Summer Courses 2015

Every year, delves through the summer course book and picks out the most interesting looking courses from the mass of options. This year, we’re challenging ourselves to pick just one course for each subject. So, let’s delve in!

Arts: Drama

There seems to be a lot of “In Their Shoes” courses around the country which addresses bullying through drama but the one that caught my eye was the very first one in the book: Drama , Movement and Holistic Integration (Course 403), which is being held in St. Pat’s in Drumcondra. It seems from the description to be a nice way to spend the week as well as learning about yourself as a teacher with a bit of drama in the mix.

Arts: Music

I swear I’m not on commission from St. Pat’s but my second recommendation is Active Music Making: The Kodaly Approach. This featured in my recommendations last year. Music is one of those subjects that teachers feel they are either good at or not and having some sort of structure or approach like this might help those who are not confident.

Arts: Visual Arts

Avoiding all the templates and paper plates is the key to any good Visual Arts course and seeing the word “craft” in some courses sent shivers down my spine! Teaching literacy and numeracy through art is also a risky number. Thematic approaches to Visual Arts could also be a disaster so look up course descriptions. The one that caught my attention was Art in NGI- practical workshops for Primary School Teachers – a course held in the National Gallery of Ireland. How could one not be inspired by real art in a real gallery which can be responded to really well.

Assessment: Literacy

Assessment doesn’t sound that interesting but it’s very necessary for all teachers so it’s probably a good idea to consider one course in it. There are three to choose from and all are online. I haven’t done any of them so can’t make a recommendation. However, choose between Hibernia College, CPD College and St. Pat’s. It’s probably best I break my rule of only choosing one of the three.

Classroom Management

Restorative Practice seems to be the buzz-phrase in behaviour management these days but CPD College’s course: Classroom Management: The strategies the most effective teachers use, has a nicer buzz about it. I would hope it gives some good strategies.

ICT and the Curriculum

I have a conflict of interest in this section so can’t recommend the course I’m working on so will have to exclude it from this list. I am amazed there’s still so many Interactive Whiteboard courses out there and there’s a few courses there where I have no idea how they’re going to fill a week of work into. The one that jumps out to me is Teachers IT Toolbox in Limerick. I always am interested in the must-have tools that teachers are using.

Inclusive Education

Ah, yes – the section that includes all the subjects that don’t fit into other sections. I spotted Bringing OT into the classroom in Limerick, which I think might be a good thing or possibly a bad thing. We’re teachers, not Occupational Therapists and I think we probably need to remember that. I do like the look of Teaching Morality in a Culturally Diverse Ireland from Educate Together and might do this course myself.


I’ve decided to pull together all the Gaeilge courses and recommend you try out Áinseanna Teicneolaíochta Gaeilge don Seomra Ranga from These guys have been pulling Gaeilge-related bits and pieces off the web over the last few years and I don’t think anyone has a bigger collection to share.

Literacy: English

As it’s W.B. Yeats’ 150th birthday, I have to recommend Enhancing Literacy using Yeats Poetry which is being held in various places around the country. There is a large variety of different courses in English so am probably missing out on something useful so do check out the full list.

Managing school related issues & the principal teacher

The principal’s section interests me because of my job. Do you want to be a School Leader? in Dublin West Education Centre should probably have the answer to that question by the end of the week.

Numeracy: Mathematics

This is another section with a multitude of options. The one that jumped out at me (apart from the one I’m involved with) is Teaching Mathematics in a Fun Way in Trinity College for the sole reason that it’s in Trinity College. I’m sorry to say that the list doesn’t really contain anything very fresh sounding with the possible exception of the Maths Eyes course. There’s definitely a gap in the market for a good Maths course.


Between the Set Dancing and Gaelic Games, it’s hard to find an interesting summer course in PE. Fundamental Movement Skills for Primary School Children in Cork seems to be the most interesting one in the long list.

Religious Education

This probably includes ethical education too. However, somehow Mindfulness has managed to find its way into the Religion curriculum, which will be news to people who practice mindfulness. I guess if you’re working in a Catholic school, New Religious Education Programme across the Primary School in Roscommon is a useful one to attend.

SESE: Geography

The online course Learning Outside – Outdoor and Environmental Education has a touch of irony about it but any of the courses on Inisboffin Island are worth a look and go on throughout the summer.

SESE: History

There’s a load of 1916-related courses out there and I’m sure come January, we’ll be inundated with centenary lessons but 20 Inspirational Women in Irish History caught my eye. It’s an online course and might be worth looking at if you fancy something a bit different.

SESE: Science

I probably need the Beginners Guide to School Gardens, Nature and Nutrition as I am the man to call upon if you want anything in a garden killed. However, Teaching in the Outdoor Classroom, in Carlow is a magic gem of a course. Run by former TD, Mary White, you’ll learn everything you need to know about outdoor classrooms.


There’s a million mindfulness courses and more anti-bullying courses in the list. There also seems to be a lot of yoga this year! My pick from the list is Learning’s the Business – Entrepreneurship in Senior Primary Classes. I’m not sure how it fits into SPHE but I’m trusting that it does.

I hope this guide is useful to you and if there’s any course you’d like to recommend, please comment or tweet below.


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