Local Primary School Teachers on Visit to Brussels

Karen Trench from Dromclough National School, Listowel (left) with European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness and Emer O’Shea from Loughfouder N.S in Knocknagoshel during the European Movement Ireland visit under the Blue Star Programme.

A group of 21 Irish primary school teachers visited Brussels last week to see the European Commission and the European Parliament at work.

The group of teachers, including two from Kerry, Emer O’Shea from Loughfouder National School in Knocknagoshel and Karen Trench from Dromclough National School in Listowel met European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness and Irish MEPs.

The visit was part of the Blue Star Programme, which teaches children aged five to 12 about the EU and is run by European Movement Ireland.

Learning and Thinking about Europe

Primary school pupils around the country are being challenged to get creative in how they learn and think about Europe through the Blue Star Programme!

The Blue Star Programme teaches primary school pupils about European cultures and the EU through creative activities and projects which complement the national primary curriculum.

The idea is simple: to foster better understanding and knowledge of Europe and how it affects the lives of Irish citizens among Irish primary pupils in a curriculum friendly manner.

First Programme in 2011-2012

Since the first year of the Programme in 2011-2012, the Blue Star Programme has had just over 1,000 primary school registrations across the country, as the Programmes grows from strength to strength!

The Programme is designed to be as curriculum-friendly as possible so it can fit in with lesson plans already in place. Each class carries out projects suitable for their age group on History; Geography; Culture and Creativity; and Institutions of the EU.

Suggestions for Projects

“While we offer advice and suggestions for projects and activities, teachers have flexibility to be creative and to tailor their Action Plans for the needs of their class,” according to the guidelines for participation.

“Classes have written and acted out plays; made traditional food from all over Europe; and talked to relatives in other EU countries over Skype, amongst many other creative activities.

One class even recreated the painting of the Sistine Chapel by painting the underneath of their classroom desks.”

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