Children’s Centre

About Us

McClintock Children’s Centre is situated on the grounds of McClintock Primary school. The Centre opened in 2001 offering pre-school places to children aged 3-4 years. Our services have changed over the years and as an addition we now offer the Eager and Able to Learn programme to children aged 2 years and 10 months.  The Centre is run by a management committee who are committed to offering a high quality service to our families. The Centre operates a breakfast club from 8.15am for those working parents to avail of for an earlier drop off each morning.

Curricular Guidance

The Pre-School curriculum is provided holistically through play and many other experiences such as cookery, gardening, music, outings, visits from outside agencies and an extensive range of outdoor play activities. Children’s development is observed, monitored and evaluated through incidental annotations which are then also used to forward plan programs of educational experiences. The staff plan for the children’s development through long, medium and short-term plans for both indoor and outdoor play experiences.  They endeavour to meet the needs of all the children and differentiates activities to adapt them to everyone’s

The Pre-School Curriculum

 Pre-School education is about focussing on the development of the individual child and during your child’s time in Nursery he/she will experience a great variety of activity based opportunities.  The Pre-School curriculum your child will be following has been laid down by CCEA (a body with responsibility for the curriculum, examinations and assessment in schools). Its document, “Curricular Guidance for Pre-School Education”, identifies six areas of learning that we are obliged to follow:

The six areas of learning are:

  • Physical Development & Movement
  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development
  • Language Development
  • The Arts
  • Early Mathematical Experiences
  • The World Around Us

Whilst our curriculum is set out under these six discrete Areas of Learning headings, children will experience it in a holistic way through play and other relevant experiences. The following page details some of the learning that we will be planning for under these six headings.

Learning through Play at Pre-School

Play is natural to the children and is the way in which they learn.  Through play the children learn new skills, develop new interests, encounter new experiences and build on previous knowledge.  In Pre-School we aim to provide a secure, caring, happy and structured environment where the children learn through meaningful play using materials and equipment carefully selected by the staff. Each of the activities offered to the children provide countless learning experiences for the children, e.g. by seeing their names on paintings and looking at books in the book corner helps to familiarise the children with the printed word and encourage an interest in books.  The children are preparing themselves for writing by expressing their ideas through drawing and painting, while developing their ability to hold pencils and pens.

There is preparation for mathematics by sorting, matching, selecting and ordering as they play with materials such as sand, water, construction and gluing materials. Jigsaws, games, painting, drawing, computer programmes etc. encourage recognition of colour, shape and pattern. Pupils acquire knowledge of the World through participating in activities such as Circle time, singing, investigation area, seasonal interest tables and walks in the local environment.

Skills such as listening, talking, questioning, recalling information and describing are encouraged to develop through individual, group and whole class activities. In the Pre-School the children learn to make new friends and learn to respect one another.  They learn to take turns, share and become more independent.  They also learn to follow rules and carry out instructions.

The fact that there are so many activities in the Pre-School may mean that your child does not always take-home evidence of his/her play. However, what they do take home is always their own work.  Please remember that what may look like a scribble to you could be a work of art to your child, so always award any effort with some praise and take time to discuss it with your child.

What will your child be learning

The six areas of the Pre-School curriculum contain many examples of learning that we will be striving to promote throughout your child’s year with us. The following grid contains only a few examples of learning chosen from each area.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children will be learning to:

  • become independent in personal hygiene and Nursery routines
  • cope with Nursery rules and routines
  • enjoy the company of other children
  • play co-operatively and share resources
  • express his / her own feelings and emotions
  • persevere with a task

Language Development

Children will be learning to:

  • understand and follow simple instructions
  • enjoy listening to stories
  • take part in conversations with adults and peers
  • enjoy browsing in the book corner
  • know that the printed word has meaning
  • re-tell a story from pictures 
  • recognise their own first name

Physical Development and Movement

Children will be learning to:

  • enjoy physical play
  • develop an awareness of space
  • move confidently with increasing control and co-ordination
  • develop gross motor skills, e.g. kicking & jumping
  • develop fine motor skills & use small tools effectively

The Arts Children will be learning to:

  • express their own ideas through pictures & models
  • enjoy using a wide variety of media, e.g. pencils, paint, scrap materials, sponges, clay, dough
  • play imaginatively on their own or in a group
  • enjoy making music by singing, clapping and playing percussion instruments  
  • enjoy listening to music

Early Mathematical Experiences

Children will be learning to: 

  • talk about daily routines / events in sequence
  • use and understand language associated with size and quantity
  • talk about everyday shapes
  • sort and group by size / pattern / shape / colour
  • copy, continue and create a repeating pattern
  • count objects accurately in the course of play

The World Around Us

Children will be learning to:

  • use their senses to investigate and describe everyday objects and events
  • show care for living things and the environment
  • handle natural materials with curiosity, such as shells, leaves and stones 
  • talk about the weather and the seasons at appropriate times of the year

The Pre-School curriculum is planned around monthly themes.  Each theme is delivered through a play based approach with a variety of exciting play areas and activities. We plan on a weekly basis to meet the needs of all the children. Activities are differentiated to meet the varying levels of development.  All learning which takes place in Pre-School is delivered through play based learning. Children learn best when experiences and activities are relevant and meaningful – we choose themes which we believe the children are connected to and will express an interest in , e.g. seasonal events and other meaningful experiences in their lives.

Life at Nursery

Our Pre-School begins at 9.15am. Children are greeted at the door by a staff member. Children will hang up their coats in the hallway and self-register on our board. Children engage in free play throughout the morning independently selecting resources form the room. Flexi snack is offered to the children from 10am to 10.45am each day. This consists of milk/water and selection of fruit and selection of breads. This promotes their independence as they learn to butter their own bread and pour using jugs. Children interact socially with others at the table. Children enjoy a vigorous playtime outdoors each day regardless of the weather. Our covered canopy area provides cover for those wet days.  Children join with adults for story and rhymes each day before leaving to go home. Parents are greeted by a staff member at pick up time and are always happy to answer any queries you may have.


In order to feel free to explore and experiment with all kinds of materials including messy ones it is best to send children dressed in comfortable clothes which are easily washable. Sweatshirts and polo shirts can be purchased from Select School Wear shops in Omagh.  We prefer that tracksuit bottoms or leggings be worn rather than skirts, which can hinder physical activity. Trainers with Velcro which children can put on themselves are a great help.

Please ensure that all items of clothing are named.

Breakfast Club

McClintock Children’s Centre operates a healthy breakfast club to children aged 3 to 11 years. We offer a range of healthy cereals, toast, tea and breakfast juice. Breakfast Club operates from 8.15am – 8.50am giving parents the opportunity to drop off their children before the School Day starts. This is supervised by Pre-School staff daily.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to avail of this service.