Applications now open at Magherafelt Nursery School

PRINCIPAL of Magherafelt Nursery School. - a large Nursery School with 130 pupils; Susan Campbell, is very aware that as well Christmas preparations for parents now also includes making decisions about their child’s pre-school education for September 2013.

“I have been taking a lot of early enquiries from parents who simply want to make the best choice for their child’s pre school year and are confused about the range of pre school providers available.

The best advice that I can give to any parent is to make an informed choice for their child’s crucial pre school education. The messages coming from government research is that there are significant differences between pre-school settings; with Nursery schools & nursery classes having the best overall pattern of results, and that these lasting effects are still evident at the age of 21!

The recently released Chief Inspectors 2012 Report, highlights once again in 88% of nursery schools that “achievements and standards were evaluated as good or better; with over one-half of the provision judged by Inspectors to be outstanding.

To read this article in full or the section on pre-school education you can access the document on the

Education and Training Inspectorate website at At this same

site you can access any individual settings most recent inspection report including the 2010 Inspection of Magherafelt Nursery School when we were placed in the ‘Outstanding’ category; the third consecutive time that our school has received the top inspection category.

So what makes nursery schools & nursery classes the number one choice for pre school education?

Each Nursery class is staffed with a qualified teacher who has chosen to specialise in Nursery Education and also a qualified nursery assistant. Together they are a team who are not only trained in knowing how children develop, but also how to support each individual child to make progress, alongside developing positive attitudes to learning.

Research is consistently showing that it is the qualified teacher that enables nursery schools and nursery units to provide the highest quality learning opportunities, and also the highest quality of support to children who may have additional learning needs.

I am also concerned that some parent’s feel under pressure that their children should be learning to read and write at 3 years of age and see nursery education simply as preparation for Primary school. I disagree, Nursery Education actually provides what children of 3 & 4 need – high quality play-based learning experiences that encourage young children to talk to each other, to organise their play, to share, to talk together, to make decisions, to problem solve and very importantly to have fun while learning!

These are the real ‘building blocks’ for all later education and the research proves that Nursery Education has the best outcomes for children of any form of pre school education.

Parents of children born between 2 July 2010 and 1 July 2011 who are interested in applying for a place at their local nursery school or nursery unit should contact or collect an application form during December, from the school or contact their local Education & Library Board to find out where their nearest nursery class provision is.

Magherafelt Nursery School Application opens 8th December 2012 at the school open Saturday from 10am – 1pm taking place in their new building school on the Castledawson Road and closes 11th January 2012 at 12noon.