Working in partnership the Education Authority (EA) and National Museums NI (NMNI) support parents from across the most socially and economically disadvantaged areas of Belfast to actively engage in their children’s education. Together we have developed a number of successful award – winning Parental Engagement Programmes.
These programmes are based on the premise that parents are a child’s first and most important educators. They are by far the most important influence on a child’s life. Parents who take a supportive role in their children’s learning make a significant difference in improving children’s educational attainment and overall life chances.
Our pre-school and primary Parental Engagement Programmes put parents at the heart of children’s learning, contributing towards breaking the cycle of educational underachievement. Programmes are based on the Department of Education NI Curriculum and place emphasis on literacy and numeracy, generate excitement about learning, encourage interaction between parents and children, capture the imagination and promote museums as wonderful places waiting to be discovered.
Working with parents as partners, we support them to engage positively with teachers, gain a better understanding of the curriculum and develop the skills and confidence required to become more fully involved with their children’s learning in school and at home.
Our adult Health & Wellbeing Programmes use museum collections to enhance participants’ health and wellbeing opportunities through programmes based on craft activities which develop their skills, knowledge, confidence and self - esteem.
Almost 6000 parents and children have participated in our Parental Engagement Programmes in the past 4 years.