Mill Strand Integrated Nursery
An integrated introduction to the wonderful world of learning -
for Mill Strand Integrated Pupils
Pre School provision at Mill Strand Integrated School was set up with the creation of the school in 1987 to provide children with the earliest possible introduction to education in an integrated setting.
Initially funded with grants from America and through the integrated movement, including grants from the Rowntree Trust, Mill Strand Integrated Nursery has been strengthened and further developed over thirty years exclusively for the benefit of pupils attending Mill Strand Integrated School the following September. It was granted status as a full time Nursery Unit by the Department of Education over a decade ago and has gone from strength to strength, recently being recognised for its high capacity for sustained improvement in the interest of all learners.
At Mill Strand we recognise that a positive year in the pre-school gives children the confidence and the skills required to approach future learning experiences, at Mill Strand Integrated School, with ease and enthusiasm.
Following the approval of our Development Proposal in 2019, the school was allowed to double its Nursery intake from 26 to 52, enabling it to no longer turn away families seeking an integrated education for their child.
Although one of our Nursery classes is funded on a full-time basis and the other on a part-time basis, the Board of Governors has worked to ensure that the provision in both classrooms is the same. Further information on this is provided on the school Open Evening at the beginning of December each year.
Accommodated in two separate classrooms, our highly acclaimed Nursery provides a safe, nurturing and inviting learning environment where the emphasis is on developing the potential of each child. The classrooms are bright and welcoming and provide a stimulating setting where children can enjoy their learning through practical and meaningful activities. There is an excellent outdoor play area where all forms of physical activity and movement can be enjoyed in safety.
The outdoor environment also includes raised beds and a Polytunnel where children can explore 'seed to plate' activities, growing and nurturing a wide variety of plants. The children from both classrooms come together for outdoor learning, further extending friendship groups and social engagement.
The Nursery Curriculum
The 6 areas of the Foundation Stage curriculum are delivered in an exciting and meaningful way by providing rich and varied contexts for developing essential skills and positive to learning. The curriculum is child centred with an emphasis on the promotion of social skills. It aims to build the confidence and self-esteem of all the children, while being flexible enough to extend the more able child. Play lies at the heart of the nursery curriculum, enriching children's experiences and providing the foundation upon which reading, writing and reasoning skills are built.
The experienced and qualified staff provides a balance of well planned play opportunities that encourage the children to become motivated and enthusiastic learners. Staff provide oral and digital feedback to parents based on discussions and observations in the Nursery. The use of 2Build-a-Profile Software enables staff to accurately monitor, record and evaluate individual pupil progress, plan stimulating and appropriate learning activities to meet children's needs. This culminates with parents receiving a detailed, personalised, digital end of year report including photographs celebrating their child's first year at Mill Strand.
" Overall, the quality of the educational provision in this pre-school centre is very good and the needs of the children are being well met. Some of its many strengths include: the settled, caring atmosphere and the excellent relationships between the staff and the children; the attractive and stimulating learning environment, the good relationships and communication with parents; the good quality of the interaction between the staff and the children and the children's good behaviour and many instances of concentrated play."
DENI Inspection Report
DENI Inspection Report