We are ready to go for Year 8 of the Blue Star Programme! Many thanks to everyone who registered, we’re delighted to have you all on board and we’re looking forward to an exciting year ahead! We are thrilled once again to have every county in the country represented and to see such large numbers of interest in the Programme.
Unfortunately, registration is now over for 2018/2019 and we won’t be accepting any more applicants. However if you are interested in putting your name down for next year, please contact the Blue Star Programme team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01 662 5815.
Just to reiterate 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.
Speaking of social media, we always love to engage with schools on Twitter, so feel free to follow @BlueStarProg and we’ll happily follow you back! This is where we will be posting Blue Star Programme social media content from now on. The account will be getting it’s official launch on Wednesday 10 October!
We have spent the past few weeks getting the resource pack ready for each school and they should arrive with you soon if they have not already! 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.
By the time you receive this newsletter, we are hopeful every school should have received their pack. If not, or if there was any other issue with the packs, please contact the Blue Star Programme team at email@example.com or on 01 662 5815.
So then… where to start? Participating Blue Star Programme schools are required to submit a short Action Plan 2018-2019 to give European Movement Ireland, as National Coordinator, an idea of the projects and activities you 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 give participants (pupils, teachers, parents and the wider community) the opportunity to learn about the EU and what it means and how it works. The Programme also challenges pupils and teachers to get creative in how they learn about Europe and its many different cultures.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01 662 5815.
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 2018-2019, we will be focusing on the upcoming 2019 European Parliament Elections, due to take place 23-26 May 2019.
Please note that it is not compulsory to include the theme but for those of you interested, some elements you can look at are; the nominations of candidates and who can become a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), voting procedures in the elections, the different political parties that make up the parliament, how do you vote at a European Parliament Election, how are the votes counted?
We would love to see the European Parliament Elections 2019 integrated into this year of the Blue Star Programme – asking pupils to get creative and participate in and run a mock election, draw up ballot papers for candidates, conduct debates etc to showcase the importance of exercising your democratic right as a citizen of the European Union to vote in EU elections.
The Kids Corner on the Blue Star Programme website is currently going through a revamp and once it’s ready and updated, we will let you know!
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!
With best wishes,
-The Blue Star Programme Team