The Heritage in Schools Scheme provides a panel of 160 Heritage Specialists who visit primary schools in-person and virtually throughout the country.
The Specialist's areas of expertise range from bats to whales, from Vikings to the history of bread, from story-telling to traditional dance, and from charcoal making to military heritage, to mention just a few.
The Scheme supports the stated aims and objectives of the Social, Scientific and Environmental Education (SESE) curriculum and provides an additional educational tool and resource for teachers.
Visits should relate to local heritage and may cover heritage topics as defined by the Heritage Act: monuments, archaeological objects, heritage objects such as art and industrial works, documents and genealogical records, architectural heritage, flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, geology, heritage gardens, parks and inland waterways.
Through the Scheme, the children can also develop a knowledge and appreciation for the uniqueness of their locality through trips to local parks, woods, lakes, rivers, sea-shores, old graveyards, castles or churches or other places of interest through structured field trips with a Heritage Expert. The visit is part-funded by both the school and the Heritage Council.
Aims & objectives of the Scheme
- To generate greater awareness, respect, interest and appreciation of our heritage among primary school children (4-12 year olds) by encouraging both teachers and pupils to engage with their local heritage in a hands-on, interactive and meaningful way, through place-based learning.
- To encourage learning in the outdoor classroom in order to address the increasing decline in time spent outdoors by Irish children.
How the Scheme works
1. Obtain approval for the online/virtual visit from the School Principal or Board of Management.
2. Select a Heritage Expert from the Heritage Experts list.
3. Contact the Heritage Expert and arrange the date, time and duration of the visit.
4. Plan the content of the visit with the Heritage Expert and decide what preparation must be undertaken by the expert, the teacher and the pupils prior to the visit.
5. All bookings must be made in advance of visit with the Heritage Council. Please use our online booking system. Failure to book in advance, may result in the visit not being subsidised by the Heritage Council.
6. The cost of the visit must be paid directly to the Heritage Expert after each visit. Travel costs are covered by the Heritage Council.
7. A short evaluation form must be completed after each visit.
8. The number of children participating in a visit by a Heritage Expert should not exceed 30.
9. The teacher must remain with the class and the Heritage Expert at all times during the visit.
10. The Heritage Expert is not expected to supervise pupils alone, or to visit for longer than the agreed time.
11. Bookings can only be made for the current calendar year.