Summer Transition School

22 August 2019

How do you read a timetable and pack your school bag for the school day?

How do you encourage friendship within a new class?

How do you tie a school tie?

These were some of the questions answered at the annual Summer Transition School, which took place in St Mary’s University College from the 12th to the 15th of August 2019.

The Summer Transition School is an initiative of the West Belfast Partnership Board in co-operation with the Department of Education, the post-primary schools in the West Belfast constituency area and St Mary’s University College. It caters for approximately 200 young people who are making the transition from primary to secondary school in September.

Fully qualified local teachers deliver the programme along with support staff and students from St Mary’s University College and teach in both Irish and English. During the week the pupils participate in fun classroom activities including a trip to a place of educational interest: this year it was the Cultra Folk and Transport Museum.

The Summer Transition School makes an important contribution to the College mission by supporting young people to achieve their full potential and, if appropriate, aspire to higher education. It hopes to level the playing field for pupils who, because of particular, disadvantaged circumstances, may not otherwise be able to cope successfully with such a substantial change.

This year, sixteen BEd and Liberal Arts students from the College participated in the school, providing teaching assistance in the classrooms and working with the pupils on a one-to-one basis. The St Mary’s student ambassadors were as follows: Aisling Johnston, Amy Best, Anita McKeown, Alice Soult, Catherine Heaney, Cliona Magennis-O’Brien, Cliona McCluskey, Caithair McKinney, Katie Sweeney, Megan McEvoy-Morgan, Michael Warwick, Natasha McClorey, Padraig Fitzsimons, Ruairi Hegarty, Sarah Reilly and Wiktoria Wojnicka.

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