Education Minister John O’Dowd has hailed a pre-school learning programme being delivered by a nursery school in Derry.
Mr O’Dowd was in the city to see at first hand the innovative scheme that’s in operation at Galliagh Nursery School.
The ‘Play Together, Learn Together’ initiative targets children aged two to three and delivers play-based learning activities for them to enjoy along with their parents.
The Minister said: “The early years of a child’s life are a crucial time in their development. They learn so much in this time, such as ways to communicate, how to process information and the ability to remember new things. A child’s development is rapid during this period and the role of parents and early years’ staff is crucial in helping lay solid foundations for future and lifelong learning.
“What parents do is more important than who parents are, they are their child’s first and ongoing educators. They are the first people to help their children learn about the world around them and it is clear that parental and family involvement from a young age helps children learn and achieve throughout school and in later life.”
Minister O’Dowd said the ‘Play Together, Learn Together’ project enabled parents to get involved in their child’s education with help and support from the nursery.
“The project enables and empowers parents to take an active role in their child’s development by demonstrating the impact they can have on their child’s learning and, crucially, it encourages them to continue that process at home.
“Indeed, the aims of this project align very well with my Department’s ongoing ‘Education Works’ campaign which encourages parents to get involved with their children’s education right from the start.”
The Minister added: “I am particularly encouraged to see at first-hand how well received the project has been. It is my vision for education here that all children will achieve to their full potential at each stage of their development and projects like this will help us achieve that vision.
“I commend the Principal, staff and the wider community in developing and engaging with this forward-thinking initiative and wish everyone involved continued success into the future.”