Information for Parents
Below are some of the most frequent questions parents put to Gaelscoileanna Teo. If your question is not answered below or if you would like further information on any of the topics covered, please contact us on 01 8535195 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently asked questions about immersion education are addressed here.
What is a naíonra?
A ‘naíonra’ (Irish-medium preschool) is defined as a group of children coming together for up to 3.5 hours per day (the naíonra is a sessional service) in an enjoyable setting under the supervision of a stiúrthóir (director). The director provides every opportunity to help the child’s development; physical, intellectual, creative, aesthetic, social, emotional and linguistic. The work of the naíonra is done through Irish. The play method is usually used as it is the most appropriate way for children in this age group to learn. Children in the naíonra are normally between the ages of 3 and 5.
What is an Irish-medium school?
Irish-medium schools are often referred to as a ‘gaelscoil’ at primary level and as a ‘gaelcholáiste’ at post-primary level.
Irish is the language of instruction in an Irish-medium school and the language of communication between the staff, pupils and school management. Irish is a living language in the schools, both in the classroom and outside. Irish-medium schools provide a high standard of education in all subjects, including English, and follow the standard curriculum set by the Department of Education & Skills. All pupils are welcome in Irish-medium schools, regardless of their ability, socioeconomic and linguistic background.
Irish-medium schools are run under various patronages. Schools can have various religious ethos, depending on the school’s patron. At present, there are denominational, interdenominational, multidenominational and nondenominational Irish-medium schools.
What religious ethos does an Irish-medium school have ?
Irish-medium schools can have various religious ethos, depending on the school’s patron. At present, there are denominational, interdenominational, multidenominational and nondenominational Irish-medium schools. The school ethos and patron for each one is included on our school lists:
Are Irish-medium schools co-educational?
All primary-level Irish-medium schools are co-educational. A small number of Irish-medium post-primary schools admit only girls or boys but the majority are co-educational.
How do I register my child in an Irish-medium naíonra/school?
You will need to contact the naíonra/school directly to enquire about their entrance and enrolment policy. Naíonra/schools’ policies may differ but the naíonra/school’s management should be able to provide you with information and guide you through the process.
Do I need to have Irish in order to register my child in an Irish-medium naíonra/school?
No. It is, however, an advantage to the child/pupil if Irish is spoken at home, even if it’s just used at a certain time of day or certain phrases are used, so that the child/pupil understands that Irish is not spoken in school alone and that the parents have an interest in the language. Children/pupils from all linguistic and cultural backgrounds are welcome in naíonraí and Irish-medium schools.
My child is not fluent in Irish or English, is an Irish-medium school suitable for him/her?
Yes, absolutely. All pupils are welcome in Irish-medium schools, regardless of their linguistic or cultural background, and support is provided for both pupils and parents. Information leaflets on immersion education are available in a number of different languages (listed below) and printed copies are available – just call 01 8535193 or email email@example.com with your request.
- Irish & English Version
- Irish & French Version
- Irish & Polish Version
- Irish & Portugese Version
- Irish & Russian Version
- Irish & Romanian Version
I’d like to learn Irish! Are there classes and supports available for parents?
Schools often offer language support for parents who wish to improve their skills – it is worth asking the school your child is attending or the school in which you intend to register him/her. Below is a list of organisations which provide Irish-language classes for adults and/or language support services:
- Conradh na Gaeilge
- Gael Linn
- Glór na nGael
- Third-level institutions
- Local Education Centres
- Oideas Gael
- Local schools
- Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge
Does my child need to have attended a naíonra (Irish-medium preschool) to get a place in an Irish-medium primary school, or to have attended an Irish-medium primary school to get a place in an Irish-medium post-primary school?
No, but at present some schools give priority to students who attend a naíonra or an Irish-medium primary school, in accordance with the criteria set out in their admissions policy. This may be subject to change when new regulations on school admissions come into effect in 2015. You must contact the school and seek information regarding their admission policy and school enrolment. A child who spends some time in a naíonra before attending school does gain an advantage, as it offers a very good foundation for him/her to be immersed in the language in a learning environment that is fun and enjoyable. Schools’ policies may differ but the school’s management should be able to provide you with information and guide you through the process.
My child was refused a place in an Irish-medium school. Do I have the right to demand a place in the school for my child?
If your child is refused a place in an Irish-medium school, you have the right to appeal the decision. You must first appeal to the school’s Board of Management. If your appeal is unsuccessful, it can be forwarded to the Department for Education and Skills and appealed under Section 29 of the Education Act. Further information regarding this process is available from the Department of Education; email firstname.lastname@example.org. This may be subject to change when new regulations on school admissions come into effect in 2015.
How qualified are the staff in Irish-medium naíonraí and schools?
Staff in Irish-medium naíonraí and schools must have the same qualifications as their counterparts in other early-years services and schools. Staff at all levels are also required to demonstrate fluency in both written and spoken Irish.
I have a problem with the naíonra/school my child is currently attending. Can Gaelscoileanna Teo. give me advice?
You are welcome to contact us on 01 8535195 or by emailing email@example.com and we will do our best to give you guidance. Generally, we recommend that any difficulties with the naíonra/school be initially discussed with the stiúrthóir/school principal, and then with the chair of the Board of Management and the patron in the case of a school. There may be other educational organisations can also help you, you’ll find a list of them here.
Do students get bonus points for completing the Leaving Certificate in Irish?
A candidate who answers in Irish in the written examination in certain Leaving Certificate subjects may be given bonus marks. Further information is available from the State Examination Commission.
Do you have information on summer camps?
There is a list of organisations that provide summer camps available here.
I have another question…
You’re very welcome to contact us; call 01 8535195 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to answer your question!