Irish is offered from Year 8 to Year 14 including GCSE, AS and A2 Level. Students in Year 8 learn the Irish language for 3 periods over the two-week cycle. Students learn the meanings of surnames, place names and proverbs as well as basic conversational Irish. Irish is offered asa second language in Year 9. We follow a communicative approach. Students work on their four skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
We constantly review our requirements and students’ needs, in keeping with new curricula and syllabuses as specified by the Department of Education. We use newspapers and articles in magazines and extracts from radio, internet and TV programmes for teaching purposes. An annual St Patrick’s Céilí is organised, which is attended by students, staff and parents.
In the past, we have had a successful trip to Dublin which helped the pupils to gain more of a cultural awareness of Ireland. We attend the annual Gael Linn Quiz and Céilí as well as taking part in the Belfast Féis and the Ashbourne Shield competition. Students are encouraged to attend a two/three week summer course in the Donegal Gaeltacht. Students live with local families and participate in conversational classes, games, sing-songs, discos and céilí dancing. Every year, we have a substantial number of pupils who win scholarships to attend these courses.