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Brolly welcomes Sports and Languages Programmes

21 August, 2008 - by Cathal Ó hOisín

Sinn Féin East Derry MLA Francie Brolly has welcomed new Sports and Languages programmes introduced by the Department of Education and said they 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 has been so popular that Mr Brolly's party colleague Education Minister Caítriona Ruane is seeking to expand them further.

Francie Brolly said:

"It is very encouraging to see two such worthwhile programmes being embraced by schools and pupils. Both programmes aim to build confidence, self-esteem, and 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 pupil's 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 skills such as catching a ball, hand/eye co-ordination and balance, among pupils aged four to eight."

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

"Caítriona Ruane has made available £1million in this financial year to the sports programme and £445,000 to the languages programme. It is Sinn Féin's 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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