Special needs children are enjoying a smoother transition from nursery and pre-school into primary school thanks to an early years scheme.
Eleven nursery units and primary schools have united to form Larne Early Educational Programme (LEEP) which shares staff expertise in dealing with children with special educational needs.
An NEELB spokeswoman told The Times: “Pilot settings have explored a range of themes relating to supporting young children with special educational needs. With the assistance of the NEELB pilot team, settings have worked to improve the knowledge and skills of all staff in identifying and supporting young children facing barriers to learning. As the pilot draws to a close participants have established local partnership groups to continue sharing good practice in their work with children with special educational needs and their families.”
St MacNissi’s Primary School principal Edna Brody said: “Children are now coming in needing more educational and behavioural support. We hope that this will make the transition smoother.”
Horizon Sure Start Larne manager Janet Preston commented: “Sharing expertise, ideas and strategies has benefitted staff, children and parents.”
Corran Integrated Primary School principal Denise Macfarlane agreed that staff and children had benefitted from sharing good practise. Also taking part are Linn Primary, St. Anthony’s Nursery School, Moyle Primary, Little Robins Preschool, Harbour Bears Preschool, St Anthony’s Primary, Roddensvale School and Hansel and Gretel Pre-School.