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St Joseph's scoops Northern Ireland's first National Nurturing School Award

St Joseph’s Primary School, Slate Street, Belfast were presented with a national nurture award for the entire school. This is the first time this accolade has been awarded in Northern Ireland.

St Joseph’s picked up the prestigious prize for demonstrating exemplary practice in embedding a nurturing culture throughout the entire school.

Speaking at the Award Ceremony, Principal of St Joseph’s, Mairéad Weir said: “We are thrilled to be the first school in Northern Ireland to receive the ‘National Nurturing School Award’. We have seen how a nurturing education is the great equalizer, helping children blossom and grow into the people they are meant to be.  It provides us all with the knowledge, skills and personal resources to overcome the everyday challenges in life.” 

The National Nurturing School Award is awarded to schools who successfully complete the National Nurturing Schools Programme, a two-year course to develop and embed a nurturing culture throughout the school. St Joseph’s is the first school in Northern Ireland to complete the Programme and to receive the Award.

 Chief Executive of the Nurture Group Network, Kevin Kibble, who presented the award, said: “We are delighted to award St Joseph’s Primary School with the first ever National Nurturing School Award in Northern Ireland. This award recognizes the outstanding and inspirational work of their whole staff team in embedding nurturing principles throughout the school.

“The beneficiaries of their hard work every day are the children attending the school, their families and the wider community. Our standards to achieve this award are exacting and many congratulations are due to the staff, pupils and everyone associated with the school.”

The Department of Education currently funds 31 nurture groups in primary schools across Northern Ireland.

Deputy Secretary for the Department of Education, Tommy O’Reilly said: “This is a tremendous accolade for the staff of St Joseph’s primary school. It demonstrates the excellent nurture provision within the school and its commitment to the care and support of all its pupils.

“It also shows the importance of working together to help our children to unlock their full potential as they move through all the stages of school.”

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