The Premature Baby Charity for Northern Ireland

TinyLearners Award 

TinyLife Education Support 

The TinyLearners Award raises awareness of the impact of prematurity on development and learning. Supporting pupils who have been born prematurely or who start life in a neonatal unit, to reach their full educational potential. 

TinyLearners Award Programme is funded and supported by the Department of Education NI to enhance the skills and training of our professionals in schools across NI, strengthening the links between health and education. 

The programme enables educational settings to provide a learning experience that works for their setting and pupils who have been born pre-term and their families, creating a supportive culture and awareness of their birth story and potential support needs throughout their educational journey. 

TinyLearners provides educational settings across NI with the opportunity to support children in their classroom, empowering futures, one TinyStep at a time, and to make a real impact in educational underachievement in NI. 

The programme is FREE to participate in and can be completed within your existing school processes and timeframes. 

What does my school need to do? 

To achieve the TinyLearners Award settings will commit to working through a 4-step process: 

  1. Knowledge

Staff in your setting will undertake training to: 

  • • Increase the skill set and knowledge of teaching professionals about the potential needs of children born preterm.  
  • • Understand the recommendations in the Fair Start report.  
  • • Build staff and parent knowledge about flexible school starting age. 
  1. Culture

Create a welcoming child centred culture within the workplace, where staff, families and children have access to policy and procedures that supports every child’s educational journey. To support this, you will: 

  • • Review data capture forms to include gathering information about a child’s birth story. 
  • • Work closely with TinyLife’s School Liaison Officer to see if there are any other policies, procedures that could be refined or developed to support TinyLearners in your setting. 
  • • Promote the TinyLearners Award throughout your school, so the school community know what you are doing and gather feedback. 
  • • Display information posters about the TinyLearners Award around the school. 
  1. Empowerment

Empower parents, educators, and children to speak out and highlight challenges that they face with educational barriers and seek support to advocate for children on their educational journey. 

  • • Gather feedback from teachers about the training they have completed.  
  • • Speak to your school community, what do parents, pupils think about the ‘TinyLearners’ Award? 
  • • Share this information with TinyLife’s School Liaison Officer and you will be supported with ideas for translating the new learning your school community has gained into everyday practise. 
  1. Reflection: 
  • Commit to reflecting on the TinyLearners Award annually to ensure it is still working for staff in your setting, families and TinyLearners in the classroom. 

By committing to completing the 4-step process in your own timeframe, working them into your own school’s routines and practises, you are Empowering futures, one TinyStep at a time! 

Sign up now and pledge for your setting to achieve the TinyLearners Award. 

TinyLife’s School Liaison Officer will work in partnership with you to support you equip your staff with the knowledge and skills to support children in their classroom who have been born prematurely to reach their full potential. 

If you would like to learn more about the TinyLearners Award, please contact, Catherine Black, School Liaison Officer, via email at or telephone on 07562691726. 

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