Supporting Creativity

Grace Trimble

Kilkeel Nursery School

Kilkeel Nursery School is a controlled nursery school on Harbour Road, Kilkeel in County Down. It is on a large site along with Kilkeel Primary School and Kilkeel High School. It has 82 children in this 3 class mixed pattern school and they will go on to attend around 10 primary schools in the greater area.

Grace Trimble has been the Principal there for the last 27 years. She advocates the importance of nursery education and with the recent challenges of remote learning Grace tells us how she tried to ensure that the magic of nursery was kept alive for her young pupils.

Key Learning

  • Need to find and use new ways to ensure that children still have access to the ‘magic’ that is in the Nursery year

  • Children and parents really valued the experiences and the way it enabled them all to stay in touch

  • Parents needed support too to use the technology – not everyone is ‘tech savvy’

  • Children were able to see and begin to understand difference in living creatures and that things don’t always turn out as expected

  • By showing the lifecycle of the butterfly it enabled some children to recognise cocoons in their own environment and to deal with their fears. One mum said had it not been for the daily videos her daughter would have been really scared by the discovery of a cocoon in her playhouse.

  • All children could take part in the sports day at their own level and experience and see success for themselves and for their friends

  • Children were able to begin to understand that they don’t all go to the same P1 classes and to respect difference

  • Children were given an opportunity to say farewell to staff and peers and to revisit that when they felt a bit uncertain.

Points to Consider

  • It all takes more time than you think!

  • Give parents a number of opportunities and reminders to send in clips and pictures. Many are juggling a whole lot of things – and it isn’t always lack of engagement or motivation that means things don’t come on time