By Harriet Whitehead
These Irish nursery pupils have been melting hearts with their adorable daily meet and greet routine.
Footage which shows the youngsters – who range from three to four years old – hugging, high fiving and shaking hands with one another as they start the school day has since gone viral.
The pupils from Holy Child Primary School and Nursery Unit in Derry, Northern Ireland, such as three-year-old Jake Logue can be seen standing by a ‘meet and greet’ board which gives other pupils the option to hug, high five, fist bump, shake hands and wave as they enter the classroom.
Having been inspired by a footage of children in the US greeting their teacher with a unique handshake, Pat Concannon, vice principal at the school, said the routine allows pupils to express their feelings.
Mrs Concannon, who started the scheme in December, said: “It’s just a nice start to the day especially for those who are leaving mammy for the first time.
“They can choose how they want to greet each other and for parents it shows them their child is happy coming to school.
“They can see they’ve got friends and are mixing well.
“We start the day on a positive note and they do the same and the end of school to end on a positive note.
“If a child is feeling low or a bit sorry for themselves or are not playing with the others they can go to the board during the day and the other children know to go to them. It’s helping them get in touch with their feelings.
“The greeters are the king and queen bees for the day – the children that are helping out the teacher.
“You can see by the way they react to each other that they’re happy. A lot of them choose to hug each other which didn’t surprise me at all. They’ve no sense of being embarrassed – girls hug boys, boys hug boys. They’re all equal.
“It’s nice for our shyer children. As time goes on you find these children come out of their shell and are more animated.”
The video has now been viewed more than 150,000 times on social media while hundreds of people have commented on how heart-warming it is.
Mrs Concannon, who took the video last Tuesday (January 29) said: “I didn’t expect it to go so viral. I think it gives people a lift and makes them smile.
“We did take the children to the cinema to see Ralph Breaks the Internet and I did joke to them about us breaking the internet with the video.
“Meet and Greet time is a special time throughout Holy Child Primary School with children in years one and two also greeting each other in different languages.”