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Gaelscoil Ui Neill, Co. Tyrone

Supporting Your Child

Parents, as the primary educators of their children, have a pivotal role to play in their children’s development.  One frequently asked question is, how can I support my child if I don’t speak Irish.  This is a valid question and one to which we have given a lot of thought over the years.  It is our job to help you help your child and we do this in a number of ways:

  • Homework in Primaries 1 and 2 is very practical and child-friendly (e.g. catching skills with a sponge ball) and all homework is presented bilingually;
  • All maths homework, from the beginning of Primary 3 to the end of Primary 7, is presented bilingually, in both Irish an English;
  • Homework in Irish is based on the work covered in class, follows a similar structure each week, and we provide a Parent’s Guide as well as other support materials; and
  • English homework begins in Primary 3.

If you are considering Irish-medium education and are concerned about homework and how you can support your child’s education, perhaps it would be better to look at it another way.  If you are not an Irish-speaker, why not begin to learn Irish yourself when your child begins Nursery (we run night classes for parents and learners of all abilities) and look at it as a wonderful learning journey that you and your child can take together; learning together, what better example can you set your child…..

At the same time, one important aspect to homework, ultimately, is for your child to develop a high degree of independence, i.e. they simply come home and have the necessary knowledge and skills just to ‘get on with it’.  Once again, given the nature of a bilingual system where not all parents speak Irish, our children develop these independent skills at a younger age and many parents report to us that, as the children get older, they are more than able to complete their homework independently.