Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed the inclusion of Millstreet Community School for a new Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) pilot project, announced this week by the Government.
Cllr. O’Shea’s colleague, Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, announced on Monday, November 11th that 19 schools and early years centres have been selected for a new project to promote the teaching of Irish.
The three-year CLIL pilot will see PE and other subjects taught to children across different age groups through Irish.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “This is an exciting project and it is positive to have a local school in North Cork involved. Well done to Millstreet Community School for seizing this opportunity; it will be hugely valuable and interesting to see the results of this project.
“I am confident that by introducing Irish across different subjects in schools then it will make the language more relevant and help young people connect with it in a new and better way.”
The schools were selected on the basis of the criteria set out in the application process including the size of the school, location to support clustering and ongoing engagement between schools and experience of using CLIL.
The first year of the project will help to inform the Department on the development of the CLIL programme including CPD, assessment and resources.
The Department’s CLIL project team will assess each of the settings and schools participating in the pilot to identify its level of preparedness for the project and what further supports they will need.
Under CLIL, the theme of “communicating” will be taught through Irish in early years settings. In the primary and post-primary schools three subjects will be taught through Irish including PE. The other two subjects have yet to be finalised but may include Visual Arts, Maths, Science, Business, Geography, SPHE or CSPE.
The Department’s CLIL project team will use information from the schools to outline the weekly contact time children in the selected settings and schools will learn Irish through CLIL. Some subjects may be taken through Irish for a full class or part of a class, every day or once a week.
A range of ages will be involved in the pilot. At early years stage it will involve children in years 1 and/or 2 of the ECCE programme. In primary it will be junior and senior infants and pupils in 5th and 6th classes. In post-primary it will be 1st years. This will inform the benefits for transition between early years to primary and from primary to post-primary.
Minister McHugh commented: “I hope that the schools not selected for this first-year development phase will continue to use the CLIL approach in the hope they can be included in the three-year project in future years.
“The project lives up to our commitment to the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language, and the 5-year Action Plan that I launched as Minister of State. I want to see initiatives like this grow and develop to sustain the language and to help schools to instil a love and familiarity with the language in the next generation.”