Matthew Munro took up post as Principal (Designate) of Breda Academy and worked alongside officers of the Education Authority, as well as staff and students at both predecessor schools in address the many complex issues in setting up a new school.
Giving the students a clear voice in their new school was an important part of the process. The school name and the school motto were chosen in a process of working with the schools councils of both Knockbreda and Newtownbreda schools. Mr Munro is particular pleased with the forward looking motto which emerged from this process. “Learners today, leaders tomorrow perfectly encapsulates what this school is about. Securing our students access to the greatest possible range of future opportunities through a successful school experience focussed on learning.”
The concept for the badge was also developed by the students drawing on the legacy of both schools. The cockatrice of Knockbreda and the lion of Newtownbreda stationed at the foot of a tree which represents knowledge drawing its roots in the community and flowering through the success of the students. The overall effect has been to produce a very smart and distinctive school uniform and logo. Mr Munro and all the staff are pleased with how well students wear the uniform taking pride in being part of the Breda Academy community.
As part of the process of amalgamation, the two schools held a joint week in June of 2015 where the students were able to work together and meet their new teachers through a variety of fun and educational activities. It was an enjoyable and successful week and one of the key features of the amalgamation has been how well the two groups of students have integrated together, with little signs of any tension between those who used to belong to different predecessor schools.
Staff and students at Breda embrace new technology and the opportunities it offers to enhance and improve students’ learning. In particular the Board of Governors are committed to ensuring that all students will have personal use of an iPad once they reach Year 11 and through on into the sixth from. However, alongside this determination to seize on the potential of new technology, Breda academy has simple traditional values when it comes to the expected behaviour of students.
These are set out in the school three fundamental rules. Students at Breda are expected to
• Follow instructions promptly and politely
• Treat other people with courtesy and respect
• Try their hardest in lessons.
Mr Munro said, “It has been great to be able to walk the corridors of the school in operation and see how focussed and ordered students are in classrooms. Time and again when I ask staff to nominate who has been a particular star in each lesson, the answer has come back that they have all been working exceptionally well. I have particularly enjoyed being able to contact parents whose children have shown a positive attitude in the school community, sometimes in the ways they have responsibly supported friends and encouraged them to make sensible positive choices.”
Building a new School Community at Breda Academy