The Teachers’ Newsletter

 

The Blue Star Programme Teachers Newsletter will be updated at the start of every month throughout the school term, to keep you in the loop with what’s going on in the world of the Blue Star Programme! All participating schools will receive the newsletter as an email each month and it will also be accessible here online.

Any questions or queries you may have about the Teachers Newsletter, please contact us: bluestar@europeanmovement.ie

 The Blue Star Programme June Newsletter

(1). Thank You For Your Participation This Year

The Blue Star Programme Team would like to say a massive thank you to all schools, teachers, pupils and parents for partaking in the Blue Star Programme 2020-2021! 

We are delighted that you and your pupils took part this year, especially given the additional challenges – it certainly has not been easy! We are extremely grateful for how well you all engaged with the Programme. As always, the standard of work by the pupils was very high this year, especially given the hybrid approach. We are very impressed with the pupils’ level of understanding and participation with the Programme.  

The Blue Star Programme Team are well aware of the challenges that school closures brought this year. In this respect, if your school did not get to complete your Blue Star Programme work, please do not worry. The work that you have done can be put towards your Programme completion next year. If you would like to defer your participation until next year, please do get in touch with us and we would be more than happy to accommodate this.  

We hope you all have a lovely Summer, and we very much look forward to having you take part again next year! We will be back in touch with all of you in August.  

(2). Feedback Survey  

For the first time, this year, the Blue Star Programme introduced the four Element Quizzes as a way to complete the Programme. In previous years, every school had to submit a Final Report. As the first cohort of Blue Star Programme teachers to be given this option, we would really like to hear your thoughts and any feedback you may have – particularly in relation to the Four Element Quizzes. 

We would greatly appreciate if you could take two minutes to fill out our feedback survey. This will help us to ensure that the Programme is as suitable and teacher-friendly as possible in future years. You can access the feedback survey here

Thank you in advance for taking the time to provide your feedback!

(3). Blue Star Virtual Teachers’ Trip to Brussels

In previous years, the Blue Star Programme used to holda trip to Brussels for participating teachers at the end of the school year. This weekend-long trip was funded by the European Commission Representation in Ireland and included a visit to both the European Commission and European Parliament buildings in Brussels. Places on this trip were limited but it was always a great experience for the small group of teachers that got to go each year.

Last year, due to the pandemic, the Brussels trip had to be cancelled. While a physical trip is unfortunately still not possible this year due to the ongoing restrictions on travel, the Blue Star Programme Team have been working hard to organise an alternative. We are delighted, in collaboration with the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the European Parliament Liaison Office in Ireland, to officially invite you to attend our first ever Virtual Teachers’ Trip to Brussels!

This special virtual day-trip will be taking place on Monday, 5 July 2021. The trip will involve a morning session from 9.30am – 12pm and an afternoon session from 2pm – 4pm.

The morning session will involve a virtual visit to the European Commission, including an exclusive meeting with the Irish Commissioner, Mairead McGuiness. It will also involve a number of short presentations and Q&A sessions.
There will then be a break for lunch from 12pm – 2pm.

The afternoon session will involve a virtual visit to the European Parliament, which will include Q&A sessions with a group of Irish MEPs.

You can see the full outline of the day below:

Time Session
9.30am  Welcome and introduction by the European Commission Visitors’ Service 
9.45-10.30am  Presentation: The Learning Corner – Guide to the European Commission’s educational resources
10.30-11.15am  Presentation: The EU Green Deal and how it can be taught to primary school pupils
11.15-12.00pm  Meeting and Q&A session with Commissioner Mairead McGuinness 
12.00-2.00pm  Lunch break
2.00-2.30pm   Virtual introduction to the European Parliament  
2.30-3.30pm  Q&A session with Irish MEPs 
3.30-3.45pm  Presentation: The EU and Education – The latest on Erasmus+ and beyond 
3.45- 4.00pm  Virtual Workshop – Teaching the EU to pupils: This workshop will outline the things that the EU currently do that might make for the most pupil- friendly teaching, and a session exploring ideas and successes that the teachers have already had.  
4.00pm  Virtual Brussels Trip ends 

If you would like to register for the Blue StarProgrammeTeachers Virtual Brussels Day Trip, please email us at bluestar@europeanmovent.ie with your name, email address, school name and county.

If there is another Blue Star Programme teacher in your school who would be interested in attending the virtual day-trip, that is no problem at all. Please just provide us with the interested teacher’s name and email address.

 

(4). Invitation to take part in the Conference on the Future of Europe

As some of you may know, the Conference on the Future of Europe was launched on 9 May. This initiative will involve citizens from across all EU member states taking part in an interactive discussion to help shape the future of Europe.

Here in Ireland, we want citizens from all corners of Ireland and from a diverse range of backgrounds and professions to take part. As coordinating teachers of the Blue Star Programme this year, we would like to extend the invitation to any of you who may be interested.

European Movement Ireland, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs, are hosting four online discussions on the Conference on the Future of Europe. The aim of these discussions are to explore citizens’ thoughts on what the EU does well, what it should do and what it needs to do better, in order to increase its capacity to act and make it more democratic. After a short introduction, these issues will be discussed in small, moderated groups before coming together as a whole group to explore all ideas and put forward a vision for the EU’s future.

The four conferences are as follows:

Conference on the Future of Europe (Leinster): 17 June 3-5pm
Conference on the Future of Europe (Munster): 24 June 3-5pm
Conference on the Future of Europe (Connaught): 15 July 3-5pm
Conference on the Future of Europe (Ulster): 22 July 3-5pm

You are invited to take part in your own regional conference.

Based on your experience as a Blue Star Programme teacher, we believe that you have the knowledge and the understanding to bring interesting perspectives to the discussion.

As previously stated, all of these events will be taking place online. If you are interested, please send us an email at bluestar@europeanmovement.ie or conference@europeanmovement.ie to register your interest.

Additionally, if you have any further questions about what this entails please don’t hesitate to contact us on either of the above email addresses.

 

(5). Thank You Once Again

Here at Blue Star Programme HQ, we love receiving photos or copies of the pupils’ work throughout the year. If you haven’t done so yet, please consider sending us some photos or samples of your pupils’ Blue Star Programme project work over the next few weeks.

The Blue Star Programme Team would like to end this newsletter by thanking you all once again for your participation and engagement with the Programme this year. The Programme wouldn’t exist without you, the teachers, and we really appreciate all of your very hard work!

We hope you all have a lovely and restful summer and look forward to engaging with you again once the academic year begins.

Best Regards,

The Blue Star Programme Team.

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