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Primary Level Support

The Stretch to Learn Primary Level Programme aims to support and encourage parents, children and families to reach their potential during the primary years.

The projects include

Family Celebration Awards

Parental involvement and support of children’s education is invaluable if children are to succeed in school. The Primary Family Celebration Awards Event is held annually in NCI to recognise, encourage and reward children and families who are making an effort and commitment to education. Families are encouraged to set high aspirations for their children and are supported in their endeavours. Students in the participating primary schools will receive awards based on the following criteria:

Listening, Persistence, Communication, Friendship and Good student.

Primary Reading Enhancement Programmes

Zoom Ahead with Books

One of the key objectives of the ELI is to support the literacy development of the children in the Docklands. The Zoom Ahead with Books project is designed to encourage parental involvement and promote children's enjoyment and motivation to read for pleasure. Through its focus on creative expression, the project is accessible to all parents in the school regardless of their literacy levels.

Each night over the four weeks the children take a home a book from the class library, sit, read and discuss the book with their 'book buddy' and then both draw a picture representing the book. The project finishes with a series of exhibitions of the artwork from the children and book buddies in the schools and NCI, which serves as celebration of commitment and effort of all of the families.

Each year over 300 children and families from five primary schools take part and this project  is one of the highlights of the ELI calendar.

Jolly Phonics

Research indicates that the development of phonemic awareness is necessary if children are to successfully learn to read. Recent research has advocated the use of Synthetic Phonics for this phoneme instruction. Following wide consultation and research and site visits to West Dunbartonshire to see their successful literacy initiative in action, the Principals in the local primary schools expressed an interest in introducing this method into their junior classes. The ELI supported the schools by providing training and teaching materials from a commercial Synthetic Phonics programme and by facilitating regular support meetings at NCI. The programme is now embedded in five of the primary schools in Docklands.

NCI Skills Development Challenges

The ELI is committed to supporting parents to play an active role in the their children's learning, and to facilitating high quality and enjoyable learning opportunities.

The Inter-school Challenges promote the development of the children's literacy, numeracy, general knowledge and social skills, through playing board games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Rummikub and through interactive table quizzes.

ELI provides resources to each school so they can practice in advance of the events at NCI and parents are encouraged to come into the classrooms and work with their children. Parents and children then form teams and represent their schools at NCI.

NCI Students as Role Models

NCI Students are involved in a number of projects with the local primary schools including IT, reading and special projects. The NCI students are acting as positive role models to the younger students while also having the opportunity to be effective participating citizens in society. The students are all garda vetted and have received child protection training.

Educational Guidance Project

The Educational Guidance programme was developed for the 5th & 6th classes and aims to highlight the value and importance of further and higher education, to secure better life chances. The programme takes a project based learning approach, with Stages 1 & 2 done in 5th class and Stage 3 in 6th class.

It is designed to explore with the children and their parents how the decisions made throughout their education journey can influence their future. These decisions include; choosing a second level school, second level subjects, subject levels studied and whether to proceed to further and higher education. The children also do a research project in their own community on an aspect of second or third level education, and the results are exhibited in the school and NCI.

Current third level students who are former students of the schools visit the classes to share their own education story and answer any questions the children may have about second level and college.

A series of parent information meetings are also facilitated in schools and at NCI, to support parents role in supporting their child's education journey.

If you would like further information on any of the programmes outlined above, please contact Stretch to Learn Programme Coordinator Lucy Kinghan on 01 4498 626 or email lucy.kinghan@ncirl.ie

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