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Public Meeting – Gaelcholáiste for Dundrum

November 24, 2011

Dundrum College, Sydenham Road, 29th November @ 20:00

County Dublin VEC and Bunchoiste Scoile Gaelcholáiste Dheisceart Átha Cliath invite you to a public meeting to discuss the new Irish language secondary school which will open in Dundrum in 2014. The new school will be multi-denominational, mixed gender, community based and non-fee-paying. The Co. Dublin VEC is a long established provider of Irish language secondary school education. It currently has 1300 pupils studying in its four Gaelcholáistí in Dublin.

As the best resourced, experienced provider of first class academic and technical education the VEC will be applying for patronage of the new school with the full support of the founding committee with which it has campaigned for the past 6 years for the establishment of this school. The VEC intends to open the new Gaelcholáiste in its own existing premises in Sydenham Road which will provide excellent accommodation from the start ensuring that the school community of parents, teacher and students can concentrate on the work of providing a top quality educational environment. The VEC operates within a democratic system of parent, staff and professional board membership. It’s schools also encourage student participation in decision making and focus on a child-centred education with a broad curriculum through the Irish language with which it has had proven success.

To hear more about our plans and to lend your support please attend on the night.


COIRM GAEL LINN – dáta deiridh iontrála!

November 23, 2011

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Shared education is way forward

November 22, 2011

There is something slightly surreal about the plan to start Northern Ireland’s first Ulster Scots school in Co Down.

The primary school at Ballykeigle is under threat of closure by one government department,and yet could be rescued by funds coming from another government department. Those backing the project say the incorporation of an Ulster Scots ethos into the school curriculum will attract more pupils, removing the main reason for potential closure. Those behind the plan have a strong case. It is difficult to argue against the creation of an Ulster Scots school – with possibly more to follow – given that there are already a number of Irish language medium schools at both primary and secondary level throughout Northern Ireland. It has already been accepted that the Ulster Scots heritage, culture and language should be given equal status to Irish, and that both add to the diversity within the province.

However, ideally, and especially at primary school level, it would be better if all traditions in the province were taught in shared schools and from a curriculum that caters for the diverse cultural aspirations of all communities. Educating young people during their formative years with a partial view of any subject should be avoided where possible as we are only too aware in this province of the misunderstandings that can arise.
That is not to say that Ulster Scots literature, culture and language should not have a rightful place in the mainstream curriculum. It should and will enrich the experience of all pupils who learn about it. Everyone is entitled to know the influences which shaped them and their communities but to learn those to the exclusion of other influences would be a mistake.

At a time when all essential budgets are under strain, it would seem strange that a further education sector may emerge in spite of compelling evidence that shared education, not further diversification, is the way forward.

Belfast Telegraph

Middle-class schools tighten their grip on college places

November 22, 2011

WHILE VIRTUALLY every student in middle-class areas proceeds to college, the progression rate is less than 40 per cent across huge swathes of working-class areas in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. The two-tier nature of Irish education is highlighted in the “2011 Irish Times School League Tables” published this morning.

The tables – now in their 10th year – also reveal how there has been only a marginal improvement in the number of pupils from working-class areas progressing to third level.

Several schools in Dublin’s inner city and in other areas, including Tallaght, Blanchardstown, Clondalkin, Donaghmede and Crumlin, still have very low progression rates to college. In both Cork and Limerick, five schools have a progression rate of less than 40 per cent.

In stark contrast, 20 fee-paying schools in the list have a 100 per cent progression rate to third level.

Overall, this year’s list shows fee-paying schools and Gaelscoileanna tightening their grip on the top positions in the league tables. State schools within the “free’’ education scheme perform well in the overall top 50 list, which tracks progression to all third-level colleges.

But they perform less well on tables which track progression to high-points courses in the seven universities, the teacher training colleges and the College of Surgeons.

The top feeder schools to high points courses include Glenstal Abbey in Limerick; Coláiste Íosagáin, Gonzaga College and Loreto St Stephen’s Green in Dublin; Yeats College, a grind school in Sligo; and the fee-paying Sidney Hill in Cork.

The list also tracks the schools that are most successful in securing places in TCD and UCD, the two top-ranked Irish universities. This list is topped by Gonzaga, with Glenstal second. Other Dublin schools that feature prominently in this list include Mount Anville; St Conleth’s in Ballsbridge; Holy Child in Killiney; and Alexandra College in Milltown.

Overall, 31 of the 700-plus second level schools in the State have a 100 per cent progression rate to third level. Many State schools share top position in the overall top 50 list tracking progression to all colleges (including universities, the institutes of technology and other centres).

These include two Cork schools – Convent of Mercy in Fermoy and Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh in Bishopstown. Several others – including St Benildus in Dublin and Tarbert Community School in Co Kerry – also have a 100 per cent progression rate to college.

Since the State does not publish comparative data on school performance, the Irish Times table is the most comprehensive source of information on schools for parents. Last month, an OECD review of the Irish economic and public service was critical of how “only limited data on comparative school performance is made public’’.

Enriching Children’s Lives the topic at GAELSCOILEANNA TEO.’s Annual Conference 2011

November 21, 2011

Ciarán Cannon, Minister of State for Training and Skills, will officially open GAELSCOILEANNA TEO.’s Annual Conference and AGM, entitled Enriching Children’s Lives. The Conference takes place in the Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, Co. Offaly on the 25th and 26th November 2011.

In explaining the rationale behind the theme, Enriching Children’s Lives, Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, Chief Executive of GAELSCOILEANNA TEO.  explains, “it is very timely given the continuous economic challenges facing the country which are directly impacting upon the experiences and educational future of our children.  That said, the Conference theme confirms that children’s lives are, indeed, enriched by Irish-medium education.”

This year’s Annual Conference will focus specifically on the content, implications and importance of the the National strategy on literacy and numeracy for learning and for life 2011 – 2020. In this context, Dr. Shiel, from the Educational Research Centre will present the latest results of NAIMS (National Assessment of Irish Medium Schools) on the standards of English and Maths. Ní Ghréacháin states:

“We are very grateful to Dr. Gerry Shiel for agreeing to present these results and their implications for Irish-medium schools to our Conference. We understand that these results identify and reflect some of the challenges for Irish-medium schools, particularly in the area of maths, but as anticipated, this research confirms the high standard of English in Irish-medium schools. This is testament to the excellent work, dilligence and ability of the schools and of the effectiveness of  Irish-medium education”.

On 16th November the NCE-MSTL (The centre of excellence in the learning and teaching of Mathematics and Science) published the results of evidence-based research which verify the benefits for the child of a bilingual approach to learning Mathematics. Ní Ghréacháin says of this timely publication, “we greatly welcome this recognition and believe that it is will provide a very strong foundation for the development of Mathematical skills in Irish-medium schools in the context of the strategy.”

She also extends a warm welcome to the Chief Executive of the Commission on Human Rights, who will speak at the Conference reception on the topic of school entrance policies, diversity and pluralism in the education system and the availability of Irish-medium education to parents as a human right.

The organisation’s president, Mícheál Ó Broin, will devote a part of his annual address to the main challenges facing the Irish-medium sector, such as the recognition process for new schools, the pupil-teacher ratio and accommodation issues at both primary and post-primary level. Commenting on the Conference programme, Ó Broin states:

“I’m delighted to announce such a comprehensive and valuable conference agenda. It provides a great professional training and development opportunity for Irish-medium schools and feedback from the schools informs us that the Conference gives Irish-medium schools a great opportunity to celebrate their high standards of teaching and learning. We’re delighted to be able to provide this training and to satisfy the needs of Irish-medium schools again this year”.

Ó Broin gives special mention to two Irish-medium schools in the area who have greatly contributed to the Conference preparations “we are very grateful to Gaelscoil Éadan Dóire and Gaelscoil an Eiscir Riada who have helped raise public awareness about the Conference and whose pupils’ participation will add to the enjoyment of the occasion. Both they and the larger school communities have provided invaluable support to us and have helped to ensure an excellent and dynamic Conference. Their help highlights the importance of developing strong school communities. We would also like to thank Foras na Gaeilge for providing financial support for our Conference.”

You can register for the Conference by calling the office on 01 8535195. Information about the Conference is available on www.gaelscoileanna.ie.

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. is the national co-ordinating body for schools teaching through the medium of Irish.  It helps parents and local groups to set up new schools and supports the established all-Irish schools.

For media attending the GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. Annual Conference in the Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, Co. Offaly on the25th and 26th November 2011, or for anyone else seeking information, please contact:

The Office on 01-8535195 or Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin on 086 8050335 / Mícheál Ó Broin on 087-9467700.

Craobh Seán Treacy, C.C.É. – Irish Essay Competition

November 21, 2011

Irish Music, Song, Dance and the Language!

Young people are invited to participate in an Irish Essay Competition.

Essay Subjects

Essays on local themes will be particularly welcome no matter what part of the world you live in.  There will be an emphasis on information, presentation and on the Irish language.  The themes are as follows –

  • Music – musicians, composers, tunes, music festivals, music collectors, history, instruments, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ), etc.
  • Singing – singers, history of songs, stories, style, lyrics, melodies, etc.
  • Dance – dancers, tutors, sean-nós dancing, set dancing, Riverdance, etc.
  • Language – folklore, literature, native speakers, words and figures of speech, the Gaeltacht and summer schools, the media, organisations promoting the Irish language, etc.
  • Any other subject of your choice!

Under 18         Under 15      Under 12

  • 1st       –     €250               €200             €100
  • 2nd     –     €175               €150               €80
  • 3rd       –     €125              €100              €60

The trophy “DÚCHAS” will be presented in respect of the best overall essay on the themes of music, singing, dance and language.  The essays will be retained in the Archive of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and made available to the general public.

Competition Rules

  • Send the handwritten essays (maximum of 1,200 words), together with your name, address and date of birth, to the Secretary, Craobh Seán Treacy, 6 Whitethorn Close, Dublin 5 before 16 DECEMBER 2011.
  • Additional material in any medium may be submitted with your essay.
  • The essay must be your own work.  In addition to the handwritten essay an electronic copy would be welcome to facilitate adjudication and also storage in the CCÉ Archive (send the electronic copy and any other appropriate material to eolas@seantreacycce.com).
  • You must be under 12/15/18 on 1 January 2011.
  • Prizes will be awarded during Seachtain na Gaeilge in March 2012.

Organised by Craobh Seán Treacy, CCÉ with the support of Foras na Gaeilge.

New report highlights the benefits of bilingualism for mathematics students in Ireland

November 16, 2011

A new report investigating the impacts of bilingualism in the study of mathematics in Ireland was launched recently by Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD.  Published by the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning (NCE-MSTL) at the University of Limerick, the report is based on a doctoral study completed by Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin, former Senior Projects Officer at the NCE-MSTL and currently Head of Education at St Patrick’s College, Thurles.

The report reveals previously unnoticed advantages to a bilingual approach to mathematics education. The study found that learning mathematics through the medium of Gaeilge at primary level education may enhance long-term mathematical understanding and attainment in English-medium second level education. Bilingual students in 2nd and 3rd level education with high ability in both Irish and English outperformed their monolingual peers in mathematics, even when assessed through their second language of learning, English.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock said; “This report adds new evidence-based analyses on language issues in mathematics education that are timely in terms of the national Irish language policy debate, formulation and implementation. A major finding of the study points to the advantages of bilingualism for education.”

The aim of the study was to investigate Irish post-primary and undergraduate bilingual mathematics students’ experiences of learning mathematics through the medium of English, their second language of learning.

Dr. Máire Ní Ríordáin, author of the report said; “The study noted some drops in performance in the transition from Gaeilge-medium primary level to English-medium second level; however these were only experienced in the initial transition and are specific to having English as the new language of learning. The advantages of being bilingual can outweigh the negatives once proficiency is developed in both languages.”

For further information about the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics Science Teaching and Learning (NCE-MSTL) and a copy of the report is available www.nce-mstl.ie.


Dr. Máire Ní Ríordáin: PhD in Mathematics Education (2008) University of Limerick, BSc. Physical Education and Mathematics, Concurrent Teacher Education Degree, Hons. (2005), University of Limerick.  My principal area of research is concerned with bilingualism (Gaeilge and English) and its influence on mathematical teaching/learning and cognitive development. My other areas of research include out-of-field teaching in mathematics and cross-curricular teaching (mathematics and science) utilizing technology.

National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning (NCE-MSTL). The NCE-MSTL is a major initiative funded by the HEA through the Strategic  Innovation Fund (SIF) cycle 2 programme to research, co-ordinate and support, develop and implement programmes to enhance Irish science and mathematics teaching and learning at all levels. The Centre is hosted by the University of Limerick and operates under the aegis of the Shannon Consortium.

Competition for post-primary schools

November 16, 2011

Send in your research projects and be in with a chance to win a prize!

The logainm.ie team welcomes submission of research projects on the theme of placenames. Some projects will be selected and displayed on our site. There are three prizes to be won.
Research project guidelines are available at http://www.logainm.ie/scoil/pdf/fiontar-scoil2-11-tionscadal-taighde.pdf. Various formats, or a mix thereof, may be used to present your research: text, wall chart, mindmap, photographs, drawings/images, poster, booklet, short film, Powerpoint presentation or recorded interview.

There are prizes of €300, €200 and €100 to be won. The prizes will be distributed by the teacher. A selection of entries will be displayed on www.logainm.ie. Please fill in the application form below and send it along with your research projects to ‘Competition for post-primary schools’, Fiontar, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9 or to the email address logainm@dcu.ie. Deadline: 29 February 2012.

Projects may be submitted entirely in Irish or bilingual projects are also eligible provided that at least 50 per cent of the material is in the Irish language. Marks will be awarded based on research methods, content and on the neatness and innovation of the presentation. Enquiries to logainm@dcu.ie.

Foirm Iarratais Logainm.ie

New Educational Resources for Post-Primary Schools

November 16, 2011

Visitors to www.logainm.ie can now download and print post-primary level education resources.

These educational resources are targeted at transition year students but they may be used at other levels. Education resources for primary schools and for third level are already available on the site.

A competition will be held shortly for post-primary school students, based on these new resources. Information about the competition will be posted in the news box on www.logainm.ie.
The following resources are available:

  • 10 teaching units
  • Quiz
  • Research project guidelines
  • Interactive glossary
  • Sound files

Answers for lessons are available to teachers on request to the email address logainm@dcu.ie

These educational resources were developed by Fiontar (DCU), in collaboration with the Placenames Branch (Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht).


www.logainm.ie is a public website which provides the official Irish-language names of almost 100,000 towns, streets and post offices throughout the country. The placenames website has attracted 4.6 million hits since its official launch on 1st October 2008.

Sligo Feis Ceoil

November 16, 2011

in conjunction with Foras Na Gaeilge
Closing Date JAN 24th – Competition Date; Feb 4th Scholarships to Coláiste na nOileán and Colaiste Chiarain, An Cheathrú Rua,Co. na Gaillimhe

Further information: www.sligofeisceoil.ie

Entry forms:



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