Carrickfergus Model Primary School

Inspiring excellence through example, endeavour and encouragement

Meet the Principal

MRS MILLER

 

I am Mrs Miller, the Principal of Carrickfergus Model. After studying teaching at Stranmillis, I worked in a school in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, England for 6 years, before returning home to N.Ireland. My first school in England had 700 pupils in it but my second school only had 75 pupils and I taught in a classroom with a thatched roof! I have taught Primary 3, 4, 5,6 and 7.

I often miss being a class teacher as you are able to form such strong relationships with the children in your class. However, being a Principal means I can spend time with children in Primary 1 right up to Primary 7 and I consider this to be a real privilege. I love it when children are sent to my office for excellent work and effort and I really value being able to help a child through the various challenges that childhood and school can throw at them. Educating the whole child is important to me - the basics of learning are crucial but so too are the personal skills that we all need to navigate our way through life. Children need to be empowered to become independent learners and thinkers so they have the confidence to try new things and be able to bounce back when things don't quite go to plan.

In my spare time, I love reading, walking and hiking in the mountains, travelling, playing with my toddler, family days out and of course weekends and holidays!

Meet the Vice Principal

MRS KIRKLAND

 

I am Mrs Kirkland, the Vice Principal. I’m currently teaching Primary 7 and have previously taught Primary 5 and Primary 6. I've always taught in Carrickfergus Model Primary School.

My favourite things about teaching are helping to create memory making moments for pupils inside and outside the classroom; providing opportunities for children to develop their confidence and character as well as their academic potential and sharing in the many unexpected funny or special moments that happen in the average school day in the classroom.

I enjoy music, getting outdoors with my three lovely children and ...chocolate :).

Meet the Teachers

PRIMARY 1

MRS MORTON

 

I am Mrs Morton. I have taught P1, P2 and P3.

My favourite thing about teaching is introducing children to school for the first time in September. 

My personal interests are baking, reading, doing logic puzzles, playing word games on enjoying my iPad.

PRIMARY 1

MISS MANSON

 

I am Miss Manson. I have taught Primary 5, Primary 3 and now Primary 1.

My favourite thing about teaching is seeing the children have ‘lightbulb’ moments in their learning – when they suddenly understand a new concept. I also enjoy seeing children apply what I’ve taught them to independently learn for themselves. In P1, my favourite thing is seeing how much progress the children make throughout the year, compared to what they could do at the beginning of September.

My personal interests are travelling, going on holidays, winter sports, water sports, singing, reading, hanging out with friends and family.

PRIMARY 2

MRS DICKINSON

I am Mrs Dickinson. I have been a teacher for 6 years, before which I was a Classroom Assistant for 3 years. I previously taught a brief stint in P4 when I first qualified but since then I have taught Primary 2 (the best!)

My Favourite thing about being a teacher is the personal relationships I build with my class. Once you are one of my boys and girls you are always one of my boys and girls!

 In my spare time I like to be creative, mainly painting, hand lettering and ‘foiling’. (Ask me what that is!)

PRIMARY 2

MRS MITCHELL

 

I am Mrs Mitchell. I have taught P2, P3 and P4. 

My favourite thing about teaching is that every day is different. No day is ever the same. I love reading books to children and watch their faces taking in the story and the pictures. I love meeting past pupils who actually remember you and love hearing what they're doing in their lives.  I love being able to praise children for their achievements and their efforts.

 I love reading, walking and going to the cinema. Also I adore spending time with my precious family.

 

PRIMARY 2/ 6

MRS BOYD

I am Mrs Boyd and I started my teaching career in post primary education teaching  English and History, before moving to the primary sector to teach KS2. Since coming to the Model I have been teaching P5 but this year I’m trying something different and am teaching P2 and P7. Throughout the years I have always had a special interest in developing numeracy and music in school.
I love the variety that comes with teaching in our school and I especially enjoy the special days and projects when we try something new or go on a trip. No day is ever the same or predictable. As a teacher I am privileged to be able to watch as children become more confident and independent as each month passes between September and June.
Outside of school I enjoy travelling to see new places, play badminton and am involved in leading the worship in my local church.

PRIMARY 3

MRS JOHNSTON

 

I am Mrs Johnston. I have taught Primary 3 and 4.

My favourite thing about teaching is that I enjoy spending time with pupils who are inquisitive, inspiring and funny. The children make me laugh every day!  I love watching the children's excitement when they learn things for the first time and observing their sense of pride when they succeed. It is rewarding to watch the progress that pupils make personally and academically from the beginning to the end of P3.

 

My personal interests are spending quality time with my family and friends. Walking my dog Bailey. Reading good books and watching movies. I love to travel and see different parts of the world. I also enjoy being involve in the Girl’s Brigade.

PRIMARY 3

MISS REA

 

I am Miss Rea. I currently teach Primary 3 but I have also taught Primary 7.

My favourite thing about teaching is when pupils work hard and they get the ‘light-bulb moment’ and something that they have been struggling with starts making sense. 

I love travelling, photography and going to the cinema.  I am also currently in the middle of planning my wedding so any spare time lately has been going into that.

PRIMARY 3

MRS BANKHEAD

I am Mrs Bankhead. I have taught P2, Special Needs and P3, as well as providing cover for any class in the school. 

My favourite thing about teaching is developing relationships with the children and getting to know their personalities. I especially enjoy informal chats with them in the playground.  I love helping children to overcome any difficulties they experience with their work.  

My interests include reading, crocheting, walking, playing word games on the ipad and trying out new recipes.    

PRIMARY 4

MRS ROBINSON

 

I am Mrs Robinson. I have taught nursery, Primary 2 and Primary 4.

My favourite thing about teaching is teaching and inspiring children to read and helping to open up a whole new world for them.

My personal interests are reading (of course!), cooking, yoga, travelling and spending time with family and friends.

 

PRIMARY 4

MRS GARDNER

 

I am Mrs Gardner. I have taught P4, P5, P7 and P1-7 as an ICT Primary Liaison Teacher. I have also taught Year 8 ICT.

I enjoy seeing the confidence grow in my pupils as they start to believe in themselves and their own potential. I thoroughly enjoy teaching pupils but I equally enjoy learning from them - I love it when they get into the driving seat and lead their peers. I am a huge fan of ICT, especially coding, and I am at my most enthused when teaching ICT. I teach my pupils to follow their passion and to realise that only by hard work, consistent hard work and dedication, can you pursue your dreams. Anything is possible! Learning is forever - it never ends! 

I enjoy reading, (especially Louise Penny books), astronomy, movies, cooking, long walks in the forest or by the sea, travelling (especially to Italy and Japan), new experiences, my pets, my family and my close circle of family-friends from all parts of the world. 

PRIMARY 5 

MRS McCULLOUGH

 

I am Mrs McCullough. I started teaching in a small school outside Ballymena called Clough Primary. I was there for three and a half years before moving closer to home and getting the Primary 4  job in  Carrickfergus Model in January 2005.  I worked with Mrs Johnston for 7 years.  After a year career break, to look after my 2 children, I moved to Primary 5 for 3 years working with Mrs Boyd.  I was then given the opportunity to work Primary 7.  I stayed there for 3 years before returning back to Primary 5.  I have thoroughly enjoyed moving around the school and working with different teachers, always learning from their experiences and wealth of knowledge.

My favourite thing about teaching: I love getting to know the whole child, finding out what they are interested in and do outside of school.  My aim is to encourage all pupils to grow in confidence as they get prepared for the next step or challenge they come across.

I was a keen hockey player and played for Greenisland Ladies for many years.  My husband and son enjoy playing rugby while my daughter and I now spend most of our time looking after and competing our 3 horses.  Weekends are always busy in the McCullough household! 

PRIMARY 5

MRS FALCONER

 

I am Mrs Falconer. I'm currently teaching P5 and I have previously taught P6 and P7.   

In my opinion it is very difficult to have a boring day at work when you're a teacher.  I always leave work with at least one exciting, funny or interesting story to tell.  I love that no day is the same and I am constantly learning with the children. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a young child learn something new, master a new situation and make connections with the world around them, knowing that I had a small part to play in their development. It is very rewarding to go to work and be surrounded by love all around me. 

My personal interests are working out at the gym, meeting friends for a wee cup of green tea and a catch up, going to the cinema with my husband (even though I rarely get to choose the movie) and of course looking after my gorgeous little boy, Luke.

PRIMARY 5

MRS GILLILAND

 

I am Mrs Gilliland. I’m currently teaching Primary five and have been with this lovely bunch since November 2018. I have taught Primary five for two years and have also taught a Primary five, six and seven multi-composite classroom in Edinburgh for three years.
 
My favourite part of teaching is seeing how children grow as individuals throughout the year and enjoy their learning journey! I love getting to know each pupil, help them realise how unique they are and that through having determination and a growth mindset they can achieve amazing things!
 
Outside of school, I love spending time with my family, going on holidays and playing sports (particularly Badminton, tennis, or training for 10k races).

PRIMARY 6

MR CATTERSON

 

I am Mr Catterson. I taught in P5 for my first three years and have taught in P6 for almost a year and a half.

Alongside July, August and 3pm weekdays, my favourite thing about teaching is getting to witness sheer delight and self-belief on young faces when a personal target (of whatever size!) has been met!  Getting to see confidence grow is amazing!

Outside of teaching I enjoy music, sport, fitness, drama, reading, spending time with family and friends and most recently, dancing (through the Strictly Come Dancing competition!).

PRIMARY 6

MRS HUTTON

 

I’m Mrs Hutton and I am currently teaching in P6, but have previously taught in P7. 

I think I’m really privileged to get to teach, it’s a true honour to be a part of child’s  life and have an impact on the person they will become.  I love getting to know my pupils, help them to see how special and individual they are and show them that with perseverance, effort and belief, they can achieve great things. It’s great to watch children learn and help them to have an ‘I can’ attitude.  Nothing is better than seeing a child make progress academically, emotionally and in their maturity and confidence. It’s great seeing that smile creep onto their faces when they succeed!

I love that everyday my class teaches and shows me something new, from new dance crazes, to amazing new facts. Everyday in class is different, but I also get to learn so much from my pupils and make lots of new and fun memories with them. 

Outside school I love to spend time with my family, read, go on holidays and watch Liverpool FC...and of course, relax with a cup of tea and a Twix!

PRIMARY 7 

MR TRUSSELL

  

I am Mr Trussell. Most of my experience in teaching has been in P7, but I have also taught in P6 and have previously taught as a PE Specialist.  

The thing I love most about teaching is being given the opportunity try to make a difference in so many young peoples’ lives. I enjoy getting to know each of my students on an individual basis, exploring their personal interests and also driving them forward academically. I love to witness progress being made academically, but also in the wider life of a child, for example, their confidence. I enjoy encouraging my pupils to try new experiences, whether that is sport, different reading material, educational trips, new subjects or anything else they haven’t tried.

Alongside teaching, I particularly enjoy sport (specifically playing football for Ballyclare Comrades, taking part in long-distance cycling sportives, coaching football and rugby and watching any number of sports). My wife is also a teacher which allows us to explore our joint interest in travelling to new countries with our family during the summer months.

Meet the Special Needs Assistant

MRS HARKNESS

I am Mrs Harkness.  Since joining in September 2012, I have worked with groups and individual children from P5 to P7. I have supported Key Stage 2 Teachers by photocopying, putting up displays and general assistant duties. I also provided 1:1 support for a child in P5. I currently work with small groups of children from Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

My favourite thing about being a classroom assistant is watching a child make smalls steps of progress to reach a target.  I enjoy helping them to achieve their targets and sharing the happiness they feel when they succeed.

I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, walking and caravanning.

Meet the Classroom Assistants

 PRIMARY 1 

 MRS FITZSIMMONS

 

 MRS LOVE

 

I am Mrs Love. I have worked in the Model PS since 2002 as a playground assistant and then from 2006 as a learning support assistant to one child. In 2010 I was appointed as a Primary One classroom assistant with Miss King. At present I work alongside Miss Manson in room one. 

I find it very rewarding watching children start their school journey at age 4-5 years old and see them develop in character and wisdom before my eyes. I feel privileged to be able to play a part in this important school journey and love encouraging good choices and their growing initiative and sensitivity to others and the world around them. They prove that children thrive in a positive and happy environment multiple times a day. The most rewarding part is seeing when they are praised for achievement big or small in any area of school life - whether it be socially, emotionally or academically. 

Another part of my job I love, as I age, is weekends and school breaks.  At my age going flat out for 6-7 weeks at a time is all I can manage :-). During these times I love to walk with my two dogs and my family and friends. I enjoy exercise classes, cinema trips - especially the popcorn - but I enjoy eating out most of all because I don’t have to clear up afterwards. Then of course there are holidays and short trips to visit one of my daughters who teaches in Durham. 

On a final note, all three of my children came to this school and have grown up with a positive attitude to learning, found good careers and definitely thrived on the good balance of disciple and fun that was provided during early years education.

PRIMARY 2

MRS FOSTER

 

MRS RUSSELL

I am Mrs Russell. I have been a classroom assistant for 13 years in the Model Primary School.

In P2 we do a lot of exciting topics e.g. the Arctic and Space. I love listening to the children explaining all the facts they have learnt. I also love listening to the children read.

I love to read a lot, I like books set back in time (Tudor times) or set in Ireland. I love to walk at the weekends with my two dogs going up to the North Coast or the dams in Carrickfergus as well as walking in the Mourne Mountains.

PRIMARY 3

MRS BOYD

 

I am Mrs Boyd.  I have worked with P1, P6, P2 and P3. 

My favourite thing about being a classroom assistant is making a difference to each child and watching the pupils' progress.

My personal interests are reading, history and spending time with my family and friends.

MRS McAULEY

 

I am Mrs McAuley. I have worked with: P3 and P4.

My favourite thing about being a classroom assistant is being part of the day to day running of the P3 class. I also enjoy the opportunity to help pupils on a one to one basis, that need extra help.

My personal interests are travelling, swimming and playing the drums! :).

 PRIMARY 4

 

MRS MOLLOY

 

I am Mrs Molloy. I have worked in the classroom assistant role for 11 years, specialising in special needs learning support. I have been an assistant in primary 1-primary 5 and previously in years 8-11. 

 My favourite thing about being an assistant is being able to support the emotional development of children. I get great satisfaction from seeing young people succeed across a range of abilities, whether as individuals or groups of children. I also enjoy supporting and undertaking duties which support the teacher in the classroom. I especially enjoy my role in supporting those with other specific needs or special educational needs on a one-to-one basis.  

 My interests are running, hill walking, reading and voluntary work with the NI Hospice.

MRS BROWN

 

I am Mrs Brown. I have worked with P7, P6, P3, P4 and P5.

I absolutely love just being with the children, getting to know them better, watching theme thrive and most of all having fun with them.

I enjoy travelling, yoga, dogs, cooking and anything related to the sea.

 

 

 PRIMARY 5-7

MRS SIMPSON

 

I am Mrs Simpson. I have worked in Key Stage 2 as a Numeracy and Literacy support teacher. I help out with photocopying.

I enjoy helping to give confidence to pupils who struggle with some areas of learning. I like the variety of work. I enjoy getting to know the pupils and I learn from them.

I like to complete jigsaw puzzles, I enjoy baking and being a member of a local church.

 

MRS McCRISKEN

 

I am Mrs McCrisken. I have worked as a one-to-one SEN assistant in a P6 and P7 classroom as well as in secondary education.

 I enjoy the fact that every day is a new adventure and have always thoroughly enjoyed working with children of all ages. I enjoy coming to my job everyday!

 A personal interest of mine is sewing. I make dog coats and sell these at St. George’s Market in Belfast. I enjoy all types of arts and crafts and I love to learn new things.

Meet the Office Staff

SECRETARY

MRS SMYTHE

 I am Mrs Smythe. Since joining Carrick Model Primary School in August 2013 I have worked as a Secretary, General Assistant and Supervisory Assistant.

 I love the fact that no two days are ever the same at Carrick Model, you never know what each day brings.  I enjoy getting to know all the children and being to help them throughout the day.

In my spare time I love to spend time with my family which normally involves me watching them play football!  Aside of football I enjoy going on holiday, walking and going to our caravan! 

Meet the Caretaker

 MR KIRK

I am Mr Kirk. I have been a caretaker in Carrick Model Primary School for three years. 

I enjoy doing lots of different jobs around the school.

My hobbies include watching rugby, motorhome trips and going to the gym. 

Meet the Lollipop Man

MR McALISTER

I am Mr McAlister. I have been a lollipop man for thirteen years.
I enjoy meeting all the boys and girls and having a yarn with the grown ups and all the kids. I enjoy knowing that I am keeping everybody safe. It is very rewarding hearing all the lovely comments I get from everybody about how much they appreciate the way I do my job and all the lovely gifts I get at holiday times - it’s amazing.
I enjoy watching football and watching Ulster rugby and the Six Nations. I also enjoy snooker and eye Great Tournaments on TV. I also enjoy watching my son Aaron play for Bann 035.

Meet the Dinner Ladies

 

I am Jackie. I have been a dinner lady for ten years.
I enjoy seeing the children finish all their dinner and a little smile goes a long way.
In my spare time I like keeping fit with circuits etc. and I enjoy watching movies.
I am Margaret. I have been a dinner last for twenty-one years.
I enjoy cooking and baking for the pupils.
In my spare time I like to read, walk and go swimming.
I am Michelle. I have been a dinner last for seven years.
I enjoy seeing the children try foods they have never eaten before.
In my spare time I like skydiving and bungee jumping.