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Cookstown Primary School, Cookstown



Over many years Cookstown Primary School has gained a reputation for the high standard of teaching in the basic subjects of Literacy and Numeracy, while providing a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils. The distribution of time among the learning areas is approximately as follows.


       KEY STAGE 1


Religious Education












World Around Us



The Arts 

Physical Education






Plus the cross-curricular themes of :

  • Education for Mutual Understanding
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Information Communication Technology
  • Health Education

Each child is given the opportunity to access the full range of the curriculum and a large staff ensures that specialised subjects are fully covered.

Each child in classes P4 – P7 receives 30 minutes tuition per week in French from a Club Français representative.

The central computer system links the 47 Viglen computers in the school to a server with full internet access and this, combined with the computer suite, interactive whiteboards and a computerised library system, gives the children abundant opportunities to improve their ICT skills and project work.

The school has won the UK wide Creativity in Digital Video award in 2004 and 2005 and was runner up in the ICT in Practice Award for 2006, the highest accolade for ICT in the United Kingdom.



A child’s progress will be continually monitored throughout the year and detailed assessment will be carried out during the Autumn and Summer terms.

Parents will be informed of their children’s progress during interviews, in which they will have the school’s view on the individual child’s progress explained and be advised on how best they can assist with the future education of their child. A written school report will be issued in early June. 

In addition, interviews are arranged and reports provided for pupils enrolled in the Learning Support Centre attached to the school at various times during the course of the year.



It is the policy of the Board of Governors that, as far as possible, children should be taught in single year group classes. However, if it is necessary to establish composite classes, every effort will be made to ensure that the children receive the best possible education.  The governors feel that this is best achieved by reducing the pupil teacher ratio to as low a level as possible.  At present the average class size in Cookstown Primary School is twenty-four. 

Within the school there are 2/3 classes in each of  Primaries 1 to 7.  Every effort is made to ensure that each class contains pupils with the full range of ability and the teachers tailor the work to meet the individual needs of their pupils.

While the school attempts to provide as much help as possible for those pupils who are experiencing difficulty, it is also the policy of the school to give accelerated learning opportunities to the more able pupils.  This is accomplished in P1 - 4 through group work within the classroom, while in P5, P6 & P7 the boys and girls ‘swap-over’ for English and Maths.  This means that the pupils are grouped according to their ability in these subjects and move to different classrooms to facilitate these arrangements.  In this way the work is graded at the appropriate level for the pupils and all pupils can experience success.



Some of the children attending the school may have special education needs. These may arise from the child’s physical incapacities or his/her learning abilities.  As it is the intention of the school to maximise the potential of each pupil the school will endeavour, within its resources, to meet these needs.

If a child is unable to cope in Cookstown Primary School, a statement of the child’s needs will be issued by the S.E.L.B and these needs will be met by the board either through extra assistance in Cookstown or by a placement in another appropriate school.  The process of determining that a child has special educational needs in accordance with the law is a lengthy one and involves close co-operation amongst the teachers, school medical authorities, psychologists and the parents.  The Education and Library Board are responsible for making the final decision about the most appropriate form of education.



In accordance with the school’s policy of involving parents in the education of their children, in those cases where parents consider that the curriculum provision is not satisfactory they are welcome to express their concerns. This should be done in accordance with the school’s published Complaints Procedure.  In the vast majority of cases the problem will be solved at Stage One or Two.  In the case of a serious complaint the concerns should be specifically detailed in writing and given to the Principal or to the Secretary of the Board of Governors to enable the matter to be examined and a reply to be made.

Stage 1             Contact class teacher after obtaining Principal’s consent.

Stage 2             Contact Principal.

Stage 3             Contact Chairman of Board of Governors.

Stage 4             Requests that the matter be considered by the SELB Complaints

                          Tribunal for curriculum matters.



When children come to Cookstown Primary School it is of prime importance to the Primary 1 teacher, and to the wider school family, that they settle quickly and are happy in their new environment.

At this stage children learn mostly through play. They learn in different ways – by listening, seeing and doing. They are at the experimental stage, soaking up information and new ideas like sponges.

Through play children can:

  • communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems;
  • explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them to make sense of the world;
  • practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills;
  • learn how to control impulses and understand the need for rules;
  • be alone, be alongside others or co-operate as they talk or discuss their feelings
  •  take risks and make mistakes
  •  think creatively and imaginatively and
  • express fears or relive anxious experiences in  controlled and safe situations.

Through play you, as parents, can work to ensure that your children enter school having established solid foundations on which to build.

You can help them to make the most of their experiences by:

  • sharing in the fun;
  • giving support and asking questions that prompt increased observation or help the play to move on; and
  • encouraging and guiding children to use all of their senses  as they find out about themselves and their surroundings.

Play, both indoor and outdoor, not only provides children with enjoyment but with challenges and diverse learning opportunities.

Water play is always a favourite. It doesn’t have to be at a water tray and you do not need sophisticated equipment.

When playing in water children are developing:

  • their hand eye co-ordination, fine motor skills and visual concentration as they pour, fill, squeeze, squirt, pump, blow etc.;
  • language skills as they discuss and describe what they are doing;
  • mathematical understanding as they come to an improved understanding of the language of capacity or volume;
  • personal and social skills as they share and take turns. They may also be learning about the importance of keeping clean and
  • their understanding of the world around them as they discover some of the properties of water and how other materials behave in water e.g. displacing, absorbing, floating and sinking. They may also be learning how water wheels, sieves and funnels work and how objects can move across water.