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Issue No 140

December 2013
ISSN 1393-4813 (Print)
ISSN 2009-6887 (Online)
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Special Education
Irish Teachers
A Primary
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InTouch December 3
Keeping in Touch
Interactive dialogue with members, and key news items
ver the past two decades Irelands pri-
mary schools have become the stand-
out part of Irish society in terms of in-
clusivity. During that time schools have wel-
comed children with special needs and teach-
ers have done their utmost to ensure that they
are educated alongside their family members
and peers.
It has not been easy.
Over that time schools have had to battle
for resources. Often this meant tackling bu-
reaucracy which appeared designed to pre-
vent or delay resource allocation. Court ac-
tion by parents, lobbying by support groups
and well-argued policy positions by the INTO
helped to overcome many barriers. Te pro-
fessional knowledge base of teachers has been
greatly expanded through CPD often at
teachers own expense. While far from ideal
in terms of resource allocation and sufering
signifcant recent cutbacks, todays primary
education system is well ahead of where it was
20 years ago.
Current provision for special education is
under review. All INTO members must en-
gage professionally with the current review to
ensure that it does not result in a rolling back
of twenty years of progress. Tis does not
mean opposing all change or seeking to main-
tain the status quo. It means examining in de-
tail every aspect of provision, considering al-
ternatives and possibilities and arguing our
Tis edition of InTouch contains a focus on
special education which I hope members will
fnd helpful in this regard.
Schools have only been able to increase in-
clusivity with resources and external sup-
ports. Without these, special education provi-
sion in local primary schools will not be
During 2013 the INTO saw of proposed
cuts to special education. We will have to be
similarly vigilant in the years ahead.
In the meantime I wish all members a very
happy Christmas season and thank members
for their support for the INTO during what
was a difcult year.
Special education provision
The Organisation will not be sending Christmas cards this year, instead we
will donate the costs associated with sending cards to
Fileacin is a not for proft organisation that provides support to
anyone afected by the death of a baby during pregnancy or shortly
after. Fileacin works in partnership with health professionals to ensure
that bereaved parents and families receive the best possible care. More
information can be found on their website www.feileacain.ie
3 Editorial
Special education
Christmas charity
What you need to
7 Supplementary Panel
Minor Works and
Summer Works grants
Chief Inspectors Report
9 Membership survey
Droichead policy endorsed
Deferment of Section 30
10 things you should
10 Connect
Guidelines for motions for
Congress 2014
Upcoming InTouch themes
Tell us what you think by
letter or text message. 50 for
best letter published. Keep up-
to-date via Twitter, website or
RSS feed
In the News
13 INTO Youth Conference
Irish Teachers Journal
launched by INTO
14 INTO/Poetry Ireland
competition for members
Eileen Flynn honoured
INTO President visits
Aran Island NS
15 INTO accounts:
Oversight, reporting and
audit of INTO funds
16 Education Conference
Tree pages of reports
19 In the Media
Media coverage in November.
20 INTO Learning
Drawing up your school
self evaluation report?
21 Membership Plus
Have you registered yet?
22 Solidarity
Find out about Global
23 Vere Foster Medals
Recent winners
24 Retirements
26 Teaching Religion
What do teachers think?
Keeping InTouch INTO News
InTouch General Editor: Sheila Nunan
Editor: Tom OSullivan
Assistant Editor: Lori Kealy
Editorial Assistants: Selina Campbell, Ashling
Lynch, Cara Kirwan
Advertising: Mary Bird Smyth, Ashling Lynch
Design: David Cooke
Photography: Moya Nolan, Shutterstock
Correspondence to: Te Editor, InTouch,
INTO Head Oce, Vere Foster House,
Parnell Square, Dublin
Telephone: o 8o( ;;oo
Fax: o 8;z z(6z
LoCall: 8o ;o8 ;o8
Email: editorQinto.ie
Website: http:}}www.into.ie
InTouch is published by the Irish National
Teachers Organisation and
distributed to members and educational
institutions. InTouch is the most widely
circulated education magazine in Ireland.
Articles published in InTouch are also available
on our website www.into.ie
Te views expressed in this journal are those
of the individual authors and are not necessarily
endorsed by the INTO.
While every care has been taken to ensure
that the information contained in this
publication is up to date and correct, no
responsibility will be taken by the Irish National
Teachers Organisation for any error which
might occur.
Except where the Irish National Teachers
Organisation has formally negotiated
agreements as part of its services to members,
inclusion of an advertisement does not imply
any form of recommendation. While every
eort is made to ensure the reliability of
advertisers, the INTO cannot accept liability for
the quality of goods and services oered.
Education Conference pgs 1618
Teaching religion
pg 26
Te school
garden pgs
4 InTouch December
INTO/Poetry Ireland competition for members pg 14
27 School Leadership
Preparing for Summer
29 Financial Tips
Are you due a refund of
Health Levy contributions?
Life savings and loan
insurance cover provided
by Comhar Linn
31 Special education today
Know your strengths
32 IATSE: Supporting
33 ILSA: Peer to peer
34 Behaviour management
35 Proposed new model of
special education support
36 NCSE: 10 years a growing
39 Lesson plans launched: A
History of Ireland in 100
Paddy Flood changing
role within PDST
40 Update from Cumann na
41 1913 Commemorations
Fair Hotels/Fair Shops
42 Education project
Tallaght teachers charity
cycle through Africa
43 Stay safe online this
44 South-East Research
Conference in March
Education Matters
Yearbook launched
45 Fs flm project
Update from PDST.
46 Show Racism the
Red Card
An efective anti-racism
resource for schools
47 A Primary Christmas
Kathryn Crowley prepares
pupils for the Christmas
48 The Ghosts of
Christmas Presents
Mary Finnegan on
cultivating a gratitude
50 Lexiles in the
A scientifc approach to
measuring text difculty
and reading ability
52 A Curious Little
A short story from Dan
55 Be Present
Mindfullness as a bufer
from stress
56 Hands-on the Bird
SESE tips from Paddy
58 Irish Resources
Tips from COGG.
59 Book Reviews
ELSTA launches
anniversary journal
Childrens books reviewed
61 Noticeboard
Upcoming events.
62 Comhar Linn
plus exploring marine
resources and an Irish
language GAA club
63 Scoilnet Panel
plus book an event for
Engineers Week
INTO Advice Finishing Touches Teaching Matters
InTouch December 5
December 2013
Special Education
1913 commemorations pg41
Watch out for this symbol
in InTouch news sections.
It means the news item
may be of interest to
members both North
and South
Supplementary Panel 7
Irish Teachers Journal
launched 13
Education Conference 16
Special Education
Supplement 31
A Primary Christmas 47

On the cover
A primary
Christmas pg 47
Waterways Ireland Experiences
Competition: Lovely prizes to be
won. pg 8
Win a Sheraton Athlone
Hotel/Athlone Town Shop and Stay
Break. Work over 1,000: pg 11
Pictured at the launch of the Irish
Teachers Journal at the Education
Conference were: Brendan OSullivan,
INTO President (Standing), Professor
John Coolahan, Professor Emeritus of
Education, National University of
Ireland, Maynooth, and Dr Deirbhile
Nic Craith, Senior Ofcial, INTO and
editor of the Journal. Photographer:
Moya Nolan

Cover pic
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The report for the Chief Inspector
from 2010-2012 was launched on 4
November by Minister for Education
and Skills Ruair Quinn. Key points in
the report include the fact that
standards of teaching and learning
were satisfactory or better in the
majority of lessons. As well as this
parental surveys show very high
levels of satisfaction with primary
schools, totalling 97%. The report also
confrms that standards of teaching
and learning were satisfactory or
better in the majority of the lessons
inspected. However, a lack of a
comprehensive Irish language
programme for English medium
primary schools was noted.
Students learning was found to be
less than satisfactory in almost a
quarter (24%) of Irish lessons in
primary schools. There were also good
mathematics results for Irish students
in international surveys and the report
confrms that standards in teaching
and learning in maths are generally
good at primary level.
The report acknowledges the
challenging environment in which
schools operated during those years.
Statistics in the report confrm that
student numbers grew by 5.5% at
primary level during this time, while
the number of teachers stayed
relatively static. The report also notes
the retirement of large numbers of
experienced teachers. It further notes
the loss of middle management posts
in primary schools due to the public
service moratorium. Speaking at the
launch, Minister Quinn said, the Chief
Inspectors report acknowledges all
the good practice that takes place on a
daily basis in our schools in terms of
quality leadership, management,
teaching and learning. Our school
system has many strengths, thanks in
large measure to the eforts of so
many dedicated teachers and school
The full report can be downloaded
from the Publications section of the
DES website at www.education.ie.
Te INTO has welcomed the
reinstatement of the Minor Works
Grant and the Summer Works Scheme.
Te Organisation had called for their
reinstatement since they were
suspended in 2012. In its pre-budget
submission in October, the INTO
condemned the non-payment of the
grants to schools and had called for
their immediate reinstatement.
Te announcement that the minor
works grant (28 million) was to be paid
with immediate efect was welcomed in
schools. Te basic grant is 5,500 plus
an additional 18.50 per mainstream
pupil and 74 per special needs pupil.
Schools should have received this grant
by now as it was due to be paid directly
into their accounts at the end of
Te announcement that the Summer
Works Scheme (40 million) would run
in 2014 and that schools now make
application to the DES for funding was
also very welcome.
Te deadline for online applications
through the Esinet platform is 10
December and the DES will publish the
list of successful applicants at the end
February/early March 2014.
More details regarding the Summer
Works Scheme are available on page 27
of this issue.
InTouch December 7
Keeping InTouch
Supplementary Panel Rights
Closing date is Friday, 13 December
Te DES issued Circular 0057/2013 Panel Access for Fixed-Term/
Temporary (this includes substitute) and Part-Time Teachers to
the Supplementary Redeployment Panel for the 2014/15 School
Year, in November.
Given the number of teachers encompassed by the circular,
the INTO is running a free online information forum on
supplementary panel rights which can be accessed from the
INTO website.
Tis forum has all the information needed about the supple-
mentary panel. Te forum allows teachers to ask questions of
the members of the INTO Conditions of Employment team in
relation to this circular.
Some quick remindersl
Te closing date for application for supplementary panel
rights for the 2014/15 school year is Friday, 13 December
2013. Te INTO strongly advises that you do not leave the
application process to the last minute as late applications will
not be accepted.
Full details are outlined in DES Circular 0057/2013. Te
application form is an Appendix to this circular.
Te INTO panel team has prepared detailed notes and
guidance on the criteria for qualifying for panel rights. In
addition, detailed instructions on how to complete the panel
application form are also available. Tis information is avail-
able for all members in the information forum on the INTO
website. Members who require assistance in relation to the
supplementary panel rights must use the forum to access this
Please note that the information on this forum is very accessible
and approximately only 45 minutes is required to equip yourself
with the information required to complete the process.
Chief Inspectors report published
INTO welcomes reinstatement of school accommodation grants
Experiences Competition!
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Category Submissions: Living along the inland waterways - Working on the inland waterways,
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o Yo
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Yo Yo
a o a to
he Th
ea le ed ase ba ry ir
W e t
er of 2013
InTouch December 9
Keeping InTouch
The closing date for applications for the
supplementary panel for the coming school
year is Friday December .

The closing date for applications for

funding under the Summer Works Scheme
is Tuesday December.
As we go to print the implementation date
for revised certied sick leave arrangements
for teachers was conrmed as September .
Further details on the INTO website.
The INTO has lodged a number of claims in
relation to maternity leave with the Labour
Relations Commission following the abolition
of days in lieu for teachers in last years budget.

The INTO policy proposals on the Droichead

induction programme developed by the
Teaching Council have been endorsed by a
majority of INTO members at branch meetings
around the country.

The Minster for Education and Skills has

signed a commencement order for Section
of the Teaching Council Act, which will take
eect from January . See the item
above for further details.
A survey of a random sample of INTO members
has issued from Head Oce and anyone
receiving the survey is encouraged to return it.

The INTO has made a submission in relation

to inclusive schools and enrolment policies,
which is available under the In Focus section
of the INTO website.

The CEC has decided to contribute ,

from the INTO Solidarity Fund towards
relief measures following the recent typhoon
in the Philippines.
The webcast archive of public sessions
from the INTO Education Conference is
available from the In Focus section of the
INTO website.
10 THINGS you should know
lN70 Membership Survey
Your views matter
Have you received our Membership
Survey by email? If you were part of the
random sample of members, there is still
time to submit your views. We really want
to hear from you!
Te INTO has recently launched a
signifcant online survey about members
experiences of work, and the role of the
INTO in providing support to teachers.
Tis survey will help the INTO better
understand your experiences as a teacher,
and your priorities for the INTO, as we
seek to further enhance our support to you.
Your views will help ensure that the INTO
continues to meet the needs of members
at a time of considerable change and chal-
lenge for the teaching profession. Te sur-
vey has been designed in collaboration with
Professor Howard Stevenson, Professor of
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
at the University of Nottingham, who has
extensive research expertise in these areas.
Return deadIine
Te survey has been distributed to a ran-
domly selected group of INTO members.
If you received the survey, and have
completed it we would like to thank you
very much. Your time and co-operation is
greatly appreciated. If you received the
survey and have not yet submitted it, the
fnal date for submission is Wednesday 11
December 2013. Te results of the survey
will be discussed by the INTO Executive
Committee early next year and will help
inform the INTOs future planning. With
your support we can continue to efectively
refect your views in the work we do on
your behalf.
INTO policy on
Droichead endorsed
Te INTO policy proposals on the Droichead
induction project, published by the Teaching
Council, have been endorsed by members
following a series of branch meetings
throughout the country. Te policy proposals,
developed by the CEC, include a demand for
alternative models to be developed, that an
external review element must be retained in
the process and that any new proposals
cannot be imposed. Te INTO will now
engage with the Teaching Council and the
DES in relation to the policy proposals. A copy
of the INTO policy proposal is available in the
Members Area of the INTO website.
Teaching Council Act
Section Order signed
The DES published Circular 52/2013
on 25 October last, which confrmed
that the Minister for Education and
Skills would sign the commence-
ment order for Section 30 of the
Teaching Council Act on 1 November
2013 but it would take efect from 28
January 2014.
Under Section 30 of the Teaching
Council Act the DES will be prohibited
by law from paying any person who
is employed as a teacher in a school
unless he/she is registered with the
Teaching Council.
The move to a fully registered teach-
ing force in schools throughout
Ireland is a signifcant day for the
teaching profession. It has long been
INTO policy that only registered
teachers should be allowed practice
teaching in this country.
The INTO had consistently pressed
the Minister to implement Section
30 and had secured a commitment
that this would be done. While the
issuing of the circular confrms such
implementation, the INTO expressed
disappointment that it would not
take efect until 28 January 2014.
A copy of the circular is available
under the Circular section of the
INTO website.
Teachers interested in job sharing can
avail of a Free live register provided by
INTO Head Ofce in the Members Area
of the INTO website until 28 February
Email jobshare@into.ie with the details
you would like to appear on the register.
Te register is updated on a daily basis
and is FREE to members.
Please note the closing date for job-
sharing applications to boards of
management is 1 March 2014.
10 InTouch December
I dteagmhil
Guidelines for motions Congress 2014
Stay informed
Get news on the move at our mobile
website m.into.ie
Check our website www.into.ie
Subscribe to the INTO enewsletter
INTO Annual Congress 2014 will be held
in the Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny, from
Monday 21 to Wednesday 23 April.
Congress is the forum for discussing
policy issues, debating strategy and
reviewing activities of the Organisation.
Any member is entitled to submit a
motion to their local branch for
discussion at the Annual General
Meeting, and, if agreed, for placement
on the agenda for Congress.
A Committee called the Standing
Orders Committee (SOC) meets in
February to decide if the motions
submitted are in accordance with Rule
and also to decide the order of debate
for the motions at Annual Congress.
0rafting of motions
A motion is a proposition submitted
for discussion and vote.
It must ask Congress to declare an
opinion or call for a course of action
or both.
Motions shall be designed to
promote the aims and objects or the
Organisation as set out in Rule 3.
All motions must be clear and
unambiguous in meaning and
intention and must be worded
All motions must be capable of
Each motion should be brief and concise
and should not contain argument.
Each motion should deal with one
topic only.
How priority is determined for items
on the naI agenda
The SOC has regard to the following
considerations, inter alia, when
determining priority for the Final
The consensus among the general
membership in relation to the
priority issues in any particular year.
The consensus among the SOC in
relation to the priority issues, and the
motions which will result in the
greatest degree of favourable and
advantageous publicity for the
The degree of urgency attending to a
particular motion.
The extent to which a particular
motion will further the objectives of
the Organisation.
Note: All motions and details of delegates
for Congress are now submitted online via
the Members Area of the INTO website. A
tutorial is available on the Ofcer Extranet.
Want to write for InTouch?
Over the past few issues InTouch has
published articles covering class size,
school leadership and newly qualifed
teachers. Articles on the theme of special
education are published in this issue.
Te following are our planned themes
for upcoming issues:
January/February: Educational Disad-
vantage (Deadline 6 January, 2014).
March: Early Childhood Education
(deadline 10 February)
April: Assessment and evaluation
(deadline 7 March)
May: Annual
June: Trends in
(deadline 12
We also welcome
non-theme articles on any subject within
the scope of the journal. Word count is
700 words for one page articles and 1400
for double page. Submit articles for con-
sideration to editor@into.ie
In accordance with Rule 11(E)(v) of the INTO Rules and Constitution 2009, any member
is entitled to submit, through their local branch, motions for Congress 2014 outlining
amendments and addenda to the INTO Rules and Constitution. Under INTO Rules
changes can be made to the Rules and Constitution every fve years and 2014 is a Rules
Change Congress.
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Te Irish National Teachers Organisation whos who, whats new, and whats happening
InTouch December 13
Launch of the
Irish Teachers Journal
Te INTO was delighted to have Profes-
sor John Coolahan at the Education
Conference to ofcially launch the frst
edition of the Irish Teachers Journal.
Tis publication gives a platform to teach-
ers who have undertaken research to have
their work published. Tere are so many
primary teachers undertaking further
study, it is hoped that this publication will
bring the fndings of some of this valuable
study to the attention of their colleagues.
Te frst edition of the Journal includes
a guest article by Professor Coolahan,
together with articles by six INTO
Verena Cunningham, St Clares NS,
Ballyjamesduf, Co Cavan;
Lorraine Dufy, SN Seamus Naofa,
Bearna, Galway;
Collette Dunne, Firhouse Educate
Together NS, Dublin;
Julie OConnell, North Presentation
Primary School, Cork;
Aoife Butler, Bilboa NS, Cappamore,
Limerick, and
Pdraig Egan who is on career break
from Birdhill NS, Limerick.
It is hoped that the Journal will be
published every year, and all members
who have undertaken research are
encouraged to apply to have their article
considered for inclusion.
Pictured above are four of the the six
contributors to the Irish Teachers Journal
with Professor Coolahan.
Left to right: Lorraine Dufy, Aoife Butler,
John Coolahan, Verena Cunningham and
Collette Dunne.
Two contributors not pictured are Julie
OConnell and Pdraig Egan.
|N!0 crqaalses \cat|
Ccafereace zc
Will you be involved?
The Central Executive Committee has decided to
organise a conference targeted at younger INTO
members, to take place in spring 2014. This event
recognises the substantial proportion of INTO
members who are in the early stages of career and
the need to examine and address the particular
challenges facing them. It follows the successful
Youth Conference of 2008. At present, half of INTO
members are aged 35 years or younger.
The 2014 Youth Conference will take place in
Castlebar on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 March 2014.
An organising committee, comprising current and
former interns at INTO Head Ofce together with
the Deputy General Secretarys ofce, has met on a
number of occasions to make preliminary arrange-
ments. A timetable, agenda and social programme
are being organised, and it is hoped that the
conference will touch on all aspects of the teaching
career as it afects younger members.
0eIegates, attendees
Attendance at this conference is open to members
aged 35 years or younger. Most delegates will be
nominated by branches at the INTO branch meet-
ings in January 2014. In addition, district commit-
tees will be invited to nominate delegates, some of
whom will participate in preparation for work-
shops at the conference.
A small number of places at the conference will
be made available to members who indicate inter-
est directly to INTO by emailing gglackin@into.ie.
The latest time for expressions of interest is 5 p.m.
on Wednesday, 12 February 2014, at which stage
places will be allocated to a small number of
persons who have not already been nominated
through the INTO branch structure. It should be
emphasised, however, that the great majority of
delegates will be nominated through their branch
January meetings.
This conference should be an exciting event
which will encourage participation among younger
members and will engage these members in discus-
sion about conditions of employment and profes-
sional issues which relate to them. Such a forum
will also help to inform INTO policy into the future.
Turas go rainn
INTO President Brendan OSullivan, Joe Killeen, CEC, Galway
Branch Secretary Michael Gallagher and Galway Cathaoirleach
Mire de Bicir, recently paid a trip to the Aran Islands to meet
members and discuss issues of concern to them. Tis annual trip
brings together the teachers from the schools throughout the Aran
Islands and has both a business and social element to it. Our
picture shows Brendan and Michael with members at the event.
Nuacht CM
14 InTouch December
INTO and Poetry Ireland
poetry competition in
memory of Samus Heaney
Te INTO is proud of its tradition in supporting the Arts.
We were privileged to share the company of one of our most
eminent poets Samus Heaney at the Consultative
Conference on Education in Athlone in 2011. In honour of
his memory the INTO, in collaboration with Poetry Ireland,
is launching a poetry competition for members.
All members, North and South, are eligible to submit a poem.
Entries are limited to one poem per member, which can
be in Irish or in English. Closing date is 31 March 2014. Te
decision of the judges is fnal. Te winner will be announced
at Congress 2014. Te INTO will publish the winning poem
Please forward your entry accompanied with the entry form
(available on INTO website) to Poetry Competition, ras Vere
Foster, 35 Parnell Square, Dublin 1.
Adjudication paneI
Te INTO and Poetry Ireland will appoint an adjudicator to
judge all applications. Tere will be a prize of 300 for the
best poem in English and the best poem in Irish, in addition
to an option of spending some time in the Tyrone Guthrie
centre in Annaghmakerrig.
Maureen Kennelly, Director, Poetry Ireland, Jane OHanlon,
Education Ofcer, Poetry Ireland, Brendan OSullivan,
INTO President and Sheila Nunan, INTO General Secre-
tary, at the launch of the poetry competition.
Correction: Frances OConnor Tribute November InTouch
We would like to clarify that the tribute to Frances OConnor published in the November issue of InTouch was in fact written by
Willie John Creedon, a former colleague from St Fiachras SNS, Beaumont. Our sincere apologies to the family and friends of
Frances for the error.
Tributes to Eileen and Margaret
At its meeting in November the CEC made a presentation to
Eileen Flynn, former General Secretary of CPSMA, and Margaret
OGorman, former Deputy General Secretary, whose contracts
had fnished. Speaking on the occasion, INTO President Brendan
OSullivan paid tribute to the work that both Eileen and Margaret
had done with CPSMA in primary school management over the
years. He paid particular tribute to Eileen as a former member of
the INTO who had also been a principal of a neighbouring school
to Brendan for many years.
Pictured at the event are INTO Assistant General Secretaries
Billy Sheehan and Anne McElduf, INTO President Brendan
OSullivan, Margaret, Eileen and her husband George, together
with INTO General Secretary Sheila Nunan.
Licensed under the Trade Union Acts
(1871-1998), the INTO is registered with
the Registrar of Friendly Societies (under
the Companies Registration Ofce) and
with the Certifcation Ofce in Northern
Te INTO is required to lodge reports,
including audited accounts, with the appro-
priate regulator annually. In both jurisdic-
tions the fnal date for submission of the
annual return is 1 June. Before returns are
lodged with the Registrar or the Certifcation
Ofce, however, a rigorous process is
conducted under INTO rules and practices
(see fowchart).
FinanciaI reporting ow chart
Te fow chart with this article summarises
in eight stages the accountability process
for INTO spending and accounts. Te
previous article (November InTouch page
15) set out where responsibility for expen-
diture lies.
Once spending is authorised and
carried out through the General Treasurers
ofce, the other reporting measures come
into place. In summary, these are:
Examiners of accounts: As out-
lined in the November InTouch, the
examiners scrutinise INTO accounts
each quarter. Te examiners are
appointed by the CEC, generally for a
three year period, and provide written
quarterly reports to the CEC, containing
their observations on INTO accounts.
Central Executive Committee:
Te CEC receives the accounts of the
INTO on a quarterly basis, in addition
to the reports of the Examiners of
Accounts and of the Treasurer.
INTO Accounts Committee: Te
INTO Accounts Committee comprises
representatives elected in each of the 16
districts of INTO. Te Accounts Com-
mittee meets annually over a number of
days and reports formally to INTO
Congress. Tis report is included with
the documentation for delegates to
External audit: Te annual ac-
counts as presented to the Accounts
Committee and to Annual Congress
have been subject to audit by an exter-
nal auditor. Te current INTO external
auditor is Mazars. Part of an interna-
tional frm, Mazars rank among the
leading audit, tax and advisory services
in Ireland. Te audit report to Congress
on the accounts is a key measure of
accountability. Te auditors also
prepare the necessary reports for the
Registrar of Friendly Societies and the
Northern Ireland Certifcation Ofce.
INTO Annual Congress receives
a report on INTO fnances for the
previous year. A written report with
the auditors certifcate, is circulated to
delegates prior to Congress and is pre-
sented at Congress by the General
Treasurer. It is a function of INTO
Congress to consider the accounts and
to appoint external auditors for the
succeeding year.
Registrar of Friendly Societies/
Certification Office: the Regis-
trar and Certifcation Ofce receive
annual returns from each licensed trade
union. Tese submissions may be
accessed through the respective
websites of these statutory bodies.
0rants and bursaries
One aspect of INTO expenditure which
directly benefts student members, INTO
members and in certain cases members
families, is the range of grants and
bursaries with which the Organisation is
associated. Our next article will outline
InTouch December 15
INTO accounts information and insights: Article
Oversight, reporting
and audit of INTO funds
Financial Reporting
Flow Chart
|N!0 |resl4eat 8rea4aa
0!a||laa spea|laq at
t|e ccafereace.
16 InTouch December
Nuacht CM
Education Conference
News and reports from Education Conference 2013
0,mpaa Ma||errlas,
Cat|aclr|eac|, |4acatlca
kaae |aq|ls|, |4acatlca
0lstrlct .
k|ce, |eft aa4 rlq|t:
0e|eqates partlclpatlaq
la 4lscasslca qrcaps
at t|e ccafereace.
INTO President, Brendan
OSullivan, began proceedings
by welcoming the delegates and
laying out the programme for
the conference. Dympna Mulk-
errins, Chairperson of the
Education Committee, then took
delegates through the work of
the Committee and how the
discussion document prepared
for the conference had been
achieved. Deirbhile Nic Craith,
Senior Ofcial, outlined the na-
tional and international context
for the current focus on numer-
acy in our education system.
Anne English
Anne English, who represents District 8 on the
Education Committee, reminded delegates that,
while the ability to use mathematics to solve problems
and meet the demands of day-to-day living has always
been a central focus in our primary schools, the key
attribute of numeracy has been aforded heightened
priority in our educational system of late. She pointed
out that the National Strategy to Improve Literacy
and Numeracy stresses that without the skills of
numeracy, a young person is cut of from contributing
to many aspects of the society and culture in which
they live. Anne also presented some fascinating ex-
amples of work done by pupils when they were en-
couraged to develop their maths eyes.
Thrse Dooley
Trse Dooley, St Patricks College, Drumcondra,
was the keynote speaker on Friday afternoon. Her
presentation on Teaching Mathematics: Te Power
of Uncertainty, was a thought-provoking session,
well-received by all delegates. Trse emphasised
the importance of experimentation and discussion
between children and the teacher when developing
mathematical strategies. She also outlined the crucial
role of the teacher in guiding the child to construct
meaning, to develop mathematical strategies for
solving problems and to develop self-motivation in
mathematical activities. She also reminded delegates
of the importance of getting comfortable with being
The INTO annual Consultative Conference on Education took place in the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise, on
Friday 15 and Saturday 16 November. Over 350 delegates gathered to hear presentations and participate in
discussions on the theme of Numeracy in the Primary School.
!eaa 0e|aae,, keqlstrar
aa4 Mat|ematlcs
|4acatcr, Marlac
|astltate cf |4acatlca.
0iscussion groups
Te discussion groups are always lively at the
Education Conference. Delegates were split into six
discussion groups to tease out issues raised in the
discussion document and by the presenters. Set
questions were posed to stimulate debate resulting in
lively discussions. Members of the Education
Committee acted as facilitators and rapporteurs in
these groups and feedback from the groups will be
included in the fnal conference proceedings.
On Saturday morning, all delegates were assigned
workshops where diferent aspects of numeracy in
the primary school were considered. Every delegate
had the opportunity to experience two diferent
workshops. Guest presenters in the workshops
John OShea: Teaching mathematical problem solv-
ing in the primary school: Changing behaviours.
Patsy Staford: Childrens understanding of place
value: Implications for teaching.
Sin Nic Mhuir: Maths talk.
Tracy Curran: Keeping it Real! A fresh look at
problem solving in the primary school classroom.
Liz Dunphy: Children thinking and talking about
mathematics in infant classes.
Noreen OLoughlin: Maths recovery: Moving from
intervention to innovation as a way of efecting
change in maths teaching and learning.
0eveIoping numeracy for aII chiIdren
Dr Sen Delaney is registrar and a mathematics
educator in the Marino Institute of Education. He
gave a presentation at the fnal session on Saturday
afternoon on Developing Numeracy for all Children:
Supporting Teachers Supporting Learning.
Sen began by stressing the importance of how
maths is taught in primary schools and the centrality
of the educator in knowing how children learn. He
referred to the instructional triangle of teacher, pupil
and content and challenged teachers in relation to the
role of textbooks in maths and the professional need
to contribute to the shaping of resources available.
ChaIIenges for teachers
How might we, with the limited time at our dispos-
al, optimally develop the problem-solving skills and
aptitudes of our pupils?
How might we ensure that the higher-achievers re-
main challenged so that they will continue to de-
velop their problem solving skills rather than just
engage in completing pages of questions based on
the same formula and drill?
How might we ensure that the child who fnds
maths particularly difcult gets to engage in a level
of problem solving that is manageable for them?
How might we ensure that all children will have
their interest hooked by
the problems presented and will be
sufciently yet not excessively challenged?
InTouch December 17
|N!0 !ealcr 0cla| aa4
|4acatlca 0cer,
0elr||l|e Nlc Cralt|
!|erese 0cc|e,, |ectarer
la Mat|ematlcs |4aca-
tlca, !t |atrlc|s Cc||eqe.
A big mle buochas
to the members of
the local Portlaoise
branch who set up
an information
desk which pro-
vided delegates
with local informa-
tion for restau-
rants, sightseeing
and shopping
Please note that the background document produced by the Education Committee
for the Conference, in addition to all available presentations, resources from the
workshops and the answers to the hotly-contested maths quiz, are available to
download on www.into.ie.
Te INTO conducted an online survey
before the Education Conference with the
particular aim of establishing what prac-
tices had changed in the teaching of
mathematics since the introduction of the
Literacy and Numeracy Strategy. Nearly
300 teachers completed the survey and
some of the results are summarised here.
99% of respondents are familiar with
the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy.
Tree quarters of respondents said that
it impacted on the school plan for
maths and increased the time they now
spend teaching maths.
Tis time is taken from discretionary
time (60%); by integrating maths with
other subjects (38%); by reducing time
spent on other subjects ( 39%).
Most of the additional time is spent on
number which was prioritised
by 90% of respondents.
Two thirds indicated that
they spend more time explic-
itly teaching the language of
Interestingly, teachers felt
that pupils enjoyment of
maths had increased.
Te vast majority of teachers
(85%) are aware of the School
Self Evaluation template for
reviewing mathematics,
though less than half the
respondents have actually
used it in their own school. On the
other hand more than half the respon-
dents have reviewed maths as part of
their self evaluation process.
Two thirds of teachers give more
challenging work to high achieving
students, and one in six teachers give
those pupils extra work. Tis is a positive
fnding as national and international
surveys suggest that our high achieving
pupils are not sufciently challenged in
our system and teachers can fnd this
area difcult to manage.
Some other interesting fndings:
parents are rarely invited into class-
rooms to support childrens learning;
four out of fve teachers present a
maths rich environment;
fve in six teachers would like profes-
sional development in teaching prob-
lem-solving; and
two thirds of teachers have discussed
maths teaching during Croke Park
See more photos from the Education
Conference at
18 InTouch December
Education Conference
0e|eqates la 4lscasslca at t|e |4acatlca Ccafereace.
Results of online survey
INTO Numeracy Survey 2013
Challenges identified
Making maths meaningful linking it with practical living and the environment
and extending it beyond the maths lesson bringing it alive.
Reducing reliance on textbooks.
Greater focus on problem solving.
Developing the language of maths.
0iscussion on parents to be baIIoted
on schooI uniforms
Mention of the Irish National Teachers
Organisations press release Families of
schoolgoing children under pressure as
government racks up taxation and slashes
social welfare support...
Drivetime RTE Radio 1, 11 November 2013
0overnment restores c/om buiIding
grant to schooIs
... Te Irish National Teachers Organisa-
tion (INTO) said that while there was
signifcant pressure to provide additional
school spaces over the coming years to
deal with the increased population, work
could not be done at the cost of leaving
existing schools to fall into disrepair.
INTO General Secretary Sheila Nunan
said it did not make economic sense to
build schools while at the same time
allowing others to deteriorate. She said:
Much recent investment was simply
making up for years of failing to upkeep
buildings. Cutting out regular upkeep and
maintenance is a false economy....
rte.ie, 7 November 2013
Primary schooI funding
Sean McMahon (INTO) discusses the
abolition of the minor works grant for
schools and the issues surrounding
schools in the Clare area.
Morning Focus Clare FM, 8 November
0overnment restores c/om buiIding
grants to schooIs
Te Department of Education has re-
stored two building grants worth nearly
70m to schools that had previously been
suspended. Te funds are to be made
available to schools to enable them to
carry out small repairs and infrastructural
work. Interview Noreen Flynn, Principal,
St James Primary School Dublin
RTE News at One, 7 November 2013
Drivetime RTE Radio 1
Interview with Brendan OSullivan
(INTO) and Jim Daly TD (Fine Gael) who
discuss JobBridge interns.
31 October 2013
udget zo1
Nuacht a hAon
Barrscealta Raidio na
John Boyle, INTO CEC, comments on
Budget 2014. 17 October 2013
In print
With the right programme, teachers
can make Iearning lrish a pIeasure
Not for the frst time schools inspectors
recently identifed some weaknesses in the
teaching of Irish in both primary and post
primary schools. Should this fnding take
us by surprise? At primary level we have
had a new curriculum since 1999, so
whats missing?
What is really needed to support the
teaching of Irish in primary schools is a
structured teaching programme to sup-
port the curriculum. We have them in
other subject areas. Programmes such
as Maths Recovery and Literacy Lift Of
are having an impact in schools in disad-
vantaged areas (DEIS schools) in maths
and English literacy.
A structured teaching programme in
Irish should be designed for all class levels
that would bring together all aspects of
Irish listening, reading, writing and oral
language. Such a programme could spell
out clearly the expectations for learning at
every stage from junior infants to sixth
class. And it should be modern, colourful,
attractive and relevant to childrens lives in
the 21st century
Deirbhile Nic Craith in the Irish
Independent, 13 November 2013
lts time to bring them to book
How much is just enough, when it comes
to students and their homework Is it a
bore for the kids, another layer of labour
for frazzled mums or a crucial route to
academic success? Childrens homework
and the time it takes are problems for par-
ents homework is described as the
thorniest issue at primary school, by a
representative of the INTO. If youre wor-
ried that your child is not doing his or her
homework or is not able for it, says Peter
Mullan, of the INTO, contact the school.
Homework is one of the thorniest issues at
primary level its added stress and can be
time-sapping. It can be resented by children
and parents, so its very worthwhile for
people to understand the value of it, he
says. Research shows that children who get
maths homework three or four times a
week score higher than children who dont
Irish Examiner, 7 November 2013
uaIied teachers get three month
reprieve to register with body
Hundreds of qualifed teachers have been
given a three month reprieve to register
with the professions regulatory body, but
may have to leave work for up to six
months if they do not sign up by the end
of January The Irish National Teachers
Organisation said the revised date will
have little credibility because Mr Quinn has
twice previously promised to commence
Section 30 within months
Irish Examiner, 31 October 2013
Parents to be baIIoted on schooI
the Irish National Teachers Organisation
cautioned against abolition of uniforms,
noting that they can play a role in
protecting children who might otherwise
be bullied over their clothes while it also
removed pressure on parents to buy
clothes in an attempt to keep up with the
latest trends...
Te Irish Times, 12 November 2013
7eachers working for cyo a week on
Dozens of schools are using the JobBridge
scheme to hire qualifed teachers to work
for only 50 a week on top of social welfare
payments An INTO spokesman
disagreed, saying it was impossible for
teachers to balance JobBridge with the
odd day of more lucrative substitution
Irish Independent, 29 October 2013
Fast-tracking extra teachers may heIp
tackIe cIass sizes
The INTO called for a maximum class
size above which a school would be
entitled to another teacher. The key issue
is that children do not enrol in schools in
similar numbers each year. Enrolment
varies and the Department must design a
system that is fexible enough to respond
to real needs on the ground in schools, a
spokesperson said.
Irish Examiner, 17 October 2013
In the media
On the airwaves Radio/TV
InTouch December 19
Schools are currently required to draw up
a School Self Evaluation report and an
Implementation Plan in either literacy or
numeracy by June 2014. Tis involves a
six step process:
1. Gathering evidence of teaching and
2. Analysing this evidence.
3. Making judgments about strengths and
areas for development.
4. Writing a school self evaluation report.
5. Devising a school improvement plan.
6. Implementing and monitoring this
INTO Learning has designed a series of
three online Croke Park Hour whole-
school training sessions that will support
you and your school through this process.
Te frst session, currently available,
explores what is meant by school self eval-
uation and outlines the process including
the DES requirements. It explores the
School Self Evaluation Guidelines and
how they can be used to support your
school. Particular emphasis is put on
understanding what evidence of teaching
and learning is, and on methods to gather
such evidence in your school (step one of
SSE). Gathering evidence allows for the
process of analysing where your school is
at (step two of SSE). At the end of the
session you will draw up an action plan
that will take you from where teaching
and learning in your school is at, to being
ready to sit down and analyse your evidence.
You can allocate further Croke Park hours
to complete the actions in your plan.
Sessions two and three
Session two in this SSE series will focus
on analysing your evidence and drawing
up your SSE report while session three
will focus on fnalising the SSE report
and drawing up the implementation
Te sessions consist of voiced presenta-
tions with intermittent group/individ-
ual/whole-school activities and feedback
sessions. An in-school staf member takes
responsibility for managing the presenta-
tion and arranging the session.
0nIine support
An online facilitated SSE discussion will
be available to you in between sessions.
Tis will allow you to seek advice and
support as you progress through the
Te series of three sessions costs 100
and includes a SSE teacher workbook, all
relevant resources, access to the facilitated
discussion forum and a Certifcate of
Whole School Professional Development
upon completion.
Further detaiIs and registration
For further details and registration see
20 InTouch December
Need support drawing up your School Self Evaluation
Report and Implementation Plan?
INTO General Secretary Sheila Nunan discussing current issues
with branch ofcers at a recent training seminar in the INTO
Learning Centre.
Experienced permanent teacher
seeks jobshare partner in South
East Clare or Limerick city.
Mainstream, Resource or L.S.
Contact: 087 239 3717
Teacher based in Galway City
seeks exchange to Ennis/
Co Clare area
Phone: 086 804 0540
Mainstream Teacher currently
based in South Dublin seeks
exchange to Clare, South Galway,
Tipperary or Limerick area
Phone: 086 609 3365
Dublin based teacher seeks
exchange partner in
Galway/Clare/Mayo area
Email: cmariep22@gmail.com
Job Share / Teacher Exchange Advertisements
Want to advertise in ln7ouch1
Contact Mary Bird, Advertising Executive
at email: ads@into.ie or tel: 01 8047724
Nuacht CM
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Register your card today to view all the ofers
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1 Go to www.membershipplus.ie.
2 When prompted, enter your Membership Plus
card number beginning MTS.
3 Click on the Register button to complete the
short activation process. You will then be able to
view the full range of ofers, be kept up to date with
the newest ofers, enter fantastic competitions and
much more.
Your new 2013/2014 Membership Plus card was
enclosed in the September issue of InTouch. If your
card was missing, please contact the INTO ofce on
01 804 7700.
What our members say...
Its got great deals which are nice to
use and get a discount with.
Thank you for ofering the service in
the frst place, it was great to see the full
array of ofers you have arranged.
Love the benets this card oers and love
the chance to enter your competitions.
I used it to get a discount on tickets for
the knitting and stitching show.
Am enjoying discount in my local
fashion retailer, love it!
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Its part of my routine to check this
website daily so keep up the good work.
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recently having bought a new TV.
InTouch December 21
Membership PIus
your member benet programme
50 gift card congratulations to ...
Damien Stenson, Co Galway who registered his new Membership Plus
Card before 31 October and was picked at random to win a 50 gift card
from the range of discounted cards available on Membership Plus.
Visit the Membership Plus website regularly for the chance to enter
more competitions, including hotel breaks, tickets and much more!
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down the road from you or maybe your
favourite place to go shopping isnt yet in
Membership Plus? Log onto the
Membership Plus website and click on
Suggest a Venue to let the Membership
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Membership Plus grow in the way
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Nuacht CM
22 InTouch December
Volunteering in incredible India
Te land that I am about to bring you to,
fellow readers, is a fusion of emerging
modernity and time old tradition. Te
vibrancy of colour is truly captivating, the
sweet waft of aromatic spices flls the hot
humid air while simple living and abject
poverty abounds. One can feel at one with
the bustling cities and towns, while surren-
dering as we did, to the simplicity of
villages and being touched by the spirituality
of the land. My incredible Indian trip took
place over the month of July, when I volun-
teered as one of 30 volunteers with the
voluntary organisation Global
Schoolroom a teacher to teacher train-
ing initiative, supported by Cornmarket.
Global Schoolroom (globalschoolroom.
net) is a registered charity that seeks to
promote the sharing of educational expe-
rience between communities worldwide
to help eradicate poverty, promote eco-
nomic development and to build sustain-
able communities. Founded in 2006,
Global Schoolroom sends Irish volunteer
teachers to North East India to facilitate
teacher training workshops for local
teachers who are studying for their Global
Schoolroom diploma an internationally
recognised qualifcation accredited by
Ten teams, consisting of three teachers
in each team were dispatched to poverty
stricken regions in North East India to
train teachers in western teaching
methodologies and to share ideas on
policy making, leadership, building school
communities and special educational
needs. My esteemed teammates were
Claire Kilroy and Breege McGowan, two
post primary school teachers currently
teaching in the west of Ireland. We were
hosted by the Don Bosco Catholic organi-
sation in Silchar in the province of Assam
and their commitment to improving stan-
dards of education in the area was really
inspirational. Class sizes are astoundingly
high in India, sometimes as high as 70
students. Government schools are almost
devoid of resources and absenteeism is an
ongoing problematic reality.
It was truly enriching and a privilege to
work with the Indian teachers. Tey were
most grateful, cooperative, kind and
complimentary and their willingness to
embrace new ideas and methodologies
was amazing. Part of our work involved
observing the teachers teach and, with
handmade resources, temperatures soar-
ing to 40C and classes of 50+ students,
many were really inspirational educators.
Te warmth and friendship that they
extended to us was most humbling and
we certainly gleaned in equal measure
from them as much as we could ever have
possibly imparted to them.
A sense of delight and enthusiasm was
palpable amongst the students, when the
ideas explored in the workshop phase
were implemented in the classroom. Many
mouths were agape and eyes twinkled in
anticipation as their teacher revealed and
displayed even the simplest of teaching
aids. While our planning sessions some-
times ran later than intended when we
battled with power cuts, cockroaches, the
odd scarpering furry friend and mosquito
battling, the smiles on the students faces,
made it all worthwhile! It is fair to say that
we returned to Irish soil much the wiser
and humbler as a result of our educational
and cultural exchanges!
Te priests, the brothers and the
kitchen staf that we stayed with were
incredibly selfess and kind. Aware of our
weak western constitutions, they provided
us with an abundance of simple yet
wholesome and favoursome foods. We
grew accustomed to mustard oil drenched
vegetables, rice and dhal, chappati bread,
the sweetest mangoes, pineapples and
jackfruit and lightly spiced chicken.
Potatoes also featured, tossed in turmeric,
which makes them a lot more interesting!
Outside of our work duties, we were
privileged to have many opportunities to
engage with the Indian people and to
explore their culture even further. We
were warmly invited and welcomed into
the humble yet happy homes of some of
the locals who live with their extended
families. Tey were intrigued with our
alabaster complexions, allowed us to
sit on their beds as couches, carefully
prepared a feast for us, performed dances
on our departure and followed us out to
wave us of. One Saturday while trekking
through the jungle we encountered
torrential monsoon rain and a poor
couple beckoned us into their home to
take shelter. Te lady graced us with her
presence and apologised that she had no
food in the house to ofer us as they were
poor. Her husband ran out and fetched
pineapples in the jungle for us to take
home. Such simple gestures of kindness
were most humbling.
It is no exaggeration to say that my trip
to India with Global Schoolroom was an
incredibly enriching experience. It taught
me to heed the words of Robert Brault:
Enjoy the little things for one day you
may look back and realise they were the
big things. It was a mutually benefcial
educational experience and I would
certainly recommend it.
I wish to acknowledge the support and
sponsorship that I received from my family,
friends, staf, parents and students at
Gaelscoil Chorin, my home community
in Knocknagoshel and the community of
Youghal, the INTO Solidarity Fund and
my two fellow volunteers Claire and
Breege for making my Global Schoolroom
experience a huge success.
Catherine Reidy, Gaelscoil Chorin,
Youghal, Co Cork. Global Schoolroom is a
teacher to teacher training initiative,
Teachers awarded certifcates for participating in Global Schoolroom project
If you wish to apply to the INTO
Solidarity Fund please contact
Georgina Glackin, INTO, at (01) 804
7745 or gglackin@into.ie
InTouch December 23
Vere Foster Medal winners
Vere Foster was born in
Copenhagen of an Irish-born
father. He worked in the UK
Diplomatic Corps but left to
help the victims of the Great
Famine on his brothers
estate in Ardee, Co Louth.
Concerned by reports of
the terrible conditions for
those using emigrant ships,
Foster campaigned in the
USA and Britain for
improved conditions for
passengers. He helped to
found and became the frst
President of the INTO,
travelling throughout the
country campaigning for the
maintenance and improve-
ment of national schools.
Foster is also known for
the popular Vere Foster
National School Writing
He died in Belfast on
21 December 1900.
The INTO Congress of 1956,
held in Belfast decided to
organise a suitable memorial
as a tribute to the memory of
Vere Foster.
The memorial takes the
form of a Vere Foster medal,
and is generally awarded
by the INTO to the student
obtaining the highest mark
in Teaching Practice and/or
Curriculum areas of
At the recent
ceremonies held at
Mary Immaculate
College, Limerick
was Sheela ORegan,
Mallow, who was
presented with the
Bonn Vere Foster
by the INTO
President Brendan
OSullivan. Te
medal was
awarded to the B.Ed
in Education and
Psychology Graduate
awarded frst place
in Teaching Practice
and Curriculum
Also pictured at
the graduation
ceremonies held at
Mary Immaculate
College was Aoife
Clancy, Kilrush,
who was presented
with the Bonn Vere
Foster, by the
INTO President.
Tis medal was
presented to the
B.Ed Graduate
awarded frst place
in Teaching
Practice and
INTO President,
presenting Ian
Whitty, Hibernia
College, with the
Vere Foster Medal
awarded for
highest overall
mark for teaching
practice on the
Higher Diploma in
Arts in Primary
More photos next issue
Nuacht CM
Districts 8 and 9
Droichead Nua Branch
Members of
Districts 8 and 9
are pictured at a
recent retirement
function with
INTO President
Retirees from
Droichead Nua
Branch celebrate
with INTO Vice
President Sean
McMahon along
with branch
secretaries Aelish
Collins (Curragh
Branch), Derry
OConnor (Craobh
Darach Branch)
and chairpersons
Tara Walsh
(Craobh Darach)
and William
Carroll (Curragh).
Edenderry Branch
At a recent retirement function in
Edenderry Branch were back row: Irene
Chambers (Branch Organiser), Kevin
Dufy (Secretary), Bryan OReilly (CEC),
Frank OMeara, Sen Fitzgerald,
Josephine Byrne (Chairperson).
Sitting: Mary Finnegan, Anne Fay (former
INTO President 2012/2013), and Mary
24 InTouch December
Millstreet Branch
North Clare
Members of North Clare
Branch at a retirement
Back row: (l to r) Nicola Sheehan
(Branch Secretary), Carmel
Tynne (Cathaoirleach), John
Hehir, Kevin Glynn, Michael
OConnor, John Reynolds,
Sean McMahon (INTO Vice
Front row: (l to r) Aideen Malone,
Maura Clancy, Anne Fay
(former INTO President), Sr
Rosari and Eils Blake. Missing
from the photo: Patricia Rynne.
Mountbellew Branch
At a Mountbellew Branch retirement
function in January 2013 were. Back row (l to
r): Sen OCeallaigh (Branch Chairperson),
Tom Flahive (Branch Secretary), Toms
Heavey (Winfeld NS), Tommy Greally
(District Secretary). Front row left to right:
Caitriona Meehan (Moylough NS), Evelyn
Clarke (Mountbellew NS), Anne Fay (former
INTO President), Antoinette Giblin
(Winfeld NS), Carmel Hoade (representing
Maura Finnerty, Garbally NS).
Photo: Toms Coppinger.
Millstreet INTO organised a superb reception at the Wallis Arms
Hotel in June to mark the retirement of Pat Breen following
wonderfully dedicated service to primary education. Excellent
speeches were delivered by Joan OMahony (Principal,
Presentation NS, Millstreet) and Brendan OSullivan, INTO
President. Pat expressed his sincere thanks to the organisers, his
wife, Mary and family who were among the large attendance
(Picture: Sen Radley)
InTouch December 25
26 InTouch December
What do primary teachers think?
When the INTO Equality Committee decided
that the area of religion and education
should be a theme of the 2013 Equality
Conference, they looked at previous INTO
research in the area, particularly a 2002
survey carried out by the Education Com-
mittee. They decided that it would be
worthwhile updating that research and
carrying out a survey of members views.
As well as including questions which had
been included in the 2002 survey, they also
included questions related to changes
which had occurred since then. The results
of the survey, which was coordinated by
David OSullivan, INTO Head Ofce, on
teachers views on the teaching of religion
were presented at the INTO Equality Con-
ference in March 2013. The results refect
the views of the primary teachers who are
at the interface of home, school and com-
munity in the important and ongoing
debate about the place of religion in Irish
primary schools.
The INTO survey was sent to almost
1,000 INTO members, and there was a 38%
return. The returned surveys came from a
broadly representative sample of mem-
bers, both in terms of the profle of the
teachers, and the schools in which they
worked. When compared to the sample for
the 2002 survey, the changes in the patron-
age of primary schools were refected, with
an increase in respondents working in
schools under the patronage of Educate
Together and An Foras Patrnachta.
7eachers attitudes
Teachers attitudes to teaching religion
were explored by asking them to choose
which statement from a range best refected
their attitude to the teaching of religion.
The most frequent response was I teach
religion willingly, with 49% choosing this
statement. This statement was chosen
more frequently by older teachers. In 2002,
61% of respondents chose this statement.
20% of respondents chose I am not op-
posed to teaching religion. 10% of teach-
ers chose the response I would teach
broad religious education programme
willingly, but would prefer not to teach
religious instruction in a particular faith.
7% of respondents chose the statement
I would prefer if I didnt have to teach
religion. 2% stated that they would like to
opt out of teaching religion, and less than
1% stated that they had opted out.
ReIigion in schooIs
Sixty percent of respondents agreed that
religion should be taught in school hours,
compared to 80% who agreed with this
statement in 2002. However, only 47%
agreed that children should be prepared for
the sacraments in primary schools, with
55% stating that the family should have the
main responsibility for these preparations.
Teachers also pointed to the additional
time (apart from allocated religion time)
spent in their schools in preparing for the
sacraments with 71% saying that additional
time was taken up. This was a huge increase
on the 18% who stated this in 2002.
Seventy one percent of teachers agreed
that Education about Religion and Beliefs
(ERB) should be part of the curriculum in
schools, with 51% stating that it should be
part of the religious education pro-
gramme. The NCCA has recently begun
work on developing a curriculum and
guidelines for schools on ERB and ethics, as
proposed in the Report of the Forum on
Pluralism and Patronage.
When asked about school ethos, and
how this permeates the school, 79% of
teachers referred to the presence of reli-
gious pictures and icons in their school (up
from 69% 10 years ago), 79% referred to vis-
its by clergy (up from 67%) and 75% to mass
or religious services in the school. These in-
creases seem to point to a more visible reli-
gious ethos in schools compared to 2002.
SchooI type
There has been much debate on the
patronage of schools in the past few years,
in particular since the establishment by
Minister Ruair Quinn of the Forum on
Pluralism and Patronage. In the survey,
teachers were asked to indicate what type
of school most schools should be. 28%
responded that most schools should be
denominational, while almost 49%
favoured multi-denominational schools.
Ten percent favoured non-denominational
schools, even though no such primary
schools are currently available in Ireland.
7eacher education
The role of religion in teacher education
and qualifcations has also been the subject
of debate. Currently, all the state funded
primary teacher education colleges in
Ireland are denominational. Only 15% of
teachers agreed that this should be the
case, down from 36% in 2002. Almost 60%
of respondents said that a qualifcation for
teaching religion should be separate from
the general qualifcation.
The results of the survey show that
INTO members views on the teaching of
religion, and the patronage of schools are
changing over time, refecting the changes
and demands of society. The results of the
survey informed the discussions at the
Equality Conference, and have informed
INTO policy in this area, which has been
the subject of so much debate over the
past few years. The Equality Committee
will continue to contribute to INTO policy
and the wider debate on this matter.
The full report of the research by the Equality
Committee can be found on the INTO website , in
the Conference section.
Nuacht CM
InTouch December 27
INTO Advice
INTO advice for members on issues of importance
he INTO has welcomed the reinstate-
ment of the Summer Works Scheme
for schools. Details were published on
the INTO website and in our e-newsletter.
The DES have invited applications for the
2014 scheme and full details are available
on Circular Letter 0059/2013. To streamline
the process the DES have developed an
online application system via the Esinet
platform. Paper applications will no
longer be accepted. The deadline for
applications is 10 December 2013.
What is the Summer Works Scheme1
The SWS has been running since 2004.
The scheme makes funds available to
schools to carry out small and medium
scale works on school buildings primarily
during summer holidays. The school au-
thority takes on responsibility for ensur-
ing that the consultant and the building
contractor carry out the work to an ac-
ceptable standard, on time and on budget.
Almost 650m in SWS grants has been
disbursed to date and many schools have
been transformed through the
replacement of roofs, heating systems,
windows, doors, toilets, etc. These have
resulted in a substantial improvement in
the learning environment for pupils.
7hings you shouId know about the
kpp|lcatlcas mast |e ma4e t|rcaq| t|e |slaet
p|atfcrm. !c|cc|s ma, app|, fcr cae prcject ca|,.
ka !U! |e|p|lae ls aal|a||e at |reep|cae cc
zcc );; aatl| c 0ecem|er.
!|e |lst cf saccessfa| app|lcaats wl|| |e pa||ls|e4
|, t|e 0|! at ea4 |e|raar,/ ear|, Marc| zc.
|f t|e aam|er cf app|lcatlcas fcr faa4laq ls qreater
t|aa t|e faa4s aal|a||e t|e 0|! wl|| prlcrltlse
app|lcatlcas acccr4laq tc t|e cateqcrles set cat la
Clrca|ar cc;)/zc;. (|t ls lmpcrtaat tc acte t|at specla|
aee4s prcjects are ac |caqer faa4e4 aa4er !U!.
!|ese s|ca|4 |e app|le4 fcr aa4er t|e |merqeac,
Ucr|s !c|eme.)
!accessfa| sc|cc|s wl|| |e actle4 la wrltlaq. !|e
|etter wl|| set cat t|e amcaat cf qraat al4 apprce4,
cca4ltlcas cf t|ls apprca|, t|e sccpe cf wcr|s
apprce4 aa4 t|e tlmeframe 4arlaq w|lc| t|e
qraat al4 mast |e 4rawa 4cwa. It is important to
read through all the material in this letter.
!|e qraat al4 apprce4 ls aa a||-la amcaat tc
ccer a|| ccsts asscclate4 wlt| t|e prcject, lac|a4-
laq prcfesslcaa| fees (arc|ltect, eaqlaeer etc.),
p|aaalaq fees, \k! aa4 aa, ct|er ccsts arlslaq.
!|e sc|cc| aat|crlt, mast ccarm acceptaace cf
t|e qraat cer tc t|e 0|! ||aaalaq aa4 8al|4laq
Ualt wlt|la fcar wee|s cf recellaq t|e qraat
apprca| |etter.
!c|cc|s s|ca|4 actlf, t|e 0|! lmme4late|, lf t|e,
are act prccee4laq wlt| t|elr prcject. !|ls a||cws
t|e 0|! tc rea||ccate faa4s tc aact|er sc|cc|.
!c|cc|s s|ca|4 act pa||lclse t|e amcaat cf t|e
qraat apprce4. !c 4c sc wca|4 rls| ccmprcmlslaq
t|e tea4er prccess aa4 meaas t|at sc|cc|s wca|4
|ae |ess c|aace cf ac|lelaq a|ae fcr mcae,.
!ec|alca| qal4aace 4ccameats, are aal|a||e at
www.e4acatlca.le (www.e4aca-
!|e 0|! wl|| retala app|lcatlcas
frcm sc|cc|s w|cse app|lca-
tlcas are aasaccessfa| aa4er
!U! zc, 4ae tc aaacla|
ccastralats, fcr ccasl4eratlca
aa4er fatare rcaa4s cf t|e
7endering procedures
!c|cc|s are c||lqe4 tc tea4er pa||lc|, fcr a||
ccatracts asscclate4 wlt| t|e wcr|. k ccasa|taat
w|c prcl4e4 tec|alca| a4lce fcr t|e app|lca-
tlca prccess |as ac c|alm cer t|e ccatract.
al4aace ca t|e prcce4ares fcr tea4erlaq fcr t|e
appclatmeat cf a ccasa|taat tc cersee t|e
ccmp|etlca cf prcjects wl|| |e lssae4 tc sc|cc|s
w|cse app|lcatlcas are apprce4.
!c|cc|s mast tea4er fcr t|e appclatmeat cf aa
apprcprlate ccasa|taat e.q. arc|ltect, cll| eaql-
aeer, |al|4laq serlces eaqlaeer cr sare,cr tc
4eslqa t|e wcr|s, prepare tea4er 4ccameats
aa4 a4lse t|e sc|cc| ca eaqaqlaq aa apprcprl-
ate |al|4laq ccatractcr.
k|| e|lql||e ccatractcrs |ae tc |ae aa eaa|
c|aace cf |l44laq fcr t|e wcr|.
!c|cc|s are remla4e4 t|at ccasa|taats/ccatrac-
tcrs eaqaqe4 tc wcr| ca t|e sc|cc| premlses,
eea ca a cace c |asls, mast |e a||e tc 4lsp|a,
fa|| ccmp|laace wlt| tat retara |laq aa4
pa,meat c||lqatlcas.
!|e 0|! wl|| lssae qal4e|laes tc sc|cc|s tc
easare apprcprlate tea4erlaq prcce4ares are
|f t|e |l4s fcr t|e wcr| etcee4 t|e qraat aal|-
a||e, t|e sc|cc| s|ca|4 wcr| wlt| t|elr ccasa|t-
aat tc tr, tc tal|cr t|e sccpe cf
wcr|s tceasare t|at lt caa |e
4e|lere4 wlt|la |a4qet. |a
t|e carreat c|lmate,
appea|laq tc t|e 0|! fcr
aa lacrease la t|e qraat ls
aa|l|e|, tc |e saccessfa|.
Managing a project
on site
0ace a prcject ls ca slte aa4 a||
specle4 cca4ltlcas |ae |eea met, t|e
sc|cc| aat|crlt, caa app|, tc t|e 0|! fcr t|e rst
traac|e cf faa4laq ()c).
|t ls t|e ccasa|taats rc|e tc certlf, t|at t|e wcr|
|a4 |eea carrle4 cat tc t|e aecessar, staa4ar4.
!|e sc|cc| aat|crlt, mast a|sc |e satlse4 wlt|
t|e aa|lt, cf t|e als|e4 prcject.
k c|cse e,e s|ca|4 |e |ept ca tlmesca|es tc
easare wcr|s are als|e4 |efcre t|e sc|cc|
k tlme|, ccmp|etlca cf t|e wcr|s a|sc meaas
t|at t|e secca4 traac|e cf faa4laq (;c) caa
|e 4rawa 4cwa frcm t|e 0|!.
8efcre ma|laq aa, pa,meats, sc|cc|s s|ca|4
c|ec| t|e aew keeaae realremeats la re|a-
tlca tc t|e e|ectrcalc kC! s,stem, 4etal|s cf
w|lc| are aal|a||e ca www.reeaae.le.
keccr4s cf a|| etpea4ltare aa4 recelpts s|ca|4 |e
|ept fcr seea ,ears at t|e sc|cc| as t|e, ma, |e
aa4lte4 |, t|e 0|! at aa, staqe.
We hope that this article will be helpful and
we would like to thank our fellow public
servants in the DES Planning and
Building Unitfor information supplied
on the scheme.
Preparing for summer works?
Eason & Son is proud to have been Irelands leading Bookseller, Stationer and Newsagent for over 125 years,
with a unique position in the supply of reading and writing material to people of all generations.
We believe literacy is fundamental to personal development and that spelling lies at the heart of literacy.
We want to make young people appreciate the power of literacy by making it fun and always stimulating. This is
why, each year, we challenge schools across Ireland to prove their spelling prowess in the Eason Spelling Bee.
We are now looking for qualied teachers to become the Bee Master and Adjudication Team
for the 2014 Eason Spelling Bee. These are paid positions.
What we want from you:
Experience working with primary school children Strong attention to detail
Good presentation skills Complete understanding of tournament rules and how they apply
Comfortable presenting to large groups (50-250) The energy and enthusiasm to drive the tournament forward
Bee Master x 1:
Will attend all 37 events across Ireland, travelling nationwide and sometimes staying overnight
Be available 2-3 days a week (Mon-Fri) during school term from February to June
Adjudicator Roles x 3:
Attend 10+ regional events during school term from February to June, travelling nationwide and sometimes staying overnight
Be available 2-3 days a week (Mon-Fri) during school term from February to June
If this sounds like something for you, drop us an email at
Closing date: 3rd January 2014
The search is on for the Eason Spelling Bee
Master & Adjudication Team
Are you due a refund of Health Levy contributions?
Some teachers may have overpaid levy during years 2009-2010
From 1 January 2011 the Government
abolished the Health Levy and the
Income Levy and replaced both with
the Universal Social Charge.
However, some teachers may have
overpaid Health Levy contributions
during the years 2009-2010 and are
therefore entitled to a refund of their
overpayment. Tese refunds are tax
free. Overpayments may have arisen in
distinct and separate circumstances:
1. If a teacher earned 26,000 or less
(according to their P60 for the rele-
vant year) in any of those calendar
(i.e. tax) years but earned over 500 in
some of the weeks that they worked.
Likely benefciaries in this category
would be substitute teachers, teachers
who began teaching in any of the years
2009-2010, teachers returning from
career break, jobsharing or other leave
that kept them of salary or on reduced
salary for part of any of the years 2009-
2010. Some of those teachers will have
26,000 or less in earnings (as per their
P60) for the year while they would also
have earnings of over 500 for the some
or all of the weeks that they worked.
Did you work any incomplete calendar
year and earn 26,000 or less (see
your P60) in any of the years 2009-
2010? Did you begin teaching, return
from career break, job share, work as
a substitute or otherwise earn 26,000
or less in any of those years?
If you paid the Health Levy as part
of your PRSI deductions in any pay
period then you are likely to be due a
According to the Department of So-
cial Protection they had paid out
approximately 10,000,000 to around
26,000 claimants by 1 February 2012
an average of 385 per claimant.
Teachers in category 1 should write
to PRSI Refunds Section of the Depart-
ment of Social Protection, Oisin House,
212/213 Pearse Street, Dublin 2, enclos-
ing their PPS number and a copy of
their P60 to initiate their refund claim.
Tere is currently a backlog of claims
being processed so act soon to expedite
any refund due. Refunds of up to 1,040
tax free are available depending on
circumstances (e.g. in 2010 a teacher
who earned 26,000 and who was
charged the Health Levy at 4% would
have overpaid the Health Levy by
1,040). Smaller amounts (up to 850)
would apply to 2009 as the rates were
lower for part of 2009.
2. Widows, widowers, Medical Card
holders and lone parents.
Teachers who are widowed and
were in receipt of the Social Welfare
Survivors (Widows or Widowers)
pension, or teachers who are Medical
Card holders or certain lone parents
were totally exempt from the Health
Levy but may have had the Health Levy
deducted in error from their salary.
Tere is no upper limit on the earnings
which were exempted for qualifying
persons in these categories and up to 4%
of P60 earnings may be due in refunds.
Teachers in Category 2 should also
write to the PRSI Refunds Section of the
Department of Social Protection, Oisin
House, 212/213 Pearse Street, Dublin 2,
enclosing their PPS number, P60 show-
ing the amount of PRSI/Health Levy
paid and details of their grounds for
exemption i.e. details of their Social
Welfare Survivors Pension, or Medical
Card holder or lone parent status etc.
Again, it is important to initiate the
process as soon as possible to expedite
any refund due. Signifcant refunds may
be due in certain circumstances and can
reach fgures in excess of 4,000 tax free
in certain circumstances; (e.g. if the
refund applies to both years).
For more information
Contact PRSI Refunds Section of the
Department of Social Protection, Oisn
House, 212/213 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
at 01-6732586 or visit www.welfare.ie for
further information.
NB Refund claims for the year 2009
must be submitted by 31/12/2013.
Samus Long, former CEC Representative
for District 13.
Life Savings and Loan Insurance
cover is provided by Comhar Linn
INTO Credit Union Ltd. at no
additional cost to members, subject
to terms and conditions.
Life savings insurance
In the event of your death while a
participating member of Comhar
Linn INTO Credit Union Ltd an
insurance payment related to the
balance in your share account will be
paid by our insurance company
(CUNA Mutual). The amount paid is
related to your age when depositing
your shares, and can be as much as
twice the amount you have saved in
your account. Your insurance
remains in force as long as you leave
your savings in the Credit Union.
Withdrawals may afect the amount
Loan protection insurance
Should a member with an
outstanding loan die, the balance is
repaid in full, subject to terms and
conditions. This means that you can
borrow from Comhar Linn INTO
Credit Union Ltd in full confdence
that your dependents will not be
obliged to repay the outstanding
loan. You will be informed at the
time of the loan application if your
loan exceeds the amount covered by
the Credit Unions insurance policy.
Under the basic policy death cover
ceases on the members 70th
birthday. Comhar Linn has taken the
option of extending this age limit to
the members 80th birthday.
eneciary nomination
Once you nominate a person or
persons to become entitled, on your
death, to any property in the credit
union, such a nomination shall not
be revocable or variable by your will
or by any codicil to your will. Further
details on both insurance products
are available on
Life savings and loan insurance cover provided by Comhar Linn INTO Credit Union Ltd.
Comhar Linn October
draw winners
Car !c,cta karls
Loretta Dunphy, St Gabriels NS,
Ballyfermot, Dublin 10.
Cas| c,;cc
John Gleeson, Holy Child BNS,
Larkhill, Dublin 9.
Uee|ea4 fcr twc la Iar,s |aa
Zoe Roche, Glantane BNS, Mallow,
Co Cork.
Cian Dufy, St Michaels and St
Patricks NS, Boyle, Co Roscommon.
INTO Advice
InTouch December 29
30 InTouch December
Strength-based approach has taken the ADHD
world by storm. Across the US, schools specialising
in educating children with emotional and behav-
ioural problems made strength-based approach
part of their daily practice.
They teach children the language of strengths by
asking them to draw perseverance, wisdom or kind-
ness. They read stories, stop half way through and
ask children what strengths the main character dis-
played. They create weeks during which one strength
a week is celebrated by children spotting and dis-
cussing strengths in others, such as modesty, creativ-
ity or fairness. Parents are involved in strength train-
ing when teachers tell them about their childrens
strengths, not only their challenges. Finally, children
learn how to manage their emotional outbursts us-
ing some of their strengths. They are asked what
strengths they want to use when completing a task.
They are also shown how to manage their attention
defcit and other challenges by using strengths such
as humour, open-mindedness and honesty.
The results of this approach can be easily spotted
on the playground. A seven-year-old boy, who has
just lost his temper and smacked another child
across the head suddenly stops, turns around and
says: Im sorry, I need to practice my strength of
self-control. A 12 year-old boy when asked what his
signature strength is, he smiles proudly and says:
its authenticity. And what does it mean? The
teacher enquires it means Im being true to my-
self and if I prefer to play with girls, I just do it,
without worrying what boys think about me.
Strength-based approach builds students conf-
dence, enhances their well-being and gives them
tools on how to deal with challenging situations.
Developing strengths helps students see whats
right, not wrong with them.
Jolanta Burke is a Positive Psychologist
and a PhD researcher in Trinity College
Dublin. For more information, go to
InTouch December 31
Special education
Information and updates on issues relating to special education
!pecla| e4acatlca tc4a,
The Education for Persons with Special
Educational Needs Act 2004 (EPSEN) de-
fnes special educational needs as both a
restriction in the capacity of the person to
participate in, and beneft from, education
on an account of an enduring physical,
sensory, mental health or learning disabili-
ty, or any other condition which results in a
person learning diferently from a person
without that condition and cognate words
shall be construed accordingly.
In 2006, the NCSE estimated that up to
18% of the school going population may
have a special educational need, as defned
under the EPSEN Act. A more recent ESRI
study, using data from the longitudinal
study Growing up in Ireland pointed to an
overall prevalence rate of 25 per cent. In
Ireland, students with special educational
needs are served by a continuum of provi-
sion ranging from full time enrolment in
mainstream classes to full time enrolment
in special schools with a variety of options
in between. Placement options at present
include mainstream class with additional
support provided by a resource/learning
support teacher, a special class in a main-
stream school, or a special school designat-
ed for a particular category or categories of
The National Council for Special Educa-
tion has recently published a policy advice
paper on Supporting Students with Special
Educational Needs in Schools, which contains
a range of wide reaching recommendations
about the development of a future model
for special education. Key issues under dis-
cussion by the CEC of the INTO in relation
to the policy paper are outlined on page 35
of this issue. The following pages also con-
tain articles from the Irish Association of
Teachers in Special Education, the Irish
Learning Support Association, and a dou-
ble page spread celebrating ten years of
the National Council for Special Education.
Number of special classes for each disability category 2012-13
Type of special class Primary Post-primary Enrolment
classes classes
Hearing impaired 11 5 89
Mild GLD 60 11 686
Moderate GLD 12 16 136
Severe and profound GLD 10 0 28
EBD 5 1 34
Severe EBD 1 0 5
Physical disability 0 1 8
Specifc speech and language disorders 64 0 434
Specifc learning disability 13 0 123
Autism/ASD 316 97 2112
Multiple disabilities 3 2 23
!cta| ); ;; ;,)
Designation of special schools under NCSE
Ocial Designation Number of Number of Teachers*
schools students
Physical disability 6 288 47. 5
Hearing impairment 3 120 51
Visual impairment 1 40 7
EBD 12** 373*** 62
Mild GLD 30 2831 336.5
Moderate GLD 33 2255 377
Severe and profound GLD 10 312 62
Autism 19 507 89
Specifc learning disability 4 296 33
Multiple disabilities 1 72 13
!cta| ) )c) c)
Source: NCSE November 2012
Know your strengths
This column refers to class
teachers only; it does not
take into account princi-
pal and ex quota posts.
One of these schools
caters for students with
mild EBD, the remaining
eleven cater for students
with severe EBD.
A substantial number of
these students have been
assessed as having an
autistic spectrum disorder.
Supporting teachers through the years
Irish Association of Teachers in Special Education
IATSE (the Irish Association of Teachers in
Special Education) has, since its inception
in 1969, been at the forefront of special
education in Ireland, refecting the signif-
cant changes that have taken place since
then. The organisation was established by
a group of highly committed teachers who
had been participants of the course lead-
ing to the Diploma in Special Education at
St Patricks College, Drumcondra. The
needs identifed by the founding fathers
(and mothers!) of IATSE remain the same
today the need for teachers who work
with students with special educational
needs (SEN) to be able to access collegial
support, to have a forum through which to
network, and to have opportunities for
continuing professional development.
The SEN landscape has changed beyond
recognition in so many ways since the birth
of IATSE. Students now have an entitlement
to an appropriate education, many are
attending their local schools and we now
often work alongside other teaching
colleagues and special needs assistants
(SNAs) in the classroom. There is a common
curriculum and we have access to tech-
nologies that could not have been imag-
ined all those years ago. IATSE is proud to
be able to link many of the major develop-
ments that have occurred regarding the
teaching of students with SEN to its past
and current members many of whom
were, and continue to be, involved with
the development of curriculum, policy,
teacher training and other innovations.
Similarly, teachers who are members of
the organisation have been at the core of
the development of the large body of
research in SEN teaching, providing valuable
research which has informed practice in
classrooms throughout the country.
IATSE itself has changed, absorbing the
ever-changing vista of special education
and the subsequent needs of its members.
Our membership now encompasses all
teachers across all educational settings,
from special school teachers to teachers
working in the areas of resource and learn-
ing support to special class teachers and
class teachers at both primary and post-
primary level.
IATSE events are organised by its Central
Executive Committee (CEC) which is com-
posed of teachers representing the various
designations of schools. The CEC works on
a voluntary basis, meeting once a month
to organise IATSEs Annual International
Conference, regional seminars and to
support the publication of the REACH journal.
The CEC also has members on various
consultative boards and committees
including the NCCA, INTO, and the NCSE.
The annual IATSE conference brings
together a broad range of presentations
and workshops over the course of two
days in June. The theme of the 2014 confer-
ence is Relationships Working Together.
This is a critical area for teachers working
with students with SEN for many reasons
the need for close communication with
parents that refects the stress that having
a child with SEN can bring, the need to liaise
with clinician colleagues and external
organisations (e.g. NEWB, HSE, NCSE, NEPS)
working with other adults in the class-
room, the impact of students complex
needs on teachers wellbeing, especially
regarding behaviours that challenge, and
inter-peer relationships. This conference
theme afords IATSE an opportunity to
engage and support teachers through
discussion and learning related to main-
taining positive relationships. We hope you
will join us next June for this event, and
further details will be available on our web-
site at www.iatse.ie later in the school year.
Keep an eye out for our regional seminars
which take place around the country in the
spring term. These take place on a Saturday
morning and consist of two presentations
from practicing teachers and clinicians.
REACH is the organisations highly
regarded journal. Anyone who has engaged
in research in the area of SEN will be familiar
with what many regard as essential home
grown research and practitioner case
studies. It is this dual aspect that combines
the voice of the teacher with more aca-
demic perspectives that has earned the
journal its reputation.
IATSE would like to draw attention to
their Annual Bursary Award for Classroom
Based Practice. Each year we invite teach-
ers to submit examples of good practice
with a particular emphasis on innovation,
collaboration and successful learning
experiences for students with special
educational needs. Four bursaries of up to
500 are available, so why not share your
good practice and ideas with others?
Check our website for details.
Further information is available on
www.iatse.ie. If you are interested in becoming
a member, download the membership form
from the website and post to: IATSE, Drum-
condra Education Centre, Drumcondra,
Dublin 9.
32 InTouch December
Special Education
lA7S Conference
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raaqe cf re|atlcas|lps lateqra| tc
e4acatlca fcr sta4eats wlt| specla|
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ccmp|et lateractlca |etweea mem|ers
cf t|e sc|cc| ccmmaalt,, etteraa|
aqeacles aa4 t|e lmpact t|ls ma, |ae
ca saccessfa| teac|laq aa4 |earalaq.
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facl|ltatlaq pcsltle re|atlcas|lps.
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frcm teac|ers, researc|ers aa4 ct|er
practltlcaers lac|e4 la t|e area cf
specla| e4acatlca.
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0etal|s reqar4laq aa| arraaqemeats
ca 4ate aa4 eaae wl|| |e pa||ls|e4
ca car we|slte www.latse.le la
CaII for papers
IATSE invites papers/presenta-
tions/workshops for Conference
. Please submit a short
abstract (maximum words)
and presenters details to: IATSE
Conference Director, Drumcondra
Education Centre, Dublin .
Email: conference@iatse.ie.
Closing date for submissions:
Friday, January .
IATSE is proud to be able to
link many of the major
developments to its past
and current members
Te Irish Learning Support Association
(ILSA) was founded in 1974. ILSA ofers
professional training and support to learn-
ing support and resource teachers at both
primary and second level.
ILSA organises at both local and
national level. At local level, ILSA is a
self-help peer support group. No matter
where you live in Ireland, you are not far
from a local (regional) group. Regional
groups operate usually, though not exclu-
sively, out of education centres. Regional
groups are fully autonomous and arrange
their own professional development,
workshops and presentations.
lLSA conferences
At national level, ILSA organises two
conferences annually. Te annual confer-
ence takes place in September in St
Patricks College, Dublin 9. Tis is a two-
day conference and has over 30 presenta-
tions over the two days, delivered by
leading professional educators from the
Irish colleges of education and a number
from overseas. Topics and workshops are
carefully chosen, taking members evalua-
tions and wishes into account. A smaller
regional conference is held in March,
outside Dublin. Tis conference, called the
Spring Conference, is held on a Friday in
enets of membership
Members gain many benefts through
joining the Association. Te most impor-
tant beneft is that members can attend
conferences for 50% of the cost to non-
members. Learn is the annual research
journal of the Irish Learning Support
Association. It is published in the autumn
and copies are distributed to each ILSA
member, to our national universities,
colleges of education and education
centres. Learn journal is also available on
loan from all education centres. Members
also get a quarterly newsletter and access
to the ILSA website at www.ilsa.ie.
Communications with members is very
important to the Executive Committee.
For that reason the website is currently
being updated. Shortly, members will be
able to renew membership or apply to
attend a conference online. Tere will also
be a members only section that will have
resources, hand-outs from conference
presentations and special ofers by educa-
tional publishers. Members will also be
able to subscribe to a free online newsletter
that will keep them updated on current,
topical and upcoming events.
Spring Conference in 0aIway
Te next Spring Conference will take place
in the Clayton Hotel, Galway on 21 March.
As Galway is a very popular venue, early
booking is advisable. Booking forms will
shortly be available to download from the
ILSA website.
Submissions to lLSAs journaI Learn
We would welcome expressions of interest
from members or non-members in
submitting research papers for publication
in Learn. Submissions should deal with
topics or themes of interest to ILSA
members and every efort should be made
to avoid jargon. Te paper should
normally not exceed 3,000 words, be well
researched and of a high literary quality.
Research papers should be submitted to
the editor of Learn as electronic word
processing fles.
Te authors name and address should
appear on a covering page and a brief
biographical note on the author should be
included. Te title of the research paper
should appear in capitals
and in bold font and tables,
where included, must be
self-explanatory to non-
specialist readers.
Te bibliography should
list all references alphabeti-
cally by authors surname
and works by the same
author should be arranged
chronologically, by date of
Presentations/invoIvment in
ILSA also welcomes expressions of inter-
est from experienced Learning Support,
Resource teachers and lecturers from the
Colleges of Education who would like to
present or conduct a workshop at one of
our conferences. Please email your topic
together with relevant biographical and
academic details to info@ilsa.ie.
1oining lLSA
If you are a learning support or resource
teacher, do consider joining ILSA. It is good
to have a support group that can ofer you
advice, professional development and
support when you need it. We advise
members to ask their boards of
management to cover the costs of member-
ship and attendance at conferences. Our
conferences have recognition by the DES, so
members are fully covered for attendance.
Contact ILSA c/o Drumcondra Education
Centre, Drumcondra, Dublin 9. Telephone:
(01) 8576499 or email: info@ilsa.ie.
InTouch December 33
Special Education
Irish Learning Support Association
A self-help peer support group
Left: Jean Johnston, former
ILSA Chairperson, and
above, current Chairperson
Mairin Barry
34 InTouch December
Special Education
Behaviour management uncovered
Handling emotions getting the hate out!
At this stage of the year teachers are well
aware of the children in their class who
will act up when presented with a certain
subject. Te Friends for Life programme
created by Paula Barrett reminds educa-
tors that all feelings are ok. So, for the
child that cant or wont engage in a learn-
ing task the challenge becomes: How can
the child be helped to develop a motto of
it's possible?
About 10 years ago I had an 11 year old
boy, diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD,
in my class. Paul acted up when the maths
books appeared. Every day for the frst
two weeks of September I could predict
his response. It usually went something
like this: Im not doing it! You cant
make me! I hate maths! followed by a
tantrum for which he would have to
weather serious consequences.
One day I decided to have a chat with
Paul before the maths lesson appeared. So
you hate maths, I said. His face went red
and he said through gritted teeth I really
hate it. For the next few minutes we
talked about how much he hated maths.
Ten I said in a light-hearted way So Paul
you really really hate maths. Tats nor-
mal. He looked at me in disbelief and I
continued no one can control how they
feel about anything. Tats just the way
feelings are. So Paul, for you its normal to
hate maths. You can feel anyway you like
about maths but we do still need to do it.
I also talked with him about the efect
his dyslexia had on his learning. Namely
that we were working on it but reading
was tricky for Paul. I explained that he
didnt have dyscalculia so if he was helped
with any reading in maths he should be
able to fy through his number work.
From that day on Paul reluctantly en-
gaged in the daily mathematical tasks. For
Paul, being allowed to hate maths dis-
armed his oppositional behaviour around
maths. And every day at break time I
would get the three minute timer and say
to Paul Do we need to get the hate out of
the way before we start maths? and often
he did. But, by the time Paul returned in
November, he didnt need to engage in
this ritual any more. It turned out that he
was in fact quite good at maths.
In December I was correcting Pauls
maths and quite out of the blue he said I
dont get suspended here. I asked Were
you suspended a lot in your last school?
He confrmed with Yeah, a lot. I contin-
ued jokingly with Oh suspension is free
here. Would you like to be suspended? I
can organise that for you, no problem.
No was his immediate response. I in-
quired So why do you think youre not
suspended in our school? And, with a
smile on his face, he said Because the
adults here listen and its OK to hate some-
thing. He never threw a tantrum at maths
time again. For Paul, his perspective moved
from no one understands me to a mot-
to of Its possible for me to do maths.
As educators, we are learning all the
time. Teachers need to be open to the
process of taking a second look at sup-
porting children with special needs into
the learning task After all, we are all limit-
ed by our own perspective. Tis is partic-
ularly relevant for students with special
needs presenting with either withdrawn
or acting out disruptive behaviours during
lessons. Sometimes, when you feel the
stress, all you can do is to take a breath
and do what you can during those chal-
lenging times. At the very least, as
Winston Churchill said; If youre going
through hell ... keep going.
Adie Clarke, AMI, Hon. B.Ed.
MSc, child and adolescent
psychotherapy holds a job sharing
position at St Declan's Special
School and works privately as a
behaviour management consultant.
Contact: www.askadie.com
k fa|| |eaqt| erslca cf t|ls artlc|e ls aal|a||e |, aslaq
t|ls 0k cc4e, cr frcm t|e |N!0 we|slte at
I asked Were you suspended a lot
in your last school? He confrmed
with Yeah, a lot.
Te National Council for Special
Education published its policy advice on
supporting children with special educa-
tional needs in schools in May 2013. At its
launch the Minister indicated that he was
accepting the NCSEs policy advice. Te
report contains 28 recommendations. Its
frst recommendation is that the EPSEN
Act should be fully implemented. Its
second recommendation is that a new
model should be developed for the alloca-
tion of additional teaching resources to
mainstream schools which is based on the
profled need of each school, without the
need for a diagnosis of disability.
Discussions and consultations around
the report have focussed very much on
this second recommendation. Te INTO
was invited to a meeting with the NCSE
as part of their consultative process. Te
INTO was also invited to nominate four
teachers and two principals to attend
consultative meetings with the NCSE. Te
two questions around which the consulta-
tion took place were:
1. Educational profle of a school:
How can the educational profle of a
school be built up to ensure that all
students with special educational need
are included, without need for a
diagnosis of disability?
What information is available in the
system to contribute to this profle?
2. Recording and measuring outcomes
for students with special educational
What outcomes should be recorded?
How should these be measured?
How should they be reported?
Additional resources are currently granted
to schools under the General Allocation
model (GAM) where each school is
allocated 0.2 of a teacher for every class
teacher, with an additional allocation for
DEIS schools. Tis system is very clear and
transparent and ofers certainty to schools.
However, it may also exacerbate inequali-
ties. Some schools do not receive sufcient
support under this model. Additional
resource teaching hours are allocated to
schools based on the assessed need of
pupils. Given the under-resourcing of
NEPS, schools do not have equal access
to assessments. Te current system for
allocating additional teaching support to
schools has many merits, but is not
perfect. Any new model must be an
improvement on the current system.
Te CEC and the Education Committee
have had initial discussions around a new
model for allocating additional teaching
supports to schools to support children
with special educational needs. Discus-
sions to date have arrived at the following
principles which should be refected in
any new model:
Te aim of the primary school curricu-
lum to develop the potential of all
Te focus on prevention and early
intervention at the core of the Learning
Support Guidelines.
Te need for core additional teaching
support for all schools similar to the
current GAM.
Additional support based on need.
An appeal system for schools who are
not satisfed with the level of additional
support that they have been allocated.
Te need for a system of transferring
information regarding children with
special educational needs from pre-school
to primary and from primary to post-
primary was identifed. Tough some chil-
dren start school having been assessed as
having a disability, there are many children
whose special needs are not identifed
until they start school. Under the current
system children need to be assessed in
order for the school to be granted addi-
tional hours for resource teaching.
All teachers should have access to CPD
to facilitate a deepening of knowledge and
an enhancement of skills for teaching
pupils with special educational needs.
However, there is also a need for targeted
professional development for learning
support and resource teachers and some-
times for class teachers in particular
aspects of teaching children with special
educational needs.
ducationaI proIe of a schooI
Determining the educational profle of a
school is complex. Te INTO is of the view
that the educational profle of a school
should take into account the profle of
incoming pupils, the social profle of the
school community, and the number of
children assessed as having a disability
learning, physical, sensory or intellectual
during their years in primary school and
the number of children with learning
Te profle of incoming pupils could
attendance patterns, readiness to learn,
language and communication skills, social
skills, in addition to disabilities. A schools
community profle should include level of
employment/unemployment, drugs or
substance misuse and socio-economic
status of families in the community.
Children who require additional
support include children with disabilities
(intellectual, sensory, physical disabilities,
ASD), children requiring speech and lan-
guage support, behavioural intervention,
language support, children with specifc
disabilities, (dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dyslexia,
children with socio-emotional difculties
and children who require learning sup-
port in literacy and numeracy.
Given the focus on prevention and
early intervention, the number of children
in infant classes and frst class should be
taken into account in determining the
educational profle of a school. Gender
must also be taken into account.
How a schools profle would then be
used to determine the allocation of addi-
tional teaching resources has not yet been
Te INTO welcomes suggestions from
members in relation to a new model.
Should a new model be based on a modi-
fed General Allocation Model, where
some special needs, currently supported
by resource teachers, could be supported
through an enhanced general allocation
model? Or do we need a more radical
alternative? Suggestions or comments
should be sent to Deirbhile Nic Craith,
Senior Ofcial, at dnc@into.ie by Friday
13 December.
Special Education
InTouch December 35
Supporting pupils with special
educational needs
Special Education
10 years agrowing
2003 was a very signifcant year for people
with special needs in Ireland. Te opening
ceremony of the World Special Olympics
was held in Croke Park. 7,000 athletes
from 150 countries took part and every-
one involved in the games athletes,
volunteers, spectators and host families
2003 also marked the birth of the Na-
tional Council for Special Education
when, in December, the then Minister for
Education, Noel Dempsey, signed the
order to create an independent special
educational agency.
Te NCSE was given four key responsi-
bilities; planning and coordinating educa-
tional provision for children with special
educational needs; carrying out research;
advising the Minister for Education on
special education policy; and disseminat-
ing information to parents, schools and
others. During our development we have
been intensely active in all four areas.
We have also greatly appreciated our
good working relationship with school
management bodies, principals organisa-
tions, teacher unions and SNA unions.
We particularly valued the input of the
INTO through Tom OSullivan, who was a
member of the NCSE Council from 2006-
2012, a critical time in our development.
1o years on
Te NCSE has become an integral part of
the delivery of special education. Every
state funded school primary, special and
post primary is assigned a special edu-
cational needs organiser or SENO. In our
frst real year of operation (2005), we re-
duced the average waiting time for
additional resource teaching or SNA
support from 12 months to four six weeks.
Since then, the scale of activity has been
enormous from 2005 to 2012, SENOs
processed over 140,000 individual appli-
cations for additional teaching and care
supports; and thousands more applica-
tions for assistive technology, home
tuition and special school transport
lnvestment in speciaI education
In 2004, 468m was invested in additional
special education. Tis year, over 1.3bn is
being invested. Tis covers more than
10,000 additional teacher posts, over
10,000 SNA posts, the National Educa-
tional Psychological Service, adapted
school buildings, assistive technology,
specialist furniture, special school trans-
port arrangements and so on.
SENOs are key to getting many of these
supports into schools. SENOs also meet
with schools and parents to provide sup-
port and information. In 2013 our SENOs:
enabled approximately 45,000 students
with special educational needs to
receive additional teaching in main-
stream schools and around 22,000
children with special educational needs
with signifcant care needs to access
special needs assistant (SNA) support;
processed over 14,600 new applications
for additional teaching hours in
primary and post-primary schools and
over 7,000 new applications for access
to SNA support;
processed over 2,200 new applications
for school transport; and over 1,580 new
applications for assistive technology/
special equipment; and
sanctioned 118 new special classes in
mainstream schools.
In total, we now have approximately 5,700
resource teaching and 10,500 SNA posts
in 3,750 schools; and 740 special classes in
mainstream schools catering for over
5,000 children.
0ur research
Te NCSE has an innovative research
programme and has published 16 research
reports on our website to date. Research
is vital so that we can understand best
practice here and abroad, and how
resources can be used to best efect. We
are very grateful to the many principals
and teachers who have assisted us in our
research, especially as we know that there
are so many other calls on your time and
Our published research covers topics
from curriculum to measuring educational
progress to hearing parents views; as well
as international reviews of what works in
the education of children with particular
types of needs. Our annual research
conference disseminates fndings and our
database of Irish special educational
research since 2000 is a valuable and well
used resource on the NCSE website.
A practical resource for schools that
grew from our research programme is the
Inclusive Education Framework. Many
schools had told us they would appreciate
guidance on inclusion. So we worked with
teachers and schools to develop and pub-
lish the framework which helps schools
support students with special educational
needs and build on good practice.
0ur poIicy advice
Our responsibility to provide the Minister
with expert, independent, evidence-
informed policy advice on special education
is very important. We are particularly
conscious of the far reaching consequences
this role could have for the provision of
education to future generations of Irish
children with special educational needs.
Our research fndings inform our policy
advice. But we also take great care to
consult widely and listen to what parents,
students, teachers and other stakeholders
we take great care to
consult widely and listen to
what parents, students,
teachers and other
stakeholders tell us about
what is working well and
what needs to change
36 InTouch December
InTouch December 37
Special Education
tell us about what is working well and what
needs to change. We are fortunate that we
have a built-in consultative mechanism in
place through the NCSE Consultative
Forum. Tis comprises 20 individuals
nominated by educational and advocacy
bodies, and allows us to access a wide
range of expertise and viewpoints. Te
Consultative Forum provides valuable
guidance to inform the development of
policy advice by the NCSE.
To date we have published four policy
advice papers on supporting students
with special educational needs in schools;
managing challenging behaviour; the
education of Deaf and hard of hearing
children; and the future role of special
schools and classes. All our policy advice
papers are published on the NCSE
0ur information for parents
Our research among parents in 2010
showed high levels of satisfaction with the
support their children receive. However,
it also identifed the need for better
information for parents.
In response, we published an Informa-
tion Booklet for Parents of Children with
Special Educational Needs in 2011. Te
booklet answers questions parents ask on
a daily basis about the range of supports
in schools, how a childs educational
needs are assessed and what a child will
learn at school. Tis year, we published a
complementary booklet Choosing a
School: A Guide for Parents and
Guardians of Children and Young People
with Special Educational Needs. Both
booklets have been widely circulated to
schools and parents and warmly
welcomed by parent organisations.
0ur next steps
We will continue to process applications
from schools for additional teaching and
SNA support along with all the other
supports provided through us.
We are currently working on a proposal
to change the way additional teaching
supports are allocated to schools. We
believe that the current approach does
not always ensure that those with the
greatest need have access to the greatest
levels of support. We have already met
with INTO representatives on this process
and will continue to consult with stake-
Next year, we will be developing policy
advice in the area of autism and have
commissioned two pieces of independent
research to inform this work. We look
forward to continuing to work together in
developing special education.
Teresa Griffinis the CEO of the National
Council for Special Education. For further
information see www.ncse.ie
2003 marked the birth of the National Council for Special Education.
In 2004, 468m was invested in additional special educational supports in schools.
This year, over 1.3bn is being invested (15% of the entire education budget).
Approximately 45,000 students receive additional resource teaching support in
schools and around 22,000 students are supported by special needs assistants.
There are now 16 research reports published on our website with more to come.
Research fndings inform our policy advice. But we also take great care to
consult widely and listen to what parents, students, teachers and other stake-
holders tell us about what is working well and what needs to change.
Our Information Booklet for Parents of Children with Special Educational Needs
answers questions parents ask on a daily basis.
Over 140,000 applications for resource teacher and SNA support from schools
processed since 2005.
Did you know
Startng in 2014, Erasmus+ will replace several existng
EU educaton, training, sport and youth programmes
with just one. Youll be able to fnd the current Lifelong
Learning (Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius and
Grundtvig), and Youth in Acton programmes all in one
Erasmus+ is open to all learners and educators, through
any public or private body actve in educaton, training,
youth and sport. It will support both formal and non-
formal learning experiences and actvites in these
Erasmus+has abudget of 14.7billionover the2014-2020
period and is part of Europe 2020 - the EUs new strategy
for growth and jobs. This plan will boost employment by
modernising educaton, reducing the numbers of early
school leavers, and bridging skills gaps.
2014 deadlines for Erasmus+ have not been announced
yet but are expected to be in March and April 2014.
Largas will be managing Erasmus+ programmes in
educaton, VET and youth and community work.
For more informaton go to www.leargas.ie or
38 InTouch December
On 13 November the Minister for
Education and Skills, Ruair Quinn and
the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and
the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan jointly
launched new history lesson plans for
primary schools. Te lesson plans are
based on A history of Ireland in 100 objects,
the collaborative project involving the
National Museum of Ireland, Te Irish
Times and the Royal Irish Academy (RIA).
Te lesson plans focus on 14 of the 100
objects from 5,000 BC to 1926. Tey in-
clude the Tara Brooch, King Williams
Gauntlets, Daniel OConnells chariot, an
Emigrants Teapot and an Eileen Gray
chair. Te full list is available online at
www.100objects.ie/education and in-
cludes curriculum links, teaching ideas
and activities for primary school children.
Te lesson plans are supported by a wide
range of audio and visual material.
In the October InTouch we published an
article from Pauline McNamara, Project Co-
ordinator, Royal Irish Academy on the les-
son plans. You can view this article online
at www.into.ie/ROI/Publications/InTouch
Sixth Class Central Model Senior School students Presley Ogedegbe and Caitlin
Whelan, pour some tea for Minister Jimmy Deenihan (left) author Fintan OToole
(centre), and Minister Ruair Quinn at the launch. Photo: John T Ohle Photography
Members of the Leadership and
Planning Programme of the
Professional Development Service
for Teachers (PDST) made a
presentation to Paddy Flood,
former head of the Leadership
Development for Schools pro-
gramme, at a recent function.
Paddy is changing roles within
the PDST to act as Deputy Direc-
tor with the Junior Cert reform
programme. Tributes were paid
to Paddy at the function from
members of the primary and
post primary strands of the
Leadership and Planning Pro-
gramme for his innovative work leading LDS. Despite the
many challenges facing school leaders over the period, Paddy
and his team had established
support programmes includ-
ing Misneach for newly ap-
pointed principals, and For-
bairt for existing principals.
As well as this a postgraduate
diploma in educational lead-
ership programme titled
Traocht was developed in
partnership with NUIM.
Pictured at the function are
members of the Leadership and
Planning team Jennifer Dooley,
Pat Hanrahan (Director of
Clare Education Centre),
Elaine OConnor, Paddy Flood, Catherine Flanagan, John
ODonnell and Fiona Dunne.
InTouch December 39
News from the world of education and trade unionism, at home and abroad
History lessons launched
Best wishes to Paddy
A new initiative started in primary
schools in Co Wicklow last year in con-
junction with Wicklow Coaching and
Games Development and Allianz
Cumann na mBunscol, Cill Mhantin.
Te aim of the Garden County fag was to
establish frm links between schools and
their local clubs and, of course, promote
Gaelic games for children. Tis fag was
presented to successful schools who met
the Garden County GAA fag criteria.
Some of the criteria was to take part in
coaching sessions organised by the club/
school link coach, to hold an internal
school blitz, to complete the skills test, to
attend fve Allianz Cumann na mBunscol
blitzes, to implement the ABC Nursery
programme with junior infants to frst
class, to appoint a club/school liaison
ofcer, for a teacher to attend a Wicklow
Coaching and Games Development work-
shop, for the Give Respect Get Respect
programme to be implemented and a
GAA club notice board to be active and
regularly updated in schools. Tis meant
that the link between the school and the
local club was encouraged to fourish with
beneft to both parties.
A great evening was had in Lynhams of
Laragh where schools from around the
county gathered for the presentation of
the Garden County fags to 51 schools that
met the criteria.
Jimmy Dunne, Wicklow County Board,
welcomed everyone on the evening. Jim
ORiordn, Cathaoirleach, Allianz
Cumann na mBunscol, Cill Mhantin,
spoke about the huge input of teachers
into the development of gaelic games in
our primary schools and encouraged new
members to get involved. He also praised
the Garden County GAA fag initiative
and thanked the coaches and county
board for their input in schools.
Hugh Kenny then went through the
criteria required and named the successful
schools while Jim ORiordn presented each
school with their fag and a 125 and Count-
ing GAA book for their school library.
Jimmy Dunne fnished proceedings with
a draw and some lucky schools won a set
of school jerseys, a trip to Croke Park
museum, the honour of playing at half time
in a Wicklow league match, county players
to attend their school for a coaching ses-
sion and GAA equipment for their school.
Te Garden County GAA fag initiative
really is a worthwhile one and hopefully
we will see the fags fying outside many
schools in the county.
Young Whistlers
A number of counties across Ireland have had the
chance to have children referee in Croke Park
through the Young Whistlers Programme over the
past few years.
In 2013, Tyrone Cumann na mBunscol decided,
for the frst time, to get involved with the Young
Whistlers Programme. Cathal OHagan, a teacher at
St Patricks PS, Dungannon, and Fabian McGlone
who teaches at St Patricks PS, Newtownstewart,
are both football referees in Tyrone and were the
obvious choices to select and train a boy and girl
respectively, for the All Ireland semi fnal to be held
in August.
Training began in the two schools in March 2013
and Cathal and Fabian carefully guided their pupils
through the various aspects of successful refereeing.
They ofciated frstly at their own school matches
and as they gained experience, county board coach-
es began to make use of them at non-competitive
blitzes. They also attended summer camps to carry
out more refereeing duties and by the time All Ire-
land Semi Final Day had arrived they were more
than ready to demonstrate their skills. All in all they
had a wonderful experience during the mini games
and a memory that they will cherish forever.
As a result of their involvement in the Young
Whistlers, Tyrone Cumann na mBunscol have
decided that refereeing will be a focus for
development in their primary schools this year.
They will be inviting schools to nominate pupils for
training. and hope that this proves to be the
beginning of a new era in the development of GAA
refereeing in Tyrone.
40 InTouch December
cid Nuachta
New k||laat Camaaa aa m8aascc|
laltlatle la ar4ea Ccaat,
InTouch December 41
1913 Lockout
exhibition at
the National
To mark the 100th anniversary
of the Dublin Lockout of 1913,
Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister
for Arts Heritage and
Gaeltacht opened 1913
Lockout: Impact and
Aftermath, at the National
Museum of Ireland.
Te exhibition draws on ob-
jects from the museums own
collections to tell the story of
the Lockout. It documents life
in Dublin in 1913, the key play-
ers and events surrounding
the Lockout and its aftermath
as well as the formation of the
Citizen Army, the womens
sufrage movement and the
rise of trade unions. Central to
the exhibition will be the orig-
inal Starry Plough fag which
made its frst appearance with
the Irish Citizen Army in
April 1914 in Dublin. Te fag
then few over the Imperial
Hotel on OConnell Street
during the 1916 Rising. It will
be displayed here for the frst
time in 25 years after recent
conservation funded by the
members of the Labour Party.
Te exhibition will also in-
clude the Larkin Banner, on
loan from the Irish Labour
History Society. Tis exhibi-
tion will run until the end of
June, 2014.
A key and primary objective of Fair Shop is
to support and promote quality employ-
ment in the retail sector by encouraging
trade union members, their families and
supporting organisations to make an in-
formed choice to use Fair Shop designated
retail outlets. Fair Shop will encourage you
the consumer to use unionised shops
rather than non-unionised shops. Fair Shop
will also help reward retailers that recognise
and do business with Mandate by increas-
ing their business and market share.
What constitutes a Fair Shop1
A company or retail outlet that recognises
Mandate for collective bargaining purposes.
ackground to Fair Shop A Message
from 1ohn 0ougIas, Mandate 0eneraI
The background to the Fair Shop initiative
is the ever increasing pressure on the or-
ganised retail sector by the actions of
some retailers who do not respect their
workers or their workers right to be collec-
tively represented by a trade union. The
impact is the constant attack on agreed
wages and conditions resulting in a race to
the bottom. The retail sector in general is
sufering from the recession and the aus-
terity policies of Government. The domes-
tic economy has shrunk by over 25% in the
last few years. As you are only too well
aware, workers and consumers have less
money to spend in retail and are becoming
more conscious of where they spend their
money, many seeking out value for money
at any cost. In a shrinking market it is im-
portant that union members and their
families across Ireland support the retail
companies who support their workers
Fair Shops. See www.fairshop.ie.
Honour with full union rights
for workers
ICTU General Secretary David Begg told Seanad
Eireann that until working people in Ireland
enjoy the right to bargain collectively with their
employers, we are failing to honour the
memory of the 1913 leaders and activists.
Mr Begg made the remarks in an address to
Seanad Eireann, the frst occasion on which any
Congress General Secretary was been invited to
do so. Speaking on the theme of the 1913 Lock-
out and its relevance to modern Ireland, Mr
Begg said: Te central objective that the
women and men of 1913 fought for the right
of workers to choose their representatives and
have them bargain collectively with employers
on their behalf has never been secured.
Indeed it is actively opposed by employers
organisations, by the IDA, by the Supreme
Court, and by some legislators who fear that
granting a legal right to collective bargaining
would inhibit foreign direct investment. Why
that should be when this right is enshrined in
ILO Conventions 87 and 98, the EU Charter of
Fundamental Rights, and is the norm in virtual-
ly every European country (even Britain), is a
mystery to me.
So, we can erect statues to the 1913 leaders;
we can name bridges after them; we can hold
national days of commemoration to salute their
sacrifce, but so long as their great grandchil-
dren are deprived of the basic human right that
they set out to achieve, then we dont really ho-
nour their memory, Mr Begg told the Seanad.
Mr Begg said youth unemployment levels of
50% in some countries, with seven million not
in education or training and 26 million in
Europe unemployed were as close to a social
catastrophe as you can get.
He said it was the task of unions in Ireland
and elsewhere to make the battle for decent
work their major focus in the coming years. He
also said that the core mission of trade union-
ism, to organise workers to force a more just
distribution of the wealth created by the mar-
kets, remains as it has always been.
Te address can be viewed on the ICTU web-
site at www.ictu.ie.
What is a
Fair Shop campaign
Fair Hotels are hotels that treat
their staf fairly. Fair Hotels
understand that the hospitality
industry is a people industry and
that in order to attract and retain a
skilled and committed workforce;
staf must know that their work is
Fair Hotels pay a fair days pay
for a fair day's work. They accept
that hotel workers deserve to be
paid a fair wage on which to
support themselves and their
families. Fair Hotels take their
responsibilities as employers
seriously. They respect the
fundamental human right of
workers to a voice at work.
They engage in collective
bargaining with staf.
Fair Hotels realise that hotel
workers value quality jobs jobs
that are worth protecting.
Both collectively and individually,
workers in Fair Hotels strive to
protect their livelihoods by
securing the viability of their
See www.fairhotels.ie
|4acatlca prcject la Nlcaraqaa faa4e4 |, |N!0
From 27 December 2012 to 5 August 2013 a project
that benefted 120 children between the ages of six
and 13, attending both primary and secondary
school, was organised by Asociacin para el Desar-
rollo Integral Comunitario (ADIC). Eighty fve of
these were in the city of Matagalpa (48 girls and 37
boys) and 35 in the rural area of Tijerina (14 girls
and 21 boys).
The project was supported through the INTO
Solidarity Fund and assisted the remuneration of a
psychologist who worked with these children for
six months to support their education and promote
the habit of reading. The project also encompassed
the provision of before and after school clubs for
the same children. Two two hour sessions were
held (to cater for children attending the morning
and afternoon shifts in schools), every Tuesday and
Thursday. The project was possible because of the
provision of suitable reading material by the
Nicaraguan organisation Books for Children. The
books provided were designed to promote the
values of non-violence, gender equality,
environmental sustainability, childrens rights,
and cultivation of reading for enjoyment.
Many of these children were also given grants to
cover the costs of schooling uniforms, textbooks
and stationary. The project also provided work-
shops for the older children on the following themes:
Personal development.
The environment.
Sexual health.
Child protection.
A programme called Football for Peace that
promotes positive attitudes, greater social
cohesion, organisational skills and confict
The ADIC were very happy with the outcomes and
recorded many achievements through the project
that benefted the children involved, namely:
Higher levels of self-esteem among the children.
Enhanced sense of responsibility among children.
Children are more able to ofer opinions and
make proposals.
Better academic results by children.
One of the interesting by products of the project,
recorded by ADIC, was the higher involvement of
parents and, interestingly, a reduction in adultist
or authoritarian attitudes on the part of parents and
teachers towards children. The INTO Solidarity fund
was delighted to be associated with this project.
Join Rothar Africas journey through Africa!
Rothar are ofering a unique opportunity
for you and your class to join their jour-
ney through Africa. Tey are a team of
four cycling for charity from Cairo to
Cape Town over six months. Sadhbh
McKenna, a primary teacher in Tallaght,
and her team departed in September and
hope to arrive in Cape Town by April.
Tey have just reached the spectacular
Ethiopian highlands. Check out their
schools specifc blog in which they
answer questions that classrooms ask
about the countries they pass through.
Schools can check out photos of the inter-
esting educational things that they fnd on
their journey, such as the pyramids in
Egypt, the local trades in Sudan and how
children fetch water in Ethiopia. Tey can
also keep an eye out for what Trunky
(their mascot) has been up to! As well as
all this they are running regular competi-
tions; if children answer a simple question
they post on their website they might win
FREE ice cream for the whole class!
Why are Rothar Africa doing this1
Aside from their obvious love of travel-
ling, they wanted to take on a challenge
that would be interesting for people to
follow in order to help them raise money
for causes they are passionate about. Tey
hope to raise 36,000, of which 18,000
will go Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF)
to fund emergency medical relief in the
Congo. 18,000 will go to Room to Read
to fund the publication and distribution of
9,000 copies of a local language book in
Zambia. For more information on both
charities and the projects they aim to
fund, visit rotharafrica.org.
What can you do1
Rothar Africa would love your class to run
a small event to help them raise funds.
Anything from a book swap to an Africa
day at school! Tey have lots more ideas
on the website. Tey also want to pro-
mote literacy at home as well as in the
developing world so if your school is in
need of funding for literacy, Rothar Africa
are encouraging you to split the proceeds.
Any money raised can be transferred
directly to the charities via their online
donation button on the website.
Website: rotharafricaschools.tumblr.com
!a4||| (|eft) plctare4
wlt| |er aacee, K,|e,
aa al4 p|ctcqrap|er,
Nlam|, a 4cctcr aa4
|eea spcrtspersca w|c
|as wcr|e4 a|| cer
kfrlca, mcre receat|,
wlt| M!|. k|sc plctare4
ls |sl4rc, a aarse wlt|
M!| aa4 a|sc t|e qrcap
Mothers and children involved in ADICs education programme demand
the right to live without violence.
42 InTouch December
cid Nuachta
McAfee, the dedicated security company
recently released its annual 12 Scams of
Christmas list to educate the public on
the most common scams that criminals
use during the holiday season to take
advantage of consumers as they shop on
their digital devices. Cybercriminals use
these scams to steal personal information,
earn fast cash, and spread malware.
Ensure that you are taking all precau-
tions to protect data saved on your devices.
Tis is especially true if you bank online.
Te potential for identity theft increases
as consumers share personal information
across multiple devices that are often
under protected, said Michelle Dennedy,
Vice President and Chief Privacy Ofcer
at McAfee. Understanding criminals
mindsets and being aware of how they try
to take advantage of consumers can help
ensure that we use our devices the way
they were intended to enhance our
lives, not jeopardize them.
To help consumers stay safe, McAfee
has identifed this years top 12 Scams of
1. Not-so-merry mobiIe apps
To avoid malicious apps that could steal
your information, stick to the ofcial app
stores for downloads and purchases.
z. HoIiday mobiIe SMS scams
Stay away from links in text messages that
ofer to update or install an app. FakeIn-
staller tricks Android users into thinking
it is a legitimate installer for an applica-
tion and then quickly takes advantage of
the unrestricted access to smartphones,
sending SMS messages to premium rate
numbers without the users consent.
. Hot hoIiday gift scams
Be wary of deals on popular gadgets that
are too good to be true and double-check
prices directly with the retailer. Clever
crooks will post dangerous links, phony
contests on social media sites, and send
phishing emails to entice viewers to
reveal personal information or download
malware onto their devices.
. SeasonaI traveI scams
Websites ofering great airfare or hotel
deals could be luring you into a trap,
double-check before you click.
Phony travel deal links and notifcations
are common, as are hackers waiting to
steal your identity upon arrival. When
logging into an infected PC with an email
username and password, scammers can
install keylogging spyware, keycatching
hardware, and more. A hotels wi-f may
claim that you need to install software
before using it and instead infect your
computer with malware if you agree.
y. 0angerous e-seasons greetings
Legitimate looking e-cards wishing
friends Seasons Greetings can cause
unsuspecting users to download Merry
Malware such as a Trojan or other virus
after clicking a link or opening an attach-
ment. Before you open an e-card, verify
its from someone you know and its from
a trustworthy site.
6. 0eceptive onIine games
Avoid unknown websites serving up
popular online games. Check reviews and
stick to known sites.
/. Shipping notications scams
Phony shipping notifcations can appear
to be from a mailing service alerting you
to an update on your shipment when, in
reality, they are scams carrying malware
and other harmful software designed to
infect your computer or device.
Tink twice before clicking links in
notifcation emails and always verify the
company before giving out your informa-
8. ogus gift cards
An easy go-to gift for the holidays, gift
cards can be promoted via decep-
tive ads, especially on Facebook,
Twitter, or other social sites,
that claim to ofer exclusive
deals on gift cards or pack-
ages of cards. Only buy gift
cards from ofcial retail-
ers not third party
p. HoIiday sMiShing
Be wary of text messages asking for account
verifcations and never provide passwords
in text messages. Some scammers even
include the frst few digits of your credit
card number in the SMS message to fool
you into a false sense of safety.
1o. Fake charities
Donating to charities is common this time
of year for many looking to help the less
fortunate. Before donating, check the web
address carefully and look for fake logos
or text with altered charity names.
11. Romance scams
With so many niche dating sites now
available to Internet users, it can be dif-
cult to know exactly who the person is
behind the screen. Many messages sent
from an online friend can include phish-
ing scams, where the person accesses your
personal information such as usernames,
passwords, and credit card details.
1z. Phony e-taiIers
Te convenience of online shopping does
not go unnoticed by cyber scrooges. With
so many people planning to shop online,
scammers set up phony e-commerce sites
to steal your money and personal data.
AdditionaI resources
For more information on McAfees 12
Scams of Christmas list and tips on how to
stay safe while using digital devices,
check out:
Stay safe online this Christmas
InTouch December 43
44 InTouch December
Education Matters Yearbook launched
Minister for Research and Innovation
Sen Sherlock ofcially launched the
Education Matters Yearbook 2013 on
Tursday, 14 November, 2013 at the
National University of Ireland in Dublin.
In his address, the minister outlined
how the Education Matters Yearbook is
now established as a key publication in
Irish education, that provides its readers
with a critical and informative insight into
the whole of the Irish educational system
in a given year.
Acknowledging the representativeness
of the Yearbook for all sectors of the Irish
educational system, Minister Sherlock
stated: one does not have to agree with
every opinion or point-of-view outlined
in the Yearbook but it is exactly this criti-
cal, dialogic perspective which makes
Education Matters an important and
highly valuable contribution to the
debate, discussion and refection that are
so central to education.
In his address at the launch, Chancellor
of the NUI, Professor Maurice Manning,
especially noted the Yearbooks compre-
hensiveness in its engagement with, and
synthesis of, current key issues in Irish
education: For many of us involved in
education, there is a natural tendency to
become very focused on our own area of
the educational system and the issues
immediately relevant to our own role.
However, the constituent parts of the
education system have a high degree of
interdependence and it is important that
we have an awareness of the issues afect-
ing other areas within education and
indeed the operation of the system as a
Education Matters began as a
newsprint publication in 1987. Over the
years it was carried as a supplement by
various national newspapers. Contributors
included Dr Anthony Clare, Gemma
Hussey, Cynthia N Mhurch, Vivian
Cassells, Louis OFlaherty, Dr Eileen Doyle
and other well-known and respected
writers. Te frst Education Matters
Yearbook was published in 2006.
Also at the launch, NUI Galways
School of Education announced the
development of its new Massive Open
Online Course (MOOC): Talking about
Teaching. Tough designed principally for
teachers in Ireland, this new online course
will also be freely and openly available to
all with an interest in Irish education.
Talking about Teaching will focus on key
contemporary issues in Irish education,
with input from key stakeholders. Te
course can be undertaken online for free,
or the whole course and a small assess-
ment can be completed for certifcation.
At the launch of this years Education Matters Yearbook were (l-r): Dr Tony Hall, Year-
book Editor and Lecturer, School of Education, NUI Galway; Sen Sherlock, Minister for
Research and Innovation; Professor Nollaig MacCongil, Registrar and Deputy Presi-
dent, NUI Galway; and Professor Maurice Manning, Chancellor of the National Univer-
sity of Ireland.
South-East Educational Research Conference
Cc Uetfcr4 |4acatlca Ceatre wl|| |cst aa |4a-
catlca kesearc| Ccafereace ca zz Marc| zc la
t|e |4acatlca Ceatre, |aalsccrt|,, Cc Uetfcr4.
kesearc|ers are lalte4 tc preseat papers
frcm t|elr c|csea e|4 cf sta4, la e4acatlca.
!|e |e,acte a44ress wl|| |e qlea |,
|aalsccrt|, aatle, 0r |amcaa Ua||, |rcfesscr
cf |rls| !ta4les aa4 |rcfesscr cf |aq|ls| at t|e
Ualerslt, cf Mlsscarl !t |cals, U!k, a|sc aa
aat|cr cf slt cc||ectlcas cf pcetr,.
!|ls cae-4a, ccafereace ls 4eslqae4 tc qle
researc|ers aa4 teac|ers aa cppcrtaalt, tc
preseat aa4 4lscass t|elr researc| la aa
lafcrma| aa4 cc||eqla| settlaq. |t ls a|sc a
aalae cppcrtaalt, fcr researc|ers tc s|are
t|elr researc| a4laqs wlt| cc||eaqaes aa4
|ae t|elr wcr| pa||ls|e4 la t|e Annual
Conference Journal.
kpp|lcatlca fcrms, aal|a||e frcm t|e Ceatre,
mast |e acccmpaale4 |, aa a|stract cf ;c-zcc
wcr4s (matlmam) lac|a4laq a tlt|e, e|4 cf
sta4, aa4 ,car ccatact 4etal|s.
|apers s|ca|4 |e ac mcre t|aa z; mlaates
|caq. k fart|er c mlaates (mat) wl|| |e
a||cwe4 fcr 4lscasslca.
kpp|lcatlcas wl|| |e accepte4 ca a rst ccme
|asls. !|e c|cslaq 4ate fcr sa|mlsslca cf t|e fa||,
ccmp|ete4 researc| paper fcr t|e ccafereace
jcaraa| ls |rl4a,, ) Marc| zc, aa4 |cwerpclat
preseatatlcas tc |e ase4 |, preseaters mast |e
sa|mltte4 act |ater t|aa |rl4a,, z Marc| zc.
|tpresslcas cf laterest aa4 aerles s|ca|4
|e seat tc ccafereace cc-cr4laatcr, Ce|la Ua|s|
(wa|s|ce|laelrccm.aet) cr Ceatre !ecretar,,
Ne|ea Klrwaa, (lafcecwetfcr4.le).
Dr Eamonn Wall,
Professor of Irish
Studies and
Professor of English
at the University of
Missouri St
Louis, USA,
cid Nuachta
InTouch December 45
Teaching matters
Articles and opinions on primary teaching, with tips and ideas for the classroom
The ninth FS Film Festival took place at
the Helix in DCU in November. Pupils,
teachers and parents attended from each
of the 24 shortlisted schools and a wonder-
ful time was had by all. Our congratula-
tions to all of the winners for a wonderful
celebration of creativity and for all of the
hard work that goes into making these
wonderful flms.
A special word of congratulations to the
winners of this years Aileen McKeogh
award, St Colmans NS, Derrinabroc,
Ballaghaderreen, Co Mayo, with the flm
Schooldays Over, a vivid and moving
portrayal of school life in bygone days, as
experienced by local man, Tom Finn (94),
who also stars in the flm. We were delight-
ed to welcome Tom and his family to the
Helix for the awards ceremony, and of
course the pupils of St Colmans NS, along
with their principal, Dermot Dillon.
A special mention also to Little Angels
Special School, who came all the way from
Donegal, to accept their award for their
flm The Little Lamb. Details of all the
winners, including their flms, are available
on the FS Film Project website.
So, what is FlS1
FS is a flm project for primary schools that
explores flm as a medium of expression
and introduces children to aspects of the
flm-making process, while also supporting
the aims and objectives of the primary
school curriculum.
FlS and Iearning
FS enables children to learn about the
techniques involved in telling a story
through flm, including: planning, scripting,
storyboarding, cameras, lighting, audio,
music, set design, post production editing,
costume and of course acting. Throughout
the process, children also develop skills in
communicating, working in a team, taking
responsibility, collaborating with others,
making decisions and problem solving.
From a curricular perspective, FS is a
fantastic way to mediate a particular curric-
ular strand/strand unit, while integrating a
variety of subject areas. Whether it is
through a re-enactment of an historical
event (integrating SESE, drama, literacy,
music, visual arts to name but a few) or
through the conveying of a social message
on the theme of bullying (integrating SPHE
as well as many of the above areas), the FS
methodology provides a rich, engaging
(and fun!) learning experience for pupils.
FlS Im format
Films must be fve minutes or less in
duration. Some of the popular formats
from previous entrants include:
Participating without entering
The Film Festival is a great celebration for
the lucky fnalists. However, FS is rooted in
the process rather than the product, with
the objective of promoting the use of flm
to support teaching and learning in the
primary classroom. It is possible to partici-
pate without ever entering the competi-
tion and some schools have done this in
previous years. If you are in any doubt
about entering, why not try it out with
your class and, when you and your pupils
become more confdent, consider enter-
ing. The deadline for entry is the end of
June in any school year, so theres no need
to commit before then!
Support for teachers
There are a number of supports available
to teachers wishing to engage in the
To fnd out more about the actual
process, read Anne Moriartys A Teachers
Diary on the Fs Film Project website
www.fsflmproject.ie which outlines her
path to producing a Fs flm with her pupils.
Consider doing the FS Interactive
Online Course. This is a self-paced course
that outlines all the skills and activities in-
volved in making a flm with the emphasis
being on the children being the creators.
Approach your local education centre
and ask if any support groups are taking
place in your locality. Support groups can
be arranged (funded by PDST Technology
in Education) if sufcient numbers apply. If
you know of other teachers in your school
who are interested in getting involved, a
whole school training session can be
organised. A minimum of 10 teachers is
More information
The FS Film Project is run by the National
Film School at the Institute of Art, Design
and Technology and PDST Technology in
Education (formerly NCTE). Log on to
www.fsflmproject.ie for more informa-
tion on all of the above.
PDST Technology in Education website
Go n-ir libh!
Compiled by Madeleine Murray, PDST
Technology in Education
Congratulations to FS flm project winners
Children from St Colmans NS,
Ballaghaderreen, Co Mayo, accept their
award for the flm Schooldays Over.
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An eective anti-racism resource
I am a primary school teacher in Scoil
Choilm Community National School in
Dublin 15. Our school prides itself on its
ethos of acceptance of all faiths and none.
Our school is committed to a spirit of
inclusion, equality and partnership in
education. We encourage the children to
respect diversity and we take every oppor-
tunity to celebrate individuality.
In Scoil Choilm, we hosted an anti-
bullying and anti-racism week where we
tried to raise awareness of bullying and
racism in our school community and to
create positive attitudes towards diversity.
We used the Show Racism the Red Card
education pack to organise activities and
to teach lessons. We found it a very useful
tool and the children really got involved.
Te awareness raised about racism has
had a huge impact on the children and the
parents and, as a result, there has been a
signifcant decline in racist behaviour and
bullying incidents. A ffth class pupil
states; Show Racism the Red Card made
me realise how someone feels when they
are called nasty names.
Show Racism the Red Cards creative
competition gave us the idea to hold a
mini-concert where each year group
chose a song with an anti-racism theme
for example fourth class sang Michael
Jacksons Man in the Mirror. We record-
ed the performance and went on to win
the video category in the Show Racism the
Red Cards creative competition, receiving
a school laptop as our prize.
Show Racism the Red Cards reIevance
to the curricuIum
Schools are now drawing up anti-bullying
policies at the request of the DES (Depart-
ment of Education and Skills) and there
are many forms of bullying to consider;
verbal, physical, exclusion, racism and
homophobic bullying. Not only do poli-
cies have to outline procedures for resolv-
ing confict but, more importantly, they
have to include preventative measures to
tackle bullying.
Te DES has published an action plan
on bullying which recommends that
schools promote a culture and climate
that is welcoming of diversity (p.108).
Schools need to fnd ways to value and
respect each child, Show Racism the Red
Card endeavours to do this. Rather than
focusing on punitive measures to deal
with the perpetrator, this resource gives
many fresh and innovative ideas that help
schools to combat racism.
Show Racism the Card is an educational
resource pack which aims to inform
youths about racism. It gives children the
opportunity to recognise that we are all
diferent and that this is something to be
respected and celebrated rather than
discriminated against.
Tis anti-racism resource is designed to
be taught as part of the SPHE curriculum
in the senior classes, under the strand
units of Developing Citizenship, Media
Studies and Myself and the Wider World.
Te teacher and pupils are provided
with a variety of lessons which explain
racism, outline the consequences of racism
and encourage the children to challenge
racism. In addition to the lessons, themes
such as belonging and stereotyping are
explored through hands on, fun activities
like walking debates and real life scenarios
and improvisations. Tere is also a vocab-
ulary section which defnes key terms in
relation to racism, which is very useful for
teachers. Tis is clearly outlined in the
action plan on bullying from the DES;
schools need to consistently tackle the
use of discriminatory and derogatory lan-
guage in the school this includes homo-
phobic and racist language (Appendix 2).
Te pack also contains a DVD. Each
section of the DVD targets an area of
racism. Tere are questions to accompany
each section of the DVD which allow for
class discussion, thus making the resource
very teacher friendly. Te DES published
guidelines in 2005 on enabling children to
respect and celebrate diversity and chal-
lenge unfair discrimination in Intercultur-
al education in primary schools. It sug-
gests that children are given opportunities
to become respectful individuals, the de-
velopment of positive emotional respons-
es to diversity and an empathy with those
discriminated against plays a vital role in
intercultural education, (p.21). Te DVD
includes sports stars speaking of their
experience of racism. Tis gives the chil-
dren the opportunity to understand how
it feels to be subject to racism and to em-
pathise with the victim.
Practical school events are also
suggested, for example, an Equality
Audit and an Anti-Racism World Cup.
Te DESs action plan on bullying sug-
gests that schools display key respect
messages in the classroom, in assembly
areas and around the school. Tis can be
completed by organising your class to
take part in the creative competition run
by Show Racism the Red Card, where
children create posters and anti-racism
slogans. In Scoil Choilm, the children
came up with slogans like Its not big to
make others feel small and Be a Buddy,
not a Bully.
Te DESs Action Plan 2013 on Bullying
also states CPD should include aware-
ness raising around all forms of bullying
(p.109). Te Show Racism the Red Card
initiative provides training for teachers
who wish to learn more about racism and
how to prevent it in schools.
Show Racism the Red Card is an
excellent resource for schools as it enables
young people to develop positive attitudes
towards diversity. Also it gives the children
the opportunity to create good respectful
relationships with others regardless of
ethnicity. Te resource is easily integrated
into the SPHE plan and is an excellent
tool for use in schools anti-bullying and
anti-racism policies.
Laura Maher, Scoil Choilm, Clonsilla,
Dublin 15. Find out more about Show
Racism the Red Card at www.
theredcard.ie or email info@theredcard.ie
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c|l|4reas !\ preseater 0laaa 8aalcl, C|lc4|aa 0Ccaacr, 0a||la |a4les |cct|a||, Kela Kl||aae, fcrmer
kepa||lc cf |re|aa4 lateraatlcaa|, |cla ke44aa, |elaster aa4 |re|aa4 kaq|,, aa4 Iasca !|er|cc|, fcrmer
0a||la fcct|a||er, wlt| papl|s frcm !ccl| C|cl|m, C|casl||a, 0a||la. ||ctcqrap|er: Matt 8rcwae, !pcrts|e
46 InTouch December
Crsa Teagaisc
Unless you've been a primary teacher in
an infant classroom at some stage in your
career, you probably wont really under-
stand the true madness and mayhem of
mid-December. Preparing for Christmas at
home is easy in comparison to the chal-
lenges of working with 30 four and fve year
olds at this time of the year. While their
excitement mounts with each passing day,
the increasingly fraught teacher tries to
teach the children some sense of the true
meaning of Christmas, while ensuring that
everyone has a home-made decoration for
their Christmas tree at home, that everyone
has a letter written to Santa and, of course,
that everyone has a part in the Nativity Play.
And theres the challenge! With up to 30
in a class, how do you assemble a cast for
the play in a fair and equitable way? How
can you possibly have a part for every child
that showcases their many talents, that
caters for the reticent and the profoundly
shy, that takes account of the child who
stammers, that makes allowances for the
hyperactive and for the child with the
weak bladder? And how do you satisfy the
pushy parent who is convinced that their
darling should have one of the lead roles?
There can only be one Mary and one
Joseph and the three wise men is, unfortu-
nately, a given. I have learned the hard way
that its difcult to have more than one
child carrying the star. There was lots of
unseemly pushing and shoving when it
was shared. There is some leeway, thank-
fully, with shepherds. Ive had Christmas
plays with up to seven shepherds waving
madly to the angels. They subsequently
had to squeeze their way into a very
crowded stable to get even a glimpse of
the Baby Jesus.
Similarly, the innkeepers can vary in
number and gender, depending on how
many children are capable of learning the
line, Sorry, weve no room tonight. Try next
door, they just might. However, as our
school generally recycles the props of the
doors from the three little pigs houses
of straw, wood and bricks, as the front
doors of the inns, teachers generally
tried to limit it to three innkeepers if at
all possible.
As a rule, the boys usually object to
dressing up as angels, but this role does
help to use up at least six of the angelic
looking little girls. However, my expe-
rience has been that, strangely, the
more angelic they look, the less
angelic they actually behave on stage!
One of the major dilemmas for infant
teachers is to decide whether or not to
dress some children up as animals: there is
indeed scope for a donkey, a cow, several
sheep and even three camels. But, if there
is to be any semblance of adherence to the
script, the donkey and the camels have to
be ridden. This poses severe logistical
problems as Mary and the Wise Men would
have to be limited to light, agile children
who could easily dismount in the event of
a malfunctioning animal. The sheep would
have to be carried or, at worst, led along
on a lead. I recall a year when this lead
appeared to tighten on one child as the
play progressed and her vigilant mother
leapt to her rescue just as the shepherd
was about to hand her over as a gift to
Joseph and just before she
choked. The last time I had
an infant class, I opted for
sheep of the cud-
dly variety and a
donkey that had
into a toy horse
that could be
pulled along by a
strong and robust
Joseph. I knew that
Mary was an accom-
plished Irish dancer who
could jump on and of the
horse/donkey at will without a
major risk of falling.
The narrators part can,
thankfully, be sub-divided into a
number of diferent parts for
each scene of the Nativity story
and, with each narrator dressed
in a dressing gown and a tea-
towel on his/her head,
they are immensely versatile. They can
substitute at short notice for either a shep-
herd or an innkeeper at any given time. As,
invariably, there is either an outbreak of fu
or chicken pox or scabies or impetigo or
the dreaded head-lice during the week
leading up to the Nativity play, it is always
wise to have at least some sensible chil-
dren who know the lines of a few charac-
ters and who are dressed on the day of the
play so that they are interchangeable with
any of the spoken parts.
You probably have all heard the story of
the little boy who cried because he wanted
to be Round John Virgin. But have you
heard of the wise teacher who set her
Nativity Play in a cave instead of a stable?
She needed at least two icicles to illustrate
just how freezing cold the cave really was
on that frst Christmas. The children
learned all about the water cycle and how
real icicles cannot move or speak.
The two children lucky enough to be
given the parts of icicles had to stay
absolutely still to show that the
weather really was cold when the Baby
Jesus was born!
Kathryn Crowley, Principal, St
Louise de Marillac JNS, Ballyfermot,
Dublin 10.
Teaching Matters
InTouch December 47
A primary Chrimas

I have learned the hard way

that its difcult to have
more than one child carrying
the star
Crsa Teagaisc
48 InTouch December
Te ghosts of Christmas
Ho ho ho and tiz the season. Sleigh bells
ring and cash registers jingle all the way
through the shopping days countdown.
Frazzled shoppers are checking their lists
and trying to keep within budgets restrict-
ed by the bailouts, job losses and spending
cuts. For many people, the seasonal
muzak creates stress and anxiety as they
yearn for the Christmases and in-
comes they used to know. For this rea-
son many schools have put in place a No
Gifts For Teachers policy.
Quite rightly, no one
wants to overburden
families under pressure,
nor cause any discom-
fort to a child who has
no gift to bring. Furthermore, there is a
belief that teachers are paid (indeed, over-
paid according to some voices in the me-
dia) for the work they do and therefore
Christmas presents are superfuous and
unnecessary. Ten there is the bah-hum-
bug-Scrooge philosophy and the Down-
alistic-Ting viewpoint wafting on the
scented air.
Tis is all valid, true and has merit, and
yet and yet. I see the custom of
bringing gifts to the teacher as part
of the tradition of Christmas
Teaching Matters
InTouch December 49
Boxes which reaches back through
generations.Te Christmas Box was an
expression of gratitude and appreciation
of service given, an acknowledgement of a
mutual relationship. In some short stories
and memoirs from rural Ireland fad,
fad, one reads of people going to town
to bring the Christmas home. Tis often
included a box presented by a shop regu-
larly frequented containing food, cakes,
candles and even whiskey, as Michael J.
Murphy recalled in At Slieve Gullions
Foot in 1975. My own family experience
can be added to that. My parents had a
small newsagents and every year my father
organised a Christmas gift for regular
and loyal customers. I remember calen-
dars, pens and lighters (not just for the
smokers but also the candle-lovers!) bear-
ing the shops name and logo. Yes, it was
advertising, but it was also letting cus-
tomers know that they were valued and
that we appreciated their business. It was
not all one way either. My parents re-
ceived many kind tokens from some of
the regulars; bottles of wine, homemade
cakes, even a voucher for a meal in a local,
rather nice hotel. Quite a treat. Had
these customers paid for everything
they had got in the shop? Of course!
Tese Christmas boxes were not so
much about rewarding the job my
parents did, but more acknowledg-
ing the way they did it; the cheery
banter, the customer service, the
personal touch.
For me, such gestures and
tokens are a tangible sign of inter-
nal feelings and a way we give
thanks and express appreciation.
It is a way to put into practice
an attitude of gratitude as our
American cousins might say.
Gratitude, as with the quality of
mercy, blesses those who give
and those who take. In the US,
Professor Robert Emmons conducted a
study into the efects of the practice of
gratitude and has found many positive
benefts, including feeling more alert,
having increased energy and generally
feeling better about oneself. Some years
ago the Irish Hospice Foundation brought
out Te Tank You Book and, in it, clinical
psychologist Dr Marie Murray notes the
positive efects of being thankful. In the
introduction she states that our physical
wellbeing, our emotional stability and our
mental health are all enhanced by the
practice of gratitude. Hence, the book
encourages awareness of all that is worthy
of thanks in our lives and suggests a daily
practice of writing with gratitude in order
to connect with, and avail of, all the posi-
tive, life-enhancing benefts.
As someone who has been teaching for
some time (say no more!), since the days
before policies go leor, I have been the
lucky and happy recipient of many gifts
from many a pupil and I have to say that I
value and treasure them. For me, they are
symbols of the connections, the relation-
ships, the little actions, the many ordinary
and sometimes remarkable moments that
make our learning communities. Every time
I wrap my cosy, festive red scarf around
my neck each December I gratefully think
of warm smiled Keith and remember his
ability for posing thought provoking
questions. When I am hanging decorations
on my Christmas tree there are so many
that make me pause to think of the bright-
eyed, excited, young children who gave
me the small, knobbly, tissue wrapped,
sticky-tape-choked packages. As the
plastic Santas and ornaments dance and
sway each year, they remind me that I am
lucky to do a job I love. When I use the
gold trimmed poinsettia splashed mug I
feel honoured and grateful to be trusted
by parents to work with their children.
When I use the gifts they bring the vision
of the child as I knew her/him to my
mind. (To borrow from Bob Dylan, they
are forever young). I also think of their
parents and families. I once heard a
Methodist minister preach: Where we
give a thought, God can make a blessing
so I hope that all those remembering
thoughts from me result in many positive
things and blessings for all those good
people. It really IS the thought that
If gratitude is a two way process then
we teachers can also do things to express
our gratitude to the pupils in our care,
and their families, and most of us do. Te
stickers, pencils, fancy erasers, decora-
tions etc. we give to our classes can be
seen as a thanks from us to them (and
arent we all grateful for the budget shops
that help our euro go further when shop-
ping for our class sizes!). An important
part of the learning process are the at-
mosphere, and the relationships of trust,
we create and maintain. We all have our
own customs, habits and ways of showing
appreciation. Te important thing is to
feel it and do it.
So being grateful, and showing it, is
good for your health yours, mine and
everyones. Terefore it is important for
childrens health and mental wellbeing to
develop their gracious, thankful attributes
through good manners and kindnesses. So
while we are telling families No Gifts, for
all the good reasons mentioned, the chil-
dren can still cultivate a gratitude habit by
word, smile, or writing on a card. Or mak-
ing one. Nothing says thank you quite like
a card abrasive with a ton of cascading,
teeth-grating glitter and soggy with glue!
Happy Christmas to one and all ... and
Mary Finnegan, B.Ed., M.Rel. Ed (Primary)
Hons is a teacher in St Vincent de Paul Infant
School, Grifth Ave, Dublin 9.
it is important for childrens health and
mental wellbeing to develop their
gracious, thankful attributes through
good manners and kindnesses
50 InTouch December
Crsa Teagaisc
LexiIes dened
The Lexile Framework for
Reading is a scientifc approach
to measuring text difculty and
reading ability, putting both
texts and readers on the same
scale to accurately match
readers to texts. A lexile
measure for either texts or
readers is a simple
number followed
by an L (e.g.
850L). The lexile
scale ranges
200L for a beginning reader to 1700L for
advanced texts. Both the lexile measure
and lexile scale are integral parts of The
Lexile Framework.
The lexile measure can be used both
to promote reading progress and to
assign the right level of reading
materials in other curriculum areas.
Lexiles are fexible enough to be used as
part of any type of reading program.
Manage your students reading
Lexile measures allow you to manage
comprehension. Matching a readers
lexile measure to a text with the same
lexile measure leads to an expected 75%
comprehension rate not too difcult
to be frustrating, but difcult
enough to be challenging and to
encourage reading progress. You
Lexiles in the
Develop individualised reading lists that are
tailored to provide appropriately challenging
Enhance thematic teaching by building a bank
of titles at varying levels that not only support
the theme, but provide a way for all students to
successfully participate in the theme.
Use as an additional organising tool when
sequencing materials. For example, you might
be choosing one book a month for use as a
read-aloud throughout the school year. In
addition to considering the topic, you could
increase the difculty of the books throughout
the year.
This approach is also useful if you are
utilising a core program or textbook that is set
up in anthology format. (You may fnd that you
need to rearrange the order of the anthologies
to best meet your students needs.)
Develop a reading folder that goes home with
students and comes back for weekly review.
The folder can contain a reading list of books
within the students Lexile range, reports of
recent assessments and a parent form to record
reading that occurs at home.
Choose texts lower in the students lexile range
when factors make the reading situation more
challenging, threatening or unfamiliar. Select
texts at or above the students range to
stimulate growth when a topic is of extreme
interest to a student, or when you will be
adding additional support such as background
teaching or discussion.
Use the free Lexile book database (at
www.Lexile.com) to support book selection
and create booklists within a students lexile
range to help the student make informed
choices when selecting texts.
Use the freeLexile calculator (at
www.lexile.com) to gauge expected reading
comprehension at diferent lexile measures for
readers and texts.
Using Lexiles in your classroom
can further adjust anticipated
comprehension simply by choosing
more or less difcult texts within a
students lexile range, which spans 50L
above and 100L below his/her lexile
7rack progress on a day-to-day basis
Lexiles provide an authentic measure of
reading growth because they relate to
text readability levels. True growth
takes time from six months to two
years before signifcant changes can be
asiIy communicated to famiIies
The Lexile Framework provides a clear,
non-judgmental way of communicating
a students reading abilities to parents.
It helps you generate
reading lists that help
parents guide their
children to
Lexiles can also
be used to
reading, and to
select books that
will provide more
easily understood
information for homework. When
standards and scores are reported in
lexiles, families can be provided with
examples of student goals or
achievements by converting the lexile
measure into a range of familiar texts
for outside reading.
7he LexiIe Framework for reading
The Lexile Framework is an
indispensable part of any reading
program. Lexile measures give teachers
the confdence to choose materials that
will improve student reading skills and
take the guesswork out of matching
readers with appropriate texts. If you
know a students lexile measure, you
can tell with a great deal of accuracy
which books are appropriate for their
reading ability.
This text is measured at 1340L
Edmond Scannell teaches at
Catherine McAuley School,
Limerick and has trained with
MetaMetrics in North
Carolina in the Lexile
matching a reader to a text.
Lexile measures give teachers the
condence to choose materials that will
improve udent reading skills and take
the guesswork out of matching readers
with appropriate texts
Teaching Matters
InTouch December 51
52 InTouch December
Crsa Teagaisc
A curious little incident
There is at least one school in Ireland which
appears to have escaped the ravages of
recession. The evidence for this assertion
came to light recently when Jim, the princi-
pal, saw what he took to be a salesman
walking from across the yard in his direction.
It was a brute of a Tuesday morning. A
grey rag of a sky was being slowly
squeezed on top of them. Jim had been
standing at the door of his prefab ofce
with Patrick, the hurling coach. The prefab
was called Tara, having been christened by
a member of staf with more than a hint of
irony. All the prefabs had been given names
that refected aspects of the localitys history
and traditions.
The principal turned to Patrick and said,
I thought you were coming tomorrow.
No, we said today, replied Patrick. It
would appear that principal Jim had
boobed again. The rugby coach was
booked for the afternoon. His September
mental haze hadnt yet fully lifted and an-
other fne mess had been begotten. Now
hed have complaints about too much PE.
As the rain drizzled the pitch, they both
watched the youngish, well dressed man
with sleeked back fair hair heading for
them. All roads lead to Tara, Jim thought to
himself. Last thing he wanted this morning
was a salesman! Then he thought that he
looked like the teacher from St Josephs,
the school they were due to play in football
that week. For one awful moment he
feared that he had booked a football match
for that day as well.
They all exchanged pleasantries. The
visitor seemed agreeable and they contin-
ued to chat.
The going will be soft, said the visitor.
No, I dont think well have too much hurl-
ing this morning, replied Patrick. However,
the conversation took a curious turn when
Im here to do an incidental inspection,
was dropped into the discourse. The visitor
was an inspector.
Patrick made his excuses, pulled up his
hood and headed of.
Well, youre very welcome. said Jim,
Whats the name again?
They chatted for a while. He related that
his boyhood dream was always to be an in-
spector. However the twinkle in the eye
and the smile betrayed the rogue. Jim told
him that he could never understand why
anybody wanted to be an inspector, even
of trains. At least this fellow wasnt too stif
and had some semblance of humour. The
inspector informed Jim that he would visit
three classrooms, junior middle and senior.
A few ticks in a questionnaire later and he
was on his way to senior infants.
The principal walked nonchalantly across
the yard to the photocopying room but
veered right with a Basil Fawlty-type
manoeuvre into sixth class to let teacher
know that there was an inspector in the
school. T t ag magadh. Fan go bhfeic-
fdh t, he told the teacher. Another seem-
ingly relaxed trot across the yard brought
him to the second class room and he
imparted the forewarning regarding the
forthcoming visit. Its amazing how the
news spreads. They knew already.
Jim recalled the principal of his acquain-
tance who used to send a sixth class child
around the classes to inform the teachers
that there was an inspector in the school. He
walked into one classroom and relayed his
message to the teacher: T an cigire sa
scoil. Go raibh maith agat, replied the in-
spector who had arrived just seconds earlier.
In his autobiography The Master, Bryan
McMahon recounted how the hotel porter
and the hackney driver formed a vital part
of the inspector alert system in many towns
including his native Listowel. The inspector
would stop of at the hotel for rest and
refreshments, the communication policy
would be invoked and news of the arrival
would be promptly delivered to the school.
The replenished and soon to be impressed
inspector would then arrive in a school
without a note or an anseo out of place. In
many parishes the bush telegraph would
swing into action when an inspector was
sighted. But not so much anymore. They
are now regarded as slightly detached
(used to be estranged) colleagues in the
business of promoting and improving
education. The children have, in a sense,
set the tone for this change for while in
many cases they dont take a blind bit of
notice, on other occasions they resent the
change this visit makes to their schedule.
The senior infants teacher turned on the
lights and proceeded to set up the projec-
tor for class. Now Peter, mch na soilse,
said teacher to her lights man. Peter, all
fve years of age walked to the switch
mumbling, One minute you turn them of
and then you want them on, will you ever
make up your mind. Peter, do you want
to keep your good job, inquired teacher.
The inspector smiled. Peter had set the
tone for another normal, wonderful day in
senior infants.
At the 11 oclock break Jim noticed that
they had no biscuits or cake, nothing but
tea and cofee. If you told us you were
coming wed have made a cake or got a
few biscuits, he said. Apologies for my
lack of courtesy, he joked.
Philip fnished at 2 oclock. He was im-
pressed with what he saw and had a few
helpful suggestions. It was a change from
the time when the inspector would inform
the principal of his fndings in Irish within
earshot of the class. It was like a secret
code, the presumption being that although
the children had spent up to eight years
learning the language, they possibly couldnt
understand a word of what was being said.
He bid Jim farewell while in the
background the raindrops went drip-drip-
drip down the back of the Chinese torture
prefab ofce. The inspector buttoned up
his coat and headed of across the yard.
Jim sat back in his chair and did a bit of
inspector inspection. He concluded that he
was good humoured, understanding, well
informed, positive, and constructive with a
few useful suggestions and would be more
than welcome whenever he chose to return.
Jims experiences with inspectors, thus far,
had in the main been positive and con-
structive. He had met some thoroughly
sound ladies and gentlemen of the profes-
sion. However, there was one occasion when
the taxman conspired to deduct more than
three quarters of his salary from his pay
cheque. The eleven oclock break dragged
on a bit. One of his colleagues suggested
they ring the bell in case an inspector
appeared. In view of what they paid me, if
an inspector shows up, Ill catch him by the
seat of the pants and deposit him on the
road. And wouldnt you know what hap-
pened. His fghting talk was interrupted by
a knock on the door. C t I bhfeighil an
cls? inquired an inspector glancing at his
watch. mise, said Jim with a not very
royal sheepishness. That set the tone for
what was a testy encounter. He learned
some time later that round about that time
the inspector had received bad news about
a close family member. In later encounters
he proved himself to be a gentleman.
The sewing inspector as she was rightly
or wrongly known was one woman Jim
InTouch December 53
Teaching Matters
hoped he would never meet. She was a leg-
endary fgure and her reputation had em-
broidered many decades. Though of inde-
terminate age and clad in black, she was a
picture of good health when she appeared
like a post Halloween spectre at Jims class-
room door one November morning back in
the late 70s. The classroom art was deemed
satisfactory though her main interest was
the crafts. She wanted to see some weaving.
For the frst time in his life Jim was intro-
duced to weaving as he unravelled the
wool and proceeded to criss-cross the darn
on a piece of cardboard while the inspec-
tor, glasses perched on the tip of her nose
and plumed hat angled on her stylishly
coifured head, took him through the process
and taught him the wonderful craft of
weaving. The class didnt know what to make
of this new pupil-teacher relationship.
Inspectors come in all shapes and forms
and manifest every human trait: pomposity,
humility, generosity, power, wisdom, hu-
mour and empathy. Verbosity was another
attribute Jim associated with one or two of
them. He had heard about the fellow who
went on at length ventilating his ideas,
with his free fowing nouns and adjectives
being chased by the occasional verb but
rarely troubled by a subject. Though now a
rarity an occasional model with this patent
is still being produced. Along with doctors,
dentists, priests, consultants and sergeants,
inspectors were always aforded a certain
deference. The changes are welcome.
Some of the old time inspectors were a law
unto themselves. Certain cigir had reputa-
tions that would have got them positions
in Attila the Huns inner circle. One inspec-
tor arrived at a school back in the 50s to
fnd the path to the school entrance under
water. The teachers and children had nego-
tiated the torrents but the inspector insist-
ed that the principal carry him to save his
good leather shoes. If on this occasion you
can locate a little bit of Christian charity,
youll be glad to hear that he arrived in the
classroom dry and high.
Many years ago, Jim walked into a
classroom at lunchtime to fnd an inspec-
tor, previously unknown to him and a
teacher, in deep conversation or should
I say deep lecture for he, the inspector was
p ontifcating and she, the teacher was very
much a captive audience of one with a look
that betrayed her utter bewilderment with
the proceedings. I have the ear of the
highest, the great and the good in
Brussels where new policies and robust
ones at that are being formulated for
implementation. We will launch a ship
of change and renewal on the world of
education. On and on he went as the
teacher gazed up at him, open-mouthed
while he gazed into her eyes with passion-
ate policy intensity. The laughter welled up
inside and Jim had to fee outside and let it
all out.
Now I told you earlier that there was no
recession in that school. Well next morning
as Jim stood at the top of the wheelchair
access ramp into Tara and gazed out over
the expanse of tarmacadam and the row
of prefabs, all seemed well in his kingdom.
He settled into the ofce for what he hoped
would be an uneventful day. There was a
welcome silence for the rain had stopped.
But the other torture device rang. It was
the secretary and I must add she was not
the torturer. Theres another inspector
here to see you, she informed him. Youre
joking! She wasnt. Within minutes Jim
was in conversation with another dapper,
impressive young man who was outlining
his plans for the day. This is a double
pleasure, we havent seen an inspector for
a few years and then we have two in two
days. Who do we thank for having these
generous resources lavished upon us? he
told him. That put paid to his planning.
Well theres no recession in this school,
replied the inspector, Ill have to fnd
someone else for the day. Any sugges-
tions? Oh there are so many crying out
for you, if I recommended one Id only
make enemies of the others. Im sure youll
fnd someone. He laughed and headed
Bryan McMahon wouldnt have
approved of the inactivity that governed
the following ten minutes of Jims career.
He never rang the neighbouring schools
to tip them of. Or maybe it was a form of
Freudian slip. Perhaps we really shouldnt
be too bothered if they come or go!
Dan Daly, Principal, Robinstown NS,
Navan, Co Meath. Tis is a work of fction.
Names, characters, places and incidents either
are products of the authors imagination or
are used fctitiously. Any resemblance to
actual events or persons, living or dead, is
entirely coincidental.
As the rain drizzled the pitch,
they watched the youngish,
well dressed man with
sleeked back fair hair
heading for them. All roads
lead to Tara, the principal
thought to himself. Last
thing he wanted this
morning was a salesman!
54 InTouch December
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Uaat tc 4c scmet|laq 4lereat!
0r s|are ,car s|l||s wlt| ct|ers!
ka4 etperleace aact|er ca|tare!
Ue aee4 teac|ers tc |ea4 sammer prcqrammes la |t|lcpla.
Ue are a|sc |cc|laq fcr teac|ers tc wcr| wlt| aa|le4
aa4 tralaee teac|ers a|| ,ear rcaa4.
|cr mcre lafc p|ease ccatact
Mar, kaae !tc|es,
\|M |rcjects Cccr4laatcr:
cr c-cz;)c / c) ;) )c)
Teaching Matters
I have just fnished teaching an eight week
mindfulness course to a group of 16 year
olds and am struck by the richness of
learning, communicating and bonding
that has taken place. The teacher pupil
relationship has been strengthened. We
have shared much, in mindful ways, over
the past number of weeks. The class
teacher and SNA have truly encouraged
and inspired me as they have added their
own wisdom and creativity to the pro-
gramme. They have also given credence to
this new initiative as they too immersed
themselves in the mindfulness lessons.
Mindfulness is often described as being
present and as I refect I realise that being
present is the greatest gift I can ofer as a
teacher. On any given session of the mind-
fulness course I ofered in school I had to
be present to individuals and at times to
the class as a whole. I am reminded of one
of the earlier sessions when the class
teacher came to my resource room indicat-
ing that the planned mindfulness lesson
for that afternoon could prove difcult as a
number of incidents had occurred earlier
that day, leaving a heavy mood of agita-
tion. On that occasion I veered from my
lesson plan opting to ofer students a full
relaxation meditation. The class embraced
this suggestion and many of them took
mats and blankets while others stayed
seated at their desks. This lying down
meditation is a version of the body scan
for those of you familiar with the Mindful-
ness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) pro-
gramme or the aptly named beditation
from the .b Programme (pronounced dot b).
My actual mindfulness lessons, like many
other lessons, often take a diferent path
despite my planning. Outlined is todays
example, a lesson I had planned well as I
wanted to bring
closure to our
are familiar with the unwilling pupil, the
one who opts out and tries to take the
others with him/her. I met this pupil on the
way into class today and so the battle be-
gan; the teacher versus the pupil. He didnt
want to be there and he wanted us to dis-
appear. However, instead of being swept
away by the pupil and his non compliance
I was able to acknowledge his difculties
yet be present to the whole class. This is
what I call my informal mindful practice.
I took the decision to drop into stillness
and quietness at the beginning; allowing
more time for the mindful activity. During
the shortened meditation, the class were
able to choose to look after themselves or
to be distracted by the low level noise of
the aforementioned pupil. I was surprised
as the pupils assumed their postures and
reminded one another to place both feet
on the foor. One of the girls who had been
a reluctant participant in session one and
two reminded her peers to place their
hands on their laps as she shut her eyes to
embrace this time for herself. Being aware
of transformation as it happens is truly
spectacular. This is the only feedback I
need and gathering comments is unneces-
As a teacher I have actively sought to nour-
ish my pupils and their needs through my
reading, attendance at courses and the
application of the SPHE curriculum. How-
ever I have been lazy when it comes to
looking after me. The question of my own
wellbeing was slowly rising to the surface. I
fnally had to ask myself what was I doing
to sustain myself, how could I reduce my
own levels of stress and prevent the well
documented burnout that exists within my
While acknowledging I had accumulated
a number of resources and strategies over
the years I decided to try mindfulness, a
concept I
knew little
about. Ini-
tially I
ness without realising that I would return
to it again and again and again. I was a bit
annoyed when I realised mindfulness was
not a quick fx but involved home practice,
code for homework. It eventually dawned
on me that mindfulness is not a once of
course or just a good idea; it is a way of
living that helps me be a better teacher.
Armed with this knowledge I continue to
struggle with my homework and have
trained as a Mindfulness Based Stress
Reduction teacher.
On Mindful Mondays I practice with my
colleagues before the pupils arrive. Those
of us who come together give ourselves
this gift of time a time to transition from
our weekend to our working week. In turn I
am more aware and better able to deal
with stressful events as they are happening.
I now acknowledge the emotional intensi-
ty of the job, an admission I could not have
previously made due to my continued
passion for teaching and learning. I pay
more attention to my pupils and colleagues
and am less likely to judge. I use mindful-
ness techniques with pupils in an efort to
deliberately cultivate positive qualities
such as empathy and compassion.
Finally a level of self-compassion is
creeping in as I consciously try not to give
emotionally charged school situations too
much space in my head. Daily challenges
will always exist but how I relate to the
bumps in the road has changed. I realise
that all teachers face challenges and that
everyone, including myself, is doing the
best we can in a system which ofers little
support in addressing teacher stress and
promoting wellbeing.
Be the educator who brings the experi-
ences of kindness, care, joy, happiness and
calm to the fore by your presence.
Kay Murphy, B.A., H.D.E,
MA in Leadership and Pastoral
Care. Kay teaches in Scoil
Chiarin, Glasnevin, and has a
strong background in education
having worked abroad and
within the Irish education
system for over 25 years.
If you would like to try mindfulness as a bufer
from stressful experiences Kay will be ofering
an eight week MBSR course geared for educa-
tors in the Friary on Merchants Quay, beginning
January 2014. For further course information
email: adkmurphy@gmail.com.
InTouch December 55
Crsa Teagaisc
56 InTouch December
M na Nollag Gairdn an na scoile
Paddy Madden continues his series of SESE tips
Hands-on: the school bird garden
8lr4 |a|ltat/Gnthg an: A place that has
food and shelter for birds. it a bhfuil bia
agus ddean ann din.
8lr4-fee4er/Beathadn an: A
hanging container which has food such
as nuts and seeds for birds. Soitheach
ar crochadh a bhfuil bia (cnnna agus
solta, mar shampla) ann din.
8lr4-ta||e/Bord an: A moveable table
on which food is placed daily for birds to eat.
Bord inaistrithe ar a gcuirtear, go laethil, bia
8lr4-|ct/Bosca an: Wooden box with suitable
openings to attract diferent species of birds to
nest. Bosca danta as adhmad le hoscailt
oirinacha ann chun speicis dhifrila din a
mhealladh chuige chun nead a thgil ann.
8lr4-|l4e/Folachn anbhreathnireachta: A
camoufaged viewing shelter to spot birds.
Ddean a bhfuil duaithnocht curtha air
ionas gur fidir breathn ar in uaidh.
|eaf-|ltter/Easair Dhuill: Rotting leaves under
trees which attract many species of vertebrates
and invertebrates for feeding and shelter.
Duilleoga lofa faoi chrainn a mheallann chun
beathaithe agus chun ddine go leor speiceas de
veirteabraigh agus dinveirteabraigh.
Buochas do Marie Whelton (MIE)
don aistrichn.
What is it1
An area or areas in the school
grounds devoted to trees,
shrubs, climbers, grasses and
other herbaceous plants, feed-
ers and nesting sites for the
welfare of birds.
ackground information
Some bird species are in serious
decline mainly because of loss
of habitat. Schools can remedy
this by making the school
grounds bird-friendly.
0id you know1
In the survey, Birds of Conserva-
tion Concern in Ireland 2008-
2013 conducted by BirdWatch
Ireland and the RSPB (Northern
Ireland), alarming declines in a
number of bird populations
across the island were identi-
fed. Those that had declined by
over 70% were placed on a Red
List. Some of these included
the barn owl, corncrake, yel-
lowhammer (90% decline), and
yellow wagtail. 25 in total have
been allocated to this list. In
1999 there were 18 on the list.
The Countryside Bird Survey
1998-2010 identifed an increase
in Goldfnches and Stonechats
but a decline in skylarks,
kestrels, greenfnches, swifts
and grey wagtails. The most
notable decline was in the
goldcrest species.
Very few children recognise
the chafnch, one of our com-
monest birds!
A sample of some feeders:
Tits love caterpillars, spiders
and greenfies which they
fnd on trees,
bushes, annuals and
herbaceous plants.
Finches love the seeds found
in a wildfower meadow and
a sunfower forest.
Starlings and blackbirds love
a lawn area where they fnd
leatherjackets and worms.
Dunnocks and robins love
leaf litter where they fnd a
great variety of invertebrates
such as slugs and worms.
Thrushes love snails, worms
and berries.
Are the schooI grounds bird friendIy1
Shrubs with berries? Pyracantha Cotoneaster Holly Privet Viburnum opulus
Honeysuckle Ivy
Native shrubs with berries? Holly Wild privet Honeysuckle Bramble
Hawthorn Elder Bird cherry
Trees with fruit and seed? Alder Rowan Crab apple
Shrubs with insects? Hawthorn-149* Blackthorn-109* Dog-rose-100* Hazel-73* Holly-7*
Trees with insects? Oak-284* Willow-266* Birch-229* Crab-93* Scots Pine-91*
Alder-90* Elm-82* Ash-41* Lime-31* Sycamore-15*
Flowers with seed? Sunfowers Teasel Snapdragon Asters Wild grasses
Other food sources Rotting logs Heap of leaf mould Leaf litter Nuts in a feeder Bird table with food
Suet or lard balls Water in container Apples strewn on grass
Health Bird bath Hollow place with sand Muddy place
Shelter Thick hedge Evergreen shrubs Wooded area
Nesting Honeysuckle Hole in tree trunk Native hedgerow Stone wall with crevices
Trees of diferent heights Evergreen shrubs & trees Nesting boxes (facing north east, east or south east)
Wide eaves for swifts, starlings & sparrows String bags with feathers, wool, hair & moss for nest
* The gure refers to the number of insect species found on the tree.
Paddy Madden & Marian Rollins
A bird survey
Blackberries. Pic: Mary Twomey.



Mistle thrush on a
Yew tree. Pic: Mary



Teaching Matters
InTouch December 57
||aat |are-rccte4 trees aa4
s|ra|s tc ma|e a mlal-wcc4
cr |e4qercw la aa, mcat|
wlt| aa 'r' etcept !eptem|er
aa4 kprl|. |ac|a4e a |cq-|a|ltat
la t|e wcc4.
!cw a wl|4cwer mea4cw la
kprl| cr !eptem|er.
. ||ace |lr4-|ctes wlt| 4lereat
sltes cf eatraace |c|es aa4
qaps la p|ace la ml4-wlater.
z. |rcm Ncem|er tc Marc|
(ear|ler lf weat|er ls er, cc|4)
prcl4e |lr4s wlt| fcc4 ca a
|lr4 ta||e cr |aaqlaq fee4er.
C|eaa |lr4-ta||e reqa|ar|, wlt|
|cl|laq water aa4 mce
reqa|ar|, as we||.
;. !app|, fres| water 4al|,.
. |asare t|at fee4laq ccatlaaes
cer t|e sc|cc| |rea|s.
Resources Websites mentioned plus:
www.fatarefcrests.aet Good source for native trees
and shrubs. They will send these to schools bare rooted.
www.|lr4watc|lre|aa4.le Good site relating to birds
in Ireland.
www.rsp|.cc.a| Good site for identifying birds and
listening to their calls.
www.aatare4etectles.crq.a| Good site for activities
on studying birds in school.
|lr44laqram.p4f Parts of a bird.
www.|lc|cq,.le Submission of bird sightings.
General information on birds.
www.|lr4slre|aa4.ccm/ Website of bird expert, Eric
|tm| Interesting facts on birds in diferent counties.
The complete eld-guide to Irelands birds, by Eric
Dempsey and Michael OClery (Gill & Macmillan, 2010)
Pocket guide to the common birds of Ireland, by Eric
Dempsey and Michael OClery (Gill & Macmillan, 1995)
Birdwatching in Ireland with Eric Dempsey
(Gill & Macmillan, 1995)
Go Wild at School, Chapter 5 A Bird
SuitabIe pIants to attract birds to the garden
Trees Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris), Birch (Betula pendula),
Oak (Quercus petraea and robur) and Willow (Salix spp)
Shrubs Native Hazel (Corylus avellana), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Holly (Ilex aquifolium),
Bird Cherry (Prunus padus)
Non-native Herring-bone plant (Cotoneaster horizontalis), Firethorn (Pyracantha
Orange Glow), June Berry (Amelanchier canadensis),
Butterfy Bush (Buddleia spp),Quince (Chaenomeles japonica).
Climbers Native Ivy (Hedera helix), Dogrose (Rosa canina), Sweet Briar (Rosa rubiginosa),
Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum), Bramble (Rubus fruticosus)
Herbaceous Native Teazel (Dipsacus sylvestris), Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra),
plants Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaris), Lesser Burdock (Arctium minus),
Common Birds-Foot-Trefoil (Lotuscorniculatus).
Non native Sunfower (Helianthus anuus), Snapdragon (Antirrhum spp), Michaelmas Daisies (Aster spp),
Honesty (Lunaria biennis), Common Evening Primrose (Oenoethera biennis)
Linking to the curricuIum
Make a bird hide. Find a huge cardboard box.
Paint it with colours that match its
surroundings. Cut out holes shaped like a
letterbox for viewing. Site it in an area
frequented by birds. To prevent it being
blown away tie the four corners with string to
stakes hammered into the ground. Cover with
polythene in wet weather.
Make a string nesting bundle in the spring.
Gather materials such as straw, dry grass, dry
moss, feathers, wool, hair and cotton. Use a
forked branch c. 30 cm long as an anchor.
Place the material in the fork and then wind
the string around it. Hang it from the stump
end onto a branch. Gardeners World Jan.
See www.birdwatchireland.ie for 18 school
projects on birds which include design and
make activities and surveys on birds around
the school grounds.
See www.blackrockec.ie/
content/current-projects for
information on (a) How to
make a bird-feeder
(November); How to make a
bird-table (December); How
to make a bird-box (December);
How to make a bird-bath (December);
Birdfeeding during winter (January).
Drawing birds using Gordon Darcys book
Narture: See www.gordondarcy.ie
Paddy Madden lectures on
SESE in the Marino Institute of Ed-
ucation. He also gives short courses
to whole stafs on school gardening.
His book Go Wild At School, has
recently been reprinted. Available for 18 from
paddy.madden@mie.ie (Includes p&p). Mor
info on school gardens on www.schoolearthed.ie
Pic: Mary Twomey.
Haws Cotoneaster
Robin on bird
Pic: Cormac
Pic: Mary Twomey.









Is f go mr leas a bhaint as an teicneo-
laocht chun tac le mineadh na Gaeilge,
chun agslacht a bheith sa cheacht agus
chomh maith leis sin, chun suim na bpist
a spreagadh. T lear mr iseanna
sideacha a bhaineann leis an Nollaig ar
an suomh www.nollaigshona.ie: pictiir,
postaeir, gearrthga fse agus luaschrta
ina measc. Molann Curaclam na Gaeilge
go leor prionta sa timpeallacht agus bhar
chlbhuailte a bheith ar chrochadh ar
bhalla na scoile agus sa seomra ranga
chun tac leis an litheoireacht agus
litearthacht i gcoitinne. Cabhridh na
hiseanna at ar an suomh le str focal na
bpist a mhad ar bhealach
taitneamhach agus suimiil.
l measc na n-iseanna t
Cur i lthair Powerpoint ag insint an
scil faoi Mhuire agus Iosaef agus breith
an linbh osa i mBeithil fad.
Cur i lthair Powerpoint le foclir a
bhaineann le bia Nollag.
Dnta simpl Coinneal na Nollag, An
Nollaig agus Daid na Nollag.
Focail don amhrn Nollag traidisinta
Jingle Bells.
Crta libe (loop cards) bunaithe ar
tharmaocht a bhaineann le bia Nollag
agus le sasr na Nollag.
Balla Focal bunaithe ar fhoclir a
bhaineann leis an gCad Nollaig agus le
bia Nollag ar bhileog A4 amhin.
Luaschrta le foclir a bhaineann le
sasr na Nollag.
Na hamhrin Nollaig Shona 2012 agus
Cuireadh do Mhuire tgtha EP na
Nollag 2012 TG Lurgan. Is fidir an
ceol agus na focail a osldil saor in
Leagan Gaeilge de Fairy Tale of New
Gearrthg Youtube den charl Nollag
Oche Chiin chanadh ag Enya.
iseanna do scoiIeanna 7z
Ceann des na hiseanna is fearr liom fin
ar an suomh n na Wordles Gaeilge. Uirlis
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cruthatear scamall focal leis na focail is
minice sa tacs lirithe nos soilire n na
focail eile sa tacs. Is fidir an tacs a athr
ar go leor beala tr chlnna agsla,
leagan amach agus scim dathanna
agsla a roghn.
0sid sa rang
Taispein an Wordle a a bhaineann leis
an gCad Nollaig i mBeithil do na pist
agus ansin inis an scal n meall an
scal na pist ag danamh tagartha
do na focail lirithe.
Dan rans smaointe mar gheall ar
Dhaid na Nollag leis an rang, clraigh
na focail ar an gclr bn agus iarr ar
phist a Wordle fin a chruth mar
gheall air.
Iarr ar phist na focail a bhaineann le
hamhrn Nollag ar ns Oche Chiin a
scrobh i Wordle agus ansin na focail is
coitianta a phl.
Dan liosta de na bronntanais at lorg
ag na pist Dhaid na Nollag. Tabhair
deis do gach piste cur leis an liosta ar
romhaire an ranga agus ansin
cruthaigh Wordle a mbeidh inireacht
ag an rang ar fad air.
Leigh scal a bhaineann leis an Nollaig
don rang agus cruthaigh Wordle le
hionchur teanga a dhanamh ar fhoclir
nua agus lirigh ar an gclr idir-
ghnomhach roimh r.
iseanna do scoiIeanna 71
T an dn Oche Nollag de chuid Mire
Mhac an tSaoi trthil don am seo den
bhliain. Bheadh an dn seo oirinach do na
hardranganna i scoileanna T1 go hirithe
mar go bhfuil ardchaighden Gaeilge sa
dn. T dnta agus amhrin eile ann oiri-
nach do ranganna agsla.
0sid sa rang
Min na focail n na frsa deacra do na
pist roimh r chun go mbeidh tuiscint
mhaith acu ar bhar an din.
Tabhair deis do na pist tuilleadh eolais
a fhil faoi Mhire Mhac an tSaoi ar an
Pligh mothchin an fhile agus an
din, m.sh. gr, ms.
Faigh eolas maidir le seantraidisiin na
Nollag, chun an Nollaig inniu a chur i
gcomparid le haimsir na Nollag fad.
Lirigh scal an din i bhfoirm dhrma.
Dan cleachtadh ar lamh an din ina
n-aonar, i bpir agus i ngrpa. Ansin is
fidir leis na pist an dn a chur i
lthair an ranga. Spreagann s seo
lofacht litheoireachta.
Tarraing agus pinteil na homhnna
at sa dn sa rang ealane.
Ar fiI
T gach is ar fil saor in aisce ag
Curtha le chile ag Brd
N Dhonnchadha
agus Mire Nic an R
faoi choimirce COGG.
Crsa Teagaisc
58 InTouch December
kcm|alaal Nc||alq www.ac||alqs|caa.le
A time travelling
barge on the
Grand Canal
rinne OShea from Co Ofaly and
teaching in Rath NS, Ballybrittas, Co
Laois, has just launched a childrens
book and educational pack regard-
ing the Grand Canal. As a primary teacher
with an environmental background she
felt the potential of the inland waterway
network as a teaching resource needed to
be explored.
Grainne decided to write a story and
design an accompanying environmental
educational resource pack to assist teachers
in inspiring senior primary school pupils to
appreciate the potential of the Grand
Canal. Te Barmey Barge tells the story of
Conor, Ciara and Captain Twitter who take
a trip on a time travelling barge. During
their journey they learn the geographical
location, historical signifcance, leisure po-
tential and biodiversity value of our Grand
Canal. The pack includes: 30 copies of the
storybook; a teachers manual which con-
tains a series of lesson plans covering all
subjects with the theme of the Grand
Canal central to each plan. a photocopi-
able nature trail and a CD-ROM containing
all of the above in digital format plus addi-
tional photos.
The Pack costs 150. For further informa-
tion please call 087 6527690 or
he Secret of the Sleeveen by Brenda Ennis, with
illustrations by Tomas Ryan, tells the story of
eleven year old Aisling who enters the world of
the Sdhe as Samhain is being celebrated. She
encounters many lios people and characters from
mythology, both from Celtic backgrounds and fur-
ther afeld as she travels on her quest to rescue her
grandmother who disappeared many years before.
At times Aislings adventures read like a pan-
tomime script as she speeds from one adventure to
another. Te glossary, along with a transcription in
the International Phonetic Alphabet, is necessary in
order to understand and appreciate this book. At
times the language is quite complex and would be
more suited to very able senior pupils, especially
those with good Gaeilge. However, some of chapters
could be used, with middle classes, perhaps as part of
cross-curricular theme during the lead up to
Halloween. You can also interact via the blog at
Published by Evertype, Te Secret of the Sleeveen
costs 11.95 and is available on Amazon.co.uk, ISBN
Reviewed by Ciaran Byrne, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow
Teaching Matters
InTouch December 59
Book reviews
LSTA (English Language Support Teachers As-
sociation) conferences are well-known for
their thought-provoking keynotes; a richness
captured eloquently in this important publi-
cation, which features Irish and international con-
tributors at the forefront of the feld of language
In 2007 ELSTA stated that if teachers were to an-
swer adequately the needs of immigrant students,
they would have to understand the educational,
linguistic and cultural backgrounds of those stu-
dents. This understanding of language as more
than linguistics, but as an integral part of students
cultural and ethnic identities, is refected in the
journal. Thus, papers such as nurturing identities
of competence (Jim Cummins, 2009), and immigra-
tion and schooling making a diference? (Dymp-
na Devine, 2010), are among the contributions.
Practical ideas for the classroom also feature.
In 2008 Virginia Rojas spoke about frontier
teachers, capturing the ground-breaking work
happening then as EAL teachers built specialist
knowledge and expertise in their feld. This was a
rich national resource, painstakingly developed;
the reduction in language support is a severe blow
to children in this country. This timely publication
reminds us that EAL needs to remain a priority in
Irish education.
Available from Lorraine Downey:
Ejournal also available for 10.
Reviewed by Dr Barbara OToole,
Director of the Masters in Intercultural
Education at Marino Institute of Education.
Tis programme contains a module on EAL.
Further details available on www.mie.ie/
ELSTA Five-year Anniversary Journal
Encounters in mythology
Corrections to Novembers Reviews
The November review of Step Into Writing described the book as as a
handbook for teachers. We are happy to clarify that the handbook
is in fact intended for use by children in the classroom.The author of
Sounds Good Phonics, not credited in the November magazine, was
Marie Campion, of St Nessans NS, Co Limerick.
60 InTouch December
Carsal ael|qe 4ca !C/0C
Cc|alste |aramaa,
!lr aa ||la, |eltlr Mclr, Cc aa al||lm|e
Crsa A:
16-02-14 Feabhra go dt
22-02-14 Feabhra
Crsa B:
13-04-14 Aibren go dt
19-04-14 Aibren
!al||ea4| |c|als
!cmas |.0 Mcrala -11
|l|ls Nl |cc|aala I-11
Crsa Gaeilge don SCG /OCG
Coliste Loch Con Aortha, Conamara
February mid-term break
16/02/2014 22/02/2014
Easter/Cisc 2014
13/04/2014 19/04/2014
20/04/2014 25/04/2014
Courses run all through July and August 2014
Fully recognised by the Department of Education and Science
091 558870/095 32124/087 1349929/087 2625431
email: colaisteloch@gmail.comwww.colaisteloch.ie
With Michael Grainger
Sarria to Santiago
April: 12th and 19th
New for 2014
Final stage of Portuguese Camino,
Valenca to Santiago 119km
July: 19th and 26th
Aug: 9th and 16th
Email: mgrainger@mobileemail.vodafone.ie
087 2206360
Reduce paperwork, Increase collaboration, Transform
reporting, Share resources, Save time, Inspire minds.
To fnd out why more schools choose Aladdin,
visit www.aladdin.ie or call us on (01) 554 7375.
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Module 12961: Pastoral Care
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Inquiries to:
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Tel/fax: 021-4271729
E-mail: 4lrectcrc|ecccr|.ccm
InTouch December 61
Finishing Touches
Resources for teachers, Noticeboard of Upcoming Events and the Comhar Linn Crossword
Christmas Closure
INTO Head Ofce will close for business at 5 p.m. on Monday,
23 December 2013 and re-open at 9 a.m. on Thursday, 2 January, 2014.
Call for Papers
IATSE invites papers/
presentations/workshops for
Conference 2014.
Please submit a short abstract
(maximum 100 words) and
presenters details to: (post) IATSE
Conference Director, Drumcondra
Education Centre, Dublin 9, or
email: conference@iatse.ie
Closing date for submissions:
Friday, 17 January 2014.
School Gardens
We hope you are fnding InTouch
articles on school gardens useful.
For more information and resources
regarding setting up a school garden
visit www.schoolearthed.ie
Are you tired of getting presents you
dont need? Make-A-Wish can help. You
can ask your students to rekindle the real
spirit of Christmas with a Wish Kindle. These
little gifts can make a big diference to Make-
A-Wish. With 179 wishes on their waiting list
you will be helping to grant wishes to
children living with a life-threatening
medical condition. So this year instead of a
Kris Kindle gift, do a Wish Kindle by visiting
Appeal for Laptops
Camara Ireland has issued an appeal for donations of laptops for use in Irish
schools. Tere has been a surge in demand for Camaras educational
technology packages and the charity has not yet sourced enough used laptops to
meet this demand.
Camara is appealing to you to consider donating end of life laptops for reuse in
the education of Irish students. Te social enterprise, founded in 2010, provides
reused laptops and teacher training to disadvantaged Irish schools at 25% of the
price of a new laptop. Camara Ireland has supplied over 900 computers to schools
this year, training nearly 400 educators in the process. To donate visit www.cama-
ra.org or call 01 6522673.
Flu Survey Copy Date
Copy you wish to have
considered for publication in
the January/February issue of
InTouch should arrive in Head
Ofce by 6 January 2014. The
deadline for the March issue is 10
February 2014.
Flusurvey.ie, Hosted at NUI Galway,
Aims to Track the Spread of Seasonal Flu
in Ireland.
Flusurvey.ie is a new website that will map
the spread of seasonal infuenza and allow
health authorities and members of the public
fght against fu.
The site is the result of a joint research
collaboration between NUI Galway, the HSE, the
Health Protection Surveillance Centre and
international partners from the EU-wide
Infuenzanet project, and enlists members of the
public to help in the fght against seasonal fu.
Flusurvey will provide valuable public health
information on the demographics and
geographic location of infuenza suferers
Volunteers register online and self-report by
answering short questions relating to
demographic, medical, socio-economic and
lifestyle issues. The information received is
The system can also be used to support
teaching and class projects at primary level. For
example, teachers can register groups of
students, and they can track their symptoms
throughout the year, and use the data to support
the teaching of maths and science.
For further information, please logon to
http://fusurvey.ie or contact the Project Leader,
Jim Duggan, at jim.duggan@nuigalway.ie
Seasonal inuenza
Seasonal infuenza is a highly contagious viral
disease that is characterised by a sudden onset of
fever, accompanied by muscle pain or headache,
and a cough or sore throat. In Ireland, infuenza
epidemics usually last 6-14 weeks, usually
occurring between October and May each season.
Small Ad
62 InTouch December
Nta Deiridh
Two pages of resources for the classroom, from training courses to helpful hints and useful links
|tp|crlaq marlae rescarces
Te Explorers Education Programme aims to integrate marine themes as
closely as possible with lessons already taught in national schools through
the Social, Environmental and Scientifc Education (SESE) curriculum and
other cross curricular subjects. Te Explorers programme was initiated
through the Marine Institute and educators including the Galway
Education Centre, Galway Atlantaquaria,
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology,
National University of Ireland, Galway,
and the Connemara Environmental,
Educational and Cultural Centre
(CEECC) at Letterfrack to name a few.
Details of the Explorers programme
and other resources
can be found at:
Irish language GAA club
Na Gaeil ga is an Irish-language GAA club based in Dublins
Phoenix Park. Founded in 2010 to provide a sporting and social
outlet for the capitals Irish language community the club has
gone from strength to strength and now boasts two male foot-
ball teams, a ladies football team, a hurling team, with plans for
a camogie team and handball for next year underway. The club
has performed well on and of the pitch, winning a Dublin South
league and the Broin cup last year as well as a Dublin Bus
community spirit award. The club now has over 100 members
from all over the country and a varied social calendar with trips
to Comrtas Peile na Gaeltachta and elsewhere, events and
nights out throughout the year. All standards of sporting ability
and linguistic ability in Irish are catered for. Many teachers are
already playing members and more are involved in training and
More info: email: cumannclg@gmail.com. www.nagaeiloga.ie
Facebook: Na Gaeil ga CLG Twitter: @nagaeiloga Youtube:
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10 11
12 13 14 15
16 17
18 19 20
21 22
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26 27 28 29 30
31 32
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35 36
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Comhar Linn Crossword NO 152
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t|e we44laq. (c)
. |art, aalma|| ()
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& z. !wla qrl||s fal|e4 tc recreate t|ls wcr| cf
art. (;,,))
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). U|at's qc|4, tc a teac|er, ls re|atle. ()
. |t's s|cate4 as a waralaq, cf ccarse. ()
). !|e .|. was ccafase4 |, t|ls aam|er. (;)
z. kfter a qreat 4ee4, |er p|ame appears. ())
z;. |ralse w|at t|e ct |et |ccse. (;)
z. k qrcaplaq cf pcwers wlt|la a saper|
|ccatlca. ()
z;. |lals|e4 wlt| a |ea4|ess paramcar. ()
z. 0lt|er, ma|laq t|e car4laa| attest. (;)
z. ae a 4lrt, |cc| at a |east|, fema|e la
wlater traaspcrt. ())
;;. k retara jcarae, ma|es t|e sp|erlca|
stam||e. (;,)
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a|ea4. (;,z)
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t|e car4laa|. ()
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ma|e. ()
z. |rlat 'tree' la a wa, tc ma|e t|laqs mcre
aa4erstaa4a||e. ())
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. Mct|er's wl||laq tc |eccme a stcaewcr|er.
;. |art cf t|e e,e esseatla| tc a satlrlst. ()
). !|ls mase |as spare pctasslam. (;)
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twlq! (c)
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. k tlqer's fcct, appare|. ())
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|csplta|. (c)
zc. 0ac| t|e wa, Ml4as saw t|laqs! ())
z. Ms kcc|e aa4 Mr Narrls tarae4 ap la t|e
!aas|lae !tate. ())
zz. |la4 a rc|e la 4lsarra, la a !paals| rler. ()
z). |le qet ) acrcss tc |cast. (;)
z). |f t|ere was ccra |e|la4 t|ls |ta|laa ls|aa4 lt
wca|4 qle ,ca t|e qcat| (;)
;c. c|f c|a|s ase4 |, a !lqer! (;)
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aawaate4 emal|. ()
Gordius - In Touch November No. 151
Bumper X Word winners and solutions will be
announced in Jan/Feb InTouch issue.
Winners of crossword no. 150 are
Joan Corry, Ballina, Co. Mayo and
Anne Marie Kingston, Rochestown, Co. Cork
Finishing Touches
InTouch December 63
and your Comhar Linn Crossword!
0ur Lady ueen of Peace,
1anesboro, Limerick
This site is packed full of school informa-
tion and uses a lot of images in its content
to give a great feel for how teachers inter-
act with students and activities.
My favourite sites
Ciara Brennan, teacher in
St Peters Primary, Bray
Story ird
Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories
you can make and share on any device.
Net Smartz Videos
Fantastic age relevant cartoon-style
videos on online safety.
Sound CIoud
An audio platform that enables sound
creators to upload, record, promote and
share their originally-created sounds.
Great for podcasting and recording reading.
!|ese are eer pcpa|ar C|rlstmas re|ate4
|la|s ca !ccl|aet:
Scoilnet Christmas Themepage
Great starting point for class learning and activities.
Why Christmas
Contains information on most Christmas topics.
The Nativity Story
Simple story with clear text.
An Nollaig Crta Taispentais
Display cards with Irish vocabulary.
Britannica Spotlight on Christmas
Links to articles from the encyclopaedia and includes
class activities.
Build a Snowman
Interactive tool suitable for junior classes.
Christmas at Seomra Ranga
Lots of links, activities and videos picked by
An Nollaig
Great vocabulary builder. Perfect for IWB.
Tell your own Nativity Story
Provides four background scenes for pupils to
re-tell the Christmas Story.
North Pole
Still popular though it has dated. Lots of activities,
No 39
Te theme for this years national celebration of
engineering is At the heart of our community, to
refect the vital role played by engineers in sustaining
our towns and cities.
Engineers Week takes place from 9 to 15 February
2014. It is an opportunity for primary and post
primary schools to learn more about engineering.
Tere are several ways to get involved.
ook an event
See what organisations are hosting events in your
area on www.engineersweek.ie
Host an event in your own schooI
Tere are plenty of activities you can run yourself in
the classroom. Activity sheets regarding events you
can run yourself can be downloaded from
Check out fun quizzes or download posters,
stickers and other resources.
Learn about the diferent
types of engineering by visit-
ing www.steps.ie
Invite an engineer in for a
visit If you have a connec-
tion with a local engineering
company, why not invite
them to visit you during the
week? Te STEPS team at
Engineers Ireland can pro-
vide volunteer engineers with
a presentation and help to
arrange and support the visit.
All schools who register an
event will be entered into a
prize draw.
Competition winners
Congratulations to Paddy ODea,
Scoil Mhuire, Abbeyside, Dungar-
van, who was the lucky winner of a
family midterm break in either the
Galway Bay or Hodson Bay Hotels.
(Competition in the October issue
of InTouch.) We hope you enjoyed
the break.
Our congratulations also to
Orlagh Connor, Tullamore, Co
Ofaly, who won a 50 iTunes
voucher from PixelSoup in the
Symmetry School competition
(also in the October issue).




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