Puppets Show a Respect for Difference in Irvinestown

Bullying, racial discrimination and cultural difference were some of the issues highlighted in a training course delivered through the Rural Respecting Difference Programme in Co. Fermanagh using a set of specifically created persona puppets.

Puppets Show a Respect for Difference in Irvinestown

A number of primary schools and after schools came together on Tuesday and Wednesday to take part in the Media Initiative Respecting Difference training in the ARC Healthy Living Centre, Irvinestown.

The training is based on cartoons that are set in a play park and feature characters in which children can easily identify. Teachers, classroom assistants and after school leaders were trained to use puppets, a class room curriculum and a range of other developmentally appropriate resources that will help prompt children to talk about their feelings and attitudes towards difference within their own settings. All participants received a comprehensive resource pack, including the six puppets, a Service Design Manual, jigsaws, games, posters and stickers to help with the delivery of the Programme in the classroom.

Early Years Specialists will be visiting rural schools and after schools over the next few months to provide ongoing support so that they can implement the programme. They will support teachers and after school leaders, and implement parent information sessions where parents will have an opportunity to experience the programme at first hand. Schools and after schools will also have the opportunity to participate in good relations seminars and get support for developing a Good Relations Action Plan.

Speaking about the Programme, Pauline Walmsley, Director of Knowledge and Exchange in Early Years ‘this initiative helps children to understand and respect others who may be different from themselves. It teaches young children valuable lifelong lessons on respecting difference and through this evidence based initiative we can build a better understanding among children of physical, racial and cultural differences. The programme complements and adds value to the existing curriculums used in schools in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.’

The Rural Respecting Difference Programme is seven months into implementation and fifty primary schools and after schools have been trained to date from a number of selected areas along the border in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Over 800 children aged four to eight years have been involved in this specific programme.

The Rural Respecting Difference Programme is a partnership between Early Years – the organisation for young children, Northern Ireland Rural Development Council (RDC) and the Border Counties Childhood Network (BCCN). It is part financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the EU’s PEACE III Programme for Peace and Reconciliation.

If you would like to find out more information about this programme, please contact Seana Quinn or Kirsty Lancashire on 028 8676 6980 or squinn@rdc.org.uk/ klancashire@rdc.org.uk.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. The Rural Respecting Difference Programme is being delivered by 3 organisations working in partnership namely; the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council (RDC), Early Years and the Border Counties Childhood Network (BCCN).
  2. The programme is being funded under Priority 1 Theme 1.2 Acknowledging and Dealing with the Past of the The programme is part financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the EU’s PEACE III Programme for Peace and Reconciliation managed for the Special Programmes Body by Pobal.

For further information contact:

Seana Quinn/ Kirsty Lancashire

Programme Officer, Rural Respecting Difference Programme

Rural Development Council

T: +44 (0)28 8676 6980

F: +44 (0)28 8676 6922

E:- squinn@rdc.org.uk / klancashire@rdc.org.uk

 

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