IEM 2017

Integrated Education Month (IEM) Launch Event – 3 March 2017

NICIE are delighted to confirm that Integrated Education Month (IEM) will be formally launched on Friday 3rd March at Stormont Estate, Belfast.

Having provided the necessary notifications and received the necessary permissions, we are now in a position to confidently announce our outline plans and to warmly invite you to begin to make preparations to get involved.

Detailed below are the outline details, which will hopefully allow you to begin preparations at your end and enable you to spread the word. Please do pass information about this event on to anyone and everyone who may be interested to encourage the maximum involvement and participation. The basic outline is as follows:

What: A Walk – a walk of celebration and participation, from where Integrated Education began (Ardnavalley Scout Centre – 1981), to the seat of devolved power (Stormont) where decisions about the future and development of IE are determined.

Why: to celebrate the achievements of Integrated Education thus far, to draw attention to its enormously positive potential and to provide an opportunity for as many people as possible to say, ‘We’re in’, we support Integrated Education.

Where:

  1. From Ardnavalley Scout centre to the front gates of Stormont Estate – a relatively small and select group will walk this 5.5 mile route to trace the journey from the origins of IE in 1981, through to the current day gathering of IE supporters
  2. From the front gates of Stormont Estate up the 1 mile long Prince of Wales Avenue to the steps at the front of the main building – as large a group as we can possibly assemble from every Integrated school and college and any/all supporters, simply demonstrating support for IE and celebrating the launch of IEM
  3. At the steps in front of the main building, a brief (30 min) launch event with music, dance and celebration

 When: Friday 3rd March 2017.

  • The first group will leave Ardnavalley at 8:45am and arrive at Stormont front gates by 11am.
  • A large group will assemble at the front gates from 10:45am and will begin the walk up the 1 mile Prince of Wales Avenue at 11:15am. Incidentally, this mass participation element of the walk fits very nicely with the Mile-a-Day initiative which at least 17 schools in Northern Ireland are already involved in, more here: http://thedailymile.co.uk/
  • The launch event at the steps will begin at 11:50am and end by 12:15/20pm

Who: Everyone! We want this to be a participation event that encourages as many people as possible to take part. Whilst the first part of the walk from Ardnavalley to Stormont will necessarily be restricted, the idea is that absolutely everyone – primary and post-primary students, teachers, teaching assistants and all other school staff, parents/carers/grandparents, governors, supportive members of the public – can be involved in the walk up the Prince of Wales Avenue to the front of Stormont’s main building.

So what now?

Think about how you can get the maximum number of people representing your school/college involved. Circulate the information as widely as you can and talk with colleagues, staff, governors, parents and consider how best to inform and involve students, and maybe even the wider public. Put this information onto your own website, social media platforms and use any other means available to you. Raise awareness and gauge interest.

  1. Plan to be involved, identify and agree who will take part and organise staff and transport
  2. Consider raising money, if you feel that’s necessary, to cover costs (e.g. a non-uniform day, quiz/competition, etc.)
  3. Any questions or queries at all, please just send an email and/or pick up the phone
  4. As soon as you are clear about who/how many people – even roughly – might be involved, please contact Margaret and/or Gemma at admin@nicie.org.uk or me at dgardiner@nicie.org.uk

A brief re-cap:

  • A participative Walk in support of Integrated Education on Friday 3rd March, that also serves as the launch of Integrated Education Month (IEM)
  • An event in three parts:

Part 1: A long walk from Ardnavalley Scout centre to the front gates of Stormont Estate – restricted to Post 16 students, teachers, governors and parents. There will be options to join this walk closer to Stormont to enable the participation of those for whom 5.5 miles might be a bit too much (details to follow and upon request). 8:45am to 11am approx.

Part 2: A 1-mile walk up the Prince of Wales Avenue to the steps in front of the main Stormont building. We want this to involve as many people as possible, ideally 200+. 11:15am to 11:50am approx.

Part 3: A brief (30 min) event to launch IEM and celebrate Integrated Education. Details of the programme for this will follow in the next couple of weeks, but we expect to have music (someone fresh from a National TV appearance), dance (Yes, really!) and perhaps a speech/endorsement, or two. 11:50am to 12:20pm approx.

More information will follow soon on issues and details, such as: Parking arrangements, detailed programme and timing, weather protocols, and all other practicalities as they emerge and become clear.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and in particular let us know (asap) about your intentions to participate. Our hope and intention is to create an opportunity for as many people as possible to participate in an event that recognises and celebrates the journey and achievements of Integrated Education to date, and that also looks forward and calls for greater commitment to and investment in IE. We hope you will be able to join us.