Shared education project for Carrick schools

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Pupils and staff at three Carrickfergus primary schools are to work together as part of a newly-launched shared education programme.

St Nicholas’, Sunnylands, and Carrickfergus Model primary schools received funding to deliver the Shared Education Signature Project.

The overall aim of the project, which is being implemented by the Education Authority, is to scale up the level of sharing throughout schools in Northern Ireland.

It can provide financial support to improve educational and reconciliation outcomes in schools working collaboratively.

The programme is open to all schools who have some experience of working in a cross-community partnership with other schools.

Initially focusing on primary two and primary five pupils, the programme will eventually be rolled out to all age groups, according to Model Primary School teacher Laura Robinson. “The children will be having lessons together and it’s an opportunity for teachers to liaise as well,” she added.

The project is the third programme Sunnylands have been involved in in recent years, according to principal Gareth Hamilton. “We have worked with St Nicholas’ for the past four years and with Carrickfergus Model for about two years through the CAN project and CRED,” he said.

“In the past a good relationship has been established between pupils and staff from all three schools. This project enables us to build on that by sharing expertise between the professionals and give the pupils involved a chance to learn alongside children from other schools. Through collaboration the schools can gain resources and enable each young person involved to learn in the best ways within a wider educational community.”

The project enables the three schools to continue to build upon well established links, added St Nicholas’ principal, Kieran Austin.

“St Nicholas’ school community is very excited about the launch of the Shared Education project,” he added. “We view this as an opportunity to work together in a way that shares knowledge, expertise and skills for the benefit of all our children. It will improve educational attainment whilst providing unique learning opportunities for children and teachers alike.”