By Dan Wash
With schools reopening after a long lockdown the primary aim will be to return to ‘normal’ in the classroom as quickly as possible, and no better way than tackling a challenge. Primary school pupils in Co. Wexford and around the country are being challenged to get creative in how they learn and think about Europe through the Blue Star Programme, coordinated by European Movement Ireland.
The Blue Star Programme teaches primary school children about Europe through creative activities and projects that complement the national primary curriculum. Each participating class carries out projects on history, geography, the Institutions of the EU, culture and creativity with a European twist. Teachers and their classes have flexibility to be creative and tailor their projects towards their own individual needs and interests.
Among the variety of Blue Star Programme activities of recent months, pupils took part in online quizzes and a ‘Virtual Handshake for Europe’ on Europe Day; others baked European dishes at home and built Lego structures of famous European landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower!
Speaking about the Programme, Noelle O’Connell, CEO of European Movement Ireland, told WexfordLocal.com “While it has been an understandably unusual and challenging year for pupils and teachers around Ireland, we were particularly encouraged to see the enthusiasm and creativity of pupils and teachers who participated in the Blue Star Programme during the last school year, largely from home when schools were closed. We were delighted to see a great number of participating schools complete the programme from home, finding new and innovative ways of completing project work.
“We look forward to another year of the Blue Star Programme as we are constantly greatly impressed by the imagination and innovation of both the participating teachers and their pupils.
Since its first year in 2011-2012, Wexford has had 34 primary schools participate, of the 1,100 schools that have registered nationwide, with every county represented to date.
Primary schools interested in taking part in the Blue Star Programme 2020-2021 can register until October 7th, 2020. Schools are also encouraged to host an event for Europe Day on May 9th, in school or online. Further information about the programme can be found at www.bluestarprogramme.ie