A popular way of introducing Ireland into the curriculum, especially in primary schools, is to arrange 'Irish weeks'.
In these weeks, the entire curriculum, often throughout the whole school, is devoted to Ireland and Irish topics, often covering the following subjects:
English & literacy and History are the most consistent elements.
Bringing school & community together
The diversity and innate cross-curricular links of Irish material help to explain the success of the Irish weeks arranged by schools, such as that which absorbed Holy Name Catholic Primary School in Liverpool for more than the intended week.
|‘Our Irish Week released a burst of creative activity, embraced all children, whatever their ages, abilities and backgrounds; subtly addressed sensitive issues of diversity, and, at the same time, delivered the normal curriculum.|
Its most pleasing aspect was the way in which children embraced the notion of celebrating the history, geography and culture of Ireland and their obvious enthusiasm for the activities.
Its success was reflected by the fact that reference to a ‘week’ is actually a misnomer.
The week was preceded by parents visiting the school to offer the loan of items and inquire about the forthcoming activities, providing a foretaste of how the children would respond.
The enthusiasm and enjoyment of the staff and children were such that many activities were extended to a second week.
The ‘week’ was a truly enriching, fun and educational experience in which the children learnt much about the connection between Ireland and themselves and/or their city.’
Philip Doyle, Irish Week Co-ordinator, Holy Name Catholic Primary School
Although in the heart of a Catholic area with a strong Irish population, this was the first time Ireland had been included in the curriculum at Holy Name.