The 1916 centenary: what's in it for the young?

The coming year will be packed with 1916-related stuff: art and song contests, a new school subject, a project that asks school students to plan Ireland’s future – and more

Proclamation for a New Generation

This is to help students gain a deep understanding of the Proclamation through an “action learning” project which will invite all primary and post-primary schools to write a new proclamation for 2016 to reflect the values, hopes and aspirations of the generation of 2016.

1916 Ancestry Project

An invitation to all primary and post-primary pupils to trace a family tree back to 1916 using resources such as the 1911 census, military archives and church records – and to forge links with local historical societies, active retirement groups, relatives of those who participated in the 1916 Rising, and other local groups. For more information see pages 16-17.

Proclamation Day 2016

Proclamation Day will take place in all educational institutions on March 15th, 2016, including pre-schools, schools, further- and higher-education institutions. Schools will use the occasion to display the results of their ‘Proclamation for a new Generation’, the ‘1916 Ancestry’ projects, along with other arts and drama initiatives and invite parents and the community to come along. For more information see pages 14-15.

Flag presentations

A national flag will be presented by a member of the Defence Forces to every primary school and special school in the country beginning in the second week of September 2015. Post-primary schools will receive a flag from the Thomas Francis Meagher Foundation at a special event in Waterford in March 2016. For more information see pages 12-13.


Schools’ Collection 2016

Primary school students will be invited to gather local and family history and folklore from their community in a wide variety of formats, including written essays, artwork, video or audio files. This is a digital age follow-up to the Irish Folklore Commission’s Schools’ Collection, which collected material from 50,000 primary school children in the 1930s.

All-island schools’ history competition

This all-island competition is run by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland and the Department of Education and Skills in the Republic, with support from Mercier Press, and will focus next year on the events of 1916.

Ireland 2016 all-island schools’ drama competition

Primary and post-primary schools are invited to write a short drama based on any aspect of the events of 1916, film their performance and submit a short video. Shortlisted entries will be available via RTÉ and the winners, by public vote, will be invited to perform in the Abbey Theatre in spring 2016.

Ireland 2016 all-island art competition

Another all-island competition for primary and post-primary schools: this one calls for an image based on an imagined Ireland of 2116. The winners (by county) will be displayed in the National Gallery of Ireland in September 2016.

Ireland 2016 all-island song competition

An invitation to write a song inspired by the modern, multi-cultural Ireland of 2016. The finalists will be invited to perform on stage at the National Concert Hall in May 2016.

Ireland 2016 film award

Primary school pupils are invited to submit a short film based on any aspect of 1916. Prizes will be awarded to two winning schools as part of the Film in School awards.

‘Me, Mollser’ tour for primary schools

The Abbey Theatre will give performances of Me, Mollser, a drama based on a character from Seán O'Casey's Plough and the Stars, to 5th and 6th classes in primary schools across the country.

Poetry competitions

The Libraries and Post Primary Schools 1916 Poetry Competition invites students to submit a poem on the wide-ranging topic ‘Your Ireland’. There will be county competitions and a national final.

The all-Ireland poetry speaking competition, organised by the National Library of Ireland and Poetry Ireland, will encourage poems that relate to 1916 themes.

Ireland 2016 award for achievement in Junior Certificate History

There will be seven prizes, with one for each of the 1916 signatories, for seven students who perform exceptionally well in History in the Junior Certificate in 2016. The prizes will be awarded on a geographical basis.

Ireland 2016 history lesson plans

The Royal Irish Academy (RIA) in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills is developing post-primary history lessons based on the Irish Times/RIA History of Ireland in 100 Objects series.

Ireland 2016 transition year module

The National Military Archives and Maynooth University are developing ‘Ireland in Transition’ a transition year unit and resource centred around material from 1916, which will be available later this year.

Politics and Society: a new Leaving Certificate subject

To ensure that 2016 promotes a legacy of interest in politics and active citizenship, ‘Politics and Society’ will be trialled as a new Leaving Certificate subject in a number of schools across the country in 2016.

RTÉ young people’s programmes

Thirty short films made specifically for RTÉ Junior and seven-11 year-olds will look at life in the early 1900s. A reality documentary will show a group of children forgoing modern comforts and living the lives of poor families struggling to survive in 1916 tenement conditions.

Education for sustainable development ‘portal’

To promote active citizenship, equality and respect for human rights, and sustainability, a web-portal will be created that will allow teachers to exchange and debate ideas and share resources and best practice, with a view to strengthening implementation of these issues in schools.

‘An Claidheamh Soluis’

Conradh na Gaeilge will be digitising An Claidheamh Soluis, the Irish literary revival newspaper founded by Eoin Mac Neill in 1899 which was published up to 1932. Schools will be able to research articles from their area –

Seó³Bóthair (Road Show)

Conradh na Gaeilge’s Seó Bóthair (Road Show) in 2015-16 for transition year students will include games, discussions, debates and role-play, showcasing Gaeilge as a living community language.

Consultations with children and young people

Eight regional Ireland 2016 consultations with 40-50 participants will be held, four for children aged eight-12 and four for people aged 13-17, on the theme Imagining Our Future.

Children’s event

The outcomes of the above consultations will be compiled in a report to be presented by children and teenagers to ministers and decision-makers at a major children’s event in April 2016. This event will also commemorate children who died during the Rising.

National cultural institutions-led collaborative education project

A set of 1916 lesson plans for schools that tell the story of 1916, through the major cultural objects of the State that are relevant to 1916, is being developed.