Irwin, former pupil of Hazelwood College and member of the Integrated AlumNI Trustee Board said: “Every year we love coming back to the integrated schools meeting the current pupils who are making the same kinds of plans I was not so long ago.
“This year it’s been brilliant to also get the chance to visit some of the integrated primary schools and talk to the pupils about the importance of integrated education and what it can mean for them.”
Shawn Clarke, former pupil of Ulidia Integrated College who also attended the workshops, added “As March is Integrated Education Month, the Roadshow is also an opportunity for us to raise awareness of the work we do to promote integrated education in Northern Ireland.
“Often it’s only once you have been out of school a while that you appreciate what a unique school experience you were given through integrated education.”
Membership of the Integrated AlumNI is free and open to all past pupils from integrated schools.
The network can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org