It gives us great pleasure to welcome you to Harmony Hill Primary School and Nursery Unit. We hope that this brief overview will give you a glimpse into our school community and that we will manage to portray the essence of what is important to us as we aim to nurture the potential of each child entrusted to our care
Mrs H Johnston (Principal)
Our school has been in the heart of this Lambeg community since 1964, with the Nursery Unit being added in 2001. Our school has a longstanding reputation for high standards in education. We are so privileged that many families come back to us with each subsequent generation but, equally, every year we are also delighted to welcome new families from the surrounding area and much further afield. There are many cultures and countries represented within our school community and we celebrate the warmth of the inclusive atmosphere we share.
Our school motto is ‘Together we Flourish’ and this belief in strong partnerships and positive relationships is core to who we are as a school family. Every member of our teaching and support staff team is highly invested in every aspect of school life. Enabling children to emerge into their full potential is a journey that gradually unfolds as we work together to help each child to keep growing and to keep going in all aspects of their learning and development, no matter what obstacles they may face as they grow and learn together within this safe, positive and nurturing environment. Our partnership with parents is strong and there are many opportunities for shared communication as we focus together on helping each child to discover and achieve.
Our Nursery Unit has a full time teacher and the learning is also supported by highly experienced assistants. This facility is situated within the grassy area of the school grounds at the very rear of the complex. We have a morning and afternoon session at Nursery and, if you have a strong preference for either, then you should state that clearly on your child’s application form. If at all possible, we will try to honour that request.
Our highly committed staff team has a clear understanding of how young children learn and develop in order to extend and enhance their thinking and will ensure the children are nurtured positively in all key areas of the Nursery curriculum.
Through creative planning, they will foster opportunities to build upon the children’s experiences in their immediate world and home environment. These areas include:
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Physical development and movement
- Language development
- Early mathematical experiences
- The Arts
- The World Around Us
Rich indoor and outdoor play experiences are integral to these opportunities for development within all the key areas of learning, as the children are encouraged and enabled not only to learn at their own pace, but to explore, experiment, make decisions, persevere, concentrate, communicate, problem-solve, remain curious and creative, all while having fun, building friendships and growing in confidence and independence.
As children move to primary one, they enter the Foundation Stage, which also encompasses primary two. We have three classes within every year group across the school. The experiences and skills gained at home and in pre-school education will continue to be built upon as the areas of learning unfold and expand. Purposeful play experiences will continue to enrich the curriculum, alongside, and often woven within, the key areas of learning. This is a particularly exciting time in the children’s education, as they learn to read, write, use mathematics, communicate and use information and communication technology with increasing skill and success.
Nurturing the growth of skills and knowledge to enable children to be capable, confident lifelong learners is at the heart of our school curriculum at every stage of the children’s development. We believe that motivating, stimulating classroom and school environments help the children to embrace learning as a very natural process, where they have appropriately high expectations of themselves, but, equally, where they know they are supported, particularly if they have personal challenges to face.
We have a strong sense of purpose and vocation and every member of our staff team contributes positively and diligently to ensure that there is cohesion and consistency in our pastoral care for the children and our shared professional values and practice. This is the bedrock foundation upon which everything else is built.
When challenges arise, we will be committed to finding the best possible solutions, and will always have the children’s best interests at heart. Our school policy to support special educational needs is in accordance with the Code of Practice for Special Needs and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Order. Additional support teaching is available and we maintain close links with other agencies such as Educational Psychology, Speech and Language and local Health Services.
As the children progress through the school, our staff team aims to ensure that the overall programme of learning in every year group is drawn from a broad, balanced curriculum; that there is continuity and progression in learning at every stage; that the planning identifies clearly the knowledge, skills and understanding the children are exploring and acquiring; that the curriculum takes account of the children’s differing stages of development, abilities and attainment as we strive to ensure that individual needs are met and that learning opportunities are rich and flexible. We embrace various forms of informal and formal assessments to observe and monitor learning progress and to help inform appropriate teaching and learning pathways for all levels of academic ability.
Beyond the classroom, opportunities are created for further rich experiences through outdoor learning, Forest Schools, the Eco Garden and school trips or visitors to school to enhance and bring to life topics being explored in the classroom. The children elect representatives for School Council and Eco Council to explore ideas that are deeply important to them and to have active input into creating positive adjustments to our school community.
Curriculum PE, wider sporting involvement and active promotion of Healthy Lifestyles is hugely important to us. Over the years, Harmony Hill has celebrated many significant achievements in inter-primary school sporting events and beyond, but the opportunities for the children and the skills they learn through all these experiences are infinitely more important than the achievements themselves – although we do love to celebrate the wins!
Similarly, curriculum music and the wider development of musical skills at personal and key stage levels form a rich part of school life. From primary four upwards, children have the opportunity to book private lessons in piano, trumpet, voice, guitar, flute, clarinet and violin. We have thriving choirs in Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, Music Theatre Group, instrument ensembles and a school orchestra. The children showcase their talent and growing skills, performing at a high level and with great enjoyment. Without doubt, there is plenty to get the feet tapping and spirits lifting.
Our usual programme of after-school activities is rich and varied, with many clubs being taken by class teachers as well as others offered by outside agencies. For example, we normally offer football, hockey, netball, sewing and baking, Music Theatre, Miniversity, Minecraft club, Art club, Irish Dancing and LabRats to name but a few.
In 2020, we won the CCEA STEM in Minecraft competition! The competition was open to all children in Key Stage 2, from all over Northern Ireland, and the quality of our entry was considered to be of an exceptionally high standard.
We take great pride in our links with the community and the positive contribution others make to our school family. This includes our strong partnership with St Joseph’s Primary through Shared Education, links with local sporting and musical organisations, churches, City Council and charitable groups and the local Harmony Hill Community Group. Through the Erasmus programme, we have rich opportunities to promote links with Italy, Spain, Turkey, the Canary Islands and Poland.
We are richly supported by an exceptionally diligent and successful PTA who fundraise on our behalf and support the planning and implementation of many inspiring events which enhance the life of our school community and bring much joy to the children.
And then, there are many moments of great pride when we sit back and celebrate every child’s unique contribution to our school family as we create memorable moments for children, parents and staff alike, with numerous special events that showcase our children thriving as they work together to plan, create, rehearse, perform and grow together. Alongside the children’s academic successes and personal achievements, these are often the highlights of our school year.
Perhaps, who we are is best summarised by our school mission statement, which states:
‘At Harmony Hill, we are committed to providing high quality learning in a safe, caring and happy environment based upon respect for all. In partnership with parents and the community, we aim to provide positive and stimulating experiences, which enable children to be lifelong learners in a changing world.’
Choosing a school for your child is a big decision and we are more than happy to arrange to speak with you if you have other questions or things you many need further support with.
If you wish to get in touch, please do so by the following means