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Benefits of an Irish-medium Education

Irish-medium Education - Response to Covid-19

Transition in Irish-medium Education

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Ceisteanna Coitianta

1. What does Irish-medium education mean?

Irish-medium education is a form of immersion education in which the curriculum is taught through Irish.  Your child will listen to and use Irish both inside and outside of the classroom which allows them to learn the language naturally.

2. Does immersion education occur anywhere else?

Yes, this type of education can be found all over the world in countries such as Wales, Scotland, Canada and Australia. It is estimated that around 60% of the world’s population is bilingual.

3. Are all Irish-medium schools Catholic schools?

No they are not. Most Irish-Medium schools are non-denominational and have an inclusive ethos, meaning they welcome pupils from all backgrounds and faiths.

4. Can I send my child to an Irish-medium school even though I don’t speak Irish?

Yes. Most parents who send their children to Irish-medium schools don’t speak Irish. Irish-medium teachers are experienced in supporting all parents regardless of their level of Irish.

5. Will I still be able to help with homework?

Yes you will. Teachers provide homework support and after-school homework clubs are also common in Irish-medium schools.

6. Do teachers in Irish-medium schools have the same qualifications as an English-medium teacher?

Yes – Irish-medium teachers receive the same training as English-medium teachers and have the additional skills of language teaching.

7. Will my child have any difficulty understanding the teachers?

No, you will be surprised at how quickly and naturally your child will pick up the language. Irish-medium teachers have been specially trained to support every child in their language journey.

8. Will my child be taught a different curriculum?

No – Irish-medium schools teach the same curriculum as other schools with the added bonus of pupils learning another language at the same time.

9. Will my child be taught to read and write in English?

Yes – Irish-medium pupils start learning to read and write in English at the end of Primary 3 or the beginning of Primary 4. Although pupils start learning English later, they leave primary school with the same level of English as pupils who have attended an English-medium school.

10. Will learning through Irish affect my child’s English language development?

No. Research has shown that learning through another language does not affect English language development and can actually enhance it.

11. Is immersion education suitable for children with additional or special-educational needs?

Absolutely! Irish-medium schools have an inclusive ethos for all children and can provide the same support as English-medium schools. If your child has an additional need, we recommend that you contact your local Irish-medium school to discuss how they can support your child.

12. Are the same books and resources available for Irish-medium pupils?

Yes, more and more resources are being made available for pupils in Irish-medium education. Some of your child’s favourite books have been translated into Irish and they can access games and activities online.

13. Will my child have the same access to extra-curricular activities?

Yes and more! Irish-medium schools provide a wealth of extra-curricular activities through breakfast clubs and after-school clubs. Schools will also have links with local Irish-medium youth clubs.

14. Will transport be provided to enable my child to attend the nearest Irish-medium school?

The Education Authority (EA) will provide transport, or a transport allowance to enable your child to attend your nearest Irish-medium schools, if the school is;

  • more than two miles from your home in the case of a primary school;
  • more than three miles from your home in the case of a post-primary school

For further information or to apply, visit the Home to School Transport section of the EA’s website:

www.eani.org.uk/financial-help/home-to-school-transport 

15. Can my child move from an English medium school to and Irish-medium school?

Yes they can, although every case is different and it is important to speak to your local Irish-medium school when making this decision.

 

If you have any further questions please contact Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta on 02890 321 475 or at eolas@comhairle.org.

 

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