The Blue Star Programme is an education initiative for primary school students across Ireland. The idea of the Programme is to foster better understanding and knowledge of the European Union amongst Irish primary pupils. Students are encouraged to get creative and undertake a programme of tasks and activities in order to introduce participants (pupils, teachers, parents and the wider community) to the EU; what it means and how it works.
The programme has gone from strength to strength since the pilot year in 2011/2012 with over 120 schools and approximately 5,500 pupils having participated to date. Successful completion of the programme is recognised by the presentation of a Blue Star and an EU flag to the school.
How does it work?
Teams of pupils of all ages, from primary schools all over Ireland, are challenged to get creative and think about Europe by carrying out projects in relation to four key elements: the history, geography, culture and creativity, and Institutions of the EU. Each participating school is required to carry out projects and tasks, incorporating elements that include information about:
• The foundation and development of the European Union
• The cultural and linguistic diversity of Europe
• What the European Union does and how its work affects the lives of citizens
Above all, the programme is designed to be as curriculum friendly as possible for teachers so it can fit in with lesson plans already in place.
What is involved?
Once schools have registered to participate in the Programme, they are provided with a resource pack and resource materials (e.g. booklets, posters, pamphlets, wall charts, etc.) to offer tips on the types of projects the pupils can undertake. The resource packs also help guide the teachers in how best to facilitate the pupils and all resources are available in Irish and English.
Participating schools must submit an Action Plan outlining the goals they hope to achieve over the course of the school year and at the end of the year, they submit a Final Report outlining how each of the above four elements were explored. The completion of the programme should culminate in a Europe Day (9 May) event, such as an art exhibition, concert or food fair, where the school community can showcase and celebrate their achievements throughout the year.
Applications are still being accepted for the third year of the programme so if you would like to register your interest and obtain more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone Joe, the Blue Star Project Manager, on 01-662 5815 or visit the website for more information HERE