Text size

‘Buntáiste Breise na Gaeilge’ seminar to be held in the south-east

September 18, 2012

Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge will organise seminars in the The Anner Hotel in Thurles on 17th October and in Whites Hotel in Wexford on 18th October 2012.

A similar seminar will be hosted in Killashee House in Naas, Co. Kildare on 15th November 2012.

The seminar will cater for second level students in the surrounding counties. ‘The Added Advantage of Irish’ is the theme of the seminar. Special guests will speak on the advantages which the Irish language has afforded them in their chosen careers.

Among the speakers who will take to the stage to speak at the event in Thurles on 17th October will be Ciarán Mac an Bhaird who is a lecturer in Business in Fiontar DCU. Lisa Ní Choisdealbha who hails from Roscrea will speak about the advantage which the Irish language gave her when choosing her career and the use of the language within her work place as the Executive Director with the Independent Broadcasting Industry.

Other members of the panel include Billy Clancy, who is a member of North Tipperary County Council and Ciara Considine who works as a Marketing Officer with The University of Limerick.

On Thursday morning in Whites Hotel in Wexford the renowned Wexford hurler and Irish language teacher Diarmuid Lyng will give an account of his work as a teacher and the extra advantages that the Irish language gave him in becoming a sports analyst on TG4’s sport programmes.

Dr Séamus Ó Diollúin who works as a lecturer in WIT in Waterford will speak about the advantage which Irish language gave him when choosing his career and the use of the language in his work place while Tony Dempsey TD who also managed both the Wexford hurling and football teams will discuss his work and the importance of the Irish language in the GAA at local level.

Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge organised similar events all over Ireland in the past three years and up to five thousand pupils from 168 schools have attended these to date and they are proven to be a huge success. The event is expected to be both interesting and inspirational and it is hoped that it will motivate students to consider the Irish language when choosing their career paths. Students will have a chance to ask questions of the speakers, and to take part in what promises to be a lively debate.

Representatives from various third level institutes will be present to speak about the third level opportunities available to those wishing to pursue their education through the medium of Irish.

If you are a secondary school teacher or an individual who would like to attend any of the upcoming seminars which may be taking place in your region please contact Brígíd in Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, 01 679 4780 or e-mail brighid@comhdhail.ie

As spaces are limited all schools must be registered before attending these events.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

Grant of €75,000 towards New Language Support Scheme

September 18, 2012

A grant of €75,000 has been announced by Minister of State Dinny McGinley towards the running costs of athletics classes in Conamara’s Gaeltacht primary schools.

The grant has been awarded to Muintearas Teo. for the 2012/2013 school year adding to the development of the New Language Support Scheme (An Clár Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh) within the region and the continued implementation of the programme through various community projects.

This is the second grant received by Muintearas Teo., a community education project, in the last week. Minister McGinley announced a grant of €762,378 last Wednesday to be allocated to Muintearas Teo. and Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne towards the development of Gaeltacht language services, a key part of the new support programme.

Scéim na gCúntóirí Teanga, a language assistance scheme, was announced the Department of Arts, Heritage and An Ghaeltacht in April as a central aspect of An Clár Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh. The scheme focuses on improving and enriching Irish among Gaeltacht children through the provision of language assistants within Gaeltacht schools.

It was announced in early summer that An Clár Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh would replace the original Government supported Irish Speaking Scheme, as a support service for parents who wish to raise their children through Irish.

Under the new programme, grants will no longer be allocated to individual households as a support system, a practice that had been carried out under the previous scheme. The new programme will provide parents with a practical and facilitating support service.
It is hoped the new programme will provide parents with a national network of Irish-speaking households. An ClárTacaíochta Teaghlaigh will act as a practical support mainly for Gaeltacht families who wish to have Irish as the first language however, certain non-Gaeltacht households will be allowed to register.

The programme is aimed at all groups from expectant parents and preschool children to teenagers, households in which Irish is already the first language and families who wish it to be. The programme provides parents with information packs including the educational and health services that are available to them as well as information regarding the benefits and proven methods for raising children through Irish.

For more information about An Clár Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh visit http://www.ahg.gov.ie/ie/AnGhaeltacht/ClairTheangalarnaithe/AnClarTacaiochtaTeaghlaigh.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

New website for Irish medium and Gaeltacht schools

September 18, 2012

Www.ceacht.ie a new website that is available now for Irish language teachers teaching in Gaeltacht schools and Gaelscoileanna.

It provides learning materials for subjects of modern learning and language teaching in Gaeltacht and Irish medium schools. This project will be overseen by an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta.

Siún Ní Mhaoinaigh will be directing the project and Aoife Ní Chonchúir & Úna Nic Gabhann will be working on the project.

New materials will be added to the site throughout the school year:

  • Resource material for Junior Certificate
  • Resource material for Leaving Certificate
  • Podcasts
  • Video, Audio
  • Language Campaign

www.Ceacht.ie will be officially launched by The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Naoise Ó Muirí on the 28th of September 2012.

More information is available from an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

Cois Teallaigh Conversational Irish Language Groups

September 18, 2012

This coming Autumn Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge located in Kildare Street intend to get Dublin city talking as Gaeilge once again by facilitating Irish Language Conversational groups every Monday evening.

This is a wonderful opportunity for members of the public to meet up and practice their Irish in a social atmosphere, and to meet other Irish speakers at the same time.

The conversational group is suitable for adults. Individuals are more than welcome to join us and join in the fun while enjoying a cup of tea/coffee!

Our next get together will take place in Cois Teallaigh, Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, 46 Kildare Street, Dublin 2 on Monday 1st October 2012 from 4:00-5:30pm, so why not come along and strike up a conversation As Gaeilge and brush up on your Irish skills in a relaxed atmosphere.

The total cost is €12 per person for 8 weeks from 1st October – Monday 26th November 2012. (There will be no gathering on the bank holiday weekend in October)

Further information is available from Brígíd on 01 679 47 80

Cuirfear tús leis an séasúr nua den Chiorcal comhrá ar an Luan, 01 Deireadh Fómhair 2012.

Surveys on primary school patronage to begin

September 18, 2012

Surveys to find out if parents want more non-Catholic primary schools and which patron they would prefer are to begin within weeks.

In June, 44 areas were identified as needing a greater choice of school patronage. Education Minister Ruairi Quinn will announce soon which five of these are to be surveyed first. The local views will be gathered through surveys, most likely with a choice of responding on paper or online of parents of children already in primary school and those with sons or daughters not yet attending schools in the areas concerned. In order to avoid duplication or having the surveys distorted by interested parties, anyone completing the survey will have to provide personal information on a confidential basis, to include name, address, and PPS numbers.

The 44 areas include many with up to eight primary schools but which have little or no non-Catholic provision to cater for the diversity of local families. Among the established patrons to have applied in most areas are the local city or county vocational education committees (VECs), all-Irish patron body An Foras Pátrúnachta, and multi-denominational schools group Educate Together. It is understood that expressions of interest were received in relation to two or three areas in Cork from humanist groups. The Redeemed Christian Church of God, which previously sought to be patron to two new schools in Dublin, has also indicated it wants to run a number of schools. However, it is unclear if either group meets the criteria for being a patron and whether they will be included in the list of patrons offered to parents in those areas. Those choices will be listed in a survey to be conducted among parents following the distribution of information by the Department of Education.

Parents will be asked if they are satisfied with the current choice of patrons in their area and, if not, which of the patron bodies interested in running schools in their area they would prefer. While each applicant patron has submitted a short description of who they are and what they propose to set up, they are being asked to sign up to a voluntary code banning leaflets, advertising or public meetings that could give them an advantage over other groups. The initial surveys will be carried out within weeks in five of the 44 areas, to identify any potential difficulties with the methodology, and the remaining 39 will be surveyed in November. The timescale for any resultant hand-overs is uncertain but the survey outcomes will be discussed in early 2013 among the Catholic school communities where a need for a more diverse mix of patronage is identified. A key consideration would be which school or schools might close in each area, and whether their pupils and staff would be amalgamated entirely with one neighbouring school or distributed among the other Catholic schools.


Líofa 2015 First Birthday

September 18, 2012

A year has passed since Líofa was launched and to celebrate the occasion, Líofa are organising a Líofa Birthday party on Saturday 22nd September 2012 in Custom House Square, Belfast.

This day is primarily focused on people who want to take up the Líofa challenge. It is aimed at the learner and on people who are curious about the Irish Language but everyone is welcome!

The renowned broadcaster with the BBC Lynette Fay will be MC on the day with many events taking place throughout the afternoon.

The lively band Goitse will perform along with other special guests such as pop singer JJ Ó Dochartaigh, Nodlaig Brolly, and many tricks and fun with the Fanzini Brothers and Ariel Killick from Independent State of Happiness. Other special guests include Cór Loch Lao.

Date: Saturday, 22nd September 2012

Time: 1-4pm

Venue: Custom House Square,Belfast

For further information: E: líofa@dcalni.eu / T: 028 90515008

Gaelchultúr’s live online Irish classes in response to international demand

September 18, 2012

Live online Irish classes hosted by Gaelchultúr are to commence this month due to a huge international demand.

There are more then 4,000 third level students studying the language in the United States of America and Canada.

There will be no more then 15 people participating in the class. Each student will be able to see the lecturer on the screen and there will be a wide range of resources used including Powerpoint, video, whiteboard and audio files. Students taking part can ask questions and will have access to any of the classes as they will all be recorded both audio and video and available online.

Students will require a computer/laptop and internet connection to participate in the classes. No downloadable software is needed. The use of a camera is optional. The live online classes will start on the 24th September 2012 for ten weeks. It’s a two hour class one evening a week. They are for beginners and intermediate level students.

As well as the online classes, Gaelchultúr will also be running evening classes at its new building on Clare Street in Dublin 2. Irish classes are also available in Carlow, Cork and Limerick. Each year over 4,000 adults study Irish with Gaelchultúr, both online and in the classroom.

Further information about Gaelchultúr’s range of courses is available at www.gaelchultur.com.

Young teachers take the pain

September 18, 2012

School starts tomorrow.

It’s strange to think that this year I’m among the masses getting ready for “September 1st”. When I was a child I used to hear “September 1st” with dread. I hope the children I teach this year don’t feel that same anxiety going to school. Being a substitute teacher means I’ll be in and out of various classes and levels. Preparing for the new school year as a substitute teacher is very different to what it entails for other teachers. It’s tricky to know exactly what supplies are needed or what to prepare, but I’m gradually starting to gather my books and resources. I have loads of lesson plan ideas and things I want to teach. I feel like I’ve been gathering lesson plans and ideas all my life if I’m honest.

I’ve always wanted to teach and I find it very hard to pass a bookshop or anywhere where there might be school resources. I can’t imagine being anything other than a teacher. I love being at the top of a classroom and watching my pupils as they learn and work hard to understand something new. I feel very satisfied knowing that what I’m teaching them is something they will need and hopefully remember for the rest of their lives.

I’m subbing in a 5th class this week. Standing in front of the class today was amazing. I began with Gaeilge, a subject within my comfort zone. Not every everyone loves Gaeilge but I do and I love teaching it so it was a fantastic way to start the day. I try to bring a little drama into the subject as much as possible. I want the pupils I’m teaching to learn to love it as I do so I try to make it a fun experience. I even incorporate it into my PE lessons so that Gaeilge becomes part of the norm. The staffroom can be a little daunting, especially if you don’t know any of the other teachers. Everyone I met today was lovely. It was great to hear how other teachers work in their rooms and their many experiences. We chatted about various subjects and the ones we like to teach in comparison to the ones we feel less comfortable with. I was afraid I would be the only one who felt weaker in some subjects then others, but I was completely wrong. Every teacher finds some subjects harder to teach than others and it was very comforting to hear that. We don’t have to be experts on everything we teach. I will never be a great historian but that won’t ever stop me teaching my classes about the Famine, the Celts or the history of our locality.

Today in the staffroom we had an awkward discussion about inequality between the newer, younger teachers and the older teaching staff in regards to pay and conditions. It’s not a topic I love talking about. It can be really difficult to get my point across when I know that other teachers the same age as me, but who maybe qualified a year or two before me, will be higher paid for the rest of my professional career. Teachers starting their careers now will be paid around 34 per cent less than those who started in 2010. It’s heartbreaking if I’m being honest. I’d even go as far as saying it is soul-destroying. That kind of money would make a huge difference to my life and the lives of other young teachers. It’s hard to talk about these issues and it can be difficult not to let it affect me when I go back into the classroom. Today I was pointedly asked what I thought and I felt uncomfortable explaining how the wage difference would affect my working life, that in every staffroom across the country there would be teachers who are equally qualified to do the job, but because the rates of pay are so different, they will never really be equal.

Add that to a chat about the Croke Park agreement and lunch seemed to go on a lot longer than usual. The part of the Croke Park agreement that gets to teachers the most seems to be the extra school hours. Every teacher spends additional time planning and organising lessons as well as doing extra CPD. I’m not sure the Croke Park agreement takes this into account. We’re depending on the INTO to help us fight our corner and ensure that newly- qualified teachers and young teachers aren’t taken advantage of. So far there’s so little evidence of our union supporting our plight; it’s incredibly frustrating to know that so many of our colleagues are willing to let this issue slide. I learnt a lot today just by talking about it all even though it wasn’t easy and I was glad to get back to the classroom.

I had so much fun today teaching science. I set the class into groups of four or five and asked them to work together to design a boat. This is a part of the science curriculum that I really love. ICT in the classroom is a huge advantage to any teacher. There’s so much more I feel I can add to lessons because I have the extra resources. In college we were told to integrate subjects and I think maths and science go very well together. We had so much fun making Play-Doh boats with the maths aspect sneaked in so it didn’t feel like a maths lesson for the children. I love it when a lesson I’ve planned comes together so well. Preparing for hands-on lessons is rather time consuming, but well worth it. After today I feel like I can do anything I put my mind to and can plan it out properly. I really feel like I’m ready for this and cannot wait to get to my own class in the future.

We heard today about second-level schools which had to send their first and second years home early. The cuts in the education department have been taking their toll on students for a long time but only as soon as pupils are sent home then people begin to react. Everyone seems to be going mad because first years are being sent home 40 minutes early four days a week and second years go home early twice a week. It’s not ideal, it’s not what any teacher or school wants to happen, but large class sizes, losing teachers and the loss of resource hours can be detrimental too, yet nobody made a fuss of these issues. It seems we’re more than happy to accept such cuts but not the loss of 40 minutes teaching. I don’t see what good it does to blame the teachers and schools. No matter what schools do to try to make these cuts easier to bear, it isn’t good enough. Schools and educators all over Ireland are trying their hardest despite of the issues faced. I just wish everyone could see that.

Wow! A week done already and I enjoyed every moment of it. It wasn’t all smooth sailing (those Play-Doh boats) but I think I handled any issues that arose really well and my classroom management worked out the way I had planned. I used the traffic light system so it was easy to follow and very clear for the pupils as well as me to keep track of. I think as a teacher I learned a lot about myself. I can handle myself in the classroom and I’m ready for any challenges that come my way. I feel so lucky to have had work for five days straight, but already I am starting to worry when I will get work again. It could be next week but just as easily it could be next month. I could struggle to find even one day a week for the next few months. It’s not easy never knowing when I will get a call to work; it’s stressful trying to budget my income and make sure that I can survive the month.

Helen Bullock blogs at anseo-a-mhuinteoir.com and tweets on @AnseoAMuinteoir. Listening to: children’s classical music, looking for lesson plan ideas. Watching: clips from Curiosity Rover (right) on mars and RTÉ’s Back To School documentary series. Reading: blog posts from seomraranga.com and pamobriensblog.wordpress.com
Visiting: primaryscience.ie for science experiment ideas and cesi.iefor ICT techie ideas. Through twitter I’ve been following #edchatie discussions on the importance of edtech in schools.


Parents get vote to take schools out of control of the Church

September 18, 2012

PARENTS will start voting within weeks on whether they want to hand over a Catholic primary school in their area to another patron body.

In a ground-breaking move, the Department of Education will seek the views of parents in five areas on the demand for a change in patronage, and their preference for who should run the schools.

The Irish Independent has learned that three of the five areas to be surveyed are Trim, Co Meath; Tramore, Co Waterford; and Arklow, Co Wicklow.

The fourth and fifth will be in Dublin and Co Mayo, although final decisions have yet to be made on the particular areas.


The surveys of five areas is the first step in the process and will be followed in November with similar plebiscites in 39 other towns or suburbs identified as potentially ripe for change.

The historic move is aimed at reducing the control of the Catholic Church in primary education and offering parents greater choice to reflect the cultural and religious mix in Irish society generally.

The Catholic Church currently runs 92pc of primary schools and has accepted that it is no longer tenable for it to operate so many schools. Apart from societal changes, there are fewer priests to help with the running of schools.

The areas selected for surveys are where primary schools are exclusively of a Catholic ethos, or where there is very limited choice, with, perhaps, one non-Catholic school among six or more.

Each of the 44 areas has been selected because each has a relatively stable population and so the need for diversity cannot be addressed by opening new schools.

In June, the Department of Education invited patron bodies interested in taking over the running of schools in the 44 areas to lodge expressions of interest.

The survey will be online, or paper-based, and open to parents of a pre-school or school-going child, resident in the area concerned. The form, which will be returned to the department, will include a link to the website of each prospective patron body where parents can get more information about the type of school proposed.

Patron bodies are expected to actively campaign for support for their proposals, but will be subject to a code of practice.

Following the completion of the surveys, there will be consultations with communities in line with parental preferences, on the final shape of the primary school network in the area. It is impossible to estimate how many of the 3,000 Catholic primary schools will ever be handed over to another patron body, and at what pace.

However, based on the survey process about to get under way, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has set next June as the deadline for the naming of the first batch.

– Katherine Donnelly

Irish Independent

Tionól Teagaisc 2012

September 17, 2012

« Previous PageNext Page »