Our aim is to work in partnership with parents/carers and other professionals in order to provide appropriate play and experiences to allow for progression of development in each individual child, regardless of race, religion, gender or disability. Adults will endeavour to create a happy, safe, stimulating and positive environment in order to enable each child to develop skills, within the curriculum, to ensure a positive start to lifelong learning.
Our group is managed by a committee which is elected at the Annual General Meeting which is held mid September. The committee has a vital role as it manages the running of the group.
Harbour Bears is part of the Department of Education for Northern Ireland (DENI) Pre-school Expansion Programme. We are registered with Social Services, who carry out annual inspections and we are also a member of Early Years – the organisation for young children. Harbour Bears Pre-school was last awarded Early Years Accreditation in June 2009.
We are also members of the recently formed Larne Early Education Partnership consisting of many of the local primary school and nursery units.
Harbour Bears Pre-school was last inspected by the Education and Training Inspectorate in October 2010.
The report states that the key strengths of the pre-school centre include:
• The progress made to date, by the children in their personal, social and emotional development, communication and language skills and their mathematical language and thinking;
• The very good quality of the staff interaction in promoting the children’s care, learning and development and the very good provision for those children who require additional support with aspects of their learning;
• The smooth transitions between the different activities and the balance of adult-led and child-centered activities;
• The excellent links developed between the parents, the local primary school and the health agencies within the local community;
• The priority given to the continual professional development of the staff and the centre; and
• The highly effective leadership supported by the hard work and committed staff and the positive team approach to continuous improvement.
In the areas inspected, the quality of education provided by this pre-school is very good. The pre-school is meeting very effectively the educational and pastoral needs of the children; and has demonstrated its capacity for sustained self-improvement. The full report can be found on the ETI website http://www.etini.gov.uk.