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Primary - Ireland’s Education Yearbook 2020

Explorers Super Girl

Grace Gavin, aged 6, from Scoíl Shéamais Noafa, Barna, Co Galway, takes action against Climate Change as part of a national writing and art competition launched early in 2020 by Explorers Education Programme.

Funded by the Marine Institute and supported by Camden Education Trust and the Galway Education Centre, the Explorers Education Programme provides an excellent opportunity for children to come up with creative solutions to climate change and its effects on the ocean.

Photo Andrew Downes @ XposureIreland

Effective Practice in Progressing Communication, Language, and Literacy

Developing continuity in curriculum and pedagogy from early years to primary education

In the rapidly changing landscape of early childhood education in Ireland, this article looks at how to develop continuity in curriculum and pedagogy in progressing children’s communication, language, and literacy skills as they transition from early learning and care settings to primary school.

Noreen Fiorentini
Primary Divisional Inspector, Department of Education Inspectorate
Imelda Duffy
Early Years Inspector, Department of Education Inspectorate

Child Poverty and Mental Health in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Supports in DEIS schools and the need for a national strategic response

The pandemic has serious implications for child poverty. There are lessons to be learned from the last economic crash, when child poverty in Ireland soared at the fastest rate in Europe. Will history repeat itself, or will the Irish state take the necessary measures to protect its most vulnerable children? This article explores the issue through the lens of one DEIS school in Dublin.

Paul Downes
Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre, and Associate Professor at DCU
Niamh Murray
Principal of Rutland St. National School, Dublin (DEIS 1)

Full Inclusion, Frontloading and Forgotten Children

A Review of Special Education in Primary Level

2020 was a turbulent year for special education at primary level in Ireland, not all of it rooted in the Covid-19 pandemic. With special schools threatened with closure, a frontloading model for allocating special needs assistants, and a failure to open enough classes for children with autism, it has been a troubled year for the National Council for Special Education and a troubling year for pupils with additional needs, who could claim to have been forgotten in all of it.

Simon Lewis
Principal, Carlow Educate Together N

Parent Voices

The pandemic of 2020 has caused a monumental pivot in Irish education, with physical school closures resulting in a shift of responsibility for educating our children from teachers to parents. This article reflects on the challenges and opportunities presented to parents, children, and schools during distance learning and considers how this has redefined our understanding of education and schooling in Irish society.

Deirdre McGillicuddy
Mother of Three, Primary School Teacher, and Assistant Professor at UCD School of Education

Sarah Cran née Carroll
Mother of three primary-school children

Jennifer Scully
Mother of two primary-school children

Other Chapters Ireland's Education Yearbook 2020

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