The newly merged Belmont House and Foyle View Schools opened their doors as Ardnashee School and College to 260 returning and new pupils on Monday (September 1).
The newly amalgamated school will operate as a single school split over two sites – Upper Campus (former Belmont House School) and Lower Campus (former Foyle View School) and will provide an educational experience for pupils aged 3-17.
The newly appointed Principal, Dr Michael Dobbins, assisted by all his staff continue to provide the high standards of education and personal development which has been experienced by pupils who previously attended both Belmont House School and Foyle View School.
He said: “I am delighted to be part of the newly merged school and look forward to meeting all pupils and their parents in the year ahead. Ardnashee School and College builds on the excellent reputation of our city’s two special schools and signposts a new era for special education locally where the additional needs of all children and young people can be successfully met.”
The name of the newly amalgamated school was decided on by the pupils, parents and staff through text voting and is representative of the townland in which the school sits.
Ardnashee School and College’s vision is ‘See a River, build a Bridge’ and this is reflected in the logo of the new uniform, both of which were decided upon by the pupils, staff and parents.
Dr Dobbins explained that the vision for Ardnashee School and College will focus on an innovative continuum of provision in meeting a diversity of need.
In preparation for the opening of the newly amalgamated Ardnashee School and College a joint staff development day took place at the end of August to enable all staff from Foyle View School and Belmont House School to participate in shared professional development.
It provided an opportunity for staff from both schools to progress planning for teaching and learning for the coming academic year.
Barry Mulholland, WELB Chief Executive, said: “This amalgamation marks another important stage in taking forward the WELB’s inclusive vision for meeting the future needs of pupils in the greater Derry/Londonderry area with a wide variety of special educational needs within a single, dynamic and inclusive school, thus ensuring that every young person achieves his/her potential at each stage of their development.”