Description of the Scheme

This is a scheme which awards schools recognition for promoting the use and the awareness of the Irish language throughout the school and in the local community.

If the school is to take part it is necessary that all relevant bodies of the school are dedicated to the scheme:

  • Students

  • The team – teachers and other staff

  • Board of Management

  • The Parents Committee

Why should your school take part?

  • The Gaelbhratach scheme will encourage the use of the Irish language throughout the school.

  • The Gaelbhratach scheme will reflect a positive image on the use of the Irish language in the school and in the local community.

  • The Gaelbhratach scheme will create awareness and give students an outlook on the Irish speaking community outside of school.

  • Students will develop more of an interest in the Irish language

  • The scheme will create leadership with the students in the school environment

  • The students will learn to promote the Irish language throughout the school.

  • The scheme will create a working network with the students, the teachers and the management of the school.

  • All students and staff of the school will be aware of the interest and promotion of the use of the Irish language within the school.

  • The school will be taking part in the National Movement to promote the Irish language.

  • When all the relevant steps have been fulfilled the school will be awarded Gaelbhratach after one school year. It will be recognition of the dedication and hard work done by the school in actively promoting the Irish language. This scheme focuses on development, therefore it is advised that the school takes part in the scheme every year, in an effort to develop the Irish in the school year after year. It is also advised to try and organise different events and activities every year.

Objectives of the Scheme for the student:

  • To encourage the student to create awareness and to be actively involved in the promotion of the use of the Irish language throughout the school.

  • To encourage the student to actively act as a leader while also honing organisational skills

  • To encourage the student to be more confident and dedicated to use the Irish language, not only as a language learned at school, but as a language to use in their personal life in the future.

  • The student will be aware of the advantages and opportunities the Irish language brings with it outside of school.

Objectives of the Scheme for the teacher:

  • The teacher will be able to provide advice and active support to all students as they seek to promote the Irish language throughout the school.

  • Students will be more dedicated to learn the Irish language as a result of all the hard work

  • The teacher would be now involved in the National Movement in the promotion of the Irish language and the teacher would have support as a result of this

  • To encourage teachers to use more of the Irish language and to create more awareness on the language throughout the school

What is the role of the teacher?

It is vital that the teacher plays a central role in this scheme. Fundamentally it will be the students partaking in the work and planning different events, however it is very important that there is active support available to them from the teacher.

  • It is essential that the teacher partakes in the following steps:

    1. To act as a contact with Gael Linn

    2. To organise the Gaelbhratach committee in the school

    3. To read through the Gaelbhratach handbook with the committee

    4. To help the committee organise meetings. (It is important that the teacher is present at these meetings, until such a time as the members of the committee are comfortable with the scheme).

  • The teacher will act as a source of contact with the following people:

    1. The Principal of the school

    2. The Board of Management of the school

    3. The Parents’ Board

  • The teacher will give active support and advice to the chairperson of the committee

  • The teacher will attend a Gaelbhratach training workshop organised by Gael Linn

How does the school achieve Gaelbhratach?

There are five compulsory steps in achieving Gaelbhratach:

  1. To found the Gaelbhratach Committee

  2. To do a survey on the Irish language in the school

  3. To put together an active plan and work off it for the year ahead

  4. To monitor and assess throughout the year

  5. The vision for the school

There are also three more activities to be chosen from the following list:

  1. To take part in COMHRÁ ‘15

  2. To arrange an Irish club or ‘Is Leor Beirt’ at lunch time

  3. To undergo a project on the rights and status of the Irish language

  4. To learn Amhrán na bhFiann

  5. To take part in a radio show

  6. To organise activities/events with other schools

  7. To organise activities/events with parents

  8. A school trip to the Gaeltacht or to a heritage centre which operates through the medium of Irish

  9. To organise an ‘Irish room’ or ‘Irish wall’ in the school

  10. To take part in Gaeilge 24

Founding the Irish Committee:

The main role of the Irish committee is to be solely in charge of the Gaelbhratach process. The committee will therefore be in charge of the following elements:

  • To ensure there is a representative from every year of the school on the committee

  • To arrange an active plan and to act on it throughout the year

  • To arrange the events and activities set out in the plan

  • To assess and monitor any progress that is achieved throughout the year

Operating the Irish Committee:

The proposed operational system is set out below:

  • It should be decided at the first committee meeting who will be acting in the different roles, it may be necessary to have a vote if there is more than one student seeking to act in a certain position.

  • These are the advised roles for the Irish committee: Chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, treasurer and public relations officer.

  • There should be a programme set out for every meeting.

  • There should be a detailed report kept of every meeting. (Details of any subject that was discussed, any decisions made, or any member that is appointed to be responsible of a specific activity/duty should all be noted).

  • Once a month, the chairperson along with the vice-chairperson should monitor and assess any progress that was made.