Children, staff and parents from Omagh Integrated Nursery, Omagh North Nursery and Christ the King Nursery are excited to be working together on Shared Education activities thanks to the €4.2 million project ‘Sharing From The Start’.
(L-R) Noletta Smyth, Early Years, Emma McDonald, Christ the King Nursery, Amanda Duffy-Phillips, Omagh North Nursery and Martina Curry, Omagh Integrated Nursery. Also included are pupils from the three nurseries
The Sharing From The Start initiative is supported the European Union’s Peace IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. It involves early years settings throughout Northern Ireland and the Southern Border counties forming cross-community partnerships, and the children taking part in joint curricular classes, improving educational outcomes and promoting good relations.
In it’s first year, there were over 1800 children involved from 67 pre-schools across the region. By partnering with a neighbouring pre-school, staff, parents and children were able to avail of many opportunities including tutoring, trips, performances and various curriculum based activities. Starting in this second year of the project there will be over 2400 children involved with a number of new pre-schools like this Omagh partnership joining the programme.
Martina Curry, Omagh Integrated Nursery said “This term we’re looking forward to focussing on arts, music and creative working. In particular, as an integrated nursery, our ethos fits in with Shared Education so we’re delighted to working our neighbouring settings.”
Amanda Duffy Phillips, Omagh North Nursery added “Building on an existing nursery teacher cluster where the professionals met regularly, we jumped at the opportunity to be able to bring our children together to play and learn alongside one another, celebrating inclusion and diversity.”
Emma McDonald, Christ the King also commented saying “Sharing From The Start is a great way to develop stronger community links and break down barriers. We’re really looking forward to having lots of fun and making new friends.”
The partnership starting their shared sessions together coincides with Northern Ireland’s first ever Shared Education Week, which takes place from Monday 8th October to Friday 12th October. Organised by the Shared Education Learning Forum, this is an opportunity for everyone involved in Shared Education to take part in a week of events and to celebrate the success and raise awareness.
Sharing From The Start is administered by Early Years working in collaboration with the National Childhood Network and the Fermanagh Trust. Together these three organisations have a strong track record of working for the benefit of children and good relations development. Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland and the Department of Education and Skills Ireland. For more information CLICK HERE