New Academy principal ‘humbled’ with position

New Academy principal ‘humbled’ with position

18 November 2020

THE new principal of Academy Primary School in Saintfield says he is delighted to be “taking over the reins”.

Richard Fegan took charge of the school in August, succeeding Mr Stephen Moore, who who was principal for 22 years.

Mr Fegan says he aims to build on the successes of his predecessor and maintain the school’s high reputation.

Mr Fegan has worked at Academy Primary School since 2002, teaching mainly in P6 and P7. He was appointed vice-principal in 2010 and says he enjoyed every minute of being a full-time teacher.

He says he is excited about this new chapter in his career and promises that there will continue to be a strong emphasis on pastoral care throughout the school, which currently has 460 pupils. 

“When children feel valued and cared for, they tend to meet their educational potential and in many cases at Academy Primary School pupils surpass it,” he remarked.

The school’s most recent inspection report stated that the pastoral care of the children at was “outstanding” and that academic achievement was “very good”.

The report also highlighted that over 70% of the teaching observed within 17 classes was either “very good or outstanding”. 

Mr Fegan is a native of Ballynahinch, but now lives with his wife and three children near Downpatrick.

He is a past pupil of Ballynahinch Primary School, The High School, Ballynahinch, and Down High School. He studied BEd (Hons) at Stranmillis College Belfast and in recent years achieved his Professional Qualification for Headship (NI) through RTU.

Mr Fegan said was a “baptism of fire” taking over as principal amid the global pandemic, but he was “truly humbled” by what he described as the “exemplary teaching and support” of staff whose dedication and commitment ensured the children felt safe and valued.

He said many interventions had been put in place since August to ensure no child’s academic progress had suffered as a result of lockdown.

“Academy Primary School is a very special place where good relationships at all levels are built on mutual respect and this is at the core of everything we do,” he said.

The school will be unable to hold its traditional open day this year, but a vrtual open day is planned and will go live on the school website on December 1.

Any parents who have a child ready to start nursery or P1 in September 2021 should call the school on 028 9751 0407 to register interest and receive an information pack. 

Mr Fegan added: “Whether you are a present or past pupil, parent or member of staff, one thing is for sure — Academy Primary and Nursery School is a school to be proud of.”