8 January 2021
By Tom Collins
New series of ‘Cúla4 ar Scoil’ from Monday 18th January at 10am on TG4
Following the Government’s announcement that all primary schools will remain closed until the end of January under Level 5 public health restrictions, TG4 has made the decision to broadcast a new series of Cúla4 ar Scoil which will commence on Monday 18th January 2021. The series will air from Monday to Thursday at 10am and will be repeated at 4pm each day.
Cúla4 ar Scoil was commissioned by TG4 during the first lockdown period in April to support parents and teachers who are learning from home while schools were closed. The series caters for primary school children who attend Gaelscoileanna and Gaeltacht schools.
The half-hour programmes will be presented by Teacher Orla Ní Fhinneadha with help from Teachers Micheál Ó Dubhghaill, Cian Ó Griallais, Caitríona Nic an tSaoir and Síle Ní Choncheanainn at different times in the new series. There will also be contributions from teachers and facilitators from other communities and Gaeltacht regions, incorporating a range of dialects. The series will be recorded in Scoil na bhForbacha in the Connemara Gaeltacht.
Cúla4 ar Scoil will have a fortnightly theme and the lesson objectives and learning outcomes will be drawn from the primary school curriculum and will be presented in an engaging and interactive manner. Core curriculum subjects will be included such as Irish, Mathematics, History and Geography, and there will also be an emphasis on creativity, the arts, science, oral traditions, health and wellbeing.
Children will be invited to participate at home and will be asked to send in pictures or videos of their work to the programme. The content will also be available online on Cula4.com and on youtube Cúla4.
The series is funded by TG4 and advice on the educational content and curriculum will be provided by the Department of Education, Coláiste Mhuire gan Smál, An Comhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG), The Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), and Gaeloideachas. The advice and experience of Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta will also be included in the production.
Welcoming the announcement, the Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD., said:
“I was delighted to be able to provide supplementary funding of €1.9 million to TG4 in 2020 towards COVID-19 related costs, particularly the production of Cúla4 ar Scoil which provided a valuable service to school going children during the initial phase of the pandemic. I am pleased that TG4 has decided to put this programming in place again during the current restrictions. TG4 is once again responding to the challenges posed by COVID-19 – putting in place programming for their viewers which is of outmost importance, and doing so in a safe environment. I was also pleased that I was able to secure an additional funding of €3.5 million to TG4 in Budget 2021 which will bring their total allocation to over €40.7 million to help them in their overall delivery of their strategy.”
Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers TD said:
“I welcome this announcement today from TG4 which will be again of great service in particular to school children in our Gaelscoileanna throughout the country and in our Gaeltacht areas. The service provided by TG4, with assistance from Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta, another organisation receiving core-funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, will also facilitate the continued implementation of both the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language and the Policy for Gaeltacht Education, as the country proceeds over one of the final hurdles towards the latter stages of the pandemic.”
Minister for Education Norma Foley also welcomed the announcement saying:
“I am delighted that TG4 is continuing this excellent series. Cúla4 ar Scoil has provided such great entertainment and education through Irish to children all around the country in its series of programmes. There are almost 300 schools in the country operating through the medium of Irish and the new series will be so important for those pupils in particular and for their families. This series will complement the ongoing work of schools and will also be of huge benefit to pupils, who do not attend Irish-speaking schools, and their families particularly during this period of school closure.”
Siobhán Ní Bhrádaigh, Commissioning Editor for Young People in TG4 said,
“We in TG4 are delighted to be able to provide educational support to students and their parents again this year while they are learning at home due to school closures. Cúla4 ar Scoil is a great help to children attending Gaelscoileanna and Gaeltacht schools. We are grateful for the ongoing guidance from the educational organisations that guide us in producing the series and we are grateful for the contribution of Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta, and to Meangadh Fíbín who produce the series with great enthusiasm.”