Berrings National School

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School History and Building Development

Our School

School History and Development
Founded in 1847

Berrings National School has a long and varied history from the time it was founded in 1847 – the worst year of the Great Famine. The old school building still stands today. It is the small white cottage in front of the church. This cottage was later to become the local post office before it closed down a few years ago. In the old school, the number of teachers varied over the years from a low of 2 to a high of 4 in 1971. At its peak, the old school had a roll call of about 70 children. Many dedicated teachers imparted a wealth of knowledge and strove beyond the curriculum to give their pupils the greatest possible preparation for life. Back then, the majority of pupils did not attend second level school but were educated to take up posts in the professional, religious and administrative areas of life.

In the late sixties a site adjacent to the old school was very generously donated by the O’ Reilly family, and in 1971 the new school was built on the present site. This was a great mile stone for the school teachers and children as the new building had running water and indoor bathrooms in addition to proper heating.

After years of lobbying local politicians, funding was finally granted for the school extension in 1999. The Board of Management and the Parents Association proposed a new size for the school hall, and so together they worked hard to raise £67,000 to provide the school with a large, modern, multi purpose hall. The extension work was completed in 2001 and was officially opened by Minister Mícheal Martin in 2002.

In 2003 the school’s Parents Association, was Irelands nominee for the European Alcuin Award for the project ‘Information: Empowering Parents’ which set the foundation for even closer links between the school and the home. The school sets great value on its partnership with the parents, the community, and the parish.

Rang Bláthmhar class was added in 2005. It is dedicated to providing education tailored to the individual abilities and gifts of children with Autism. The North Lee Services (Cope Foundation) provides the professional support e.g. Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy. The Naíonra, a pre - school A.S.D. class for 3 to 5 year old children opened in September 2009 with a staff of 1 Teacher and 2 Special Needs Assistants. Rang Nóra & Rang Áine were introduced in 2016. The school now has a staff of 16 Teachers, 13 Special Needs Assistants, 1 Secretary, and 1 Cleaner.

A new school addition consisting of 3 Classrooms 1 Learning Support Room, Staff Toilet and Pupil Toilets was added in June 2009. The Infant Classroom was extended and refurbished in the summer of 2009 and a new entrance with modern safety features was completed in December 2009. The school is now a very modern, spacious, bright and well maintained building suitable to the diverse needs of the children and appropriate to meet with confidence the challenges of the new decade ahead. Two new classrooms for children with Autism, Quiet Rooms and a Sensory Room were built in 2012.

For a school of its size, Berrings National School has won a disproportionately large number of awards in the arenas of sport, art and music which is a testament to the nurturing each and every child receives at the school.. These days, third level education is the norm, and today’s pupils are being educated for a far more varied, challenging, and rapidly changing society. The school can boast many activities such as Sciath na Scol hurling, camogie, football, athletics, swimming, dance, music, art, crafts, quizzes, film making and nature trips among others, all of which contribute to enrich and enhance the revised curriculum now being taught.

And the school continues to prosper. The school community in Berrings is a very close-knit and mutually supportive group. New staff, old staff, and retired teachers continue to work together to make the school a happy and safe place for the children. The partnership between the home, the school and the wider community is a very close and successful partnership which has evolved to its present form since the school’s foundation in 1847. Go leana sé i bhfad!

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Berrings National School, Berrings, Co. Cork

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