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Sports and Language programmes early sucess

11 August, 2008 - by Caitríona Ruane


Sports and Language programmes early sucess

Sports and Languages programmes introduced by the Department of Education have been an early success and are to be expanded across the North of Ireland.

The Primary Languages Programme and the Curriculum Sports Programme have so far generated considerable interest from primary schools and have been so popular, Sinn Féin Education Minister Caítriona Ruane is seeking to expand them further.

"It is very encouraging to see two such worthwhile programmes being embraced by schools and pupils. Both programmes aim to build confidence, self-esteem, motivation to learn and raise achievements in other areas of the curriculum. They will give children the opportunity to develop skills which will help them to be successful in later life.

"These initiatives not only help expand the pupils skills, but also enhance the teachers knowledge as they work alongside the language and sports tutors, have access to their materials and can improve their understanding in the subject."

The Primary Languages Programme teaches Spanish or Irish to pupils through skilled tutors who will work alongside classroom assistants and teachers. The Curriculum Sports Programme uses coaches from the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and the Irish Football Association (IFA) to teach physical literacy skills such as catching a ball, hand/eye co-ordination and balance, among pupils aged four to eight.

The Minister continued:

"The Primary Languages Programme has attracted interest from 284 schools, while the Curriculum Sports Programme involves over 400 schools across the North of Ireland.

"I made available £1million in this financial year to the sports programme and £445,000 to the languages programme. It is my intention to expand both programmes in the coming year and make more funds available.

"I would like to commend the dedication of all those involved in both programmes from the pupils and teachers to the GAA and IFA who have committed fully to the initiative." ENDS

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