School Information

School Aims

School Aims

We aim to provide a child-centred pre-school experience featuring developmentally appropriate learning in a positive, fun, friendly and flexible environment in which all children are encouraged to reach their full potential as members of a happy, caring community.

The aims of Hope Nursery School are founded on the belief that :

  • Childhood is not merely a preparation for adulthood but is a valid and important phase in itself

  • Every child is unique and has his/her own needs

  • Learning for young children is holistic, and not separated into subjects

  • Children have the right to develop physically, emotionally, cognitively, socially and morally to their full potential

  • Children learn through first hand experiences using their senses to develop an understanding of their world

  • Children need opportunity and space to explore their environment

  • Play is central to a child’s earning process: play is the business of childhood

  • The starting point in each child’s education is what they can do, rather than what they can’t

Our Aims

  • To provide a broad and balanced curriculum which is challenging and progressive and gives children opportunities to learn, practice and transfer skills related to all areas of the curriculum.

  • To motivate each child actively in his/her own learning, provide him/her with experiences, which will arouse curiosity, stimulate interest and encourage experimentation, problem solving, curiosity, concentration and perseverance.

  • To seek to build confidence and establish a love of learning for our pupils.

  • To promote the wellbeing and carefully consider the welfare of the pupils in our care.

  • To foster independence, confidence and a consideration of the needs of others and to help children form, sound, happy relationships with both their peers and the adults around them.

  • To develop parent partnerships and encourage friendly and effective communication between home and school as well as involvement in the nursery life where possible.

  • To support parents in developing skills and knowledge to support their children at home.

  • To promote and sustain the school’s positive image within the local community by maintaining strong links with and involving it as much as possible in the daily life of the nursery.

  • To establish effective relationships with partner and outside agencies where possible.


Pre School Curriculum

The nursery curriculum is based on the importance of play. A child's parents are the first teachers and each child comes to the nursery with a wide variety of experiences upon which we hope to build. First hand experiences underpin all aspects of the nursery and lead to quality learning.

The nursery play experiences offered are structured, observed and recorded by staff to ensure there is progression. We believe children learn best through play experiences which are relevant and meaningful to them. We plan all activities to stimulate the children and reflect their interests.

We aim to create a rich, stimulating, happy and challenging environment where children will have the opportunity to develop their potential.

We put great emphasis on learning outdoors and the children will experience being outdoors in all seasons and weathers.

Our planning is guided by 'The Curricular Guidance for Pre School Education'. This guidance is presented as six key areas of learning which will provide the foundation for later achievement.

The six areas are:

  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development - children learning how to be independent; how to work, play and co operate with each other; how to respect and appreciate others.

  • Language Development - children develop competence in language skills-understanding, talking, listening, learning how to communicate effectively and developing skills to become readers & writers.

  • Physical Development & Movement - developing physical control, fitness, mobility, balance, awareness of space and manipulative skills.

  • The Arts - developing imagination, the ability to express feelings & ideas in a creative way through art, music, drama and appreciation of natural environment.

  • Early Mathematical Development - providing a foundation for numeracy, developing through practical ideas, using language of maths, measuring, estimating, sorting, matching and counting.

  • World Around Us - developing skills of exploration and experimentation. Gaining knowledge on how to use tools, computers, and cameras. Developing knowledge of the environment through the seasons, living things and skills develop for later learning in history and geography.

Our school has a wide range of resources, including staff, to enable us to provide opportunities for all children to experience all these areas of potential learning. The curriculum will be enhanced and developed further throughout the year by regular trips and visitors.

Click here to view the curriculum

Our Facilities

Our Facilities

Classroom Learning:

We have two classrooms fully equipped with a variety of play equipment. We aim to provide children with well planned, enjoyable activities within the classroom to help develop skills in all areas of the pre school curriculum.

The Outdoors:

We are fortunate to have a very spacious and well equipped outdoors area. We view the outdoors as an extension to the indoors environment offering a full range of activities allowing children the opportunity to develop all areas of the pre school curriculum. Children can develop their physical skills, experience fresh air and exercise and explore the outdoor world.

Breakfast Club:

Our breakfast club operates each morning from 8.30am to 8.50am at a cost of £1 per day. Children are supplied with a healthy breakfast and can avail of various activities indoors.

After School Club:

Run by a dedicated member of staff, children are involved in a range of exciting activities to help support the learning taking place in the classroom. The club runs Monday to Thursday from 1.30pm to 3pm at a cost of £5 per day.

Parent Group:

The parent group takes place on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9.00am-11.00am. Alongside Parents from our Shared Education Partnership School Cathedral Nursery parents have the opportunity to become involved in cookery classes, talks from charities such as Pretty ‘n’ Pink and develop new friendships. On Friday mornings we often also run information sessions/ workshops and events for parents.

Trips & Outings:

Throughout the school year we have a variety of trips and interesting visitors within the nursery to support our themes.

These may include trips to:

  • The Ark Farm
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Mac Theatre
  • Our Shared Education Partnership School – Cathedral Nursery School

Visitors may include e.g.

  • Community Dentist
  • Santa Claus
  • Community Police
  • Fire Service
  • Ambulance service
  • Belfast City Council


Each year we like to support a variety of charities. We take part in a range of fundraising activities and we are grateful to parents for supporting us each year.


At the end of each year, we hold a graduation ceremony which is held in the Living Hope Church. It is a great opportunity for staff and parents to come together to celebrate the children's achievements before they enter into primary school.

Our Team

Our Team


Mrs Joyce McKinty

Designated teacher for Child Protection/SENCO

Nursery Assistant

Mrs Lynn Magill

Nursery Assistant

Ms Michelle Stewart

Dining Attendant

Mrs Anne Long


Mrs Ciara Carson

Deputy Designated teacher for Child Protection

Nursery Assistant

Mrs Clare Quinn

Nursery Assistant & Afterschool Leader

Mrs Elizabeth Smyth

Building Supervisor

Mrs Lesley Armstrong

Enrolment Process

Enrolment Process

This year the EANI have introduced a digital enrolment process for pre-school, and applications can be made online at – between 10am on 2nd January 2019 and midnight on 31st January 2019.

Our Open Evening for children starting nursery in September 2019 is on 29th November 2018. We will also have some “drop in” afternoons on Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd January for parents who may not have access to an online system and would like to use our computers, or check information.

Please contact Hope Nursery School and speak to a member of staff should you require any further information about Intake for the academic year 19/20.