The new Waterways Ireland Education Programme has already won an award!!! The Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL) Claire Awards which recognise Excellence in Learning were presented by the DCAL Permanent Secretary, Peter May. Manus Tiernan, Education Officer and Nuala Reilly, Archivist accepted the highly commended award in the section Specific and Successful Learning Project on behalf of Waterways Ireland.
John Martin Chief Executive of Waterways Ireland stated “I am delighted with this recognition of Waterways Ireland’s success in bringing the waterways into the classroom, and the students out to the waterways. It is richly deserved.”
Following a pilot period with one primary school on each of the seven waterways managed by Waterways Ireland, the programme was developed ensuring that it met the needs of the curricula in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The programme has online and offline dimensions and includes site visits to the waterways themselves as well as the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre. The flexibility of the programme enables schools to integrate the inland waterways into learning, through high quality experiences which support understanding, learning and creative development.
To date, the education programme has been rolled out to some 370 schools along the waterway corridor with the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre hosting 15 school groups in the same period.
‘It is a lovely resource – very well presented, interesting, informative and particularly important, directly related to the primary school curriculum’ (Maynooth National School)
‘…..not only provided advice, but also enthused them in their efforts……..they became active researchers and would come to the STEM club each week keen to share the information they had found …..’ (Enniskillen Model P.S.)
For Waterways Ireland, the programme helps to meet its objective in promoting the waterways, encouraging long term usage and appreciation.