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 – February Newsletter

 

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

 

Dear Blue Star Programme Teachers,

We hope that you and your pupils, are progressing we with the Blue Star Programme and are nice and busy with your projects!

This newsletter contains information about resources from Languages Connect, EU Member State Fact Files, VIP Visits, How to complete the Blue Star Programme and more!

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! 😊

 

EU Member State Fact Files

 

We are delighted to announce the release of our Blue Star Programme EU Member State Fact Files on our website! 😊

It includes up to date information on all the EU Member countries including their size, languages, famous landmarks, popular foods, population, culture and much more! It is a great resource that can support you covering the programme elements and be a starting point for pupils to create projects! You can click here to access the full EU Member State Fact Files.

To access other digital resources that the Blue Star Programme provides such as, activity worksheets, quizzes, digital board games and more click here.

To access these resources, teachers can go to the Blue Star Corner part of the website and use the password BlueStar5*.

 

VIP Visits 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIP Visit from Frances Fitzgerald MEP at Kildare Place School, Co. Kildare – Jan 2024

Last month, Frances Fitzgerald MEP visited Kildare Place School in Dublin and spoke to the pupils at assembly!
Frances Fitzgerald MEP spoke to pupils about her role as an MEP and how MEPs work together to create change based on what EU citizens need. One way people can communicate what they need or what their politicians to do for them is through voting. With the upcoming European elections this June 2024 it is a fantastic opportunity for your school to invite in an MEP of other VIP visitor to talk to pupils about the importance of voting!

To organise a VIP Visit to your own school, you can also write to your school’s local MEPs or an Ambassador to Ireland from a different EU country. Pupils can ask them what a day in the life of a MEP’s like or ask an Ambassador what their favourite thing about Ireland is – we’ll leave the creative questions to the pupils! 😊

MEPs, Ambassadors, TDs 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 do manage to 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 that take place.

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

 

How to Complete the Blue Star Programme

We have made it easier than ever to complete the Blue Star Programme!

As usual, to successfully complete the Blue Star Programme, participating schools must complete all four elements of the Programme (Historical, Geographical, Cultural and Creative, and Institutional).

There are two ways that schools can complete all four elements of the Programme:

Schools can complete the Programme by submitting an end-of-year Blue Star Programme Report, letting us know the activities you have undertaken throughout the year as part of the Programme. The deadline for all Blue Star Programme Reports to be submitted is the 17 May 2024 so that we can get Certificates of Achievement to schools before the term ends in June. The reports for can be found here from 2024.

Schools can also complete the Programme by taking part in 4 online quizzes that will be based on the four elements of the Programme. We will release one quiz a week online from 15 April – 10 May 2024, which you and your pupils can take part in together as a class or school. Participation in all 4 quizzes will serve as completion of the Blue Star Programme 2023-2024! We will provide more information about the quizzes in the New Year.

We would still love if you were able to send us a Blue Star Programme Report even if you have done the 4 online quizzes so that we can see and celebrate the work you and your pupils have done throughout the academic year!

For more information on what is involved in each of the four elements of the Programme, see here

 

Languages Connect 

 

As part of our dedication to promoting cultural learning, we are delighted to partner with Languages Connect, who bring us a flavour of “Say Yes to Languages”. Let’s take a look at what they have in store for us this month.
Here are some activities you can do with your pupils on their language-learning journey:

–    Take a walk outside to teach them vocabulary for spring items they see e.g. tree, flower or rainbow.
–    Teach them a spring song in the chosen language, e.g. Spanish: Somos como las flores.
–    Paint colourful butterflies to learn vocabulary on the theme of colour.

For those learning Irish Sign Language, we suggest creating a blossoming tree using the alphabet, with pupils’ hands as a template and a leaf per letter.

We hope you all enjoy learning about springtime in different languages and in different countries. Please make sure to reach out to us to share what you’ve been up to. You can use the hashtag #SayYesToLanguages and @langsconnect_ie to tag us in your posts! 😊

Digital Resources

The Blue Star Programme Team is conscious of the difficulties still facing schools this year in carrying out extra-curricular work. To this extent, we are endeavouring to expand our range of online resources, including virtual schoolbooks, activity worksheets, quizzes, digital board games & more. We hope that these resources will be useful to teachers and will also allow pupils to engage with some of the fun elements of the Programme from home, if they wish.

To access these resources, teachers can go to the Blue Star Corner part of the website and use the password BlueStar5*.

What is there to do and see on Blue Star Corner?

On the Blue Star Corner of our website, you can find all sorts of Digital Teaching Resources to help you teach your class, such as:

Downloadable teaching resources, such as worksheets and word searches.
Digital activities, such as quizzes and interactive maps and the official Blue Star Programme activity sheets.
The worksheets correspond with the four core teaching pillars of the Programme and are available in both English and Irish.
Links to other teaching resources including the Learning Corner.
You can also find all the relevant Forms and Reports that you may need to access throughout your time completing the Programme, such as the VIP Question Form and the Final Report.

If you need any advice or support on how best to utilise these online resources, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Blue Star Programme Team at bluestar@europeanmovement.ie.

 

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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