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Ireland in Schools

Making learning fun & challenging
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New url, 28/03/2012
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St Brendan at Sudley*
You are a Pirate!*
Pirate Grace O'Malley?*
Truth re Coffin ships?*
Responding to Famine*
Irish immigrants*
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Reporting on recent developments in the work of 'Ireland in Schools'
28 March 2012
New web adddress for Ireland in Schools
The address of the main IiS website is  The ending of Microsoft's Office Live Small Business programme has entailed a change of servers and the updating of all links on the site. 
If you have links to resources on the old site (, please now insert "www." (without the quotes) before  Thus, for example, the old link
If you have a link to a web page on the old site, please also insert "Pages/" (without the quotes) after  Thus, for instance, the old link 
St Brendan at Sudley Infant School, Liverpool
In the summer of 2011, Sudley Infant School in Liverpool embarked upon a challenging but enjoyable whole-school, cross-curricular project to learn about the life and times of an adventurous Irish saint, St Brendan the Navigator. The project certainly delivered and enriched the curriculum.  It also created an enjoyable and uplifting sense of common purpose throughout the school - parents and governors included. The project is celebrated on a new IiS website at

8 September 2010
Recalling the Blitz in Belfast

BBC Radio 4, 10:45am, Wed, 8 September 2010
As part of a series of programmes exploring how different UK cities experienced the Blitz, former Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon goes back home to Belfast to find out about how people there coped with the air raids and bombing.

26 April 2010
'Normalisation' of politics in Northern Ireland?

Are political leaders in Northern Ireland learning to address 'everyday' issues?
Party leaders' debate, Thursday, 22 April 2010
The UTV Leaders Debate, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, put the leader of the DUP Peter Robinson, the President of Sinn Fein Gerry Adams, the leader of the SDLP Margaret Ritchie and the Ulster Unionist party leader Sir Reg Empey on the spot in front an audience of first time voters.

Guardian editorial, 26 April 2010

Northern Ireland newspapers reporting the debate
Belfast Telegraph (Unionist)
The nationalist Irish News is unhappily only available only by subscription.

Ulster TV recording
(Expires in 60 days)

1 March 2010
Is Devolution Working in Northern Ireland?
Beyond Westminster, BBC Radio 4, Saturday, 20 Feb 2010, 30 mins
‘Dismay with politicians at Westminster pales into insignificance compared to voters' disgust with Stormont.'

Also in mp3 format at IiS Skydrive:

24 September 2009
Ten Years after Good Friday
BBC Radio 4 programme, 5 September 2009, examining the track record of devolved government in Northern Ireland, ten years after the Good Friday Peace Agreement.^_Good^_Friday^_01.mp3
1 August 2008
An overview of Anglo-Irish relations
How differently have the English & Irish regarded events in Ireland since the 12th century?
This overview of Anglo-Irish relations in one lesson meets the requirements of the new Key Stage 3 Programme of Study for History in England. It uses visual sources to ask three questions : 1. Is seeing believing? 2. How would you define English views of Ireland and the Irish? 3. How far do Irish attitudes challenge the English views? The lesson concludes by asking students what further questions they need to ask to understand further Anglo-Irish relations? Irish_Relations_Overview.pdf

8 June 2008

Irish picture books

Some delightful Irish picture books are available from the Northern Irish publisher, O'Donnell Press.
They include:
Finn's Causeway Adventure
Lazy Cat Crazy Cat
Samson's Titanic Journey
Scrabo, the Strangford Seal
Sweet Molly Malone

For further details, please go to

7 June 2008

Who came to Britain, & when?

KS3 History: New Programme of Study & KS2
This is a three-part single lesson* develops questioning through timeline maps.
It is intended to
a. give an overview of the movement to, and settlement in, Britain by people from various parts of the world since the Romans, and
b. provide an introduction to depth studies of immigration and settlement.

The lessons in pdf format and a PowerPoint of images used are available at:
* 1. Starter: Where are you from? 2. Who has come to Britain, and when?
3. How accurate are the statements about when people came to Britain?

18 January 2008

Using key questions in primary history

This mindmap outlines four study units as examples of the use of key questions in primary history.
It was originally produced by IiS for trainee teachers, but is proving popular in other sectors.

2 December 2007

Irish possibilities in the new programme of study for Key Stage 3 history

The new Programme of Study offers considerable scope for teaching the history of Ireland and Anglo-Irish relations at Key Stage 3.

In return, the richness
and range of Irish resources offer considerable possibilities not only for
meeting requirements of the new PoS but also for making the process fun and challenging.
In response to enquiries about such Irish possibilities, IiS has produced a detailed catalogue of its resources for Key Stage 3 history.
Resources 1-8 are arranged chronologically:
0. General & overviews                                                       5. Ireland under the Union: 1916 & First World War
1. Ireland & the Normans                                                    6. Ireland under the Union: Constitutional nationalism
2. Ireland & the Tudors                                                       7. Ireland & World War Two: Evacuees & refugees
3. Ireland & the Stuarts & Cromwell                                     8. Northern Ireland
4. Ireland under the Union:
Famine & emigration                   9. Interpretation
An introductory note shows how the resources address the whole Programme of Study.
Each part is divided into three sections: A. Single lessons B. Study units C. Other resources.
In the left hand column of each section is the title of the lesson, study unit or resource.
The right hand column contains a description of the lesson, study unit or resource, with the
appropriate url.
The 'Other resources' section contains notes on interpretation.

The IiS materials help in the teaching of study of history through a combination of overview thematic and depth studies, particularly by providing a range teaching and learning materials which offer opportunities for both quick studies and deeper studies.


They can be used as they are or adapted to meet the demands of particular teaching schemes.


The catalogue is available on-line at

It is also available in pdf format at: temporarily unavailable as from 22/10/2008

Notes on interpreting Irish history are available at

25 October 2007
Latest resources
New for Northern Ireland & SHP
The Hunger Strikes, 1980-81
Tasks set on hunger strikes; teaching aids; reference; PowerPoints, video clips
1. Tasks Previously Set in Textbooks 2. Hunger Strikers: Criminals or Prisoners of War? (Ppt)
3. 'Rosaries & Petrol Bombs': Reactions to the Death of Bobby Sands
Suggestions for re-inforcing learning across the curriculum and making use of scarce
resources in Art (especially the murals of Bogside Artists), English & Music
Constructing Five Murals: Techniques of the Bogside Artists
1. Pdf Booklet 2. PowerPoint Version

2 October 2007

Latest resources

Study unit: Peace process

Why are Protestants & Catholics willing to share power in Northern Ireland

now & not earlier?

1. The study unit(pdf) 2. Collages used in Lesson 1 (Ppt) 3. Resources

Resources for SHP coursework

Why Were British Troops Sent to Northern Ireland in 1969?

Bloody Sunday

History Ireland, September/October 2007

'Dublin Castle & the First Home Rule Bill' by Owen McGee (Click here for further details.)

New from O'Brien Press

Brian Gogarty's Shamrock Sean (Younger readers: picture books & storytelling to read aloud)

& the Bird's NestGoes Fishing& the Wishing Well

Joe O'Brien Alfie Green & the Monkey Puzzler(6+)

Caitríona Ní Mhurchú An Rún Mór (8+)

Judi Curtin Don't Ask Alice(10+)

15 September 2007

Latest resources
What Was It Like to be an Irish Immigrant in 19th Century Britain?(KS2)
1.Study Unit (pdf)2.Visual Sources & Other Illustrations(PowerPoint)
The Pirates Grace O'Malley & Francis Drake: Goodies or Baddies? (KS2)

Should We Call Grace O'Malley a Pirate?(KS1)
1. Study Unit- large pdf file, with many pictures, please be patient 2. PowerPoint of Pictures

June 2007
Irish literature for children: new reference work
Irish Children's Writers and Illustrators 1986-2006. A Selection of Essays
edited by Valerie Coghlan & Siobhán Parkinson,
Children’s Books Ireland & Church of Ireland College of Education Publications (€ 5 + € 2.85 p&p)

This unique collection of essays about contemporary writers and illustrators for children offers an authoritative yet accessible commentary about thirteen of Ireland’s most successful writers and illustrators for children. It is an invaluable resource for anyone
interested in contemporary Irish children’s books and highlights Ireland's wealth literary
talent. Illustrated in full colour, it is indexed and contains references to many useful articles and monographs about Irish authors and illustrators and Irish children’s literature.

Featured authors and illustrators:
Eoin Colfer, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Maeve Friel, P.J. Lynch, Sam McBratney, Elizabeth O’Hara, Mark O’Sullivan, Siobhan Parkinson, Niamh Sharkey, Matthew Sweeney, Kate Thompson, Martin Waddell and Gerard Whelan.

Call Children’s Books Ireland 00 353 1 8727475 or email 
for more details.

29 May 2007

Latest resources
What Happened in Omagh? An Introduction of Irish History (Y7)
1.Lesson Plans2.
Resources(PowerPoint)(added 03/05/07)
What was it like to be an Irish immigrant in 19th century Britain?(KS3)(revised 20/05/07)
1. Study unit (pdf)2.Visual Sources & Other Illustrations(PowerPoint)
Ireland 1801-1921(A2 - Y13) (revised 28/04-01/05/07)

28 May 2007
History Ireland
Recent articles in History Ireland, which could be useful to teachers in Britain, include
Early Christian Ireland
St Patrick: the legend & the bishop

Tudor conquest of Ireland
Francis Cosby (1510-80): Stradbally, Queen’s County & the Tudor conquest
of Leinster
Ireland, the slave trade & attitudes to slavery
The Irish & the Atlantic slave trade
‘Struggling against oppression’s detestable forms’
Southern citizen: John Mitchel, the Confederacy & slavery
Anglo-Irish war
Keeping an eye on the usual suspects: Dublin Castle’s ‘Personality Files’,
Northern Ireland
Seán South of Garryowen
Sunningdale & the 1974 Ulster Workers’ Council strike
Click here for further details of these articles.

28 May 2007
Exhibitions at the National Museum of Ireland (
Soldiers and Chiefs: The Irish at War at Home and Abroad, 1550-2001
Collins Barracks
‘For in far foreign fields from Dunkirk to Belgrade, Lie the soldiers and chiefs of the Irish Brigade.’ Thomas Davis.
Original artefacts, letters, and replicas and audio accounts show how soldiering and war have affected the lives of Irish people. There are three main themes, Irish soldiers at home, Irish soldiers aboard and Irish soldiers in the 20th century, which are explored
through the eyes of the average Irish soldier, and from that of civilians caught up in war and conflict here in Ireland.

The Easter Rising: Understanding 1916
Collins Barracks
The exhibition examines the decade of disturbance between 1913 and 1923, from the Dublin Lockout, through the Easter Rising to the end of the Civil War. It includes an original copy of the Proclamation of the Republic, as read by Pádraig Pearse outside
the General Post Office on Easter Monday, and examples of the nationalistic artworks produced by those interned afterwards.

6 January 2007
New web site & email address
The new Ireland in Schools website was launched today, 6 January 2007:
It can also be accessed via
The new site gives a clearer view of
  • what Ireland has to offer teachers and students and
  • how Ireland in Schools can help.
Visitors to previous home page on AOL will be re-directed to the new site.
It is also hoped to arrange an automatic re-direct from the original IiS website:

After testing the reliability and speed of different email systems, the main IiS email address is now:

6 January 2007
What was it like to be an Irish immigrant in 19th century Britain?
IiS is developing a new study unit on the experience of Irish immigrants in Britain in the 19th century. Intended at first for Key Stage 3, it consists of four one-hour lessons and asks the following questions:
1. What do the sources suggest about the Irish immigrant experience?
2. How far did the Irish stick together?
3. How far was there a uniform English, Welsh and Scottish response to Irish immigrants?
4. What were the pros and cons of being an Irish immigrant in Britain in the 19th century?
If you would like to help test the unit, please contact IiS.

7 August 2006
Stimulus material - Moving on in Ireland?
Two recent headlines in The Guardian provide thought-provoking and engaging stimulus material
for teachers wanting to introduce students to the complexities of Anglo-Irish relations and the pace of the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Irish battle of Somme stamp is first to mark British military past
The Guardian, Friday, 23 June 2006

Gables’ end: Murals to be replaced
The Guardian, Wednesday, 12 July 2006