New Schools for Áitbheo Place-Based Learning Programme

New Schools for Áitbheo Place-Based Learning Programme

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Four national schools throughout the Burren region are set to take on the Áitbheo Primary Programme for the new school term through to March, developed and delivered byBurrenbeo Trust.

The selected schools are Moy, Carran, Corofin and Ballyvaughan. Burrenbeo Trust has already guided five schools through Áitbheo last term, and has seen a high standard of engagement and interest in this new programme.

“Following the high standard of applications and seeing their potential, we’re excited to be working with the chosen schools in exploring their local natural and cultural heritage, developing stewardship and pride of place, and learning from them in turn about their local areas” explains Áine Bird, Áitbheo coordinator.

“Áitbheo is delivered free to schools but costs Burrenbeo Trust about €1200 per school. While this is a significant investment from a small organisation, we believe it’s an investment worth making – in the long term, the local community is best placed to protect its place.”

The Áitbheo programme aims to increase awareness and foster appreciation of the wealth of natural and cultural heritage in one’s place, with the school serving as a starting-point for investigating the local area. It offers a hands-on and fun learning experience, as well as encouraging independent research and debate, and developing key aspects of the literacy, numeracy, science, history and geography curricula.

On completion, the students graduate as certified Young Place Heroes, with a bank of knowledge and enthusiasm that they will carry with them for years to come.  An evolved successor to the Ecobeo programme, through which over 1000 primary school children from across the Burren have graduated as ‘Burren experts’, Áitbheo is designed to work in schools throughout Ireland.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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