Dear Belfast Families,
Although I have only been at Belfast for one month, it already feels like home! Belfast School is truly a wonderful school: the students are hardworking and kind, the staff are creative and caring, and our parent community is engaged and supportive. I feel very fortunate to be here and want to thank all of you for the warm welcome and support I've received over the past month.
As mentioned in our Weekly Update, our school is in the process of designing a new logo; throughout this process, we have been learning more about our school's history and the stories that live on this land and within this building.
Belfast School is built on the traditional territory of the Blackfoot Nations (Siksika, Piikani, Kainai), the Tsuut'ina Nation, the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, and the Metis Nation (Region 3). Some classes have explored the connection to the land, and how this land provided everything people needed to survive: fertile soil, access to water, and natural protection from the elements. Students have also learned how the land has changed over time, particularly with the arrival of colonists, by examining old maps and looking at archived photos.
As we dig into the Belfast School history, some classes have read about the first temporary Belfast School that was approved to open in a church in 1914. We have a model of the first official Belfast School that opened as a one room schoolhouse in 1920, and students have imagined what it was like to be in school back then. Some classes have explored how our current building opened in 1960, and how the programs offered here have evolved over the years, including a more recent focus on technology and fine arts.
Throughout the logo redesign process, we are learning about our school's history, analyzing what it means to be a Belfast student right now, and also imagining our school's future. Belfast School has one of the longest histories of any school in Calgary, and we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our students and their families. As one historian wrote in 1997, Belfast School "has always been fairly small but a wonderful place to learn" (Sharlene Bethell), and this remains true today.
We are all so fortunate to be a part of such a special community. I invite all families to share their thoughts on what makes Belfast unique through this short survey here and thank you in advance for sharing your ideas with us.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments.
Acting Principal, Belfast School