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All-Irish Primary Schools

The below information was compiled by Gaelscoileanna Teo, whose aim is to create and support a high standard of Irish language schooling throughout the country, as well as development and strengthening of Irish culture.      

What is a Gaelscoil?

Irish­-medium schools operate under the standard rules set by the Department of Education and Skills. Irish is the language of instruction in the school and the language of communication between the staff, pupils and school management. Irish is a living language in the school, both in the classroom and outside. Irish-­medium schools provide a high standard of education in all subjects, including English, and the schools follow the curriculum as set by the Department of Education. All pupils are welcome in Irish-medium schools, regardless of their linguistic background.

Parents choose education through Irish for various reasons:
  • It may be very important to them that their children have fluent Irish.
  • They recognise that children receive a unique insight into their own culture and other cultures through attending a Gaelscoil.
  • Pride in the language and in the child’s culture is nurtured while attending a Gaelscoil.
  • They wish for their children to speak, read and write in two languages and benefit from the numerous advantages which accompany this skill.
  • They want their children to experience the high standard of education that these schools provide.
  • They want to develop the self confidence and identity of the child.
Gaelscoileanna Teo. and Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta have made a map of Ireland, showing every Gaelscoil in the country.
There are 180 gaelscoileanna outside of the Gaeltacht with 35,710 students attending them.
Of course! Pupils from all linguistic and cultural backgrounds are welcome in Irish­-medium schools. Parents without Irish are encouraged to use as much Irish as they can in the home, through use of specific phrases or by using the language for specific periods each day. This helps the pupil understand that Irish is not spoken in school alone and that the parents have an interest in the language.
Gaelscoileanna Teo. is the lead organisation in the Irish-medium Immersion Education and Pre-school sector. The organisation’s new role also includes the provision of support services for Irish-medium schools in Gaeltacht areas. Gaelscoileanna Teo. provides advice, assistance and support to people who wish to have their children educated through the medium of Irish, as well as support services for those working in the sector.
Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta is an organisation responsible for representing Irish-medium education in Northern Ireland. The Department of Education founded the organisation in 2000 in order to promote and support Irish-medium education in the north. 

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