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What is an Irish Medium School?

An Irish Medium School conducts all its affairs through the medium of Irish.

Classes are taught through Irish, staff converse through Irish, the business of the Board of Management is conducted through Irish and the pupils ability to communicate through Irish is fostered, encouraged and enhanced from the moment they enter the school.

The school helps to develop the Irish speaking community inside and outside of its gates.

Irish medium schools are open and welcoming and to this end they assistparents in participating in the life of the school through Irish language classes, Parent’s Association and much more.

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 support the promotion of the Irish language, Irish Culture and the Irish speaking public.

What is a bilingual immersion school?

Comprehensive studies (MET, 1998) have found that the most effective method of acquiring a language is through immersion.

This is the system used in schools under An Foras.

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.

English as a subject is not taught until the second term of 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).

If my child is thought through the medium of Irish, what effect will this have on 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.

I would like to send my child to a Gaelscoil but I have limited Irish. Can I send my child to a Gaelscoil?

Yes. Over 90% of parents who send their children to Gaelscoileanna have little or no Irish.

I would like to learn the Irish Language. Are there classes and support available for parents?

Schools regularly provide language support for parents who wish to improve their Irish language skills.

My child has special needs. Can I send my child to an Irish-Medium school?

Of course. An Irish-Medium school is run in the same manner, with the same resources and funding from the Department of Education, as an English-Medium school. Applications to the Department of Education with regards to special needs assistants are made in the same manner as all primary schools. Click here for more information.

What are the religious characteristic of an Irish Medium school?

Irish Medium schools host many different religious characteristics. There are Catholic, interdenominational and multi-faith schools under the patronage of an Foras.

What does a Multidenominational Irish-Medium school under An Foras Pátrúnachta mean?

Every child has equal access to the school regardless of their religion, culture etc. Aspects of religion, beliefs, morals and ethics are taught to children without any emphasis on any one religion. The Croí na Scoile (Heart of the School) Programme as composed by the school in collaboration with An Foras Pátrúnachta will be adhered to. Arrangements are made for the teaching of denominational religion to children outside official school time, if parents wish. Religious groups holding classes in the school, outside official school time, should be taught through the medium of Irish. The teaching staff will not have a duty to take on this responsibility.

How do I enroll my child for the school?

Contact the selected school for information regarding the schools enrollment policies and the Circular. Contact details of schools are listed by county here.

These are videos about Irish medium education and its benefits which have been put together by Gaelscoileanna Teo:

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