Ireland 2016 Schools Programme Launched

The Ireland 2016 Schools Programme has been launched by the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O'Sullivan, and Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys.

The initiative is described as an extensive nationwide programme of activities, research projects, competitions and awards.

It will be rolled out in primary and post-primary schools across the country from this month as part of the Youth and Imagination strand of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. The Schools Programme has been developed in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills.

Highlights of the Ireland 2016 Schools Programme include:

• The 'Proclamation for a New Generation' project will see students being asked to write a new proclamation for their own school to reflect the values and hopes of the 2016 generation, starting with an analysis of the ideals, principles and aspirations of the 1916 Proclamation.

• A special 'Proclamation Day' will take place in all educational institutions on 15th March 2016. This is the moment when every school in the country will showcase the results of their 'Proclamation for a New Generation' and all other creative projects relating to 1916 that the student body have developed.

• The '1916 Ancestry Project' will invite all primary and post-primary pupils to trace their family (or another family) tree back to 1916. Students will be encouraged to find out what was happening in their local community in 1916 and embark on a trail of discovery using the resources of our national cultural institutions.

• A range of arts awards and competitions, based on themes relating to 1916 or Ireland in 2116, have been developed by the Department of Education and Skills in partnership with the Department of Education in Northern Ireland, which will be open to all primary and post primary schools on the island of Ireland.

• All of the​ N​ational C​ultural I​nstitutions are creating exciting and diverse programmes of events and activities specifically to engage young people and children, not just with the events of 1916, but also to explore and express their vision as young artists for the Ireland they want in the future.

Speaking at the launch event Minister Humphreys said: "It's fitting that we are here in the school attended by one of the signatories of the Proclamation to launch the Schools Programme, which is such an important element of Ireland 2016. Children and young people are at the heart of the commemorations.

"We've worked with the Department of Education and Skills to develop an interactive programme of activities which I hope will catch the imagination of our young people and help them to reflect on the events of 100 years ago, while also looking to the future. I am delighted that our National Cultural Institutions, such as the National Library and the National Museum, are intertwined in the schools programme, with specially developed initiatives to engage young people and children in the Centenary Programme."

Minister Jan O'Sullivan encouraged teachers and pupils from primary and post primary schools get involved: "I am delighted to be here today to launch the Ireland 2016 Schools Programme.

"It is a really exciting and innovative programme with lots of opportunities for teachers and students to explore the events of 1916 but also to re-imagine Ireland's future through initiatives like Proclamation for a New Generation. It's also a brilliant opportunity for students to trace their family tree and discover the hidden histories of their local communities through the Ancestry Project.

"There will be a wealth of online resources made available to teachers and students throughout the year and I would encourage all schools to get involved and help make 2016 a very special year."


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