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  • Northside East

Donabate pre-school scoops national award 

Wednesday, 19th April, 2017 7:59am
Donabate pre-school scoops national award 

Adam Harris, founder of asiam.ie presenting Nickola, from Beverton, with the award.

Donabate pre-school scoops national award 

Adam Harris, founder of asiam.ie presenting Nickola, from Beverton, with the award.

A NORTHSIDE childcare provider was celebrating recently after winning a national award. 

Beverton Pre-school in Donabate is savouring their success at the Early Childhood Ireland annual awards. 

At the gala ceremony held in Dublin’s Talbot Hotel, the team at Beverton was awarded the gong for best overall Learning Story of the Year 2016.

Their initiative, entitled ‘Fund of Knowledge’, was selected as the victor from the 12 monthly winners throughout last year. 

The winning project focused on developing a child’s capacity to engage and interact with their peers by selecting a topic they were passionate about and encouraging them to explain it to their classmates. 

The aim is to inspire those children who are new to the service or are a little shy to come out of their shell.

Nickola Cullen of Beverton said they were thrilled to receive the accolade as recognition of their efforts in bringing this project to fruition. 

“But more importantly, we’re delighted to see the positive impact this initiative has had on the children in our care,” said Ms Cullen.

“It has proved incredibly effective at helping those children who are new to our service or might be a little more reserved to use topics they are knowledgeable about to make friends and engage with their classmates.”

Ms Cullen outlined a specific example of how this programme helped one girl in their service.

“In the case of one particular girl called Violet who was new to our service, we used her knowledge of bees to help her to integrate and settle into the group,” she said. 

“Violent told us that her grandparents kept bees and that she knew all about how they made honey and how important for are for the environment.

“We used this special interest by encouraging her to share her knowledge with the class. She even brought in her special protection suit for everyone to try on. The other children then brought in various bee toys they made and we made our own from junk material. The whole experience was hugely beneficial for Violet and the entire class.”

Early Childhood Ireland chief executive Teresa Heeney said: “Sometimes children can find it challenging when they enter a new environment. They might be naturally shy or a little reticent to get involved in group activity. 

“Here, Beverton skilfully presented an early years learner with the opportunity to share her specialist knowledge with other children to reinforce positive relationships with the group.”

Early Childhood Ireland represents over 3,600 childcare members who support over 100,000 children and their families through preschool, afterschool and full daycare provision nationwide. Its work includes quality enhancement, publications, advocacy, training, business support and information for a sector that employs 25,000 people today.

To learn more about this project and to watch an interview with staff at Beverton visit https://www.earlychildhoodireland.ie/conference-2017-award-winners/

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