2nd Primary School

2nd Primary School

The building works for the 2th Primary School first started in 1968, since the growing needs of the village made the operation of a second educational institution strongly necessary. The director of the then Primary School Deryneia, Mr. Andreas Hadjiluca with the then community council, Mr. Yianni Sardalo proceeded steps for the cession of available municipal land, on which the second school of the community was built, on the northeast side of the village, in the locality " Vrisi". The development of Deryneia towards the city of Famagusta led to the decision of choosing this particular region.

After long proceedings the then Minister of Education, Mr. Konstantinos Spyridakis gave his consent and under the supervision of the Head of Technical Services, late Pefkios Georgiadis, the construction works for the school started, headed by the construction company of Mr. Yiannos Arnaoutis from Kato Deryneia. After the first construction phase of the school was completed the school began its operation in September 1969. It was a two-storey building with three classrooms, a Home Economics classroom and the Director's office on the ground floor. The three interconnected classrooms could be converted into one large room by opening double wooden movable panels, which was made use of for celebrations of large school events. The intermediate storey office of the school manager was suitable for the use as a stage. On the first floor another three classrooms and a small warehouse were built. There also was a basement where the toilets and two other warehouses were located.

There were only a few houses in the surrounding area, the road was gravel but later asphalted with the volunteer work of British students, who were sheltered by members of the community of Deryneia. Further north the foundations of the stone church of St Panton were located. The school was not even fenced, neither the schoolyard nor the playing field had been designed, yet.

Despite the shortcomings, the enthusiasm and passion for the opening of the first school year was tremendous, both from teachers and students. That particular year the school registered 204 students in six classes: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th class.

The location of the school, the view of the city of Evagoras with the plain, its orange groves and the sea gave inspiration to productive educational work. The concern of everyone was for the school to be equipped as completely as possible and to form the school environment and the sports grounds.

While everything was beautiful and productive, the events of the summer 1974 forced the residents of Deryneia to leave the community, after Turkish troops had invaded, advancing as far as to the current Town Hall.

The school changed its role and offered its services as an army camp from September 1974 until November 1976. The students were accommodated in the premises of the 1st Primary School Deryneia, attending the morning and evening classes.

After several meetings between the Parents Association, the personnel of the school and the Local Authority regarding the re-opening of the school and with the approval of the Ministry of Education and the written consent of the parents of the affected students, the children returned back to school in November 1976.

The difficulties were enormous, as the archive of the school had been destroyed; none of the furniture nor teaching aids had been transferred to the 1st Primary School. The operation of the 2nd Primary School Deryneia had to begin from scratch again. The once great view of Famagusta was now causing grief in the faces of the students and their teachers. In the children's hearts fear and insecurity nestled. The teachers had the mandate to put all their teaching efforts in restoring peace of mind and tranquillity in the children.

At the same time efforts began to reshape the physical school environment (area of 10-12 acres). This goal was gradually implemented through the creation of a rock garden by the main entrance of the school, a pond, a grass area, colourful flower beds, a herb garden, Rhododendron along the east and west side, a pinewood and olive grove, a large number of carob and other Cypriot plants and trees. Children and teachers put in a lot of time and effort during both their school and their spare time. Through experimental work in vegetable gardening groups, the students apart from growing environmental awareness, also learned to cooperate, to take responsibility, to be industrious, to appreciate the elegance and to execute a program with proficiency.

The school pioneered in the cultivation of the "I do not forget and I fight" spirit and accepted daily visits of many official political figures from Cyprus and abroad, as well as from ordinary people and thousands of students of all levels. Students and teachers as ambassadors of the Cyprus issue informed about the new situation and generally contributed to bringing it to international attention.

Our school hosted the activities of the Coordinating Committee of Women's Associations and Organizations of Famagusta. For the events of the twenty days of February in 1987 the school was used for conferences and presentations. The purpose of these events was a protest against the colonization of Famagusta and a call for the liberation of our occupied territories. Those days thousands of visitors, celebrities, figures from political life, from the art and culture scene of Cyprus, from Greece and the rest of the world paid their visits to the school. Among them were personalities like Melina Mercouri and Anna Synodinou, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Agriculture of India.

Our school then got an extension by adding another room on the second floor (above the Home Economics room) and a second stairway on the northeast side of the school, opposite the principal's office and the teachers’ office.

Innovative programs were experimentally implemented in the Home Economy lessons creating mixed teams of boys and girls for Family Education issues.

During the following years events and activities to familiarize the children with our Cypriot tradition took place at our school, like preparing buns and Halloumi, wheat grinding with a hand mill, making hats and baskets and sewing with a sewing machine, all conducted by community residents for to pass on their first-hand knowledge to the new generations. Simultaneously a ceremony in honour of our popular poet Kostas Katsantoni was held. An impressive presentation of the Cyprus Wedding also took place, in which all the children of the school took part. This was an opportunity for the children to come into direct contact with the community customs and traditions of the past times.

Within the twinning scheme of our municipality with the Municipality of Kalithea Rhodes, school students, accompanied by teachers and parents visited in Kalithies while they reciprocated the hospitality the following year in Deryneia. The exchange program continued for three consecutive years with excellent results, strengthening relations between the two municipalities, the schools and the children.

Touching tributes were held reflecting the devotement expressed in the spirit of the words "I do not forget and I fight", e.g. during the commemoration event for the nine men executed by hanging during the liberation fight of 1955-1959, which was attended by the relatives and families of the nine men, the Director of Education Mr. Nicos Leontiou, figures of the community and lots of other people. In another event the heroes of the liberation struggle of 1955-1959 were honoured, all of who were from the Free Famagusta Area.

Our school joined the European Educational Project Socrates-Comenius, during the course of which a teachers exchange scheme took place. Together with the children of our school, 976 other children from primary schools in the Basque country in Spain, from the Sint-Josef Instituut in the city of Leuven in Belgium and from the Seventh Primary School Sientelse in Poland worked for five years on the topic "Nutrition and Health of Children."

The students worked on individual booklets, traveling every two months in one of the four countries with the aim of getting to know the language and culture and good habits of healthy eating. The outcome of all activities of these five years was the publishing of the recipe book «Chicken Wings and Other Things» which includes six traditional recipes from each of the participating countries.

The need for an upgrade of the school building leads to adding an extension on the west side. Gradually built between 2003-2005 are the teachers’ office, the Design and Technology room, the infirmary and the canteen.

Always with the objective of maximizing educational outcomes, in partnership with the respective inspectors, the emphasis was put on the self-evaluation of the school unit. Drafted by the teachers themselves, evaluation papers on language and maths are given to students at the beginning, mid-term and end of each school year. Through evaluation and analysis of the results of the school unit, teachers receive feedback and engage in improvement-counselling programs. The results are communicated to the district office of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The classrooms are equipped with special furniture (nests), where children can store their belongings and books. The school bag is emptied and the pupils take responsibility and initiative for organizing their bag and their personal belongings. Furthermore, the portfolio with achievements of the children including samples of their best works in various subjects of the curriculum is stored in this place.

Particular emphasis has been put on the environmental upgrading of the site during all the years of school operation, to turn it into a real gem of the community. With the collaboration of the Department of Forests native plants, forestry, fragrant plants and other ornamental species were planted.

During the course of the forty years of operation of the school many school students gained prizes in national, European and worldwide competitions in essay writing, poetry, mathematics, art and sport, making our school proud. Plenty are also the publishing works of albums, anthologies, magazines, yearbooks and newspapers.

During the course of time the effects of erosion had brought about many damages in the oldest part of the building. Consecutive meetings of the School Management with the Technical Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the School Board and the Association of Parents led to the decision to erect a new building in order to meet the seismic building requirements, which was the first priority. In the summer of 2009 four new classrooms were added to the classrooms of the west wing as well as a Special Education classroom on the ground floor, south of the canteen. In December 2009 the oldest part of the building was finally demolished and the construction works of the new building started.

Today 140 students attend the school, which is divided into eight sections with 13 trained teachers and three guest teachers working at the school. The vision of the modern school are the children, regardless of their origin and background; that they may live, learn and thrive in a children-friendly and democratic environment, developing a consummate and sound personality complementing their individual talents. The school uses modern teaching methods whilst making use of modern information and communication technologies. At the same time we do not forget our roots, so we organize activities related to our tradition. In that sense teachers and students work in an ample learning environment, with many stimuli, which provides them with joy, acceptance and security with a positive influence on the school results.

During the forty years of operation of the 2nd Primary School Deryneia a large number of teachers, assistant managers and directors have worked at the school with remarkable achievements in all areas.

Headmasters — headmistresses who served at the 2nd  Primary School Deryneia

School years service / Name of Director / Director’s origin

Sept.1969 - June1970 Dimitrakis Stylianou, Famagusta

Sept.1970 - June1974 Andreas Polydorou, Agios Ermolaos

Sept.1974 - June1976 (*)

Sept.1976 - June1981 Christophoros Kelires, Akanthou

Sept.1981 - June1986 Andreas Protopapas, Giolou - Paphos

Sept.1986 - June1989 Flora Ioannou, Famagusta

Sept.1989 - June1993 Despo Baka, Lefkonoiko

Sept.1993 - June1997 Menelaos Katshi, Vathylakos

Sept.1997 - June2000 Andreas Hadjipanayis, Mandres

Sept.2000 - December 2003 Maria Mamilou, Famagusta

Ian.2004 - June 2004 Varvara Ioannou, Famagusta

Sept.2004 - June2008 Theodora Manizate, Paralimni

Sept.2008 - June2010 Christodoulos Tooulakos, Akanthou

Sept.2010 - George Flouris, Paralimni

(*) The school served as a camp of the National Guard