Whitehead Nursery Unit is a purpose built unit of Whitehead Primary School, under the control of the North Eastern Education and Library Board. It caters for 52 pre-school children attending on a part-time basis, i.e. morning and afternoon sessions. As it receives full funding from the Department of Education, all children attend five days a week.
The times for each session are as follows:-
Morning: 9.00 am – 11.30 am
Afternoon: 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm
The unit comprises a waiting area/cloakroom, large well equipped classroom, carpeted quiet room, children’s toilets, storage facilities and staff/parent room. Outdoors there is an extensive playground area, complete with markings to promote imaginative play using a variety of wheeled toys. This is surrounded by a grassed area which comprises a playhouse, sand pit, digging area. It also facilitates the use of small equipment. There is a superb range of both static and moveable climbing/balancing equipment to support and challenge the physical development of all children.
We aim to provide opportunities for children to discover that learning if fun. They have spontaneous choice of activities at all times, both indoors and outdoors. During the year a number of educational trips are arranged to enhance the children’s learning experiences. These include monthly visits to the library, a trip to the bakery and an outing to Streamvale Farm. We also have visits from the Fire Brigade, Community Police Officers, the Post Office and Education Officers from Road Safety, Belfast Zoo and TACT Wildlife Centre.
All Nursery staff have attained a high standard of qualification and have extensive experience of working with and educating young children, including those with various learning difficulties. Ongoing training and professional development is undertaken each year through training courses provided by the NEELB and other agencies. These courses include special educational needs, curriculum development and nursery management.
Current research indicates that the quality of early education is primarily related to staff education. Therefore, we believe that our setting is well qualified to provide the greatest opportunities for young children to learn and to have their individual needs met effectively, thus achieving their full potential in all areas of development.