Meanwhile In Primary One…

I have in the past referred to sending my sons into different forms of Education.

Son #1 …..Gaelic speaking Nursery, Catholic Primary School, State Primary School (reasons of temporary location), “Integrated” Secondary School (his choice) and Catholic Secondary School (his choice).

Son #2…..Catholic Primary School, State Primary School (reasons of temporary location),  Catholic Grammar School (his choice), Catholic Secondary School (his choice).

I think Mrs FJH and I are glad that we have no more choices to make. There is a lot of choice and/or confusion out there. Our experience is …make the right choices without experimenting.

So visiting my grandsons the other day……….and grandson #2 has now gone into Primary One. Catholic School. He is a …….big boy now and anxious to show me what he made at school in his first week.

Gladdening my Republican and Nationalist heart…….they spent their first week learning about Ireland “cos granda thats our country”. See the cool flag my grandson made.

It will probably give “letsgetalongerists”  the vapours and God knows what serial flag watcher Willie Fraser will make of it……I suppose I could try and assure him that it is Italian.

There is to paraphrase Rev Norman Hamilton (then Presbyterian Moderator at SDLP Conference 2010) no such thing as value-free education. Whatever system ……even the one the “letsgetalongerists” would have us sign up to………..will have some values of its own.

I should of course point out that my grandsons go to a Catholic school. But at the time of the recent Mrs Windsor Jubilee, the local “State” Primary School was be-decked in British flags.

What would an “integrated” school do. Its not really about religion….Catholic schools are instrumental in teaching children a sense of Irishness.

Long may they remain to so do.

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13 Responses to Meanwhile In Primary One…

  1. bangordub says:

    Interesting isn’t it? The unfortunate fact of course is that letsgetalongerists are uncomfortable with any form of nationalism. Love his picture though, please tell the Lad he did well and explain the meaning of the colours in the flag 🙂

    • He is probably too young for the symbolism but I like that he calls it “our flag”. And he asks “granda ask me waht capital of Ireland is……..its Duberlin (sic)”.
      The 9 year old gets the symbolism and this year was the first he really seemed to notice the Orangemen on TV.

      • Oakleaf says:

        You must be happy with the strain in Alliance over abortion and gay marriage. I could see some east Belfast members jumping over to the uup.

        It be great to see a big fall out among themselves. Maybe its just me but I really dislike Anna Lo. She reminds me of a preachy teacher.

      • Strangely we are just back from Sainsburys and my wife and I were talking about Anna Lo. I dont think she could actually win a seat for Alliance outside South Belfast. Its not an “rthnic thing” but rather her brand of politics cant succeed outside a very narrow metropolitanism. Maybe thats true of South Belfast in general. Or North Down.

      • Oakleaf says:

        Pardon my language but some pc people get wet at the thought of voting for an ethnic minority. Theres no doubt she’d get elected in south and east Belfast and north down no problem as well.

        Do you think she will be able to lead a charge for south Belfast at the next westminister election? Alliance did well at the last stormont election in south and east Belfast.

        She wouldn’t be get many votes in south Armagh or from the Poles either. I used to work, very briefly, for a Chinese company in south Belfast which employed staff basically all Polish at min wage and shit hours. There was no love lost thats all I’ll say.

      • Interesting to think that Alliance and SDLP are the only two parties who field candidates from ethnic minorities.
        But perhaps its just as interesting that the Alliance people are from an Asian background and the SDLP are from Europe.
        Could that be a class thing?
        For example there is a Castlereagh AP councillor who from Indian sub-continent. And they fielded a Vietnamese in Dungannon and another Asian in Fermanagh.
        SDLP have fielded Polish candidates in East Belfast, Lisburn and Craigavon, a Lithuanian in Coleraine and a Portuguese in Portadown.

        To be honest, it is a subject I have tended to avoid as I live close to Lisburn, Portadown and Craigavon and there is perhaps an unpleasant story which I have avoided.

      • Oakleaf says:

        What story would that be Mr Fitz? How do the locals and immigrants get on in Dungannon and Portadown?

        In St Pats Dungannon in a school of 700/800 the immigrant pop must make up 80% of the numbers. I’d hate to think that locals would be sending their children to other schools to avoid immigrants which is known to happen in some areas of Dublin.

        Regarding Alliance running a Viet person in Dungannon is just silly. Do they think that immigrants would vote for somebody just because their from an ethnic minority.

    • Oakleaf says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure of that. Glengormley IPS brings the Cadets to school events though that may be the problem with former state schools changing to integrated status with dwindling roll numbers but still keep their ethos.

      Also Newbridge Integrated College in Loughbrickland has a big poppy day.

      Some state schools like Stranmillis ps, Ballykelly ps and Sion Mills ps are more integrated than integrated schools.

      Also with some people there is a degree of snobbish with integrated school. Some of my mrs’ family friends couldn’t believe it when i said my kids would be going to the local rcc school instead of the integrated as their kids went to the integrated.

      • I was trying to be ironic. And failing.
        Youre right. As Rev Dr Hamilton (Presbyterian Moderator) said there is no such thing as value free education…and he was saying it as a warning (albeit off the cuff at a SDLP Conference) that letsgetalongerists would impose their new set of values. “Integrated” Education is not necessarily a good thing for Protestantsism.
        The “state” system is effectively Protestant and certainly unionist. The Catholic system is nationalist.
        And an integrated system would be “letsgetalongerist”.
        For me “letsgetalongerism” at best stalls History….it backs de facto unionism at the expense of nationalism…therefore delaying and possibly even stopping “50% plus 1”.
        My own family experience of a small “state” Primary school (4 Catholics including my two sons) in a school with less that 50 children in a rural setting.
        And effectively there were two kinds of parents. One including the young chaplain and his wife were extremely welcoming. ….while other parents pointedly avoided us.
        Ironically I liked that school. But detested the integrated secondary school…..on the basis that it was a rotten school using the (then) new “integrated” label for respectabilty.
        There was a parents night where they tried to introduce GAA and I spoke against it, hopefully persuading others that it was a bad thing. At that point the ban on RUC members still existed and I thought that was against the ethos of an integrated school.
        Ironically one of my sons was playing GAA for a local club and I had no problem with that.
        But I thought GAA in a school which included children of police and prison staff was FAUX letsgetalongerism.

      • Oakleaf says:

        Most parents send their children to integrated schools in good faith but their is a small clique who run the schools or promote them have their own narrow pc agenda.

        My mrs friend from work who is protestant is looking to send her son to the local rcc school in whiteabbey instead of the local school because it has got a good rep for learning and discipline.

        The state school and the rcc school are both located in a deprived working class area but the rcc school has a much better rep. Why would catholics want to do away with its own sector?

      • Oakleaf says:

        Sorry for the rant but in the local paper you always see the local integrated at cross community events but not the rcc or state schools which I think is a disgraceful snub.

      • Exactly.
        The narrative favours “integrated” education.

      • Oakleaf says:

        The Shoukri brothers went to Hazelwood Integrated and look how they turned out!

        Saying that I think Hazelwood is a bit of a shithole or it used to be anyhow.

        There is demand for the integrated sector no doubt but that does mean it should get promoted over any other sector.

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