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.

We are, as always, available to contact via email if you have any specific questions or queries regarding the Programme, so please do not hesitate to get in touch!

Blue Star Programme – May Newsletter

 

 

Welcome to the monthly newsletter of the Blue Star Programme 2023-2024! 😊

Dear Blue Star Programme Teachers,

Happy Europe Week!

We hope that you and your pupils enjoyed the May bank holiday weekend and are all set for Europe week and to complete the Programme!

As we are in the final month of the Programme, this newsletter includes information about Europe Week celebrations, VIP Visits, our new Let’s Learn about European Elections Resources and most importantly how to complete the Programme!

We are, as always, available via email if you have any specific questions or queries regarding the Programme, so please do not hesitate to get in touch! 😊

 

Europe Week

Commissioner Mairead McGuinness at St Patrick’s National School in Stamullen, Co Meath for Europe Day – 8 May 2023

Europe Day is celebrated on 9 May every year and is always a standout day in the Blue Star Programme calendar. The Blue Star Programme are celebrating Europe Week from Tuesday 7 to Friday 10 May 2024, and schools are encouraged to celebrate it one day this week.

If your school is taking a May break this week, we encourage you to celebrate Europe early next week, 13 – 16 May.

Over the years we’ve seen plenty of wonderful events, including food fairs, school Eurovision competitions, art exhibitions inspired by famous European artists, flag days, parents’ days, VIP visits from Government Ministers and European Ambassadors and so much more!

We would encourage teachers to mark Europe Day in some way with their pupils – be this through listening to the European anthem, ‘Ode to Joy’, asking pupils to dress up in European-themed outfits, or holding an outdoor event, depending on what suits for your school. 😊

VIP Visit of the Month 

VIP Visit from Maria Walsh MEP and Senator Aisling Dolan to Ballinlough NS, Co. Roscommon – 16 April 2024

Last month Maria Walsh MEP and Senator Aisling Dolan went Ballinlough National School, Roscommon, as Blue Star Programme VIP visitors!

They held a Q&A session with the pupils giving them a chance to ask interesting questions. They also displayed beautiful window art of countries in the European Union. This VIP visit also marked the launch of Languages Connect for this term.

The teachers were grateful for Senator Aisling Dolan’s visit and said the pupils enjoyed listening to her talking about her job as Senator. The pupils also got some ice cream, which went down a treat after a thoroughly enjoyed visit as part of the Blue Star Programme! 😊

MEPs, Ambassadors, TDs, Ministers, and others 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. If you organise a VIP visit this year, we would be grateful if you could fill out our School Visit Form so that we can keep a record of all VIP visits.

If you need any advice or support on how best to contact one of these potential VIP visitors, please get in touch with the Blue Star Programme Team at bluestar@europeanmovement.ie.

How to Complete the Blue Star Programme – Element Quizzes

   

There are two ways that schools can demonstrate that they have completed all four elements of the Blue Star Programme:

1) Schools can complete the programme by submitting the Blue Star Programme Final Report, to demonstrate the activities you have undertaken throughout the year as part of the programme. The deadline for the Final Reports submission is Friday, 17 May 2024. The template for the report can be found here.

2) Schools can complete the programme by participating in the Element Quizzes, which are based on the four Elements of the Programme.
The Element Quizzes are available on the Blue Star Programme website and have been emailed out to all coordinating teachers. There are two options of the quizzes available: Junior and Senior Versions, so you can choose the level that corresponds to your class. The History, Geography, and Cultural and Creative Element Quizzes have already been released to schools and today we have released our Institutional Element Quiz!

The quizzes are available in both English and Irish.

To show participation in the Element Quizzes teachers must fill in a feedback form per quiz, one per school per element is plenty! The deadline for Element Quiz forms is Friday, 10 May 2024. If your school is taking a May break and would like to complete the Programme through the Element Quizzes, please email us at bluestar@europeanmovement.ie and we can arrange an extension!

If you complete the Programme through the Element Quizzes we would still love to receive a Final Report, so, we can see and celebrate the work you and your pupils have done throughout the academic year! This is optional if you have completed the four Element Quiz forms. 😊

Let’s Learn about the European Elections – Learning Resource

The European Elections are taking place in a month, on 7 June 2024. We are delighted to release our “Let’s Learn about the European Elections!” resource on our website!

This PowerPoint resource aims to inform your pupils about the role of MEPs, why we vote in the elections and ideas of ways to incorporate the election into the classroom. Learning about the European Elections falls under the Institutional Element of the Programme.

It includes up to date information on the current MEPs, fun facts on voting and more! 😊

To find out more about this resource visit our Blue Star Corner.

Languages Connect

Through the Blue Star Programme linking with Languages Connect schools get a flavour of the “Say Yes to Languages” programme. This month schools have an opportunity to celebrate Europe Day on 9 May. Europe Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity and marks the establishment of the European Union. Events will be hosted in many different European countries this month.

Here are some ideas on how you can involve language learning in your Europe Day celebration:

  • Pupils can learn the names of EU countries in your target language.
  • Discuss which languages are spoken in each EU Country.
  • Colour in the countries’ flags and talk about the colours used in your target language.
  • Learn how to wish each other ‘Happy Europe Day’ in different languages.
  • For ISL learners, you can discuss the differences in sign languages used in other countries. See below for an example of how the word ‘green’ differs in two variants.

We hope you have some fun learning about Europe and please use the hashtags #BlueStarProgramme and #SayYesToLanguages to share how you brought languages into your class. Enjoy!

Share Your Work With Us

The Blue Star Programme love receiving photos, videos, or copies of the pupils’ work throughout the year. If you haven’t done so yet, please send us some photos or samples of your pupils’ Blue Star Programme project work over the next month as it’s great to see all the exciting work and projects you and your pupils get up to throughout the year.

We love to also share a selection of these photos on our Twitter/X page or in future newsletters too! If you would like your school’s work to be featured, please ensure that you have returned a completed Media Consent form to us first. The Media Consent Form can be downloaded here.

We would also encourage all participating teachers to engage with us by following our Twitter/X page @BlueStarProg for the latest updates about the Programme!

Contact Us

For more updates about the Programme, follow us on Twitter @BlueStarProg and please share your photos and work with us throughout the year!

If you need anything more, please get in touch with the Blue Star Programme Team via email at bluestar@europeanmovement.ie!

For more updates about the Programme, follow us on Twitter @BlueStarProg and please don’t hesitate to share your photos and work with us throughout the year!

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