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Seaview Primary School and Nursery Unit, Belfast

Mr Irvine retires from Seaview Primary School

30th Jun 2021

Mr Irvine stalwart of Seaview Primary School has retired after over 33 years of service to the North Belfast School. He will hold a special place in many children's heart for the memories he helped to create when he taught in Seaview. Mr Irvine has taught thousands of pupils in Key Stage Two throughout his long and celebrated career.

A dedicated teacher he loved to teach English and Mathematics, preparing many children for the transfer test. He loved teaching grammar and his dramatic reading of classroom novels was always an enthralling experience for many pupils but it was his love of creativity encouraged many to fall in love with writing and “The Arts”.

One former pupil, Lessa Harker who is now playwright wrote in the Belfast Telegraph in 2016:

I went to Seaview Primary School and, in P5, I had Mr Irvine. He was just out of training college and was absolutely brilliant.

He was the kind of teacher who was "in with the kids" without trying to be.

He looked really cool, too; he had long hair and dressed like someone from Spandau Ballet, with a long tweed coat. The mothers at the school gates were all of a flutter.

Whilst his hair may have changed somewhat, his love of fine clothes did not. He was always the best dressed in the staffroom.

As the Seaview “Arts” coordinator, he developed many partnerships and gave our pupils many wonderful experiences.

He is best known for his fabulous Christmas and end of year productions that would rival any West End Performance. He taught children (and some staff!) to dance, sing and act with rigour. Another former pupil, Paul Alexander Boyd, Creator of acclaimed shows and musicals credited his passion with his time treading the boards in the Seaview Assembly Hall to Mr Irvine and enjoyed sharing this during our career week last year.

His passion for cross-community initiatives resulted in many adventures with the staff from St. Patrick’s Primary School. He took the children to poetry workshops, football matches and fishing. In 2017, he even made the BBC news for his work in Shared Education.

Throughout his many years in Seaview, the highlight for many young people was the wonderful end of year trip to away to England or Scotland. Mr Irvine could always be found cheerleading the reluctant child to get on rollercoaster or leading the sing song of an evening. His care and love on those trips were exceptional.

To the staff in Seaview, he was more than just a colleague, he was a friend. He brought great joy to the staffroom and to many nights out.

The amazing, Mr Irvine contributed richly to life in Seaview throughout his career and we wish him the very best in his retirement.