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Dromintee PS congratulated on innovative anti-bullying initiative

Dromintee Primary School has been congratulated on its innovative anti-bullying initiative which has seen the formation of a Pastoral Care Ambassador team made up of primary 5 to primary 7 pupils who have been selected for the roles by their fellow students.

The nine-strong team have already introduced practices in school to help all pupils feel safe as well as measures to enhance pupil wellbeing. 

The scheme, which is usually only found in secondary schools, has been commended by

Stephen Begley, deputy Chairman of the Governors, who praised the pastoral care team for their innovative and enterprising work and thanked their teacher, Mrs Fiona Fearon, for coordinating the venture.

Speaking to The Examiner about the much-lauded scheme, the Mrs Fearon explained that pupils interested in becoming Pastoral Care Ambassadors had put their names forward in September as candidates for election.

“A total of 32 pupils stood for election.  They campaigned for the next few weeks, creating a poster and participating in a one-minute speech in front of their peers.  At the end of September P5-7 pupils voted for one candidate from their class. Three pupils were then selected from P5-7 to represent their class and to work for the whole school community,” she explained.

The elected candidates undertook an Anti-Bullying training day in Kilkeel High School, participating alongside seven other schools and are now been trained as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, working to help the pupils in Dromintee Primary School feel happy and safe.

“The Pastoral Care Team have been working hard since their election,” Mrs Fearon said.

“They participated in a whole school assembly for pupils, staff, Board of Governors and elected local representatives. During this time, they detailed their work to date and their aims for the year ahead. Pupils in Dromintee know that the Pastoral Care Team can help them if they have a problem, either by using the buddy stops in the playground or using the worry box in school.”

Past pupil Sinn Fein MLA Megan Fearon said she was “overjoyed” to return to her former school, along with colleague Mickey Larkin and members of the Board of Governors, to attend a special presentation event and learn of the outstanding work being done by the young students to combat bullying through their training and subsequent work as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. 

Presenting the members with their Pastoral Care Council badges, she said: “Dromintee Primary has now in place a support network for pupils which is normally only found at secondary level and above. This is an important advancement for the school and I was heartened at the enthusiasm shown by the Ambassadors for their project.”

Echoing his colleague’s sentiments, Councillor Mickey Larkin underlined the fact that the Dromintee PS Ambassador team were the only Primary School present for the recent training course in Kilkeel, which dealt with anti-bullying procedures and support structures for students.

“The children excelled at the course and this is a credit to themselves, their parents and the school,” he said.

During this Anti-Bullying Week (13th – 17th November), the Ambassadors have a number of events planned to promote this year’s message “all equal, all different, all together”, including hosting assemblies, a poster competition, a non-uniform day and activities for all classes.