On behalf of the Board of Governors and Staff of Cumran Primary School, I would like to congratulate our Principal, Mrs Rhonda Moles, on being awarded an MBE for Services to Education. I am sure the entire community, of which Cumran is an integral part, would wish to join us in celebrating this remarkable achievement.
Over the years Mrs Moles has been instrumental in leading Cumran Primary School to its current position of being a centre of excellence, one of Northern Ireland’s leading Primary Schools, recently recognised by the Educational and Training Inspectorate as being ‘Outstanding’. Being an inspirational leader, her commitment to the development of pupils and staff is second to none. Her ability to think outside the box is reflected in the wonderful initiatives and programmes that have inspired and motivated pupils and staff. The children are at the heart of her motivation and she fully involves them in decision making. She encourages our pupils to direct their own learning, fostering a curiosity that will stick with them for life.
As Chair of Governors, I have watched with interest as she has led and inspired others to push themselves beyond their comfort zone. Her inspirational leadership has had a positive influence on those around her and has resulted in the provision of an extremely high quality education for all pupils. Cumran is at the forefront of education, leading the way in ICT and in Thinking Skills, fuelled by her enthusiasm, vision and unstinting commitment to the school community. Mrs Moles is passionate about preparing children for life in the 21st Century and has been instrumental in securing the status of Cumran as ‘Outstanding’ in all areas, not just once, but twice.
More recently, the school has come through the pandemic, and I know that Mrs Moles has worked constantly, evenings, weekends and holidays included, to ensure that the pupils of Cumran are both safe and able to continue learning. Mrs Moles’ capacity to think and prepare us for the future, meant that the school was already ahead in the use of technology and this led to a smooth transition to online learning.
As well as her work as Principal of the school, Mrs Moles has also worked as an Associate Assessor with the Education and Training Inspectorate, inspecting primary schools across Northern Ireland. She has worked with Stranmillis University College as an associate placement assessor, working with students to develop and flourish into confident, well-informed teachers of the future. She has also mentored first time principals for the Education Authority.
Mrs Moles should also be commended for her role in sharing good practice across the education community. She is an experienced contributor to many conferences both in Northern Ireland and in England, to local and international audiences, on subjects such as ICT, Assessment and Data Analysis, Growth Mindset, Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities.
I know that Mrs Moles has been both delighted and humbled in being honoured with this award. She has stated that when she goes to Buckingham Palace, she will be representing the school, her colleagues and her Governors who work alongside her. She will be accepting the award on behalf of the whole school community. She is also thankful for the unending support of her family- her husband Adrian and her two sons Joshua and Lukas, who have been behind her every step of the way.
This is fantastic news Mrs Moles, a very well deserved award, and again, congratulations from all of us.
(Chairman of the Board of Governors)
Our new primary school opened its doors in May 2005 to replace and amalgamate Clough and Downshire (Dundrum) Primary Schools. Situated in Clough village, the school enjoys a quiet and rural position overlooking the Mourne Mountains and Dromara Hills.
As a learning school we aim to set the school at the centre of the community. Opportunities will be given to all, to learn and share together, and to realise their full potential in a positive environment. Pupils will be empowered with the core learning skills, based on strong Christian morals and values, through a broad and balanced curriculum.
The school provides a caring environment in which every child can feel secure, work happily and benefit from acurriculum, rich in stimulating experiences.
We have been graded outstanding in all areas in our recent Inspection Report by ETI (June 2013). The school was commended on the outstanding quality of the learning and teaching, the leadership and management and pastoral care.
The accommodation is excellent, purpose built, providing bright and spacious classrooms, equipped to a high standard, for each year group. All classes have interactive whiteboards and we have 'Cumran Children's TV' in the central reception area. Each class contributes items to be shown on the screen making their work available to a wide audience and enhancing their ICT skills. A multi purpose hall is used for assemblies, school productions, school meals and PE. The Principal's office, Secretary's office and Staff Room are located in the centre of the school. Two general resource areas provide for Structured Play and a computer suite. We have a bright, spacious, well-stocked school library and a stimulating learning support room. A full time learning support team offers support to pupils as needed.
Integrated within the main school are 2 special needs classes for pupils with social communication difficulties. The school also offers disabled facilities.
The safe, sheltered grounds and locality provide opportunities for studies in 'The World Around Us'. We have a giant bird table, log pile, bird watching areas and a willow dome and planting provides opportunities for pupils to learn about growth and change. We have been awarded our ECO flag and are always keen to support related initiatives.
The school has achieved the Naace ICT Mark. This Award recognises the school's success in developing the strategic use of ICT and that Cumran Primary meets and exceeds national standards in ICT.
As a health promoting school we encourage a healthy lifestyle through our school meals, made on the premises. We have been awarded the Gold Action Cancer Award. We offer a wide and varied programme of after school activities that develop the children's personal interests and skills. These clubs include Youth Sport Activities, football, netball, cricket, hockey, choir, recorders, art and craft, drama, science, orienteering, first aid, French, Spanish, computers, book club, cycling proficiency and eco club. Piano and vocal tuition are available during school time. Woodwind tuition is provided by South Eastern Music Centre.
The extensive school grounds are used as an outdoor classroom to extend children’s learning. We have three playground areas, a large adventure playground, a wooden Timbertots area, outdoor staging and seating and digging areas. In addition, our outdoor multi purpose games area is used by the school and community to promote sport and the PE curriculum. After school clubs further enhance this provision. Specialist tuition is available for many activities – football, tennis, rugby and dance. Swimming lessons are provided for years 4 to 7 at the local swimming pool.
Parents are encouraged to take an active role in their child's/children's education through attendance at Open Events, parent workshops, book fairs, assemblies and information meetings throughout the year. Parent/teacher interviews are held in the first term and second terms. Weekly school newsletters keep parents informed and we encourage strong home/school links.
The Parent Teacher Association supports the school by organising fund raising and social events. Parents are encouraged to help in practical ways such as supporting staff on visits and assisting at school events and activities. A Reading Partnership programme assists pupils with their reading and we invite pre-school children to our storytime each week.
The school implements its Pastoral, Child Protection and Positive Discipline Policies in line with Department of Education recommendations. The school is currently working towards the Rights Respecting School award. There is a strong pupil voice expressed through an active School Council and ECO Council.
The Board of Governors supports the school and is involved in its managerial role. It is the responsibility of the Board of Governors and the Principal to apply the admissions criteria. Application forms and copies of our school prospectus may be obtained from the school.