New Education Project Launched in WELB Schools
Pictured with Dr Adrian Johnston is June Neill, WELB Deputy Head of CASS and Project Coordinator; Harry McBeth from Cumber Claudy PS and Muirean McNulty from St Mary's PS, Altinure. Photo Credit Lorcan Doherty Photography.
A new education project for schools in the Western Education and Library Board (WELB) area was officially launched by the International Fund for Ireland, recently.
Promoting Reconciliation through Shared Curriculum Experience is a three-year project that involves primary and post primary schools from nationalist and unionist traditions in the Limavady, Derry, Strabane and Omagh district council areas.
Through the project, 40 schools will take part in a range of cross community and reconciliation learning experiences with the aim of enhancing key elements of the Northern Ireland curriculum. In particular, it will focus on Personal Development and Mutual Understanding (PDMU) learning in primary schools and Local and Global Citizenship in post primary settings.
Findings from the project will be used to inform educational policy, enhance aspects of teacher development and influence subject delivery going forward.
Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “This is a major project which could have a significant impact on how cross community and reconciliation experiences are delivered through the curriculum. The results of the project will contribute to effective teacher development and enhance schools’ capacity to tackle areas of diversity, inclusion and reconciliation. It promotes collaboration and sharing of best practice between schools that will positively impact on the knowledge of pupils and attitudes of parent.”
He added: “This project will make a lasting contribution towards inclusion and social cohesion and help provide a model of effective practice that will empower teachers and guide students through critical and current themes like equality, diversity and inclusion.”
WELB Deputy Head of CASS and Project Coordinator, June Neill, said: “This is an important project that will explore and evaluate the impact of cross community contact in schools particularly those that directly address areas of good relations and reconciliation. The WELB welcomes the opportunity to deliver the Promoting Reconciliation through a Shared Curriculum Experience project with support from the International Fund for Ireland and in partnership with all the schools involved. The project has the potential to develop a model of effective practice, which could be disseminated across the entire schools estate for years to come.”
The International Fund for Ireland, through its Sharing in Education Programme, has provided £450,200 towards the Promoting Reconciliation through a Shared Curriculum Experience project. Curriculum concepts of the programme will include Equality, Diversity, Inclusion, Discrimination, Sectarianism, Racism, Reconciliation and Peace Building.
The Fund’s Sharing in Education Programme seeks to break down barriers from Northern Ireland’s historic conflict by providing a range of opportunities for young people to learn and work together. To date over £16m has been invested in SiEP which was launched in 2008.