As part of the Schools Integration Project (SIP) we have had some very interesting visitors to our school. The first was Mr. Ernie Sweeney, our own noted local historian. Ernie weaved his magic and had children imagining they were walking behind the town band as they made their way through the streets of Castlebar in 1903. He also brought several groups out town to collect information and to point out places of historical interest. The boys had a great time with Ernie, taking rubbings, digital photographs and jotted down information and learned a lot and by all accounts Ernie enjoyed himself immensely too. We would also like to thank Ernie for the wealth of resources he put at our disposal.
Next came Mr. Tom Higgins. Tom is a retired principal with many, many interests including local history, architecture, art and photography. Tom has already brought a group to our church and explored art ideas with another group. He will be back several times more before and after Christmas.
We hope to have other visitors in the coming months including Liam Egan and Michael Mullen, both noted historians. We will be amazed if the boys manage not to be interested in local history after all these illustrious visitors - they cannot but catch their enthusiasm for their subject.
We recently played host to a very important delegation consisting of Professor Richard Vaneski, OECD, Mr. Seamus Knox, NCTE SIP Co-ordinator, Mr. Pat O'Sullivan and Ms. Lucy Fallon-Byrne, NCCA, and Mr. Cathal Power, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. They were accompanied to the school by Mr. Denis O'Boyle, Mayo Education Centre director and Mr. Art O'Sullivan, I.C.T. Co-ordinator for Mayo. This was a very important visit for our school as Professor Vaneski is based in Paris and works with the OECD. He is currently carrying out a survey on the impact of computers on learning in 18 countries worldwide. Our school are very honoured to be the only primary school chosen in Ireland. Cathal Power has the job of carrying out the survey following guidelines set out by Professor Vaneski. This survey will be carried out between February 21st and 25th.