Frequently asked questions
What is different about an integrated school?
Our school is different as we actively encourage applications from parents of all faiths, traditions and cultures or none so that the children have the experience of being educated together each and every day. Our aim is to educate together children from all backgrounds regardless of race, faith, colour, gender, ability or background and actively consider our similarities and differences in a school whose ethos is one of respect, tolerance and understanding.
The most commented upon aspect of our school is it’s welcoming and caring atmosphere.
What else makes your school special?
Our school is special in that we aim to make our children excited about the future through providing a wide range of learning opportunities aimed at fostering the skills and qualities needed to succeed in life whatever path they choose to take but most importantly to be happy. We have high standards coupled with a safe, nurturing ethos. We do our very best to make sure Glencraig IPS children are happy ones!
Where is your school?
Glencraig Integrated Primary School and Nursery are situated on the Seahill Road just off the main A2 road between Holywood and Bangor. An ideal location for parents who commute between Bangor and Belfast, especially with the Over the Hedge team who offer Breakfast Club and After School facilities situated on the same site. Seahill train halt is located directly opposite the school making it possible for families to travel to and from school by train.
Can I visit the school?
We are always delighted to welcome visitors to our school. Normally we run two Open Mornings annually for potential parents and also do our best to make arrangements for parents who are interested in a place at Glencraig to visit the school at other times throughout the year. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions this year our Open Mornings will be replaced by virtual materials available on our school website prior to Open Enrolment.. We feel strongly that seeing a school in action and meeting the staff and pupils is a vital part of the decision making process when choosing a school and so we very much hope that we will be able to return to our normal Open Mornings in January 2022 when we hope that the welcome you will receive at Glencraig will confirm that our school is the one for you.
How big is your school?
We currently have 239 children split between the nursery and seven primary classes. The primary classes range in size from 30 children to 32 and the nursery has 26 part-time places. There are nine teachers altogether. As well as the seven classrooms we have a fully equipped ICT Suite, a library, a hall with excellent stage, a shared play area in the Key Stage One/Foundation Stage department, a dedicated Activity Based Learning room, a small group classroom known as the HUB, a variety of outdoor playground areas, an all-weather pitch, outdoor classroom and garden area and outdoor play equipment.
How do I apply for a Nursery or P1 place at Glencraig IPS?
Nursery and P1 places are applied for through the Education Authorities online Open Enrolment process. (www.eani.org.uk ) which opens at tyhe start of January. You do not have to have your child’s name on a waiting list for years in advance. Applications can only be made in the January prior to your child starting either nursery or P1. You can however register your interest with us. If you have registered interest with us we will automatically get in touch with you prior to Open Enrolment.. Should there be more applications than places the Governors will apply their admissions criteria which are published by the Education Authority each year.
How can I apply for a place at other times?
Firstly, we would suggest contacting the school to arrange a visit and to check if there are places available in the class you are interested in. If after your visit you’re keen to make an application and there are places available, then Mrs McKirgan will take you through the necessary steps which are relatively straight forward. If there are no places available at the time you can request in writing that your child's name be added to our waiting list and we will get in touch should circumstances change. Should there be more than one person interested in an available place at any one time then the Governors will apply their criteria in the order set down.
What is the uniform like?
Our uniform is quite simple. It consists of:-
Other items such as a school tracksuit, school coat and school scarf are also available but not compulsory.
Where do I get the uniform from?
We are very fortunate that our parents run not one but two uniform shops!! There is a New Uniform shop supplied by Signature Works Bangor and a Nearly New Uniform shop which is managed in school..
Orders for new uniform are made on line or by visiting the Signature Works shop in Balloo Bangor Online Uniform shop
The Nearly New Uniform shop is open in the school hall on the last Friday and Monday of each month. (On hold due to COVID-19)
What are the schools start and finish times?
At the moment we have a staggered start and finish. The school doors open at 8.45am/9.00am . There is a 15 minute mid-morning break and a 45minute lunch break. Classes finish for the P1 – P3 children at 2.00pm/2.15pm. Classes finish for the P4 – P7 children at 3.00pm/3.15pm
Are there any clubs after school facilities?
We normally run a range of after school clubs for children in P2 – P7. The range changes termly and we try to have a balance between sport, music and leisure activities. The range of clubs covered last year was as follows:-
Football, tennis, Monkeynastix, Debutots, cookery, ICT, hockey, Gaelic football, French, gardening. Eco Club, Drama, Cycling Proficiency, art, football and tag rugby.
Clubs are currently on hold due to COVID-19
After school care is provided by Over The Hedge after school club which is situated on our site.
What opportunities do children have to be involved in sport?
Children are involved in sport as part of the curriculum. Class teachers have all benefited from in-house training in the delivery of Fundamental Movement Skills, gymnastics and dance, which form the basis of the majority of sporting activities. The work of the teachers is enhanced each year with the use of professional sports coaches in PE lessons from P1 upwards. As well as the curricular sport there is an extensive range of sports offered after school and pupils have the opportunity to play competitively representing their school against other local primary schools. Teams include football, hockey, netball, Gaelic football, handball and cross country.
What opportunities do children have to be involved in music?
We are very proud of the musical tradition in our school. All pupils participate in music as part of the curriculum. The children all sing in dedicated sessions at least once a week and children from P4 upwards play the recorder. We have a senior choir made up of selected pupils from P5 to P7. Our choir performs to various audiences throughout the year and also in two of the local festivals. There are two major performances each year. One at Christmas and the other in the Spring Term, these are rotated between the children in P1 – P4 and the children in P5 – P7 each year. Instrumental tuition in clarinet, flute, saxophone and violin is available from P5 upwards. Our musicians have the opportunity to play in the school orchestra and the recorder group.
What about homework?
Homework is viewed as one way of consolidating learning throughout the school. Each year group has homework set and details of these can be found in our Homework Policy.
Will my child be formally assessed?
The progress that children make throughout their school career is monitored and assessed on a regular basis. This informs the class teacher’s planning so that teaching can be more directed to the needs of the children. Assessment is undertaken in a range of ways from informal observation through to formal standardised tests. The information gathered from these observations is shared with parents so that parents can work in partnership with the school to support their child.
Can my child have a school dinner?
School dinners are available for all children, the choice is yours. Unless a parent is eligible to claim for free school dinners they currently cost £2.60 a day. Dinners for the week need to be ordered by the Monday of each week using the online School Money service available to our parents.
Who can my child go to if he/she needs to talk to an adult?
In school we take very seriously our pastoral responsibilities in safeguarding the children in our care. Children are reminded every year of the key staff members in school who they can go to if they need someone to talk to. Mrs Gough is our Designated Teacher for Child Protection and Mrs Brown is her Deputy. We also provide listening boxes for the children if they wish to write down any concerns and the teachers above will make contact with them to try and resolve any problems.
We have also introduced Anti Bully Ambassadors who also provide peer support for children who may need someone their own age to talk to and we have a team of Rights Respecting Warriors.
How can the school help if my child has special needs?
As an integrated school we aim to cater for the needs of all children including those with Special Educational Needs. We have a trained SEN Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator who ensure policies and procedures are in place to meet the needs of these children and to ensure staff are supported through training and guidance. The staff at Glencraig employ numerous strategies within their everyday teaching practice to create as inclusive an environment for all learners as possible. Staff are well experienced in working alongside outside agencies to access support and expertise.
What part do pupils play in the life of the school?
Pupils are central to everything we do here in Glencraig. We have an active Pupil Council to ensure that the pupils have a say in the decision making process – especially decisions which were close to the hearts of the children. Representatives from all the classes from P4 – P7 sit on the Pupil Council and the office bearer positions are held by members of our P7. Through our assemblies members of the Council are then responsible for feeding back to the whole school any decisions that are made. As a Level One Rights Respecting School we have a steering group made up of pupils, staff, parents and Governors. Our pupils also take an active role in environmental issues through our ECO Council which again is made up of pupils, staff and parents.
How can parents be involved in the life of the school?
Parents are involved in the life of the school in many different ways. As an integrated school parental involvement is one of the key principles. To this end we have twice as many parents sitting on our Board of Governors than a controlled primary school would normally have. Parents are also involved through a very active and committed Parent Teacher Association which runs a variety of activities throughout the year not only to raise funds but also to allow parents and children to meet socially. Parents play an active role within the curriculum and we are lucky to have parents who willingly give of their time and expertise to come into the classrooms and contribute to topic work when they can. Parents also have the opportunity to contribute to policy decisions through general and focussed consultation processes. Practical help with providing transport or preparing our P1 – P3 breaks is also provided by parents.
How can a parent raise a concern about a child’s welfare?
We have very clear procedures for parents to follow should they have a concern about a child’s welfare. These procedures are displayed throughout the school and are also available on this website along with other policies.
How can a parent raise a general concern?
We would encourage parents to raise any concern at an early stage so that it can be dealt with quickly and minimise any worry or misunderstanding. Guidelines for parents outlining who would be best to talk to depending on the issue are distributed at the start of the school year and also available here on the school website as is our official Complaints Procedures.
When children leave at the end of P7 what schools do they go to?Each year the children in our P7 head off to around 8-10 different post primary schools including Sullivan Upper and Priory Integrated College, which are our nearest two post primary schools. The range includes Bangor Grammar, Glenlola Collegiate, Ashfield Boys, Ashfield Girls, Campbell College, Strathearn, Bloomfield Collegiate, Methody, Inst., Victoria, Hunterhouse, Lagan College, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s at Knock, Strangford Integrated College, Priory Integrated College & St. Columbanus’s College.