A Co Donegal school has beaten off competition from across Ireland to win a top early leaning award.
The Glen Outdoor School for Early Learning in Letterkenny scooped the overall national award from Early Childhood Ireland for their learning story entitled “Our Christmas Play” as well as a smaller award for their “Enormous Turnip” story
Sally O’Donnell and her team were presented this National Award from Early Childhood Ireland, whose CEO is Teresa Heeney native of Ballybofey, for their wonderful initiative called ‘Our Christmas Play.’
This learning story is set when Christmas was coming and the children were discussing last year’s Christmas play.
According to Sally “As the excitement gathered around the memories we began to gather ideas on what the children thought they would like to do this year. Their imaginations were on fire as they created first the play, then set about creating the stage, all outdoors and using found materials. This was their play from start to finish, ensuring that next year they would also be able to fully recollect the great memories of ‘The Search for Santa!’”
The Glen Outdoor School for Early Learning also picked another award for ‘The Enormous Turnip’ another learning story that takes place when Autumn is here and so is harvest time.
As the story goes: “These children re-enact The Enormous Turnip story to harvest their very own pumpkin! There is a lot to figure out! First there is pulling the pumpkin and then there is transporting it. How will they do all this?? Well… the Glenswilly way of course!”
The Letterkenny team are in Dublin for Early Childhood Ireland’s 2 day conference “Play on the Brain” finishing today, Saturday 18th April, in Croke Park Conference Centre with 700 delegates in attendance.
The Early Childhood Ireland awards involved 40 inspirational early years practitioners and practices from around the country that, according to CEO of Early Childhood Ireland Teresa Heeney from Ballybofey, “make a positive difference in the lives of children and families”.
Some of the other key issues to be addressed at the 2 day Early Childhood Ireland conference are commercial rates and VAT, problems with the ECCE (partially free preschool scheme) contract, the inspection processes, support for children with additional needs and recognising the sector as professionals with appropriate pay and conditions.
Early Childhood Ireland represents over 3,500 childcare professional 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.