Blue Star Programme http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie The Blue Star Programme is a venture of the Communicating Europe Initiative Thu, 18 Oct 2018 13:07:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Blue Star Programme 2018/2019 | August 2018 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-programme-2018-2019-august-2018/ http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-programme-2018-2019-august-2018/#respond Mon, 08 Oct 2018 15:48:14 +0000 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/?p=2160 Blue Star Programme Update | REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED! Help your pupils learn about Europe through creative, curriculum-friendly projects! The Blue Star Programme aims to foster better knowledge and understanding of how Europe affects our lives amongst Irish primary school pupils through classroom projects and activities. Since it launched in 2011, we have had school […]

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Blue Star Programme Update | REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED!

Help your pupils learn about Europe through creative, curriculum-friendly projects!

The Blue Star Programme aims to foster better knowledge and understanding of how Europe affects our lives amongst Irish primary school pupils through classroom projects and activities.

Since it launched in 2011, we have had school communities in every county in Ireland take part in the Blue Star Programme: from 20 pupil schools in Mayo to 1,000 pupil schools in Dublin, everyone is welcome. Whether you’re considering taking part in the Blue Star Programme for the first time, or if you’re registering for your second or third (or fourth or fifth, sixth, seventh or even eighth!) year, we’d love to have you on board!

 

 Registration 2018-2019

To register your interest in taking part in the Blue Star Programme, or just to learn more about what is involved, click on the link below and fill in the form by REGISTRATION CLOSED. However please note that due to the increase in interest in the Programme over recent years, places are limited so we recommend you get your registration in as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!

Blue Star Programme Registration Form 2018-2019

When you send in your registration form, a member of our team will respond to confirm your participation. In the case that you apply for registration and there are no more spaces free, your school will be put on a waiting list should a school drop out of the Programme. We will also give you first preference for registration in 2019-2020.

Once the deadline has passed, we’ll ask you to fill in an Action Plan, giving us a short outline of what you plan to do during the year to meet the criteria of the Programme. We’ll then send you out a resource pack full of useful materials to help get you on your way.

 

  Learn More.

A Teacher’s Guide has been developed in cooperation with previous Blue Star Programme Champion Teachers to give you a steer before you get started. You can find this and lots of other useful documents on the Resources page of the Blue Star Programme website, www.bluestarprogramme.ie.

We also have an FAQ webpage to help our participating Blue Star Programme teachers with the Programme.

If you have any questions, please get in touch. Email the Blue Star Programme Team on bluestar@europeanmovement.ie or call the office on 01 662 5815.

We’re looking forward to working with you and your pupils on the Blue Star Programme 2018-2019!

 

-The Blue Star Programme 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.

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Blue Star Programme – A Teacher’s Point of View http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-programme-a-teachers-point-of-view/ http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-programme-a-teachers-point-of-view/#respond Wed, 05 Sep 2018 10:55:04 +0000 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/?p=2139 Get creative about Europe! The Blue Star Programme is an education initiative for primary school students across Ireland. The idea of the programme is quite simple: to foster a better understanding and knowledge of Europe and how it affects the lives of Irish citizens among Irish primary pupils, through classroom projects and activities. The Blue […]

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Get creative about Europe! The Blue Star Programme is an education initiative for primary school students across Ireland. The idea of the programme is quite simple: to foster a better understanding and knowledge of Europe and how it affects the lives of Irish citizens among Irish primary pupils, through classroom projects and activities.

The Blue Star Programme has creativity at its core, and its structure and project work encourage teachers and pupils from all corners of Ireland to ‘think outside the box’. The wider school community is also encouraged to get involved and contribute to the programme.

Margaret Murphy of Scoil Mhuire na nGrást in Belgooly, Co. Cork, was her school’s Blue Star Programme coordinating teacher during the last academic year. Here’s what Margaret had to say about her experience working Blue Star into her day-to-day classroom life:

“Having taken part in many initiatives and programmes in my time teaching, I can highly recommend the Blue Star Programme as a worthwhile and engaging endeavour. The beauty of the Blue Star programme is that it is suitable for each class level, and it integrates seamlessly into many different curricular areas. Most importantly the students love it! Europe is a topic that every child can relate to. From receiving a variety of coins from different European countries in their change, to supporting Thomas Barr in the European Championships, to learning how to say “Hola” to their new Spanish classmate, Europe is part of the everyday lives of our primary school students.

“There are four key elements which the children explore: historical, geographical, cultural and creative, and institutional.

“In the historical section children explore the foundation and development of the European Union. This year with my 6th class we learned about the Holocaust, World War II and Ireland’s policy of neutrality. We researched Anne Frank and her family, and read extracts from her diary and biographies of her life. I found the students had a real interest in the historical element as they identified with Anne because of her age. They also enjoyed interviewing their grandparents to find out what they knew about “the Emergency” in Ireland and how Ireland was affected, even though it remained neutral.

“For the geographical section, pupils worked in pairs or small groups and chose two European Union member states to prepare a project on. The children researched their chosen countries and presented their projects to the rest of the class. We also looked at the differences between the continent of Europe and the EU and which countries are not members of the EU. This led to an investigation into the Eurovision and how many of the competing countries were member states. Inspired by the musical delights of Eurovision 2018 we also listened to the national anthems of other Member States.

“In the cultural and creative element, we linked our Blue Star activities with art and music. Working in pairs the students constructed Leaning Towers of Pisa using cardboard and paper. They also collected as many euro coins from different countries as they could and used the reverse of these to create art by doing coin rubbings. The highlight of this element had to be the day we painted in the style of Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, by sticking paper on the underside of the school desks and painting while lying on the floor. In music we learned about the EU anthem “Ode to Joy” and listened to various renditions of the anthem being performed. We followed the #Ode2Joy challenge in the news and watched the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir performing the anthem at Newgrange as part of Ireland’s participation in this challenge. The children also learned “Ode to Joy” on the tin whistle. This element also linked to history as the pupils researched the story behind “Ode to Joy” and learned about the flag of the European Union and its symbolism. Finally, the students were introduced to some basic French, German, Italian and Hungarian phrases and shared any phrases from other European languages that they knew.

“The institutional section relates to how the EU works, how the different institutions cooperate with each other, and the impact of the EU on citizens’ lives. The students investigated the role of the European Parliament and the European Commission. They watched some of a committee meeting on culture and education on the European Parliament’s online TV channel. Using the website of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Ireland, we became familiar with Ireland’s MEPs for 2014-2019 (paying particular attention to those who represent us in the South Constituency!)

“Europe Day on May 9th provided an ideal opportunity to reflect on and showcase the pupils’ work on the programme. They visited the other classes in the school in small groups to perform “Ode to Joy” on their tin whistles, display the flag of the EU and share some facts about the EU. The other classes were also invited to our Europe Day display to view the students’ projects on the different Member States along with their artwork. Europe Day is celebrated on May 9th as it commemorates Robert Schumann’s speech which led to what is now the EU. We listened to an audio extract from his speech and learned about the declaration.

“With the constant Brexit coverage, the EU is more topical than ever!”

 

 

[ The above piece is as it appeared in the Evening Echo, Saturday 25 August ]

 

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Foirm chlárúcháin 2018-2019 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/foirm-chlaruchain-2018-2019/ http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/foirm-chlaruchain-2018-2019/#respond Wed, 22 Aug 2018 17:02:16 +0000 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/?p=2112 The post Foirm chlárúcháin 2018-2019 appeared first on Blue Star Programme.

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Chlár na Réalta Goirme: Foirm chlárúcháin 2018-2019

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Blue Star Programme Update, October Mid-Term 2017 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-programme-update-october-mid-term-2017/ http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-programme-update-october-mid-term-2017/#respond Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:37:40 +0000 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/?p=2024 Blue Star Programme Update, October Mid-Term 2017 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!  Thank You For Registration!  This has been a record breaking year in terms of the number of schools participating […]

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Blue Star Programme Update, October Mid-Term 2017

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!

 Thank You For Registration! 

This has been a record breaking year in terms of the number of schools participating in the Blue Star Programme and we are thrilled to have every county in the country represented once again.

Special thanks to Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee TD – who is the political patron of the Blue Star Programme – for all her efforts in reaching out to schools and showing her passion and engagement for the Programme.

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.

Speaking of social media, we always love to engage with schools on Twitter so feel free to follow @emireland and we’ll happily follow you back! This is where we will be posting Blue Star Programme social media content.

 Action Plan

So, where to start? Participating Blue Star Programme schools are required to submit a short Action Plan 2017-2018 to give European Movement Ireland, as National Coordinator, an idea of the projects and activities they will be undertaking. Most importantly, we have gotten feedback that the Action Plan can be helpful for teachers in planning their lessons/activities for the year ahead.

The Blue Star Programme aims to introduce participants (pupils, teachers, parents and the wider community) to the EU, what it means and how it works. The Programme also aims to foster a strong sense of awareness of the EU among its participants that reaches far beyond the school walls and out into the wider community.

In order to successfully complete the Blue Star Programme, participating schools must complete all four elements of the Programme (historical, geographical, cultural and creative, and institutional) and hold an event to mark Europe Day (9 May). For more information on what is involved in each of these elements, see here.

We also have a Sample Action Plan accessible, to give you an idea as to what previous schools have done.

Tá an Plean Gníomhaíochta ar fáil as Gaeilge freisin. Tá sé ar líne anseo nó i ndoiciméad Microsoft Word anseo.

 Resource Packs

We will be getting all the schools’ resource packs together over the next couple of weeks and will be looking to send them out so they are with you by the week beginning Monday, 13 November. The pack will include material for both pupils and teachers, with plenty covered in Irish as well. There will be DVDs on Ireland and the EU, workbooks, wallcharts, travelling in Europe guides and everyone’s favourite European Union Passport books!

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.

 VIP Visits

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.

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 bluestar@europeanmovement.ie 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!

 FEILTE 2017

The annual Teaching Council Feilte Conference  was held on the in the RDS on Saturday, 7 October. There were over 1,000 teachers in attendance, the majority being primary school teachers. The theme for the event was ‘Leading Learning for All’, and the Blue Star Programme stand was one of 50 teacher-led showcases and workshops spanning projects from across the education sector, demonstrating the innovation happening in teaching and learning in schools across the country.


We were delighted that Peter Kane, a Blue Star Programme Champion Teacher from Co. Galway, was able to showcase the Blue Star Programme at his stand for Féilte 2017.Here is what Peter had to say about his day at the RDS, chatting about the Blue Star Programme to lots of fellow teachers.

 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.
With best wishes,The Blue Star Programme Team

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Blue Star Programme at FÉILTE 2017 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-programme-feilte-2017/ http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-programme-feilte-2017/#respond Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:40:25 +0000 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/?p=2004 We were delighted that Peter Kane, a Blue Star Programme Champion teacher from Galway, was able to showcase the Blue Star Programme at his stand for Féilte 2017. Here is what Peter had to say about his day at the RDS:

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We were delighted that Peter Kane, a Blue Star Programme Champion teacher from Galway, was able to showcase the Blue Star Programme at his stand for Féilte 2017.

Here is what Peter had to say about his day at the RDS:

The annual Teaching Council Feilte Conference was held on the in the RDS on Saturday, October 7th. There were over 1,000 teachers in attendance, with the majority being Primary Teachers. The theme for the event was ‘Leading Learning for All’, and the Blue Star Programme stand was one of 50 teacher-led showcases and workshops spanning projects from across the education sector, demonstrating the innovation happening in teaching and learning in schools across the country.

As a keen advocate of EU educational projects I was delighted to attend and to showcase the Blue Star programme.  I was assisted by two 6th class pupils who travelled up for the day with their mums.  We set up the stand the night before.  We had an extremely busy day with huge numbers of teachers looking for information and availing of the Blue Star Programme information literature available on the day.  

Both pupils, Ronan and Nathan, were super and their enthusiasm was infectious throughout the day.  It is great to get the pupil perspective as it is of course they who do all the work in such projects!  We basically outlined the programme structure and the cross-curricular benefits of participating in a programme which should fit neatly into the school year without much additional work.  Teachers simply don’t have time for programmes which take up a lot of additional and invaluable class time, so we stressed the flexibility and ‘do-ability’ of the programme.  Overall a great day and it should certainly raise awareness in many schools who were previously unaware of such a programme. Overall a perfect showcase event for any organisation to highlight their programme.

-Peter Kane.

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Minister Flanagan Praises The Blue Star Programme! http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/minister-flanagan-praises-blue-star/ http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/minister-flanagan-praises-blue-star/#respond Tue, 10 Jan 2017 15:57:16 +0000 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/?p=1702 The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, has spoken about and welcomed the success of the Blue Star Programme. Speaking about the programme in a press release, Minister Flanagan said: “Ireland’s future lies within the European Union and it is really important that our young people understand the origins of the European […]

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The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, has spoken about and welcomed the success of the Blue Star Programme.

Speaking about the programme in a press release, Minister Flanagan said:

“Ireland’s future lies within the European Union and it is really important that our young people understand the origins of the European Union, the benefits of membership and the importance of being active and informed citizens.”

The Minister went on to say:

“The teachers involved in delivering the Blue Star programme have shown great commitment to bring the EU to life for their students. I recall my recent visit to Shanganamore N.S. in Co. Laois, where I was very impressed by the interest and enthusiasm shown by the students of the school in the development of the EU and its future and I am sure that this is typical of the response from students across Ireland who have benefited from this programme.”

The Minister also acknowledged the importance this year has for the programme and the wider Irish and European community with the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome upon us, on March 25.

We at the Blue Star Programme are grateful for the show of support and kind words from Minister Flanagan about the work that we do.

If anyone would like to contact us, feel free to do so at bluestar@europeanmovement.ie. For those involved, we would encourage you to keep an eye on the Blue Star programme website and the European Movement Ireland Twitter account @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.

– The Blue Star Team.

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Blue Star Update, December 2016 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-update-december-2016/ http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-update-december-2016/#respond Fri, 09 Dec 2016 19:17:24 +0000 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/?p=1681 There’s still a short while to register for the Blue Star programme 2016- 2017!  If you are interested, please send us a Registration Form as soon as possible or email us at bluestar@europeanmovement.ie for more information. To those schools already registered, we hope you are enjoying working on the programme!  From the many Action Plans we […]

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There’s still a short while to register for the Blue Star programme 2016- 2017!  If you are interested, please send us a Registration Form as soon as possible or email us at bluestar@europeanmovement.ie for more information.

To those schools already registered, we hope you are enjoying working on the programme!  From the many Action Plans we have received, there seems to be an amazing level of creativity being put into projects and we are really looking forward to seeing your work in 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.

star blueVIP Visits 

Please keep us posted if you have Ambassadors, TDs, Senators, MEPs or other visitors coming to your school as part of the Blue Star programme.  You can fill in this short form to let us know: www.bluestarprogramme.ie/visitor-form/.  Do let us know if we can be of any help with facilitating a visit.

star blue60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome

For each year of the Blue Star programme, we identify a 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 2016-2017, we have decided to focus on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Please note that is not compulsory to include this or any theme but for those of you interested, the Treaty of Rome was signed on 25 March 1957 and established the European Economic Community.  In March 2017, there will be celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary around Europe, with a big one planned for Rome, which could feed in well into the pupils’ work in the new year.

star blue Teacher Training Workshop

Finally, 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.  For more information on this, please email bluestar@europeanmovement.ie

 

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.

Wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas!

-The Blue Star Team

 

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There’s still time to register for the Blue Star Programme 2016-2017! http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/theres-still-time-register-blue-star-programme-2016-2017/ http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/theres-still-time-register-blue-star-programme-2016-2017/#respond Thu, 20 Oct 2016 08:39:47 +0000 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/?p=1675 We’ll soon be sending Action Plans to all the schools across Ireland who have already registered for the Blue Star Programme 2016-2017, kicking off phase 2 of this year’s Programme. If you’d like to learn more, act quickly and please fill in a Registration Form. We’ll then send you all the info you need and put […]

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We’ll soon be sending Action Plans to all the schools across Ireland who have already registered for the Blue Star Programme 2016-2017, kicking off phase 2 of this year’s Programme.

If you’d like to learn more, act quickly and please fill in a Registration Form. We’ll then send you all the info you need and put you on the list to receive an Action Plan.

We’re looking forward to getting started…!

Go here to learn more about the Programme.

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Blue Star Programme 2016-2017 – Registration Now Open http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-programme-2015-1016-registration-now-open/ http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-programme-2015-1016-registration-now-open/#respond Fri, 02 Sep 2016 14:59:46 +0000 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/?p=1620 The registration process for the 2016-2017 Blue Star Programme is now open! European Movement Ireland is delighted to confirm that the Blue Star Programme will be running for its sixth year over the 2016-2017 school term and the registration process for interested primary schools across Ireland is now open! Go here to learn more.

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The registration process for the 2016-2017 Blue Star Programme is now open!

European Movement Ireland is delighted to confirm that the Blue Star Programme will be running for its sixth year over the 2016-2017 school term and the registration process for interested primary schools across Ireland is now open!

Go here to learn more.

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Blue Star Update, June 2016 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-update-june-2016/ http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/blue-star-update-june-2016/#respond Thu, 16 Jun 2016 15:33:10 +0000 http://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/?p=1550 With the Blue Star Programme 2015/2016 now drawing to a close, we wanted to give you one last update this year of the many goings on. Thanks to the Blue Star teachers, this year’s Programme was another great success!  Now in its fifth year, the popularity of the Programme continues to grow, with over 180 […]

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With the Blue Star Programme 2015/2016 now drawing to a close, we wanted to give you one last update this year of the many goings on.

Thanks to the Blue Star teachers, this year’s Programme was another great success!  Now in its fifth year, the popularity of the Programme continues to grow, with over 180 schools taking part this year alone, from every county in Ireland.

star blue Final Reports and Certificates of Achievement

Many thanks to all of you who have submitted your Blue Star Final Reports.  We were very impressed by the brilliant work you and the pupils have been doing throughout the year.  We greatly enjoyed reading about it and looking at the colourful photos you included!  It was also very helpful to read your feedback on the Blue Star Programme and we will try our best to incorporate it as the Programme continues.

160615 Pic of Blue Star certs

As you know, submitting the Final Report is required for you to officially complete the Programme and attain your Certificates of Achievement.  Here in the office, we have been busy packing up the Certificates, ready to send around the country!  For those of you who have submitted your Final Report, your official Blue Star Certificates of Achievement – signed by the Minister of State for European Affairs, Dara Murphy TD, and Executive Director of European Movement Ireland, the National Implementation of the Blue Star Programme, Noelle O Connell, as you can see in the photo – are on the way and should be with you soon, and certainly before the end of the school year.

For the few of you who haven’t yet submitted your Final Report, please do as soon as you can so we can get your Certificates out to you.  The deadline for submission was 20 May, however late submissions can still be emailed to bluestar@europeanmovement.ie or bluestarprogramme2016@gmail.com (which is the alternative email address we created only for Final Report submission due to the large size of the files).  Here is the link to the document you will need: www.bluestarprogramme.ie/resources.   If you have any questions, please get in touch with us here in the office and we’ll be more than happy to help you in any way that we can.

star blue Europe Day and Visits

On Europe Day, 9 May, we were joined in Dublin City Hall by Gardiner Street Primary School from Dublin and St Thomas National School from Rathmore in Westmeath.  Both schools have completed all five years of the Blue Star Programme, so congratulations to them!  To mark the occasion, we were also joined by Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Janice Boylan, and Minister for European Affairs, the EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Dara Murphy TD, who made a special presentation to each school.

Together with pupils from both schools and European Movement Ireland’s Executive Director, Noelle O Connell, Councillor Boylan and Minister Murphy formed a ‘Handshake for Europe’ as you can see below to celebrate Europe and symbolise the solidarity and diversity between them as EU citizens.  We all had a great day and the event was covered as part of RTE’s News2Day programme.  Thanks again to Gardiner Street Primary School and St Thomas National School for being involved and for all their hard work over the past five years.

2016 Handshake for Europe 4

We were also delighted that so many of you got in touch to tell us about the other wonderful celebrations and ‘Handshakes for Europe’ which took place in schools throughout the country to mark Europe Day.  We do hope that the pupils enjoyed the opportunity to showcase their hard work as part of the Blue Star Programme and we would like to thank the schools and teachers for organising such events.

We would also like to thank all the MEPs, Ambassadors and TDs who visited Blue Star schools on Europe Day and on other days throughout the year.  We have consistently gotten good feedback from the visits, with the VIPs often telling us how impressed they are by the pupils’ work and knowledge.  Well done to the schools and teachers for organising the visits and, as always, we would love to see any photos you may have from them.

star blueA Final Word

Finally, a big thank-you and congratulations once again to all of the schools who have participated in the Blue Star Programme this year.  We were delighted to have the highest number of participating schools yet and to receive such positive feedback about the Programme.

Looking ahead, registration for the Blue Star Programme 2016/2017 will open on the www.bluestarprogramme.ie website around the start of the next school year.  For those teachers interested in taking part, please email bluestar@europeanmovement.ie with your details and we will contact you at that time.  We hope to see many of you registering again next year and please do spread the 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. Otherwise, thanks again and have a great summer!

 – The Blue Star Team

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