It’s common knowledge that success begets success. Success is attractive, and everyone wants to be part of it. It’s human nature. And that could very well be the reason for a remarkable, recent influx of students for Glenavon School. Although the roll has been steadily increasing for a few years, enrolments have jumped by 110 new students in the past 12 months – that’s a 21% roll increase!
However, success doesn’t happen overnight, and a well-implemented vision is evidenced by the school’s outstanding June 2016 ERO report, resulting in a four-to-five-year review status. That’s a grade ERO (the Education Review Office) gives to schools that are doing very well, and are hitting the right performance markers.
When asked for his thoughts on what attributed to the growth, Principal Phil Toomer responded, “I think our 4-5 year ERO report has certainly helped spread the message that we are a high performing school and that we provide an exceptional education for our community. I think the local and surrounding community are continuing to pick up on this and there is a good buzz around the school.
“When parents are excited about something, they tell their friends. We are getting a lot of families enrolling who have heard great things about the school and want to be part of it.
“Our property upgrades have also had a major effect. We have upgraded our classes and grounds and are creating a new innovative learning environment for our junior school. Our community is excited that the school looks fresh and new - we get comments every day about how good our school looks.“
A knock-on effect of increased rolls means that the school have been able to start new classes and hire new teachers. Toomer says “We have kept class sizes small this year in anticipation of a continuation of growth. This will mean that our class sizes will not be stretched as we grow. We are now quickly running out of space so our next step is to look towards new, roll growth classes.”
As the roll continues to increase, Toomer expects that the school will be able to access funding to build new classrooms to support more students. “This will give us a great opportunity to create more innovative learning spaces for our children,” he says.