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Young children taking part in a project to promote positive self esteem and confidence will stage a dance and drama performance at the University of Ulster’s Jordanstown campus today.

The event forms part of a four-year research project exploring the development of creative teaching activities to promote positive self esteem and self confidence in young children.

The project, entitled Sparking the Imagination, encourages stronger home school partnerships,  and the number of parents/guardians taking part in the activities has grown steadily over its life.

Researchers from Ulster’s School of Education have been working with early years children and involved teachers, pupils and parents in a range of creative and interactive activities intended to enhance teaching and learning.

Project Manager, Dolores Loughrey, from Ulster’s School of Education, said: “Parents have commented positively on the opportunities presented to them to work in class alongside their children. Parents feel more involved in the school life of their children and so are more likely to provide the support their children need to thrive in the school environment.

“The long term aim of the project is to inspire children to enjoy learning – and be motivated to remain within the education system, and so reach their full potential as people and contributors to society.”

Project Co-ordinator, Michele Long, added: “The project builds on the successes of the two year introduction period. The children enjoy the more creative curriculum the gives them excitement and enjoyment in their learning, a sense of pride and achievement in what they produce and a growing sense of self confidence.

“We hope that this project that contributes to the development of self-esteem in the early years of learning will help children appreciate their potential and carry this with them as they move through the primary years and beyond.”

The schools taking part are Nettlefield Primary School, St Matthew’s Primary School, Beechfield Primary School, Holy Cross Girls, Holy Cross Boys, Wheatfield Primary School and Mercy Primary School.

For further information on Sparking the Imagination contact Michele Long on 07901763865 or email