Our Schools (Common Links)

Age: 9,10,11
Project Year: 2012-13

The project's theme was the connection we had as two schools from Armagh and Kildare

As Scoil Mhichil Naofa is a large size school in a town environment and St Brigid's is a small/medium size school in a rural environment, the project's aims were to show the pupils that there was very little difference between both schools. The connection of the saint, St Brigid, was an important link and how we celebrate the making of her crosses and hymns. Regular online contact was important to build up a knowledge of each school and the concept of creating movies about each school enhanced that link. The pupils loved the idea of promoting their school and showing their partner group what is important to their school. The determination of both teachers to continue the online work was vital to the success of the project.

Face-to-face meeting

Venue: Causey Farm, Co Meath, 13th of May, 2013
This venue was chosen as a 'half-way' spot geographically between the three schools. When we were researching where to go, the idea of an activity- based meeting appealed to all schools to allow the children to mix and interact. Activities: Team-building exercises, bodhrán playing, orienteering activities, bog jumping, blowing bubbles! When both schools had met, the children were split according to their groups i.e. children from groups 1 and 2 were mixed with corresponding groups from their partner school

Videoconferencing

Our classes videoconferenced on a semi-regular basis! The majority of our videoconferences were group-to-group sessions.
Scoil Mhichil Naofa was fortunate enough to have an empty classroom neighbouring their own so the children could go next door and VC uninterrupted with the rest of the class working away. St Brigid's used an activity room beside the classroom to give some quiet area for the VC. We were both amazed to see children who would talk for Ireland, struggle to maintain a conversation with children their own age at the other side of a computer! We did lots of talking activities in classes as a result and talked about 'social cues' and good listening and speaking rules, as well as maintaining a conversation. The children really enjoyed videoconferencing and it was wonderful for them to see the similarities that exist between them - One Direction being a talking point... As the end of the year approached, the oracy skills of both classes improved to the point where the pupils looked forward to having their little chats.
Benefits: The children really improved in their speaking and listening skills. The children really put in extra effort into developing their conversation skills - listening and asking questions. Children who could literally 'talk for Ireland', were suddenly shy upon their first few videoconferences but they soon relaxed and natural conversation occurred. A huge benefit was for the children to develop their own ICT skills, they would not have had the opportunity to videoconference at any other stage in Primary School, as far as I'm aware.

Schools Involved

Media Gallery

For Dissolving Boundaries Day 2014 we invited schools to send us short video recordings that show what DB means to them. We've pieced these together into a movie!

A documentary about linking schools through ICT; case studies of cross-border links between Northern Ireland and Ireland in the Dissolving Boundaries programme and in Israel through the TEC program.

 

School Participation

View map of Dissolving Boundaries schools

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