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Ireland in Schools

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New KS3 History PoS: Northern Ireland
A. Single lessons

B. Study units

B. Other resources
A. Single lessons

8.0. Timeline activity

Split into groups and match the poster with the appropriate event.
When you have done this, put them in order with the longest ago first and the most recent last.

1. President Clinton visits Belfast
2. Bobby Sands dies on hunger strike
3. Bloody Friday
4. Referendum on the Good Friday Agreement
5. The Omagh bomb
6. The Anglo-lrish Agreement
7. Bloody Sunday
8. The Sunningdale Agreement
9. Introduction of internment

8.1. Living with political violence: ‘Enemy Encounter’
HA workshop

1. a. Read the first two stanzas of the poem by Padraic Fiacc.
b. Discuss the possible content of the third (hidden) stanza.
c. Reveal third stanza.
d. Review suggestions in the light of the revealed stanza.

2. a. How is a mood created in the first stanza?
b. How do you know what the poet feels about the soldier?
c. How do you know what the soldier feels about the poet?
d. Why is it a sad poem?
e. What have you learned about the experience of living in the north of Ireland from this poem?

8.2. Understanding entrenched political positions: Murals in Northern Ireland
HA workshop

Examine the murals on the cards provided.

1. ‘Training’ exercise
a. arrange them into two groups (loyalist and republican) and
b. complete the table to identify the main features of the murals.

2. Thinking skills exercise:

Reading images, using a graphic organiser (concentric circles)
a. arrange the cards into two groups (loyalist & republican) and
b. enter in the ‘circles’ your answers to the following questions:

a. (centre) what do you see?; b. (second) what does it mean?;

c. (outer) what is its nature, origin and purpose?


B. Study units

8.3. What Happened in Omagh? An Introduction of Irish History
Nottingham Pilot Scheme

1. What is Ireland like? What descriptive words would you use to describe Ireland?
Why are there troubles in Ireland?
How do the people of Omagh feel?

‘An Omagh Remembrance’ - A poem by John Friel

2. Discussion Preparation
How do the people of Ireland feel about Omagh, and react?
Gwen Hall’s open letter to the ‘Real’ IRA from her hospital bed

3. Discussion lessons: How do they work?

Study unit:


8.4. How can conflict be resolved fairly?
A study of conflict in Ireland, and the peace process
Staffordshire Pilot Scheme

1. The two communities in Northern Ireland
2. Interpreting the past
3. Claiming past heroes - Cuchulainn
4. The consequences of a united Ireland
5. The peace process

8.5. English attitudes towards Ireland. Detecting bias
Northampton Pilot Scheme

The Guildford Four

1. Your ideas about people who live in Ireland
2. Cartoons and caricatures
3. The Guildford bombing
a. What happened on the night of 5 October 1974?
b. Who were the Guildford Four?
c. What happened to them when they were arrested?
d. What are the dangers of bias and stereotyping
e. Has your opinion changed about the events of 5 October 1974?

8.6. Northern Ireland. Changing from conflict to peace
Northampton Pilot Scheme

1. Ideas about each other: Catholic and Protestant children in 1994
2. Case studies; Sean and Chris
3. Hopes for the future:
Peace poems written by children in Belfast, aged 13-14
4. What has come true?

8.7. Why are Protestants & Catholics willing to share power in Northern Ireland
now (2007) & not earlier?
Blackpool Pilot Scheme - Thinking skills exercise

Classifying & summarising

1. Then & now (2007) - spot the differences
2. How did we get from then to now?
3. Where do we go from here?
Study unit
Collages for Lesson 1

8.8. Murals: ‘superficial images’
or ‘a significant part of the political process’?
Blackpool Pilot Scheme - Thinking skills exercise

Reading images with collective memory

1. Graphic organiser of concentric circles for pupil annotation
a. arrange them into two groups (loyalist & republican)
b. enter in the ‘circles’ your answers to the following questions:
i. (centre) what do you see?

ii. (second) what does it mean?
iii. (outer) what is its nature, origin and purpose?
2. Exemplar selection of murals
3. What & how have we learned?

8.9. DEC citizenship exercise using murals

Place the mural photograph in the middle and write your ideas in response to these questions around the photograph.

1. What do you think the people are doing in this mural?
2. Write down the most important words used.
3. How has colour been used in this mural?
4. Is there a suggestion of violence?
5. Are there any groups in this that you can identify
6. What kind of symbols have been used in this mural?
7. What do you think the symbols used might mean?
8. Label all the features of this mural you recognise.
9. Who do you think might be responsible for this mural?
10. How might this mural affect the community?

Slideshow of murals (PowerPoint):

8.10. The poetry of ‘the Troubles’
Nottingham & Wirral Pilot Schemes

These five poems - and associated activities - help students in Britain to develop imaginative insights into recent events in Northern Ireland. They also offer opportunities for collaboration between English and History departments.

‘Voices’, ‘Northern Haiku’, ‘Postcard from Fermanagh’,
‘The Disturbance’, ‘Enemy Encounter’

C. Resources
8.11. Ireland background. Coursework summary sheet

8.12. Art of ‘the Troubles’


1. The Marley Funeral by Rita Duffy, 1989, charcoal on paper
2. Martyr: ‘If you were to lick my heart’, by Graham Gingles, 1990, mixed media box
3. The Deciduous Ascendancy by Colin McCookin, 1900, oil on canvas
4. Portrait by Brian Maguire, 1984, acrylic on canvas
5. Roadside Assassination by Brian Maguire, 1983-84, acrylic on canvas
6. The Way Ahead (detail) by Brendan Ellis, 1990, oil on canvas
7. Key to the Primal Ground by Marie Foley, 1900, bog oak, metal, slate
8. Call to Arms (details) by Gerry Gleason, 1990, oil on canvas
9. Ulster Playground by Jack Pakenham, 1989, acrylic on canvas

8.13. A selection of murals in Northern Ireland

1. Symbols:

2. Loyalist:
3. Republican:

8.14. Northern Ireland Photo Gallery

Photographs of murals, graffiti, marches, and protests taken by Kathryn Conrad, 1995-2000.

8.15. Constructing five murals: Techniques of the Bogside Artists

Bernadette’ ‘The Battle of the Bogside’
‘The Death of Innocence’ ‘Bloody Sunday’
‘In Memory of Bloody Sunday’

1. Pdf booklet:

2. PowerPoint version:

8.16. ‘Gables’ end: Murals to be replaced’

Guardian, 12 July 2006:
‘Paramilitary murals ... will be replaced under a government-funded scheme to redecorate Northern Ireland’s gable ends and public spaces with more welcoming images...’

8.17. Political groups in Northern Ireland

Mindmap showing political groups in Northern Ireland:

8.18. Growing up in Northern Ireland

A Catholic trainee teacher in England recalls her life in the Protestant village of Markethill and surviving the bombing of the family home.

8.19. Continued sectarianism among young people?

North Belfast school children:

Protestants on Catholics & Catholics on Protestants.
‘None of the contributors below would describe themselves as sectarian, but each helps us to understand a little bit more about sectarianism in Northern Ireland.’

More at:

8.20. Northern Ireland: Interpretations

Contemporary Conflict Resolution by Hugh Miall, Oliver Ramsbotham & Tom Woodhouse, especially p.89

8.21. Whose Cú Chulainn?

Republicans and loyalists interpret the hero’s significance to suit their present purposes.