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‘Factchecker’ forced to change verdict on Catholic schools

March 31, 2017

TheJournal.ie has been forced to change the verdict of its FactCheck on the enrolment policies of Catholic schools following a challenge from the Iona Institute.

Iona’s Maria Steen appeared on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live a few weeks ago to debate the admissions policy of denominational schools. Ms Steen said that with regard to certain measures, Catholic schools were more diverse than multi-denominational schools, citing ESRI research about the proportion of pupils from lone-parent families, less affluent households and from the Traveller community.

This was challenged on the programme by Paul Rowe of Educate Together as “palpably not true” and “absurd”.

Initial verdict

The Journal’s ‘FactCheck’ then investigated Ms Steen’s claim and its initial verdict was that what she said was ‘mostly false’. This was strongly challenged by the Iona Institute which presented The Journal with the research to back up her claim and FactCheck has now changed its verdict to ‘mostly true’.

The report ‘School Sector Variation Among Primary Schools in Ireland’ was published in 2012, based on data gathered in 2007 and 2008, it was written by the ESRI and funded by Educate Together.

The research compared the religious, socioeconomic, Travelling community, and other backgrounds of pupils at three primary school types: Catholic; multi-denominational (mostly Educate Together); and minority faith schools (Church of Ireland, Jewish and Muslim).

It showed that Catholic school pupils had a greater tendency to be from less affluent and lower socio-economic backgrounds, and there was greater socio-economic diversity among pupils at Catholic primary schools.

It also showed that a higher percentage of Catholic school students came from a lone-parent family than students from other types of schools (18% as opposed to 15% and 9%).


(Gaeilge) Ag Treorú na Foghlama sa Ghaeloideachas

March 31, 2017

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(Gaeilge) Coláiste Pádraig Leamhchán curadh na hÉireann i gComórtas Tráth na gCeist Feachtas

March 30, 2017

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(Gaeilge) Teanga Tí – Gaeilge sa mBaile

March 29, 2017

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Primary school shake-up to focus on ‘play-led’ learning

March 29, 2017

Children would not study traditional subjects until aged 10, under new proposals

Children at primary schools would not study traditional subjects until as late as 10 years of age, under proposals being considered by policymakers.

Instead, there would be a much greater emphasis on creative play during the early years of primary school, and broader areas of learning in later years.

The reforms are based loosely on some of the features of top-performing education systems in countries such as Finland, as well as new research on how children learn.

The proposals, drafted by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), represent some of the biggest proposed changes to teaching and learning at primary level in more than two decades.

They also seek to give teachers more flexibility and autonomy over the amount of time dedicated to key areas of learning.

Educators, policymakers and parents discussed the proposals at a conference in Dublin Castle on Tuesday as part of a consultation phase which continues until the end of April.

The existing curriculum was drawn up almost 20 years ago when fewer junior infants came from a preschool background. Today, 95 per cent of children starting school have come from a preschool.

A key proposal involves extending the preschool curriculum – Aistear – into the early years of the primary school curriculum. This could ease the transition for children entering primary school and form the basis for a child-led play approach to learning.

Proposed changes over the structure of the school day could see a minimum of 60 per cent of the school day set aside for teaching the core curriculum, such as English, Irish and maths.

The remainder of the school day would be designated as “flexible time” for roll call, assembly, breaks, discretionary curriculum time and the patron’s programme.

This would allow schools to spend additional time on the part of the curriculum which they feel best meets the needs of students. Controversially, it would result in religion being dropped from the core curriculum.

Another potential change involves a move away from traditional subjects in the early and middle phase of primary school, with a greater focus on themes or “curriculum areas”.

This is influenced by the fact that children are faced with studying 11 subjects when they enter primary schools, which some experts feel is too structured and may impede learning.

Exciting opportunity

In a keynote address to the conference, Fergus Finlay, head of the children’s charity Barnardos, said the new proposals represented an exciting opportunity to meet the full range of children’s needs at a younger age.

But he warned that its successful implementation will depend on ensuring it is backed up by resources and reform.

“Will every setting operate to the standard implied in the new curriculum? We know they won’t without resources. We know they won’t without some degree of standardisation. We know they won’t without structural change,” he said.

Concluding the conference, Minister for Education Richard Bruton said the proposals came at a crucial time for the education sector given rapid changes in society and the workplace.

He said the focus on improving the transition between preschool and primary schools was particularly important.

“The primary curriculum has been a real strength of our system over many years,” he said.

“We are now, hopefully, building on that strength, giving people more of the flexibility and capacity to be innovative with their use of that curriculum in their own setting.”

The NCCA is keen to emphasise that the proposals are intended to begin a discussion about the redevelopment of the primary curriculum.

A report on the outcome of consultations and a more detailed overview of a redeveloped primary curriculum is likely later this year, which will be the focus of further consultation in late 2017 and into 2018.


Focus group for naíonraí

March 28, 2017

Would you like help to improve your Irish? Wouldn’t it be great if there was something like www.irishforparents.ie available for people working in the naíonra?

Gaeloideachas is developing a new resource for naíonraí, and we’re running a focus group to help to guide us. We’re looking to talk to people working in naíonraí about their language needs, and to get their suggestions for useful resources to support them. The session will not be an Irish class, it will be a discussion about resources.

The session will be in English and Irish, and we’d especially like to meet people who are not confident about their own level of Irish.

The session will take place on the 10.05.17 from 16.00-17.00 in Gaeloideachas’ offices in Marino, Dublin. There’ll be tea, coffee and scones and all you need to do to attend is contact Clare on 01 8535193 or clare@gaelscoileanna.ie before May 5th. Please send this email on to colleagues in the naíonra and help us to develop a really great resource.

(Gaeilge) #TrasnaNadTonnta

March 28, 2017

Tá an ICUF ag obair go dian ar fheachtas domhanda Twitter, darb ainm ‘Trasna na dTonnta’, a chur chun cinn an tseachtain seo!

Is ócáid í #TrasnaNadTonnta a chruthaíonn cibear-Ghaeltacht ar líne ón lá inniu, Dé Luain, an 27 Márta, go dtí Dé hAoine, an 31 Márta 2017.

Le linn na seachtaine seo tá muid ag iarraidh go mbeadh an oiread sin daoine agus is féidir (glantosaitheoirí san áireamh), ar fud an domhain, ag tvuíteáil as Gaeilge is ag úsáid an haischlib #TrasnaNadTonnta chomh minic agus is féidir.

Tá muid dóchasach go bhfeicfidh muid borradh de dhaoine thar farraige ag tvuíteáil as Gaeilge lenár haischlib le linn na seachtaine seo chun teanga na Gaeilge a cheiliúradh.

Is deis í seo do chách thar sáile bheith mar chuid den chomhrá!

Chun cabhrú linn is féidir:
• Trasna na dTonnta a leanúint is a chur chun cinn ar Twitter
• Tvuíteáil faoi do thaithí phearsanta féin leis an nGaeilge agus tú thar sáile, leis an haischlib #TrasnaNadTonnta.
• An ríomhphost seo a chur ar aghaidh chuig na cairde atá agat a mbeadh suim acu tacú leis an togra.
• Stádas a chur suas ar Facebook ag míniú go mbeidh Trasna na dTonnta ar siúl an tseachtain seo leis an nasc seo ann www.trasnanadtonnta.ie
• Do chairde a chur ar an eolas go mbeidh comórtas grianghraif ar Twitter don tseachtain – agus gheobhaidh an té leis an bpictiúr is fearr (a chuireann clib ar @Trasna17 agus an haischlib #TrasnaNadTonnta leis an tvuít) dearbhán €75 ó Ghlór na nGael!
• An fhoirm seo a chur chuig Gaeilgeoirí a bhfuil aithne agat orthu thar farraige ag iarr orthu síniú suas mar Ambasadóir Feachtais.

Mar chabhair tá cúpla tvuít samplach againn ar ár suíomh!

Gabhann muid buíochas ó chroí leat roimh ré as do chuid tacaíochta.

School Transport Applications for 2017/18

March 28, 2017

Bus Éireann’s on-line application system for school transport is now open for the 2017/18 school year.

The closing date is Friday 28 April 2017

Apply on-line now at www.buseireann.ie.

Answers to the most frequently-asked questions about the scheme are available on the Department of Education & Skills’ website: www.education.ie.

(Gaeilge) Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta

March 27, 2017

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(Gaeilge) Caifé Cultúr

March 27, 2017

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