Cog Notes: Douglas finds wonder in RJ Palacio’s book

Plus, students up for ‘Oscars’; and a survey on small schools

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Wonder by RJ Palacio

 

A new addition to the junior cycle reading list, Wonder by RJ Palacio, is being devoured with particular enthusiasm in Douglas, Co Cork.

A community reading project involving more than 300 people at Douglas Community School, three local primary schools and Douglas’s over-60s club is being staged this month. Teacher Aaron Wolfe, who organised the project, said the hardest part was picking a book that was suitable for fifth class students and those at second level. “Whatever book we picked had to have a happy ending for the characters and the reader.” Over a number of weeks, the participants will be visiting the library, running a quiz and creating works of art. “We’re hoping to not only promote a reading ethos but to foster better community relations.”

 

Students up for ‘Oscars’

It’s “Oscars” time for students who entered the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Youth Connect programme. A shortlist of 32 teams from 13 counties has been drawn up for the 2015 Youth for Decent Work video awards. The winners will be revealed at a screening and award ceremony in the Savoy Cinema in Dublin on February 26th. You can vote for the public choice award before February 23rd at iti.ms/1zv6GEe, and also view the videos.

 

Survey on small schools

Rural Resettlement Ireland is carrying out a survey of communities that are concerned about the possible closure of small schools. In order to get an idea of the scale of the problem, it has asked community representatives who fear a school closure may be imminent in their area to contact it at 065-9058034, email rri@iol.ie.

 

Two publications that matter

  • Congrats to our very own education analyst Brian Mooney, who is the new editor of the Education Matters Yearbook, which is now preparing its ninth edition. It is published each December and is packed with musings from the great and good of Irish education. This year’s edition, edited by Dr Tony Hall of NUI Galway, includes a foreword by Department of Education secretary general Seán Ó Foghlú on priorities for 2015.
  • By coincidence, Veritas recently brought out the similarly titled Education Matters: Readings in Pastoral Care for School Chaplains, Guidance Counsellors and Teachers. It is edited by James O’Higgins Norman of the anti-bullying research centre at DCU and it explores, through various contributors, how schools can promote pupils’ “moral, spiritual and personal” development.

 

Clarification: An article last week on the Teaching Council said typographical errors on its 2012 ballot sheet cost €200,000, citing a figure in the recent memoirs of John Walshe, former adviser to Ruairí Quinn. The council said the correct figure was €67,978 and that the sum was paid by the council itself.

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