NORTH Monastery Primary School pupils walked out the gates of the school with pride following their graduation after what has been “a very difficult year”.
Principal Carl O’Brien said that the whole school gave the graduating students a guard of honour in what he described as “a really lovely moment that they’ll remember”.
Some 21 students received a North Mon sports top and a certificate as part of the ceremony held in the schoolyard yesterday.
Mr O’Brien said that it was a special occasion, despite Covid restrictions that meant parents could not attend.
“The main thing I said to them was that they had a very difficult year because of Covid, but they came through it. They mastered online learning and, when they came back to school, then they redoubled their efforts and there was a great spirit among the guys and they kept in touch all the time when the school was closed and, when they came back, they were a very strong group of young fellas.
“They were very supportive of each other and there was a great spirit, and that was really so important,” he said.
Vice principal Colin Daly said the graduating students “have made a massively positive contribution to our school over the years and we are only delighted to celebrate this significant milestone with them”.
“We hate saying goodbye to our children every year, but we are excited for them to begin their new journey in September.
“The children received a graduation certificate, a pen and a North Monastery Primary zip up to thank them for their fantastic work throughout the years. These were kindly sponsored by Gurranabraher Credit Union,” he said.
The students’ teacher, Cormac Hill, said he was “very proud” of them on their graduation day and how they dealt with the difficulties of the last year.
“You’re working with them all year and they’ve made fantastic strives forward, both academically and socially across extracurricular as well, so I was very proud,” Mr Hill said.
He said that the graduation ceremony was a “fantastic occasion”, which was also a “very important occasion” for the students after a particularly difficult school year.
He said that the students were great to take part in online learning through Zoom and that, although it’s much easier to teach and learn when everyone is in a room together focusing on the same thing, the students made a great effort and worked hard to get back to a great standard again after returning to school in March.
He wished them well in the next chapter and commended them for the work they put in during their time at the school.