McArthur Nursery School is the second oldest nursery school in Northern Ireland having opened in 1936.
Its creation was due to the endeavours of a group of young women who had been boarders at the Methodist College Belfast. The boarding department had been in the building known as McArthur Hall; hence the name of the nursery school. Motivated by concern for the physical and mental health of not only the children, but also the mothers, of that highly industrialised part of east Belfast, those former pupils of Methody succeeded in establishing a school which has proven to be a wonderful facility for the families of the area, and indeed further afield.
The school began life in the hall of Newtownards Road Methodist Church, where it stayed until bombed out during the Blitz in 1941. There were several other moves before it finally arrived in its present location, in Susan Street, in 1990.
Throughout this time, even after financial and legal responsibility was taken over by the government, ex Methody pupils have continued to be closely involved in the running of the school and in the maintenance of the vision of its founders.
The nursery school pupils come from a wide variety of socio economic backgrounds, and it was wonderful to celebrate our 80th birthday in May 2016 by taking the pupils and those parents able to attend, back to where it began with a visit to Methody and, for the parents, a tour of McArthur Hall.