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Kildare Síolta Showcase

October 12, 2015

The Síolta Showcases

We have been organising Síolta Showcases around the country because our Síolta validated settings have so much to share.  They have been on a journey of quality improvement and all of the settings that have been validated are keen to talk about their work – about what they do and why they do it – and the many ways they have changed in the course of their journey.

We are very proud of these settings and we want to celebrate their achievement. We know that the most effective learning space for educators is when educators share with each other:

  • They can explain how to make real changes that work.
  • They can explain what their practice means for educators, children and parents. 
  • They can explain how to make these changes in a step by step way. 

Each showcase has two keynote speakers.  One explains the policy changes that are happening in the early childhood sector at present and the other brings insight into children’s play and learning.  In particular, educators from Síolta validated settings make presentations.  They show some of the work from their settings and they explain the Síolta journey.  At each showcase, 5/6 settings showcase their work.  Participants get to see their Síolta portfolios and the evidence of good practice that they collect.  They can ask questions – discuss their own challenges – and get advice.  This is what we call professional dialogue and this is the model that the new DES Inspectorate will use.  The Síolta showcase gives you a chance to engage in professional dialogue and to hear how others explain their practice.

It’s a great opportunity to come along and meet your colleagues and then to take away new ideas and insights, with renewed energy and commitment.  Here is what some of our participants have said:

I’ve never seen a Síolta portfolio before.  I can see the work that goes into it – but I’d like to have a go – Anne Marie
I loved the photographs and the journals and the learning stories.  I’m going to get my camera out when I get back. – Jean
This was the best morning I’ve spent in a long time.  It was just great to talk to other workers and to hear what they do.  I feel really proud to work in this sector.  – Catherine
We’re starting on the ECI Síolta Quality Assurance programme.  God, it looks like a lot of work but we got some great ideas.  We’re all excited now.
Really enjoyed the speakers and loved seeing all the Síolta portfolios and work.  I’m very impressed with some of the outdoors ideas!  Mag
I feel I belong to a profession – all these people sharing ideas and talking about children’s learning.  We need more of this! – Caroline

The Kildare Síolta Showcase

The Early Childhood Ireland Síolta Showcase in the Keadeen Hotel on Saturday was a great success (all photos on this page are from Keadeen Hotel).  Over 90 people attended, including Quality Support Service mentors, CCC representatives, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, a Fianna Fail TD, and the staff of many of the settings now starting on our Blended Síolta QAP. 

The presentations from Keynote speakers and from the Educators themselves, the buzz of conversation about children’s learning, the excitement of sharing experiences and work and the very positive responses from the participants all contributed to the success of the day.  Maresa Duignan from the Early Years Policy Unit spoke and talked about the shift to an emphasis on ‘process’ quality and professional dialogue, led by the Department of Education and Skills Inspection team.  Early Childhood Ireland’s Dr. Carmel Brennan spoke about the importance of play.  The Kildare Síolta mentor Debbie Mullen opened and closed proceedings, explaining the Síolta process and presenting a wonderful slide show demonstrating the change and progression of the Síolta settings she worked with.  Next stop Ashbourne.


Three Participants spoke about their experiences:

Edel Byrne, Corrig Kids,  Stradbally, Co Laois

Kathleen Cash, Tir na nOg, Athy, Kildare

Caroline Redmond, Tiny Tots, Athy, Co. Kildare


Other services who showcased were

Busy Beavers, Castledermot, Kildare.

Tir na nOg, Naas, Kildare.

Best Beginning, Maynooth, Kildare.


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