Dromore Nursery School and Drumnamoe Nursery School have worked in partnership from 2002 and this week they are celebrating Shared Education Week.
Both school communities are flagship schools for Shared Education and jointly lead an innovative and vibrant Joint Professional Development Hub, which is leading practice in the area of continued professional development for classroom staff, by designing and delivering teacher led professional development within their own settings and disseminating this practice outwards to primary and post primary feeder schools.
A spokesperson for Dromore Nursery said: “As outstanding early years educators, we aim to offer every child equality of opportunity, it has not always been easy to translate this aspiration into practice. However, it has been delivered through genuine commitment and a willingness to challenge the deep rooted, often unquestioned, attitudes, values and practices which can and do discriminate against some children and families.
“It is not about ‘treating all children the same’. Each child is unique and brings a wealth of life experience, within their family and community, to their school setting. Children need to feel that the adults in the nursery are interested in, and value them as individuals and they need to have access to experiences, resources and images that make them feel they are known and respected.
“This is the environment and opportunities which both schools have been offering to the children in Dromore and Lurgan for the last 16 years.
“Both Dromore and Drumnamoe Nursery Schools have established outstanding practice in promoting communication and cooperation within their classrooms and actively foster within the children and wider school community a respect for themselves and others.
“The children in both schools have the opportunity every year to experience a wide and varied programme across all areas of the pre school curriculum with specialist resources and experiences available in areas such as; roleplay, small world play, construction, creative arts, sand and water play, pre writing activities, a diverse snack and dinner routine. Both schools have award winning outdoor classrooms which provide extensive opportunities to engage all their senses.
“The two schools engage in a wide programme of extension experiences including; class exchanges and staff exchanges which involves children and staff swopping schools for a day.
“There is also an extensive parent programme which offers parents from both schools the opportunity to be involved in a range of activities, which ranges from social events to employment opportunities and training.
“Within the two diverse communities in which the schools are located both Dromore and Drumnamoe Nursery Schools receive extensive support and encouragement for their programme of events.”