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Chief Minister opens £7.5 million school 22 November 2008

Chief Minister Hon Tony Brown MHK officially opened Ramsey’s new £7.5 million junior school on Friday.

The Chief Minister pledged his Government’s commitment to investing in education and praised the commitment of teachers and the enthusiasm of the young people of the Island. SRG opening

Unveiling the plaque before staff, pupils and 60 invited guests, the Chief Minister said:

‘The Government continues to be totally committed to investing in a high quality of education for our children. We want them to have the best facilities and opportunities that we can afford.’

Scoill Ree Gorree, built by Auldyn Construction Ltd, opened its doors to 257 pupils in September. The school replaced Albert Road Junior School, which served the town for 103 years until its closure in July. Albert Road School had outgrown its premises and modernisation on its limited footprint was not considered cost-effective.

The two-storey Scoill Ree Gorree, which is situated next to the new Auldyn School and across the road from Ramsey Grammar School, has the capacity for 380 pupils. It boasts 14 classrooms, group rooms, special needs and nurture facilities, a library, a double court sports hall and changing facilities, an 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 has enabled the school to be equipped with suitable lighting, seating and flooring to enable it to be used as a community performance space.

The platform party at the opening ceremony included Education Minister Hon Anne Craine MHK, Director of Education John Cain, Headteacher of 17 years Mike Faragher and acting Chairman of the School Governors Hazel Bradley, who gave the vote of thanks.

The ceremony was attended by President of Tynwald the Hon Noel Cringle MLC, Speaker of the House of Keys the Hon Steve Rodan MHK, Ramsey MHK Hon Allan Bell and Chairman of Ramsey Town Commissioners Brian Beattie. The dedication was carried out by the Lord Bishop, the Right Reverend Robert Paterson.

The Chief Minister congratulated all those involved in the development of ‘a wonderfully modern school, a school that the whole community can be justly proud of’.

He said the children gathered before him would always remember being the first to occupy a brand new school, as he did the new Castle Rushen High School in 1962.

He said:

‘The role of our headteachers and teachers is paramount. They provide encouragement, they educate, they influence and ultimately it is their care, commitment, skills and patience that influence the success of our children’s development and future.’

The Chief Minister went on:

‘I firmly believe that the greatest gift a nation can give its children is a good education to provide them with the skills to achieve and realise their true potential and this starts from the day our children start school.
‘We often hear some people criticising our young people. However, it never ceases to amaze me just how wonderful our young people are today. They are pleasant, helpful and enthusiastic, they enjoy themselves and they involve themselves in many sections of our community’s activities, bringing much pleasure to many. We can be justly proud of them.’

Pupils Ellen Barlow and Leo Craig presented the Chief Minister with a glass bowl engraved with the school logo, the date of the opening and the names of all the children on the register. A copy of the gift will be displayed at the school.

The school wind band and recorder group played for guests as they arrived for the opening and the folk group Share Na Veg performed and all the children sang during the ceremony itself.

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