PICS: History made as girls arrive for first day as students at Cork's North Mon

PICS: History made as girls arrive for first day as students at Cork's North Mon

Hopping her way into the history books.... Four year old Sophia Morey was delighted to be the first girl to arrive for the start of junior infants at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.

A NEW era commenced in the North Monastery Primary School on today morning when both boys and girls started in the school's junior section.

Throughout its illustrious history, the North Mon primary school only taught boys from second class up to sixth. Previous high-profile students include Jack Lynch, Rory Gallagher, and Sean Óg Ó hAilpín. School principal Carl O’Brien hailed the change as progressive. 

“This is a new and exciting development. It is a fantastic, positive, and progressive step. There was a buzz this morning which was palpable,” he said.

 Junior infant pupil Daniel Bowen at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.
Junior infant pupil Daniel Bowen at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.

Mr O'Brien said the North Mon becoming a co-educational school was a historic day for the northside primary school.

“The first day went very well. It is a historic day for the North Mon Primary School. We are now a co-educational school which is fantastic. There is an eight-year ladder. Both boys and girls start off in junior class and they progress all the way to sixth class.

“It allows us to serve the community in a new way. It means that families don’t have to separate their children in terms of education any longer. Both boys and girls can have a North Mon education.

 (left) Aibhlinn Daly, junior infant pupil at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.
(left) Aibhlinn Daly, junior infant pupil at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.

“The idea is that boys and girls will start as junior infants and they can proceed all the way to Leaving Certificate with the same children, which is important. It provides great continuity and kids love that,” he added.

 Teacher Ms Caroline Connolly with junior infant pupils Laura Maria Randhawa and Lauren Daly enjoy building brick towers at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.
Teacher Ms Caroline Connolly with junior infant pupils Laura Maria Randhawa and Lauren Daly enjoy building brick towers at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.

Mr O’Brien said the move to being a co-educational school reflects family life and will be beneficial for all.

 Junior infant pupils at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.
Junior infant pupils at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.

“Going back through our proud history the North Mon was always a boys school. That was the way things were done and I suppose at the time it made sense. North Mon kids get a fantastic education.

“Co-educational is reflective of family life. It is a very progressive situation for the school.

“We all recognise now with modern life and gender equality that it is very important for boys and girls to experience the same sort of school experience.”

 Classroom assistant Mrs Anne McCarthy building a tower with junior infant pupil Laura Maria Randhawa at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.
Classroom assistant Mrs Anne McCarthy building a tower with junior infant pupil Laura Maria Randhawa at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.

The school principal will himself shortly celebrate his tenth anniversary as the principal of the North Mon. He said it is important to ensure education is based on the “wellbeing” of children.

“One of the first questions I was asked after taking on this role was why can’t girls go to the Mon? I always replied that traditionally this was the way things were set up. I have three daughters and I am happier in a co-educational school.

 Junior infant pupil Rocco Cummins plays hopscotch on the new astrograss-covered schoolyard at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.
Junior infant pupil Rocco Cummins plays hopscotch on the new astrograss-covered schoolyard at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.

“We are really looking forward to developing sports for girls. We want a proud girls’ history for sport here. We are looking forward to playing a big role in the community as they have been through a lot.

“Education is now based on the well-being of children.

 Junior infant pupils Noah Shehroza and Ebos Johnson Agbeso at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.
Junior infant pupils Noah Shehroza and Ebos Johnson Agbeso at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.

“They should be happy in their work and in their school life. It is great to see kids progressing, enjoying life and school with lots of fun activities and games,” he added.

Mr O’Brien said the atmosphere in the North Monastery Primary School on Thursday morning was “amazing”.

 Twin brothers Oisin and Kylan Forde at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.
Twin brothers Oisin and Kylan Forde at Scoil Mhuire Fatima North Monastery Primary School, Cork. It is the first time since the school was established in 1811 that girls have attended the primary school.

“It is great to be back. We are looking forward to getting to know the new students. There was an amazing atmosphere. Parents were saying it was a proud moment to see girls coming in. There was a great buzz. Making history is always fun.”

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