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Ireland in Schools

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Into the mainstream
The past year, 2006, or so has seen something of a breakthrough for Ireland in Schools with the ideas underlying its programme becoming an accepted part of mainstream educational thinking.

Four leading educational journals have featured the work of IiS in delivering the English and History curricula with cross-curricular approaches to reinforce learning and encourage creativity.

At the same time, the IiS approach has been a prominent feature of conferences and workshops exploring how schools should deal with controversial and sensitive issues, multi-ethnic history and with cultural diversity and implement a new government strategy
‘Every child matters’.
In the journals

'A pirate in the Literacy Hour' by John Paine, English four to eleven, Number 22, Autumn 2005, pp 3-7.
Planning for the Literacy Hour has recently become much more creative in many schools than in the early days of its national implementation. One consequence of this has been the increasing opportunity to plan literacy as a cross-curricular activity. This article explores resources developed by Ireland in Schools programme around Grace O'Malley, the sixteenth-century Irish 'Pirate Queen', which offer an imaginative and powerful context for literacy. (For further details click here.)

'From the frying pan into the fire? Escaping the London Blitz' by Darius Jackson, Alison Gove-Humphries & Paul Bracey, Primary History, Issue 41, Autumn 2005, pp 24-6.
The article explores the use of historical fiction to support historical learning at Key Stage 2, using a historical novel, Safe Harbour, which deals with the evacuation of a sister and brother from London to the home of their formidable grandfather in Co. Wicklow in neutral Éire. (For further details click here.)

'Refugees and evacuees: enhancing historical understanding through Irish historical fiction with Key Stage 2 and early Key Stage 3 pupils' by Paul Bracey, Alison Gove-Humphries & Darius Jackson, Education 3-13, Vol. 34, No. 2, June 2006, pp 103-12.
This article again explores the use of historical fiction as a means of undertaking historical enquiry into the experiences of refugees and evacuees but this time at Key Stages 2 and 3 and using also a second historical novel, Faraway Home, which describes the flight of a Jewish brother and sister from Nazi Vienna and their re-settlement in a refugee camp in Northern Ireland. (For further details click here.)
'Teaching for diversity? Exploring an Irish dimension n the school History curriculum since c. 1970' by Paul Bracey, History of Education, Vol. 36, No. 6, November 2006, pp 619-35.

This article asserts than an Irish dimension within the English History curriculum since c.1970 reflects approaches to diversity. An Irish dimension is explored within the context of Multicultural Britain, debates over ways in which the past has been constructed and changes in the History curriculum. It is arged that there remains a need to determine how far this has been the case in practice.

At conferences & workshops

Paul Bracey, ‘Ireland in the curriculum’, Historical Association/DfES Workshop on Dealing with Sensitive & Controversial Issues, June 2006.(Click here for worksheets.)

Alison Gove-Humphries, 'Fighting for whom? 1916 in Ireland and on the Western Front', Birmingham School Effectiveness Division Workshop on Culturally Inclusive History, June 2006. (For further details click here.)

Marian McQueen, Nigel Duckworth, Phil Wright & students (For further details click here.)

1. '"Tha Shein Ukrosh". A Mystery to Investigate the Reasons for the Existence of an Irish Diaspora', HTEN 2006 Conference on Gateways to the Past: Researching and Exploring Multi-ethnic Stories Through History Teaching, July 2006.

2. 'From the generic to the specific: Thinking Skills for History', Humanities Association Conference on Promoting Culture and Creativity through Humanities. Why Humanities Matters to Every Child & Young Person in the 21st Century, November 2006

3. 'Every Child Thinks', Midlands History Forum on History Matters for Every Child: Raising the profile of History in Schools, November 2006.