An integral part of the Sharing from the Start programme is the provision of training to preschool teachers. A recent peer learning cluster provided a platform for practitioners to explore the outcomes of Sharing From The Start, reflect on their successes of being involved in Shared Education and share ideas with each other. The session looked at the promotion of parental engagement through the Sharing from the Start and building on reconciliation through the facilitation of shared outcomes.
The meeting in Omagh saw preschools involved from the beginning of the programme, new groups coming on board and new teachers meeting their partner school for the first time. Planning their shared education activities and excited for more in person rather than the online sessions throughout the Pandemic.
The preschool leaders shared the importance on involving parents and wider community in their shared sessions and how Sharing From The Start has given their staff the confidence to try new things. Children are now more involved in their own community as well as exploring other communities. Showing that there’s life outside their own bubble and that other schools exist.
Leaders shared their experiences of the programme and how it is an example of good, non-tokenistic Shared Education with equal consideration to educational and shared outcomes. Building relationships with their partner school has broken down barriers for children, parents and grandparents. The innocence of children, they don’t see barriers at all, everyone is a new friend to play with. In many cases a friendship that will continue right up through Primary School.
The preschools involved in the programme have a mix of Rural / Urban, statutory / community, North / South etc, all learning from each other. One urban school has 24 nationalities. This teaches the children and staff about valuing your own culture but valuing others too. Promoting good relations and enhancing skills.