SIXTEEN Ukrainian students started in Cork primary school Scoil Niocláis in Frankfield, Douglas, this week.
School principal Marc Sheehan said the Ukrainian students have settled in well.
“The 16 Ukrainian students started in a range of classes from junior infants up to sixth class. They are adjusting to a new environment and country. The students have different levels of English. Their first week has gone very well. They seem to have settled in well. They are very nice students,” he said.
Mr Sheehan said the school held an induction morning prior to the Easter holidays for the prospective Ukrainian students and their families.
“Some of them came for a visit prior to the Easter holidays. We held an induction morning, and it was an opportunity to meet the parents and for them to see the school. That was very helpful as it is a traumatic time for these students and their families.
“The families are staying in the Cork Airport Hotel, so our school is nearby, and we are happy to accommodate the new Ukrainian students. It is great for our school to play our part. The new students are very welcome. We want to make their school experience as seamless as possible for them and their families,” he added.
The principal of the co-educational primary school, which has more than 800 students enrolled, said their school can take more Ukrainian students if required.
“It is working out well so far and we expect more families to maybe move into the area and they would in turn gravitate towards us. It is an evolving situation. There will be more requirements for additional English language support which will be provided by the Department.
“Establishing a routine and normality is so vital for the students. Having the opportunity to play games with other children and various sports is so important,” he added.
Mr Sheehan said his teachers have made the children feel at ease in their new surroundings.
“Our teachers have made a great effort to welcome the children in. They have been so good at making the children feel at ease in their new surroundings.
“We cannot even imagine what the upheaval has been like for these students and their families.”