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Irish Schools top at English

June 4, 2010

Irish language primary schools are outperforming English language schools not only in maths but in English, figures have revealed.

The Department of Education research indicate that children in Gaelic schools do better than children from similar economic backgrounds in English-medium schools. The news comes after several Irish schools were criticised by inspectors as being below standard.

The results were revealed in Key Stage Two assessments submitted each ear by all primary schools in Northern Ireland. Dr Reamai Mathers from the support organisation for Irish-medium schools, omhairle na Gaelscolaiochta, said: “The recent reports in the press in relation to schools across all sectors laced an extremely unfair emphasis on Irish-medium schools.“These latest figures highlight that hildren who attend Irish-medium schools, such as those in the mentioned in the recent press reports, are in fact ut-performing their English-medium counterparts in the two most important aspects of the primary curriculum, nglish and maths.”

He added the findings upport research carried out at Queen’s University which indicated children in Irishmedium schools have better short-term and working memory when compared to their English-medium counterparts. Dr Mathers said: “Short-term memorynd working memory are of central importance in all aspects of learning. “Tasks such as reading, reasoning and mental arithmetic rely on these.

“Researchers believe these superior results are due to what may be called ‘the bilingual advantage’, with children who are fluent in two languages having a greater amount of mental agility.” Almost 3,000 children attend more than 30 Irish-medium primary schools in Northern Ireland.

The Daily Mirror
03 Meitheamh 2010