Saturday, October 16, 2021

Tracey Mhic Gearailt (Bainisteoir Naionra na nDeise)

NAÍONRA na nDéise is the pre-school service at Gaelscoil na nDéise and runs from Monday through to Friday. The fact that we’re operating under the same roof as the Gaelscoil is a huge benefit for the boys and girls when they formally enter education.

By then, they already recognise our Principal Marc, our caretaker Derek, our secretary Caoimhe and so on and all of these things really matter for the children and of course for their parents.

I’ve worked here since 2018 and in September I started as the Manager. I make sure the staff are happy, ensure there’s good communication within the team and in turn good communication with the parents. I oversee the administrative side of things, the accounts and ensure that the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE) is being fully delivered. It’s a full-on job but it’s very enjoyable.

Bhunaigh Jacqui de Siúin an Naíonra nuair a bhí sé lonnaithe i Halla Olaf I Lána Mhuire siar sa bhliain 1998, thosnaigh sí le deichniúr. D’fhás an Naíonra leis an scoil agus tá cúigear ar an bhfoireann againn anois le 34 páiste. Nuair a smaoiníonn tú ar stair na scoile agus stair an Naíonra, tá sé dochreidte go bhfuil an scoil agus an Naíonra lonnaithe san fhoirgneamh seo anois.

Úsáidimid an halla spóirt, na clóis imeartha agus na háiteanna lasmuigh freisin agus tá sé go hiontach go bhfuil a fhios ag na tuismitheoirí go bhfuil na páistí mar chuid den champas scoile; cabhraíonn sé seo go mór leis an aistriú ón réamhscoil go dtí an gaelscoil.

Is timpeallacht thar a bheith cairdiúil í agus is buntáiste é sin dár bpáistí, dár bhfoireann anseo agus gan amhras dár dtuismitheoirí. Cuirimid aithne ceart ar a chéile agus forbraíonn sé seo nascanna muiníne idir gach éinne.

The children are, naturally, front and centre in terms of everything we do here from one end of the week to the other. It’s our job to ensure they’re happy, that they’re nurtured in the right environment and that they’re acquiring the Irish language in a really natural way which helps them then when they move onto the gaelscoil. It’s a really positive start for them in terms of their emotional and physical well-being too and that forms a considerable element of our work with them.

Routine is part of the immersive learning experience, which reflects what the children will receive in the Gaelscoil: they learn a different song every week and they become familiar with a set of phrases from daily conversation that they acquire naturally – they’re not being formally taught them, as such.

Úsáidimid ‘Lámh’ freisin atá in modh cumarsáide cuimsitheach agus léiríonn sé seo an timpeallacht cuimsitheach atá againn sa Naíonra toisc go bhfuil páistí againn le riachtanais éagsúla agus ó chúlraí difriúla. Ar ndóigh, bíonn na tuismitheoirí oscailte don Ghaeilge na laethanta seo agus tá is céim ar aghaidh iontach é seo.

Bíonn na páistí linn ar feadh dhá bhliain roimh dóibh bogadh ar aghaidh go dtí an gaelscoil agus déanann an dara bhliain réamhscoile an-dhifríocht do na páistí ó thaobh an féinmhuinín a fhorbairt roimh tosnú sna Naíonáin Shóisearacha.

And it’s lovely for us to watch those kids who were with us last year making that move. They’re outside our window and waving in at us and we see them advance the whole way along until that final day in Sixth Class when a few of us tend to end up in tears, saying goodbye to them.

I gcomhrá le Dermot Keyes

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