Moving from national school to secondary level is a landmark moment for any child, but when that child has never missed a day during their national school career, that moment becomes all the more meaningful.
When Charlotte Gordon (12) recently finished at Scoil Mhuire NS, Newtownforbes, she did so having never missed a day during her time at school.
“It became a personal goal for her – she was determined not to miss a day. So from Baby Infants until now, she went to school every day,” said Charlotte’s mother, Catherine Gallagher.
She added: “It just happened that by third or fourth class she hadn’t missed a day and from there she became more aware of it as a goal.”
Although genuinely proud of her daughter’s achievement, Catherine said: “We couldn’t go away anywhere for a long weekend. We had to always be back for school. I once said to her, ‘If you won a holiday with all expenses paid to Disney Land but you had to miss days at school, would you go?’ And she said she wouldn’t.”
Charlotte, who turns 13 in September, will begin studying at Mean Scoil Mhuire, Longford in the autumn. She has one sister, Grace (8) and a young brother Callum (19 months).
“She’s looking forward to Mean Scoil Mhuire. I do wonder if it will change her with regard to school attendance – now that she’s getting older, but she’s a good kid and she does well at school,” said Catherine, who is originally from Manchester, England and living in the Newtownforbes area for ten years.
She added: “Charlotte was always dead popular at class but she was made up at having this attendance record.”