15th March 2013
Me, We, Our World – making global connections for IIEW2013
The theme for this year’s Integrated Education Week was ‘Me, We, Our World’ and children and young people shared their experiences of how they have been reaching out to other countries and embracing cultural diversity. Throughout the week, schools posted messages of support and pictures of their IIEW events on Facebook and twitter, thus sharing their learning experiences locally and globally. Tweets were sent to the hashtag #IIEW2013, showing support and encouragement for integrated education from pupils, parents, teachers and other organisations.
IEW is an annual event where
integrated schools have the opportunity to come together and this year, the event had an international flavour.
The week started with a celebration in Ballycastle IPS on 1st March. The school showcased their talents in an assembly entitled ‘Integration FM’, featuring an imaginary radio station that outlined the developments in sending messages and communication over the centuries. The school choir also entertained guests with their beautiful singing.
It is appropriate that the launch took place in Ballycastle, famous for the transmission of the first radio signals. Marconi visited Ballycastle in 1898 and from there sent the world’s first live ‘wireless’ report of a yacht race from a ship called ‘The Flying Huntress’ to a shore station at Kingstown (Dublin). It is fitting then that this launch was promoted through the use of social media.
Glengormley IPS and Cedar IPS joined us through video conferencing to tell us about their plans for IIEW. We had input from guest speaker Patrick McGrath of iTeach, highlighting how technology can enhance our links with the wider world.
The Dunleath Lecture was well attended on Wednesday 6th March in the Canada Room at Queen’s University. Professor Hamber is Director of the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE), an associate site of the United Nations University based at the University of Ulster. In his challenging and thought-provoking lecture ‘Thick or Thin Integration – Deep or Shallow Peace?’, Professor Hamber explored the challenges of building peace. We were also delighted that Dorinda, Lady Dunleath, was in attendance.
There was a celebration of International Integrated Education Week in the Long Gallery at Stormont on Thursday, 7th March 2013. Children from around the world joined our local integrated schools in celebrating the work of their schools in promoting respect and reconciliation through education, through the use digital technologies and social media (Facebook and Twitter).
Trevor Lunn, MLA, hosted this event, which included a drama ‘Connected’ especially written for the occasion by Andrea Grimason and performed by pupils from Blackwater Integrated College. The guests were entertained by a steel band from Bangor Central Integrated Primary School and a choir from Priory Integrated College.
The guest of honour was Patrick McGrath of i-Teach, who highlighted the use of digital technologies to link the progressive work from integrated schools with the wider world.
Rowandale Integrated Primary School, who recently won an incredible £25,000 in the Wicksteed Playscapes’ Win a School Playground competition, gave a presentation on social media. Julie MacCartney from Saints and Scholars IC shared how her school uses digital technology effectively to communicate globally with other schools and meet the requirements of the NI Curriculum in ICT.
The international dimension grew out of last year’s inaugural Integrated Peace Education Conference, which was held in Belfast in March 2012.
That conference ended with a declaration that, from 2013, the first week in March would be designated International Integrated Education Week.
A delegation from NICIE visited Macedonia for an international conference as part of IIEW on 9 & 10th March. This was a significant conference and Noreen Campbell signed a Memorandum of Co-operation in front of Macedonian TV. The Deputy Education Minister of Macedonia was also in attendance. Cliodhna Scott-Wills and Paula McIlwaine gave brilliant presentations which were very well received.
Each integrated school celebrated integration in their own school and events included an African drumming event, celebratory tie-ins with World Book Day, special assemblies, cookery events and drama.
You can follow IIEW2013 at #IIEW2013 or click on our website http://www.nicie.org/iiew2013/