The stunning Crom Estate on the shores of Upper Lough Erne was the setting for the latest shared session between Brookeborough Playgroup and Maguiresbridge Playgroup. The two pre-schools have become partners as part of the Shared Education project ‘Sharing From The Start’.
Children, staff and parents enjoyed the visit to the Castle and country estate. They had opportunities to interact with each other as they took part in a nature walk and educational talk about the various land and water insects. Children were able to inspect frogspawn, small perch and others creatures, all of which helped their observation and language skills to describe what they saw.
Then it was off to explore woodlands looking for bugs. Children and parents had time to get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere. During snack time children all sat around together with their peers chatting about what they enjoyed during the visit.
‘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 project aims to engage almost 10,000 pre-school children in shared activities on an ongoing and sustained basis by 2022. Together these three organisations have a strong track record and over twenty years experience of working for the benefit of children and community relations.
Audrey Rainey (Early Years), Programme Manager of ‘Sharing From The Start’ commented “It’s great to see such fun, curriculum based work like this visit taking place. The Brookeborough and Maguiresbridge playgroups have shown a real dedication and enthusiasm and we wish them well for the rest of their sessions together. This is what the project is all about, creating opportunities like this for the children, parents and teachers to learn and work together.”