Shared education provides opportunities for the children and young people from St John’s and Killowen Primary School and the wider community, who come from different community/cultural backgrounds, to learn together for better educational and reconciliation outcomes.
Our vision is to create a vibrant, self improving shared education partnership that will deliver social change through the promotion of:
1. improved educational benefits for the pupils
2. high quality teaching and learning experiences
3. equality of opportunity for everyone
4. good relations
5. equality of identity
6. respect for diversity
7. community togetherness
8. the efficient and effective use of resources.
On an annual basis approximately 380 are involved in a variety of projects. It involves input from governors, staff, parents, pupils and the wider community. Both schools are already strongly connected to the local community but these links are now cemented through celebratory events and outcomes are shared, practice is embedded and the way forward is agreed.
We aim to use the shared education signature project in which both schools are now involved in a creative and innovative way to engage and motivate everyone to realise our shared vision.
Activities for all children take place involving our partner school, St John’s. The main emphasis between our planned meetings is Philosophy for Children. This involves equipping children to ask open ended questions and discussing issues they decide upon. The main areas of the curriculum involved are the development of their thinking skills and literacy, in particular talking and listening.
This year the stimulus for the sessions is coming from books the children share together. We use Buckner’s Four Stages of Understanding Literature. This helps the teachers and children to structure their questions around the stories beginning with more closed types and progressing to more philosophical. The complimentary activities that run alongside them have been based on Music, Drama, ICT, Art and Physical Movement.
We are so proud of all of the children for participating and the progress they all have made since starting the programme is incredible. They are more confident, speaking clearly, giving their opinions and listening to others.