A celebration of 40 Years of Integrated Education was held at Belfast City Hall on Friday.
Shimna was represented by Mr Bailey, who has taught Science since the College opened in 1994, and Year 14 students Dearbhla Clarke and Kirsten Cunningham. Mr Bailey said: “It was a wonderful event. It’s remarkable to consider how far the integrated movement has come over the years.” Shimna also contributed to the celebrations with a filmed performance of the Shimna Community Voices singing an anniversary song composed by our very own Ms Maguire.
The event included the presentation of a commemorative banner, developed by Lagan College, telling the story of the integrated movement over the years. Lagan was the founding post-primary college, opening its doors to 28 students in 1981. Today, over 25,000 students are now educated in the 68 integrated schools across Northern Ireland.
Marking the occasion, Belfast Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl said: “I’m really proud the visitors to City Hall will see this beautiful banner. Integrating our schools is key to building a kinder, more inclusive society that has respect for different backgrounds, faiths and outlooks.”
The celebration coincided with news that Hazelwood Integrated College has been named Best Secondary School in the UK in the prestigious TES School Awards. Shimna sends its congratulations to the Hazelwood school community.