A NEW era in local secondary education will be marked this week with the opening of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School.
The new voluntary co-educational school will replace Portora Royal School and Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School when it opens its doors at the sites of the two former schools tomorrow (Thursday).
Since news of the amalgamation of the Collegiate and Portora was confirmed in February, work has been underway to rebrand the town’s newest educational facility with a new uniform and motto.
Boys and girls will be taught on both the Cooper Crescent and Loughshore Road sites until a new school is built. The school will admit 130 pupils into Year 8 with an enrolment of 990 pupils for 2016/2017. The long-term enrolment for the school has been set at 900 pupils. Year 11 pupils beginning their GCSE studies are to be taught at the former Portora site to allow for maximum individual subject choice and avoid the disruption of pupil travel between the two school buildings. Year 8 students will begin at the Collegiate in order to balance the overall number of students on both sites.
The new school crest features Enniskillen Castle, laurel leaves and a crown while the new uniform is in the colours of navy, red and gold connecting both Portora and the Collegiate. The crown represents the royal status, which has been retained, whilst the laurels are a symbol of excellence. The colours of gold and red are taken from the former school colours while the new school’s motto is Perstare et Praestare, meaning to persevere and to excel.
Both the Collegiate and Portora officially close their doors today (Wednesday), marking the end of their long and proud traditions of academic, musical and sporting achievements and making way for the new school which officially comes into existence on September 1st.
Pupils will be welcomed to the new school on a staggered basis with Years 8, 11 and 13 returning for their induction day on Thursday while those in other forms will be joining them on Friday.
Former Collegiate principal Elizabeth Armstrong will be at the helm of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (ERGS) following her appointment to the post of principal in March.
Speaking ahead of the opening, Ms Armstrong told the Herald: “We are very much looking forward to the future in Enniskillen Royal Grammar School. Much careful planning has been underway over the past months prior to the arrival of pupils, who are at the heart of all we do. As a staff we are all looking forward to building our new school community of pupils and their parents through high quality classroom and extra- curricular learning experiences”.
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