Loughinisland Playgroup and Glasswater Preschool have been working together with ‘Sharing From The Start’ for a number of years. Staff and children have, through their involvement in Shared Education, been taking part in a series of activities to enhance their learning and provide the children with new opportunities.
The partnership recently held an ‘Odd Socks Day’ to raise awareness of Down Syndrome and raise money for local support group ‘Down Right Incredible – Saintfield’. This was all around their work on diversity and inclusion and it’s one of their core shared sessions that the partnership carry out every year.
On 21st March 2022 staff and children wore odd socks, brightly coloured socks, long socks, printed socks and patterned socks to help raise awareness and mark World Down Syndrome Day. On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and advocate for the rights, inclusion and wellbeing of people with Down syndrome.
Both groups had previously talked about the session with their own settings. Socks were hung up outside both preschools and the children coloured in and decorated paper socks with lots of different designs. Via Zoom the children began by showing each other all their odd socks and sang the song: “Socks Socks Socks Socks, what a lot of socks we’ve got, stripey socks and spotty socks…. What kind of socks have “Glasswater/Loughinisland got?”
Loughinisland and Glasswater Preschool showed each other their Down Syndrome Dolls Daisy and Dan. Judy leader at Glasswater read the story called “We are all Different” while Eileen Loughinisland leader held the same book up for the boys and girls in Loughinisland and followed the story. Judy discussed with everyone what Down Syndrome was and the children took turns talking about “being different” and how it doesn’t matter – we are all different and it’s what is inside that counts. Children talked about different hair colour, eye colour, skin tone, some wore glasses, some were tall, some were small, some had curly hair and some had straight hair and how some people can’s see or talk. To finish the session Judy showed some sign language which the children enjoyed learning.
Glasswater had their odd socks on too…
We all had odd socks even the teachers…
I’m going to show my mummy how to sign when I go home …
I can’t wait to see Glasswater next week at the Forest..