Q: How easy is it for me to include Ireland in my teaching?
A: Freely available teaching schemes, reflecting the realities of the classroom, and other resources make it easy for you and other teachers in Britain to draw upon Ireland in your teaching.
Q: Can anyone use Ireland in Schools resources?
A: Yes, the resources are freely available to everyone, whether they work with us or not.
All we ask is that if you draw on our material in publications, you make the appropriate acknowledgement to Ireland in Schools.
Q: How can I work with Ireland in Schools to develop resources?
A: Simply email us at IiS or telephone us on 0151 727 6817 to discuss your ideas.
Q: Why should Ireland be part of the normal curriculum in schools in Britain?
A: First, Ireland is an integral part of the cultural and historical experience of 'these islands' and its study helps to redress the often Anglo-centric tendencies of the curriculum in Britain.
Secondly, the richness and diversity of its past and present and the inter-dependence of different disciplines address key curriculum issues, enrich the curriculum for teachers and students alike and make learning fun as well as challenging. ‘In Ireland, art, drama, geography, history, literature, music and religion are intertwined and almost insensibly enrich and reinforce the learning experience of children.’
Q: How do teachers draw on Ireland in their teaching?
A: Teachers approach Ireland in a number of ways:
- Irish weeks, when the whole curriculum throughout school devoted to Ireland for a week;
- in the Literacy Hour & beyond and in secondary English, Irish texts provide the basis for cross-curricular work;
- topic-based blocks, when an Irish topic/text is basis for 8-10 week cross-curricular programme;
- self-contained single Irish topics/texts.
Q: How does Ireland in Schools decide which resources to develop?
A: We have no overall blueprint to impose.
- All teaching and learning materials and strategies are geared to the needs of individual teachers and schools.
- Ireland in Schools and teachers identify opportunities and resources.
- Teachers then develop teaching and learning materials, seeking if necessary advice and assistance from Ireland in Schools.
- Finally, Ireland in Schools prepares materials for sharing with other teachers, schools, and teacher-trainers, etc., all without charge.
The idea is both to inspire teachers and to make it easy for them to incorporate Ireland into the normal curriculum.
Q: How is Ireland in Schools financed?
A: By private donations, with no strings attached, to cover the cost of adminstration and preparing, publishing and disseminating resources. *
Q: Why does Ireland in Schools not have any public funding?
A: We have been offered public money, but there are too many conditions attached to public funding, particulary closely-defined and often oppressively unrealistic targets. We want to support teachers and help them to use their imaginations and creativity freely for the good of their pupils, not put further pressure on them.
Q: Does Ireland in Schools really consist entirely of volunteers?
A: Yes. We are all volunteers. Nobody gets paid.
Q: Is Ireland in Schools non-political and non-sectarian?
A: First, yes. We are drawn from different parts of the education system with different educational philosophies and approaches to teaching and with different political and religious backgrounds and views.
Secondly, what we all share is an interest in Ireland, past and present, and a commitment to make the study of Ireland a normal part of the curriculum in Britain, from primary schools to sixth-forms.
Thirdly, Ireland in Schools gives us the framework and freedom to make this happen and to develop teaching strategies and resources without the outside interference or institutional pressures which we often experience in our day jobs. Being part of Ireland in Schools really is fun, challenging and rewarding.
* Ireland in Schools is grateful to Bob Burns, Terry Coleman, John Kennedy and Patrick Buckland for generously contributing towards the general running costs of the programme; to the Ireland Fund of Great Britain for providing a high specification colour laser printer; and to Liverpool City Council for making possibile the pioneering Liverpool Pilot Scheme.