Model schools were set up to encourage teachers to develop their skills in bringing good quality education to children. This is still relevant today as the Belfast Model School for Girls has grown to become a leader in secondary education in Northern Ireland. Though, it has not always been smooth running getting to this point.
Boys and girls were always separated in Model Schools, taught in separate classes but on the same site and this remained when the first school burned down in 1922 and a new one was built on the Cliftonville Road. The Education Act of 1947, separated the boys and girls schools entirely and the Girls’ Model was built in Dunkeld Gardens near to its present site.
In September 1954 our school opened. Since then the school community has seen off the worst of the Troubles and only minor setbacks such as a fire in the Kerr Building in 1984, have served as a temporary check on the steady progress the Girls’ Model has made to become the innovative and progressive school it is today.
Currently we hold the Schools’ Curriculum Award, Educational Technology Award and Investors in People Award. We are also participants in the Microsoft IT Academy Programme.
2006 has been a landmark year for the school. We became an ICT Specialist School, one of only 12 Specialist Schools in Northern Ireland, and entered in to a pilot to become a Full Service Extended School, one of only two in Northern Ireland.
It doesn’t end there. At the beginning of 2010 we moved into our new school building in Dunowen Gardens which is situated on the site of the old school hockey pitch. The new building features state of the art classrooms that are all equipped with interactive whiteboards. Our ICT resources are second to none with 14 computer suites allowing the school to further develop it’s outstanding record of including ICT across the full curriculum. In addition to all this, the school also have outstanding sporting resources, a performance hall with it’s own backstage area, an excellently resourced canteen and much more.
The new school building has given the ability to extend the reach of the school into the community and greatly increased the provision provided by the Full Service Extended School project. Members of the community can use the school facilities during the evening and school holidays, these include the resources listed above, a crèche facility, a hair dressing salon, a drop in ICT suite and a dance studio.