Principal pays tribute to Royal Grammar School students

THE resourcefulness and spirit of pupils has been praised by Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (ERGS) Principal, Elizabeth Armstrong.
The Principal’s praise of her students came during her speech at the School’s annual Prize Giving ceremony held at St Macartin’s Cathedral.
It was the first such event that the Royal had been able to stage since 2019 having been unable to do so due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that came with it.
Principal Armstrong commended the students for the fortitude shown during those three years and thanked them all for for helping staff to ensure that school life could be run as normally as possible.
She said: “Covid-19 brought a whole new dimension to school life as it did to our wider community life; new vocabulary entered our language and lived experience: Google Classroom, blended learning, class bubbles, gathering hubs and Centre Determined Grades, to name but a few.
“There is no doubt that Covid-19 brought challenges to school life as it did to us all, but it also allowed us as a school community to draw deep on our resourcefulness as we discovered new ways of doing things and even some so-called Covid keepers, such as our morning gathering hubs, which we have retained as we move out from under its shadow.
“The ERGS spirit and vision was not quenched or daunted by the enforced hiatus of lockdown: from its strong roots forged in the logistical challenge of dealing with a split site, its green shoots broke through relentlessly as staff and pupils, working together, found new ways to promote our community of care, connection, and creativity.”
Meanwhile, former pupil, Alison Hilliard, told students to develop their sense of empathy.
Hilliard, who currently works at the UK Foreign Office – having formerly been a journalist for the BBC on Radio Foyle, Radio Ulster and Radio 4 – was the guest speaker at the ceremony.
Hilliard stressed the importance of empathy by being able to put yourself in another’s shoes and seeing the world through their eyes.
She said: “Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and to see things from their point of view – to enter their life and see the world through their eyes.
“Empathy helps you see the human in everyone and makes you realise that everyone has a back story. It helps you build relationships with people, no matter what their background or their experience. It helps you see and to value people as individuals.
“I like to think of it as seeing a ‘divine spark’ in everyone.

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