AsIAm, Ireland's national Autism charity, have advice, guidance and a vast array of resources available on their website. AsIAm also organise a selection of online events, such as their 'Lunch and Learn' events. Previous free webinars can be viewed on their YouTube channel. Applications for AsIAm's Autism Friendly Schools Project is open to Primary and Post Primary schools. This academic year, 2022-23, will be the fourth year of this exciting project, which will investigate ways in which we can further refine what it truly means to be ‘Autism Friendly’ in Primary and Post Primary schools across Ireland. The project will reaffirm good practice and support those wishing to foster a culture of inclusion of autistic students in their schools.
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 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!
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.
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 who are returning to school.
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.
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.
ELSTA was formed in 2006 to address the needs of English Language Support Teachers. The ELSTA National Executive aims to work with schools, teachers and key stakeholders in providing high quality support, professional development opportunities and networking for teachers.
This Conference, which took place in January 2023, was organised on behalf of the ESCI network by the ESCI Climate Action sub-committee, consisting of the following Education Support Centre Directors; Stephanie Keating, Athlone Education Support Centre, John O’ Sullivan, Kilkenny Education Centre, Assumpta O’ Neill, Waterford Teachers’ Centre, Norma O’ Brien, Limerick Education Support Centre and Therese Gamble, Drumcondra Education Centre.
In March 2021, in partnership with Wexford Education Support Centre, Kildare Education Support Centre, Limerick Education Support Centre and Monaghan Education Centre, Kilkenny Education Centre organised the 'Enhancing Teaching and Learning Post-Pandemic' Conference online. A recording of the Conference is available on the ESCI Vimeo channel.
Wellbeing for school staff forms a significant part of the Wellbeing Policy Statement and Framework for Practice 2018-2023. In November 2020, Education Support Centres Ireland (ESCI) launched the Ignite Your Light - Minding Ourselves as we Light the Way for Others series of events. School staff can view the various webinars in the series, along with previous Midday Moments, on the ESCI website. As part of this series, ESCI released a number of Ignite Your Light - Minding Ourselves as we Light the Way for Others podcasts, which can also be found on the ESCI website.
ESCI, in partnership with the Department of Education (DES), the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) and the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), delivered a webinar entitled Maintaining Connectedness and the Wellbeing of School Leaders, for Post Primary School Leaders, in November 2020.
New Year, new focus! In February 2023, Dr. Fidelma Healy Eames, Study and Careers Director, interviewed Dr. Mark Rowe, a lifestyle medical doctor who focuses on self-care, as part of the #InspiringIreland #InspiringStudents Series. During Fidelma’s interview with Dr. Rowe, participants learned small actionable steps to help them and their students address anxiety, deal with stress and boost their wellbeing...one day at a time!
In January 2021, ESCI, in collaboration with the Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA), Educate Together, IPPN and PDST, delivered a webinar for members of Primary School Boards of Management.
Jigsaw, in collaboration with Education Support Centres Ireland (ESCI), has developed a number of interactive online training courses for teachers. This unique training, based on the latest research, was developed in collaboration with young people, teachers and schools. The courses are self-directed, and provide ongoing opportunities for reflection. There is also a series of ESCI/Jigsaw Connect for Teachers webinars, available to teachers who have signed up to the Mental Health eLearning Programme. These webinars were hosted by Jigsaw Clinicians and included ESCI tutors on the panels.
In February 2021, ESCI, in collaboration with Mason, Hayes and Curran LLP, delivered this webinar for Primary and Post Primary teachers.
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. In November 2020, FÍS announced their Storyboard Storytelling Competition, where Irish Primary schools were invited to enter a one-off special initiative. The FÍS Storyboard Storytelling Competition provided an opportunity for students to visually interpret a story, concept or topic, and use artistic media and different types of shots, to convey that story in an imaginative and creative way. To support the Competition, the FÍS Film Project developed a step-by-step tutorial, which guides Primary school students through creating their very own storyboard - ideal for use in the classroom!
CSPE, Religious Education, SPHE and Wellbeing teachers will be interested in the Global Citizenship and Environmental Education Resource Booklet, containing full lesson plans and resources for a 12 week course. Some of the key skills covered in the Booklet include critical thinking, being creative, listening, debating, empathy and solidarity. The resources from the Booklet were created for the Climate and Nature Summit. The Summit, hosted and co-ordinated by the Irish School’s Sustainability Network, coincided with the UN Climate Change Conference, COP27.
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.
The HSA Choose Safety Programme is a free education programme, available to Post Primary schools, PLCs, Colleges of Further Education and Youthreach centres, which introduces the principles of health and safety in the workplace. The programme is designed around six Units and each Unit contains enough material and teaching suggestions to cover five or more class periods. The school pack consists of a Teacher book and a Student book, which are available in hard copy, and to download from the HSA website. Teachers may dip into the text and engage in the topics and student activities that best suit the level of knowledge of their students.
Heritage in Schools have a vast array of resources for teachers, designed to inspire and develop an appreciation and curiosity about Ireland’s wonderful natural and cultural heritage, available on their website.
In March 2021, Kilkenny Education Centre and Limerick Education Centre partnered with the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) to deliver Leading in the Now, the Near and the Next: A Panel Discussion for Post Primary School Leaders.
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.
Make-A-Wish Ireland has one simple aim – to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions; to bring hope, strength and happiness. There are a number of ways schools can get involved and help support Make-A-Wish Ireland, from registering to take part in one of their programmes, such as the Schools for Wishes Awards or Wish Week, to having a Non-Uniform Day or a bake sale.
Mathspeak is a free foreign language learning resource for Post Primary schools that is available in six European languages; Bulgarian, English, Greek, Italian, Polish and Romanian. The ten courses enable students to perform mathematics in a foreign language at the same level as they do in their native language.
Many schools are familiar with Microsoft Teams for remote learning but many teachers might not be aware of what it can do.
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.
Narrative 4 Ireland is running online CPD courses in an evidence-based model that builds empathy skills in young people. The Story Exchange is an innovative educator-led model that can be used in any classroom, in person or online. It increases peer support and instils a sense of resilience and belonging by reducing feelings of isolation. Getting young people to share personal stories is a cathartic experience which breaks down barriers, builds trust and reinforces the idea that they are not alone. This programme fulfils six of the criteria of the new Junior Cycle; Managing Myself, Staying Well, Communicating, Being Creative, Working with Others, and Managing Information and Thinking. The training takes eight hours, spread across three weeks, and can be delivered in the classroom over four workshops which focus on topics such as deep listening, empathy verses sympathy and trust building exercises.
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.
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.
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.
Dee Hennessy, Mindful Facilitation, offers a range of courses and events, along with informative articles and video resources.
PDST offer professional learning opportunities to teachers and school leaders in a range of pedagogical, curricular and educational areas. They have a vast assortment of supports and resources available on their website.
Learning for All is a live webinar series from the Teaching Council and Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). These webinars addressed the experiences and concerns of school leaders and teachers during the pandemic in the spirit of support, reassurance and enablement. Through live panels and live links, representatives from the profession and the field engaged in conversations about the realities faced by teachers and school leaders, as well as highlighting the wonderful efforts they made in maintaining continuity in learning for students.
PDST Technology in Education promotes and supports the integration of ICT in teaching and learning in Primary and Post Primary schools. They provide a range of online ICT-related supports to schools through their website and YouTube channel. On their website, teachers can access good practice videos, publications and useful articles written by the Team.
Reader Pens read words and full lines of text aloud for independent reading. These digital highlighters can be helpful if you have Dyslexia, difficulty with reading or pronunciation, are an English language learner or have vision problems. The Reader Pen reads text out loud with a natural speaking voice and they have built-in dictionaries so you can access definitions as you read for better understanding. Kilkenny County Library has 26 Reader Pens for borrowing in their branch libraries. These Pens can be borrowed, by any library member, for a three-week loan period. Membership of the library is free and you can join in any branch or on the Kilkenny County Council Library Service website, under ‘Join the Library’. To register your interest in borrowing a Reader Pen, you can contact your local branch and Kilkenny County Library will let you know when one becomes available.
RTÉ Learn contains all the educational content produced by RTÉ, Ireland's National Television and Radio Broadcaster.
Scoilnet supports Primary and Post Primary teachers in sharing and finding useful resources for the classroom.
Visit the Scratch website to learn how to program interactive games, stories and animations.
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.
The SEN Teacher website has free SEN teaching resources and learning materials to share and use in schools.
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.
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.
TeacherCPD.ie is the learning platform for PDST Technology in Education online courses on digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment. Online courses available on this platform include the level-specific How to Create and Use Instructional Videos (Primary) and Using Video to Enhance and Create Resources (Post Primary) and Assessment Feedback and Digital Technologies. There are plenty of courses to choose from on the platform. TeacherCPD.ie also have a number of video tutorials available for viewing on their Vimeo channel.
TG4, the Irish language free-to-air public service television channel, has two websites, Cúla4 na nÓg (for under 6s) and Cúla4 (for older children). Aside from television programmes, there are games and creativity sections for children.
The Teaching Council is a statutory body that promotes teaching as a profession at Primary and Post Primary levels, promotes the professional development of teachers and regulates standards in the profession.
Twinkl Ireland offer a variety of resources to support Primary school teachers, ranging from those for Junior Infants to Sixth Class and covering a range of core topics. Twinkl Ireland also have dedicated Gaelscoileanna, STEM and Early Years sections on their website too.
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.
Webwise offer free information, advice and education resources, addressing a range of internet safety issues and concerns, for teachers, parents/guardians and students.
The Wired for Well-Being Programme is a new three-level SPHE and well-being programme designed for Junior Cycle students (12 - 15 years). It aims to teach students to understand and enhance their own well-being through a range of evidence-based strategies and skills. It was created in line with the Junior Cycle Short Course SPHE strands and the Well-Being Indicators outlined in the Well-Being Guidelines for Junior Cycle (DES, 2018).