St Columba’s Primary School, Oban was invited to host the launch of Scotland’s Catholic Education Week 2017 by the Scottish Catholic Education Service, the first time that Catholic Education Week has been launched in the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. The choice of Oban reflected the desire by SCES to emphasise its outreach to areas where the opportunity for children to attend Catholic schools is more limited and to mark Bishop Brian McGee’s first Catholic Education Week in the diocese.

The theme of the week, ‘Developing our school as a community of faith and learning’, was the focus of much work by pupils and staff in preparing for the event. Pupils produced videos and wall displays about becoming a school community of faith and learning. Barbara Coupar, director of SCES, described the children’s work as ‘fantastic’, adding that it was a real reflection of the fact that ‘Catholic education serves the whole community and they were able to showcase all the work they do.’

Guests at the launch included Barbara Coupar and Ellen MacBride from SCES, Bishop Brian McGee, parish priest Mgr. James MacNeil, parish and parent representatives, Argyll & Bute’s acting Head of Service for Education Anne Paterson and local Councillor Kieran Green. They were joined by pupils for a special celebration lunch to mark the event.

Headteacher Michaelina MacLellan expressed her thanks to all those who had supported the school and described the pupils as an absolute credit to the school. Speaking after the event she commented:

“The launch for Catholic Education Week was a huge success for our school and we have been overwhelmed by the letters, emails and kind words that we have received from the visitors who attended, complementing our school’s ethos and praising our children and staff. We are very fortunate to have such a supportive community and we are truly grateful to everyone who helped us to prepare for this very special occasion.”

With thanks to Paul McSherry for photos. All photos copyright.