Pre-school settings are looking forward to working together again on Shared Education activities thanks to the €4.2million project Sharing From The Start.
The Sharing From The Start initiative is supported through the European Union’s Peace IV Programme and 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.
Now in it’s fifth year, almost 3000 children have participated in Sharing From The Start throughout the region. By partnering with a neighbouring pre-school, staff, parents and children are able to avail of many opportunities to come together and share various curriculum-based activities. Teachers, supported by a team of early years specialists, are now busy planning their shared sessions and looking forward to starting their work together.
Sharing From The Start is led by Early Years -the organisation for young children 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 in the Republic of Ireland.
Pauline Walmsley CEO of Early Years commented “We do not underestimate the enormous challenges settings faced over a difficult and uncertain time due to COVID19, however, they continued, as far as possible, to embrace a sharing approach. I want to commend settings for the changes in professional practice to meet the challenges of sharing using virtual platforms. It is rewarding to hear the future commitment of the settings to face to face sharing at partnership level and continued work with parents, grandparents, boards of governors/management and the wider community to progress educational and community cohesion objectives. Staff and pupils enjoyed working together and they’ve experienced the benefits that come from enjoying good relations with friends from different communities. We’re particularly pleased that so many more children will be joining Sharing From The Start and availing of the opportunities that come from working together, making sharing a reality for all pre-school children.”
To read the latest Sharing From The Start newsletter CLICK HERE