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Name of new school building announced 20 September 2007

THE new junior school building in Ramsey will be known as Scoill Ree Gorree (King Orry’s School), it is announced today.

Pupils and staff from the present Albert Road Junior School will transfer to the new £7.5 million school in Lezayre Road from September 2008.

Mike Boulton BA, RBV, will lay the foundation stone in a ceremony at the site on Friday, October 19, which will be attended by Education Minister Anne Craine MHK. The 257 children on the register at Albert Road will be present.

The Minister said:

‘I am pleased with the historic choice of name for this new school building. Scoill Ree Gorree is particularly pertinent to the area in which the new school is situated, for it was through this river plain that King Orry made his successful assault on the Island in 1079.
‘It is recorded in the Chronicles of the Kings of Mann and the Isles that he landed at Ramsey during the night and hid his 300-strong army on the slopes of Sky Hill. At daybreak the Manx fiercely attacked the invaders but were ambushed by those hidden on the slopes.
‘In trying to flee they found themselves cut off by the Sulby River in tidal flood and had to beg for their lives. King Orry, having been reared among the Manx as a small child, took compassion upon them and forbade any further fighting. This is a strong and important part of our history and I am glad that we have the opportunity to recognise our Viking forbears in this way and in particular hope that the lesson illustrated by the compassion that King Orry displayed will have a bearing upon the school’s pupils.’

The laying of the foundation stone at Scoill Ree Gorree is an historic moment for education in Ramsey. In 1905 Albert Road School opened as the Ramsey Board School.

It has served the town ever since. But now, with 257 pupils on the roll, it has become increasingly unsuitable for modern teaching and modernisation on its limited footprint was not considered cost-effective.

The replacement, two-storey building, next to the new Auldyn Infants’ School, will open its doors in September 2008 and will have the capacity for 380 pupils. It will contain 14 classrooms, group rooms, special needs and nurture facilities, a library, a double court sports hall and changing facilities.

Externally it will include a playground and outdoor teaching area, a football pitch for the use of pupils and the Ramsey Youth Football Club and a floodlit training area.

Funding from the Isle of Man Arts Council will equip the school hall with suitable lighting, seating and flooring to enable it to be used as a community performance space.

The Minister said she was delighted that Mr Boulton, who taught at Albert Road School for 33 years, had agreed to lay the foundation stone.

‘Mr Boulton has had a long teaching career with Albert Road and, even now in retirement, continues to teach traditional Manx music and dance at the school,’ said Mrs Craine. ‘His contribution to the education of children in Ramsey is unique.’

Head Teacher at Albert Road School Mike Faragher said:

‘Scoill Ree Gorree is a new building but not a new school. Albert Road has a long, proud and successful history and we intend to continue the excellent work, traditions and values established over the past 100 years in the new building.’

He said:

‘The children and staff are very much looking forward to the relocation and to taking advantage of the excellent new facilities. The children are also busy discussing and selecting items for inclusion in a time capsule, which is to be buried within the new building.’

Mr Faragher added:

‘The investment by the Department of Education during the past few years in Ramsey, with the replacement Auldyn School, the extension at Ramsey Grammar School and now Scoill Ree Gorree, will ensure that the young people of Ramsey will benefit from some of the best educational facilities on the Island for many years to come.’

The Minister concluded:

‘While the Albert Road School building will be replaced, the high standard of teaching and ethos of care that has been the brand of Albert Road School will not be lost, only transferred.’

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