Comments on Bridging the Gap
Re: visit toIonad na Gaeilge Labhartha, UCC
‘Bhaineamar ard-taitneamh as an dturas chuig Ionad na Gaeilge Labhartha i UCC. Bhí an-sport againn. Míle buíochas.’
‘Bhi an turas go h-aoibhinn ar fad. Ba bhreá linn teacht ar ais.
‘Ar fheabhas, go h-iontach!’
Re: Science Projects - Thank you letter from pupils to UCC staff
‘We are writing to thank you for your interest in and support of our project in the recent ESAT BT Young Scientist Exhibition. This is our first year doing Science. It was very helpful to have assistance of experts like you. We finished our project and brought to the exhibition in Dublin. We didn't win a prize but we had great fun. Next year we hope to enter another project.’
Re: Reading and arts projects
‘I was happy when the parents came to our room. They helped us with our reading. It was very enjoyable. It gave us time from our busy day. We had great fun together.
We have learned to communicate with others, to listen to each other and that practice makes perfect. We can do anything once we work together’.
Re: Learning support
Do you like being in the small group? Yes, I like it because there are less people in the class which makes it easier to concentrate. My behaviour has improved because there are less people in the group to distract me and I can listen.
Has your school work improved? Yes, because I got most of my targets that I set for myself. I find it easier to study because of my extra notes in history. I have passed all my tests so far.
Re: Music (Thank you letter to Principal from a pupil)
I want to thank you for giving me the chance to play a musical instrument. I really enjoyed it and I'm looking for to playing with theBarrack Street
band. I can now read music as well as playing. I am now beginning to enjoy playing for other people, including my grandad and my teachers. My mum and dad are delighted too.
I would like to go on and learn more and maybe in years to come, be famous. Until then I will try to practice, to learn more and get better.
Thank you very much.
(Thank you letter from parents of above pupil to Principal)
I am writing to say how very grateful we are to both you and UCC for helping our son to discover such wonderful talent. As his parents we have tried to help him with his school work as he always struggled with it, but now we feel that he will have some direction in his life.
Re: Showcase events
‘All the children who participated in the Bridging the Gap showcase thoroughly enjoyed both performing themselves as well as seeing the other schools. The fact that the emphasis was on fun rather than competition really made the day special for the children. It was a day they will never forget as it also gave them the opportunity to tour UCC, which they hadn't seen before. It was a great novelty for them to experience a third level institution and one of the boys remarked that he “couldn't wait to study in UCC”. ‘
Re: Support provided by Bridging the Gap
‘The involvement of a team of teachers led to a sharing of expertise, skills and responsibility, preventing overload on any one teacher. The enthusiasm and hard work of the class teacher was an encouragement to all. The scheduling of formal progress meetings meant that the project was kept on course. Having a home- school links teacher and parents’ room was invaluable from the point of view of parental involvement. The financial help available from Bridging the Gap provided an incentive to get involved a provided the necessary resources which helped to get the project off the ground. The project was “do-able”. It was something we had the expertise and resources ourselves to do and we were convinced of the benefits of it. The talks arranged by Bridging the Gapprovided an opportunity to hear of other projects and ways of management and to a certain extent “kept the pressure on”.
Re: Impact of project on pupils, parents, and community
‘The project has boosted pupils’ self-confidence and enhanced their self-esteem. They became more aware of their talents and are full of self-belief. As well as this they learnt practical skills like singing and dancing. The world of Shakespeare was opened up to them in a new and lively way. They have learned to work together as a team and to get to know each other better.
Overall the project was a fantastic learning experience for both students and teachers alike. It was a great platform for enhancing school life. For some students school didn't seem half as monotonous. Teachers were there to work with, not as strict authority figures. Many students never had a positive experience of school but this project helped to change that perspective. As one student said after Oliver, when asked did she enjoy the experience, “Yes, and can I have some more!”
In my view this sums it up. UCC became part of the community and more importantly became accessible to everyone in that community’.
Re: Learning through the Arts
‘We regard the “fun club” as an enormous success. We are satisfied that the club has contributed greatly to the improvements in the pupils’ language skills, self-confidence and social skills.
The parents are delighted with the progress of their children. They have proved very supportive and co-operative and many parents have taken the time to thank staff and to express their delight with the club. The parents of the junior infant classes have already expressed their interest in allowing their children to attend “fun club” next year.
The children in my class look forward to the drama teacher's arrival every Monday. They enjoy the drama class so much and the benefits they have gained each week are tremendous. They have learned to express themselves with far more confidence. It is great for their self-esteem, confidence and self-expression and especially in the development of their social skills.
We feel that this project has opened up subjects and topics in class, which have made us all more aware of the importance of self-esteem. I know we have achieved something very worthwhile in doing this project. The exhibition that we ran the in the local Arts Centre is all the proof we need. The boys and their parents are so proud of this showing of their work. Schools from around the area have come to see it and their praise has been loud’.
Re: Parents’ surveys about benefits of participating in music projects
The benefits mentioned by parents included:
§ being part of a group
§ building confidence and self-esteem
§ mixing and enjoyment
§ personal development
§ encouraging a lifelong interest
§ having fond mixing socially with peers
§ understanding music and rhythm
§ an activity that can be done at home and School
§ an excellent hobby
§ parents very proud
§ surprise at the outcome after such a short time.
§ My daughter is much happier in school.
§ It gave her more confidence.
§ She has a better appreciation of music and has changed her outlook on people and music.
§ She is more sociable, and makes more conversation about the class.
§ They did their school proud, they were wonderful.
§ They experience more interaction with people and teamwork.
Re: Comments from parents who participated in reading initiative
§ “The children came on great. You’d see a big improvement in the weaker ones.”
§ “The first day I went in to the room and saw all the faces looking up at me I felt like I had two heads on me.”
§ “I’m more aware of the Reading Level of my own child now. I was expecting too much from her before this.”
§ “We got to know the others on the rota and could chat with them on the road home now.”
§ “If I was buying a birthday present for my niece I’d get a book where before I’d go for a toy.”
§ “I used to read to my girls now and then but after this programme I make sure to read to them every night.”
§ “The books in the class library are brilliant and the kids can help themselves as the teacher has them graded.”
§ “Since this Programme I go with my children to the Library every Saturday.”
§ “We enjoyed this, it was interesting to see the confidence improving in the class and at the end of the term they could read the novel without any help from us.”
§ “They used to be delighted to see us coming in and they’d be going over the long words and breaking them up before we’d start. I’d say they worked harder at home too to show us how good they were.”
§ “We were sorry when the term ended, we used to enjoy the cup of tea after in the Parents’ Room.”
§ “If this Programme continues we’d be delighted to join in again. It was no trouble to us and good for the kids.”