Scoil Cholmcille, Kilmacrennan
Whole School Plan

 Title: Whole School Plan for History
 Introductory Statement and Rationale
(a) Introductory Statement
This plan was created by the principal and staff of Kilmacrennan NS following attendance at History in-service training in addition to in school planning days and consultation within the staff. It was written in consultation with the SESE cuiditheoir.
(b) Rationale
In keeping with the guidelines laid down by the DES (1999), we focussed on this area of planning to ensure that the revised curriculum for History was introduced in our school in a well-planned and organised manner. This plan will benefit teaching and learning within our school, this plan will be made available to all new and existing members of staff.
 Vision and Aims
(a) Vision
Our school’s mission statement states that we aim to promote the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil. The history curriculum provides opportunities for the child to explore, investigate and develop an understanding of life in the past and their interpretation of it. The children’s interpretation of life in the past is a central theme of our history curriculum. Our history curriculum provides opportunities for the child to acquire a broad and balanced understanding of local, national and international history through the study of a range of peoples, events and periods. Kilmacrennan has a rich local heritage. Our pupils enjoy working as historians in the local environment. It is our vision that this interest in local history will be a motivating factor and will develop an interest in national and international History as each child progresses through the school.

It is our vision that history in our school will enable children to understand the present by exploring the past before they look towards the future. We view history as having a distinct but complementary role with geography and science within SESE and as a contributor to the wider child centred curriculum. Pg2/3 TG
(b) Aims
We endorse the aims of Social, Environmental and Scientific Education as outlined on Page 4 of the SESE History Curriculum Statement.
To develop an interest in and curiosity about the past.
To make the child aware of the lives of women, men and children in the past and how people and events had an impact on each other.
To develop an understanding of the concepts of change and continuity.
To provide for the acquisition of concepts and skills associated with sequence, time and chronology, appropriate to the developmental stages of the child.
To allow the child to encounter and use a range of historical evidence systematically and critically.
To provide opportunities for the child to communicate historical findings and interpretations in a variety of ways.
To foster sensitivity to the impact of conservation and change within local and wider environments.
To help the child recognise and examine the influences of the past on the attitudes and behaviour of people today.
To encourage children to recognise how past and present actions, events and materials may become historically significant.

(SESE History Curriculum Statement Page 12)
Short-term Aims:
We have made the following decisions to promote and develop the teaching and learning of history in our school:
We will ensure there are timelines in each class.
We intend to establish an in- house ‘school museum day’ each year. We will take photographs of the artefacts before they are sent home.
We will compile some Documentary Evidence relating to Grandparents Day in which the games, stories, pastimes and lives of the grandparents are gathered.

We will compile SESE trails for each classroom of the school grounds and Kilmacrennan. These will include stopping points at Historical features in the area. We will photograph Historical features and buildings in Kilmacrennan and the surrounding area.
We intend to compile an inventory of History resources and store them in a central location.
We aim to use oral evidence as a methodology and invite parents, grandparents and a local Historian e.g. Neil Doherty in to talk to the children about the History of Kilmacrennan.

 Curriculum Planning
1. Strands and Strand Units
Refer to appended grid outlining choices from third to sixth class
Each teacher is familiar with the strands, strand units and content objectives for his/ her relevant class level. We are aware that the infant classes to second class have to cover all strands and strand units and content objectives, from third to sixth class there is a menu curriculum the chosen topics for this year are in the attached appendix. We are aware that we have to carry out two in depth studies each year from third class to sixth class level, one local and one national/international. Certain topics are revisited throughout the school and covered in depth as the children progress; these topics are recorded in the teachers planning. Equal emphasis is given to each strand and strand unit.

2. Skills and Concepts Development
Refer to appended skills development
Each teacher is aware that the curriculum provides for the development of a growing range of historical skills and concepts. Each teacher is aware of the aspects of Working as a Historian that apply at each class level.
Infants (Refer p.18 Curriculum)
Time and Chronology
Using Evidence
First – Sixth Classes (Refer pg’s 26, 40, 60 Curriculum)
Time and Chronology
Change and Continuity
Cause and Effect
Using Evidence
Communication and Synthesis
Depending on the class level the following strategies may be used for developing the skills of Working as an Historian
Sequencing activities
Use of timelines
Examining historical evidence
Communicate findings through a range of media
3. Approaches and Methodologies
We note that there are common approaches and methodologies underpinning all curricular subjects these include:
Active Learning
Collaborative/Co-operative Learning
Talk and Discussion
Problem Solving
Use of the Environment
Skills through content
We are aware of the variety of approaches and methodologies outlined as particularly suited to history and will endeavour to employ as many as we can as appropriate to our individual circumstance.
The range will include:
Story (pgs 65-71, TG)
Personal and family history (pgs 72-75, TG)
Using Artefacts (pgs 81-86, TG)
Drama and role play (pgs 109-113, TG)
Using pictures and photographs (pgs 87-98, TG)
Use of the environment (pgs 99-103, TG)
Oral evidence (pgs 77-80,TG)
Documentary evidence (pgs 104-108, TG)
Use of ICT (pg 114, TG)
We have prioritised pictures and photographs and use of the environment as methodologies throughout the school, we intend to collect artefacts for use in an in – house museum.
4. Linkage and Integration
We acknowledge that linkage and integration are recommended within the SESE curriculum. Teachers will explore possibilities for linkage across the History curriculum and will consider and note such opportunities in their classroom planning.

We agree with the statement made on page 9 of the history curriculum that while history makes an important and distinctive contribution to the development of the child, historical education complements the growth of the child’s geographical and scientific learning. With this in mind, we will ensure to explore possibilities to integrate the SESE subjects. Using integrated themes or topics e.g. Our Changing Community will be one way we would hope to achieve this.
We have also integrated strands of the History and Geography curricula –
E.g. When choosing our strand units under the strands Life, society, work and culture in the Past” and “Early People and Ancient Societies” strands we considered the European and non European countries we chose in Geography.
The Great Famine integrates with Famine under Trade and development issues.
Certain classes in Scoil Cholmcille read a class novel of Historical fiction, which integrates with our English curriculum, e.g. Under the Hawthorn Tree, etc.

5. Assessment and Record Keeping
Refer to School Policy on Assessment and Record Keeping
Assessment in History must seek to measure and report the child’s progress and achievements in all aspects of the curriculum. We seek to assess the following:
Progress in children’s knowledge about the past
Children’s ability to use and the development of historical skills
Development of children’s attitudes, interests, critical thinking skills
As a staff we have discussed the purposes of assessment in history and reached a shared understanding of the assessment tools we will use. These will include:
Teacher observation (pages 79, 80 C.S.)
Teacher designed tasks and tests (pages 80, 81 C.S.)
telling and re-telling of events and stories
oral, written and pictorial accounts and descriptions of sites visited or people interviewed
construction of timelines varying from simple episodes in a story, lines to more complex lines of historical periods
work cards or activity sheets
trail booklets which help the child to examine the evidence of the past in the environment or in an exhibition
maps of historical sites
role play or dramatising a conversation or event
speculating on the feelings and emotions of others so as to create a spoken or written account (integration with English)
model making
Compilation of a book on a particular historical topic or the presentation of project work using information and communication technologies.
Projects completed on historical themes
Interactive, multimedia computer programs which enable children to explore historical topics
Results of the child’s independent historical research
Teacher-designed revision test on a unit of work
Using a range of these learning activities means that assessment is intimately linked to the teaching and learning process and that the child’s progress is assessed in the context of the historical material with which he/ she is familiar

Work samples, portfolios and projects (pages 82, 83 C.S.)
Feedback from pupils and parents.

Teachers use information gained from assessment to inform future classroom planning and teaching. Teachers share this information with parents at parent teacher meetings and informally during the year.

6. Children with Different Needs
All teachers are familiar with the NCCA guidelines for Teachers of Students with General Learning Disabilities and the guidelines for Exceptionally Able Students. These documents inform our Learning Support Policy.
We endeavour to provide for individual difference we strive to make the history curriculum accessible to as many children as possible. In order to do this we will consider:
Using a mixture of whole class teaching, focused group work or paired work, grouping children across the classes.
Choosing more accessible/more demanding pieces of evidence for different children
Using a range of questions spanning from simple recall to the more complex and analytical
Planning for the use of a wide range of communication skills
The exceptional child will be encouraged to undertake additional research and record their findings in a variety of ways.
Content, methods of recording and desired learning outcomes will be differentiated for children with general learning difficulties.
Our four SNAs and support teachers may work with children within the class should the need arise.
We endorse the emphasis this curriculum places on the exploration of personal and family history at all levels and are very conscious of the sensitivities some aspects of these topics may require. In instances where it would be insensitive to explore a child’s own personal and family history we will consider the substitution of the personal and family history of another person, the curriculum allows for this within the strand unit My family or a family of a person known to me.

7. Equality of Participation and Access
Equal opportunity will be given to boys and girls to experience all strands and strand units of the history curriculum and participate in all class activities
Provision for children with physical disabilities will be made so that they can access the history curriculum
Children whose first language is not English will be supported in accessing the history curriculum through support from learning support/resource/language teachers. Our studies will range from local, national and international
History in our school will place equal emphasis on the lives of ordinary people of the past.
At all class levels we include the lives of men, women and children from different social, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
 Organisational Planning
8. Timetable
In keeping with the recommendations in the Primary School Curriculum Introduction (page 70) a minimum of three hours will be allocated to SESE per week, from first class to sixth, and two and a quarter hours with the infant classes.
On occasion, time will be blocked as appropriate. This might occur when:
working on a project
exploring the local environment
devising and undertaking a local trail
Teachers will consider the use of discretionary curriculum time for SESE when appropriate.
9. Resources and ICT
Each teacher will be responsible for their own resources. Teachers have a range of resources and reference materials to supplement the teaching of history in the classroom. One of these resources will be the environment and we have attached an environmental audit outlining areas of possible local study, this may include areas of local historic interest. We have appended a list of resources for local studies including some school projects and published booklets completed by senior classes in
The past that are a valuable resource. In regard to purchasing of resources teachers purchase after consultation within the staff. We have prioritised the collection of artefacts within the school as a short term aim. We have computers, laptops, data projector, digital camera and digital camcorder for use within the school to support the teaching of history.
10. Health and Safety
Please refer to our School’s Health and Safety statement and appended Geography Fieldwork Guidelines. Before use in the classroom artefacts will be examined by the teacher and checked for potential danger i.e. sharp edges. Artefacts with small parts will not be used with infants.

11. Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting
Teachers will use this Whole School Plan to inform long term and short term programmes of work.
Teachers will report on work completed on a Monthly Report template the Cúntas Miosúil, these will inform future classroom planning and review of this plan.

12. Staff Development
Teachers will have access to reference books and materials to further their knowledge and expertise.
Staff are aware of and encouraged to attend history related courses in our local Education Centre. Informal opportunities are given for the sharing of information and expertise from these courses with the rest of the staff. We will liaise with various external agencies e.g. Heritage in School.

13. Parental Involvement
The DES handbook Primary School Curriculum; Your child’s learning, Guidelines for Parents (NCCA); The What, Why and How of children’s learning in primary school, NCCA DVD (2006) have been distributed to parents within the school community.
We will encourage parents to talk with their children about their personal and family history, this will also involve sourcing family photographs, lending artefacts for display in our in- house museum and encouraging children to have an interest in local historic places. Parents and grandparents will be invited to the school to share their historical experiences with the children. Parents may be asked to accompany the children on school trips.
Parents often participate in whole school projects e.g. The Kilmacrennan Abbey Tapestry, which integrated Visual Arts and local history. In the recent past the school has completed school projects on local history e.g. ‘The story of Kilmacrennan Parish’. These booklets have been published and distributed to the parents of the senior classes.

14. Community Links
We have identified a number of individuals, groups and agencies in our local community who may
Be able to support our history programme. The local library in Milford will be a source of historical knowledge for the children i.e. documentary evidence, maps etc. Over the years different classes have done project work on ‘Our Parish and Town lands ‘including model work, St Colmcille, famous local landmarks, Manus a ‘Phice O’Donnell, United Irishman of 1798 etc. The school has entered the Donegal Historical Society’s Schools Competition on several occasions in the recent past.
Ways in which the local community can support the history curriculum are
Interview a local older resident/ historian e.g. Neil Doherty
Visit to a local building to support our history curriculum e.g. Kilmacrennan abbey, Donegal Co. Museum
Visits from local/ national agencies e.g. heritage council etc.
15. Places of historic interest
Our local area is of immense historical value, linking in with our history curriculum, we have appended our history environmental audit.
Schools of Kilmacrennan – Robertson School – Church of Ireland hall Pre – 1935 ruin of St Columba’s School
(rear of St Columba’s Chapel)
Scoil Cholmcille 1935 – 2008
Scoil Cholmcille new building 2008
Franciscan Abbey
The Mill House
The Mill Bridge
The Lurgy bridge
Baptismal Font
St Columba’s Church
Birth place of Cardinal Logue
RIC barracks
New Garda station
The Fair Green (market place)
The Racecourse
Birthplace of Colmcille
Glenveagh Eviction Site
Manus a Phice , ‘The Pikeman’ burial plot
Doonwell – Place of crowning of O’Donnell Chieftains

 Success Criteria
We will use the following criteria to assess the success of this plan
Teacher’s preparation is based on this plan.
Procedures outlines in this plan consistently followed throughout the school
Children’s feedback
Teacher feedback
Inspectors’ suggestions/feedback
PCSP personnel feedback
Review our short term aims – in this regard it will be necessary for us to revisit the short term aims that we identified and update accordingly.
We will consider if the plan has promoted the key considerations of the history curriculum
That history is defined as an attempt to reconstruct and interpret the past rather than the past itself
That these is a balance between skills and content
The child has the opportunity to work effectively as a young historian
The curriculum is spiral and developmental in structure
The child engages in studies from local, national and international history
History is integrated across the curriculum from infants to sixth class.
 Implementation
(a) Roles and Responsibilities
All class teachers are responsible for the implementation of the history curriculum in their own classrooms. They will employ a variety of methodologies in doing so and history will receive its full time recommendation as is allocated.

(b) Timeframe
History has been implemented throughout our school

 Review
We read our History policy and noted current practice. We feel that we are fortunate to live in a historically rich environment and we will seek to explore this to greater potential during the forthcoming years.
We felt that hosting an in-school ‘History Week’ would give a great impetus to this. We explored ideas such as local tours; inviting local guests speakers; hosting a ‘Museum Day’, whereby children bring in artefacts, photographs etc and the wider community are invited along. We will organise this on a week that suits all teachers as well as parents, and annually thereafter.
We feel that we have built up a resource of Donegal and local history and felt that it would be worth exploring the possibility of printing these Donegal specific stories in children’s form, under the guise of the ‘We are Writers’ scheme. Possibilities include early Donegal (An Grianán, Beltany Stone Circle), Colmcille and Eunan, Kilmacrennan Abbey and Red Hugh O Donnell. We will revisit this
(a) Timeframe
This plan will be reviewed in Halloween 2014 but also during staff meetings/ other planning sessions. All staff will be involved in the process of review
Signed , Chairperson. Date

  • School Holidays

    • Easter Holidays 2018
      Closing for Easter Holidays on Fri 23 March & re-opening on Mon 9 April 2018.
    • May Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 7th May 2018.
    • June Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 4th June 2018.
    • Provisional Summer Closure 2018
      Provisional date for Summer Holidays is Fri 22nd June 2018.

      Please note that the above dates are subject to change.

      In the event of unforeseen closures, the Board of Management may use the first three days of the Easter Holidays to catch up on missed school days.