Opening of second ASD class at St Brendan’s PS Birr

Opening of second ASD class at St Brendan’s PS Birr

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the new Cairdeas room at St. Brendan’s Boys N.S. in Birr on Monday last was from left: Gary Russel, Aisling Bacon SENO NCSE, Yvonne Ryan, Teacher, Niall Crofton,

Karen O'Grady

Reporter:

Karen O'Grady

Email:

news@midlandtribune.ie

A primary school in Birr opened its second ASD class after they were asked by the Department of Education to establish a second class at the school to meet a critical local need.

This new classroom was constructed in a weekend by a group of local experts and trade people.

On Monday last, the second ASD class at St Brendan's PS, Birr was officially opened with a short ceremony and ribbon cutting before the boys got to enjoy some delicious cake.

St Brendan's PS, Birr opened its first ASD class in September 2015 to address a shortage of places in the south Offaly area. This class is full with six pupils attending from Birr, Lusmagh and Kinnitty. With the class well established now, it has become an integral part of the school, thanks to the support from staff, parents, the Board of Management, NEPS, SENO and the entire school community.

And, then in March 2019, the school's board of management was approached by SENO, Aisling Bacon to establish a second class at the primary school to meet a critical local need for places.

The board of management, looking at the pupils, who were all local, agreed to start a second class as the purpose of the school is to serve the educational needs of the boys in Birr. The Department of Education has been very supportive of the project with the long term goal to build new rooms at the school. Hopefully, these plans will go ahead this term.

In the meantime, the school was very anxious to build a lovely warm class room, which would suit their three new boys in the class and to allow them the same support they deserve for learning and development that all the other pupils at the school get.

To that end, Adrian Sheils, from the board of management, came up with the proposal of building the class in a weekend. There was an existing learning support room, which was too small and this was demolished and rebuilt for the purpose of the new ASD classroom.

Adrian enlisted the expertise of Tony Carroll, and other local tradespeople and with material supplied by the school (the Department of Education), the group built the new classroom free of chart. It took slightly longer than the weekend planned but in today's world, this gesture is outstanding and should be celebrated within our community. Well done to all involved in this wonderful project and the school community at St Brendan's PS, Birr.

The school would like to thank Adrian Sheils, Pat Teehan (Chairperson of BOM), Yvonne Ryan and Elaine Hynes (teachers), Tony Carroll, of Clonaslee Construction, Alan Watkins, electrician, Ian Murray, IT support, Gary Russell, painting, Ruth Patel, Claire Corcoran, Mick Hansbury and Rachael Keogh.

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