Heritage goes virtual in Donegal schools with pilot programme

To date over 60 Donegal primary schools have signed up to the virtual programme and there is still time to register

Heritage goes virtual in Donegal schools with pilot programme

Primary schools in County Donegal have until Wednesday, October 14 to participate in a pilot programme run by The Heritage Council in partnership with the Donegal Education Centre and the County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council.

The Heritage Council adapted the highly-popular ‘Heritage in Schools’ scheme into a virtual eight-week programme in response to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and it’s being piloted in County Donegal.  

The heritage officer for Donegal County Council, Joseph Gallagher said: "The programme offers a mix of pre-recorded and live interactive sessions for children and teachers. The pilot programme is free to participating schools. The Donegal Education Centre and the County Donegal Heritage Office is delighted to partnership with The Heritage Council in delivering the scheme in County Donegal – one of only two counties selected for the pilot scheme.”

Participating primary schools can avail of up to eight free one-hour virtual sessions each with a ‘Heritage in Schools’ specialist.  There are 14 different topics through the virtual programme from which to choose.  Topics include biodiversity, mapping, archaeology, boglands, traditional song, storytelling, knights and castles, celtic art, ogham stones and lots more. 

Once a participating school selects their topic, they will be sent a pre-recording and some supporting notes and this will then be followed by a live Zoom call to the classroom.  Gartan National School had this to say about their first virtual visit:  “We had our first ever virtual lesson today hosted by Aengus Kennedy. We wish to thank Heritage in Schools for allowing us to be part of the pilot scheme. The children really enjoyed the lesson about the wren, the on-line interaction and the quiz at the end. As usual Aengus delivered an enthusiastic and inspiring lesson, his knowledge of all things nature is truly amazing.” 

The virtual programme was developed based on consultation with over 120 primary schools countrywide.  To date over 60 Donegal primary schools have signed up to the virtual programme but registration will remain open until Wednesday, October 14 so there’s still time to avail of this unique opportunity.

If your school would like to participate in the free ‘Heritage in Schools’ scheme in County Donegal, please contact The Heritage Council by e-mail at heritageinschools@heritagecouncil.ie or by telephone on (087) 462 8580.  Further information on the ‘Heritage in Schools’ scheme is available on-line at:  www.heritageinschools.ie

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