Cork Discovers 2020

As a result of its partnership with UCC, BFGTOEU is delighted to take part in Cork Discovers 2020, a Europe-wide event showcasing what researchers do and how it connects to our life. Since its creation in 2018, BFGTOEU has supported teachers and students in critically analysing what being an active citizen of Ireland and the European Union means.

As demonstrated below, BFGTOEU has inspired many students and their teachers in discussing and debating the role of Ireland in the EU. The examples below represent a small sample from all the work done by the over 60 classes who took part in the programme in 2019/2020. Take your time to have a look at the website which includes many interactive games and all the teaching resources needed to start a conversation with your students!

Watergrasshill NS 1st class raps on the EU


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How can kids engage with an entity as complex and abstract as the European Union?

If you think that children in classes below 3rd class are far too young to engage with the topic of the European Union or European citizenship, please take a look at this video. 1st classes in Watergrasshill NS got super creative and came up with a rap song! From Junior Infants to 6th class, children are very able to discuss in their own words concepts of union, diversity, identity, citizenship, sovereignty and borders for example.

Is BFGTOEU a pro-European programme?

BFGTOEU is the result of a collaboration between primary and third level education. It is underpinned by academic research in educational science and European politics. The point of the programme is to develop children’s analytical skills, media skills and active citizenship awareness.

What is so special about this programme?

  1. It was created by a primary school teacher and a College lecturer. It is therefore suited to the classroom and grounded in the latest research in European Politics.
  2. It focuses on analytical skills and media skills. Once given the basic information on various European aspects, children are very well able to tease the issues out by themselves and start debates.
  3. This programme connects with UCC and develops a real relationship between registered schools and University College Cork, with some events taking place on campus.

Why does it work with such young children?

Because it is not prescriptive but gets them to discuss ideas and learn to disagree. Above all it is FUN!

Pottery inspired by the member states of the European Union, Ballymoney NS, 3rd to 6th classes

Posters on the EU member states, Scoil Mhairtin, 4th class

Scoil Bhride, Crosshaven, 6th class discussing several European policies.

Listen to the Glasheen BNS Senior Infants singing the linguistic diversity of the EU. There are 24 official languages in the EU, including Irish.

Can you name a few? Can you tell what language the boys are speaking?

Click on me

Come and join the conversation on Ireland and the EU

You will be surprised how much your students (and you) will enjoy debating about Ireland and the European Union. All the teaching resources you need, lesson plans, videos, activities, slides, quizzes, are available here. You can even play games. Register for 2021!