Yes to Amalgamation.
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Please sign this petition to further the amalgamation of four catholic high school in the Downpatrick area.
This amalgamation will join the schools of De La Salle, St. Patrick's Grammar, St. Mary's and St. Columba's College into one large school located in Downpatrick. One school, one name, one uniform and a large choice of subjects under one curriculum. It will be a school where anyone can achieve and make bonds with fellow pupils compete without the need of bringing up old history and joining together to make a community that welcomes all styles of learning and cultures into one interconnected school where you will be catered to no matter what background or area you come from.
It's a way for Downpatrick to unite itself in time where the economy may seem troubling but we can build one that brings us all together in a Voluntary Grammar where the education of the next generations is our top priority.
The amalgamation of four County Down high schools has only been seen as a negative view from the grammar school that is involved in the amalgamation, however this is not the case. The amalgamation of these four schools will be able to bring the community closer together; as two of the schools are strictly gender specific and if they join together the schools will be co-educational, which means that the students will be able to bond with their peers of the opposite genders. This will be able to develop the social skills of the young people by having them in the same class.
Now you may be thinking what about the issues that may come from creating one school to cater to all 1600+ pupils to join and are already part of these schools I would like to address some of these concerns:
1. The issue of their being too many pupils in one class and they might not get the full attention they need. In this case most staff from the previous schools will be employed such as classroom assistants and teachers in order to take over these combined classes. As you will of had with the other schools as well, pupils will be split into these classes under a large range of new teachers that are available for the subject, meaning that there shouldn't be too many pupils in each class.
2. There is the issue of special needs and mental health within the large schools. There will be many students within this school campus and they must all be catered to. This will be done through aligning all schools' sencos to combine resources and budget for classroom assistants and aid to insure all those with impairments of any kind will be taken care off and they will never be left out in any of their academic or vocational needs.
3. The Traffic congestion might be a problem with all four schools joining in to one. This will be solved through employing several different routes to and from school and full use of the bus stops at what is known currently as De La Salle which will then give access to one of the entrances instead of the current system that has buses come from three different stopping points in Downpatrick at either one of the schools. This should actually help stop congestion and mean that there is a better stream of traffic along the Downpatrick area. There may just need to be more buses that travel up this area. It will also mean a more safer walking route for pupils of this new school.
In the end, it's your decision to choose whether you side with or against amalgamation as the right step for the community and the education of the next generation of people across the Down area. To make the decision that will affect you or your children in the future. To have one school, one uniform and study in one vocational grammar where education is the highest priority or to stay in a current four school system that is just not economically fundable anymore.
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