Donegal pupils show Ombudsman for Children how they promote children’s citizenship in the community

Barnesmore Montessori children show the way

Donegal pupils show  Ombudsman for Children how they promote children’s citizenship in the community

Charlie McCallig gives the time capsule to the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon

The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon travelled to Barnesmore Montessori school in Donegal earlier this week where he was welcomed by Suzanne Costello (proprietor), educators and the children of Barnesmore.

Niall came to see what the children have been learning about citizenship through a project with National Childhood Network.

The project began in November 2019 when the children, fronted by Montessori manager, Maureen McNamara took part in a local community country market at Leghowney to raise funds for their local branch of Multiple Sclerosis Society, raising €771.95.

During his visit, Niall helped the children and staff celebrate their citizenship project by sealing a time capsule containing a film called A Day in the Life of Barnesmore Montessori School, the voice of each child represented in pictures and words, photographs of current local developments and seeds for the children of 2040 to plant.

The school has been working on the project with Michelle Hart, Siolta/Aistear Manager, National Childhood Network who also attended the event.

Ella Deane and Suzanne Costello present the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon with daffodils they planted in autumn 

Michelle commented: “During the early years, citizenship helps children’s social development, helps them to engage with others and helps develop understanding of their own community and society and what it means to be a good citizen in the preschool, at home and in the community”.

Dr Muldoon added: “What a wonderful event to attend, five years after becoming Ombudsman for Children. Barnesmore Montessori, showcasing how early years educators can teach children about Citizenship and their rights. Fun and learning is a powerful combination”

The event was also attended by Louise Toner, quality support officer and Amanda Boyle, development officer from Donegal County Childcare Committee and the parents, families and past pupils of Barnesmore Montessori School.

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