22 February 2018, 9.15am – 3.00pm, Grosvenor Grammar School

Trainer: Padraig Connolly (Mitchell House School)

The programme includes the demonstration of the use of Apps for iPads and of assistive technology for recording, filing and transferring work of SEN pupils. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in practical activities on the use of appropriate software to support their SEN pupils. 30 places available – now fully booked.

Contact for further information



7th February 2018, 10.00am – 3.00pm in Ulster University (York Street Campus)

On Wednesday 7 February sixty Year 11 pupils representing various educational sectors from across Belfast and including pupils from EBALC schools attended an event entitled Celebrating Students Today, organised by Belfast’s Four Corners’ Festival committee in conjunction with Ulster University. This is the third year of such a partnership.

The day began with a workshop on diversity acknowledging how difference can enrich the lives of everyone.

Pupils were then invited to participate in three out of six workshops on offer. These were in:

1. Animation
2. Culinary Arts
3. Ceramics
4. Engineering
5. Enterprise
6. Journalism

The interactive workshops were delivered by a range of experts from within and outside Ulster University and were greatly enjoyed by the pupils attending.

There was also a mini fair event with a range of stalls highlighting the many and varied opportunities which third level education presents.

The event was organised in such a way to give pupils from all four corners of Belfast the opportunity to mingle and share experiences.


EBALC CAREERS EVENT - Young Enterprise Entrepreneurship Master Class for Year 10 Pupils

13 December, 9.15am – 12.30pm, Our Lady & St Patrick’s College, Knock:

On 13th December, 2017, 90 students from the following schools attended Young Enterprise Entrepreneurship Masterclass in Our lady and St Patrick’s College Knock: Bloomfield Collegiate, Grosvenor GS, Lagan College, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s College, Knock, Strathearn School and Tor Bank School.

The Young Enterprise team began the event looking at what is an entrepreneur and why entrepreneurship is important?
This was followed by presentations from two local entrepreneurs:

Victoria Nichol – The Red Brick Creative
Jennifer Kenna – Wee Toast Tours

In groups, students had to come up with a business idea to potentially launch in Northern Ireland. Students had to focus on marketing their new business, creating a brand and advertising it to their target audience. There were a number of very innovative ideas from all schools. A group from Our Lady and St Patricks College were voted winners with their business idea, Eyeconic. This involved designing contact lenses that would cure colour blindness. In second place was a group from Tor Bank School with, Footfit. A business idea aimed at developing fitness through football for all ages and abilities.

All students were fully engaged with all activities of the event and their participation and enthusiasm must be commended. Hopefully this event will inspire some students to come entrepreneurs in the future.



27 November 2017, 9.15am – 3.00pm, Mitchell House School

Pastoral Leaders from across EBALC met to

• share good practice within EBALC schools in regard to the Preventive Curriculum (Drugs and E-Safety)
• work towards a shared repertoire of responses /strategies to deal with Drugs and E-Safety issues
• identify development/ training needs within the area of Drugs Awareness and E-Safety for EBALC schools

The day was a great opportunity for busy Pastoral Leaders to discuss and address a number of important and challenging pastoral issues. Some excellent work was completed that will now form the basis for informing best practice within the EBALC in the future. Support for staff training on some development needs identified is being sought from EA and DE.


Young Enterprise Entrepreneurship Master Class for Year 10 Pupils

Forthcoming Event:
13 December, 9.15am – 12.30pm, Our Lady & St Patrick’s College, Knock:

This interactive event organised by YE for approximately 100 pupils will introduce Year 10 pupils to what entrepreneurship is, why it is important and the skills and qualities needed to set up a business. Pupils will have the opportunity to hear from local entrepreneurs as well as take part in a business challenge where pupils, working in teams, plan and present their own business idea.

EBALC Schools should contact James Davey in OLSPCK to book places (approximately 10 per school) as soon as possible.


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Four Corners’ Festival at Ulster University

On Friday 3 February five EBALC schools attended an event, entitled Different Dreams, organised by Belfast’s Four Corners’ Festival committee in conjunction with Ulster University. The event was aimed at encouraging Year 10 pupils who might not have thought of going to university at this point in their lives to consider applying to university as a possible option in the future.

Pupils were invited to participate in three out of six workshops on offer. These were in:

• Basic skills in Marketing and Entrepreneurship
• Forensic Science
• Introduction to Basic First Aid
• Smart Phone Photography
• Ceramics - the art of clay
• Creative Movement - a pathway to acting  

The workshops were organised in such a way to give pupils from all four corners of Belfast the opportunity to mingle and share experiences.

The interactive workshops were delivered by a range of experts from within and outside Ulster University and were greatly enjoyed by the pupils attending. A number of pupils interviewed after the workshops said they had been inspired to think of different careers and now would consider the university route as an option.

The event was supported at various points during the day by representatives from UU, the clergy, political parties, the Lord Mayor of Belfast and Peter Weir (Minister for Education).


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“The Day of Ambition” at Bloomfield Collegiate

“The Day of Ambition” at Bloomfield Collegiate on 6th December brought together 8 schools from East Belfast with some of our most exciting local entrepreneurs and innovation companies. The theme for the day was “Stretch Yourself” with pupils experiencing opportunities that exist in the world of innovation and creativity.

There were interactive workshops and opportunities for almost 300 Year 11 pupils to network with some of Northern Ireland’s coolest entrepreneurs and cutting-edge employers.

Part of the event was also streamed live on the web. We were also delighted that Naomi Long, MLA, was able to attend and lend her support to the event.

A big thank you must go to the Department for Communities for helping support the event, to the CONNECT team at Catalyst for its organisational assistance and to the senior girls at Bloomfield for the effort they put into the event to ensure it went off with a bang.



EBALC Twilight Training Session

EBALC Twilight Training session for HODs / Subject Leaders 2nd February, 4.00 - 6.00pm at Lagan College.

Topic: Managing Conversations:
How to achieve positive outcomes from meetings, whether with colleagues or parents. (Scenario based approach.)

Trainer is Paul Gray from Learn Spark. Places still available to book through your Curriculum Leader.



Forthcoming event: 6th December 2016 - Year 11 'Day of Ambition'

The event will run from 9.15am - 2.30pm. The programme is being finalised but the event is funded by the Department of Communities and we expect around 300 pupils from EBALC schools to attend.

They are also hoping to stream part of the event live via C2K support, which is an exciting addition to the activities for the day. 14 local companies have committed to the day so far.


Classroom Assistant Training Event

This event was organized by the EBALC SENCOs in response to a need for professional development opportunities that had been identified amongst Classroom Assistants. This demand for such an event was reflected in the very pleasing turnout of 60 – 70 Classroom Assistants over the course of the three sessions held during the day. 5 SENCOs were also able to be present. We were also delighted that some Classroom Assistants from WBALC wanted to join us to see if it would be of value running a similar event for WBALC schools.

The programme involved three speakers:
Sue Boyd, from the Peripatetic Support Service, who, in a very restricted time allocation, explained succinctly what dyslexia was, what strategies Classroom Assistants could use to help dyslexic pupils access the curriculum and how they might amend resources to make them more dyslexia friendly.

Gillian Cuthbert, from the Behaviour Support team, engaged with the audience in a humorous way to give them guidance on dealing with challenging pastoral situations in relation to pupils with additional educational needs.

Enhancing Classroom Assistants’ skills of positive listening formed an integral part of this session. She also gave some pointers in dealing with worries associated with the transition from Primary to post-Primary education.

Heather Kennedy, from the ASD Advisory Service, gave an overview of what having ASD meant for pupils with these difficulties and explained how Classroom Assistants could support such pupils through stressful times and build resilience. She applied also showed how this could be applied when pupils were moving from Primary to post-Primary education – potentially a very stressful process for pupils with ASD.

The oral feedback from staff attending was very positive. They all felt they had acquired much useful knowledge and guidance that could be applied in their respective schools. A detailed evaluation of the event has been completed and will be circulated to schools in the autumn.

Thanks must also go to Fortwilliam Resource Centre for providing such excellent facilities for the event.


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Head of Year Training Event

The aims of the event were:

1. To enable Heads of Year to improve:
• the management of the transition from Primary to Post-Primary school from a pastoral perspective
• support for students with mental health issues
2. To provide practical strategies that will enable Pastoral Leaders to:
• effectively lead their team of Form Tutors
• deal with those Form Tutors resistant to change
3. To enhance collaboration between the Pastoral Teams of EBALC schools.

38 Heads of Year and 7 Vice Principals attended the event – a very pleasing turnout!

The speakers were:
• Mary Early, a P7 teacher from St Joseph’s PS, Carryduff, who gave her perspective on some of the pastoral issues faced by pupils
transferring to post-primary education and how receiving schools could assist in making this transition process as smooth as possible
• Phyllis Coulter, a psychotherapist, who talked about how to best support pupils with a range of mental health issues
• Paul Gray from LearnSpark who led two sessions, really engaging with the audience to give guidance on the leadership of Form
Tutors, especially when having a difficult conversation was called for, and how to empower Form Tutors and manage change.

All the speakers and the activities on the day were very well received. A full evaluation of the event will be presented to the Pastoral VP Group at the first meeting of next term.

A special thanks must go to the main organiser of the event - Deborah McLaughlin, Chair of the Pastoral VP Group - for providing such an excellent venue and hospitality for the event.


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