We are ready to go for Year 7 of the Blue Star Programme! We’re delighted to have you all on board and we’re looking forward to an exciting year ahead!
And we’re off!
We hope you are all enjoying the early stages of working on the Blue Star Programme! From the many Action Plans we have received, there seems to be an amazing level of creativity being put into projects already and we are really looking forward to seeing your work continue into the new year. For those of you who have not yet submitted your Action Plan, we would ask you to please do so as soon as possible. If you are looking for inspiration, have a look at our Sample Action Plan.
We would encourage you to keep an eye on the Blue Star programme website and the European Movement Ireland Twitter account at @emireland throughout the year for info and updates. We love seeing your work so please Facebook, Tweet or email us with photos, videos and feedback. So far this year we have seen fantastic work already, including Scoil Naisiunta Gort An Choirce in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal learning all about Denmark during the time of the Republic of Ireland v Denmark World Cup Play-Off, and St Michaels N.S., Co. Cork who have been sending out Christmas Cards to friends across Europe!
Just to reiterate also from our thank-you emails to each school individually, here’s the Blue Star Programme’s Media Consent Form, which you can fill out here, and send back to us if you so wish. Over the course of the year, we like to showcase the work being done by Blue Star Programme pupils and teachers on our website, newsletter and on social media, and this form would allow us to include your school in this.
Teacher Training Workshop
Each year we organise a Blue Star programme teacher training workshop which facilitates teachers to learn more about the programme and to share best practice with each other. The 2018 workshop (which is kindly hosted by the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland) will take place on Saturday, 27 January 2018 from 9.30am-2.30pm in Europe House, 12-14 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2, with limited parking and a hot lunch to be provided. If you would like to attend, then we need to hear from you by no later than Friday 22 December 2017.
Please note that we only have a certain amount of spaces so please e-mail ASAP if you are interested, as places are assigned on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. More detailed information on the format and content of the day will be sent out to those who register to attend. So if you are interested in attending, kindly email email@example.com
At this stage, all schools should have received their resource packs! Many thanks as always to the European Commission Representation in Ireland for providing the resources that each school receives as part of the Blue Star Programme.
We hope you all get great use out of the packs, and if anyone has any issues or queries about what they received, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
VIP visits are a long standing tradition of the Blue Star Programme where MEPs, Ambassadors, TDs, Councillors, Journalists, Professors (and much more!) visit schools and speak to the pupils about their relevant field in regards to Europe.
VIP visits are a great opportunity to showcase the pupils’ work as part of the Blue Star Programme and for pupils to learn about the EU in a practical, personable way.
There has already been quite a few visits that occurred this year, which is great to see!
The Estonian Ambassador H.E. Kristi Karelsohn visited St Raphael’s Primary School, Co. Dublin and the Maltese Ambassador Leonard Sacco paid a visit to Crecora N.S., Co. Limerick.
Also Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan MEP visited Scoil Samhthann, Co. Longford!
Many thanks to all the VIP’s who visited Blue Star Programme schools and of course, to the schools for organising such wonderful visits!
So why not write to your local MEP or invite one of the EU Ambassadors to visit your school? MEPs and Ambassadors love getting involved in the Blue Star Programme and seeing how pupils around the country are learning about the work of the EU, so don’t hesitate to drop them a line!
When you’ve a visit organised, we’d be grateful if you could fill out our School Visit Form and we’d love to see photos of the day to share them online.
If you need any advice or support on how best to do this, get in touch with the Blue Star Programme Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01 662 5815.
CIVIC SOCIETY ELEMENT | My Future of Europe
For each year of the Blue Star Programme, we identify a different civic society element which can act as an overarching theme for the work of the pupils. These additional civic society elements have been highlighted by some teachers as the reason they repeat the Programme year-on-year. For 2017-2018, we will be focusing on the Future of Europe.
Please note that it is not compulsory to include the theme but for those of you interested, in March, the leaders of the European Union came together to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, reflecting on past achievements and debating what a shared future could and should look like. A series of papers were published to further discussion on the issues that will most affect our future.
It is for all of us as European citizens to have a say in this discussion.
We would love to see ‘My Future of Europe’ integrated into this year of the Blue Star Programme – asking pupils to get creative and do a drawing, write a story, make a model, etc. on what they think Ireland and Europe will look like in 2025. We could publish this work via social media, the newsletter, and through our Kids’ Corner section of the website. Again to reiterate, this is not compulsory but additional, but we would love for you to get involved if you can!
BLUE STAR PROGRAMME TEACHERS FACEBOOK GROUP
Communication with the schools involved in the Blue Star Programme is something we are always keen to maintain and develop, so based on feedback we have received from teachers over the past couple of years, we have created a private Facebook group chat for teachers to discuss their on-going work between themselves, with our input as well.
So if you are interested in being a part of this group on Facebook, please request to join the group, answer a simple question and we will authorise your request.
Our newsletter and website will of course continue to be updated and sent out as is the norm regardless.
A Final Word
If you would like any more information on the topics above or any other aspect of the Blue Star Programme, feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll be more than happy to advise you. Until then, best of luck with all your work and we look forward to hearing from you soon!
Have a lovely Christmas and New Years!
With best wishes,
The Blue Star Programme Team
– The Blue Star Team
The Blue Star Programme is a venture of the Communicating Europe Initiative, supported by the Office of the Minister of State for European Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Education and Skills, the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland.