St Anne’s primary school to celebrate its 40th birthday

By Mary Dennehy

GROWING with the com-munity and supporting local life since opening its doors in September 1978, St Anne’s primary school in Fettercairn is holding a 40th birthday celebration on June 14 – and everybody is invited.

When St Anne’s first opened its doors, it played an important role in connecting the surrounding community, which, in its infancy, was short on facilities and services.

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St Anne's primary school

Over time, the school became a hub, educating not only the area’s children but providing a space for community activities, classes and friendship.

“St Anne’s was there before Fettercairn had a community centre,” Principal Mary Cullen told The Echo.

“Back then St Anne’s was the hub of the community and it still is. The school has been an integral part of Fettercairn for the past 40 years and is still going strong, and we work alongside the great facilities that have come along over the years, like the community centre, the horse project and the farm.”

St Anne’s has also grown from when there were just 13 pupils in the school’s first sixth class in the early eighties.

Now, St Anne’s has an enrolment of around 400, with 51 sixth-class pupils across two classes moving on from the school this June.

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Students from St Anne's primary school

“We are so proud of St Anne’s history and very proud of all the pupils who have gone to the school over the years,” Ms Cullen said.

“Every member of the community is part of the history of the school and we hope everyone comes along on June 14 to help us celebrate St Anne’s 40th year.”

Over its vibrant history, St Anne’s had four principals –  Edna Murphy, Tom Cuskelly, John Fitzpatrick and current Principal Mary Cullen. Principal Cullen now works with a team of 33 teachers and eight SNAs.

Originally St Anne’s was a junior and senior school. However, after the boom of the eighties and nineties, when school numbers started to dropped, St Anne’s was amalgamated into one school – running from junior infants straight through to sixth.

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Edna Murphy, the first principal at St Anne's and Mary Cullen the present principal

On Friday, June 14, four decades of St Anne’s will be celebrated with a Mass in the Church of the Incarnation in Fettercairn at 12.30pm, and a reception in the school from 1.30pm.

The reception – which will run until 4.30pm – will include performances from pupils, and a display of photographs from the past 40 years. There will aslo be refreshments laid on.

One of the classrooms has been revamped to look like it would have in the eighties and will be compared with a classroom from today, which is complete with whiteboards, iPads and other eLearning material.

Members of the community, including past pupils, have been invited to come along on the day.

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