There has been a history of collaboration between Hart Memorial and Presentation Primary Schools for the past twenty years through a variety of programmes such as SCRP, EMU etc. However, the acceptance of both schools onto the Primary Curriculum Partnership Programme (PCPP) started a journey to a deep impacting relationship, involving collaboration at all levels. Both schools have been involved in Shared classes since 2011; all classes being involved. During a recent (December 2014) CRED (Community Relations for Equality and Diversity) inspection of Hart Memorial which focused heavily on the provision for shared education between both schools. The evaluation received from ETI was as a result of exploring a wide evidence base including shared lesson observations, discussions with staff and pupils, evidence gathered, displays etc. ETI classified Hart Memorial’s CRED provision and the work of our partnership with Presentation PS as ‘outstanding,’ in all four areas inspected (ref. important documents section).
During 2015-2016 we have ten partnerships from P1 – P7 who will be participating in six shared lessons, developing mutual understanding and cross-curricular skills through an age appropriate , topic based approach as well as three additional numeracy based problem-solving sessions (detailed below).
Since our inspection we have continued to strengthen and enhance our partnership. Feedback from parental questionnaire indicated that parents would like some more information as to what types of activities their children participate in during shared classes. Therefore there will be dedicated Shared Education section on both school websites. Also, a parental focus group, comprising parents and the SE Co-ordinators from both schools, was established in September in a bid to increase parental and community involvement in shared learning. To date the focus group has met twice to explore responses from SE parental questionnaire and develop a plan for moving forward.
In a survey of all children in June 2015, a significant number stated they would like to explore other subjects such as numeracy and WAU. We have now three additional shared sessions, focusing on problem solving in numeracy a SDP , target in both schools. The children also identified a need to increase informal contact. Our Shared School Council, in its second year, contacted and met with representatives of the regenerated People’s Park of Portadown to develop a timetable of extra-curricular activities in park .
The SSC is also working together on how best to showcase their partnership during both schools Open Night events as they will be present at both.
We continue to welcome parental involvement in all our Shared Education sessions and hope the regular updates in this section prove informative and showcase the excellent efforts and learning of our children.