Newtownhamilton High School initially developed a collaborative working link with St. Paul’s High School Bessbrook in 2009 through PEACE (Partnership for Educational & Community Enrichment) funding. This successful partnership was further developed as part of the Shared Education programme in 2011 and included St Joseph’s High School Crossmaglen and Newry High School. This partnership has gone from strength to strength and today is recognised by ETI as an example of good practice.
During Years 8-10, pupils from all 4 schools have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities and events such as Outdoor Pursuits, LLW Cultural Identity Workshops, Ulster Rugby Education Centre Visit, Art & Design, Joint Student Council, Coding Classes, Musical Workshops and many more. We greatly value the support of the PSNI, Co-operation Ireland, Newry, Mourne & Down District Council and Politics in Action for supporting the delivery of many of these shared activities and projects. It is through these experiences that pupils from all 4 schools are able to explore cultural diversity and have the confidence to celebrate each other’s beliefs in an atmosphere of total mutual respect.
It is the development of these positive relationships during Key Stage 3 which have given our pupils the confidence to follow Key Stage 4 courses at partner schools, thus providing greater subject choice and subsequently leading to improved outcomes. Over the years, pupils from Newtownhamilton High have benefited from being able to access courses such as GCSE Agriculture & Land Use Studies, B.Tech Children’s Play & Learning Development (CPLD), B.Tech Sports Studies and Prince’s Trust.
Outside of the school environment, an increasing number of Newtownhamilton High School pupils are now involved in the TBUC (Together Building United Communities) programmes which are delivered to young people from the South Armagh community by the Education Authority Youth Service. This external work reinforces the pupil links that have already been developed through our Shared Education programme and is further contributing towards the positive working relationships that currently exist in South Armagh.
Mrs J Ferris
Shared Education Co-ordinator
"None of us is born intolerant of those who differ from us. Intolerance is taught and can be untaught, though often with great difficulty. But in this area,
as in others, prevention is far preferable to cure. We must work to prevent intolerance from taking hold in the next generation. We must build on the
open-mindedness of young people and ensure that their minds remain open".
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The Institute for International Education New York, 27 November 2001.