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Shared Education: Donaghadee Primary School and Killard House School.

Shared Education Newsletter: Donaghadee Primary School and Killard House School.

This year’s Shared Education project included Donaghadee PS Year 1 and 2 children and Killard House School Year 1- 4 children. We developed the theme of Outdoor Play and Communication. 

After our initial icebreaker activities, and following Covid Guidelines, the children sent each other visual recordings of our Christmas Productions. There was much excitement as the children watched the videos of their friends on the large classroom screens. The children were able to recognise, point out and name some of their Shared Education friends due to the previous ‘getting to know you’ videos from earlier in the term. 

As the two school sites are adjacent, we were able to swap sites and walk each other’s ‘Walk 1k a day’ route as our next project.  Before beginning, both schools faced one another, cheered and waved and pointed out familiar faces. There was music throughout and a great atmosphere. On route, both schools spotted outdoor play equipment in the playgrounds and messages of ‘we’re actually going to play here, Yes!’ passed down the line when they heard that we would all be able to swap and play with each other’s equipment in the Spring Term. The finale of the walk culminated in both schools meeting once again to wave, pose for photos and say goodbye.

Ganaway Activity Centre brought bouncy castles, a cargo net and an inflatable slide to our school sites and the children shared ‘red faced’ action videos and photos with their Shared Education friends. In the Spring Term, both schools boarded buses for a day out together to the Ark Farm. It was a wonderfully wet day, but the weather didn’t dampen our spirits! The children were captivated by the sights and sounds of the farm and were able to see and speak to their friends, sharing experiences, as we moved around outdoors. 

Children from both schools have delighted in playing with the new toys ordered on requisition. We shared videos of our children exploring and enjoying new resources. Following this, the children got to visit each other’s playgrounds and play with some of the toys in the videos for themselves. The children were thrilled! The sun shone and both schools said that it would be a great idea to play together on each other’s sites in the future. 

In the Summer Term we shared an active day of ‘Jump, Jiggle and Jive’ and inflatables, including an obstacle course across the two school sites. 

Although many of our projects this year have been virtual, we believe that this had its own benefits. The children have been able to watch the videos repeatedly and get to know each new friend by name. Each time we watch, we find that our children are so eager to recall and verbalise their Shared Education experiences through these videos and photos. 

The culmination of our Shared Education year will be a picnic together in the grassy grounds of Killard House School. All age groups, from both schools, will be able to meet their new friends, snack together and join in with dance moves in a face to face, end of year outdoor celebration!