On Friday 22nd October, Donna Mulhern the Pre School Manager led training on ‘Using Puppets as a teaching tool in the classroom for behaviour management and Social & Emotional Development’. At Pre…
St. Bernard’s Pre School was established in 1983 and was originally based within St. Bernard’s Primary School. We now have our own setting within the Parish Centre to accommodate up to 52 children. Our focus is to provide children with a platform to learn through play based activities, and by scaffolding their learning; we help children to engage with all the areas of the curriculum with the aim to; developing their knowledge and skills through practical activities.
Prior to COVID-19 we had use of the Parish Centre every week as part of promoting children’s gross development skills, and this enabled us use of their large hall for indoor play with vehicles, scooters and bikes, footballs and a portable climbing frame as well as scheduled movement and exercise sessions.
We also have use of the garden in St Bernard’s Primary School (Pre-COVID-19), who kindly permit use of their playground adjacent to the garden, thereby enabling the children to move around freely in a large outdoor space; giving the children the freedom to let off steam in a secure open environment.
In November 2020, we developed a much needed and long-awaited direct outdoor space! This had always been on the agenda and due to COVID-19 restricting the use of Shared Spaces this was fast tracked.
We now have a small direct outdoor area which the children in small groups use daily. We currently have a mud kitchen, large Art Easel, Construction and Sand area. We plan to develop this further by adding a Music and Water wall! It’s amazing what can be done in a small space and we pride ourselves in being a home-from-home close knit family within a cosy, welcoming child centred environment.
Due to COVID-19 we have responded by increasing movement sessions as part of our usual curriculum based plans as well as have our daily walks – to ensure we are promoting physical movement and mental-wellbeing. Whilst COVID-19 has had an impact on current provision we are always finding new ways of doing things in ensuring that children are still provided with the same play-learning experiences.
Donna Mulhern BA ECS PG Dip
Kylie Scott BA Hons
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
To provide a child-friendly environment that is safe, caring & stimulating where each child will learn, grow and develop as an individual.
To encourage children to develop self-confidence and self-esteem
To promote children’s social, intellectual and physical development, through play and structured activities.
To encourage the children to respect other children and adults, and to learn tolerance, consideration and self-control.
To regularly observe the children and record their developmental progress.
To plan for each child’s future developmental and intellectual progress.
To continually review and evaluate our provision and resources to ensure that children are receiving quality education and make changes if necessary.
To recognise that the children themselves do not choose to come to our setting. As such we aim to provide an environment that is welcoming and friendly which will encourage the child to return.
To make parents/carers feel welcome and provide an atmosphere where both children and adults feel happy and comfortable.
To work as partners with parents/carers and offer flexibility that allows each child’s individual needs to be met.
To honour parent’s trust that we will nurture their child and give them quality care.
To provide parents with regular newsletters and information about our provision and early years developments.
To be open to parents comments, criticisms and suggestions.
To maintain an adult/child ratio of 1:8
To create a non-sexist and non-racist atmosphere by introducing appropriate toys books and games to encourage equal development of both sexes.
To regularly renew our resources to provide ongoing stimulation and interest.
To keep up-to-date with early years developments new legislation and thinking
To liaise with other agencies and carers, such as health visitors, social workers, child minders and pre-school organisations in the interest of the individual child when necessary.
To develop links with our local schools and community.
To work within the guidelines of the Curricular Guidance for Pre-School Education.
To follow the guidelines and requirements of the registering bodies.
To regularly update staff training.
What we’ve been up to
Just before the Christmas break we had Triplevision Productions come in and record show-around videos of the Pre School! Triplevision Productions are a production company from Northern Ireland and Eam…
Testimonials for the year 2019/2020
“Both of our children spent their preschool year at St Bernard’s PSEC, and we were so pleased with our choice! They absolutely loved their time here and learnt so much-both in an educational sense, and socially. The teachers cannot be praised highly enough for their dedication-they could not have done more for the children! I thoroughly recommend St Bernard’s PSEC, and will always think fondly of the time our girls had there”
“Both my children attended St Bernard’s preschool, and loved it so much. As a parent I could not have asked for more, they ensure each child gets everything they need to prepare them for P1. The teachers are all amazing, they make every child feel so special and make their preschool year a truly special time”
“St Bernard’s Preschool was the perfect setting for my two children to learn, grow and develop under the exceptional staff led by Ms Mulhern and Mrs Scott, all of whom were professional, caring, dedicated and, above all, great fun-always going above and beyond to ensure the best experience for each individual child. My children’s time at St Bernard’s preschool was precious and delivered more than we could have hoped for.
The curriculum was superbly delivered in an accessible, creative and engaging manner which was enthusiastically received resulting in skill building, emotional and
physical development and relationship building at every crucial stage of their learning journey.
St Bernard’s Preschool instilled a confidence in my children offering the best possible start on the path of education, fully preparing them for primary one and beyond.
Both my children had the most amazing experience at St Bernard’s Preschool, growing and developing in ways I did not think possible, as a family we take away many happy, long lasting memories from their time there and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to other families looking for an exceptional learning environment”
“My daughter attended St Bernard’s preschool and loved it. Our family was made very welcome from day one and my child skipped in delighted to get started. All the staff were amazing and
my child thrived in an environment where play focused learning helped her confidence, social skills and she naturally gained new knowledge and experiences. She loved putting on her uniform and having something for herself.
Unfortunately, covid 19 cut short her time and many others at the preschool but the dedicated staff continued online actives which enabled my daughter, and us, to still feel part of the school and in touch with teachers and friends which was great during such hard times.
I could not have wished for a better introduction to education for my daughter and hope my next daughter has such a positive experience… A fantastic, personal preschool”
“We are so glad we sent both our kids to pre school with you both. I know that it has prepared them so well for p1. The level of support we were provided as parents was above and beyond our exception. We will always hold fond memories of their experiences. During Covid you both outshone yourselves. Providing craft activities and videos on the learning book. This was vital for my son to continue to develop his skills for p1 preparation”