Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Shaping community involvement


Tuesday 20 November 2018

Sometimes life can throw us happy celebratory times and we know for sure life can throw some difficult and sad times too! In Carraig Briste & Killegney we understand that our connection and support with families through their involvement in our settings develops quality relationships, essential for creating learning and understanding environments for young children.

On a frosty day in February of this year, one of our preschool children Farrah announced, ‘Orlagh, do you know my grandad made the statutes, my daddy says he made all those ones that are in our school gardens’… I was intrigued and asked Farrah if it was OK for me to talk to her dad about our beautiful sculptures and she agreed that this was a good idea. Shortly afterwards, while Farrah’s class were on an outing in Enniscorthy with her mum and dad, the opportunity arose for me to ask Farrah’s parents more about the stone statues.

Farrah’s dad Mark explained that the sculptures were some of his dad’s final works before he developed motor neuron disease. He told of how his dad worked tirelessly in the business right until the end. With the physical limitations of motor neuron, Pat became more office based than his normal active self. Pat’s battle with motor neuron came to an end and sadly he passed away.

Mark explained that he had been driving past those sculptures for the last couple of years without realizing their significance. Until recently he noted they looked very like his dad’s work and with closer examination it transpired that they were indeed the work of the late Pat Dunne. I explained that I hadn’t known of their origin, and what a privilege it was to have these works in Carraig Briste. We chatted about much it meant for him and the Dunne family that Farrah and her brother Noah were somewhat in the company of their granddad every day in Carraig Briste. How lovely it was to see his dad’s work in our Davidstown Community. Mark said the sculptures had become a little worn and tired looking over the years. He asked if he could clean them up and repaint them in the summer time, in memory of his dad Pat. I of course agreed, and thanked Mark for sharing his family story and allowing us to be a part of it in Carraig Briste. 

I felt that this could be a really meaningful project for the children and Carriage Briste to embark on, in partnership with family, friends and community. I suggested it to Mark and he said he was really looking forward to the project and the opportunity to be involved with the children and the setting. In May 2018 the stone works were washed, scrubbed by all and finally painted in July 2018 with Farrah and Noah taking enormous pride in the work of their dad…. Farrah said, ‘My grandad went to heaven before I got born and now daddy is fixing them up again’. 

Two children painting a stone sculpture - Shaping community involvement

Dad Mark became immersed with the children as they discussed the possible colours of the girl’s dress and the boy’s shorts. Molly announces, ‘I like green’ and Stephanie asks, ‘are we all happy with a green one’, and complete agreement is reached upon by the children. 

Farrah says, ‘You know my grandad made these…yes and my daddy made a little bit of them too’!
Parents have lots to offer in our settings and we learn so much from the families, in fact in Carraig Briste & Killegney we consider our families as our best resource. There is no need for a special skill or language, we just welcome ordinary people who will chat, help, share, read a story and sing songs with us.

Our working partnership with family is based on the value of equal and yet different contributions of parents and us as educators. It is a joy to see how families spend time observing their children in our settings, and how a partnership approach develops, when practical information on their child is shared. The more informed and involved our families are the stronger our relationships become. 

The Dunne family is, without question, testimony to that. Family and educators bring unique elements to the home/ setting. Parents know about the home situation, their extended family, and significant people in the child’s life, culture, health, history adversities and issues related to the individual child (Fitzgerald, 2004) 

To the Dunne family who make an enormous contribution in our settings every week with their time, optimism and good will we say thank you and we look forward to working with your family for many years to come. Mark, Vanessa, and granny Anne think it was a privilege to share the special story of Farrah and Noah’s granddad Pat and our sculptures with the children, families and wider community of Davidstown and Enniscorthy. 


Orlagh Doyle, along with her husband James, lead a team of twenty- five early years educators in their settings in Carriage Briste & Killegney. Orlagh’s love and passion for early years began in 2003 and has evolved and blossomed to its success of today. Her philosophy is influenced by both herself and James who been brought up in farming backgrounds. Orlagh trained as a St Nicholas Montessori teacher many decades ago, and is working towards her Masters later on this year. As a team in both settings, they constantly engage in continuous professional development, which is reflected in the quality of care and education they provide. The pedagogy and ideals of Carraig Briste & Killegney Early Years are based upon seeing children as capable, resourceful individuals, with a strong voice deserving of the utmost respect in their enabling indoor and outdoor spaces. They love creating beautiful environments in Carraig Briste & Killegney. Their settings are influenced by Reggio Emilia and this sits very well with their Montessori approach. Their settings are gifted with large outdoor spaces which support their love of all year- round outdoor experiences for children.

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Motor neuron disease(1) Kerry(1) Sequins(1) Nutrition(1) Feeding(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Santa(2) memories(1) Cognitive development(1) science(3) Mount Everest(1) reading(4) UN(1) dining(1) Performance Management(1) supportive environments(1) Early Learning and Care(1) overhear(1) linc(1) Síolta QAP(1) Role play(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Ariana Pucci(1) IGL(1) Halloween(2) Oireachtas(1) risk assessment(1) curriculum(5) Learning journals(1) Engineering(2) Employee(1) Wonder(1) Challenges(1) babies(7) social media(1) Investment(1) Kilkenny(1) early childhood educator(1) Wilenski(1) Decision Making(1) planning(1) Pobal sector profile(1) dublin(2) Trade Unions(1) Leargas(1) Impact(1) outdoors(3) Awards 2018(3) Siolta blog(2) Training(2) meals(3) ears(1) books(4) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Line-ups(1) Wesco(1) Anxiety(2) Workplace Relations(3) Community involvement(1) Certificate(1) Nonverbal(1) Creativity(4) Teamwork(1) CPD(1) Social Skills(1) Design(1) Giraffe(2) Trigonometry(1) Blocks(1) Breathing(2) Party(1) Sustainable(1) curiosity(3) Wendy Lee(2) Seas Suas(1) Time Out(1) educarer(1) Mixed age groups(2) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Sculptures(1) CCTV(1) Meet the Members(1) Thinking(1) Academics(1) Children's Rights(1) Laugh(1) ReCreate(2) Supernanny(1) Arithmetic(1) emotions(2) Plastic(1) Smiles(1) Buddy Bench(1) role playing(1) College(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Family(1) Little Buddies(1) UD(1) Window(1) Names(1) RTE Investigates(1) Albert Einstein(1) environments(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Awards 2019(1) Exercise(1) Shapes(1) Study Trip(1) Celebrations(4) Glitter(2) Weather(1) Maynooth University(1) Learning Story(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Dance(1) Flowers(1) Story(1) University(1) Through the looking glass(1) Síolta(100) Graduate(1) Educators(1) Environment(2) Exit interview(1) Pobal(1) The Lullaby Book(1) play stories(1) Communicating(1) Inclusion(3) Time(1) Rituals(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Titles(1) Obesity(1) ICBN(1) TOY Programme(1) Frustrations(1) Confidence(1) Exclusion(1) Valentine's Day(3) food(1) UNCRC(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Magic(1) Easter(1) ECCE(6) science week(2) Traffic Lights(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) educating(1) AsIAm(1) risk(2) Maternity Leave(1) Thanks(1) worries(1) Universal Design(2) Maria Montessori(1) Bereavement(1) Queues(1) Magnavacchi(1) Recycling(2) parents(5) United Nations(1) pets(1) Our Little Seed(1) Creative(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Playdough(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Treasure(1) education(2) transitions(10) listen(1) Japan(1) Maths(4) Gratitude(1) Competent(1) Home Corner(1) Primary School(2) Horizon 2020(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Event Guide(1) Winter(1) Body Language(1) Reggio(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Change(1) Brain(1) friendships(1) Administrative Burden(1) Identity(4) blog(28) Communications(1) Self-Esteem(1) Graduation(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Autism(3) Childhood(1) Human Resources(1) Light table(1) Budget 2018(1) First 5(1) Italy(1) Drawing(2) Builders(1) routine(2) Early Years Educators(1) emotional environment(1) San Miniato(4) Aldo Fortunati(4) baby room(1) ERASMUS+(3) Learning Stories(7) scéalta(25) Iraq(1) NAEYC(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Death(1) Touch(1) Fabric(1) Mayo(1) Vietnam(1) Art(6) Jillian van Turnhout(1) documentation(2) Fantasy play(1) Quality(3) Facebook(1) Penguins(1) communication(4) play(29) Degree(1) Afghanistan(1) Vertical grouping(1) MA(1) Map(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) dining experiences(1) Magda Gerber(1) Identity and Belonging(3) Visual Impairment(1) story time(1) Yoga(1) Technology(2) child-centred approach(1) Interactions(2) Mo Scéal(1) Mark Twain(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) conversations(1) NCCA(2) Workplace well-being(1) Sport(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Plants(1) Performing(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Learning Stories Award(3) Behaviour(3) Cork(1) Aistear(105) Support(1) Independence(1) Snakes(1) Routines(1) Positivity(1) Children's Research Network(1) Mindfulness(2) Book Club(2) journey(1) Storytelling(2) Painting(1) Recycle(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) stories(2) Prexit(1) Montessori(2) Craft(1) Mathematicians(1) Trick or treat(1) Celebrate(1) research(6) Children(1) Maths Week(1) early years research(1) Margy Whalley(1) budget(1) Self Help Skills(1) Irish(1) Snack Time(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Loss(1) Running(1) Early Years(1) Research Seminar(1) Grief(1) Syria(1) Traditions(2) MECPI(1) Consent(1) Mealtimes(1) PIP(1) grandchild(1) christmas(8) Care routines(1) Well-Being(6) Mud kitchens(1) Norway(2) Orla Kenny(1) trust(3) Affordability(1) Interaction(1) INTO(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) Iceland(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) European Project(1) Inter-generational(1) Favouritism(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Wrapping paper(1) Stress(2) Scéalta Blog(82) Online(1) Mental Health(3) Interests(1) Advocacy(1) Decisions(1) SPICE Framework(1) Spiders(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Leprechauns(1) Research Conference 2019(1) learning(15) ECEC(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) National Awards 2018(2) community(5) Meal time(1) RIE philosphy(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Diversity(1) Patterns(1) STEM(2) Health(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Learning Story Awards(1) Empathy(1) Trade union(1) Inter-generational learning(1) refugees(1) New Appointments(1) Buddies(1) Policy(2) Music(3) San Minia(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Limerick(1) CIT(1) outdoor play(6) eating(1) Inspirational(2) relationships(14) Reggio Emilia(1) maternity health(1) GDPR(1) Masterclass(2) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Workforce(1) Laughter(1) EM Standing(1) bonds(1) Snacks(1) The Jelly King(1) toddlers(3) Visitors(1) Sleep(1) Childcare(2) Child mental health(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Xbox(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Budget 2019(2) Kids Own(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Malaguzzi(1) dogs(1) Shoes(1) Relaxation(1) First 5 strategy(1) Self-regulation(1) National Awards 2019(1) Scents(1) Funding(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) AIM(2) Growing up Outdoors(1) outdoor space(3) Belonging(3) Playschool(1) Gardening(1) preschool(2) Sociodramatic play(1) Ceremony(1) mushrooms(1) Twitter(1) Treasure Chest(1) Sweets(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Maynooth(1) Adoption(1) under 3's(3) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Arlene Forster(1) Socioemotional development(1) animals(2) Exploring(1) experience(1) Sustainability(3) Academic Skills(1) Photographs(1) Pen green(1) Arts(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Engineers Week(2) National Holiday(1) risky play(2) Capable(1) Love(2) feisty(1) Lego(2) Awards(2) Biting(1) Imagination(3) DCYA(4) Confident(1) EECERA 2016(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) interacting(2) Qualifications(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Culture(2) development(8) Mantra(1) Appreciation(1) Games(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) listening(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Upcycling(1) Settling in(3) Jenga(1) Professionalisation(4) Care-giving routines(1) Family wall(1) Thank you(1) respect(5) TRAP(1) Potential(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Eritrea(1)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine