St Patrick’s Primary School in Armagh has become only the second primary school in Northern Ireland to receive the “Prem Aware Award” after staff completed premature baby awareness training.
At a school assembly on Tuesday (November 14), Frances McCabe, the Northern Ireland Ambassador for the charity ‘The Smallest Things‘, proudly presented the award to the Principal of the school, Mr Sean McKinley.
The staff at the school had completed the specific PREM AWARE training provided by the PRISM Team (Premature Infants’ Skills in Mathematics), funded by Action Medical Research.
They are now informed of what they can do to best support the children and families who are identified as having been born premature, allowing the school to keep a closer eye on monitoring their levels of development.
The award is accredited through ‘The Smallest Things’, a premature baby charity which aims to promote the good health of premature babies and their families.
According to the charity, “The Prem Aware Award scheme raises awareness of the impact of prematurity on development and learning, supports parents and carers, and helps schools to recognise and meet the specific learning needs of children born prematurely.”
Mr McKinley, Principal at St Patricks, commented: “The Prem Aware Training raises the awareness of how being born pre-term can impact significantly on the different areas of a child’s development. It is a fact that on average two children in every primary school class are likely to have been born pre-term.
“St Patrick’s Primary School are now in a better position to support children in class who are pre-term and improve the long-term educational and developmental outcomes for these children, as with any child requiring additional support.”
Today, Friday, November 17, communities across the globe will come together to raise awareness of premature birth for World Prematurity Day.