Foundation Stage Cluster Group

Foundation Stage Cluster Group

About the school

St. Mary’s Primary School and Nursery Unit is situated on the Ballymena Road in Portglenone, County Antrim. The pupils attending the school come from the immediate vicinity of Portglenone and the surrounding rural areas. The school has been in existence since 1875; however, the current school building was opened in May 2010 under the Private Public Partnership (PPP) scheme.

Foundation Stage Cluster Group

In January 2018, during a CCEA course for Foundation Stage teachers, it became apparent that teachers had a desire to meet for professional development and dialogue. In response, Briege Milner, the Principal at St. Mary’s, set up a cluster group. The group meets four times a year, and numbers attending continue to grow with each meeting.

At St. Mary’s, Foundation Stage teachers had the opportunity to review the learning opportunities for pupils and in particular learning outdoors. Teachers put a greater emphasis on developing pupils’ Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities. The outcomes have been extremely positive, and the pupils have benefited greatly from the changes staff have implemented.

Collaborative professional learning community

This video and infographic shows how Briege Milner facilitated the establishment of a collaborative professional learning community in her area by creating a Foundation Stage Cluster Group. The teachers involved have the opportunity to contribute to professional discussions both face-to-face and in online forums.

Foundation Stage Cluster Group Infographic

Find out more

To learn more about the Foundation Stage Cluster Group, visit the CCEA Foundation Stage online course. Log in with your C2K username and password: