Today's Children - Tomorrow's World
Alastair Mackay Principal
The world that your child is growing up in is changing rapidly. It is a world full of opportunities, challenges and possibilities. It is also a world that contains dangers and fears. As parents, we all want our children to lead happy, successful lives, to be in good relationships and to make good choices for their future.
At Finaghy Primary School we aim to prepare children for life in tomorrow’s world. We believe that parents require more from a school than they did in the past. Teaching the ‘three ‘r’s, whilst still important, is now only one part of what we do. As well as teaching the academic subjects, our curriculum now includes:
Personal and Social Education, Citizenship Education, Health Education, Drugs Awareness, Mutual Understanding and Thinking and Learning Skills.
With technology now affecting all of our lives in an increasing number of ways, we have equipped our new classrooms to enable children to exploit modern technology to assist their learning, to develop their learning skills, to learn how to make moral choices and to learn how to find information and use it for themselves.
Finaghy Primary School has been serving the Finaghy community and beyond since 1934. We maintain a proud academic record, along with a reputation for providing opportunities for every child, irrespective of religion, race or creed, to discover their true potential and experience success.
The new millennium has brought new opportunities to the school, to its pupils and to the community it serves through a complete re-development of our 7-acre campus.
Please do call in and see us, as the true ethos of our school can only be fully experienced through a personal visit.
This is our school
Let peace dwell here
Let it be full of contentment
Let Love abide here
Love of one another
Love of mankind,
Love of Life itself
And love of God
Let us remember
That as many hands build a house
So many hearts make a school
During the past 5 years we have transformed from being a local primary school to a 7-acre community campus for education, sport, children's services, recreation and life-long learning. As our projects have developed, 'the whole has become greater than the sum of its parts'. Finaghy Campus has now gained local, national and international interest as a 'full-service extended school'. Increasing numbers of children now attend from well outside the city, being dropped off for breakfast and picked up again when parents are returning from work. Many now return in the evenings and at weekends to avail of the SportsZone, Public Library and programmes that run in the school building.
Above: Public Library at top-left; SportsZone at top-right
16 CLASSROOM SCHOOL for 456 pupils, each room containing networked computers, broadband internet access, multimedia technology and interactive whiteboards
DAYCARE CENTRE operates from 2.00pm-6.00pm term-time and from 8.00am-6.00pm during all school holidays.
Opened in 2006 with a National Lottery grant, SportsZone is an all-weather, synthetic outdoor multi-sports pitch with floodlighting, pavilion, showers, team changing rooms, on-site parking and full disabled access. Used by pupils during the day, it is open for community use until 10.00pm each evening, and also during weekends and school holidays.
Tuesday night activities include Slimming World and School of Music.
Friday Live Youth Club opens every Friday from 7.00pm-9.00pm
FINAGHY PUBLIC LIBRARY
A beautiful new public library with computer suites, children's area, garden and parking.
Above: main school with public library at top-right
Breakfast Club opens at 8.00am every morning and runs until 8.45am when playground supervisors come on duty. The club is available for all pupils and operates on a cash basis. Children can choose from a menu of toast, pancakes, cereal, fruit, milk, and juices. A very healthy breakfast can be obtained for a minimal cost. Children have access to television, books, comics and table games.
Breakfast Club has been a major success since opening four years ago. Working parents tell us it makes their house a much saner place in the mornings and the children tell us that they love having breakfast with their friends. Teachers also report that Breakfast Club attenders are concentrating better in class and arrive ready to start the day's work. Everyone's a winner!
Daycare and Holiday Care
Contact: Mrs Anita Brown, Manager
Daycare Mobile: 07936 528461 (for all bookings and enquiries)
After-school care is available daily for all P1–P7 pupils from 2.10pm – 6.00pm Children change out of uniform and programmes include:
- Quiet area for reading and supervised completion of homework
- Outdoor areas within the campus
- 'Chill-out' zone
- Art & Craft activities
- Supervised access to the public library and SportsZone
The facility is staffed and run by trained assistants. Parents pay a weekly charge in advance. As the Daycare Centre is fully registered, parents can claim back up to 80% of childcare costs through tax credits and we can also accept employers' childcare vouchers.
During school holidays, staff training days and exceptional closures, the Daycare Centre is open from 8.00am until 6.00pm, providing a full programme of extended activities including Art, Craft, Sport, IT and many days out.
As a parent of a pupil at Finaghy Primary School, you are automatically a member of the Parent-Teacher Association. Throughout the year there are many social, fund-raising and education-related activities for you to attend and take part in. The school has a long tradition of close contact with parents and your involvement will greatly enrich the life of the school. A committee is elected in November that organises events during the year.
Regular PTA events include an Autumn Sale, Family Quiz Nights, fund-raising events and a summer barbeque.
Trips, visits and International Partnerships
Pupils participate in a wide range of visits both locally and farther afield. Class day trips are arranged to such places as the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Belfast Zoo, Open Farms, National Trust properties, W5 and the Ulster Folk Museum.
Our Cross Community Contact Scheme enables P4, P5 and P7 pupils to take part in joint educational visits with pupils from St Anne’s PS in Dunmurry.
Our P6 pupils undertake a residential visit to Drumalla Outdoor Pursuits Centre.
Each year a P7 trip to Edinburgh takes place.
We have strong links with Cooper Perry PS in Stafford that afford opportunities for curriculum projects, teacher and pupil exchanges and contact through email and the Internet.
In 2007 we were awarded a grant to set up a Belfast-Berlin partnership. Children and staff from Finaghy PS and Grundschule im Taunusviertel engage in joint projects culminating in residential visits to both countries
Our annual End of Key Stage Assessment results are consistently higher than Northern Ireland averages, as are the grades achieved by our pupils in the Transfer Procedure.
Past Pupils of Finaghy PS - Head Boy and Head Girl of Methodist College
Past Pupil of Finaghy PS - Head Boy RBAI (Inst.)
||Northern Ireland Average
Percentage of pupils
achieving A and B grades
|Finaghy Primary School|
Percentage of pupils
achieving A and B grades
Information regarding Key Stages:
Childrens' school experience in Northern Ireland is marked out in Key Stages
Key Stage One: Primary 1 - Primary 4
Key Stage Two: Primary 5 - Primary 7
Key Stages Three and Four are undertaken at post-primary level, leading eventually to GCSE level.
Children undergo standardised tests in English and Mathematics at the end of each Key Stage. This gives each child a placement on a ten-point scale, called a Level of Attainment.
At the end of Key Stage 1, (P4) an average pupil will have reached Level Two
At the end of Key Stage 2, (P7) an average child will have reached Level Four
Below are the percentage results for children attending Finaghy Primary School, compared to Northern Ireland averages for the year 2005 - 2006
* Note that we have less Level Two pupils than the NI Averages because of the higher numbers attaining Level Three
* Note that we have less Level Four pupils than the NI Averages because of the higher numbers attaining Level Five
All children follow the Northern Ireland Curriculum from entering school in P1. From September 2007, The Northern Ireland Curriculum is being revised. Whilst the main academic areas of study will remain the same, a greater emphasis is being placed on Personal and Social Education, Citizenship, Developing Learning and Thinking Skills and using ICT to enable independent learning. With our new campus, our state-of-the-art classrooms and enhanced resources, we are in an excellent position to develop learning and teaching to prepare pupils for life in a rapidly changing world.
Elements of the enriched curriculum already exist in all Northern Ireland primary schools. These include: Learning through play, giving children a choice of activity and development of social skills. Our aim at Finaghy Primary School will be to develop these aspects of the curriculum, whilst continuing to provide formal learning opportunities, particularly in reading and mathematics, for children who demonstrate readiness.
We have provided a very technology-rich environment within the Campus:
- Each classroom has an Interactive Whiteboard linked to DVD, Sound System, Television and Internet.
- Internet-linked PCs in every area of the school
- Wireless Broadband connection for Laptop computers
- Mac computers for media skills development and video production
- Data projectors mounted throughout the school
Winners of Belfast Music Festival (Brass and Wind Section) for 5 Consecutive Years
Twice Runner-Up and many times finalists in UTV School Choir of the Year.
Through combining the skills of our own music department with those of tutors brought in from the Belfast School of Music we maintain a tradition of music tuition and performance that is renowned within the local community and well beyond.
Music tuition begins in Primary 1 with lessons in percussion and singing.
In Primary 4, pupils are first taught to play the recorder.
Pupils are then given the opportunity to learn a stringed, woodwind or brass instrument. Each year, some of our P7 pupils have reached, or are working towards Grade 5 in their chosen instrument.
We are consequently able to offer children the chance to participate in:
- String Ensemble
- Junior & Senior Brass & Wind Band
Musicians perform regularly in morning assemblies, carol services and special events. They also participate in various competitions and festivals, with many notable successes in the past. Our Summer Concert in the Lagan Island Hall, Lisburn involves all our musicians and singers with special guests: 1st Old Boys Silver Band.
Our £1/2m SportsZone development has enabled us to increase the amount of physical activity offered to pupils. All classes now have one indoor and one outdoor PE or games session per week.
Competitive team sports include:
- Boys hockey team and Girls hockey team
- Tag rugby
We also offer tennis, badminton, netball, gymnastics, athletics and swimming.
Our annual Sports Day is a great family event at the Mary Peters track in June.
In addition to our talented in-house staff we regularly bring in specialist coaches for skills development in a range of sports.
SportsZone in the Community
Our SportsZone is open from 4.00pm - 10.00pm and also at weekends. Programmes include:
- Team training
- Dad's team
- Youth Club and Church organisations
- Saturday morning 'Footie Club'
- Multi-sports fun sessions
Holiday programmes include Hockey Camp and fun-sport summer schemes.
The school has a large and talented teaching staff who work alongside a variety of expert coaches and tutors that we invite in to offer pupils a wide range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
After-School Activities include:
- Scripture Union
- Computer Club
- Art & Craft