By Grace Franklin
Picture by Stuart Maxwell
St Albert’s Primary School in Pollokshields had several spectacular celebrations on Guy Fawkes day – Friday 5 November.
First, they raised their first Green Eco Flag on their very own flag pole. Then they had none other than Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, local MSP Nicola Sturgeon, formally opening their new media suite.
Said head teacher Eleanor Mcaveety: ‘We received funding from Awards for All and from Pollokshields Area Committee so are delighted to open our new media suite and library. The youngsters love the new room and are able to chill-out in the library and use the computers for research or fun. The bonus of securing our first Eco flag, in recognition of the environmental work being done in the school, is the icing on the cake.’
With the whole school gathered outside to watch the cutting of the ribbon to signal the flag flying for the first time, Primary 6 pupil Amisha Adhikari stepped up to the microphone to welcome everyone. In a confident, clear speech the 10-year-old said: ‘We are delighted that so many people could join us today. Over the last two years, our journey to a Green Flag has involved our school community in many new and exciting opportunities. We have learned a lot about re-cycling, waste minimisation, litter and energy. We thank everyone who helped us along the way. In particular, McTaggart Construction Ltd who kindly donated the flagpole, Mr Mark Irwin of Education Services and all our Eco Committees over the years. Without one person in particular, this event would not have taken place: Teacher Ms Antonia Brooks – our Eco Warrior.’
Ms Brooks then cut the ribbon to ‘flag up’ the fact that the flag was now flying proudly at St Albert’s.
She later told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘This has been an absolutely fabulous occasion. I am so pleased that a lot of hard work by the whole school including the parents and the community, has paid off. Once the children got into the green challenge, they took the message home to their parents who are now taking up the message and switching off lights and following the Eco code.’
When Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon opened the media suite of computer room and library she said: ‘I feel under pressure because Amisha’s speech was so good – I’ve a lot to live up to. I forecast a great future ahead for her if she chooses to follow a career involving public speaking.’
She went on to say that she preferred reading books to computers. ‘But it is very important that young people today have the very best IT facilities. This suite is not only for the pupils and their parents, it is for the community and it gives me enormous pleasure to declare it open.’
On arrival, the Deputy First Minister was welcomed by Primary 1 pupils singing the St Albert’s school song for her. ‘That is a fantastic way to be greeted to a school,’ said the clearly delighted MSP.
Local Councillors Khalil Malik and Irfan Rabanni both spoke. On behalf of the Area Committee, Councillor Rabanni said the books would only be of use if people read them and encouraged everyone in the school community to use the facility. ‘I’ll be coming along myself!’ he emphasised.
Councillor Malik echoed the message and hoped the media suite would be well used.
Head Teacher Mrs Mcaveety commented: ‘This is tangible evidence that things can happen when people work together. She thanked the large number of supporters for the various projects being celebrated and concluded by saying: ‘St Albert’s Primary School has 250 rising stars in our pursuit of the curriculum of excellence.’
The Parents’ Council co-chairwomen, Mrs Shaista Aslam and Mrs Ghazala Hanif both expressed delight at the success of the day. Said Mrs Aslam: ‘It is very exciting. We are all working as a team since Mrs Mcaveety arrived about one and a half years ago. ‘ Added Mrs Hanif: ‘There is a very good atmosphere in this school.’