• The Award for Making a Difference - Primary School of the Year
  • St Oliver Plunkett Primary School
  • Gold Winners, Silver Winners
  • 2023
  • BELFAST, County Antrim

This primary school is set in a West Belfast area of high socio-economic deprivation, but school life here doesn’t reflect that. Children are provided with opportunities and experiences focused on creating a mindset that allows them to see themselves and their potential in the same way that teachers do. If anything, the high socio-economic deprivation strengthens teachers’ resolve to ensure that their pupils walk on a level playing field with their peers. Their holistic development is paramount, whether it be artistically, musically or physically as well as academically.  

Fostering a culture of creating global citizens, children here benefit from strong international collaborations. Children from Primary One to Seven are even taught Mandarin. Artistic opportunities include tin whistle lessons, African drumming and violin classes. 

A counsellor is employed two days per week, the school links with a community group to offer additional play-based therapy sessions for children recognised as needing that bit extra, and with a variety of local community groups to offer support to families struggling with food and utility bills.