Future Schools Toolkit Launched

Representatives from the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) and Ulster University School of Education launched the Future Schools Toolkit at Stormont on Friday 27 of May.

The Future Schools project was conceived to bridge the gap between community and policy, and to support communities who wish to explore whether there might be a more sustainable solution to primary school provision in their geographic area and to provide guidance on how they could move forward with this in practice. It was carried out by researchers at Ulster University’s UNESCO Centre and was funded by the Community Foundation Northern Ireland through their Civic Innovation Programme.

You can read more on the IEF website here: https://www.ief.org.uk/2022/05/26/24120/ 

Applications sought for GMI School Governors across Northern Ireland

The Department of Education has launched a recruitment campaign to fill DENI reps on Boards of Governors of Grant Maintained Integrated schools (GMIs).  The role of a Governor is essential to a successful school and GMIs really value the expertise and commitment Governors bring to the role.  Please click on the link below for information and do not hesitate to contact NICIE if you wish to find out more about the role of a Governor:


Integrated Schools Nominated for Film Awards

As we continue to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Integrated Education, the NICIE is excited to learn that two local integrated schools have been nominated for awards by Into Film. With film and media being a key growth sector in the local economy, it’s great to see such enthusiasm and engagement in schools.

Cranmore Integrated Primary School have been nominated in the category of ‘Best Film – 11 and Under’ for their short documentary titled “Integrated Education Month”. Created by the Primary 6 class and inspired by the Great Integrated Bake Off, the film  looks at the changes that have taken place in Northern Ireland in the 40 years since the opening of the first integrated school. P6 teacher Mr Duggan highlighted how benefital the schools participation has been: “We have also been working closely with Into Film over the past few years as part of their ‘Film For Learning’ project and learned a lot about films and filmmaking”

In the ‘Teacher of the Year’ category, Ms McAlonan of Cliftonville Integrated Primary School has been nominated for her part in planning a successful Into Film Club at the school, and as well as engaging with a number of unique Into Film activities such as the Film Buff Challenge and the Story Builder workbook.

We wish Ms McAlonan and Mr Duggan – as well as everyone at Cranmore and Cliftonville – the best of luck for the awards.

Follow the link to see a full list of nominees and information here: https://www.intofilm.org/news-and-views/articles/into-film-awards-2022-nominees.

Oakgrove Integrated Primary School celebrate 30 years

Oakgrove IPSN celebrates 30 years of Integrated Education in Derry-Londonderry. The school was opened in 1991 with just 68 pupils and 3 members of staff in response to parental demand for Integrated Education in the city. The school exceeded all expectations and targets quite quickly under the inspirational leadership of Dr Anne Murray, founding Principal. Oakgrove IPSN is well established and recognised within the city and surrounding areas as providing Integrated Nursery and Primary school education for nearly 450 pupils.

The school mission statement ‘Celebrating Diversity: Learning Together for Life’ promotes a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences that make each pupil, parent, staff and governor unique. Through a shared commitment to peace and reconciliation, pupils from all faiths, cultures, race, backgrounds and abilities celebrate their own identity and develop a deeper understanding and respect for diversity.

As part of their 30th celebrations, pupils, governors and staff from Oakgrove IPS made their way from the school, across the Peace bridge and over to the Guildhall Square. Mayor of  Derry City & Strabane District Council Graham Warke welcomed all participants, as captured by these fantastic photos and aerial footage.

Reflecting on their 30th birthday, Current Principal, Mrs Ashley Donaghey stated “We have a fantastic team of staff who genuinely love teaching and are committed to providing the very best learning opportunities for all of our pupils.”

Huge congratulations to all at Oakgrove IPS and the Foyle Trust for Integrated Education who founded the school.

Cross-Border Education Partnership.

Cross-border education partnership to support student teachers to teach in Equality-based, Multi-denominational and Integrated primary schools.

In conjunction with the Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South (SCoTENS), the Shared-Island Unit in the Department of the Taoiseach has announced that they will be funding a unique research project exploring provision enabling pre-service teachers to teach in diverse settings. The project will be conducted by two Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers and three representative/support/management/patron bodies for Equality-based, Multi-denominational and Integrated Schools.

As one of five partners involved in the Educating About Difference Uniting Classrooms and Teacher Education (EDUCATE) action research project, the Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) welcomes the recent announcement and looks forward collaborating with Mary Immaculate College (MIC), Ulster University (UU), Educate Together and Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) on this timely research initiative.

Project partners have collectively identified that increasing pluralism on the island of Ireland and the subsequent demand for Equality-based, Multi-denominational and Integrated schools have significant implications for educators, particularly regarding their confidence and competence to teach in diverse school settings. Within schools, there is a growing awareness of the challenges and opportunities for teachers to explore identity, address difference and teach controversial issues to foster mutual respect and understanding. This reveals a subsequent need to equip pre-service teachers with the necessary skills, knowledge, attitudes and values at ITE level.

To address this need, the EDUCATE project will bring together practicing teachers in Community National Schools, Educate Together Schools and Integrated Schools and pre-service teachers from MIC and UU to share good practice in this area.

The EDUCATE project partners would like to collectively thank the Shared Island Unit in the Department of the Taoiseach and SCoTENS for this award of funding. We look forward to commencing the research in April 2022 and working collaboratively to inform policy and practice and ultimately enhance the learning experiences of children attending Educate Together Schools, Community National Schools and Integrated Schools.

For further information on the EDUCATE Project, please visit the SCoTENS website: https://scotens.org/