Autism Friendly Services at Kilkenny County Council Library Service
In October 2021, the Kilkenny County Council Library Service launched a new range of Autism friendly services. These include a new toy and sensory resource collection (which includes a wide range of toys and sensory resources which help the development of gross motor skills, fine motor skills and play and life skills), a specialised Autism friendly book collection, a social story for your local Library so that you can prepare students for a visit to the Library, and a sensory box, which is now available at your local Library to help students to enjoy a better sensory experience during their visit. In February 2022, Kilkenny Library Service was awarded Autism-Friendly Status from AsIAm.
Biodiversity in Schools
Biodiversity in Schools is an Irish biodiversity education organisation. Their aim is to empower young people across Ireland to help nature by giving them the support they need. The Biodiversity in Schools team have a number of nature activities and resources available on their website, which are simple, free, require minimal resources and encourage students to get outside. There are nature activites for birds, bugs, trees and wildflowers, to name a few!
Bookville Festival 2022
Based on some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators, the Bookville Festival is sure to inspire children, teachers and parents/guardians. Packed with fun and exciting interactive activities to suit children from five - 12 years, the Bookville booklet is an activity book to treasure, and you can enjoy it at any time! There are also Shadow Puppet and Bookmark Making video workshops available to view online. Bookville is brought to you by the Kilkenny County Council Library Service and the Kilkenny County Council Arts Office, supported by the Creative Ireland Programme.
If you are looking for creative projects to keep children occupied at home, Butler Gallery have released some creative activity inspiration as part of their Home Studio series, along with colouring pages based on works from their Collection and colouring pages of original artwork from the Cartoon Saloon WolfWalkers (2020) film.
Castlecomer Discovery Park
The Castlecomer Discovery Park Education Officer has devised a number of educational worksheets and activities, such as Rock Balancing and the Mindful Nature Journal, which can be done at home.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
A number of useful presentations for teachers, Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) and parents/guardians have been developed by the HSE Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), in partnership with Kilkenny Education Centre. These presentations have been developed to assist, inform and guide adults who are in contact with children who are transitioning from Primary to Post Primary school, but they will also be useful for teachers, SNAs and parents/guardians of all children and young people.
Children's Books Ireland
Children's Books Ireland is the national children’s books organisation of Ireland. Through their many activities and events, they aim to engage young people with books, foster a greater understanding of the importance of books for young people and act as a core resource for those with an interest in books for children in Ireland.
ClassDojo is a communication app for teachers, parents/guardians, and students. The app connects teachers with parents/guardians and students, sharing what's being learned in the classroom through photos, videos and messages. The PDST Digital Technologies Team have a page of content dedicated to ClassDojo.
Design and Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) 'Get Ireland Making'
Get Ireland Making is an initiative led by the Design and Crafts Council Ireland, supported by Creative Ireland and Healthy Ireland. It aims to share the skills of DCCI craftspeople and designers, a lot of whom work on the CRAFTed: Learning Skills for Life Programme for Primary schools, with communities across Ireland. There were weekly updates about live workshops and video tutorials, all with an emphasis on making with materials at home or that are easily accessible. Many of these video tutorials, along with a number of podcasts, are still available to watch/listen to on the DCCI website. The DCCI ambition was to engage the public and the design and craft community in activities designed to support wellbeing and build resilience. In partnership with the Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI), DCCI hosted a series of podcasts entitled 'Design Your Life' in early Summer 2021. This podcast series featured recent design graduates speaking about their education, career path and current role.
Primary teachers, Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) and parents/guardians may be interested in the free Enable Ireland Assistive Technology in Primary Education e-Learning course. This self-directed online course takes approximately 1.25 hours to complete and gives a broad overview of the areas where technology can enhance a student’s learning and performance.
ESCI and Institute of Guidance Counsellors 'Navigating the Final Term of Leaving Certificate 2021 - A Webinar for Parents'
European Space Agency Expedition: Home
ESA Education has launched Expedition: Home, a one-stop website for students and parents/guardians to do fun space-based activities and keep learning while at home. The website features plenty of activities for three age ranges: three-six years, six-12 years and 12-18 years.
FÍS Film Project: Introducing Film into the Primary Classroom
The FÍS Film Project has various resources and ideas for both teachers and parents/guardians alike, such as learning film-making skills for making films at home, available on their website.
Happiness and Wellbeing Skills for Post Primary Schools
The Happiness and Wellbeing Skills website offers a number of wellbeing tasks and short guided meditations for Post Primary schools. Additional wellbeing skills are available, such as the Daily Wellbeing Skills videos, which may be helpful.
Heritage in Schools
Heritage in Schools have a vast array of resources, designed to inspire and develop an appreciation and curiosity about Ireland’s wonderful natural and cultural heritage, on their website.
'Home Scoil' YouTube Channel
This YouTube channel features Primary school video lessons following the Irish Primary School Curriculum, such as that on Comprehension Strategies.
Kilkenny Wildlife Detective Programme
The Kilkenny Wildlife Detective Programme, produced jointly by the Heritage Office of Kilkenny County Council and the Kilkenny County Childcare Committee, with support from the Kilkenny Heritage Forum and the Heritage Council, is comprised of a colourful Guide and accompanying poster, which outlines many activities and interesting facts about Kilkenny’s wildlife. The Programme encourages children to explore the biodiversity and habitats of Kilkenny.
Libraries Ireland have various online services available. For example, you can join the library online and get eBooks, audiobooks, online magazines and newspapers for free straight away.
Middletown Centre for Autism
Middletown Centre for Autism was established in 2007 by the Department of Education and Skills (Republic of Ireland) and the Department of Education (Northern Ireland) to support the promotion of excellence throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the education of children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The Centre offers a wide variety of courses and webinars, which feature members of their own multi-disciplinary team and international speakers, on a range of themes, such as Autism and Sensory Processing. They also have a page on their website containing plenty of resources and activities.
National Council for Special Education (NCSE)
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) was set up to improve the delivery of education services to persons with special educational needs, arising from disabilities, with particular emphasis on children. NCSE provide various online resources for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), which have been developed by Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists. There are resources for both teachers and parents/guardians available.
National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)
NEPS psychologists work with Primary and Post Primary schools and are concerned with learning, behaviour, social and emotional development. Each psychologist is assigned to a group of schools. NEPS psychologists work in partnership with teachers, parents/guardians and children in identifying educational needs. They offer a range of services aimed at meeting these needs, for example, supporting individual students (through consultation and assessment), special projects and research. There are a number of useful NEPS resources and publications, such as the NEPS Maths Support Guide (2020), available.
National Gallery of Ireland
With the National Gallery of Ireland at Home, the National Gallery of Ireland has invited schools and families to stay connected with them while at home. Teachers and students can access a range of content, such as virtual tours, podcasts, videos, activites and blogposts.
National Parents Council (Primary)
The National Parents Council have useful information, tips, fun activities and various online training opportunities available on their website for parents/guardians of Early Years and Primary school children.
Seesaw Online Learning Platform
Seesaw is an easy-to-use online learning platform that teachers can use to communicate with parents/guardians and assign work to students. The PDST Digital Technologies Team have a page of content dedicated to the Seesaw platform.
Step Up to Secondary School
Step Up to Secondary School is a new school transition website available to use as a simple resource for Sixth Class students and their parents/guardians. Sixth Class teachers may find this website useful if they are covering the transition from Primary to Post Primary school with students in the final Term of the academic year. The website was developed in June 2020 as part of the Planet Youth project. In June 2021, a Stepping Up to Secondary School Webinar took place for any Sixth Class parent/guardian who wished to support their child/ren with the move from Primary to Post Primary school. The webinar included a panel discussion with an Adolescent Psychotherapist, a Youth Coach and a School Chaplain.
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)
SEAI have published Climate SOS, a book about climate change, written by Lucinda Jacob, illustrated by Alan Nolan and edited by Dr. Orla Kelly, DCU, St. Patrick’s College. This book is aligned with the Primary curriculum (children aged eight - 11 years) and can be used to inspire children to take their own energy actions at home and/or in school. The book is available to download in English and as Gaeilge on the SEAI website. SEAI also have a number of teacher resources and classroom activites available on their website, such as those linked to the Climate SOS book.
The Ark is a dedicated cultural centre for children, creating opportunities for children, along with their families and friends or with their school, to discover and love art. Through their work with leading Irish and international artists, children can enjoy performances in the Ark's unique child-sized theatre, view engaging exhibitions and/or participate in creative workshops.
Transitions from Pre-School to Primary School Padlet
Sarah Murray has created an excellent Padlet of resources on the transition from Pre-School to Primary school in Ireland.
Twinkl Ireland offer a variety of resources to support parents/guardians, ranging from parents/guardians of Junior Infants to Sixth Class students, and covering a range of core topics. Twinkl Ireland also have dedicated Gaelscoileanna, STEM and Early Years sections on their website too.
Weaving Well-Being Programme for Primary Schools
The Weaving Well-Being Programme is the first Irish-designed positive mental health programme of its kind and aims to enhance well-being in children aged from seven and a half - 12.5 years, within the framework of the SPHE curriculum.
Wordless Picture Books Collection at Kilkenny County Council Library Service
Unlock imagination and boost literacy skills with wordless picture books! The Kilkenny County Council Library Service offers a fantastic collection of these captivating books, perfect for creating your own unique story.