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St Matthew's Primary School, Drumsurn

Our History

 

On the 4th September 1967 St. Matthew’s Primary School opened its doors for the very first time to its new pupils. A new, purpose built, modern school with five classrooms, an assembly hall and a canteen had been erected by John Coyle, contractor, from Dungiven.

The new school had been built to replace the old primary school, which stood immediately above it on the same grounds, Gelvin Primary School, which had served the community well for the previous sixty-five years.

Fifty years ago the Principal was Mr Raymond Brady and his Assistants were Mrs Teresa O’Kane, Miss Thelma McLaughlin, Mrs Anna Brady and Miss Alma O’Kane.

 

Over the years the teaching staff changed in a seemingly seamless transition. Only five Principals have served during those fifty years, Mr Raymond Brady, Mr Brendan Grant, Mr Oliver Hodkinson and Mrs Mary O’Hara before the appointment of our current incumbent, Mrs Ann-Marie Kealey .

                       

Mrs Kealey was appointed as an assistant teacher in St. Matthew’s Primary School in September 1993. She taught there until October 2016 when she moved on as Principal to Ballyhackett P.S Castlerock. Mrs Kealey was delighted and realises how blessed she was to be able to return to St. Matthews, Drumsurn, once again in December as the current Principal. “ I feel very proud and honoured to be given the responsibility to lead this wonderful school”

Since her return she has been overwhelmed by the support from the whole school community. “Our school is at the core of this community and over the past twenty-five years I have watched how our school has grown, has been innovative and visionary in ensuring that each child receives the best education” We are committed to and passionate about the learning and progress of all our pupils. We have high aspirations for our children, and we aim to provide a high quality, relevant and balanced education for all our pupils that focuses on individual, personal and academic achievement.

Mrs Kealey noted that all of this could not happen without the dedication and support of her hard working, committed and outstanding staff. We are all very proud of our school with its warm, calm, happy and caring atmosphere which many visitors make comment on.

Our school motto ‘’Small enough to care, Big enough to inspire’ is at the heart of everything we do at school. Together with parents, carers, parish and community we give every child the opportunity to be the best he/she can.

Other Assistant teachers who have served over the years included Mrs Mary O’Kane, Miss Rosemary Lagan, Mr Billy Reid, Mrs Ann-Marie O’ Kane and Mr Eamon Muldoon, and the current staff of Mrs Kerry Ann McGurk, Mrs Cathy Knox, Mrs Katie Vail and Mrs Martina O’Connor.

The school’s continuing success lies in the holistic approach to each child’s educational experience, and its caring, inclusive environment that creates confident and able children. The principal, staff and governors of St. Matthew’s hope that our school and community will continue to thrive and develop over the next fifty years as it has done in the last fifty.