Donaghadee Nursery Unit is a bright, welcoming and well-equipped Nursery situated within the school grounds. It is valued as an integral and important part of Donaghadee Primary School.
Our facilities include a playroom, quiet room, entrance hall, kitchen, toilets, office and an enclosed outdoor play area. The outdoor area includes a large garden with climbing frame, a covered sandpit, mud kitchen, a playhouse, vegetable patch and a large, covered area which provides shelter. We have recently completed a magical natural play area complete with campfire for our outdoor cookery sessions.
We offer fifty-two part-time places– two classes of twenty-six. Each class is staffed by one teacher and two nursery assistants.
Morning Session – Sunshine Class: 8:45am – 11:15am
Afternoon Session Rainbow Class: 11:45am – 2:15pm
We recognise and celebrate early childhood as an important stage in a child’s education and understand that the Nursery year lays the foundation for future learning success. We aim to provide a high quality, welcoming, stimulating and child-led environment, in which, children can enjoy learning through play. When children play they learn – they develop problem-solving skills, imagination, language and social skills as well as developing their physical skills. Research suggests that play in early childhood influences how children’s brains develop, helping to co-ordinate their mental and physical capabilities. Quality play experiences allow children to develop their knowledge, attitudes and values, as well as essential life skills which will later be built upon in the Primary School. We consider everything that happens in Nursery as an exciting learning experience and strive to provide enriching and relevant activities that stem directly from the children’s own ideas. Each day our children receive a healthy and nutritious snack which promotes independence and develops social relationships.
We never miss an opportunity to enrich the nursery year. We offer Forest School one day each week and in our third term we also run Beach School activities. We frequently have local experts/visitors in to share their knowledge and talents with our pupils. Our children benefit from a term of Jo Jingles, visits from a wildlife expert and number of external trips throughout the year. We also operate a very well-resourced Home Lending library and run workshops for parents to help support their child’s learning and development. Our children are also offered the opportunity to sing, dance and act during our annual nativity. Parents/Carers are regarded as partners in their children’s learning and we greatly value their interest, support and involvement. We use the Seesaw app to keep parents up-to-date and to provide a window into their child’s learning throughout the year.
Our curricular framework is based around the six areas of learning set out by the Department of Education for Northern Ireland and ensures that these are tailored to the individual needs of the children. We carefully observe and record children’s interests and their responses to the curriculum in order to ensure that we provide stimulating and challenging play opportunities to develop the thinking, skills and understanding of each and every child.
We recognise the importance of a smooth transition between Nursery and Primary One. Consequently, the Nursery Unit has excellent links with Primary One staff. We also frequently utilise facilities in the main school building, such as the PE hall and outdoor learning zone throughout the year.
We endeavour to provide a happy, magical and rewarding year in Donaghadee Nursery so that each child has a very positive start to their school career that sets them on a path of lifelong learning.