Qrendi Primary is one of the smallest schools within St.Benedict College. It is situated right behind Qrendi parish church in Triq iz-Zghozija, next door to Helen Keller Special Needs Resource Centre. The same yard, hall and new football ground behind the building are shared between the two schools. Resources at Helen Keller such as the multisensory room, the therapy pool, as well as the school nurse and several peripatetic teachers who decide to work with our teachers are assets that Qrendi Primary enjoys.
Qrendi Primary has a population of 85 children ranging form 2 years 9 months to 11 years. The school has 6 primary year classes and two kindergarten classes. There are 6 Teachers, 2 Kindergarten Assistants, 3 Learning Support Assistants, and 3 Supply L.S.A.s. Support Staff includes a part-time clerk and two General Hands as well as a part-time cleaner. The supervision and coordination of works done by the Precincts’ Officer, Mr.Victor Fenech, are very appreciated. A gardener and several visiting teachers are shared with other schools within the College. The school enjoys the services of a visiting INCO, guidance teachers, counsellors, and the services of the various peripatetic teachers as well as other support that it seeks from the Directorate for Student Support. Spiritual care is catered for by the parish priest Fr. Mario Mifsud.
Qrendi is a small village with a population of around 2,700 people. In the last 30 years the village has expanded, new roads and buildings were constructed, new housing estates were built. As a consequence the original local population has mixed and today there are families coming from most different parts of Malta. While the physical area of the village has doubled the population number has remained almost the same due to the smaller family nuclei. The ageing population has grown and the number of newborns has decreased. As a consequence the school population has gone down along the years. But this fact is also due to the substantial number of families who for various reasons opt to send their children to primary schools other than that of Qrendi. The consequence is that while we start with a reasonable number of children in the Kinder years, they start to decrease year by year as the children grow older. (Accidentally almost always the best pupils leave.) This has resulted in classes with extremely small number of children. This can have its positive side in that education becomes more personalized. The fact that groups are small in number helps teachers to cope better with the mixed ability levels. It also helps the staff to get to know the parents on a first name basis and the latter feel comfortable to discuss their concerns, suggestions and complaints. On the other hand too small a number of pupils in a class may also have its negative educational effects. The school tries to integrate with other primary schools within the college for certain activities to overcome this problem.
The school is effected by the culture of the village. Although there is a growing number of graduates there is still a good number of parents who may not have the necessary skills to help their children in their schooling. Action on the part of the school to help remedy the situation is also planned. While there is a strong base of agricultural activity in the village very few full-time farmers remain and most parents earn their living from other sources. Advantage should be taken however of the agrarian knowledge that exists. The children at Qrendi have the opportunity to attend the religious organization Museum, the Scout Group, and the local band clubs. There is also a slow growing football nursery. The band club culture is still very strong and one has to take notice of it as it can affect relationships in the school especially at particular times of the year. Children from Qrendi often visit other places in Malta to attend music, ballet, art, or other kinds of activity. There is a healthy relationship with the parents and the School Council organizes various activities throughout the year to bring parents together, get to know each other, and take an active part in the education of their children.
The school is gifted by a professional staff who work hard for the ecducational progress of each and every student. At Qrendi Primary we try to make each student a protagonist by valuing his abilities and talents and help him or her to share them with their colleagues. We try to give them self-esteem by offering them opportunities to express themselves and take a leading role whenever possible through activities such as students’ council, ekoskola committee, exhibitions, reading sessions and celebration during assemblies. We also promote a democratic school through elections and meetings and by sharing responsibilities all along the year.
There is also a very active School Council that meets regularly every month. Although the school is small the Council manages to create and organize a very good number of activities that involve both parents and children. The parents on their side appreciate the Council’s efforts and try to contribute their part both physically and financially when the need arises. Without the support of the School Council activities some projects would have been difficult to realize.
The school has also a good relationship with the Qrendi Local Council. The school has worked together with the Council for the Christmas activity “Milied fil-Maqluba”. The school children accompanied by their parents went around the village singing Christmas carols. The activity ended at Maqluba where an original crib made from plastic bottle caps was put up by the school children. The local Mayor finally addressed the students, thanked them and presented them with a book token. Together with the Local Council and with the help of the P.S.D teachers we also organized a historical tour around the streets of Qrendi. In both activities the students had an active role and showed great enthusiasm.