Coláiste Bhríde take on Irish medium gap

Teaching staff with pupils who are learning through the medium of Irish at  St. Brigid's College/Col�iste Bhr�de.
Teaching staff with pupils who are learning through the medium of Irish at St. Brigid's College/Col�iste Bhr�de.

St Brigid’s College in Derry have issued an invitation to parents of Irish-medium primary pupils to come to a meeting on secondary provision.

The invitation comes after St Brigid’s College/ Coláiste Bhríde in Carnhill introduced the only secondary school Irish-medium syllabus in the north west.

Parents of children attending Irish-Medium Primary Schools in Derry and Strabane are being urged to attend the meeting in the School Library at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 14 January 2015.

Dr Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, Principal at Coláiste Bhríde said: “We would like to ascertain your views on Irish-Medium post-primary education. We would also like to outline for you the school’s vision for Irish-Medium for the Derry and Strabane area and to show you the facilities available in the school.”

Over the last number of years there has been a growing campaign for Irish-medium provision for the children emerging from bunscoileanna in Derry.

Dr Ó Cuinneagáin said St Brigid’s were aiming to address this. He said: “One of the main aims of St. Brigid’s College/ Coláiste Bhríde is to provide a high standard of education for every pupil and to ensure that there is relevant continuity for them as they transfer from the various primary schools.

“The school leadership recognised that a gap existed with regards to Irish-Medium Education in that there was no suitable provision for those pupils who wished to continue their education through the medium of Irish.

“Therefore, the school leadership decided that St Brigid’s College/Coláiste Bhríde, with the goodwill and expertise that exists in the school, should fill this gap and, in September 2014, an Irish-Medium Stream was set up in the school with seven pupils from bunscoileanna in the city. The decision was taken in agreement with the parents’ wishes that six subjects, as well as a Pastoral Care programme in which the pupils would have their own form class, would be taught through the medium of Irish.”

The subjects taught in Irish are Gaeilge, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Learning for Life and Work ,and IT.

Dr Ó Cuinneagáin said: “The pupils in the Irish-Medium Stream are supported and encouraged throughout the school day by an enthusiastic staff who use whatever Gaeilge they have to ensure that it can be heard and seen as a living language throughout the school. Every effort is made to promote and develop each pupil’s self-confidence, personality and attainment and we are certain that the Irish-Medium Stream will go from strength to strength.”