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Peterswell National School – A Reflection

 

 

 

By Christina Kennedy,Limepark
B.A.,H.Dip.in Ed., M.Ed..

It is with fond memories I reflect upon my childhood education in Peterswell National School.  I left there in he early 1980’s.  At that time we had three teachers Mrs. Mernie Gleeson, Mrs Mary Healy and Mr. Tom McGarry.

Mrs. Gleeson taught us for the first few years in primary school.  We learned reading, writing, Religion, Irish and mathematics.  We had many enjoyable art and craft classes.  We loved the nature studies, singing and games classes.  Mrs. Gleeson helped us prepare for our first Holy Communion.

Mrs. Healy taught the second, third and fourth classes.  As well as Irish, Mathematics, Religion, English and general primary studies, we had fun sewing and knitting while the boys were out developing their hurling skills.  We had a wide curriculum of studies.  The daily rendition of “Our News” each morning facilitated the development of our writing and linguistic skills.  The nature studies and geography classes were a personal favourite of mine.

Mr. Tom McGarry, who was principal taught us the fifth and sixth year curriculum.  He prepared us very well for both our Confirmation and for entry to the second level education system.  I feel that our Irish studies were at a particularly advanced stage on leaving primary school.

There are of course certain events  that one recalls from primary school days.  I recall the fun we had at breaktimes, the soccer matches, rounders, and red rover, skipping, three goals in,  art and craft classes,  plays,  concerts,  Irish Dancing lessons,  visits to the school by our local Parish Priest, the busy weeks leading up to our Holy Communion and Confirmation and of course the well-loved sports days.

When the school bus stopped coming down to Limepark I remember our walks to school.  During the spring, summer and autumn months it was great, smelling the flowers and picking the nuts along the way.  We used to cross up through Connaire’s home with the Prendergast’s and Collin’s.

There were ten in my class in Primary School, five boys and five girls – Martin Fahy, Thomas Kilcooley, Niall Farrell, Colie McGarry, John Kennedy, Martina Brady,
Mary Deely, Bernadette Fitzgerald, Martina Hansberry and myself.  We all got on extremely well despite the occasional argument – nothing too serious and nothing we couldn’t joke about now.  Even though we all took different routes in life most of us have remained friends to this day.

I have always had a very strong interest in education, and a love of learning and reading was fostered in me in Peterswell National School.  The education I received in Peterswell National School prepared me well for the second level education system.  After my five years in the Mercy Secondary school in Gort I decided to go on to study for a career as a second level teacher in N.U.I.G.  I have taught in Gort, Loughrea, Sion Hill in Blackrock, Dublin, in Killaloe and I spent over two years teaching in Japan.

I returned to University in 1995 to complete a Masters Degree in Education.  I now teach Mathematics, Geography, Career Guidance and the Link Modules in Seamount College, Kinvara.  I lecture part-time in N.U.I.G in the Higher Diploma in Education Course.

I am very proud of the education I have received and am thankful to the primary, secondary and tertiary level tutors and of course to my parents who have fostered my love of learning.

I believe that a good general base in education is vital.  It prepares the students well in the basic essentials of reading, writing, and arithmetic and in general studies.  It develops in children the powers of reasoning and rational thinking.  It helps the young person to become a well balanced, multiskilled individual.  A good primary school education prepares the child for the second level education system that is to follow and it instils in them many different skills, abilities and personal attributes which one needs for living, for learning and for one’s own personal happiness.  I feel that Peterswell National School has provided me with the solid foundation that has enabled me to advance through the education system and attain a successful career