Answers to parents’ & guardians’ FAQs

When parents ask us a question, we’ll add it to this page. If you’ve a question we haven’t answered, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Please visit our Contact page to get in touch.

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What is a Gaelscoil?

All business is carried out through the medium of Irish in a Gaelscoil.

Classes are taught through the medium of Irish, school staff converse with eachother through Irish, all business and Board of Management meetings are held through Irish and pupils are encourages to converse Irish with eachother. The school strengthens and promotes its Irish-speaking communitiy both inside and outside the school gates.

Irish-medium schools are open and welcoming and to that end, they support parents in parttaking in schools life through different events from Irish classes to the Parents’ Committee and much more.

Why do parents like me choose a Gaelscoil?

There are many reasons in addition to the excellent education provided. See our video below for more.



What are the additional benefits immersion education provides?

According to research on bilingual education, the following are the results for students who go through the system:

  • Better performance academically (Gallagher & Hanna, 2002).
  • Easier to learn a third and fourth language(Cenoz & Valencia 1994)
  • Understanding and openess to other cultures (Gallagher & Hanna, 2002)
  • Improvements in cognitive abilities, creativity and communication. (Bialystok et al. 2005)
  • Higher scores in English and Maths (Education Research Centre, 2011)
  • Enhanced awareness of identity, culture and sense of community (Baker, 2003)
  • Increased Self Esteem (Baker, 2003)
  • Bilingual Education enriches academic productivity, creative talents andself-esteem in students (NMABE, 2006; Cummins, 2000)
  • Improved communication and social skills (Cummins, 2000)
What is a multi-denominational school?

A multi-d school is a school which welcomes all children whatever their religious or cultural background. All beliefs are on an equal footing and this is reflected throughout the school.


I can't speak Irish. Is this a suitable choice for me?

Absolutely! All that’s required is a positive attitude. 96% of parents in our schools have little or no Irish. See our video below for more.

What supports are provided to children with Special Needs?

We are driven to ensure children in our schools receive the best education based on their individual talents and abilities. Our schools receive the exact same supports for students as other schools such as SNA provision, resource teaching hours and specialised education units. Due to huge demand, many of our schools have opened special classes (formerly known as Special Education Units) and cater for a variety of needs such as autism or reading. Being in an Irish-medium/immersion education environment has long been recognised by research as being beneficial to the learning and progress of students with special educational needs. Total early immersion is recognised as the most successful model for children/pupils with special needs. See the below video for more.

Comprehensive information is available at:


How does this effect his/her English language development?

How does this effect his/her English language development?

Research has proven immersion education benefits the development of the English Language. Children in Irish-medium school achieve higher results in English (and Maths) due to their having higher general language skills.

What about multi-lingualism? What 3rd language?

Our multi-lingual programme, based on a renowned international model called ‘CLIL’ (Content Language Integrated Learning). Ireland needs a multilingual workforce, in view of Brexit more than ever. An Foras Pátrúnachta are industry leaders in education in this area with 100% of our schools already successfully implementing the full-immersion education model. Every school will adopt a third European language at it’s 3rd language.

What is immersion education?

Comprehensive studies (MET, 1998) have found that the most effective method of acquiring a language is through immersion. This is the system used in all schools under An Foras Pátrúnachta.

Immersion means that every subject is taught through Irish and that all business and communication in the school is conducted through Irish. In this manner every aspect of the language is absorbed resulting in the student being able to understand and speak the language in a shorter time frame.

The class teacher will speak and teach through Irish only to the pupils from the beginning of Naíonáin Bheaga (Junior Infants) until the Christmas break in Naíonáin Mhóra (Senior Infants). Research has found that
students in the immersion system attain greater levels in reading and writing in both English and Irish than the national average (Ó hAiniféin, 2007; Cloud, Genesee & Hamayan, 2000).

Objectives of Irish Medium Education?

1. To provide education of the highest standard to our pupils.

2. To foster and develop all children in a holistic manner.

3. To promote Irish language & Culture by praise and encouragement.

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