Call: 056-7760200 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Call: 056-7760200

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Get Directions


Register for Courses

User Login

Local Programmes

2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Teacher Primary Schools Science Project

Project in partnership with the Institute of Education, DCU, Drumcondra and The Irish American Partnership (IAP)

2016-17

In October 2016, a number of Primary schools came together in the Centre for a short information evening on the proposed Project for 2016-17. This was the first meeting of the school year for teachers involved in the Project. Teachers discussed the Project thus far, reflecting on the previous year and shared ideas with each other regarding certain curriculum areas. Following on from an electricity workshop teachers had attended the previous year, teachers looked at designing and making simple electric robots - Drawbots. This proved to be a hugely popular STEAM project with participating teachers. The teachers left with a robot kit to take back and implement in the classroom. Project facilitator, Michelle Maher, provided support for building robots in the classroom, both through school visits and email support to schools. The class teacher and Michelle discussed some learning outcomes arising from this activity; critical thinking and problem solving skills were particularly challenged.

Drawbot Lesson Plan page 001

The second workshop of the year took place in November 2016. Michelle continued with the STEAM theme with a focus on electrical circuits. On this occasion, the participating teachers looked at designing and making light up Christmas cards with LEDs and a paper circuit using copper tape. The schools left with a kit to implement this in the classroom.

Electronic Christmas Cards 1

The third workshop took place in March 2017 focusing on electromagnetism. Simple electromagnets were built by passing a current through copper coil. Some everyday applications of electromagnets were explored, from speakers to wind turbines. This workshop also explored building simple homopolar magnets. Again, Michelle provided support to participating schools through school visits and email support.

The final workshop reviewed the year's work, discussed the difficulties encountered and how to overcome them in the future. Energy and forces and how to implement in the Junior classes was explored.

2017-18

The first workshop of the year examined living things; more specifically life under the microscope. Teachers were supplied with a digital USB microscope for use in the classroom. The image appears on the Interactive Whiteboard, also with a picture capture function so that images can be saved for later use. Teachers looked at a variety of different leaves and fibres. It was particularly interesting to see the difference between living and non-living things under the microscope.

21

Students in Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Classes in Scoil Chiaráin Naofa, Ballyragget using the digital USB microsope.

The second and third workshops of the year focused on coding with Crumble. The second workshop in February 2018 involved becoming familiar with Crumble and downloading software to get started. Participating teachers looked at some introductory code including coloured sparkles and colour-coded lighthouses. Crumble is an easy to use electronics controller. A few 'croc' leads and a USB cable are all that are needed to connect motors, LEDs and sensors and begin experimenting. No programming experience is required as the free software is a graphical, drag-and-drop system inspired by MIT Scratch. It plugs into a PC/laptop via USB and, once programmed, the USB no longer needs to be connected. Motors, buzzers and sparkles are powered by a battery pack connected to the board.

 Doc1

 Students in Lisnafunchin N.S. using Crumble technology.

Lighthouse 4Lighthouse 

Lighthouses constructed by students in Johnswell N.S. using Crumble technology.

In the third workshop of the year, in March 2018, participating teachers continued with the recently introduced Coding project by looking at the Crumble BoxBot. The Crumble BoxBot is essentially a buggy or robot that has utilised motor functions and is easily coded using Crumble software. It is easy to construct without too much prior experience in either coding or robotics. It provides a ready-built platform to experiment safely and easily with analog and digital inputs and outputs. It moves, shines lights and reacts to its environment - but only if the coding tells it to! 

Crumble

 

The Crumble BoxBot can also be easily constructed using Lego as the building blocks or scaffolding. Here is an example of mixing Lego bricks and Crumble to build a coded Easter Egg decorating machine. The possibility of STEAM projects with the Crumble board are countless, sparking creativity and encouraging critical thinking and problem solving.

 

Print Email

CRAFTed: Learning Skills for Life Programme

CRAFTed

About CRAFTed

The CRAFTed Programme gives Primary school children and teachers an exciting opportunity to explore their creativity and learn new skills by working with professional craftspeople in the classroom.

For Teachers

CRAFTed supports teachers in the delivery of the Visual Arts (VA) curriculum and investigates how craft processes can contribute to learning in other subject areas such as Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE) curriculum. Please click here to download a digital poster for your school noticeboard. For a slideshow of images to give you an idea of the diversity and skill levels undertaken by CRAFTed 2015 Projects please click here.

For Students

CRAFTed provides collaborative training, access to highly skilled craftspeople and gives both teachers and students the opportunity to explore new materials such as clay, fiber and metals.

Print Email

Reading Recovery

Ellen Quaid is the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader based in Kilkenny Education Centre.

Kilkenny Education Centre facilitates Reading Recovery in the following counties:

  • Kilkenny City and County
  • Carlow
  • Tipperary
  • Kildare
  • Laois
  • Wexford
  • Waterford
  • Offaly

What is Reading Recovery?

Reading Recovery (RR) is a school-based intervention designed to reduce literacy problems within an education system. It is an early intervention, giving children who have particular difficulties in reading and writing after their first year in Primary school a period of intensive, individual teaching. The intervention is not solely concerned with improving the reading and writing skills of the lowest achieving children in the age band in the mainstream class (around age six) but also helps them to develop more effective literacy strategies so that they will be able to continue to work at age appropriate levels and to progress satisfactorily in their own school’s instruction programme. A child’s RR series of lessons is finished when he or she is judged to be able to cope well with reading and writing and work successfully at age appropriate levels. The aim is that, with a fully trained RR teacher, this should be achieved within 12-20 weeks. As soon as the child leaves Reading Recovery, another enters and this rolling intervention continues throughout the year. A Reading Recovery teacher in training may succeed in providing RR to at least eight children during the year.

Key Features of the Reading Recovery Programme

  • Children entering Reading Recovery are those who have had the most difficulty in reading and writing after one year at school. Reading Recovery is directed at the lowest achieving six year olds (approx.) in the mainstream class, without exception.
  • The intervention is different for every child. The starting point is the child’s strengths and the teacher builds upon what the child is able, and trying to do.
  • The teaching is individually designed and individually delivered. Each child has an intensive series of 30-minute lessons, daily. The instruction is supplementary to normal class teaching.
  • The focus of each lesson is on comprehending messages in reading and constructing messages in writing. In every lesson, children read several small books and write their own stories, learning how to attend to detail without losing focus on meaning.

Training to Become a Reading Recovery Teacher

  • For Reading Recovery to be effective with the hardest to teach children, the teacher needs to become a highly skilled decision-maker at every turn of the lesson.
  • Training for Reading Recovery is a one-year part-time course, which interweaves theoretical understanding and practical experience.
  • During the first year of training, a teacher is required to work with at least four children at any one time on an individual basis, for half an hour every day during which teachers will need to be freed from other responsibilities. Allowing for record keeping, the time commitment to Reading Recovery during the training half a school day every day, of which the majority of the time is spent working in the teachers’ own school, teaching children on an individual basis.
  • Following an intensive training in observation and assessment in the first two weeks of the course, the teacher is required to attend in-service sessions for half a day, fortnightly. These are in addition to the daily teaching commitment; there is an expectation that teachers will teach their Reading Recovery pupils prior to attendance at in-service sessions, so that the children’s pattern of daily lessons is not interrupted.
  • There are 18 in-service sessions in total and four assessment training sessions. Each session lasts approximately two and a half to three hours.

In-Service Sessions

  • In-service sessions include two RR lessons taught behind a one-way screen (installed in Kilkenny Education Centre), which are observed, analysed and discussed by the group training to become RR teachers. Following these lessons a more in-depth discussion takes place.  Discussion centres on issues raised following the observed lessons, shared experiences and finally greater theoretical understanding.
  • In-service sessions also give practical advice for the implementation of RR in schools, and provide opportunities for teachers to share their individual concerns and experiences.
  • Further support, tailored to the particular needs of the individual teacher and school is provided by a minimum of four to six Teacher Leader visits to the teacher’s school during the year of training.
  • At the end of the training year the now qualified RR teacher will continue to receive support from the Teacher Leader and will attend at least six ‘Continuing Contact’ sessions during the years to follow while s/he is teaching children in RR.                                                                                   

The Teacher Leader

The Teacher Leader is a highly skilled practitioner of Reading Recovery, an adept facilitator of teachers’ professional development and a proficient administrator of a complex and detailed intervention in an education system. The Teacher Leader’s role is seen as one of support for the teachers in training and their schools.

Benefits for the School and System

Reading Recovery identifies early on the children who are struggling, and those who could possibly slip through the net – the bottom 20%. It reduces the need for extensive learning support over a long-term basis – especially as Reading Recovery becomes a rolling programme.  Schools should be prepared to commit to Reading Recovery for at least three years in order to reap the true benefits of the programme. The RR teacher will be a highly skilled practitioner in the area of literacy in the early years.  Her/his knowledge will provide insights into curriculum planning in the area of literacy and s/he will be an adept facilitator of strategies and methods for effective literacy teaching. It may lead to identifying gaps in the planning  and teaching of the English Language curriculum. It identifies the need (if any) for new reading material within the school to be added and updated regularly. It enables planning and focuses for funding etc. for particular class groups.

Benefits for the Trained Reading Recovery Teacher

Reading Recovery training ensures excellent professional development. The RR teacher will become a highly trained early literacy teacher on the school staff with the ability to train others in the best strategies and methods of teaching for effective literacy skills. S/he will know how to use effective strategies to prevent children from failing. S/he becomes a member of the RR network, which supports and guides for as long as s/he remains teaching RR. When/if s/he returns to mainstream class teaching – the strategies and methods used will guide his/her planning in the implementation of a highly effective literacy programme in the classroom.

Further Information 

Ellen Quaid, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader

Phone: 087-1766749

Useful Links

Reading Recovery Website
PDST Website 

Print Email

Scríobh Leabhar

The Scríobh Leabhar Project aims to awaken childrens’ interest in Irish books, by encouraging them to design and write their own books as Gaeilge. The Project is organised by Foras na Gaeilge, in co-operation with several Education Centres and organisations on the island of Ireland. The Project is run through Irish. In Kilkenny Education Centre, the Project runs as follows: 

1. We invite schools to participate in the scheme, by expressing interest in September/October and follow up with a letter in December. A timeline for the Project is set out. 

2. The teachers work with the children in the schools to develop their writing. The children design, write and bind their books. The books can be handwritten and illustrated or be produced using ICT. The pupils can write individual books, or work in groups, or produce whole class books. The schools then send a Registration Form to the Education Centre listing the number of teachers and classes taking part, and the number of books they will write. This is important information so that the swapping can be organised, and so that the certificates can be ordered.   

3. Towards the end of the Project the schools swap books. The Centre will write to the ‘co-ordinating teacher’ in each school with information regarding the day/date for swapping, and information on how to present the books (copy of the list to be filled in etc). The co-ordinating teacher is responsible for disseminating this information to the other participating classes and teachers in the school.  

4. The swapping happens as follows: Teachers from each school bring the books to the Centre on an assigned day and time. The Project Administrator, Monica Skehan, matches classes, in order to ensure, as far as possible, that children read books written by students at the same class level. The classes and teachers read the books. The teacher selects books for ‘Gradam’ awards, from each class. The books are returned to the Education Centre on an agreed date, the ‘Gradam’ books are kept aside.  

5. About a month is allowed for the ‘swap’ to take place, to allow teachers adequate time to read the books and select award winners (sometimes days off/holidays can mean that a calendar month is only a few weeks of school etc).

6. All the award winning books are collected at the Centre. The covers are scanned in to make a presentation for the celebration day. A list of all the students and books is prepared. Invitations are sent out to the schools, inviting award winners to a celebration day. All participating teachers and the children’s parents are also invited.

7. Every child who takes part in Scríobh Leabhar receives a Certificate in recognition of their efforts. Each school can also organise their own individual special event or ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the budding young authors. 

Print Email

Kilkenny Education Centre Reading Group

The Kilkenny Education Centre Reading Group is an informal group of teachers who meet on a monthly basis to discuss a book the group have read. The group meet under the stewardship of Larry Cotter, an English Teacher in St. Kieran's College. All are welcome!

The group started with two people in September 2007 and is growing steadily. In 2017, they celebrated 10 years reading together!

Some of the books read by the Group include:

  • The Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai
  • Everyman, Philip Roth
  • The Gathering, Anne Enright
  • Reading Lolita in Teheran, Anzar Nafisi
  • Mr Pip, Lloyd Jones
  • Desert Flower, Waris Derie
  • The Stone Carvers, Jane Urquhart
  • Julius Winsome, Gerard Donovan.
  • How to be Good, Nick Hornby
  • Zugzwang, Ronan Bennett
  • Engelby, Sebastian Faulks
  • Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
  • Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  • The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley, Jeremy Massey
  • The Scandal, Fredrik Backman
  • Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie
  • The Dry, Jane Harper
  • Amy and Isabelle, Elizabeth Strout
  • The Big Chapel, Thomas Kilroy (One County, One Book)
  • West, Carys Davies
  • Normal People, Sally Rooney

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Reading Group is as follows;

* Please check back in September 2019!

Print Email

CPD Calendar

July   2019
S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31