Belfast preschools Holy Cross and Springhill have partnered together as part of the Sharing From The Start programme. Together the two settings took part in a variety of sessions this year including visiting each other’s settings for stay and play sessions, Jo Jingles, a trip to the pantomime, a visit to indoor physical play centre and a Christmas Carol singing for all their families.
Their curriculum focus this year was Personal, Social and Emotional development and energetic physical play to co-side with the needs of the children. They have really enjoyed taking part in the programme and found it very beneficial. Through partnering together they have developed community links with the children, parents and staff. All the children have enjoyed making new friends and sharing new experiences with them. From visiting each others settings they have been able to take away some new ideas to develop their own settings and they’re very much looking forward to continuing with the programme in the forthcoming year.
Sharing From The Start is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Funding enables pre-schools to take part in Shared Education projects improving educational outcomes and cross-community cohesion, inclusion and diversity. A number of neighbouring pre-school partnerships have been developed throughout Northern Ireland and the Southern Border Counties.
Administered by Early Years, working in collaboration with the Fermanagh Trust and National Childhood Network, the Sharing From The Start project aims to engage almost 10,000 pre-school children in shared activities on an ongoing and sustained basis. Together these three organisations have a strong track record and over twenty years experience of working for the benefit of children and community relations.