THE Junior Minister for Special Education Josepha Madigan received a tour of Midleton CBS Primary School when she visited the Cork national school recenty.
The Minister of State met students as she visited the four special classes in the primary school, and she also looked at their plans to refurbish the existing school building.
The vice principal of Midleton CBS Primary School Jason Bateman said the visit was fantastic.
“She arrived with David Stanton TD who is a past pupil. His kids also attended our school. She wanted to visit us to see how we are getting on. It was fantastic. The student’s council made a presentation to Minister Madigan. During her speech, she said it was a lovely, calm, and vibrant school,” he said.
Midleton CBS Primary School has four special classes which caters for 24 students. Mr Bateman said it is a ‘great’ facility. “We are very lucky to have a nurture room. They do a lot of stuff there such as baking, cooking, arts, and crafts. It is a safe environment for them to go to every day. It is a great way for them to socialise and build up their life skills and confidence. One of the special classes is an early intervention for kids aged between three and five. This is targeting kids with autism early so that when they go into primary schools they are used to routines and structures.
“We have a total of 24 kids enrolled in our special classes. It is a great facility. There is a huge demand for places in Midleton which is a huge town. There are 14 special classes in the primary schools in Midleton. St Brigid’s and Educate Together each have five classes and we have four classes.
“The real pressure zone is now with secondary schools. Minister Madigan spent time in all the special classes and spoke with the boys. She got a feel for the place,” he added.
Midleton CBS Primary School was recently granted planning permission to refurbish and modernise one of their existing buildings said the vice principal.
“Planning permission was recently approved. The building in which the special classes are in is an older building. This building will be refurbished, and it will link the two buildings together as at the moment they are separate.
“The kids are leaving one building to go to another building. This will link the two of them together and bring it up to a state-of-the-art special class which they deserve.”
The Midleton primary school also has a school therapy dog called Alfie said the vice-principal.
“We got Alfie from My Canine Companion. He is 1.5 years old. His primary role is with the special classes. He has become the school dog. He is just a calming influence. He visits most of the classes during the school day. We were the first primary school in Cork to have a therapy dog.
“The school was established in 1864. It has a huge history and tradition,” said Mr Bateman.
“We have 215 pupils. It is an all-boys school. We won a Sciath na Scol in hurling last year. We do basketball, debating, chess. We have a blended approach. We have a great school community. We have a very active students council.
“This gives students a voice and they love it. We have strong links with most of the schools in Midleton. We are always learning. We play to our strengths. We have put a lot of work into the school. It is nice to show people what we do in the school,” he said.