RHYL headteachers have praised a Welsh Government programme that provides support to children in deprived areas.
Catherine Young, deputy headteacher and head of foundation at Christchurch County Primary School and Darren Martin, headteacher of Emmanuel County Primary School, have said that the scheme, titled Flying Start, has boosted the confidence of infants and given them a “willingness” to learn.
Ms Young said: “We’re in the most deprived area of Rhyl and 80 per cent of our nursery pupils have been through the Flying Start programme.
“They are ready when they start school - it equips them with strong social, listening and oral skills and their attentiveness is very good. Our nursery pupils and the Little Acorns pre-school collaborated on a Christmas show this month and they exuded confidence on stage.”
Mr Martin added: “The scheme gives an opportunity for children to have the best start in life. Some parents are apprehensive about school because their memories may not have been very positive so the earlier that they can make a connection with school the better because it’s then a partnership between school, parents and pupils which can make all the difference.”
Flying Start targets families with children under the age of four.
Eligible children and their families are supported by free quality, part-time childcare for two to three year olds, a health visiting service, access to parenting programmes and early language development.
Vaughan Gething, deputy minister for communities and tackling poverty, said: “The evidence we have to date shows that Flying Start is beginning to make a real difference to children. When they go to school they are ready to learn and are more confident in mixing with other children.
“Parents are seeing positive changes in their child’s behaviour too.”