Mr. Peter Kane (Head of Department)
Mrs Clare McCaffrey
Key Stage 3
Pupils are given a choice of selecting 2 modern languages on entering the College in year 8 and they can select to study Irish at this stage. Three periods per week are allotted to the study of Irish. Pupils are instructed in the four main skill areas - Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing- with a particular emphasis on communicative teaching methods in the classroom.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage Four in the College pupils of Irish study for the C.C.E.A. G.C.S.E. Irish qualification. All the skill areas are studied and a wide range of resources is used to facilitate learning- CD's, DVD's, I.T., overhead projectors and textbooks. It is also sometimes possible to access the language assistant. It is the aim of the Irish Department that a pupil completing Key Stage Four should have a firm grasp and appreciation of the spoken and written language. Pupils have five periods of Irish per week.
Pupils at post sixteen level study for the C.C.E.A. G.C.E. AS/A2 Level qualifications in Irish. Pupils benefit from access to the Irish language assistant (either a native speaker or a graduate) once a week and nine periods of classwork with the subject teacher. In addition to textbooks, extensive use is made of video and aural resources and newspapers/magazines printed in the target language. At this level of study pupils are expected to study independently and the library has recently been re-stocked with this in mind.
The Irish Department provides pupils with numerous opportunities to reinforce their learning outside the classrooom. First among these are visits to the Summer Colleges in the Donegal Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area). Up to seventy pupils a year attend one of these courses. Younger pupils attend quizzes, céilithe and can take part in the Irish choir. The Irish Department aims to support an interest in both the language and the culture of Ireland and pupils take part in Feiseanna each year, many winning scholarships as a result.