EDUCATION: Primary schools learn about EU in ‘Blue Star Programme’

2 October 2020
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

 

The Blue Star Programme teaches primary school pupils about Ethe EU through creative activities and projects which complement the national primary curriculum

Schools in Cork, and nationwide, now have just one week left to register to partake in the Blue Star Programme this year.

Since the first year of the Programme in 2011-2012, Cork has had 93 primary schools participate, of the 1,100 schools that have registered nationwide, with schools in every county represented to date.

The Blue Star Programme teaches primary school children about Europe through creative activities and projects that complement the national primary curriculum. Each participating class carries out projects on history, geography, the Institutions of the EU, culture and creativity with a European twist. The Programme places a focus on the diversity within the Irish classroom today and the importance of mutual understanding and respect for other cultures.

The Programme is flexible in nature to allow teachers to be creative and tailor their projects towards their own individual needs and interests, and within the framework of their existing lesson plans. The Blue Star Programme team are close to hand to support participating schools during the current challenging times and will continue to provide a fully flexible, curriculum-friendly programme to best support schools in adapting the Programme to a changed classroom environment.

Among the variety of Blue Star Programme activities of recent months, pupils across Ireland took part in online quizzes and a ‘Virtual Handshake for Europe’ on Europe Day; others baked European dishes at home and built Lego structures of famous landmarks in Europe such as the Eiffel Tower! Teachers, parents, carers and all in the broader school community are encouraged to get involved in Blue Star Programme projects creating an awareness of the EU that reaches far beyond the school walls and out into the wider community.

Speaking about the Programme, Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne TD said,

“The Blue Star Programme offers a fantastic opportunity for primary school students to get a real sense of what it means to be European. It also provides a window into the many opportunities that come with EU membership for Ireland as a country and for the children as European citizens. I can guarantee that the kids will also will have great fun on this journey!”

Primary schools interested in taking part in the Blue Star Programme 2020-2021 can register here now until 9 October 2020. To complete the Programme, schools are asked to take part in online quizzes and/or submit a Blue Star Programme Report outlining how each of the key elements were explored, at the end of the year. Schools are also encouraged to host an event for Europe Day on 9 May, in school or online. See www.bluestarprogramme.ie

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