The Association of CSPE Teachers (ACT)

Supporting Citizenship Education in Ireland

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CSPE Workshop

In this webinar, facilitated by Tralee Education Centre, Gearóid O’Brien will look at planning a unit of learning around teaching areas from each of the strands of the Junior cycle CSPE course, using the key junior cycle skills. Sample materials for teaching the lessons will be used to give practical examples of how to teach these lessons and will be shared with participants. Tuesday 7th May 2024, Time:    7 - 8 pm, Venue: Online via Zoom. Details and booking here

New CSPE Guide
World Wise Global Schools will launch their CSPE guide in the Mary Robinson Centre, Ballina on the 2nd of May from 11.00-2.00. This is a great opportunity to share good practice vis a vis Global Citizenship Education in the CSPE classroom as well as we explore some of the teaching and learning activities in the new guide. Info at this link

Democracy - A User's Guide
Democracy: A User's Guide by Joss Sheldon may be of interest to CSPE teachers - check it out at this link

Electoral Commission News
An Coimisiún Toghcháin has published Framework on Online Electoral Process information, Political Advertising and Deceptive AI Content in advance of June elections. Check out the details at this link.

Elimination of Racism
Thurs 21 March is the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racism. The 2023 theme of the International Day focuses on the urgency of combatting racism and racial discrimination, 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). UN resources are available here.

Sustainability Workshop
In this CPD session, we will be hearing from teachers from Kinsale College who have successfully embedded sustainability into their subject areas from Geography to CSPE. They will show how schools can embed sustainability across the school curriculum with a particular focus on English, Geography and CSPE.


CSPE and Referendum Tues 27 Feb 7.30 pm An online workshop to explore ways for CSPE classes to engage with the referendum process, before and after the vote. This will apply to both the upcoming referenda and any future votes. Register at this link:



News Literacy Project - Election Page
The News Literacy project has launched a web page for resources relating to this 'year of elections'. While mainly about the US elections, it has lots of material that can be more generally applied. There are due to be approx 70 elections in the world this year, so it's a great opportunity for CSPE teachers covering Democracy.

Democracy Index
Less than 8% of the world’s population live in a full democracy, while almost 40% live under authoritarian rule—a share that has been creeping up in recent years. The increasing incidence of violent conflict has badly dented the global democracy score and prevented a recovery after the pandemic years of 2020-22. Download  report: 
Also watch this short video summary:

Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
The International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness is on Tues 5th March and seeks to promote better awareness and understanding of disarmament issues among the public, especially young people. Since the founding of the United Nations, the goals of multilateral disarmament and arms limitation have been central to the Organization’s efforts to maintain international peace and security. With controversies about arms for Ukraine and Israel in particular in the news this day is especially relevant at the moment.

Reminder: Referendum Resources
RTE has produced a short explainer video about referenda:
The Association's resource page for referenda in general and in particular the upcoming votes is at


The Electoral Commision has launched a special website related to the referenda due on March 8th.

Webinar: Education and Democracy
The Committee on Education for Democracy invites you to a webinar on 5th February sharing good practices in the field of citizenship education. Registration at this link

Ripple of Hope
Ripple of Hope (Day of Affirmation) offers resources relating to an inspiring speech of Robert F. Kennedy. Check it out at this link

Palestine: Trócaire Resource
Trócaire has a resource on Palestine in Powerpoint form available for download at this link


Referendum Confirmed
From RTE: 'The Government has confirmed plans to hold referendums on constitutional references to family and care in March 2024. The proposed referendums, to be held on International Women's Day on 8 March, would broaden the definition of family beyond marriage in the constitution. There would also be a new reference to carers to recognise all those who provide care and to remove the reference to women's duties in the home from the constitution'. Information will come from the Electoral Commission, which has replaced or subsumed the work of the old Referendum Commission. You can access it's Dec 5th statement here. This includes the following: ' ... planning is already underway to deliver information about the upcoming March 8 Referendum. Among its functions, An Coimisiún Toghcháin, has taken on the role previously held by the Referendum Commission to provide independent, impartial information about the proposals being put to the people, and to encourage people to vote.' There is potential for a substantial Citizenship Action.

Powerpoint and AI Workshop
Workshop online via Blackrock Education Centre exploring the new Gamma app - amazing browser-based software that lets you create impressive presentations, including Powerpoint presentations, just by giving this AI tool a few prompts. This workshop is for teachers of all subjects. Wed 13th Dec 7.30 pm - 8.30 pm. Book at this link

IGHN: The Irish Aid Annual Professor Father Michael Kelly Lecture 2023 - The Irish Global Health Network is inviting participants to join them for the Irish Aid Annual Professor Father Michael Kelly Lecture 2023 themed Let Communities Lead today 30 November, 5.00pm - 7.00pm at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. Find out more...

Irish Aid Global Citizenship Education Grants Round 2024  The 2024 Irish Aid Global Citizenship Education Grants Call for Proposals is underway! Information on the call for proposals can be found at this link under the ‘Applying for Funding’ tab. It also includes links to the Grant Guidelines, FAQ documents, and information on DEAR co-funding. The remaining key date is the deadline Friday, 15 December, 5.00pm, when the completed application form, signed by the legal representative of the organisation (e.g. the CEO or the Chair of the Board), should be e-mailed to

Middle East Conflict
Resource: Tackling Controversial Issues in the Citizenship Classroom: A resource for Citizenship Education by CDVEC Curriculum Development Unit providing an opportunity to reflect on several issues associated with teaching controversial issues in the Classroom. 
Activity pack: Palestine and Israel, how will there be a just peace? A Citizenship Education Resource for Transition Year and Key Stage 4. This resource by the CDETB Curriculum Development Unit will help post-primary students throughout the island of Ireland to explore the Palestinian-Israeli situation within the context of Human Rights and International Law. 
Information Guide: Discussing the Israel-Palestine Conflict in the Classroom; This resource by Facing History & Ourselves in the UK contains suggested resources and approaches for discussing the Israel-Palestine conflict with students 



World Food Day
: Mon 16th October is World Food Day. There will be World Food Day Flagship events!  The Global World Food Day Ceremony will take place on Monday, 16 October 2023.  Junior World Food Day, will follow on Thursday 19 October. This fun-filled event will feature stories, music, art and dance. Hear from special guests who will join youth for a conversation guaranteed to inspire water action for food. Resources, programmes and registration is at this link

Eradication of Poverty: Tues 17th October is the  International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The blurb: 'Dignity for all in practice is the umbrella theme of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty for 2022-2023. The dignity of the human being is not only a fundamental right in itself but constitutes the basis of all other fundamental rights. Therefore, “Dignity” is not an abstract concept: it belongs to each and every one. Today, many people living in persistent poverty experience their dignity being denied and disrespected'. Further info here.


Conference Update:
Bookings for the National Conference and AGM are now open at this link on Eventbrite. The Conference takes place Sat 21st Oct in Leinster House from 9.30 pm. Theme: 50 Years of Ireland in the EU - National Identity and European Citizenship. This year's workshops: The CBA Process and CSPE; European Parliament Resources; Oireachtas Resources; Using learning outcomes to teach European Issues; Artificial Intelligence (AI) and CSPE; Concern Project. Keynote Speaker: Lisa Walshe, NUIG.
Conference Schedule available here.


National Conference: The Annual Conference and AGM, with workshops, of the Association will take place 21st Oct in Leinster House. This will be the first in-person conference in three years. So, save the date! Details of workshops and registration arrangements will be announced later. 

JCT Resources
The slides and resources from the 2022/2023 Core CPD Workshops are available at this link

IDEA Annual Conference 2023
Registration is now open for the IDEA Annual Conference 2023 Transforming Global Citizenship Education: innovating for a better world. This will take place on Wednesday 21 June in the Morrison Hotel, Dublin 1, with speakers including Minister Seán Fleming and Leonardo Garnier, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General for the Transforming Education Summit. There will be a celebration of the innovative work of Global Citizenship Education practitioners, and  some activities to inspire your inner innovator!  Find out more...

JCT Info and Upcoming Change
Registration is now open for September / October 2023 for teachers who teach a second subject - a junior cycle subject specific workshop that will be provided by Oide Ireland, Oide, a new Dept. of Education (Ire) support service set to be established on 01.09.23 following integration of CSL JCT NIPT & PDST Register by Friday, 26th May.

ChatGPT and other AI Tools in CSPE
Online, Wed 17 May, 7.30 pm - An exploration of the use of Chat GPT and other AI tools in the teaching of CSPE, incl devising teaching strategies, handouts, worksheets, assessments, class plans, unique images and much more. Workshop will last an hour or so.


New Workshop: The Association of CSPE Teachers has organised a new online workshop for Tues 2 May 5pm-6pm. A speaker from the European Parliament Office will speak about what the European Parliament offers for the youth sector and teachers. She will talk about the European Parliament Ambassador School Programme, Euroscola, and will give an outline of these activities.  This will relate particularly to Strand 3 of the CSPE Short Course - Exploring Democracy. To register click on this link - you will receive Zoom link by return email. 

GOAL: NextGen 2023 Youth Programme:Applications are now open for GOAL’s NextGen 2023 Youth Programme that brings together young people from all over the world to better understand global justice issues and deepen their understanding of Global Citizenship. The 2023 Programme will consist of 7 sessions that take place online, with 2 sessions in person for Irish based participants. Participants will work with peers across the world to develop skills in critical thinking, intercultural communication, project management, teamwork, and the fundamentals of organising and implementing public awareness campaigns. Deadline for applications is 05 May. Successful applicants will be notified of selection by 12 May. Find out more… FJI: Econo-wha? Online Teacher Training: Financial Justice Ireland (FJI) is inviting Post-Primary Teachers for a 2-week Online Teacher Training version of Econowha? Session 1 focuses on a Global Citizenship Education (GCE) approach to Economic and Financial Justice on 03 May and Session 2 focuses on Debt Justice & Tax Justice on 10 May. Find out more…



CSPE Strand 3 Workshop
: Planning a Unit of Learning for Strand Three in JC CSPE - The Role of the Media in a Democracy – in JC CSPE. Online, Mon 8th May 7 pm. In this webinar Gearóid O’Brien will look at the teaching of Strand Three of the CSPE course. The webinar will involve planning a unit of learning around learning outcomes 3.12 and 3.13 on the role of the media in a democracy using the key junior cycle skills. Sample materials for teaching the lessons will be used to provide practical examples of how to teach these lessons and will be shared with participants. Register at this link

Certificate in Global Citizenship Education Maynooth University Department of International Development is inviting applications for a part-time level 9 Certificate in Global Citizenship Education, commencing September 2023. The Cert in GCE is a one-year (8 months) part time course of study commencing in September. Classes will be timetabled to suit those who are working full-time during regular working hours, on campus and on Saturdays, in the evenings or during holidays, with some online dimensions. This is designed for those who are involved in or interested in global citizenship, development and human rights education, in anti-racism and intercultural education, as well as in education for sustainable development. Find out more…

On Teaching CSPE

Gearóid O'Brien has written an article on the challenges of teaching CSPE, published in Irish Educational Studies: 'History repeating itself: an investigation of the challenges of teaching Civic, Social and Political Education'. Read the article at this link.

Charity Shops
If you have ever donated to, shopped, worked, volunteered in or even thought about a charity shop, the Get Up and Goals Charity Shops Project is asking you to give up approx. 6 minutes to complete an online survey: By completing the survey, you have a chance to win an SDG leather football or drawstring bag and are helping us to plan Global Citizenship Education activities in A Partnership with Africa (APA) charity shops. 

YSI: Championing the SDGs Workshop Join Young Social Innovators (YSI) for a Championing the SDGs Workshop aiming to increase awareness among teenagers around the UN SDGs and create leadership within school communities to champion and encourage action around the Goals. Integral to its format is the design of an SDG Champion Action Plan which some students will lead in the school community. It will also encourage young people to become champions for the SDGs and lead their school community in efforts to address the SDGs. Find out more…


Sourcing News
:The Irish Examiner recently had a survey on where we get our news - useful when exploring the media and democracy aspects of the CSPE Short Course - Learning Outcomes 3.12 - 3.14. Check it out at this link.The website of The Press Council also has useful resources for this area of study. 

May CSPE Workshop
Planning a Unit of Learning for Strand Three in JC CSPE - In this webinar Gearóid O’Brien will look at the teaching of Strand Three of the CSPE course. The webinar will involve planning a unit of learning around learning outcomes 3.12 and 3.13 on the role of the media in a democracy using the key junior cycle skills. Sample materials for teaching the lessons will be used to provide practical examples of how to teach these lessons and will be shared with participants. More info and booking at this link. Date: 8th May 7 pm.

Courses from Blackrock Education Centre
*Action for global justice – student led learning and initiatives Course Date 20-03-2023 4:30 pm Online.  1 Hour. Free Speaker Paula Galvin from Clonburris NS and Global Citizenship School. 
*ESCI and Irish Aid Our World Irish Aid Awards 2023- Information webinar Course Date 21-03-2023 5:00 pm  Free  1 Hour, Online. 
*Exploring global justice through games-based learning Course Date 27-03-2023 4:30 pm   Free Speaker Niall Quillinan from Trócaire. 1 Hour, Online. 


Human Rights Workshop
- The Association of CSPE Teachers is organising an online Human Rights workshop, which is relevant to Strand 1 of the CSPE Short Course. Content: Human Rights an Overview: Background and definitions , Human Rights Frameworks, International, Europe and Ireland . Related equality and primary legislation to combat discrimination. Presenter: James Connington, MA. Academic Assoc. CIPD, Senior Lecturer in The Whitaker School of Government & Management at The Institute of Public Administration (IPA ) Dublin, Ireland. He lectures on a range of educational programmes and provides consultancy and project work in Ireland and internationally. His main areas of focus are human rights & dignity in the workplace, non- discriminatory practice in HR and recruitment and selection. Register at Eventbrite, Zoom link will be sent closer to the event.

JCT Workshops for CSPE
- CSPE Workshop: Making Connections When: 19th April - 5th May Session 1: Connecting the Strands Session 2: Consider-Create-Collaborate Session 3: Connecting the Learning. Register via by Thursday, 16th March 2023. A letter was sent to school principals last week about these events. It can be viewed at this link. If having difficulties with this request it from principal or 


CSPE Related Webinar
: Pesentation on the Houses of the Oireachtas with access to resources for Post Primary Schools: Parliamentary Education Officer Conor Reale will host an information session for Post Primary History, CSPE and Politics and Society looking at the education resources offered by the Houses of the Oireachtas. Conor has taught History and Geography and now works with the Houses of the Oireachtas service and members to develop educational materials and policies. It's on Tues 7th March 7 pm. More info and registration at this link.

YSI Workshop on SDGs: Join Young social Innovators (YSI) for a Championing the SDGs Workshop that aims to increase awareness among teenagers around the UN SDGs and create leadership within school communities to champion and encourage action around the Goals. Integral to its format is the design of an SDG Champion Action Plan which some students will lead in the school community. It will also encourage young people to become champions for the SDGs and lead their school community in efforts to address the SDGs. Find out more…


Key Documents for CSPE: JCT has a webpage for the key documents pertaining to CSPE, including the Short Course specifications and Wellbeing Guidelines. Check them out at this link. Also, the Association has a list of key documents for CSPE at this link

STAND: Spring Global Issues Courses: STAND an Initiative of Suas is inviting you to apply for the STAND Spring Global Issues courses taking place in the Spring and Autumn. They are 6 weeks long and will take place online one evening per week for 2 hours. Participants will explore the interdependent and unequal world in which we live, through a process of interactive learning, debate, action and reflection. All courses feature different expert facilitators for each of the topics such as global citizenship, climate & environmental justice, global health, trade, and migration. Places are limited to 30 per course and are allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. Find out more… 

GAP: Global Citizenship and Climate Action Training: Global Action Plan (GAP) is inviting teachers for the Global Citizenship and Climate Action - Online Teacher Training on 02 March, 7.00, online. This will enable teachers to support their students to take action on climate and build their skills to teach global citizenship. This course relates to all subjects in post primary education especially geography, CSPE, politics and society. Find out more…


ECO-UNESCO: YEA Deadline Extension: ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) deadline has been extended to 28 February. This is open to any group of young people in the Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland from 10-18 years old. The YEA programme is a fun and exciting way to empower young people to become better citizens, to build awareness of environmental issues in the community and promote local actions and lifestyle changes to the environment. Find out more… MU Dept. of Int. Dev.: Post-graduate programmes  : Join the Department of International Development, Maynooth University, on their Postgraduate (PG) and MA programmes, which start in September 2023 full- or part-time. This includes their PG Certificate in Global Citizenship Education, MA in International Development, and their MA in International Peacebuilding, Security and Development Practice. Through these courses, participants will critically engage with important contemporary issues and enhance their understanding, knowledge and skills to make a positive difference in the lives of others at personal, local and global levels. Closing date is 30 June. Any questions contact them here. Find out more… International Holocaust Remembrance Day: The International Holocaust Remembrance Day, or the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, is an international memorial day on 27 January.  On 29 January 2023 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. at Mansion House, Dublin 2 and online the event cherishes the memory of those who died during the Holocaust. The ceremony will include readings, survivors’ recollections, the Scroll of Names, candle lighting and music. Senior members of the Government will be in attendance. The ceremony will also be streamed live on YouTube. For attending, please register on the webpage Also, resources here.


News Literacy Webinar: The News Literacy Project is organising a webinar 'Critical Reading to Identify Credible Evidence'. This free webinar for educators, presented by the News Literacy Project on, focuses on critical reading skills and features professor and author Jeff Wilhelm. It's on Mon 23rd Jan at 5 pm Eastern Time USA which at the moment is 10 pm Irish time but check in case of any changes nearer the time. More info and registration here Educators for Sustainability Short Course: Educators for Sustainability are looking for schools to join their Junior Cycle Short Course Pilot Program for the 2023/24 academic year. The pilot program is for 100 hours over the three years of Junior Cycle and complements studies in many other subjects including Geography, Business, Science, History, CSPE, SPHE, English and Home Economics. To know more about the course register for a short online information sessions here: 25th Jan 2pm 3rd Feb 2pm More info here. International Day of Education: Tues 24th Jan is International Day of Education. The right to education is enshrined in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration calls for free and compulsory elementary education. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, goes further to stipulate that countries shall make higher education accessible to all. Further, Sustainable Development Goal 4, in particular, aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030. Resources here.



Young Social Innovators Workshop: Young Social Innovators is is offering a new Championing the Sustainable Development Goals Workshop. With the support of World Wise Global Schools and the Department of Education this workshop is now available to book free of charge by schools nationwide. The workshop is delivered directly to your CSPE class by a YSI facilitator. It alligns with the Global Citizenship strand of the CSPE curriculum while also providing an opportunity to introduce your students to their rights and responsibilities as global citizens. More information and details on how to book are provided below however, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Eileen Costello Rawat, Head of Education Young Social Innovators at

Young Social Innovators Workshop Young Social Innovators is is offering a new Championing the Sustainable Development Goals Workshop. With the support of World Wise Global Schools and the Department of Education this workshop is now available to book free of charge by schools nationwide. The workshop is delivered directly to your CSPE class by a YSI facilitator. It alligns with the Global Citizenship strand of the CSPE curriculum while also providing an opportunity to introduce your students to their rights and responsibilities as global citizens. More information and details on how to book are provided below however, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Eileen Costello Rawat, Head of Education Young Social Innovators at


Young Enviromentalists Award: Registration for Eco-Unesco's Young Environmentalists Award is now open, and stays open until end Dec 22.  Completed project submissions are due the 19th of February 2023Contact: or more info here Teaching Immigration: The project Teaching Immigration in European Schools (TIES), funded by National Geographicseeks to promote understanding and citizenship education, with specific focus on teaching migration. There are  free teaching modules, which communicate academic knowledge about migration to school students and are freely available on the TIES  website



Workshop Reminder
Gearóid O'Brien will be doing a webinar on teaching Strand 1 (Rights and responsibilities) of the CSPE specification on Dec 5 with Tralee Education Centre - Approaches to Planning a Unit of Learning for Strand One in JC CSPE.  More info and booking here.

World Children's Day
Sun 20 November is World Children's Day, which should open up some possibilities for CSPE classes. The official UN page is here:  Or Association's original resources on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, featuring videos and worksheets are here:  One World Week The One World Week Festival takes place 19-26 November, with a range of activities and issues including fast fashion, climate change, access to education, housing and homelessness. More info here: Eco-Week Eco-Unesco's Eco-Week is currently taking place, until 18 Nov. There is a variety of related activities, workshops and online activities.  More info here:


Media Literacy: ADAPT will be offering a free online workshop on misinformation for parents and teachers supported by Webwise; the Irish internet safety awareness centre. This workshop will help people identify misleading or misrepresented information and provide some simple techniques to separate fact from fiction. It's on 24 Nov 7-8.30 pm. More info and registration here Global Media Literacy Week: Next week is Global Media Literacy Week. The resource 'Connected' has been specifically designed for teachers of the Junior Cycle Digital Media Literacy Short Course who wish to explore Online Wellbeing; News, Information and Problems of False Information; Big Data and the Data Economy; and My Rights Online. This is also suitable for issues relating to media and democracy in the CSPE Short Course (Learning Outcome 3.12: 'explore the role of different media in generating information and news and assess the pros and cons of each'. Connected aims to empower young people to be effective, autonomous and safe users of technology and online media.


JCT October Workshops
: Among the October workshops being organised by JCT, there is one for CSPE teachers online on 25th Oct at 8 pm.  'Clarifications and Considerations for Teachers new to the CSPE Short Course'.  Register at this link The Opportunity Project: The Opportunity Project, contains a series of lessons with varied resources for CSPE students to learn about global issues, life in rural Honduras and the work of this NGO.  One particular initiative in rural Honduras is a scholarship programme for students to attend secondary school. If  interested in organising a fundraising event (perhaps as part of a CBA for CSPE), the scheme of lessons naturally culminates in this. The project would be extremely grateful for any support you could provide. Contact Cara at if you have any questions about the module, resources or would like any further information/support in implementing it. The scheme of work containing all lesson plans and all associated resources can be found at this link: Poverty Awareness: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is on Mon 17 October. Description: 'Dignity for all in practice is the umbrella theme of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty for 2022-2023. The dignity of the human being is not only a fundamental right in itself but constitutes the basis of all other fundamental rights. Therefore, “Dignity” is not an abstract concept: it belongs to each and every one. Today, many people living in persistent poverty experience their dignity being denied and disrespected.' Info and resources at this link


: Ireland EU50 Youth Competition is a once off competition to commemorate 50 years of EU membership in Ireland, a chance to to celebrate with young people across the nation, to see their and new ideas about Ireland and Europe. For Primary and Post Primary Level, there is have €2000 up for grabs for the winning entry per level! For more information about the competition visit: CSPE Strand 1 Workshop: Approaches to Planning a Unit of Learning for Strand One in JC CSPE, online via Clare Education Centre Mon 5 Dec 7pm - 8 pm. In this webinar Gearóid O’Brien will look at the teaching of Strand One of the CSPE course. The webinar will involve planning a unit of learning around teaching human rights using the key junior cycle skills. Sample materials for teaching the lessons will be used to give practical examples of how to teach these lessons and will be shared with participants. Register:


World Habitat Day
: Mon 3rd October is World Habit Day. In 2022, World Habitat Day (WHD 2022) under the theme "Mind the Gap. Leave No One and Place Behind" looks at the problem of growing inequality and challenges in cities and human settlements. World Habitat Day 2022 seeks to draw attention to the growing inequalities and vulnerabilities that have been exacerbated by the triple ‘C’ crises — COVID-19, climate and conflict. More information at this link


The Annual Conference with workshops and AGM is on Sat 22 Oct 9.30 am. Booking is at Eventbrite, at this link.
Trócaire Presentation - The Right Focus is Trócaire's new documentary film making programme designed to support students and teachers to use documentary film making as a way of taking action on important global issues. Trócaire completed a successful pilot year of the programme in 2021/22, and will roll out the first full year of the programme in 2022/23. Stephen from Trócaire will re cap on the pilot year, including showcasing two of the documentaries that made it to the final in the Lighthouse Cinema in May 2022, including 'Stand Up' by St. Dominics Grammar School in Belfast, the winner of the People's Choice Award voted by the audience of young people and educators.

Update on CSPE developments - Thomas Gleeson, JCT. Thomas will update teachers on the latest developments in CSPE - incl hours required, CBAs and any forthcoming inservice from JCT.

Overview of CBA process in CSPE - Gearoid O'Brien . From September 2022, all post-primary schools are obliged to allocate 100 hours to CSPE over the course of junior cycle. The CSPE short course requires a Citizenship Action Record CBA conducted in year 2 or year 3. Gearóid's presentation will look at the requirements for the Citizenship Action Record, exemplars of standard and suggest different methods of conducting and recording the CBA.

Introduction to the Oireachtas Website for Education - Conor Reale . In his presentation Conor will take us through the range of lesson plans and resources available on with a particular emphasis on the 'Exploring Democracy' suite of resources. These resources are designed specifically for Strand Three of the CSPE Short Course Specification and include 20 hour long lesson plans, presentations and associated resources as well as three Democracy actions which could be incorporated into a CBA.

Courses at Sligo Education Centre
Sligo Education has a wide variety of online courses for Autumn, some of which are relevant to CSPE:  Climate & Nature Education – Environmental Influencer Programme, Sept 14th & 21st (7pm) Developing Student Voice in Our Schools, Sept 29th Student Leadership through Climate Action projects Oct 5th  Details and registration here:

Save the Date! Annual Conference of Association of CSPE Teachers, online Sat 22 Oct. Details later.


UN Peacekeepers
: The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, 29 May, offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour nearly 4,200 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 135 last year. The theme for this year’s Day is "People. Peace. Progress. The Power of Partnerships.” Read more ...

Young People and Politics: 'The Conversation' website, UK based, has published an article 'Young children all find politics engaging but by 15 this has changed – new research shows why' which you can access here. The website has several other articles of interest on similar themes, including 'Young people are detached from politics – schools can be the solution'  (read more...


MU: Certificate in Global Citizenship Education
: Maynooth University is running a new Certificate in Global Citizenship Education course. This is a one-year, part-time, 20 ECTS postgraduate programme for those interested in global citizenship, development and human rights education, anti-racism and intercultural education and education for sustainable development. Deadline for application is 30 June. Find out more... MIC: M.Ed. in Ed. for Sustainability and Global Citizenship: Mary Immaculate College Limerick is now offering a new M.Ed. in Education for Sustainability and Global Citizenship. Find out more...

New Workshop for September: There will a CSPE workshop in September organised by the Clare Education Centre and presented by Gearóid O'Brien. 'From Learning Outcome to Lesson - Approaches to Teaching CSPE'. The broad learning outcomes in CSPE can make it difficult to decide what content to teach in the subject. This seminar will give suggestions on how to plan lessons to teach learning outcomes using the key junior cycle skills. Sample materials for teaching the lessons will be used to give practical examples of how to teach these lessons. The workshop will be online, and will take place Thurs 22 Sept 7-8 pm. Info and booking at this link.

Drama Workshop: Exploring key skills through drama   Sat 21 May 2022 - Arts in Junior Cycle with choreographer, dance and drama facilitator Mary Farrelly. Venue: Garage Theatre, Monaghan Education Campus. In this practical drama workshop, participants will explore selected junior cycle key skills such as Being Creative, Working with Others and Communicating through a range of workshop activities, including warm-up games, physical theatre/ensemble techniques and storytelling. Register at this link. (Google Form)


Northern Ireland Elections
: This week the elections take place for the Northern Ireland Assembly - though it's late in the school year teachers might wish to give it some attention in CSPE class. There is some useful information on the voting systems in NI elections at this link. Here you can find out how elections are run, how people register to vote, where to find election results, how constituency boundaries are decided and reviewed and how people become election observers.


Growing the Future: Growing the Future is a new resources for CSPE written by Stephen Farley for Trócaire. The blurb: 'Growing the Future supports teachers and students to understand the current issues facing families and communities in Zimbabwe, primarily food security, but also climate change and Covid-19. The activities focus on understanding the current situation, but also looking to the future, and encouraging students to come up with solutions for existing problems, leading to a brighter future for all.'The pack includes lessons, worksheets, access to Powerpoint presentations and more. The resource, which is also available in Irish, is available for download at this link Grants for Global Citizenship Education: WorldWise Global Schools (WWGS) provides grant funding to Schools and Organisations(NGOs & School Networks) working in the post-primary sector in the Republic of Ireland (ROI). Grant funding can be applied for on an annual basis (from April 7th 2022) to assist Schools/Organisations with activities and initiatives, which promote Global Citizenship Education, to take place in the following academic year. Application Deadline: May 13th 2022 5.30pm. Applications and more info at this link.


Ukrainian Refugees
: Citizens'  Information has compiled a list of guidelines for Ukrainian citizens coming to Ireland. It may be enlightening for our own student citizens as increasingly they may find Ukrainian students coming to their school. Check it out at this link World Central Kitchen: Chefs for Ukraine is an iniative of World Central Kitchen, whose work providing meals for displaced people could be worth exploring in CSPE classes.  Voices of Children: Voices of Children provides psychological help and therapy for children caught up in the war zone in Ukraine. The website includes a section on the stories of individual children caught up in the war. Check it out at this link.


More Ukraine Related Resources
: Over the last few weeks we have flagged a variety of resources for teachers relating to the war in Ukraine.This week we're flagging a detailed resources from The New York Times on the same topic. Check it out at this link. Leaving Cert Reform: Proposed new subject to be included in Leaving Cert Reform announced this week - Climate Change and Sustainable Development.  Read more here.

ACT Planning Workshop
: Our new workshop on Thurs 28 April 7 pm will explore various aspects of planning in and for CSPE, with practical examples. Presenter: Gearóid O'Brien. Registration at Eventbrite - this link


JCT Inservice - Sharing CSPE Practice
: 'From Pdf to Practice' - a JCT online event where you can listen to fellow CSPE teachers share their experiences of bringing the CSPE specification to life in their classrooms. 7th April 18.30 - 19.30. Register at this link. New CSPE Text
Call To Action
 is a new CSPE Textbook written by Gearóid O'Brien and published by Gill Education. It is written to align with the 100 hour CSPE Short Course and features a textbook, an e-book and a teachers' resource book. The text and supporting materials can be viewed at this link Census School Resources Webinar There will be a webinar on the upcoming census on Tues 22nd March 7 pm. It will be presented by Edmond Hussey and organised by Tralee Education Centre. This Webinar has been developed to enable teachers to explore and discuss what a census is, why we fill in the census on Census Night and how this information is used in shaping communities and society in Ireland into the future with their students. Info and registration at this link *Note: Census Resources for CSPE now available for download at this link


Fairtrade Resources
: #CreateFairtrade: A CSPE Action Guide is a resource from Development This CSPE action guide can be adapted to build on and practice key Civic, Social and Political Education themes and supports three learning strands: Rights and Responsibilities, Global Citizenship and Exploring Democracy. The materials correspond with the Junior Cycle Statements of Learning (SOL) 9, 10 and 11. The resource is available for download at this link Resources on National Flag: Respect and protocols relating to the national flag are provided for in resources from the the Thomas Francis Meagher Foundation. Some of the educational resources relate more to history but there is interest for citizenship education as well. There is a wide variety of lesson plans, and a chance to register your school for 'flag day' along with various other school programmes and awards, including a link to Gaisce. 

Ukraine War:
If covering the Ukraine war in CSPE class, our sister association in the UK, the Association for Citizenship Teaching, has produced a fact sheet that should be useful. It can be downloaded at this link. Similar fact sheets on issues like Afghanistan are also available - full list here. Groups providing humanitarian aid include World Central KitchenDePaulUNICEFRed Cross. It is important to include reflection and awareness raising if doing any fund raising. Further, we draw attention this week to a few more resources for CSPE teachers e.g. this video from BBC might be useful in discussion issues of media and democracy. It flags various misleading videos and images in circulation. Also, the News Literacy Project has created a web page aimed at combatting disinformation about the war - check it out at this link


CSPE and Gender
: Congratulations are due to one of our members, Gearóid O'Brien, on the publication of his article 'Differences in the teaching of Civic, Social and Political Education: An analysis of the impact of school gender'. The article, backed up by research among CSPE teachers in a variety of schools, has appeared in the journal Education, Citizenship and Social Justice and is available to read or download at this link Development Education Webinars: The Emergence of Development Education in Ireland and Future Trends in Development Education sessions are now available to view and listen to online. If you missed these first time around, or would like to listen back to them, you can access the videos here and the podcasts here.


Webwise Resources: With internet safety topical this week it's worth having a look at some of the relevant internet and media related resources from Webwise. ThinkB4UClick is a programme designed for CSPE teachers who wish to explore related issues. Their programme Connected is an introduction to digital media literacy, and resources are available in English and Irish. 


World Wetlands Day
: February 2nd is World Wetlands Day and raises issues relating to global citizenship and sustainability. This year for the first time it's a UN International Day. There are many activities worldwide during the week, and there's a generous grant offer for related activities, as well as plenty of resources at
Workshop on Greenwashing
: 'Action on Greenwashing - a Workshop for Post-Primary Teachers' Wed 9 Feb 7 pm. The blurb: 'Zero-carbon coffee. Climate-positive burgers. Zero-emissions cars. The language of sustainability is increasingly used to befuddle climate-conscious consumers and market products. This session will offer a range of activities to help you develop students' critical media literacy, so they can sort fact from fiction and take action on greenwashing!' Organised by Global Action Plan Ireland. Register at Eventbrite.



Digital Citizenship Course: 'What is Digital Citizenship and How to Teach It' - The aim of this course, from Teacher CPD and PDST Technology in Education, is to provide teachers with the knowledge, resources and confidence to teach digital citizenship. Topics explored include online wellbeing, news and information literacy, privacy, communication, ethics, empathy and more. The course contains new good practice videos filmed in three post primary schools and makes specific links to SPHE, CSPE and the Digital Media Literacy short course. The course is one you do in your own time (2 hours) and is available 17th Jan to 27th May. More info and registration at this link.

JCT Webinars: There will be a Live Q and A session on the Junior Cycle Wellbeing Programme with the relevant JCT Associates on Wed 19 Jan 5 pm - 6 pm. Places limited, registration at this link There will be a JCT Leadership Webinar on circular letter 0059/2021 (Arrangements for the implementation of the Framework for Junior Cycle with particular reference to the school year 2021/22) on Thurs 20 Jan 2.30 pm. Register at this link. For any future events that may be scheduled check this link from time to time. 

Game Changers Competition Game Changers is a competition for young people who want to change the world and believe games are a way to do this. Young people all over Ireland submit games based on one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Games can be a board game, card game or video game, and submitted in one of three categories: Primary, Post Primary, or Youth. For the 2021/22 academic year, Game Changers will be offered as both an online and face to face programme, involving three key steps. More info and registration at this link


JCT Inservice, postponed from December restarts from 10 Jan. Their message on Twitter:  'We look forward to meeting teachers from Monday January 10th for our Subject 2022 CPD In advance of the Clusters you can ensure you have the best experience possible by updating your Zoom settings'. At the time of writing we don't have an exact date for the CSPE workshops, but hopefully those who were registered for December will be informed of new dates. As soon as we get the information we will post it on the news page of our website. The  guidance on the update is at this link. Previous elective workshops you might have missed are posted at this link, while the previous core workshops are at this link. Updates and ideas for the classroom are regularly posted here:


Resources in Irish
: From time to time we get queries about CSPE resources in Irish - our own Irish language Powerpoints are still available on request. Development has a range of such resources dealing with topics relevant to their mission (as well as general resources of interest, especially in relation to Strand 2 of the CSPE Short Course.


Alone CSPE Pack
: Alone is a group that looks after the needs of older people. Their comprehensive CSPE resource is available for download. The language of the resource is based on the CSPE Syllabus (still relevant until Sept 2022), but can easily be adapted to the CSPE Short Course, especially Strand 1 'Rights and Responsibilities'. There are many suggestions for projects and actions. The resource should download when this link is clicked. 


Education in Law

The Courts Service has a programme 'Look at the Law' designed for CSPE classes. Let's Look At the Law is intended as an important introduction for students to the nature and operation of our legal system, presented in an accessible manner online. This series of modules was developed by the Courts Service in consultation with legal professionals, teachers and the Department of Education & Skills. Check it out here.

Some places are opening up for Thursday night's workshop on planning a unit of work as a few people cancel. Places fill up quickly so keep an eye here on this page on Eventbrite. Meanwhile there are still places available on the workshop for Thurs 2nd December 'Digital Arts - Canva for CSPE Teachers'. Book here.

Grant Opportunity is offering a number of small grants of up to €650 to community activists and community groups offering an educational project relating to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For info email or ring 086-1789971

Student Voice Workshop is organising a CSPE workshop, also on Thurs 25th, on encouraging discussion and student voice in the classroom. Presenter is Donal McCarthy. Register here.

Trócaire Game Changers 2022
Game Changers is a competition for young people who want to change the world and believe games are a way to do this. Young people all over Ireland submit games based on one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Games can be a board game, card game or video game, and submitted in one of three categories: Primary, Post Primary, or Youth.  For the 2021/22 academic year, Game Changers will be offered as both an online and face to face programme, involving three key steps. Registration at this link.

Development Education 'Future Trends in Development Education' is a webinar organised by the rish Development Education Association. It's on Fri 26 November 12.30 pm - 2 pm. This lunchtime webinar will provide a look forward at future trends and emerging issues in Development Education/Global Citizenship Education. We will identify and explore possibilities and problems  influencing how development education is conceived and practised. Register at this link



Digital Arts: Canva for CSPE Teachers
- our next workshop Thurs 2 Dec 7 pm: - Graphic design software for creating infographics, citizenship action record templates, inspirational posters, class planning templates and more. Registration at Eventbrite. Using Canva to create infographics, certs for students, citizeship action record templates for CBA, inspirational posters , class plan templates and much more.

The COP26 Conference on climate change issues is continuing after world leaders have departed. The official website with a variety of resources is here:

Planning Workshop
There are still places available for our workshop on planning a unit of work in the CSPE Short Course - info and booking at this link

JCT Workshop
On 15 November JCT is running 'A World Made of Stories' with Ricardo Silva
@ricardoccsilva again for those on our waiting list. There is a small number of places left, if you would like to participate, register here:  

The Association is running a workshop for all CSPE teachers on Thurs 25 Nov 7 pm. Guidelines on planning a unit of work for the CSPE Short Course. -
A concise overview of the history and development of CSPE + CSPE subject planning at Second Level.
A brief examination of the CSPE (Short Course) Specification and with a particular focus on learning outcomes as the basis for subject planning.
A suggested strand-integrated approach for the planning of the CSPE Short Course in Second Year/Third Year.
A sample strand-integrated unit of work for Second Year/Third Year students.
Registration at Eventbrite .... click here.


CSPE Webinar: JCT is running a webinar this week (Thurs 14th Oct 7 pm) on Planning and Assessment for CSPE. To register click here.

World Food Day

Sat 16 October is World Food Day. Scoilnet has a wide range of resources for the occasion at
Among the resources is a presentation for CSPE on the Sustainable Development Goals, and a presentation '10 Myths about Global Hunger' (post-primary). 


There has been a slight change in the content for the Annual Conference. The Environment and Climate Change section will now be facilitated by Cool Planet and the related ReWrite Climate initiative. Description now reads:

Cool Planet/Rewrite Climate: CSPE and the Environment, Ireland’s obligations as regards climate change. Topline issues in the areas of Energy, Transport, Waste and Food as well as address national targets, government policies and initiatives in these areas. 

The Annual Conference of the Association is now open for booking - at Eventbrite It's on Sat 16 Oct, online, 10 am - 1 pm
Conference Theme: Climate Change and Sustainability
About this event: The Conference will feature workshops as follows:
Trócaire: The Right Focus, new initiative on video projects for students, based around the SDGs (Sustainability Development Goals).
Environmental Protection Agency: CSPE and the Environment, Ireland's obligations as regards climate change.
CSPE Updates: the latest on CSPE curriculum matters, in conjunction with JCT.

Event of Interest
Modern slavery in a humanitarian context - What Does the Data Say? - an online event on 26 August that may be of interest to CSPE teachers. Check out the information at this link

NCCA/Dept of Education Updates
Revised arrangements for Assessments/CBAs for school year 2021/2022 have been published - access them at this link. Also: ffor schools that deferred their 20/21 subject CPD cluster event to this Sept, the registration portal @ has opened up & will remain open until 1st Sept to facilitate any adjustments in teacher registrations. All of these workshops will be online. Check with principals. 

The Hygiene Bank Ireland is launching a nationwide action based programme for post primary schools from September 2021. This could be appropriate for CSPE class project/rehearsal CBA or TY students to further develop a sense of civic responsibility or as your school deems appropriate. They are looking for schools to organise a hygiene product donation drive or fundraising activity. They have created a PPT to accompany this in both English and Irish which could be delivered over a 2 class period. They can deliver this or it can be done by the class teachers. Please see website if you would like more information (The Hygiene Bank Ireland ) If you would like to register your interest for your school to take part please complete this google form School Event Sign Up Form ( 

Save the date: The Annual Conference of the Association will take place online on Sat 16 Oct. More details will follow shortly.

Join the World Wise Global School team to support the integration of Global Citizenship Education in post-primary schools across Ireland. WWGS does this mainly through building the capacity of teachers to explore Global Citizenship Education in their schools. Current Vacancies: We are hiring an Education Officer (Munster). Closing date is Friday 16th July 2021 at 5pm
WWGS Education Officer (based in Munster/Remote working in line with COVID-19 Government advice)

Embedding Social Justice in Learning is a half-day symposium showcasing a number approaches in embedding principles and practices of Social Justice within teaching and learning. More info and booking at Eventbrite.

Teacher Opportunity:
The UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development was created in 2008 to support the improvement of teaching and learning quality in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Quality Education, which is one of UNESCO’s priorities. Closing Date for receipt of national nominations for this year is 24 September. Click here for more information.

This year's Annual Conference of the Irish Development Education Association (IDEA) takes place online on the theme: 'Global Citizenship and Inequality 2021: Forging a New Path?'. It is on Tuesday – Thursday, 22 - 24 June. Click here for more information.

CSPE Associates Wanted

JCT is currently recruiting part time associates and the subject list inclusdes CSPE. The posts are open to current or recently retired teachers and also school leaders. For the necessary documentation click here.  Closing date is Friday 4th June at 3 pm. 

iScoil Hiring
iScoil, a registered charity, is an online school that offers learning opportunities and accreditation to young people aged 13-16 years who are not in mainstream education. Students are referred to iScoil from Tusla, the Education Welfare Service. iScoil is currently hiring Mentors - the support to students will be delivered online. For job description click here. Closing date is Fri 18th June 5 pm. 

Voting Rights for 16-Year Olds?
Voting rights should be extended to sixteen-year-olds, said Senator Malcolm Byrne in the Seanad recently, but is it wise to extend the right to vote to children? And how well would it work?  To discuss Ciara spoke to 18-year-old Caillum Hedderman, Leaving Cert student and Vote at 16 Advocate. Click here for the interview. 


Digital Citizenship Resources: TCEA is a global group that promotes learning with the aid of technology and digital resources. They have compiled a wide range of resources on Digital Citizenship. Some level of adapting for Irish education may be necessary. The resources should be useful in particular for elements of Strand 3: Democracy of the CSPE Short Course. Check it out here:

Bye-Election: The Dublin Bay South bye-election now looks likely to take place in July instead of Autumn. If CSPE teachers wish to track it as citizenship action time is running out. Whatever the case it's useful to keep a record of the count and results which could be used in class when schools return.

Mustard Seed

Mustard Seed Ireland is rolling out their Global Citizenship Programme (Dare to Care) to schools all across the country.  Through a series of Workshops they explore Global Citizenship with a focus on Social Justice and Equality, Identity and Diversity and Sustainability.  They also look at the concept and importance of Sustainable Development and use the Mustard Seed Communities around the world as examples of Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship in action.  As part of the programme they ask participants to complete the Marathons for Mustard Seed Challenge as an action project. Workshops can be delivered weekly, as a TY module or can work as a two day workshop depending on what suits the school. Mustard Seed Ireland provide all presentations, video content and lesson plans as well as full online training where required. Depending on availability, they can come to the school to deliver the 2 day workshops. This programme comes at no cost to schools.
Please contact Máire Toomey, Head of Volunteer Programmes on 087 962 3158 or at for more information.

JCT Inservice 2021-2022
Schools can now access details of their 2021/2022 subject CPD online cluster event on our portal at By providing these details now JCT is seeking to support schools in planning their 2021/2022 school calendar. (JCT sign-in details needed). JCT resources for CSPE (incl past CPD) are available here

Sustainable Development Newsletter
The Department of Education's newsletter on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) will keep you up to date with the latest ESD news. The latest edition and past editions can de downloaded from here. Email to subscribe.

JCT Inservice Materials

JCT has been running inservice workshops for CSPE this term. The materials and presentations can be accessed now by all teachers - CSPE Resources and Ideas Hub ; Workshop Presentations ;
CSPE Design Hub  .

Yellow Flag
The Yellow Flag programme is an 8 step intercultural education model created by the Irish Traveller Movement for schools. Yellow Flag will be recruiting 30 schools for renewal of their Yellow Flag by Sept 2022. If you are interested in renewal please express your interest and join the online seminar on Thursday 20th May at 4.30pm - email 


Global Citizenship Resource

Global Citizenship Education in a Time of Covid-19 is a new resource that aims to support teachers of Junior Cycle subjects and short courses to use a cross-curricular approach to teach about some of the global issues brought into sharp relief in contemporary times, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resource will download automatically when this link is clicked. Grants are also available for Global Citizenship Education, click here for details. Deadline is May 14th. 


CSPE and Music Workshop
: This workshop will explore how music can be used in the teaching of CSPE. Examples will be given along with guidance on the technical/IT side - sourcing, organising, storing of relevant resources. It's on Thurs 29 April 7 pm. It's free and booking is through Eventbrite, click here.


Resilient - Trócaire Resource

Resilient is a new resource from Trócaire which explores the Sustainable Development Goals through the stories of families in South Sudan. It can be downloaded for free and there's an accompanying Powerpoint presentation - at this link.

Covid Vaccine Initiative
There's a European citizens’ initiative to ensure that the European Commission does everything in its power to make anti-pandemic vaccines and treatments a global public good, freely accessible to everyone. Apart from a petition there's plenty of information on the website.

World Water Day
World Water Day took place this week  and is always a useful topic for CSPE. It relates to No. 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the right to water and sanitation for all. There is information on the relevant United Nations Web Page

GOAL's Global Youth Programme
GOAL's Global Youth Programme young people together from all over the world to deepen their understanding of Global Citizenship. GOAL believes that deeper and longer-term engagement is the best possible way to support a generation of young people who are passionate about a fairer and more sustainable future. The Global Citizen’s Journey: A Resource for Global Citizenship Education is a related activity based resource to help develop the critical thinking skills to explore the realities and complexities of the interconnected world and recognize the imperative for active solidarity at local and global levels. The resource can be downloaded from here

Global Citizenship Grants
Worldwide Global Schools offer funding to assist schools to integrate Global Citizenship Education into the school community. Themes for exploartion include Anti-Racism, Child Labour, Fair trade and much more. Grants can be used for teacher planning time, action projects, whole school events, trips, workshops and learning materials. Applications open on Moday 12 April, deadline Fri 14 May. Details here

Teacher Survey
Education International and UNESCO have launched a global survey on teachers’ readiness to teach education for sustainable development (ESD) and global citizenship (GCED). The study is being conducted as a part of the monitoring of UN’s Sustainable Development Goal target 4.7, which aims for all learners to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to promote sustainable development. The survey is here and is open until Sun 25 April. 


News re Assessments 2021

The Dept of Education has just released a document Assessment and Reporting on Students’ Learning – Junior Cycle 2021 in light of this year's special circumstances.
Download from here
They outline a dual certification: 
* A State Certificate of Completion of the Junior Cycle from the Department of Education. This certificate will state that the student has completed the Junior Cycle programme of study. For each student the certificate will include the list of subjects, short courses and/or priority learning units studied by him/her during their Junior Cycle programme.
*A School Report detailing the learning achievements of the student during their Junior Cycle programme. Students should receive a written report on the broad range of learning that they have achieved in each subject, short course and/or priority learning unit at the end of Junior Cycle. This assessment of their learning will be provided by their teachers. Schools will have autonomy, following consultation with the teachers of third-year students, regarding how this assessment is to be arrived at and the format in which the report is provided.
The document cautions against 'over assessment of students as they return to school', and says 'In all cases, assessments should be completed and marked before 28 May 2021'.

Digital Citizenship Resource

ThinkB4Uclick from ( is a resource for CSPE on the topic of online privacy in the context of online rights and responsibilities. There are 10 lessons along with teacher guidelines and action project ideas.

Environment Education
Several education centres have joined to offer an environmental education course for post-primary teachers. The EcoEd4All team of teachers, environmentalists and subject matter experts have put together a comprehensive package of themes that include Biodiversity, Climate Change and Water Pollution. More info here.


CSPE Updates
: CSPE and Wellbeing requirements are under the review, and the revised Wellbeing Guidelines are now available for download here . From Sept 2021 it will be required that CSPE gets 100 hours spread out over the three years of Junior Cycle. This will facilitate those wanting to do the full CSPE Short Course leading to CBA and certification. This means that a 70 hour CSPE Course will no longer be an option, and as we pointed out last week the 1996 Syllabus (based on the 7 concepts) will no longer be an acceptable option from September 2021.
For those who missed it there are examples of student work for CBA at Curriculum Online - click here.
With the 1996 syllabus being phased out it would be worthwhile to gather resources from this course while they're still available. You can, for example, download the Guidelines for Teachers, which still has useful material, by clicking here

Circular 76/2020 from the Dept. of Education - Arrangements for the Implementation of the Framework for Junior Cycle with particular reference to school year 2020/21. - has some important info re CSPE. Download here.

New Textbook

Folens has published a new edition of the CSPE textbook Make a Difference by Conor Harrison and Máirín Wilson There is information on the textbook on the Folens website (here) including the link to register for a webinar to promote the text on 24th March.  

The Association is holding a workshop on CSPE and Media Issues in the CSPE Short Course on Thurs 25 Feb 7-9 pm. CPD Certs available. As everyday use of digital technologies becomes increasingly prevalent in our daily interactions, the concept of digital citizenship has emerged as a highly relevant aspect of citizenship. Digital citizenship has a number of interlinked elements: safe and ethical use of technology, media literacy, participation and engagement and critical resistance. This workshop will look at why and how these areas are relevant to CSPE and will outline strategies and resources for teaching these aspects of digital citizenship in the CSPE classroom.Places limited. Register at Eventbrite.


New Workshop y the Association of CSPE Teachers, Wed 10 Feb 5 pm - 7 pm. CSPE and Literacy. This is an online workshop on literacy awarenes and training applied to the teaching of CSPE, presented by Fergus Dolan of the National Adult Literacy Agency. NALA's Plain English Guide to Political Terms has long been a popular resource with CSPE teachers. Included will be an interactive feedback session. There will also be an input on the use of Jamboard software. Register at Eventbrite.


The Association is holding a Workshop/CPD on CSPE and Film on Thurs 21 Jan 7 pm - 9 pm. This is a practical online workshop on using film in the teaching of CSPE. There will be guidance on relevant films, on how to source and create film clips and stills to enhance teaching, whether online or in the physical classroom. Places limited. Zoom link will be sent by to those who register by Wed 20th Jan.
Register at Eventbrite. Click here.


Friday 18 Dec is UN International Migrants Day. Background and Resources are available here:

Online CPD Cluster Events
JCT has released a video on the Subject CPD Online Cluster Events coming up in the new year. The video can be viewed here.


Repak, the organisation that promotes recycling, has a range of resources available, including some material relating to recycling and waste at Christmas. Access resources here.

The Association is organising a workshop on Assessment and House Exams for Christmas and beyond. It's online, Wed 2 Dec 7 pm. With assessments always an issue and house exams potentially looming for Christmas, this workshop explores ways of facilitating and automating the process as much as possible, using tools like Google Forms, MS Forms and more. Free course. Places limited. Open to all CSPE teachers.
Register at Eventbrite. Click here.


The Association is organising November workshops online, open to all CSPE teachers, with all booking at Eventbrite, as follows:
Thurs 12 Nov 7.30 pm, CSPE and IT, details and booking here.
Wed 18th Nov 7.30 pm. Media themes in CSPE short Course here.


US Election: Teachers wishing to engage in activities relate to the US Presidential Election will find a huge number of resources on the US website Facing History.Apart from the specific election there are resources on the role of the media, civic discourse, voting systems and much more. 
Check out the resources here

Anti-Bullying: Thurs 5th Novemberis International Day against violence and bullying at school including cyberbullying. UNESCO is supporting this initiative and a relevant resource can be downloaded here


The National Conference of the Association will now take place on Sat 7th November 10.30 am - 12.30 pm. This event will be online and the theme is:  "Digital Resources and Global Citizenship Education" - Innovative Technologies/Methodologies for the Pandemic Classroom. The event is being organised in conjunction with Trócaire. Registration is through Eventbrite and early booking is advised. Click here.

Conference Postponed
The Annual Conference of the Association has been postponed until Sat 7th November. Further details of programme and booking facility will follow soon. One-off workshops also coming in November. 

Arts and Human Rights Festival

Of interest to CSPE teachers - Smashing Times and Front Line Defenders in partnership with Amnesty International, Fighting Words, ICCL, NWCI, & Trócaire will implement the 2020 Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival to showcase and highlight the extraordinary work of human rights defenders in Ireland and around the world, past and present, and the role of the arts and artists in promoting human rights today. The festival will run for ten days from Friday 16 October to Sunday 25 October 2020. More info here.

Secret Street Tours - is a non-profit social enterprise offering you a new way to discover the streets of Dublin through the eyes and experiences of someone who has been affected by homelessness. The tours are developed in partnership with their guides who will share their story as you explore the cultural and historic landmarks of their local area. Secret Street Tours is now starting again the in-person homeless walking tours this month! They’ll also keep offering interactive digital experiences with the guides virtually.


The Association now offers online membership payments - check it out on our membership page.

The JCT Whole-School Team has repurposed 24 of the existing teaching and learning strategies for students and teachers in the physically distanced classroom and for students engaging with online learning from home. They are available for download in PDF format. This will support all students in the progression of their learning in the unusual circumstances that present this year. Check out the resources here.


JCT has released a new video for CSPE teachers, exploring the teaching of controversial issues in CSPE. It is presented by Mella Cusack and Thomas Gleeson, and explores planning considerations, values, approaches and methodologies, unit planning and more. It can be accessed here:


ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) is an all-Ireland environmental awards programme that recognises and rewards young people who raise environmental awareness and improve the environment. The YEA programme aims to empower young people to become better citizens, to build awareness of environmental issues in the community and promote local actions and lifestyle changes to improve the environment Info and registration here.


In response to queries about CBAs for the school year 2020/2021 please consult the relevant document from the NCCA - 'Revised arrangements for the completion of Classroom-Based Assessments for the cohort of students 2018-2021'. It can be downloaded here.

'Exploring Democracy
' is a module for CSPE developed by the education service of the Oireachtas. There are worksheets, videos, class checklists. Recently added is a checklist which serves as a guide to the Exploring Democracy series. You could print the checklist and use it to document your class's progress through the course. The module is available here.


The new cabinet has been announced, and the names are given in this graphic. The Association will produce a Powerpoint on the information in time for the new school year.
[Note: The Minister for Agriculture is now Charlie McConalogue - updated 2/9/20]

Digital Literacy
Media and digital literacy are part of the CSPE Short Course. Here's an article that may be useful: For digital literacy...

TV Programme
The School That Tried to End Racism is a 2-part documentary series shown  on Channel 4. Episode 1 was on last Thursday 25 June, Episode 2 is on tonight at 9 pm. Both should be available on All4.


Financial Justice Ireland has produced a new resource aimed at the Maths curriculum but very relevant for CSPE. 'We Can Solve It!' contains a huge amount of relevant information and lots of classroom exercises. The resource can be downloaded here.


Circular re revised arrangements for assessments/CBAs:
The NCCA has released a document relating to Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs) for Junior Cycle. It applies to all relevant subject including CSPEs . This is the blurb: 'The very real challenges that school closures have created and the ongoing efforts by teachers and schools to continue to plan lessons and, where possible, provide online resources and lessons for your students are very much appreciated. We are aware that, where it was feasible, students may have been asked to continue working on Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) with guidance from their teachers. Please note that for students currently in second year (2019/20) revised assessment arrangements for the completion of CBAs will now apply. In summary, in the exceptional circumstances prevailing, students from this cohort will be required to complete one Classroom-Based Assessment in the subjects taken rather than the usual two'. The full document can be downloaded here.

Virtual Outings?

Google is offering a range of online training opportunities at the moment. Among these is a webinar this week (Thurs 3.30 pm) on creating a Virtual School Trip using Google tools for Education. Here is the blurb: 'Join the Google for Education Team and Google Certified Trainers to learn about how G Suite tools can be used to facilitate distance learning. In this session we will be using fantastic Google tools such as Google Earth, Google Maps and Expeditions, to explore the wider world and discover new places of interest. Students can then capture their findings in a Google Slides to share with teachers, families and friends.'  It wouldn't be too hard to see how this approach could facilitate virtual CSPE related outings as part of a citizenship action. You can access the webinar  here:
*Previous webinars, which will include the above after Thurs, are available here:

Important Circular on Junior Cycle Assessment under Covid-19 conditions
The Department of Education has released an important circular on assessment arrangements for Junior Cycle 2020. It includes the following: '...while many students have completed most of their classroom-based assessments (CBAs), short courses and/or priority learning units (PLUs), the normal range of assessment activities cannot be concluded consistently for all students.
In this context, the use of the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) is not appropriate as a reporting and certification mechanism in 2020'. The guidelines go on to outline the revised arrangements procedure. The document can be accessed here:

Better Zoom Presentations
CSPE teachers may well have to do some of their teaching online in the next school year, and whether it's done through Zoom, MS Teams or Google Classroom/Meet the advice is usually the same. Integrated Media Solutions are offering a free webinar on the topic on Thursday 28 May at 3.00 pm. Register here:


Webinar on Blendspace
On Thurs 21st May we are running a webinar on the use of Blendspace for CSPE teaching. Also known as TES Teach this is a free and intuitive online tool for creating, gathering and presenting resources. It can also do simple quizzes. It's on at 7.30 pm, and if you're interested please use contact details above and we'll send Zoom link on Thursday afternoon. 

Suggested Online Meeting on Planning and CBA's
One of our members is wondering if any other members are interesting in getting together online for a meetup re planning and CBA's for CSPE. We are happy to facilitate this if there's an interest. Please use contact details above to express an interest. 

Webinar on Trócaire 
On Thurs 28th May from 7 pm we are facilitating a webinar given by Trócaire on games based learning in CSPE. It's an approach that can be cross curricular. If you're interested please use contact details above and we'll send Zoom link nearer the time.

JCT Webinar on CSPE
JCT ran a webinar on CSPE back in March. It is not yet available conveniently, but JCT have told us: 'Teachers who wish to view back the event can do so by registering their detail at It will playback for them on registration.'

CSPE Webinar Mon 23rd March, dealing with assessment and reporting. Theme:
Theme: CSPE - Effective Reporting on CSPE Within Wellbeing
Register here.

***Postponed: The Association of CSPE Teachers is running a new workshop on Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs) in CSPE. It will take place on Mon 9th March 5-7 pm in Dublin West Education Centre. Early booking advisable as places are limited. The course is free.
Expected Learning Outcomes: Clarity for teachers on the features of the course they are following. Knowledge of how to conduct and present CBAs.


This year's One World Week takes place 1st-8th Dec. The theme is Climate Action and the Sustainable Development Goals. Throughout the week young people and youth organisations will take part in local and regional activities. Activities include the Climate Summit in the RDS on 5th December. More info here.

By-elections will take on Nov 29th in the constituencies of Dublin Mid-West, Dublin Fingal, Cork North Central and Wexford. These provide useful opportunities for citizenship actions in CSPE class - both for the campaigns and the post election counts. Detail results will appear in local and national media, providing examples of the PR voting system in action.

Regional Inservice. The Association is organising a new round of inservice this November. The theme is: Creative ideas for managing, recording and reporting on CSPE actions and projects. Actions are always relevant in CSPE, pursuing old syllabus or new Specification, whether for formal assessment or not. The workshop will explore ideas for managing actions, recording and reporting on actions through a Citizenship Action Record. Venues and booking details as follows:

Enniscorthy: Tues 26 Nov 5-7pm

Waterford Thurs 28 Nov 5-7 pm

Blackrock, Dublin: Thurs 5 Dec 5-7 pm



The Dept of Education has issued an important new circular 0055/2019. Relating to Junior Cycle arrangements It has relevance for Wellbeing and CSPE. It is available for download at
Searching 'CSPE' within the document will show the relevant references.


The National Conference and AGM of the Association of CSPE Teachers will take place on Sat 19th Oct in Leinster House. There will be
workshops on Digital Citizenship, Climate Change, Human Rights, CSPE Short Course, Action Record and CBAs, Managing Actions in CSPE and Laying the Foundations for Politics and Society.  Guest speakers are Barry Andrews MEP and Lisa Walsh (NUIG). Booking through Eventbrite at link below. Early booking advisable as the National Conference booked out last year.

Response of Association of CSPE Teachers to CSPE Exam Paper 2019
We welcome today’s CSPE paper, although there were some challenging aspects to the exam. Section 1 offered some well-known ministerial faces and their job titles, as well as an interesting collection of short questions. Some of these were challenging – e.g. asking how many stars were on the European Flag.

Section 2, the stimulus-based questions, were very topical: the first on Bring Your Own Cup and microplastics, related to stewardship and the environment. The question on Trocaire and the Development Goals was relevant, but the final question which asked students to “explain why the world is failing in the goal of no hunger” was difficult, and despite being a higher-order question was valued at only 3 marks. The third option, which addressed the issue of voting at age 16 was certainly interesting, however the final question here featured a rather tenuous link to “fake news”. The last question in this section dealt with cycle safety, which could have been better linked to the law or the environment, but seemed to me more focused on health and safety, which is not directly connected to this subject area.

The longer questions in section 3 were varied, featuring topics such as One World Week, issues of concern to young people, the free travel pass for 18 year olds, and the UNCRC. We felt that the #DiscoverEU question was more connected to tourism than any CSPE concept.  The final question in this section was particularly significant, as it asked students to write a letter to the Minister for Education and Skills stating their opinions about the fact that 2019 is the final year that CSPE is being examined in the Junior Certificate.

The Association of CSPE Teachers is very disappointed that this is the last time that CSPE will feature on the Junior Certificate Examination timetable'.

Wed 5th June sees the last CSPE Exam in Junior Cycle. Members of the Association are invited to meet to review the exam paper in Blackrock Education Centre from 3.45 pm that evening.


Save the Date - the Annual Conference and AGM of the Association takes place in Leinster House on Sat 19 Oct. Planning is currently uner way and details will be posted here as they become available.

The last Junior Cycle CSPE Exam takes place on Wed 5 June 2-3.30 pm. The annual exam review meeting takes place in Blackrock Education Centre in Dublin from 3.45 that evening. All welcome.


The Association is running a new workshop on evaluation tools in CSPE - Blackrock Education Centre, Tues 21 May 4.30-6.30 pm. The workshop is free and will explore online tools for evaluation/assessment in CSPE - incl Quizizz, Google Sheets, Powerpoint and Quizzes in Blendspace. Booking and info at Eventbrite - click here.


The Association is running a workshop on evaluation tools in CSPE - Co. Wexford Education Centre, Thurs 16 May 5-7.30 pm. The workshop is free and will explore online tools for evaluation/assessment in CSPE - incl Quizizz, Google Sheets, Powerpoint and Quizzes in Blendspace. Booking and info at Eventbrite - click here.


JCT is looking for part-time associates to join their team in several subject areas including CSPE. These associates will be required for up to 20 days in the school year to deliver inservice and more. Deadline is Fri 15th March. The advert, job description and application form are available here.

The 7th edition of the book 80/20 is now available. New and completely revised edition of the popular development education resource – now widely used at introductory university level, among teachers and students at senior post-primary level, by NGO personnel in education and training as well as in adult and youth education contexts. 80-20 introduces, explores and debates key issues and topics in human development, human rights and sustainability. Its 15 chapters define and debate development, climate change and sustainability, hunger, population, women’s rights, human rights, migration, the economics and politics of inequality and overseas aid. It is designed to be useful for CSPE and Politics and Society.

Info and order options are here.

Fair Trade Fortnight
is on from 25th Feb to 10th March. Resources for schools are available - click here.



CSPE Workshop - Laois Education Centre
, Tues 19 March 5-7 pm The objective of this workshop is to provide CSPE teachers with guidelines for managing and reporting on ‘actions’ or ‘action projects’ in the new CSPE Short Course Specifications or in the CSPE Syllabus. There will be advice on appropriate timetabling of CSPE, as part of Wellbeing, and the options for ongoing assessment arrangements into the future. For those currently working on Action Project Reports for the CSPE exam this June there will also be guidelines for effective completion. This will also be an opportunity to share experiences and resources. 
Register at the Centre:


CSPE Workshop - Kildare Education Centre
, Tues 26 Feb 5-7 pm The objective of this workshop is to provide CSPE teachers with guidelines for managing and reporting on ‘actions’ or ‘action projects’ in the new CSPE Short Course Specifications or in the CSPE Syllabus. There will be advice on appropriate timetabling of CSPE, as part of Wellbeing, and the options for ongoing assessment arrangements into the future. For those currently working on Action Project Reports for the CSPE exam this June there will also be guidelines for effective completion. This will also be an opportunity to share experiences and resources. 



CSPE Workshop - Dublin West Education Centre Tues 5 March 5-7.30 pm. The objective of this workshop is to provide CSPE teachers with guidelines for managing and reporting on ‘actions’ or ‘action projects’ in the new CSPE Short Course Specifications or in the CSPE Syllabus. There will be advice on appropriate timetabling of CSPE, as part of Wellbeing, and the options for ongoing assessment arrangements into the future. For those currently working on Action Project Reports for the CSPE exam this June there will also be guidelines for effective completion. This will also be an opportunity to share experiences and resources. 
Register at Eventbrite:

CSPE Workshop - Waterford Teachers' Centre Thurs 28 Feb 5-7.30 pm. The objective of this workshop is to provide CSPE teachers with guidelines for managing and reporting on ‘actions’ or ‘action projects’ in the new CSPE Short Course Specifications or in the CSPE Syllabus. There will be advice on appropriate timetabling of CSPE, as part of Wellbeing, and the options for ongoing assessment arrangements into the future. For those currently working on Action Project Reports for the CSPE exam this June there will also be guidelines for effective completion. This will also be an opportunity to share experiences and resources. 
Register at Eventbrite:

CSPE Workshop - Cork Education Support Centre, Thurs 7 March 6.30 pm - 9 pm. The objective of this workshop is to provide CSPE teachers with guidelines for managing and reporting on ‘actions’ or ‘action projects’ in the new CSPE Short Course Specifications or in the CSPE Syllabus. There will be advice on appropriate timetabling of CSPE, as part of Wellbeing, and the options for ongoing assessment arrangements into the future. For those currently working on Action Project Reports for the CSPE exam this June there will also be guidelines for effective completion. This will also be an opportunity to share experiences and resources. 
Register at Eventbrite:

CSPE Workshop - Co. Wexford Education Centre, (Enniscorthy) Tues 12 Feb 5- 7.30 pm. The objective of this workshop is to provide CSPE teachers with guidelines for managing and reporting on ‘actions’ or ‘action projects’ in the new CSPE Short Course Specifications or in the CSPE Syllabus. There will be advice on appropriate timetabling of CSPE, as part of Wellbeing, and the options for ongoing assessment arrangements into the future. For those currently working on Action Project Reports for the CSPE exam this June there will also be guidelines for effective completion. This will also be an opportunity to share experiences and resources. 
Register at Eventbrite:

CSPE Workshop - Navan Education Centre Thurs 31 Jan. 5- 7 pm. The objective of this workshop is to provide CSPE teachers with guidelines for managing and reporting on ‘actions’ or ‘action projects’ in the new CSPE Short Course Specifications or in the CSPE Syllabus. There will be advice on appropriate timetabling of CSPE, as part of Wellbeing, and the options for ongoing assessment arrangements into the future. For those currently working on Action Project Reports for the CSPE exam this June there will also be guidelines for effective completion. This will also be an opportunity to share experiences and resources. 
Register at the Centre:


CSPE Workshop

Blackrock Education Centre, Dublin, 5-7.0 pm Mon 17 Dec

* Managing Action Projects (whether following CSPE Syllabus or CSPE Short Course), for 1st, 2nd, 3rd Years
* CSPE and TesTeach/Blendspace - introducing a free, online, intuitive and versatile educational tool for gathering and presenting resources.

Also, discussion on CSPE into the future. Early booking advisable at Eventbrite. Click here.

CSPE Workshops:

Co. Wexford Education Centre, Enniscorthy, Wed 7 Nov 5-7.30 pm

* Managing Action Projects (whether following CSPE Syllabus or CSPE Short Course), for 1st, 2nd, 3rd Years
* CSPE and TesTeach/Blendspace - introducing a free, online, intuitive and versatile educational tool for gathering and presenting resources.

Also, discussion on CSPE into the future.

Early booking advisable at Eventbrite. Click here. *****Cancelled.



Léargas Forum 2018

Looking Forward: The Future of Europe

Annual Léargas Forum
on Thursday 01 November 2018 in Dublin Castle Conference Centre, Dublin 2, from 9.15am to 3.00pm. Keynote address from Ruairí McKiernan, performances from Nigerian Carnival Ireland and Smashing Times Theatre Company as well as a panel discussion hosted by Una Mullally about the role of educational exchange and cooperation programmes in the future of Europe.
The Project Showcase will provide fine examples of the work being done through Erasmus+ and other Léargas programmes, and provide inspiration for those planning projects. At the Ask Léargas hub, our staff will help with questions about all our programmes and initiatives, including the 2019 Erasmus+ call for applications.
Register - click here.


The Annual Conference and AGM of the Association of CSPE Teachers will take place in Leinster House on Sat 20th Oct. The workshops are as follows: *UNICEF – Children Uprooted - the Impact of the Refugee and Migrant Crisis on Children;
*Re-inventing democracy – Fake News, Media Influence and Public Appetites; *CSPE Short Course and CBAs; *Managing Action Projects. Keynote speaker will be Senator Lynn Ruane, and there will be an exhibition: Votes for Women: Suffrage and Citizenship. There will also be presentations from Leargas, Amnesty, DSPCA and the Parliamentary Education Officer of the Houses of the Oireachtas. Places are limited - Registration is open now at Eventbrite. Brochure available for download here.

Press Release - Association of CSPE Teachers (ACT) Response to CSPE Exam Paper 2018

We welcome the CSPE paper overall and feel that for those sitting the paper, they requires more knowledge than previous papers and the paper is more challenging than in previous years. The paper would have rewarded students who have engaged in current affairs.
Section 1 Question 1 relating to Human Rights organisations is a good kick off to the paper.
We note that the paper has only two places where there are explicit references to Politics.
Section 2 Question 1 raises the question of where footballs come from. It is welcome to see a topical context - the World Cup. 75% of the world’s hands stitched soccer balls are made in Pakistan for which the stitchers earn very little – less than €2 a day. This is an important matter to bring to young people’s attention and is to be applauded, as is the inclusion in this question of the UN Conventions on the rights of the child and also gender inequality in sport. The United Nations should have been referenced.
Section 2 Question 2 on Coder Dojo. This question is asked in the context of computer technology helping communities to develop.  We welcome also references to the ways in which social media can be used to raise awareness about community development. We welcome the way the question refers to educating young citizens for the digital age.
Section 2 Question 3. The question on the Good Friday agreement - The stimulus piece does provide most of the answers. We applaud how in 3(d) (11) the question links the promotion of peace and stability and respect for human rights on the island of Ireland. The Belfast Agreement is outside of the students’ lived experience and is more historical than current. 3(e)  - A question on Brexit seems to make the question more topical but is in fact is a speculative question and asks lot of reflection on behalf of students for few marks. 
In question 4 World Toilet Day - it is timely that the question reflects on the health and environmental problems caused by the lack of sanitation. It is a valuable question in that it links poor sanitation facilities with lost education - 4(d). It is important to highlight that one in three have no safe and secure private place to go to the toilet.
In Section 3 the longer questions - Question 1  - The Irish Coast Guard question – We would ask what are the explicit links to CSPE? The connection between the concepts of CSPE and the Irish Coast Guard could have been more explicit. It was an unusual choice of question. 1(a) asks for 4 different research methods to learn more about the Irish Coast Guard. This question would be challenging even for an adult to answer.
The Irish Traveller question (2) is an appropriate CSPE question that challenges prejudice.
The Mock trial question (3) is a good one and a lot of CSPE classes will have done it. In question 3(a) it would be challenging for a student to come up with three reasons why the Mock Trial is a good way to explore the concept of Law. ‘Why the concept of Law in society is important’ may have been a better question.  
Question 4 – on Homelessness – has a good starting point - the fifteen year old making a difference by designing a sleeping bag for homeless people (a). The second part of question (b) is not a CSPE question. It is more a technical question about making a film. .

Annual exam review meeting, Wed 6th June 4 pm, Blackrock Education Centre. All members welcome.

CSPE CPD/Inservice Workshops - Blackrock Education Centre, Thurs 10 May 4.30-7 pm
Tea/Coffee on arrival 4.30.
1.Preparing for the Exam Paper: 2. CSPE Going Forward in the light of Wellbeing Guidlines and Junior Cycle Framework - Timetabling and curiculum issues. Free Course
Booking, by end of day 7th May here:

CSPE Workshop

CSPE Workshop - Preparing for the Exam Paper, Other CSPE Challenges (Timetabling, CSPE in Future, Writing Up Action Projects), Cork Education Resource Centre. Booking at Eventbrite by 1st May. Thurs 3 May 7-9 pm Free Course
Booking by 1st May

The recent CSPE Webinar from JCT, live on march 21st is now available as a recording. It can be accessed here.

Regional CSPE Inservice/CPD April 2018 - Deadline for application end of day Fri 13 April.
1. Workshop on preparing for the CSPE Exam Paper.
2. Other CSPE Issues - Open Forum, Writing up Action Project, CSPE timetabling, CSPE in the future and more ...
Waterford Teachers' Centre Tues 17 April 5-7 pm Book here:
Co. Wexford Education Centre, Thurs 19 April 5-7 pm here.
***Added 16/4/18: Unfortunately both inservices above have been cancelled.

JCT are organising a Webinar on CSPE, 'Engaging with the CSPE Short Course Specification'. March 21st 7-8 pm. The event is live and free. Register here.
https:// register/ 4356994434198558977


Edco has published a new textbook for CSPE - 'A World of Wellbeing'. Blurb: 'New CSPE Text from Edco. Blurb: 'A World of Wellbeing is a new and engaging package for Junior Cycle CSPE Short Course with the most up-to-date material on current social and political issues. The package includes: A Student Textbook, A Student Reflective Journal, A Teacher's Resource Book, Free e-Book and Digital Resources'


The Ombudsman for Children's Office has produced resources for schools relating to education on children's rights. The resource 'Making Children's Rights Real is available for download here.

For those needing CSPE resources in Irish there's 'Ar Scáth a Chéile' by Brendan Ó Dufaigh. It is available for download here. The Association of CSPE Teachers also has some Irish Language resources - two Powerpoints - one on 'Famous Faces' and one on 'CSPE Buildings'. These are are suitable for general CSPE work and especially for the first question on the CSPE paper in Junior Cycle exam. They are available from the Association on request to

CPD/Inservice -
The Association is organising a series of CSPE workshops this February - each event will feature two topics - Reporting on Action Projects and Future Arrangements for CSPE in the light of the Junior Cycle Framework and the Wellbeing Guidelines.
*Thurs 8 Feb, Co. Wexford Education Centre, Enniscorthy, 5-7.30 pm. These courses are free. Early booking advisable. Register here. Or search 'CSPE on
*Tues 20 Feb, Waterford Teachers Centre, 5-7.30 pm. Booking here.

CPD Workshops
- In November the Association of CSPE Teachers is running a series of workshops. Each event will feature two workshops - Managing Action Projects and Using Powerpoint in CSPE Teaching. Venues are as follows:
Co. Wexford Education Centre, Enniscorthy, Tues 14 Nov 5-7.30 pm Booking at Eventbrite.
Waterford Teachers' Centre, Tues 21 Nov 5-7.30 pm Booking at Eventbrite.
Blackrock Education Centre, Thurs 23 Nov, 4.30 pm to 7 pm. (Tea/coffee on arrival). Booking at Eventbrite.
Added 8/11: Cork Education Resource Centre, Tues 28 Nov, 7-9.30 pm. Booking at Eventbrite.

At our Annual Conference last weekend some of the committee and participants were interviewed by Youth Media - interviews are available here:

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2018

Registration is now OPEN for the Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) 2018! We're calling all young people aged 10-18 across Ireland and Northern Ireland who want to make a difference, learn new skills, make new friends, and have fun! The YEA is the biggest and longest running Eco-Action programme that recognises and rewards young people who raise awareness of local and global environmental issues and promote practical actions to improve the environment for all. Register your group online ( for your free information pack with everything you need to know to get started and run a successful eco-action project!

1. Registration (Registration Deadline 24 Nov 2017): Interested groups register online:

2. Training (Oct 2017): Registered groups take part in free '6 Steps to Success' regional training:

3. Submission (Project Submission Deadline 16 Feb 2018): Registered groups submit their ECO-action projects.

4. ECO-Dens (Mid-Late Mar 2018): Shortlisted groups are invited to pitch their projects to a panel of expert regional judges at ECO-Den semi-final rounds in Leinster, Munster, Connaught, and Ulster.

5. Showcase & Awards Ceremony (22 May 2018): Finalists showcase their project and celebrate their achievement at the national YEA Showcase and Awards Ceremony.

Politics and Society - The Department of Education has issued circular 0059/17 in relation to Politics and Society – from September 2018 this new Leaving Cert subject will be available to all schools, but applications must be made by Fri 27th Oct 2017. This is what it says about teachers for the subject – “Typically teachers will have: · Expressed a genuine interest in teaching Politics and Society; · Studied sociology, politics, philosophy, or anthropology (or related areas) as part of their primary degree or post-graduate studies; · Relevant teaching experience of a cognate area, such as history, CSPE, economics or have experience of working in this field e.g. in Transition Year modules or projects, or have carried out research in a relevant area; · Be willing to undertake CPD to prepare for the implementation of the specification and to investigate specific methodologies aligned with the specification.”
The circular can be viewed at this link:

Tutors Wanted by Hibernia - Hibernia College is currently seeking experienced professionals to work as tutors on the Professional Master of Education in Post Primary Education (PMEPP), including in CSPE. Tutors will work through evening webinars and face to face sessions which are held on Saturdays throughout the year.

'Are you a post-primary teacher who wishes to obtain Teaching Council registration for History, English or CSPE? Are you seeking to study for personal enjoyment? '  - DCU is offering a Connected Arts Single Module with relevance for CSPE teachers. For more detailed info click here.

Our Annual Conference for 2017 takes place on Sat 21st Oct in the Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick. Workshops include Rights, Responsibilities and Restorative Practice, CSPE and Wellbeing, The Media in a Democracy, Stewardship and Sustainability, The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Action Projects. Guest speaker is Mary Lawlor, Founder of Frontline Defenders. The Conference is free and traveling expenses can be applied for. Booking form and brochure click here.

Response to today's CSPE Exam Paper

We give the paper a broad welcome, there is good variety, and it is quite manageable for a wide range of abilities. The basic seven concepts of CSPE are well covered.

The 'Dublin Zoo' picture question, representing stewardship, was quite quirky and unexpected.

The use of first-letter prompts in the short questions in Section 1 Question 2 possibly made the questions too easy, but, also in this section, requiring the name of the new Secretary General of the UN was challenging, not just to guess it but to spell it. The question on Dáil na nÓg was somewhat dated as this initiative hasn't happened since 2015.

Section 2 questions were very topical (eg the results of Census 2016 and Fair Trade). In the Fair Trade question the sub-question about tweeting should have been manageable even if the student wasn't that familiar with tweeting - the word 'message' was used and the grind contained just the right number of boxes. The question on Waste Prevention was a more sophisticated way of dealing with the issue than just couching it in terms of recycling.

The long questions in Section 3 were varied and gave good variety of choices. The question on the European Youth Parliament was welcome, but in Section (c) there was a reference to a 'European Union election', which presumably should have read 'European Parliament election'.


Secondment opportunity: An opportunity is available for a post-primary teacher to be seconded to the Houses of the Oireachtas as Parliamentary Education Officer. The duration of the secondment is one year. Closing date: 6 June 2017. More info click here.

The latest round of CSPE regional inservice run by the Association will take place after the Easter holidays. The topics will be Preparing for the written paper in CSPE and Timetablin Issues in Schools, especially in the light of the new Wellbeing Guidelines. Details:
Co. Wexford Education Centre, Enniscorthy, Thurs 27 April 6.30 to 9 pm - Resgister at Eventbrite here.
Waterford Teachers' Centre Tues 2nd May 6.30 to 9 pm - Register at Eventbritehere.
Blackrock Education Centre Thurs 4 May, 4.30 to 7 pm - Register at Eventbrite here.
(Updated 6/4/17)
Update 26/4/17 Enniscorthy Workshop cancelled)

Exam News: This year's deadline for completion of CSPE Project work is Fri 28th April. The CSPE written paper takes place on Wed 7 June at 2 pm (a departure from previous scheduling).

The 2017 annual conference of the Computers in Education Society of Ireland (CESI) will take place on Saturday 4th March at the St. Patrick’s Campus of Dublin City University. The conference will be preceded by the now-traditional TeachMeet CESI event, which will be held on the evening of Friday 3rd March at the Regency Hotel, Dublin 9. For more information and booking click here.

Regional Inservice: Currently in planning for February, a round of inservice workshops - Reporting on Action Projects and ICT Activities for CSPE. Co. Wexford Education Centre, Wed 15 Feb, 5-7.30 pm; Dublin West Education Centre (Mon 13 Feb 6.30-9.00 pm): Waterford Teachers' Centre (Wed 1st March 5 pm); Cork Education Resource Centre (date to be confirmed).
Further info to follow.
Register for the Co. Wexford workshops (Enniscorthy) here.
Register for the Dublin Workshop here.
For Waterford Workshop email name and contact details, incl mobile if possible, to


The School Education Gateway section on Citizenship Education has lots of resources, along with funding and project opportunities. This is connected to Leargas programmes like Erasmus and eTwinning. Click here for more information.

The Annual Conference of the Association of CSPE Teachers will be on Saturday 14 Oct 2017. It is at the early planning stage at the moment and more details will follow soon.

Conor Harrison is running a CSPE CPD in Dublin West Education Centre on Sat 10 Dec. The topic is Active Learning Methods, the cost is €50 which includes tea/coffee, light lunch and DVD toolkit of resources. Email (with CSPE CPD - Active Methodsin subject line)

There is a double workshop in Waterford Teachers'Centre on Mon 5th Dec 5.00 to 7.30 pm. There will be two 1-hour sessions - one on IT and CSPE and one on Managing Action Projects. To book please email name contact details to indicating Waterford as your choice of venue (please note other venues below). Places are limited so early booking is advised.
****Note: this workshop has been cancelled - if interested please apply for same course in Enniscorthy - see below.

More CSPE Inservice. The Association of CSPE Teachers is running a series of workshops in the coming weeks. There is a double workshop in Dublin West Education Centre on Thurs 1st Dec 4.30 to 7 pm. The session will start with tea break and discussion of matters of interest relating to CSPE. Following that there will be two 1-hour workshops - one of IT and CSPE and one on Managing Action Projects. For booking go to this Eventbrite Page. Places are limited so early booking is advised. More workshops to follow. Watch this space for details.

The same inservice as above will also take place on Wed 30 Nov in Co. Wexford Education Centre, Enniscorthy, 4.30 to 7 pm. In this case please register at this Eventbrite Page.


CSPE Inservice - There will be a CSPE Inservice at Racket Hall, Roscrea, on Thurs 13 Oct 7-9 pm. This workshop will examine general guidelines for the Written Paper and the Report on an Action Project (RAP) with a focus on "suitable topics, types of action, concepts, summaries of information and reflections."  Booking is through Laois Education Centre - click here.

ECO-UNESCO is calling on schools to enter the Young Environmentalist Awards 2017!
The Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) 2017 registration is now officially open, and inviting young people across Ireland to enter Ireland’s biggest ECO-Awards scheme for young people! Now in its 18th year, the YEA is open to young people aged 10-18 across the island of Ireland who are passionate and want to take action to protect the environment. This exciting programme sees groups from schools, youth and community organisations come up with real solutions to a host of environmental issues, often benefitting their schools, communities and having impact on global environmental issues. Last year, thousands of young people from all across Ireland entered the YEA. There were hundreds of project entries shortlisted to just 80 finalists following some very competitive regional ECO-Dens, our regional semi-finals. Having impressed the expert judging panel with projects ranging from creating and selling organic and eco-friendly beauty products, to delivering environmental workshops in schools, to building community gardens, to lobbying politicians for change; the 80 groups went on to attend the national YEA Showcase and Awards Ceremony on 18th May at the Mansion House in Dublin.
YEA Step by Step: Registration (Registration Deadline 25 Nov 2016)
Interested groups register online:
Training (Oct-Nov 2016)
Registered groups take part in free ‘6 Steps to Success’ regional training:
Submission (Project Submission Deadline 24 Feb 2017).Registered groups submit their ECO-action projects.
ECO-Dens  (Mar-Apr 2017) Shortlisted groups are invited to pitch their projects to a panel of expert regional judges at ECO-Den semi-final rounds.
National Showcase & Awards Ceremony (May 2017)
Finalists showcase their project at the national YEA Showcase and Awards Ceremony.
Teachers and youth leaders can register groups of 2-25 young people by visiting or by contacting Ji (YEA Programme Coordinator) at 01 6625491 or

PDST has launched an online CPD course for CSPE.
This online course provides participants with an introduction to, and an overview of, the Junior Cycle Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) course.

The course focuses on:

§  the key elements of subject knowledge

§  the use of active learning methodologies in order to enable the development of skills, attitudes and dispositions

§  the importance of taking action and acting responsibly

The course concludes with an overview of the three assessment instruments used in CSPE: the Report on an Action Project (RAP), the Course Work Assessment Book (CWAB), both worth 60% of the marks awarded and the written examination paper, worth 40% of the marks.

It is free and can be accessed here:

Our Annual Conference and AGM will take place on Sat 15 Oct in the Red Cow Moran Hotel, Naas Rd Dublin. Brochures will arrive in schools early September and is available for download here.


CSPE Exam 2016 Press Release ..
Response of the Association of CSPE Teachers

We give the paper a broad welcome but there some unusual questions, like the one on dog fouling and the choice of photos of prominent people, which included Arlene Foster who wouldn’t be that well known in general, and Emily Logan who wouldn’t be as well known in her current role. They should be much more prominent public figures.

Some questions were very topical e.g. the Refugee Crisis, the Election, the Census, and Garda Commissioner Noirin O Sullivan who was included in the picture question.

The paper was well-balanced - between the 7 concepts of CSPE - human dignity, stewardship, development, democracy, interdependence, rights and responsibilities and law.

More detailed analysis:

Section 1

Q1. Pictures:

These were challenging and unusual choices - esp Arlene Foster and Emily Logan.

Some would be guessed by verbal clues  - e.g. Garda Commissioner guessed by uniform, Joanne O’Riordan guessed by ‘youngest ever …’
Process of elimination would also help in guessing the correct answers.

The selection was not gender balanced, only women included.  

Q2. Census question was topical.

Questions included political jargon that students should know.
Ceann Comhairle and Ombudsman questions wer harder, the question on the Euro currency rather peculiar and dated but easy.

Q 3. Energy sources - easy, relevant and topical question.

Section 2.

Stimulus material

Q1. Dog walkers .. students would have done animal rights projects but dog fouling is rather left field?  - Peculiar considering other more pressing environmental challenges..

Q2. Winter burglary...question… could be broader on concept of law, especially (e) on bravery very broad - better to have something on concept of law.

Q3. Refugees’ journey - very topical and very welcom human rights emphasis.

Q4. Foroige - youth organisation… an easy question, concentrating on citizenship and young people..

All these questions manageable

Section 3

Easter 1916  … Topical question.

Asking for six steps to organise parade was stretching it .. better to have four.
There should have been an opportunity for reflection on whether 1916 was justified.

Could have asked question .. do you have to be patriotic to be a good citizen?

Not closely enough linked to CSPE.

UN Day question was fine. T here was a welcome  opportunity to do a poster.

Local Development .. question OK but asking for 6 steps to organise a parade too much - better to do four.

Voting - Topical because of recent election. Good that it allowed to some extent for a contrary view - i.e. advice for someone contemplating not voting.

Following the CSPE Exam on Mon 13th June there will be an exam review meeting at 4 pm in the Blacrock Education Centre. All welcome.

With the new cabinet in place there's a useful quiz on the new cabinet members and duties in a recent Irish Times. It can be accessed here. The Association of CSPE Teachers also has a 'Famous Faces' Powerpoint, which includes the new cabinet members, available on request from

Resources for the 2016 Census are now available at and are available in English and Irish. The actual resource pack tailored for use in CSPE class, with lots of information, images and activities is available for download here. There's also an Irish language version here. The pack was revised and updated by Conor Harrison.

Regional Inservice

This April 2016 we will be offering regional inservice in Dublin, Wexford, Waterford and Cork. Topics will be as follows: 
Preparing for CSPE Exam Paper and Active Learning in CSPE. The choice of location is due to ACT having branches in these areas. If any member in other parts of the country is interested in setting up a branch please let us know using the email address above.
Details as   follows. To book, email giving name, contact details including mobile number if possible and desired venue.

Thurs 14th April – Dublin West Education Centre 5-7.30 pm;
Tues 19th April – Waterford Teachers’ Centre 5-7.30 pm;
Thurs 21st April - Co. Wexford Education Centre, Enniscorthy 5-7.30 pm.Please check back here for any updates on times and venues.
Thurs 28th April - Cork Education Resource Centre 6.30 pm to 9 pm. [added 16/4/16]


The Association is poviding workshops in four venues as follows:
In each case the topics are Reporting on Action Projects and Numeracy in CSPE

Tues 19 Jan - 5-7.30 pm Co. Wexford Education Centre, Enniscorthy
Thurs 21st Jan 6.30-9 pm Waterford Teachers' Centre
Tues 26th Jan Blackrock Education Centre 5-7.30 pm
Thurs 4th Feb Cork Education Resource Centre 6.30-9 pm
(changed from 28th Jan)

Booking: email name and contact details, incl mobile number if possible to


All the latest info/resources on the new  Politics and Society subject for Leaving Cert  is available at
Most urgently this includes the facility to apply to be part of the first group of schools to take on this subject in Sept 2016. The deadline for this is Fri 4th Dec.

Course of interest to CSPE teachers - Making an Advocacy Video: This course would be particularly useful to CSPE teachers, but is of relevance to all. It will provide you with a basic ‘tool kit’ of skills for making a digital project with your class PC. You will be guided, step by step, through the stages of a project, using easily available or free resources and looking at ‘workarounds’. We will cover basic audio, image, video use and online publishing. Blackrock Education Centre Wed 11th and Wed 18th Nov 5.30 to 8 pm. Booking here.

Update on our regional inservice - the double workshop on Managing Action Projects and Using IT in CSPE will take place in Co. Wexford Education Centre on Tues 17th Nov 5-7 pm, in Waterford Teachers' Centre on Tues 24th Nov 5-7pm and in Cork Education Support Centre on Thurs 3rd Dec 7-9 pm. To book , email giving contact details, incl mobile if possible, and indication of which venue you choose.

Our next Inservice ... double workshop: Managing Action Projects and Using IT for CSPE. Blackrock Education Centre Tues 3rd Nov 4.30 pm - 6.30 pm. Booking: send name and contact details incl mobile to ... same workshops coming soon to Cork, Enniscorthy and Waterford.

At our Annual Conference in Leinster House on Sat 10th Oct the new online resource of the Oireachtas Communications Office was launched. The resource explores many aspects of political education relating to the Oireachtas. There are videos narrated by students, pdfs of the lessons, action project ideas and much more. The resource is now available online here:

The brochure and booking form for our annual Conference, this time taking place in Leinster House on Sat 10 Oct, has been sent to schools and is available here.

From Nov 2015:
Regional Inservice - Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, details coming soon.
Nov: IT in CSPE and Managing Action Projects
Feb: Assessment for Learning (AFL) in CSPE and Reporting on Action Projects.
April: Numeracy in CSPE and Preparing for CSPE Exam Paper

Great news for our 2015 Conference – it will take place in Leinster House on Sat 10 Oct, so keep the date reserved. Our plenary sessions will be held in the Seanad chamber. At the moment we are finalising workshop details and the brochure will be arriving in schools soon. The brochure will also be available for download here shortly.

In September 2014 the Association conducted a survey among members to ascertain what was happening with CSPE in the current school year. The Association wishes to express its gratitude to those 86 teachers who responded. In brief the results are as follows:
Question: What is the status of CSPE in your school for first years 2014-2015?
One class per week - 80; more than one class per week - 1; CSPE not timetabled - 3.
Question: Where CSPE is timetabled what approach is followed?
Current CSPE Course - 71; NCCA Short Course - 1; Short Course designed in school - 5; Short course designed by outside body - 1.
Plans, if any, for the future?
Continue with current CSPE and await developments - 37; Continue with current CSPE this year and just fulfil Statemts of Learning after that - 3; No plans as yet - 34.
Future plans re assessment?
Assess CSPE as part of new Junior Cycle Award - 8; Do CSPE on timetable but not assess as part of JC Award - 3; No plans yet - 65

A Powerpoint presentation giving more details of the results is available by clicking here.

The Association of CSPE Teachers was referenced in an Irish Times article today concerning the future of CSPE. Check it out here. has launched a CSPE related competition. Check out the details here.


Nov 2014:
Digital Literacy and E-portfolios in CSPE - Workshop
Co. Wexford Education Centre Enniscorthy Thurs 6th Nov 5-7pm
Waterford Teachers' Centre, Thurs 13th Nov 5-7pm
Blackrock Education Centre Thurs 20th Nov 5-7pm
Cork Teachers' Support Centre Thurs 27th Nov 7-9pm

Bookings to , giving name, contact details and required venue.


At its Annual Conference in Airfield, Dundrum, on Saturday 11th October, the delegates expressed support for CSPE as a subject in the Junior Certificate. They stressed the importance of mandatory citizenship education for all students in the country. The Chairperson of the Association, Jeanne Barrett stated that "government plans to downgrade the status of CSPE by making it an optional short course will undermine citizenship education in Ireland. This would be the first time since 1966 that Civics/CSPE would not be an essential part of every students' education at Junior Cycle." The open forum session of the conference was addressed by the Presidents of both Second Level Teachers Unions. Philip Irwin, President of ASTI noted, "' the exceptional quality of the educational experience in CSPE, as evidenced by the high placing of Irish students in the International Civic and Citizenship Study (ICCS) 2011 report''. He further noted the," innovative emphasis on project work (60% of total marks) and the fact that CSPE was externally assessed gave it credibility and integrity." Gerry Quinn, TUI President highlighted the importance of the TUI and ASTI cooperating as Trade Unions against the attempted imposition of unsound changes to the Junior Cycle by the Government. He also stated that "subjects including CSPE show how teachers are already using progressive and imaginative teaching and learning strategies". The conference was also addressed by Médecins Sans Frontieres, UNICEF, ICTU's Youth Connect, The Human Rights Commission, The Red Cross, Young Social Innovators, Concern, The Equality Authority, and The Holocaust Education Trust of Ireland.

The brochure for the Annual Conference is now available for download here. Those wishing to sign up can email their application to giving name, school, mobile and workshop preferences. Workshops include - It's About Us: Beyond the Millennium Goals - UNICEF; Humanitarian Law and Action Projects - Red Cross; 'The Working World - a guide to a CSPE 'Decent Work' Action Project - Youth Connect/ICTU; Managing Action Projects, Reporting on Action Projects. Guest speaker will be Jane-Ann McKenna of Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Save the date! Our Annual Conference for 2014 will take place on Sat 11 Oct In Airfield House, Dundrum, Dublin. Workshop details will be available shortly.

This year's CSPE Exam is on Mon 9th June at 2 pm. As usual our meeting to assess and respond to the paper will take place in Blackrock Education Centre that evening from 3.45 pm. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Essay Competition Dublin City Libraries are running an Essay Competition for teenagers (closing date Saturday 12th April).The theme is 'Challenges and Change: 40 Years of EU Membership' - the challenge is to 2nd level students in Dublin City to impress with their writing style and their research skills. The competition will be judged by author and academic Conor Kostick and the winners in two age categories will each receive an iPad mini. Interactive entry forms and a downloadable entry form along with a copy of the competition rules are available - email or find these downloads here: Entry Form, Interactive Entry Form, Competition Rules. Note: the original closing date for this competition was 14th March - but this is now extended to 12th April. More info: Anne Gannon, Development Office, Dublin City Public Libraries, 01 6744851.

Oxfam Campaign Oxfam Heroes is a new campaign which is about promoting gender equality and celebrating inspirational women. Oxfam has developed a resource pack for schools as part of awareness raising around women's rights and the Heroes campaign. The resource pack covers four topics; How NGO's Work, Land Rights for Women, Girls and Education, and Sustainable Livelihoods. These topics complement and fall within the remit of the concepts of Human Dignity, Rights and Responsibilities and Development as outlined in the CSPE syllabus. For more information contact Oxfam at: Heroes Team, Oxfam Ireland, 2nd Floor, Portview House, Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4, Contact: Ph: (01) 6350 418.

Online Petition: The 'Just Forests' initiative is organising an online petition to have CSPE retained as a core area of the curriculum in the new Junior Cycle. The petition can be seen and signed here.
The relevant web page at Just Forests includes a recent letter from the Citizenship Edication Network about the place of CSPE in the reformed Junior Cycle.

Politics and Society: in a recent Dáil answer Minister Ruairi Quinn said he would be introducing Politics and Society as an optional subject at Leaving Cert level. The syllabus can be viewed here.

PDST (Professional Development Service for Teachers) has redesigned its website. The CSPE section is now here, and features sections on News, Curriculum Resources, Evaluation and Assessment, Events Calendar, Literacy, Numeracy, Key Skills, Official Documents and more.

ACT Workshops: Action Projects and IT - a hands-on course exploring the use of IT resources and techniques useful for Action Projects. Topics will include use of cameras, basic video editing, use of presentation software, internet video and more. Venues: Co Wexford Eucation Centre, Enniscorthy Mon 10th March 5 pm to 7 pm; Blackrock Education Centre, Tues 18th March 7 pm to 9 pm. Bookings to - sent your name and contact details and specify which venue.

This evening workshop will explore CSPE Action Projects and reporting on them.
Part One: Action Projects in CSPE In Part 1 appropriate CSPE Action Projects will be explained from initiation through to completion. Participants will have opportunities to share Action Project ideas and to discuss the various tasks and skills that make up successful Action Projects. Participants will also explore the 6 Step Approach to Action Projects.
Part Two: The Report on an Action Project (RAP) and the Course Work Assessment Book (CWAB) Part 2 will focus in detail on the RAP and CWAB. Approaches and strategies for guiding students through the report writing process will be explored, including the use of Effective Questioning and Providing Feedback to students on their work. Participants will explore the RAP and CWAB page-by-page.
Dates & Venues: Mon, 24th February Laois Education Centre; Thurs, 6th March Drumcondra Ed Centre; Mon, 10th March Cork Ed Support Centre; Mon, 24th March Co. Wexford Ed Centre (Enniscorthy); Tues, 25th March Sligo Ed Centre; Wed, 26th March Galway Ed Centre.

All workshops start at 7:00 pm and finish at 9:30 pm For information about the Education Centres follow this link
Outline of Workshop Please Note: Please make all bookings online at and clearly identify the Date & Venue of the course you wish to attend. Please do not attend a course unless your place has been confirmed by e-mail.
7:00 pm Registration & Tea/Coffee; 7:15 pm Action Projects Explored; 8:15 pm CSPE and Assessment (Effective Questioning and Providing Feedback), including the RAP & the CWAB; 9:15 pm Evaluation & Form Filling. Please pass this information on to your CSPE teacher colleagues and friends!
PDST is funded by the Teacher Education Section (TES) of the Department of Education and Skills (DES) The service is managed by Dublin West Education Centre


It's About Us! is a set of new interactive CSPE resources from UNICEF to inform young people about the world we live in and inspire them to create their vision for the future. The workshops have been designed to inform and inspire young people to take part in discussions about the world they want, particularly in the context of the closing stages of the Millennium Development Goals. The ten workshops are available online at and are designed to cover the core concepts of the CSPE curriculum. Students will be introduced to children from around the world who are suffering the worst effects of poverty, conflict and disaster. Students will explore how, together, young people can build a new vision for the future.



The deadline for consultation on the new CSPE Short Course is Fri 17 January. You access the relevant info and consultation options here:
Note that the 'draft specification' includes the assessment modes - at this stage this involves 20% for a Reflective Journal, and 30% and 50% each for two 'action records'. We would urge all members to take part in the consultation.

'Express Yourself' is an initiative for CSPE students by the Irish Human Rights Commission. Students produce images and words that illustrate a human rights and equality issue. This will lead to an exhibition in the Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield, Dublin 7 from 25 March to 6 March 2014. Closing date for entries is Wed 29 Jan 2014. More info at:

Note also: the IT and CSPE Course in Enniscorthy this Tues 19 Nov has been cancelled. However the same course will take place Wed 27 Nov in the Blackrock Education Centre 5pm to 7pm. Number of booking is already sufficient to run the course. Limited places. Book by sending your details to .

The new draft syllabus in CSPE (a 'short course') is now available for consultation and we would urge all CSPE teachers to read the draft and engage with the consultation. The draft and an introductory video are available here.

Promoting entrepreneurship and citizenship in schools: Léargas is holding an eTwinning Professional Development Workshop in Dublin (city centre: Brooks Hotel) for post- primary teachers. The workshop will include post-primary teachers from Finland and it is a great way for you to link up with Finnish teachers and develop an eTwinning project. The cost of participating at the seminar is covered in a grant from Léargas. The aims of the seminar are: to encourage teachers to develop eTwinning projects on the theme of citizenship and entrepreneurship to share best practices to experience and share new teaching methodologies. More info and application details here.

The Association is running courses on 'IT and the CSPE Concepts' this Autumn. The courses will link the seven concepts of the CSPE Syllabus with hands-on IT training that has practical application in the classroom for CSPE teachers. Dates are as follows: Mon 21st Oct Cork Education Centre 8 pm to 10 pm; Thurs 14th Nov Waterford Teachers' Centre 5 - 7pm; Tues 19th Nov Co. Wexford Education Centre 5-7 pm; Wed 27th Nov Blackrock Education Centre 7 to 9pm. For booking send email to giving name and contact details, one week before course date.

Useful course coming up in Co Wexford Education Centre - on Using Internet Video and Making better Powerpoints. This is open to teachers of all subjects, but will have practical benefit to CSPE teachers. It is a practical hands-on course in the centre's computer room and teachers should go away with classroom ready resources. This course is not related to Junior Cycle reform and is not school organised or nationally mandated CPD. Early booking is advisable so that the course will not be booked out (places are limited) or cancelled due to lack of, or late, interest. Contact: Caroline Wheelock (Secretary) 053-9239101
More info here.

We now have a Facebook Group, 'CSPE Teachers' for members. Send email request using 'contact' link above if you wish to join the group.

Supporting teachers to bring ECO-Action into education! The 2013/14 academic year marks the 15th year of ECO-UNESCO’s youth eco-action programme, the Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA). With secondary school students now returning after their summer holidays, ECO-UNESCO is calling on schools to register to the programme and undertake a positive action project in their school or local community. Participation in the programme is a great way to engage students to learn about environmental issues which link into the school curriculum, as well as developing key personal skills through their action-project. CSPE Links; The YEA is designed to work with secondary school curricula and links with Geography, Science, SPHE, CSPE, Mathematics and Art syllabi. Participation in the YEA can be utilised as a recognised CSPE action project connecting to several CSPE concepts including; Stewardship, Interdependence and Rights and Responsibility. Participants choose their own topics under a range of themes including, biodiversity, climate change, energy, waste and water to name a few. In this way, projects can be tailored to link in strongly with students’ formal studies. Successful projects from 2013 explored issues such as water conservation; how home grown fruit and veg can help mitigate climate change; the importance of bees to biodiversity, re-using ‘waste’ material to create jewellery and art sculptures and educating peers on composting, waste and recycling and a lot more besides!
Free Training: Free training to get groups up and running is being offered by ECO-UNESCO throughout September and October and can be delivered in the classroom upon request. To book and for full details on the programme visit or look out for the YEA information pack sent to your school. Kind Regards, Nora Ide McAuliffe Communications & Fundraising Officer ECO-UNESCO 'the greenhouse' 17 St Andrew St., Dublin 2 Ireland T: 00 353 (0) 1 6625491 F: 00 353 (0) 1 6625493 e: w:

A full list of official inservice dates for all subjects and programmes has been released by PDST. It's available as a pdf download here. The details of CSPE courses are on our calendar page.
Contact Details - Administration: Angie Grogan Dublin West Education Centre Old Blessington Road Tallaght Dublin 24, Email:

Our Annual Conference and AGM will take place in the Radisson Hotel Galway on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th October. Our guest speaker on the Saturday morning will be Marian Harkin MEP. In a change of timing this year the AGM of the Association will be on the Friday night at 8pm, and on Saturday we will have an Open Forum on the place of CSPE in the Junior Cycle reform. By that stage the new CSPE short course should be out for consultation. Workshop topics will include Water as a Resource, for the UN Year of Water Cooperation (Trocaire), EU - Year of the Citizen - (Pat Cahill), A Matter of Life and Death: - Death Penalty Issues - (Amnesty); The Role of the Houses of the Oireachtas; along with our usual workshops on Action Projects, Co-Ordination and Inspection, and using IT in CSPE. The programme and booking form can be downloaded here, and will be arriving in schools shortly.




Proudly Made in Africa: A Business Studies and Development Education Transition Unit - While the Proudly Made in Africa resource has been produced with Business Studies teachers/students in mind, it has explicit links to a number of other curricular areas, including CSPE and Geography (at Junior and LC level). As a development education resource it focuses on the development of key skills including critical and creative thinking, collaborative research and taking action. Student-centred learning methodologies are central to this unit and the Student Portfolio includes different approaches including reflective self-assessment. The material can be used by any teacher. It does not require specialised knowledge of Africa, trade or global development issues.
The Resource can be downloaded here
Additional related resources and information here.


Where There's Well
is a new documentary about providing wells to small communities in Africa, focussing on the charity 'Wells For Zoe' . This film gets its first public showing at the Sugar Club in Leeson St, Dublin 2 0n Thurs 4th May at 9 pm, as part of the 10 Days in Dublin Festival. The film will be introduced by John Waters, and is particularly appropriate as 2013 is the 'UN Year of Water Co-operation'. Bookings and more info on the event:

CSPE on Newstalk again! After the controversy about last Monday's CSPE paper CSPE was back on the radio again on Thursday when our Vice Chair Philip Irwin spoke to George Hook about the new Junior Cycle reform in general and the place of CSPE in particular. The clip starts at 5.46 here: Also on yesterday's Irish Times (Fri 14th) that paper apologised for making a mistake as to the function of the Referendum Commission - the same mistake that was made on the CSPE paper last Monday!

CSPE on Newstalk:
CSPE has featured in the media more than ever. First there was the error on the CSPE Paper, noted in last email, and then, yesterday on Newstalk's Right Hook there was a parent complaining about how easy one of the questions was. Our PRO Brendan O'Regan was also a guest on the show and you can listen to the discussion here: The item starts at 3 mins 10 seconds in.

Members of the Association met at Black Education Centre yesterday to review the CSPE Paper. Our initial response is below. We'd like to hear opinions from other members also. We sent our comments to the media so we're assuming some of these will be reported in today's papers. We note also that is the first time we can remember that the CSPE paper hit the headlines - because the inaccuracy in the Referendum Commission question (see below).

ACT Response to CSPE Paper June 2013
Overall we thought the CSPE paper was well balanced between the different elements of the course. There was a good spread of issues, many of them topical. On the whole the paper was well differentiated for different ability levels. There was plenty of visual content, and students had, in some questions, an opportunity to be visually creative.

Detailed commentary:

Section 1: Question 1 – identifying famous political faces. We note that all the individuals to be recognized were men – an ironic commentary on the nature of political leadership in the world? Question 2 – Cloze test. Many of the questions required a good knowledge of political terminology – e.g. Returning Officer, Attorney General. Some questions were very topical e.g. the Irish Presidency of the EU and a difficult question on the European Year of the Citizen (which we had flagged in our March Newsletter).

Question 3 – another welcome visual question.

Section 2: Question 1: Question on the Paralympics, focusing on disability rights. Question (e) in this section was challenging – discussing a metaphor on disability by TV critic A.A. Gill. A well designed webpage accompanied this question.

Question 2: A question on rights of young people to education, and therefore very relevant to our young students. Question (d) allowed students to name other children’s rights, though there was no mention of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Question 3:– Question on a cross border bridge – we welcome the inclusion of a Northern Ireland dimension on the paper. Question 4: – on the Irish Prison service. A welcome topic, but we did have issues with Question (d) – refers to our justice system ‘that tries to rehabilitate prisoners’ (begs a few questions) in contrast with a system that ‘executes … tortures … or uses physical punishment on prisoners’. We thought the contrast was too extreme. More useful and topical would have been questions on prison overcrowding and sentencing issues.

Section 3: A good spread here. The question on ‘The Gathering’ brought in the community dimensions of the course, the Eco-Unesco question dealt with the environment/stewardship, the Bothar question focused on development, but there was a problem with the Referendum Commission question. The question opened with a statement about the Commission’s role that was inaccurate. The question states that the Commission ‘has the job of presenting both sides of a proposed change to the Constitution’. In fact it used to have this role, but since 2001 its role has been as follows: ‘to explain the subject matter of referendum proposals, to promote public awareness of the referendum and to encourage the electorate to vote at the poll’ (see However, an understanding of the true nature of the Commission’s work was not required in the question as a whole. The focus was on democracy in school, which was welcome, but the use of the Referendum Commission approach wasn’t necessary and made the question more awkward than it needed to be.

Check out the exam paper at



Congratulations to our Vice Chair Phillip Irwin who has been elected Vice President of the ASTI for the school year 2013/2014.

Deadline: This year's deadline for completetion of RAP and CWAB booklets is Fri 26th April. The relevant circular is here.

Study Visit to Berlin - Teacher Education Programme - Continuous Professional Development 02-05 April 2013. This programme involves visits to authentic Holocaust sites and is an intensive course which will introduce teachers to some aspects of the complex and challenging subjects of the Holocaust. Lecturers, seminars and interactive workshops will feature on this programme. Visit includes: Topography of Terror Exhibition Walking Tour of Berlin with a focus on historical sites and commemoration of Nazi victims - Memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe, House of the Wannsee Conferenc,e Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial, The Anne Frank Centre, Berlin. Places limited. For further information, please contact the Trust office: T: 01 6690593 E: W:

On 10th December the death occured of Zoltan Zinn-Collis, a Holocaust survivor living in Ireland. Zoltan was very generous with him time, visting many Irish schools and speaking of his experiences.


The Irish Human Rights Commission is inviting Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) students to make human rights the focus of their CSPE Action Project and to play their part in creating a society that recognises that human rights are everyone's rights. As part of the Action Project we are asking students to help us promote human rights more widely by creating images that depict human rights in Ireland for display at Express Yourself! a National Exhibition organised by the IHRC at the Lighthouse Cinema, Dublin 7 from 27 February to 6 March 2013. The deadline for applications/submissions is Wed 16 Jan and all information is available here. Application form here.


2013 is the European Year of Citizens, organised by the European Commission. Contact details for this event in Ireland: Europe for Citizens Point Ireland IPA (Institute of Public Administration) 57-61 Lansdowne Road Ballsbridge, IE- Dublin 4 Tel : +353/124 03 600 Fax: +353/16689135 Contact: Ms Teresa Casserly Web: Email: More information on this initiative is available here: The official launch of the European Year of Citizens 2013 takes place in Dublin on 10 January at a ceremony in Dublin Castle.

Ireland's presidency of the EU
is starting in January, and there's a dedicated wbsite up and running now -
2013 is also the 40th anniversary of Ireland's membership of the EU.

CSPE Teaching Vacancy
Loreto College - Cavan Loreto College Cavan invites applications for a maternity leave commencing December 3 rd , 2012 for the following position, German, French and SPHE to Leaving Certificate higher level, also CSPE to Junior Certificate level. Please forward CV (hard copy only) and evidence of Teaching Council Registration to The Principal, Loreto College, Cavan, Co. Cavan on or before Monday 5 th November 2012 by 4pm.

The Children's Rights Referendum takes place on Sat 10th November. The Referendum Commission's dedicated website for this referendum is now available at Our own guide to tackling a referendum in class (possibly as an action project) is here. A public information video from the commission can be viewed on our home page.

Internationally acclaimed Human Rights scholar to speak at UCC (Monday 8 October) - A distinguished US scholar on diplomacy, international relations, and human rights will offer a lecture entitled “The Conscience of Mankind” at UCC on Monday 8 October 2012. Dr. Paul Gordon Lauren is the Regents’ Professor at the University of Montana, one of UCC’s most significant institutional partners in the US. Comments Dr. Lauren: “There has been a revolution in the international protection of human rights. Throughout most of history, victims of human rights abuses had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Today many do. My lecture will address why this dramatic change has taken place, focusing particularly on the role of conscience and the human sense of responsibility for the well-being of others". More info here.

This year, 2012, the International Day of Peace is on a Friday, 21st Sept, special activities and celebrations will take place all across the world over the 2012 Peace Day Weekend, including festivals, concerts, a global Peace Wave with moments of silence at noon in every time zone, and much more. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982. In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace. By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal. During the discussion of the U.N. Resolution that established the International Day of Peace. For more info:

A letter has been sent to schools from Focus Ireland, offering guest speakers on theissue of homelessness. Focus Ireland has previously sent their CSPE Resource pack, "Without Your Home Your Life Develops Differently", to schools, but if you do not have a copy you can still get one by contacting Natasha McAvinney on 01-8815942. The resource can also be accessed and downloaded from here.

Booking forms and brochure for our Annual Conference in Cork on Sat 13th Oct are now in schools and can be downloaded here. See also entry below for 20/6/12.

Inservice from the CSPE Support Service - Induction Days for Teachers new to CSPE: Mon, 15th October 9:15 am to 4:00 pm Athlone Education Centre; Thurs, 18th October 9:15 am to 4:00 pm Cork Education Support Centre; Tues, 23rd October 9:15 am to 4:00 pm Drumcondra Education Centre; Tues, 23rd October 9:15 am to 4:00 pm Limerick Education Centre; Wed, 24th October 9:15 am to 4:00 pm Dublin West Education Centre; Thurs, 25th October 9:15 am to 4:00 pm Sligo Education Centre. Booking forms in booklet sent to schools and at More info: Cultural & Environmental Education National Co-ordinator Conor Harrison - 087 - 2405710 .

We are happy to announce that our Annual Conference for 2012 will be held for the first time in Cork. Details are as follows - venue will be the Gresham Metropole Hotel, Cork City, on Saturday 13th October. We will have workshops on Environmental Action Projects, Changing the World from the Classroom - Amnesty International, Development Education - The Millenium Development Goals (presented by Trócaire and Studio Globo from Belgium), the Referendum and the Constitution, reporting on Action Projects, Co-Ordination and Inspection, CSPE and IT. Mr Simon Coveney T.D. , Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine. Further information and booking forms will be sent to schools in early September.

Response of Association of CSPE Teachers to CSPE Paper Junior Cert 2012
The Association gives a broad welcome to the paper. We found it well-balanced between the different elements of the CSPE course, and manageable for broad range of students.
On Section 1 for the first time interiors of significant buildings were shown in the picture question that usually involves famous political figures, though exteriors of such buildings were given previously. Visual clues were helpful, e.g. flags in each chamber. Prompts were also given - i.e. the names of the chambers were given in random order. Section 1 had strong political content, so students needed to have studied the political system well to be able to answer - knowledge of the coalition parties, the register of electors, and what a referendum is. There was an interesting question on recognising what Government Departments do. Again the verbal clues were helpful in this case.
In Section 2, Question 1 there was an interesting question on gardai carrying arms, whether it was a good or bad idea.
Question 2 on Charity Shops was weak - e.g. asking why they were so successful. This was not closely related to CSPE - didn't make the connection to, say, the CSPE concept of community.
Question 3 was a topical question on the voting age, though it would have been preferable if one of the questions had given the students the option of listing the pros and cons or saying whether they agreed with the idea of lowering the voting age.
Question 4 was a good question on the environment - specifically the question on battery recycling, an issue relevant to young people .
Section 3: Question 1 - Good to have a question on human rights, and topical as it dealt with children's rights as there is a referendum coming up on the issue. This question lent itself to a poster but there was no poster option.
Question 2 - was primarily a fund raising question and not explicitly linked to a CSPE concept.
Question 3 - Community based , and a good question on a Youth Centre.
Question 4 - Question on Fair Trade. It was too narrowly focused on a survey only There could be better questions on the Fair Trade issue - e.g. the interdependence aspect could have been explored more.
The exam paper can be accessed at by following the link to Archived Exam Material.

Members have already been informed in the past two newsletters - EGM of the Association to discuss CSPE Exam Paper and adopt new Constitution, Mon 11th June 3.30 pm, Blackrock Education Centre, Dublin. Open to all members. Draft Constitution available here.

Re: the Fiscal Compact Referendum due on 31 May check out which has planty of background info on referenda. For this particular Referendum there will be a special website: , which is expected to go live next week. If anyone takes this on in CSPE class, especially as an Action Project we'd like to hear from you - maybe you could write it up for a future edition of the Activate Newsletter! Our guide to tackling a referendum in CSPE class is here:

Reminder: The deadline for completion of CSPE project RAPs and CWABs is Fri 27 April. The CSPE Exam will take place on Mon 11th June at 1.30 pm

Knowing Dublin Event:
Central library, Ilac Centre presents Engineering the City on Wed 29th Feb at 1pm Michael Phillips, Dublin City Engineer presents this talk on knowing Dublin, Engineering the City. How does a city obtain water, gas, and electricity? Where do these services come from? How are they transported? The answer is infrastructure, or the inner, and sometimes invisible, workings of the city. In this illustrated presentation, Michael Phillips, Dublin City Engineer, highlights what engineers and technicians have achieved for Dublin, helping to create a city where people work, live and relax. This talk will be of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about the operation of the City’s services. Admission free booking recommended or 01 8734333

Inservice on Active Learning Methods and Resources:
A series of Evening Workshops has been organised for all teachers of Civic, Social and Political Education who are interested in finding out about and experiencing active learning methodologies and in seeing a number of really useful CSPE resource packs: Don’t Close Your Eyes to Slavery, Take 10 and Spotlight on Stereotyping.
This course provides teachers hands-on opportunities to experience a variety of active learning methods for use in the CSPE classroom and beyond. Perhaps you have some methods that you’d like to share with your CSPE colleagues too? Participants will receive a copy of a number of resource packs to bring back to their classrooms. If you are interested in participating in any of these CSPE professional development opportunities please identify clearly the course (including the date and the venue) you wish to attend by completing and returning a copy of the Booking Form. Click to download Information Booklet and Booking Form. Send to: Ms. Catherine Begley Cultural & Environmental Education Administrator,01 - 435 8585 01 - 435 8596
Tues, 28th February 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Cork Education Support Centre; Wed, 29th February 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Drumcondra Education Centre; Thurs, 1st March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Blackrock Education Centre; Tues, 6th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Dublin West Education Centre; Tues, 6th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Laois Education Centre; Wed, 7th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Co Wexford Education Centre; Tues, 13th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Monaghan Education Centre; Tues, 13th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Waterford Teachers’ Centre; Wed, 14th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Sligo Education Centre; Wed, 14th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Tralee Education Centre; Wed, 21st March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Clare Education Centre; Thurs, 22nd March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Mayo Education Centre.

The NCCA document "Towards a Framework for Junior Cycle" is available here: Among the 24 "Statements of Learning" (see page 15) are the following that are relevant to CSPE: "The student .... communicates effectively using a variety of means in a range of context ... values what it means to be an active citizen, with rights and responsibilities in local and wider contexts ... learns how to think and act sustainably understands the distribution of social, economic, and environmental phenomena ... appreciates and respects how diverse values, beliefs and traditions have contributed to the communities and culture in which they live" Other learning statements could have application to CSPE. CSPE is still listed as a full subject in the new framework, and among the "Potential Short Courses" are: "Development Education" and "Sustainable Living and Resource Management".

Important Dates:
The deadline for completion of CSPE project RAPs and CWABs is Fri 27 April. The CSPE Exam will take place on Mon 11th June at 1.30 pm.

ECO-UNESCO, Ireland’s Environmental Youth organisation ECO-UNESCO Calendar of Events (January – February 2012) FETAC Accredited Training Courses Jan - Apr
Introduction to Sustainable Development (FETAC L5) OPTION 1: 10 WK COURSE / Start date: 26 Jan (Thu)
The course develops an understanding of concepts such as sustainability, quality of life, sustainable communities and carrying capacity. It builds awareness of the links between the environment, society and the economy, education for sustainable development and develops skills of analysis (auditing). Learners facilitate a workshop on an environmental issue of their choice incorporating education for sustainable development methodologies, carry out a project on the life cycle analysis of a product and complete a group project on developing a sustainable community.
Feb - Mar Introduction to Sustainable Development (FETAC L5) OPTION 2: INTENSIVE (24-25 Feb & 23-24 Mar (Fri-Sat) Anyone interested in learning more about sustainable development including: professionals, local authorities, businesses, teachers, youth leaders, community workers, young people under 25 and the general public.
ECO-UNESCO Short Courses 31 Jan (Tues) Leadership and Strategic Sustainable Development Learn how to take leadership in planning for Sustainable Dev. This training course focuses on how to take leadership in planning for Sustainable Development. The programme is of particular relevance to those wishing to build and take strategic actions on a personal, organisational, business and/or community level toward Sustainable Development. By the end of the training participants will: Know how to take leadership in strategic sustainable development Be aware of basic Sustainability principles (Natural step framework system conditions) Know how to undertake a baseline assessment Know how to evaluate actions in relation to Sustainability principles - (Back casting) Know how to facilitate planning for solutions and actions to meet the sustainability challenge and be able to prioritise actions Be introduced to the ECO Award, a sustainability award for organisations, and know how to apply the steps to your organisation 07 Feb (Tues)
Environmental Education Day 1: Trends and Developments in Environmental Education. This short course introduces the concept of environmental education, what it is and how you can incorporate it into your work using activities developed by ECO-UNESCO. By the end of the training participants will: Understand what environmental education is Know how environmental education complements teaching as well as engaging the wider public in environmental issues Understand how environmental education complements youth work Be able to apply environmental education in theory and in practice Be aware of the latest trends and developments in environmental education and education for sustainable development 08 Feb (Wed)
Environmental Education Day 2: Programme development & Curriculum Links
More info at:

A new website on Sustainable Development Indicators has been developed by Comhar Sustainable Development Council (SDC). It is available at Comhar’s website or at This new website enables people to see how Ireland is performing in relation to sustainable development. It features up-to-date information and graphs on 20 headline indicators which inform us about progress on sustainable development challenges including climate change and clean energy, sustainable travel, economic prosperity, sustainable consumption and production, conservation and management of natural resources, public health, sustainable communities, land use and global poverty. Economic and social development is dependent on a healthy and functioning environment. One of the key challenges for Ireland is to make sure that our development is sustainable and that we progress towards a low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive society It is very important to measure how well we are doing because what is counted counts. Lasting change is built upon knowing where you are, where you want to be and whether your actions are making a difference. Indicators are a way of measuring, simplifying and communicating these important issues. The presentation of such data in a simplified format can help inform decisions on what actions may need to be taken. The website has been designed for use by the general public, as well as second level students and teachers, third level students and lecturers and researchers. The website allows users to explore a range of different statistics relating to these challenges. Each indicator is displayed visually on a graph showing progress over time and Ireland is benchmarked against other countries and the EU average. It provides concise and up to date information on sustainable development in Ireland. There are also many resources and links available for further reading and learning. Benefits for Second Level Education The Sustainable Development Indicators website is an excellent and useful tool for second level educators and students, including in relation to geography, environmental topics, society and social issues, health, citizenship, business studies, and debating. It is an invaluable resource for use as a teaching reference and study aid. It provides easy access to a wide variety of statistics and an examination of progress over time and is extremely useful in ensuring facts are current and relevant for pupils. It has particular relevance for geography and CSPE. Geography students can explore a range of graphs showing changes in land use, carbon emissions and natural resources over time. For CSPE students, graphs showing changes in public health, global poverty and sustainable consumption and production over time demonstrate global and national trends and allow students to make links between individual behaviour and social and environmental consequences.

Trócaire's latest online web resource: This resource entitled, 'Climate Change: A Call for Stewardship and Global Solidarity' has been created for schools in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland looking at the concepts of Interdependence and Stewardship. In the Republic, it will link with CSPE and in the North, it will link with Local and Global Citizenship. However the resource is designed in a way that is adaptable to a number of educational settings. The 8 skills based lesson plans presented, will facilitate young people to develop a deeper understanding of environmental sustainability and ensure a knowledgeable and reflective approach to action. Each lesson contains a number of activities designed to be completed within a single class period. Each activity has an accompanying slide or slides to support the teacher as they carry out the lesson. Click this link to access the resource:

The Knowing Dublin resource, 2011 edition, is now available from the Central Library (ILAC Centre) . Also, the following presentations relating to the City are organised in November. Thurs November 3rd at 1pm Knowing Dublin - Engineering the City with Michael Philips, City Engineer Thurs November 24th Knowing Dublin - the Story from the Archives with Dr. Mary Clark, City Archivist Admission is free. Booking required: Tel 01 8734333

Inservice from the CSPE Support Service (notification and booking forms already sent to schools, email us for brochure if you didn't get this):
Inservice for teachers new to CSPE: Tues, 18th October 9:15 am to 4:00 pm Blackrock Education Centre; Wed, 19th October 9:15 am to 4:00 pm Carrick-on-Shannon Ed Centre; Thurs, 20th October 9:15 am to 4:00 pm; Co Wexford Education Centre; Wed, 26th October 9:15 am to 4:00 pm Dublin West Education Centre; Thurs, 27th October 9:15 am to 4:00 pm Monaghan Education Centre.
Action Projects and Assessments: Tues, 8th November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Co Donegal Education Centre; Tues, 8th November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Navan Education Centre; Wed, 9th November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Athlone Education Centre; Tues, 15th November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Galway Education Centre; Tues, 15th November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Kildare Education Centre; Wed, 16th November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Mayo Education Centre; Wed, 16th November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Waterford Teachers’ Centre; Thurs, 17th November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Drumcondra Education Centre; Tues, 22nd November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Blackrock Education Centre; Tues, 22nd November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Limerick Education Centre; Wed, 23rd November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm West Cork Education Centre; Tues, 29th November 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Kilkenny Education Centre.
Active Learning Methods and Rsources: Tues, 28th February 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Cork Education Support Centre; Wed, 29th February 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Drumcondra Education Centre; Thurs, 1st March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Blackrock Education Centre; Tues, 6th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Dublin West Education Centre; Tues, 6th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Laois Education Centre; Wed, 7th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Co Wexford Education Centre; Tues, 13th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Monaghan Education Centre; Tues, 13th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Waterford Teachers’ Centre; Wed, 14th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Sligo Education Centre; Wed, 14th March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Tralee Education Centre; Wed, 21st March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Clare Education Centre; Thurs, 22nd March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Mayo Education Centre.

Just a reminder - this has already been notified to all schools in Cork. Workshop on the 7 Concepts of CSPE Cork Education Centre Thurs 6th Oct 7 - 9 pm Organised by Cork Branch Association of CSPE Teachers

Jersey Day:
The annual Goal Jersey Day is on Friday 7th October. The idea is that students wear their favourite team jersey and contribute 2 Euro to the charity Goal. The event is promoted among others by rugby player Jamie Heaslip. To register and receive starter pack see, email or ring 01-2809779.

Tree Day: For those exploring the environment in CSPE class, it's worth noting that Tree Day takes place on Thursday 6th October. The Treeday Website has resources that are mainly aimed at Primary schools, but may also be useful for First Year CSPE students.

Reminder: This year's Annual Conference and AGM of the Association will take place on Saturday Oct 15th 2011 in Isaac's Hotel, Dublin 1 (beside Busaras). Guest speaker will be Maurice Manning (pictured on left), President of the Irish Human Rights Commission. There will be workshops on Action Projects, CSPE Inspection, the Environment, Democracy, CSPE and IT, Human Rights and Trócaire's new interactive resource on climate change. Information and booking forms were sent to schools in mid-September. The form and brochure are also be available for download here .


Interesting quotes from: A Consultation with Young People on Reform of the Junior Cycle (Government Publications, July 2011) [In November 2010 NCCA was involved in a consultation process with Dáil na nÓg during which representatives from Comhairlí na nÓg around the country debated the reform of the Junior Cycle. The report of the event was launched in July 2011. We can send this document on request, but it, and other related rsources are also on the NCCA website - ]
"Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE), Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE), English and Maths were the only subjects that young people agreed should be compulsory at Junior Cycle level. But they recommended that improvements should be made to the present forms of SPHE and CSPE."
"...if SPHE and CSPE were to be compulsory, students would like these subjects to be restructured and improved"
"Many participants called for the improvement of certain subjects currently taught at Junior Cycle level. In general, students would like more PE, SPHE and CSPE classes."
"A number of young people would like CSPE to be taught in a more structured way."
"... subjects and activities deemed easy to learn were sports, music, SPHE, CSPE, Maths, Irish and French."
"Almost all Senior Cycle students agreed that English, maths, Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) should be compulsory subjects at Junior Cycle level. However, many students would like the present forms of SPHE and CSPE to be restructured, taught differently and allocated more time" "Many participants would like more CSPE classes and the option of having an advanced level within the subject so more can be learned."

Wed Sept 21st 2011 marks the UN International Day of Peace, and this year, Irish group Instruments of Peace are hosting an event in the National Convention Centre on the quays in Dublin near the O2 and Financial Services Centre, from 9 am to 6 pm. There will be workshops and keynote speakers, including Richard Moore, founder of Children in Crossfire. There will be musical performances in between the speeches, each person performing their talent with utmost care to enhance the spirit of the Conference which is that of experiencing Peace rather than just of talking about Peace issues. More info and an opportunity to register here.

This year's Annual Conference and AGM of the Association will take place on Saturday Oct 15th 2011 in Isaac's Hotel, Dublin 1 (beside Busaras). Guest speaker will be Maurice Manning, President of the Irish Human Rights Commission. There will be workshops on Action Projects, the Environment, Democracy, CSPE and IT, Human Rights and new Trócaire resources. Information and booking forms will be sent to schools in early September. The form will also be available for download here when details are finalised.

Exam Paper Response:
Here is the initial response of the Association of CSPE Teachers to yesterday's CSPE Paper. The Association of CSPE Teachers gives a broad welcome to this year's CSPE paper. It was fair, though a little more bland and less imaginative than last year. The paper had welcome topical elements, including a substantial question on the forthcoming presidential election, and the opening question on significant public buildings, including the White House and Buckingham Palace, topical because of recent state visits. Useful visual clues were given - eg Irish flag over Aras an Uachtaráin. This opening question showing pictures of buildings was unusual in that this question usually shows pictures of well-known public figures. Buildings did feature on a previous CSPE paper but this was many years ago. The political content of the paper was relatively low, apart from the presidential question (eg nothing on political parties). Students were asked about terms such as "Ceann Comhairle", "Ombudsman" and "Presiding Officer" - the latter in particular was a challenging question for young people. It would have been better to have asked about the "Ombudsman for Children". Unusually there was no question on individuals - eg public figures, human rights campaigners etc. The "Electric Car" question was a good question on the environment, and students were required to show an understanding of the concept of "stewardship", a core concept for CSPE. The question was diffused somewhat by bringing in other campaigns like "Power of One" and "Earth Hour". The question on employment rights of young people was relevant, but the stimulus material given was too wordy and and dense. The question on naming "two rights" was not as closely related to the text as it should have been. The question on Africa took as its starting point the website homepage of "Africa Also Smiles", which was a good approach as young people are so web-savy. The last section, with the longer questions, was well balanced. It was good to see questions where the students could respond by making posters. This will suit students who do well when expressing themselves visually. There was a a good combination of local, national and international issues in this section.

Politics for Idiots: This is a new site that doesn’t contain much of use to CSPE teachers except for one gem – a repackaged version of the National Adult Literacy Agency’s Plain English Guide to Political Terms. This is a very useful resource for CSPE and having this electronic version allows the teacher to edit the material – e.g. producing a slimmed down version for CSPE classes, or using some of the political terms for CSPE assessments. The resource is available here: New Resources

There are quite a few CSPE Resources available for download on a blog by Peter Barry of NUIM. Peter’s blog is at: Resources include Powerpoint presentations on Law, Stewardship and Development. There are some pdf files as well, along with some “pez” files. These are presentations made with Prezi, a promising presentation tool that allows greater freedom and special effects for your presentations. There is a free option with Prezi, and for teachers and students there’s an educational version that allows access to some advanced features. Check it out at

Film Clip Resources: Wingclips ( is a website that provides readymade film clips on a variety of themes. While it is mainly aimed at Religious Education, many of the clips highlights themes associated with CSPE, such as law, activism, homelessness, disability etc. You can subscribe to the free version of Wingclips and get access to many of the clips, which can be streamed from the site and/or downloaded. The paid version offers higher resolution video and access to recent hit films.

Exam Review Meeting: There will a meeting to discuss this year's CSPE paper and feed back to the press and the State Examinations Commission in the Blackrock Education Centre, Kill Avenue, Dublin from 3.30 pm Mon 13th June (the CSPE paper is on that day 1.30 pm to 3 pm.). All members are encouraged to attend.

Election Resource: The CSPE Support Service has compiled a chart of this year's general election results. It might be useful as a reference work or as the basis for a question in a CSPE test. Check it out at: is a new service that should be useful to CSPE teachers. The website provides resources like video clips, photos, documents relating to the business of government and more. Videos include clips from Oireachtas debates and visitors to the Oireachtas. The "Issues" section includes an item on the Green Schools programme and the Irish Defence Forces. You can also sign up for an email newsletter.

The Product Shop has a set of Powerpoint slides available on CD-Rom for CSPE. There are six sets of slides, each set containing 6--160 slides. Main topics are: What is CSPE? The Community, The State, The Individual and Citizenship, World Trade and Overseas Aid, Global Citizenship and International Relations. Prices vary from 35 Euro to 50 Euro per set. All six sets can be bought for 150 Euro. More info here:

The Global Campaign for Education has chosen the theme of "Women and Girls' Education" for this year's Education for All Global Action Week, May 2nd to 8th. Educational materials will be sent to schools to promote the event.

Reminder: April 10 is Census Day, and CSO has produced a resource for CSPE - you can download it here.

Our Press Officer Bernadine O'Sullivan will be running for the Senate (NUI Panel) in the upcoming election. Bernadine is a founder member of the Association and has served previously as treasurer. She has also been President of the Association of Secondary Teachers.

Upcoming programmes of interest: Aung San Suu Kyi - Lady With No Fear - RTE 1 Wed (night) 30 March 12.05 am: We know Aung San Suu Kyi as "a golden bird in a cage "; she is a valuable icon representing freedom and democracy of which the suppressed population of Burma much hopes for. But who is the person and woman behind it all? In this film her close family, friends and close colleagues tell about a daughter, a wife, a friend, a mother, a rebel - that early in life met deep grief and deprivation.
Unreported World
Channel 4 Fri 1 April 7.30 pm: Reporter Aidan Hartley and director Ed Braman travel to Eastern Congo to witness the remarkable work of one man who liberates the child soldiers who have been forced to fight in one of the world's longest-running conflicts.

New Cabinet:. Handout with pics available on request (will also be in next Activate Newsletter due out early next week). Revised Powerpoint of "Famous Faces" for CSPE also available on request. See also here for handout on new cabinet with pictures.
The New Cabinet:
Enda Kenny, Taoiseach; Eamonn Gilmore: Tánaiste and Minister for Froeign Affairs and Trade; Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance; Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform; Alan Shatter Minister for Justice, Equality & Defence; Joan Burton: Minister for Social Protection; James Reilly: Minister for Health; Frances Fitzgerald: Minister for Children; Ruairi Quinn: Minister for Education & Skills; Richard Bruton: Minister for Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation; Leo Varadkar Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport; Phil Hogan: Minister for Environment, Community & Local Government; Jimmy Deenihan: Minister for Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs; Pat Rabbitte: Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources; Simon Coveney: Minister for Agriculture, Marine & Food. Willie Penrose: 'super junior minister' at Environment with responsibility for housing and planning. Paul Kehoe: Government Chief Whip. Aine Whelan: Attorney General.

RAP Changes There are changes to this year’s proforma booklets - the following Sections of the Report on the Action Project (RAP) for this year’s 3rd Year CSPE students: Section 2: Page 2, Part (a); Page 3 (b) Section 3: Page 3, Part (a); Page 7, Part (d) Section 4: Page 8 Section 5: Page 9 For more information on these changes download the latest CitizeNews newsletter from here.

New Trócaire Resources: Trócaire has new resources online dealing with Honduras. You can access them here

This year's deadline for the completion of RAPs and CWABs will be much earlier this year - Friday, 15th April 2011. Blank RAPs and CWABs for this year's examination candidates will be sent to schools directly by the State Examinations Commission. If you have any queries contact Ms. Majella Smyth at 0906-442700 0906-442700 . The completed RAPs and CWABs are handed up in schools and retained securely in schools until the day of the written examination when they are handed over to the Examination Superintendent.

            2011 - Make Your Mark - An Image Of the Census Logo - visit the
            census 2011 website Census 2010: census will be undertaken on 10th April next. A key component of the success of the census is to make the general public aware that it is happening and of the benefits of the census. The CSO has developed a dedicated census website,, which will provide information and assistance for the public in relation to the census, including a helpdesk facility. This will include CSPE lesson modules.

Here below are the dates, times and venues for professional development opportunities for teachers of Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) during the Spring term. We can send application forms on request. These should also have arrived in schools by now. The theme of the workshops this term is Using Film in the CSPE Classroom. These workshops will provide opportunities for participants to explore creative and innovative ways of engaging students in their learning of the CSPE Concepts/Units of study through the use of a variety of film clips/DVDs. Each workshop will include suitable methodologies aimed at encouraging the participation of students of all abilities. These workshops are in collaboration with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. With funding from Trócaire they have developed a set of teaching materials on human rights and film, particularly for use in Civic, Social and Political Education. The materials use a number of the shortlisted films from the last two years of the ICCL Human Rights Film Awards as points of discussion for various human rights issues and as inspiration for student-made short films on human rights. The ICCL have recently launched a Human Rights Film Award specifically for young people, entitled ‘Human Rights in Under a Minute Challenge’ - a new stream of the competition calling on young people to create their own 30-60 second human rights film.
Together with the film resource from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties each participant will receive a selection of other film resources at the workshop, including the following: A View from Here - from the Irish Wheelchair Association Experiences of Childhood - Development Media Workshop The President of Ireland: Role and Functions The Houses of the Oireachtas 2020 Vision - A Closer Look at Ireland’s Environment - from the Environmental Protection Agency Ireland and the European Union - from the European Commission
Mon, 21st March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Carrick-on-Shannon Education Centre; Tues, 22nd March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Mayo Education Centre; Wed, 23rd March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Blackrock Education Centre; Wed, 23rd March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Drumcondra Education Centre; Wed, 23rd March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Limerick Education Centre; Mon, 28th March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Cork Education Support Centre; Tues, 29th March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Kildare Education Centre; Tues, 29th March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Laois Education Centre; Wed, 30th March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Galway Education Centre; Wed, 30th March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Kilkenny Education Centre; Wed, 30th March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Monaghan Education Centre; Wed, 30th March 7:00 to 9:30 pm Waterford Teachers’ Centre

With an General Election looming it might be an idea for Junior CSPE classes to organise a voter registration campaign among the seniors. Many of these will have turned 18 and will be eligible to vote if they get registered on time. Once an election is announced there will be a short window of opportunity to get listed on a supplementary register. Useful info and downloadable forms are available at and at (many other useful resources here too). Over the last year or so many of you have requested and been sent our revision Powerpoints. With the current changes in government many of the "famous faces" and their positions are out of date. When things settle down we will offer a revised version! Of course you can always edit these presentations yourself.

There's a TY Teachers' Conference on teaching global issues coming up on Sat 5th Feb, in the Athlone Springs Hotel. "Back to Basics" is organised by Trocaire and Comhlamh. To register contact Ruth at or 01-6174835. Speakers include Michael O'Leary, National C-Ordinator TY and Annette Honan of NCCA. There will also be workshops from the Debt and Development Coalition and EcoUnesco. We can send Conference brochure as attachment on request, or click here.

Inservice Courses
Teaching CSPE to students in need of learning support: Target Group: A series of Evening Workshops has been organised for all teachers of Civic, Social and Political Education who wish to explore a variety of approaches, methodologies, classroom strategies and appropriate resources for use with students who require additional support Course Aims: The workshop will look at how to teach the seven concepts, differentiating the work, teaching reading, the use of visuals, appropriate active learning methods, graphic organizers, etc. Appropriate Action Projects will also be discussed and how to tackle the reporting of these. All courses 7 pm to 9.30 pm
Blackrock Education Centre Mon 22 Nov; Cork Education Support Centre Mon 22 Nov; Co. Wexford Education Centre Tue 23 Nov; Athlone Education Centre Tue 23 Nov; Kilkenny Education Centre Wed 24 Nov; Mayo Education Centre Thu 25 Nov; Limerick Education Centre Thu 25 Nov ; Dublin West Education Centre Tue 30 Nov Laois Education Centre Tue 30 Nov; Galway Education Centre Wed 1 Dec; Sligo Education Centre Thu 2 Dec.
Undertaking CSPE Action Projects and Their Assessment: Target Group: Teachers of Civic, Social and Political Education who have any concerns or who have never organised and managed Action. Projects and who wish to learn about the Report on the Action Project (RAP) and the Course-Work Assessment Book (CWAB) assessment instruments Course Aims: This course provides teachers with a step-by-step approach to organising and managing an Action Project from beginning to end. Strategies in how to facilitate students in finding a suitable Issue will be explored. The managing of tasks/groups/committees will be discussed. Teachers will be encouraged to share their own experiences of undertaking Action Projects while experienced CSPE teachers will also be there to share examples of Action Projects they have undertaken.
Blackrock Education Centre Tue 2 Nov ; Cork Education Support Centre Tue 2 Nov ; Mayo Education Centre Tue 2 Nov ; Donegal Education Centre Wed 3 Nov ; Navan Education Centre Wed 3 Nov ; Clare Education Centre Thu 4 Nov ; Laois Education Centre Mon 8 Nov Drumcondra Education Centre Tue 9 Nov ; West Cork Education Centre Tue 9 Nov ; Tralee Education Centre Wed 10 Nov ; Kildare Education Centre Wed 10 Nov ; Kilkenny Education Centre Thu 11 Nov.

ECO-UNESCO: Young Environmentalist Awards 2011: Registration is now open for Ireland's most exciting environmental awards programme for young people, the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards. The Awards recognise and reward the achievements of young people in environmental protection and are open to any group of young people, aged 10-18, who want to take action on key environmental issues such as climate change, energy, waste, biodiversity, transport and more...Get some inspiration for projects from the clip of last May's
ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards Showcase at the Mansion house. View the clip on the blog. Contact: Aine Bird, Intern, ECO-UNESCO, 'the greenhouse', 17 St., Andrew St., Dublin 2 (T: +353 (0) 1 6625491;F: +353 (0) 1 6625493;E: W: PHOTO COMPETITION: Life, Camera, Action! - submission date approaching for photo & film competition. Celebrate the UN International Year of Biodiversity by taking part in ECO-UNESCO's summer photo & film exhibition! Taking part couldn't be easier. Simply send ECO-UNESCO your photos or short films on the theme of Biodiversity and be in with the chance to WIN a masterclass in wildlife documentary making, and a host of other great prizes! Find out how to take part. ALL entries will be exhibited at The Greenhouse, Dublin city centre, in the run up to the ECO-UNESCO National Youth ECO-Forum 2010 World Wild Web: Young People Exploring Biodiversity.
ECO-UNESCO's Youth for Sustainable Development Seminar 2011 Take part in ECO-UNESCO's Youth for Sustainable Development Seminar 2011 For Young People aged 15-18, Youth Workers, Youth Leaders, Teachers or Educators from Community Organisations and NGOs. Venue: ECO-UNESCO, The Greenhouse, 17 St Andrew Street, Dublin 2, 30th of March 2011 (TBC) FREE! To register, just e-mail or call+ 353 (0)1 662 54 91 . For more information contact ECO-UNESCO Youth for Sustainable Development Co-ordinator .

LawEd: LawEd is a TY course designed to inform students about the law - the Irish legal system, consumer rights, employment rights and more. More information:

What Do You Say? Is a new range of materials for CSPE from the Ombudsman's Office, and is downloadable from the website: . A limited number of printed copies is also available. Contact or ring (01) 8656800 . Topics include "Having a Voice", "Family Care", "Wealth and Material Deprivation", "Young People and Education". The pack comes with a set of posters, suggested activities and ideas for Action Projects. From the introduction: "The purpose of this resource is to make young people more aware of children's rights and to highlight how they apply to them in their everyday lives. The materials also highlight the role and work of the Ombudsman for Children's Office".




Brochures for our Annual Conference and AGM are now available. Click here to download (pdf document), or request as Word document using contact details above. Keynote speaker is Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive of Barnardos (and possible candidate for the Presidency in 2011). Workshops include - Homelessness – Focus Ireland, CSPE and the Environment – Sustainable Energy Ireland, Age Issues in the Constitution, Oireachtas Outreach as Action Project, CSPE and IT Resources and Methodologies and our usual workshops on managing and reporting on Action Projects.

New Trocaire Resource:
Trocaire's latest education resource for CSPE is now available for teachers. Entitled, "The Business of Food: Who Makes the Rules", it explores the impact of trade on global hunger and poverty. It contains classroom activities for teachers, ideas for taking action and an accompanying DVD. Based on an evaluation of our materials, this resource aims to replace Trocaire's CSPE Lent resource, with the hope that by receiving CSPE education resources in the first academic term, it will assist teachers in their yearly planning and preparation.
Trocaire also has a resource for CSPE relating to the floods in Pakistan. The resource is packed full of interesting facts and activities which will allow teachers and students to explore the CSPE/Citizenship concepts of interdependence and human dignity, by bringing the issues facing Pakistan to life in the classroom. The resource can be downloaded here.

The Oireachtas Outreach Programme will run again this year and volunteers schools are sought. They are limiting the number to 60/70 before Christmas and hoping that those classes availaing of the workshop would intend to use them as Action Projects. They are also seeking a regional spread. They will go to the schools for the workshop and bring local TDs/representatives for Q and A." Contact Noel Murphy at the Oireachtas Outreach. Communications Unit Tel: 6184403.

Advance Notice: Our Annual Conference and AGM for 2010 will take place on Saturday Nov 6th in the Hilton Hotel, Kilmainham. Keynote speaker is Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive of Barnardos (and possible candidate for the Presidency in 2011). We will have our usual workshops on managing and reporting on Action Projects, along with themed workshops. More details and brochures will be available shortly.

TEACHING THE HOLOCAUST Three-day Summer Course for Teachers 16, 17 and 18 August 2010 This programme is supported by the Teacher Education Section of the Department of Education & Skills, Ireland; the Claims Conference, USA This course is DES approved for 2 EPV days for primary school level. Venue: The Herzog Centre for Jewish and Near Eastern Religion and Culture, Trinity College, Dublin 2. Fee: €250.00 (inclusive of all seminars, lunches and evening meals) For more information about this programme as part of the Certificate in Holocaust Education, check out: or contact the HETI office: Telephone: + 353 1 6690593 Email: .

Trinity College Dublin in association with Holocaust Education Trust Ireland Certificate in Holocaust Education Continuous Professional Development for teachers, educators, clergy and community workers A programme comprising 4 modules A certificate in Holocaust education providing in-depth tuition on the historical significance and contemporary resonance of the Holocaust. The programme provides participants with information, tools and skills to address this subject in their areas of work, and to develop pedagogic expertise to complement their knowledge. The programme is divided into four modules, all of which must be completed by participants who wish to attain the certificate which is validated by Trinity College Dublin. For further information, please contact HETI Tel: 01 6690593 Email:

Our Cork Branch also met in June to review the exam paper, and provided the following commentary:

General comments on CSPE Exam Paper
The paper was structured so that there was something for everybody and it took account of all abilities.
Section 1 and 2 was quite challenging in places for a common level paper.
Section 3 had questions which were manageable for weaker students but also had questions for the stronger candidates in the subject.
Section 1 Question 1 was deemed to be fair
Question 2 (a) 2 answers required one mark awarded. (d) the language was a little ambiguous "Chief Law Officer"
Question 3 the layout was a little confusing keeping in mind weaker candidates (c) a very technical question on a common paper with a broad syllabus.
Section 2 Question.1 (b) requires two similar answers and 3 marks awarded (c) the language and style of question was difficult Question 2 (a) third part requires three pieces of information for one mark (c) Difficult question for common paper
Question 3 (a) five pieces of information and only 4 marks awarded. (b) three pieces of information required and only 2 marks awarded
Question 4 (b) possible to link all issues on the exemplar material. Very little space given to 'Name' and 'Explain'
Section 3 Question 3 It was felt read much easier than Question 1 and 2.
Question 4 This makes assumptions about access to Bebo and Facebook which some candidates may not have experienced.
The use of language may act as a disincentive for students to attempt question 1 and 2 in this section. 'interested in this practice' may prove difficult for weaker students. Comparing Question 2 part (a) making notes for speakers for 6 marks and Question 3 part (b) where the candidate is even given headings for paragraphs for 6 marks may highlight unfair weighting on one question over another and allow candidates to be awarded more for less effort.

CSPE Exam Paper 2010 - Response of the Association of CSPE Teachers
Overall the paper deserves a welcome - quite a good spread of topics and activities, though parts of the paper were more demanding than is usual.
Section 1: The Picture question - It was interesting to see Queen Elizabeth in combination with Mary McAleese! José Manuel Barroso was the least recognisable of the four. Students might this right by process of elimination. Some of the short questions were difficult - e.g. the question about which government department is responsible for voting and elections. Likewise the question on the Constitution (whether the "numbered points" were Acts, Clauses, Articles or Paragraphs) would have posed difficulties.
Section 2: The stimulus questions were good - a good spread of topics - Human Rights (Burma), EU, the Environment and Development issues. The colour inserts were well produced - e.g. the statistics in the Third World question were well presented visually. Some of the stimulus material however was very heavy on text, which would have been difficult for some students. The EU question, on ring-tone scams was very appropriate - showing how EU legislation can impact on young people's lives. These questions also provided plenty of opportunity for students to express their opinions, eg on the issue of some bands and movie stars supporting campaigns against human rights abuses.
Section 3: The longer questions - The question on the environment had a good variety of tasks. The question on democracy (voter turnout issue) was a good question. Again welcome for young people there were more referencess to mobile phones - in the context of Obama's use of text messaging in his successful campaign. The social networking question (Facebook, Bebo etc) was welcome but as it was online-safety orientated it was more appropriate for SPHE. It could have been closer to the core concepts of CSPE - eg dealing with the issue of online bullying or the creation of online communities.
The CSPE paper can be viewed here.

Exam Review Meetings: Our annual meeting to discuss the CSPE paper will take place in the Blackrock Education Centre on Mon 14th June from 3.30 pm. All members welcome. This year also, for the first time, Cork is also having an Exam Review meeting - Viaduct Inn, Bishopstown 7 pm. All members welcome.

Our Powerpoint of "Famous Faces" for CSPE has been updated to take account of recent changes, with some new additions - useful as a revision aid. If you'd like it sent as an attachment please contact us at Also details of the new cabinet is available here:

Folens have informed us that their textbook Make a Difference will be updated for Sept 2011. In the meantime the text is available online. You can view the the text if you are registed at If not registered (it's free) you can preview the text and the onscreen reader here:

ThinkB4UClick is a Resource for CSPE that aims to empower students to be effective, autonomous and safe users of new media. The various activities, including surveys, comic strip, reflections and Action Project ideas deal with issues such as privacy online and legal issues relating to use of new media. Included is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Webwise Charter of Online Rights of the Child. The resource can be downloaded from here, either in full or section by section. ThinkB4UClick is jointly published by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and the National Centre for Technology in Education.



New Edition of Impact: Impact! 5th ed CSPE for Junior Certificate by Jeanne Barrett and Fiona Richardson, taking into account all recent major social and political changes, up-to-date case studies and topics including: - Cyber-bullying - Climate change - Human Rights and Children’s Rights - The Ombudsman for Children - Micro-credit for the poor - Aids orphans - Your Rights in Law, including guides to Action Projects and Skills • Identifies Core Concepts of the CSPE course and relates them to current issues and topics • In-depth coverage of how to complete a Report on an Action project (RAP). Relevant CSPE core concepts highlighted throughout Online testing for homework and revision will be available for this textbook on the new website. The book is published by Gill and Macmillan. More info here.


New CSPE Textbooks:
Stand Up, Speak Up is written by Hugh Holmes and Gearóidín O'Dwyer, and comes with an Activity Book. The text is organised in accorance with the 7 Concepts of CSPE. There are case studies, glossaries of terms in English and Irish, Exam Practice exercises and a section on assessment. It is published by Mentor. [Added later: See also Resources page].

One World, Second Edition is written by Deirdre Murphy and Jim Ryan, and published by the Educational Company. It comes with a free workbook, and is structured around the 7 Concepts of CSPE. More info here. [Added later: See also Resources page].

Focus Ireland Resource: The module is titled "Without Your Home Your Life Develops Differently", and is a practical teaching tool for Civic Social & Political Education (CSPE) classes to help inform students about homelessness and housing need in Ireland. The free learning resource aims to help breakdown stereotypes about people who are homeless and also support efforts to prevent young people who may be at risk of becoming homeless. Focus Ireland's education programme is supported by essential funding from City of Dublin Youth Services Board (CDYSB). Contact Lucinda McNally - Communications Officer Focus Ireland. Ph: 01 881 5964 or Roughan Mac Namara - Advocacy Manager Focus Ireland. Ph: 01 8815 900. CSPE teachers can also order the module from Focus Ireland’s Research Officer, Sinead McGinley at 01 8815900 or by emailing [Added later: See also Resources page].

Evening Workshops:

Sustainable Development and CSPE, Thursday 11th March 6.30 to 9 pm in the Curricuum Development Unit, Sundrive Rd Dublin 12. Please book in advance as places are limited to 20. Brochure here.

Aid in an Unequal World: (Trócaire Workshops) Citizenship Resource from Trócaire - 'A Question of Aid: Aid in an Unequal World' focuses on the concepts of Development, Interdependence and Rights and Responsibilities. Each participant will receive a copy of the resource pack which consists of Teachers's Notes and a DVD. Dates: Monday 22nd March Dublin West Education Centre; Tuesday 23rd March Kilkenny Education Centre; Wednesday 24th March Limerick Education Centre; Thursday 25th March Carrick-on-Shannon Ed Centre. Brochure here.

Journey Through Europe: Workshops that will focus on the concepts of Interdependence and Democracy and specifically on the European Union. The new resource pack 'Journey through Europe' which consists of a resource folder, maps, CD-Rom Activity, a Jigsaw based on the 27 Member States, a map of the European Union and a wall chart will be given to each participant. Dates: Tuesday 2nd March Kildare Education Centre; Wednesday 3rd March Navan Education Centre; Wednesday 3rd March Tralee Education Centre; Tuesday 9th March Sligo Education Centre; Wednesday 10th March Galway Education Centre; Thursday 11th March Cork Education Support Centre. Brochure here.

Conference for Teachers:
TEACHERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE ONLINE "Positive, practical responses in the classroom to what students are doing online", Saturday 27 March 2010, Lismullin Conference Centre, Co Meath, with speakers from Google and National Council for Technology Education (NCTE), and also student speakers. Time: 10.30am - 5.00pm [Registration: 10.00am] Cost: €50 (includes lunch and refreshments). Brochure here. Booking here.

Information has arrived in schols about the Concern Creative Writing Competition for 2010. The task is to write the speech you would give to world leaders on ONE of the Millenium Development Goals. Deadline is 21st March. There's a Junior, Senior and Adult category. Prizes include netbooks, e-readers, and mp 3 players. More info:

A new DVD on bullying has been sent to all secondary schools, addressed to principals. It's from the people who run It includes four video presentations. It was indicated on the envelope that the DVD should be passed on to Guidance Counsellors, Anti-Bullying Team members and Pastoral Care personnel. There are question sheets on the website that can be downloaded and either copied and distributed to a class group to answer after watching one of the films or that the teacher can ask in the class to generate discussion after viewing. The campaign is not in a position to send further copies of the DVD so they suggest making several backup duplicate copies of the disk.

Haiti Resource: The Education Unit in Trócaire has produced a Post Primary school resource on the recent earthquake in Haiti . This is a Powerpoint Presentation which can be played directly from the Trocaire site or saved to your computer. It links in with CSPE, Jnr Cert Geography and English.


Trocaire resources for this year's Leten Campaign have been arriving in schools. Resources suitable for CSPE are included - among the resources are a full colour photo pack suitable for Post Primary schools along with a range of varied activities.

Holocaust Education Trust Ireland and Dublin City Libraries in association with Galicia Jewish Museum, Kraków invite you to view the Exhibition: FIGHTING FOR DIGNITY: JEWISH RESISTANCE IN KRAKÓW. 18 January 2010 – 20 February 2010 Central Library, Ilac Centre Henry Street, Dublin 1. All enquiries to: Open Learning Centre, Central Library Tel: 01 8734333 Email: SECONDARY SCHOOLS: The exhibition is open 6 days a week and viewing for schools is recommended. Guided tours may be booked directly with the library, worksheets and video recordings of Holocaust survivors will also be available.

News of an interesting event from Link Community Development Ireland (LCD): Cairo to Cape Town Challenge 2010! On March 26th, 2010, students can cross the Continent of Africa, without leaving their own yard and raise money for schools in Africa! This event is open to businesses, school and clubs or any group of people who want to get involved. Schools and clubs may retain 15% of the total funds raised and everyone will be in with a chance of winning fantastic prizes! If you're interested in finding out more about the Cairo to Cape Town Challenge 2010, email or text “CCC” to 087 9697623 with your name and contact details. Every participating business, school, club or group will receive a pack of materials, including an Interactive Map of Africa to complete the cross-continental Challenge on the big day.

Khulungira - Harvesting Hope in an African Village is a new multimedia exhibit about the power and promise of science for Africa's smallholder farmers. TY and CSPE classes are invited to visit. It's at the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre, 27-31 Upper O'Connel St, Dublin 1. There are also permanent exhibtions and workshops on Irish Aid in general. To book contact Andrée Kearney at 01-8546934.

The deadline for the closing of the consultation process on the new 'Politics and Society' syllabus for Senior Cycle is rapidly approaching - it's Fri 13th November. You can complete an online survey, if you haven't done so already by clicking here. This brings you to the consultation page. Then click on Politics and Society Questionnaire. You can also send in a written submission to You can also use snail mail, if you'd rather and send your comments to NCCA, 24, Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

From SLSS Website:
Local Facilitators for Cultural and Environmental Education Subjects: The Second Level Support Service is looking to work with teachers of Ancient Greek, Art, Classical Studies, CSPE, ESS, Geography, History, Latin and Music interested in facilitating workshops and courses in local education centres for fellow teachers. We are looking to meet teachers who love teaching their subject and who would like to share their enthusiasm, creativity, methodologies and strategies with their colleagues. If you are interested in becoming involved as a Local Facilitator, you are invited to contact Conor Harrison, National Co-ordinator - Cultural and Environmental Education, Second Level Support Service ( with your contact details and areas of interest/expertise to express an interest in being involved. So, if you would like to meet other dynamic, creative and enthusiastic teachers of any of the subjects in the cultural and environmental education suite of subjects please forward your details without delay! Conor Harrison, National Co-ordinator - Cultural and Environmental Education, Second Level Support Service, County Wexford Education Centre, Milehouse Road, Enniscorthy, County Wexford.

Two new resources/initiatives to report:
1. Show Racism the Red Card are calling for entries to their inaugural Online Creative Anti-Racism Competition. Please follow the competition link on To further assist teachers in the delivery of the anti-racism education pack, there is a training briefing on Wednesday November 11th 4-6pm at the Marino Institute of Education, Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9. Each participant will receive the education pack as part of the course. The schools competition is sponsored by the Office of the Minister for Integration and supported by ASTI, INTO, TUI and the three players associations PFAI, IRUPA and GPA. Anti- racism and the curriculum. The Show Racism the Red Card education pack can be a useful aid in a range of subjects of the school curriculum. It may be used to teach aspects of history, geography, religion and other subjects. It is particularly useful in the following areas of primary and second level education.Second level The education pack can be used for promoting understanding of Belonging & Integration unit of the SPHE curriculum. It also can be used to promoting understanding of Rights & Responsibilities module of CSPE. The pack serves to support the active learning process of both subjects. There are also action project ideas in the pack which could be implemented as part of the student’s work. School Anti- Bullying programmes - The education pack is useful in conveying understanding around the issue of recognising and responding to bullying. Activities 5,6 of the education pack used in conjunction with the DVD can serve to promote recognition of how to respond to bullying. They serve to show that everyone has a responsibility in responding to racism in sport and this should also be the case in other aspects of life. More info: Show Racism the Red Card, Carnichael Centre for Voluntary Groups, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7 Tel. 00353 1 8280018 Mobile. 00353 86 392 7650 For more information-

2. Anti-Bullying Campaign This is a new website aimed at Irish schools on the topic of bullying. There is a wide range of resources on the site, many of which are relevant to CSPE. Registration (free) is necessary to access the resource materials. There are materials for students, teachers and management. The website offers materials that can be used in schools to raise awareness about bullying, whether in CSPE classes or not, as well as materials that can be used to identify bullying and deal with it when it arises.The site also includes a Discussion Forum section.

A new edition (2009) of the resource Knowing Dublin is now available - it deals with the workings of democracy in Dublin City Council. A pdf version of the resource is available from us on request (in English or Irish). For a hard copy contact Bernadette Cogan at:

The Young Environmentalists Awards for 2010, organised by Ecounesco, is open for registration. Deadline as usual is the last Friday in November. More information, and a registration form is available here.

Local Facilitators: The Second Level Support Service is looking to work with teachers of Ancient Greek, Art, Classical Studies, CSPE, ESS, Geography, History, Latin and Music interested in facilitating workshops and courses in local education centres for fellow teachers. We are looking to meet teachers who love teaching their subject and who would like to share their enthusiasm, creativity, methodologies and strategies with their colleagues. If you are interested in becoming involved as a Local Facilitator, you are invited to contact Conor Harrison, National Co-ordinator - Cultural and Environmental Education, Second Level Support Service ( with your contact details and areas of interest/expertise to express an interest in being involved. So, if you would like to meet other dynamic, creative and enthusiastic teachers of any of the subjects in the cultural and environmental education suite of subjects please forward your details without delay!
Conor Harrison, National Co-ordinator - Cultural and Environmental Education, Second Level Support Service, County Wexford Education Centre, Milehouse Road, Enniscorthy, County Wexford.

Official Inservice: Conor Harrison has been appointed National Co-ordinator for a suite of subjects under the heading 'Cultural and Environmental Education'. He will continue to have responsibility for CSPE, and the following subjects will be added to his portfolio: Art, Classical Studies, Geography, Greek, History, Latin and Music. The Administrative Support is located in County Wexford Education Centre in Enniscorthy and will be administered by Ms. Angela Thompson there from 1st September. Contact details: 087-2405710 Details of the official inservice programme is available on our calendar page.

Focus Ireland is seeking volunteers to give school talks to CSPE students in their local areas in Dublin. The aim is to inform young people on homelessness issues. Full training and resources will be provided. The level of committment can be agreed based on availability of volunteers. If interested contact info @

Our Annual Conference and AGM will take place in the Hilton Hotel, Kilmainham, Dublin, on Saturday 3rd October 2009. The theme of this year's conference is Children's Rights, and guest speaker will be Emily Logan, Ombudsman for Children. As usual there will be a range of workshops, including Child Labour, Child Soldiers, Humanitarian Law, the History of Children's Rights, the Position of the Child in the Irish Constitution, Student Councils and CSPE, and of course our always popular workshops on Organising Action Projects and on Reporting on Action Projects. Brochures and booking forms should be arriving in schools this week, and you can also download these here. (pdf file)

New Initiative: etwinning between schools might be an interesting and worthwhile initiative for CSPE - all details at Promotional materials were sent to schools mid-August
Event: Tues 25 Aug, Central Library Ilac Centre Dublin 1, at 1 pm: All Politics is Local, the Case of the Dublin Townships by Seamus O Maitiu Free but booking essential. 01-8734333
Also, same venue: Exhibition - Local Elections in Ireland 1898-2008, 4th - 31st Aug.

The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission invite applications for the inaugural Oireachtas Parliamentary Fellowship, 2009-2010. The Oireachtas Parliamentary Fellowship is designed to advance the study of, and contribute to scholarship on the Houses of the Oireachtas. Prospective Fellows will apply to undertake and complete the Fellowship for a period not exceeding 12 months commencing in autumn 2009. The Fellowship award is 18,000 Euro. Closing date for applications: 5.30pm, Thursday 27 August 2009.
More info and Application Forms here

Association Response to CSPE paper, Junior Cert 2009

(to see this year's paper click here, to see the stimulus material insert click here - these will open in a separate window)

Section 1
Question 1: the pictures are historical rather than current this may present problems for some students.
Question 2: the phrasing of the question on the concepts was very difficult, students may not understand what they were required to do.
Question 3: question involving completion of sentences was satisfactory

Section 2
Stimulus material that accompanied this section was colourful, clear and well presented, the topics were excellent and it was good to see questions on the anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights and the local elections.

Section 3
There was a good choice of topics. However the questions on what to do about text bullying were rather similar, the class action and the school action might have resulted in the same responses. The question could have asked what could be done nationally. The question on cctv was vague and referred to feelings rather on what students think.

Summer Exhibition on local elections: An exhibition in the Central Library Dublin that will give members of the public a unique opportunity to assess the history and impact that local elections have had in Ireland from 1898 to 2008. The exhibition focuses on how elections work, how people use their vote, and explores local elections which left a significant impression on Irish society. Featuring material from Dublin City Library & Archives, the exhibition is particularly suited to CSPE students (aged 12-14) as through election posters, ballot boxes, newspapers and electoral registers, it animates the story of local democracy in Ireland. The exhibition was prepared by the Local Authority Archivists Group with funding from the Heritage Council, and will travel to Local Authorities across Ireland throughout 2009.
Venue: Central Library, Ilac Centre, Dublin 1 Dates: August 4th-29th 2009: Admission Free. Booking required for groups of 10 or more. Further Information: Central Library Open Learning Centre ph:01 8734333

Local Elections in Ireland Exhibition 2009 marks the 110th anniversary of the first representative local elections which were held in April 1899. To mark this, Louth County Archives Service will host a travelling exhibition on ‘Local Elections in Ireland’ from 2nd to 30th June 2009. The exhibition is highly educational. It gives an outline of some of the major historical themes and events surrounding local elections since the first elections in 1899 including the Local Government Act 1898 and the franchise, the result of the first election and its consequences, famous elections, election campaigns, and legislative changes over the years. The exhibition is funded by the Heritage Council and was produced by the Local Authorities Archivists Group in 2008. Admission is free. Booking is required for groups: please telephone 042-9339387 or email Opening hours are 9.30 – 4.00 (closed 1.00-2.00), Mon – Fri 2nd June 2009 – 30th June 2009 Venue: Louth County Archives Service Old Gaol, Ardee Road Dundalk, Co Louth Contact: Louth County Archives Service Email: Tel: 042-9339387

Further to our item of 31/3/09 re: the consultation on the new senior cycle subject Politics and Society, there's now a section on Sample Learning Activities - this is linked from the main consultation page (click here) or can be accessed at its own page here. The focus of the learning activity is Unit 2 Globalisation and Localisation, with emphasis on development issues. There are sample lesson plans, worksheets etc. There is also an option to give feedback on these materials.

Senator Ronan Mullen is conducting a short survey on CSPE in schools - some schools may have received these in the post. You can also take the survey at his website - the link is at the top right hand corner of the page. The survey is about CSPE in general and in particular about the Oireachtas Outreach Programme that some of you may have done in school.

Knowing Dublin: The final workshops in the Knowing Dublin series will be held in May 2009. If you are interested in participating please contact: Bernadette Cogan Or Eithne Massey Central Library, Ilac Centre 01 8733025
Knowing Dublin is a programme designed to promote active citizenship among the young people of Dublin. It is aimed at 2nd and 3rd Year CPSE and history students and comprises a published and on-line guide and a free programme of workshops for classes. The workshops are held in City Hall. The students will meet either an elected representative or a council official in the Council Chamber, where they will be given the opportunity to see where the Councillors hold their meetings. The speaker will give them an over-view of the roles played by both parts of the Council, including the services provided by the Council, the work of elected representatives, and the role of Lord Mayor.

Till the Tenth Generation History: Screening for Schools IFI, 6 Eustace St.Temple Bar, D2 April 27th, 10:30 am. 13 members of Tomi Reichental's family were deported in November '44 after their arrest in Bratislava. Seven were sent to Buchenwald and only one survived. Six including Tomi were sent to Bergen Belsen where Tomi's grandmother Rosalia perished. Tomi first began to speak out about his experience when ethnic and racial tensions began to emerge in a changing Ireland. This challenging documentary brings him back to his home village in Slovakia and then to Belsen for the first time since 1945. Ireland ? 2008 ? 85 mins ? Documentary ? Director: Gerry Gregg PANEL DISCUSSION AND Q&A FOLLOWING THE SCREENING WITH TOMI REICHENTAL AND GUESTS Tickets are 5 Euro per student. Accompanying teachers are FREE. Please contact Dee or Baz in Education for further information or to make a booking on 01 6795744 Booking essential. Please contact Dee or Baz in IFI education on (01 679 5744) or email

The Syllabus for the proposed new Senior Cycle subject Politics and Society is now available for consultation on the NCCA website - click here. We would encourage all members to take part in the consultation - there's a facility to submit your views online by way of a questionnaire or email. Also, please submit your views to the Association so that we can better represent the views of our members when we submit the Association's response. At the link above it is possible to download a pdf of the Syllabus or view a "browseable book" version. There's also a section on Sample Learning Activities which will be added to shortly.

The next issue of our paper Newsletter Activate will be published in the coming week. Previous issues are available for download here.

Newly arrived in schools - Pictureogs: Engaging and Exploring Irish Traveller Culture a free DVD from the Kildare County Library Service - an 18 min visual representation of stories, songs and textile works by Travellers from Athy. It is part of the library's Cultural Inclusion and Social Cohesion Programme. The video (clip on left), in segmented form, is also available to view on the library's website.




Earth Hour takes place worldwide on Sat March 28th at 8.30 pm - for environmental reasons people undertaking to turn off their lights (and other electronic gear) for an hour. Classes can sign up online to participate -

Local Elections Exhibition:
As momentum builds towards the Local Elections in June 2009, the Local Elections in Ireland Exhibition will visit Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 in March 2009. The exhibition will give the citizens of Dublin a unique opportunity to assess the history and impact that local elections have had in Ireland from 1898 to 2008. The exhibition focuses on how elections work, how people use their vote, and explores local elections which left a significant impression on Irish society. Featuring material from Dublin City Library & Archives, the exhibition is particularly suited to CSPE students (aged 12-14) as through election posters, ballot boxes, newspapers and electoral registers, it animates the story of local democracy in Ireland. Students will have the opportunity to interact with exhibition by completing a quiz and checking the Electoral Rolls Database to see if their grandparents were registered to vote in 1937-1964. Minster for Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley said “I hope that, through initiatives like this exhibition, we can provide voters and communities with the opportunity to assess what benefits and changes local elections have brought to our society”
The exhibition was prepared by the Local Authority Archivists Group with funding from the Heritage Council, and will travel to Local Authorities across Ireland throughout 2009.
Venue: The Dublin Room, Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse street, Dublin 2 Dates: March 2009: Admission Free. Booking required for groups of 10 or more. Further Information: Dublin City Archives cityarchives @ 01-6474997/6744848


Taking Action Now is designed to prepare Junior Certificate Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) students for their exam and beyond. The text closely follows the syllabus requirements and has been extensively reviewed by teachers. The book is divided into 25 chapters, which are grouped under the seven course concepts: Rights and Responsibilities; Stewardship; Human Dignity; Development; Democracy; Law and Interdependence. Laid out in a clear, concise format with easy-to-read text. All chapters have an abundance of questions, as well as a wealth of ideas for activities and actions. Resource banks, at the end of each chapter, provide students with opportunities to search for further information. Case studies throughout provide students with real-life examples. Includes clear guidelines on how to prepare action projects and course-work assessments. Includes tips for students on how to conduct a survey, contact an organization, write letters, invite a guest speaker, design posters and carry out an interview. Accompanying workbook features a comprehensive selection of exercises and previous examination questions. 176 pages in full colour. ISBN: 9780714416908

Spring Day 2009 will run from 25 March to 9th May. The Spring Day Website (where schools can register) has suggestions about activities and resources. Spring Day for Europe is an annual campaign to encourage debate, interaction and reflection on European themes. 2009 is the European Year of Creativity and Innovation (EYCI). The Spring Day campaign is linking with the EYCI in order to trigger interest in and raise awareness of creativity and innovation in schools in all EU member states and beyond, as well as at local, regional and national level. Download flyer (pdf format) here.

Now available from NCCA - new Factsheets on a variety of subjects. These are suitable to give to students and parents to inform them about the courses. The CSPE Factsheet is here: The general list of factsheets is here

St Patrick's College, Drumcondra is advertising an M. Ed course in Human Rights and Citizeship Education. There is an online/distance option. Deadline is 30th April, and application forms are available at or by application to the Admissions Office 01-8842096 or Admissions.Office @

This year's Trocaire Campaign centres on Internally Displaced Persons and extensive materials were sent to schools. This theme was also the focus at one of our workshops at the Annual Conference. If you missed the resources they are available for download here. Trocaire has also produced a resource on the Gaza conflict. It's available here.

Ongoing Inservice: Info was sent to schools recently about the current Inservice. There are still some sessions left:
(1) Tackling Controversial Issues in CSPE
Target Group: Teachers who have some experience of teaching CSPE who are interested in tackling Controversial Issues like poverty, stereotyping, discrimination, racism, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, etc. Course Aims: s To explore what Controversial Issues are s To look at what makes issues controversial s To share ways of creating conducive classroom climates for controversial issues s To participate in and critique methods and approaches for exploring controversial issues s To provide opportunities for reflection on classroom practice
Wednesday 6:30-9:00 pm 11th March 2009 Carrick-on-Shannon Education Centre
Monday 6:30-9:00 pm 23rd March 2009 West Cork Education Centre

(2) Stewardship and Sustainable Development in CSPE
Target Group: Teachers who have some experience of teaching CSPE who are interested in exploring Stewardship and Sustainable Development as governments, societies and individuals try to grapple with the challenges of climate change and other related matters.
Course Aims: s To define stewardship and sustainable development s To find out about the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and the Year of Planet Earth 2008/2009 s To explore and participate in active learning methods suitable for exploring sustainable development s To enable teachers to share their own practice
Monday 6:30-9:00 pm 9th March 2009 Athlone Education Centre
Thursday 6:30-9:00 pm 26th March 2009 Donegal Education Centre
Tuesday 6:30-9:00 pm 31st March 2009 Drumcondra Education Centre

(3) Using Film in the CSPE Classroom
Target Group: Teachers who have some experience of teaching CSPE who are interested in using film, e.g. Hotel Rwanda, An Inconvenient Truth, Cry Freedom, Twelve Angry Men, etc. as a teaching and learning tool.
Course Aims: To demonstrate how best to use film in a CSPE class To explore appropriate methods to accompany the use of film To participate in work stations using a variety of films To critique and reflect upon methods used To enable teacher to share their own practice
Tuesday 6:30-9:00 pm 24th March 2009 Monaghan Education Centre
Wednesday 6:30-9:00 pm 25th March 2009 Clare Education Centre

(4) Drama Techniques in CSPE
Target Group: Teachers who have some experience of teaching CSPE who are interested in exploring how drama in education techniques can enhance the CSPE experience for their students.
Course Aims: To define and discuss the use of drama in education techniques s To explore what constitutes a suitable classroom climate s To participate in a number of drama in education techniques, e.g. Freeze Framing, Hot Seating, Mantle of the Expert, Thought Tracking, etc. To critique and reflect upon the methods used To enable teachers to share their own practice
Monday 6:30-9:00 pm 9th March 2009 Limerick Education Centre
Thursday 6:30-9:00 pm12th March 2009 Blackrock Education Centre
Monday 6:30-9:00 pm 30th March 2009 Wexford Education Centre

Those who attended last year's Conference will remember the moving talk by Tomi Reichental a holocaust survivor who lives in Ireland. He features in an upcoming TV programme:
I Was A Boy In Belsen, RTE 1 Sun 18 Jan 10.25 pm Tomi Reichenthal, who lost 35 members of his family in the Holocaust, gives his account of being imprisoned as a child at Belsen.

Holocaust Memorial Lecture for 2009 - The Department of History, Trinity College Dublin, the Herzog Centre for Jewish and Near Eastern Religion, Trinity College Dublin and the Holocaust Educational Trust of Ireland are pleased to announce the annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture for 2009. Dr. Nicholas Stargardt, Magdalen College Oxford “Jewish children in hiding” Thursday, 15 January 2009, 7.30pm Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin Dr Nicholas Stargardt is a Fellow of Magdalen College Oxford and university lecturer in Modern European History. He has written a number of publications including the widely acclaimed book called ‘Witnesses of War: Children’s lives under the Nazis’ in 2005. For further information please contact: HETI Herzog Centre, TCD Department of History, TCD Tel: 01 669 0593 All are welcome Kindly RSVP to 01 6690593/ to indicate numbers.

The venue for our Annual Conference on Saturday 7th February will be the Blackrock Education Centre in Dublin. (Click here for details and directions for venue). The brochure and booking form will be arriving in schools this week but these can also be downloaded here. O
ur keynote speaker will be Man Booker Prizewinner Anne Enright, who will talk about her recent human rights work. The Conference will celebrate 60 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and will include workshops on a new Amnesty Resource on the Declaration. Other workshops planned include the Know Your Council resource on local government, the campaign on Internally Displaced Persons with Trócaire, subject inspection in CSPE, and of course managing and reporting on Action Projects.

The latest Newsletter, Activate No. 40 is now available for download - as a Word Document or PDF File

Due to uncertainty regarding funding our Annual Conference will now take place in February 2009 (Sat 7th) rather than in the Autumn. As it has been past practice that the AGM takes place immediately after the Conference this too will take place on the same day. Further details to follow. This has also delayed our Newsletter, which will out in late November or early December. Previous issues are available on the downloads page.

In October schools were circulated about a poster competition to celebrate 60 years of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. It is organised by the Law Society and the Irish Human Rights Commission. The deadline has been extended to Thursday Dec 4th. Those interested can contact Winnie Donoghue at the IHRC (01-8589601) or Elaine Dewhurst at the Law Society (01-6724831).

Look out for a letter recently sent to principals about outreach education on the Houses of the Oireachtas. There's an education programme aimed at CSPE students which will be available from November to secondary schools. From the letter: "Our programme is aimed at second and third year students and will involve a half-day session given by Ouireachtas Outreach Officers (based in 13 regions throughout the country) ... you can expect to be contacted by an Outreach Officer to arrange a suitable date and time for a preparatory school visit ... If you require further information ... contact or phone 01-6183066 or 01-6183166".

Developing Responsible and Participative Members of Society - this year's Transition Year Conference on Sat 11th Oct in the Osprey Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare. Information and booking forms have been sent to schools. Workshops include Young Social Innovators, Combat Poverty, Special Olympics and Simon Commuunity.
Official Opening by: Sean Haughey,TD, Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science.
Speakers include: Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy, Focus Ireland and Dr. Gerry Jeffers, NUI Maynooth.

More info here.

Conference brochure here

Senior Cycle Developments: Over the last two years progress has been made at NCCA level on developing a Politics and Society subject at senior level. The next stage is public consultation - consultation packs will arive in schools in November and there will be opportunities for consultation Nov to Jan. There will be consultation sessions in the Education Centres, and online responses will also be possible. The draft syllabus will be available at that stage. In the meantime information is available at the NCCA website, senior cycle page. The explanatory booklet is available on that page, and if you follow the link on the right to "subjects" you'll find documents about the consultation process so far.


Look out for two new resources arriving in schools:
Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - a CSPE Resource pack from Amnesty International and CDU. It features a variety of activities and a CD Rom with backup resources for the teacher. Leaflets on a related poster competition are included.
Images and Objects: Active Methodology Toolkit
A resource on sustainable development from the Consumer Citizenship Network. A selection of images is included with guidelines on their use. (This resource can be downloaded here - after it downloads/displays click on the save icon or File/Save As to save it to your own computer)



Dublin City Public Libraries (DCPL) will shortly published a user friendly guide to democracy at work in Dublin City Council. The Guide Knowing Dublin - Know Your City Council describes the following: how to register to vote, how councillors carry out their duties, how the democratic process works. it also lists the main services and responsiblities of Dublin City Council and includes a list of recommended reading and sources for futher research. DCPL is interested in hearing from secondary schools interested in participating in pilot workshops introducing students to the workings of Dublin City Counci, through interactive talks on the theme: A day in the life of ... This will be of special interest to CSPE students. if your class is interested in participating in this pilot programme, please contact: Bernadette Cogan, Divisional Librarian, Central Library Services Ilac Centre Dublin 1 Tel: 01 8734333 Bernadette Cogan Leabharlannaí Rannáin An Lár Leabharlann Lárionad Ilac BAC 1

The Houses of the Oireachtas are advertising for Education Outreach Officers (part-time 2 year contracts) - to work on activities to encourage CSPE teachers to learn about the role and work of the Houses of the Oireachtas. For more info see or . Deadline is Tues 9th Sept.

Details of Inservice Courses for Autumn have been arriving in schools, with application forms. Early booking is advised. In-service Dates September to December 2008:
Induction In-service Mon, 29th Sept Limerick Education Centre; Tue, 30th Sept Cork Education Support Centre; Thu, 2nd Oct Tralee Education Centre; Thu, 2nd Oct Laois Education Centre; Mon, 6th Oct Blackrock Education Centre; Tue, 7th Oct Donegal Education Centre; Thu, 9th Oct Kildare Education Centre; Thu, 9th Oct Drumcondra Education Centre; Tue, 14th Oct Curriculum Development Unit, Crumlin; Tue, 14th Oct Waterford Teachers' Centre; Thu, 16th Oct Monaghan Education Centre; Thu, 16th Oct Mayo Education Centre.
Cúrsa In-seirbhíse 6/7 Samhain Ostán Chósta Chonnemara, Na Forbacha, Contae na Gaillimhe
Regional In-service Tue, 18th Nov Tackling Controversial Issues, Athlone Education Centre; Thu, 20th Nov Using Film in CSPE, Kilkenny Education Centre; Mon, 24th Nov Tackling Controversial Issues, Cork Education Support Centre; Thu, 27th Nov Drama Techniques in CSPE, Galway Education Centre; Thu, 27th Nov Stewardship and Sustainable Development in CSPE, Dublin West Education Centre. For the latest information check out

ACT Response to CSPE Paper June 9th 2008
We give the paper a broad welcome - it covers a fairly broad spectrum of issues - e.g. national politics and other political information in the short questions in Section 1, in Section 2 subjects like Fair Trade, Ombudsman for Children, Self Help, Bin it Chewing gum/litter/Environment campaign, and in Section 3 the topical Martin Luther King Anniversary (human rights), also topical Year of Planet Earth including Climate Change, International Women's Day , Motorway Development, (a better visual prompt would have helped here - e.g. a motorway going through countryside.
The paper was strong on environmental issues, but weak on political issues. The concept of democracy was not well covered, and there was almost nothing on law. Apart from one very short multiple-choice question, European/EU matters were strangely absent considering the Lisbon Treaty referendum this year. It would have been more topical also if there had been more on the referendum process, and the voting process.
In the chewing gum/litter question Section 2 Question 3 a certain gum manufacturer gets a plug as the responsible chewing gum company - product placement? The question Section 2 Question 2 on the Ombudsman for Children was a positive question, part (d) was particularly good - asking what actions schools could take to hear the opinions of children. Section 2 Question 3 has the instruction "you must not use any of the actions you have mentioned already" - this was ambiguous as to whether it applied to this question, or the whole paper.
The question on Eritrea, Section 2 Question 4 would have been more topical if Darfur had been in question instead. Section 3 Question 4 was a challenging question, with two concepts linked, climate change and the difficult concept of sustainable development. We'd wonder if the "homepage" concept in Section 3 Question 4 would be accessible to all, though mention of websites in various questions fits in well with youth culture.
The students we had contact with were happy with the paper, had plenty to write about, plenty of choice, one described it as "predictable".

Teaching the Holocaust: There will be a three day summer course for teachers on this topic 18-20 August in the Church of Ireland Education College, 96 Upper Rathmines Rd, Dublin 6. Topics include historical context, pedagogic challenges, inter-disciplinary approaches. It also considers the roles of perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers and resiters. Cost is €150. For more info click here, or contact the Holocaust Educational Trust of Ireland at 01-6690593. There is also a five day programme that includes a three day study visit to Krakow Dates: 28-31 October 2008 Seminar Dates: Satuday, 18 October and 8 November 2008 Cost: €695 inclusive of flights, hotel, study visit and seminars.

Our latest newsletter Activate was published recently and posted to all paid up members. We can also send a copy as a Word document on request. Use contact details above.

This year's CSPE Exam will take place on Mon 9th June 1.30 pm to 3.00 pm, after which we will will have our annual review of the paper in the Blackrock Education Centre, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin (from about 3.30 pm).

Today we held our Awards Ceremony for the poster/slogan competition. The prizes were presented by Green Party TD Mary White, as Trevor Sargent had a bereavement. Prizewinners, their families and their teachers had a great day out and went away with prizes and certificates for themselves and their schools. For pictures of the event see our photos page. And click here to see the winning artwork.

Date change: Our Awards Ceremony for the recent poster/slogan competition will be held on Wed 30th April in the National Concert Hall - from 1.30 pm. Prizes will be presented by Minister of State at the Dept of Agriculture, and former Green Party leaddr, Trevor Sargent T.D.. There will be refreshments! All our members are welcome - if you can make it let us know by Wed 23rd so we can plan numbers for the caterers.

Don't forget! April is the month for National Spring Clean - for details see

Support Service Mailing: Watch out for a mailing just arriving in schools from the support service. It's addressed to the CSPE Coordinator/Teacher and contains the video 6 Steps, a guide to Action Projects, a DVD What in the World - Coffee Matters in Gautamala, about fair trade issues, and Trocaire Resources on climate change. and some information on CSPE subject inspection! (see cover letter that came with this mailing).

Show Racism the Red Card: A new educational pack for this initiative is now available. The ASTI is sending 500 packs to CSPE Co-ordinators in schools around Ireland. The education pack includes a 17 minute DVD which can be viewed in six sections 1. What is racism? 2. Action against Racism (school) 3. Action against Racism (sport) 4. Racism and its consequences 5. Do's and Don't's in responding to racism 6. Living in and Integrated Ireland. The pack is applicable in particular to the Human Dignity and Rights and Responsibilities modules for CSPE. It is structured to provide for active learning and project based work, with suggested activites at the end. Training is available for teachers who wish to use the resource. Show Racism the Red Card would be delighted to hear from teachers and students in terms of feedback on content and projects arising from use of the pack. More details on this campaign here. See also our resources page.

Poster/Slogan Competition: Once again there has been a huge entry for our poster/slogan competition. There will be an awards ceremony on April 23rd and details will be posted here and sent on the email list as soon as arrangements are finalised.

New Citizenship Education Initiative for Dublin: Dublin City Public Libraries will be piloting a citizenship and voter education programme this Autumn and is interested in consulting with CSPE teachers in the planning stage and in including CSPE classes in the delivery of activities such as: · Forum discussions on a specific theme with elected representatives, · Voter education workshops · Know Your City Council with invited guest speakers such as a senior local government official. DCPL is currently researching and will publish a Know Your City Council resource of interest to those interested in the democratic process. Anyone in Dublin area interested in participating in this programme contact: Bernadette Cogan, Research and Projects Dublin City Public Libraries Tel: 01 6744876 or email: before April 11th.

Look out also for a new DVD/Pack on the way: Lets Look at the Law is produced by the Courts Service. It should be arriving in schools after Easter.

Our latest paper Newsletter, Activate, is now available. Send request by email and we can send it to you (Word Document).

Global Week of Action: Letters have been sent to School Stewards drawing attention to the 2008 Global Week of Action (in April), in relation to child labour and education. It is supported by the teacher unions, and a resource pack is available for CSPE teachers. Further info is available at

The 6 Steps - A Guide to Action Projects: At the Autumn Inservice the Citizenship Education Support Team launched The 6 Steps - A Guide to Action Projects, a new DVD on Action Projects for CSPE, which no doubt will be welcomed by all CSPE teachers. The CSPE Action Project is broken into six steps which are followed in the DVD. For more information contact National Co-ordinator Conor Harrison (01-6102805) or the Citizenship Education Administrator Vicky Geraghty (01-4020422). The DVD has been given out at inservice and will also be sent to schools shortly.

The Irish Independent has circulated schools with an offer on the remaining issues of In.Tuition, their CSPE supplement. The nine issues are available for €4.50 per student, and there's a giant CSPE wall chart with every order. For more info call 023-63850

March 14th is the deadline for the annual photo competition of Sustainable Energy Ireland. "My Carbon Footprint" is this year's theme. The competition is open to all secondary students and there are €10,000 worth of prizes to be won. Posters and brochures have been sent to schools. More info here.

This year's theme for Trócaire's Lenten Campaign is climate change, and especially the effects of it on people in the developing world. As usual comprehensive education packs have been sent to schools, including material for CSPE classes.

Recently a new DVD on the Presidency was sent to all schools (addressed to the Principal). This should prove a really useful resource for CSPE classes. See resources page.

Our Big Fair Trade Adventure will be broadcast on Channel 4, Sun 17 Feb 7 pm. Martha, Robin and Diko are pupils at Cheney Secondary School in Oxford. Environmental and ethical issues form an important part of their curriculum: the school even has a fair trade club.

National In-service
Management and Co-ordination of CSPE: Three national in-service events for teachers managing/co-ordinating CSPE in schools. These events will provide opportunities for teachers co-ordinating/managing CSPE to be updated on all aspects of CSPE, to discuss Module Planning and Subject Inspection, to share best practice of managing CSPE in schools, to explore active participatory methods, and the latest information on Action Projects and assessment.
Schools are asked to nominate ONE teacher to attend. Please complete the Co-ordination Booking Form (these should be in schools or can be downloaded from here.
Participation in this in-service will be strictly on a first come first served basis as places are limited. Details: Tuesday 19th February 2008 Curriculum Development Unit, Captain’s Road, Crumlin, Dublin 12 Thursday 21st February 2008 Waterford Teachers’ Centre Tuesday 26th February 2008 Athlone Education Centre.

Regional Cluster In-service
In February and March the Citizenship Education Support Team will provide four special one off in-service courses on different aspects of the teaching and learning of Civic, Social and Political Education. These in-service events are designed specifically with the needs of teachers who have some experience of teaching Civic, Social and Political Education in mind. Schools are asked to nominate no more than TWO teachers to attend. Please complete the Special One-Off Courses Booking Form (downloadable here). Participation in this in-service will be strictly on a first come first served basis as places are limited.
(1) Tackling Controversial Issues in CSPE: Are you tired of talking about the challenges of teaching Controversial Issues? Are you anxious to know about appropriate methods and approaches to tackling Controversial Issues like poverty, stereotyping, discrimination, racism, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, etc? Then this course is for you. This course will look at how to create a conducive and safe climate for discussing controversial issues and provide participants with a repertoire of methods and approaches for exploring these issues with their students.
(2) Stewardship and Sustainable Development in CSPE: The environment and the issue of sustainable development are very topical at the moment as governments, societies and communities as well as individuals grapple with the challenges presented by climate change, global warming and other related matters. This course will focus on teaching and learning strategies, methodologies and resource materials which may be used to explore the concept of Stewardship. How can we encourage our students to use the ‘Power of 1’?
(3) Using Film in the CSPE Classroom: Over recent years many films, documentaries and TV programmes have been made which focus on relevant themes for Citizenship Education. This course will look at film as a teaching and learning tool in the CSPE classroom. Have you thought about how you might use some of the following films in your CSPE class: Hotel Rwanda or Shooting Dogs, The Simpsons, Inside I’m Dancing, An Inconvenient Truth, The Diary of Anne Frank, Schindler’s List, Rabbit Proof Fence, The Running Mate, News2Day, Gandhi, Blood Diamond, Crash, Planet Earth, The Blue Planet, 12 Angry Men, Oireachtas Report, Cry Freedom, etc.
(4) Drama Techniques in CSPE: Very often the use of the term ‘drama’ in the context of active learning methods creates extreme reactions of enthusiasm of fear. Why not come along to explore and experience a range of drama in education techniques which may be used in the CSPE classroom without students ever having to act on stage! This course will focus on a variety of techniques including Freeze Framing, Hot Seating, Mantle of Expert, Thought Tracking, Moving Debates, etc.
Tackling Controversial Issues: Mon, 25th February Dublin West Education Centre; Wed, 5th March Tralee Education Centre; Tues, 11th March Wexford Education Centre; Thurs, 13th March Sligo Education Centre.
Film as a Teaching and Learning Tool in CSPE Tues, 4th March Waterford Teachers’ Centre
Stewardship and Sustainable Development Thurs, 6th March Kilkenny Education Centre
Drama in Education Techniques in CSPE Wed, 12th March Galway Education Centre.

To mark the EU Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 & International Day Against Racism March 21, 2008 the National Consultative Committee on Racism & Interculturalism (NCCRI) & the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI), in association with Poetry Ireland, will hold a poetry & short story competition for schools. The competition aims to combat racism & to celebrate the variety of cultures & people living in Ireland today. The theme of this year’s competition is respect. Deadline is 29th February. More info here.

Recently sent to schools - CitizeNews, the newsletter of the official CSPE Support Service. Plenty of Action Project Reports are outlined, attention is drawn to a new DVD "The 6 Steps A Guide to CSPE Action Projects", there is a report on the Big Ballot, a report on the CSPE 10th Anniversary Conference and much more.

Letters have been sent to School Stewards drawing attention to the 2008 Global Week of Action (in April), in relation to child labour and education. It is supported by the teacher unions, and a resource pack will be provided to CSPE teachers. Further info is available at

REMINDER: Deadline for our Art competition is Dec 1st! Last year's competition was a huge success, attracting over 2000 entries. Brochures have been sent to schools. Deadline for entries is December 1st (it will be acceptable for them to arrive on Monday 3rd December) and there will be a prize giving event in the Spring. Download details here

New CSPE Resource on Data Protection and Privacy! The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, in conjunction with the Curriculum Development Unit of the Dept of Education and Science, has developed a resource for the CSPE (Civic, Social and Political Education) programme for Junior Certificate Students. The resource is called 'Sign Up, Log In, Opt Out: Protecting your Privacy & Controlling your Data' and deals with 2 of the core concepts of CSPE; 'Rights & Responsibilities' and 'Law'. The resource will raise awareness amongst young people of their rights to privacy, the importance of taking control of their personal information, the rights they have when it comes to how their personal information may be collected or used and also how they may access their personal information. The resource is currently being distributed to all secondary schools nationwide and is also available to download from

The official RAP and CWAB booklets should have arrived in schools by now. Teachers should make sure that they have received the proper numbers. The accompanying letters gives May 2nd 2008 as the deadline for submitting RAPs and CWABs this year.

This year's Annual Conference will take place on Saturday 20th October, in the Plaza Hotel, Tallaght, Dublin (beside The Square Shopping Centre and near Luas station and M50). This year's theme is "Denial of Citizenship" - keynote speaker (at 10.00 am) is Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental, whose story is impressive and moving, and there is also a follow-on workshop on The Holocaust and CSPE. Other workshops include Teaching the Constitution (when we hope to launch a new resource) and Conflict Resolution With Young People, along with our usual crucial workshops on Managing Action Projects and Reporting on Action Projects. Booking forms have been sent to schools, and can also be downloaded here. Deadline for applying is Tuesday Oct 9th - see forms for relevant addresses.

This year, at the Annual Conference, we are launching our 2nd annual Poster/Slogan competition. Last year's competition was a huge success, attracting over 2000 entries. Brochures have been sent to schools, to the CSPE Coordinator and the TY Coordinator. Deadline for entries is December 1st and there will be a prize giving event in the Spring. The rules can be downloaded here.

Official Inservice from the CSPE Support Service continues through October. Details have been sent to schools. See our Calendar Page for details.

Details of our Annual Conference are being finalised at the moment, but here are the details so far so you can be making plans: This year our keynote speaker is Holocaust Survivor Tomi Reichental, whose address promises to be a memorable experience. There will also be a workshop on the Holocaust as well. Venue is the Plaza Hotel Tallaght Dublin (beside The Square and near Luas and M50) on Sat 20th October, starting with registration at 9.30 am. There will of course be other workshops (details to follow shortly) including sessions on managing, and reporting on action projects. Forms and info will be arriving in schools in the next week or so.

NUI Senate Elections: One of the founding members of The Association of CSPE Teachers, Bernadine O'Sullivan, is going forward for election to the Senate of the NUI. Bernadine is a secondary school teacher in the school for the deaf in Cabra, and is a former President of the ASTI. Bernadine is also a member of the Teaching Council. Votes have to be applied for and sent back by early October. Applying for the vote can be done online at the NUI website -

TEACHING THE HOLOCAUST Three day Summer Course for teachers 20, 21 and 22 August 2007 Intensive three-day programme streamed for primary and post primary school teachers. The Course addresses the complex subject of the Holocaust and how to teach it in the classroom. Lectures, interactive seminars, workshops, materials and resources presented by expert Holocaust educators. Topics include: History of the Holocaust, cross curriculum perspectives, inter-disciplinary approaches, pedagogic challenges, best practice. The course also considers the roles of perpetrators, victims, bystanders, rescuers and resisters and where Holocaust studies have relevance for our students today. Fee: €55 For further information and application form, please contact: Holocaust Educational Trust of Ireland Clifton House Lower Fitzwilliam Street Dublin 2 Telephone: + 353 1 6690593 Email: Closing date: Friday 20 July 2007

Senate Elections: One of the founding members of The Association of CSPE Teachers, Bernadine O'Sullivan, is going forward for election to the Senate. Bernadine is a secondary school teacher in the school for the deaf in Cabra. She is the officially endorsed ASTI candidate for the NUI panel, with a long history of ASTI involvement. Bernadine is also a member of the Teaching Council. Voting in the Senate elections takes place 19th June - 24th July.

CSPE Paper 2007 - Response from Association of CSPE Teachers
This year we give the paper a broad welcome, with a positive response from the members who met to discuss the paper. It was a colourful paper, with a good quality colour insert, and colour graphics in the body of the paper.
This year for the first time colour pictures were added to the questions in Section 3. While the pictures were not central or necessary to the questions asked they might prove a useful prompt for some students. We welcome the topicality of many issues, including the general election/mock election question, and the question on global warning. We especially are glad the Darfur genocide was not forgotten.
In Section 3 Question 1 we felt that the idea of community should have been mentioned as it is an important idea in CSPE, one of the four units of study in the syllabus. Question 1 (a) could have been more focussed in relation to the three pieces of key information required for those attending the Know Your Neighbour event.
Overall the paper was manageable for weaker students, but also allowed the more able student to do well.

There willl be a meeting of members to discuss this year's CSPE paper, 12 midday, Blacrock Education Centre, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoire, Co. Dublin.

ECO-UNESCO's Young Environmentalist Awards - Register now and receive free training! ECO-UNESCO's Young Environmentalist Awards is going from strength to strength with literally thousands of entrants participating every year. This annual programme gives entrants a chance to make a difference and take part the YEA annual showcase with fun activities and high profile ceremony. Don't miss out on your chance to take part in YEA 2008 - Register Now! YEA 2008 Timeline Registration Registration before August 24th 2007 entitles you to free YEA Leader Training in regional locations across Ireland in September 2007. (Contact ECO-UNESCO for details of training near you!) You can register online at or contact ECO-UNESCO. When you register you are entitled to support materials to help carry out the project. (A YEA manual can be downloaded from our website) The registration deadline is 30th Nov 2007. Exhibition of Showcased projects: August 27th to September 20th. See the YEA 2007 shortlisted projects on display in ENFO, Andrew St, Dublin 2. You can pick up a project booklet and get some ideas for your own project! Closing Date for completed projects: 2nd March 2008. Submit your completed project reports and supplementary materials before this date. Judging Process: Throughout March. An expert panel short-lists projects and selects projects to be visited. Action and awareness raising within the community are very important – young people should contact Local Councillors, media, family and friends with their message. (Judging criteria can be found in the YEA Manual downloadable from our website) Showcasing and Awards Ceremony: May 2008 Short-listed projects will be showcased and achievements celebrated at a fun day for all. For further information on the YEA contact Joanne Pender, ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards Coordinator on +353 1 662 5491 or email us at /

The South-East Branch is having a meeting on Tues 15th May in the Co. Wexford Education Centre, Milehouse Rd Enniscorthy. Main item for discussion will be the needs of CSPE Teachers in the area in the coming year. There will also be help and advice for any teacher in any difficulties in relation to Project Reports and/or written exam. Time of meeting is 5 pm. For location details click here.

For those teachers covering the general election in CSPE class, the Citizenship Education Support Team of the Second Level Support Service have available some extra resources. It is available for download here - see the election '07 part of the page that opens. .

ECO-UNESCO is holding its Young Environmentalist Awards Showcase 2007 which will be held in the Round Room of The Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 on 21st May and officially launched by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Counciller Vincent Jackson at 11.30am. The showcase will be followed by the Young Environmentalist Awards Ceremony from 3.30 to 6.00, which is open to invited guests only and mc'd by Aidan Power of 2TV. The Showcase will be open from 11.30 - 2.30 to all and will include : an exhibition of 34 Young Environmentalist projects and a chance to talk to the Young Environmentalists! a Bio-Zone - an interactive BioDiversity exhitition made up of biodiversity sensory boxes, triops, biodiversity games and activities. The BioZone is part of ECO-UNESCO's activities for Biodiversity Week. an opportunity to learn about your ECO-Footprint and to find out how you can lessen it. More fun games and activities.

The prizes in our Slogan/Poster competition were presented at a ceremony in Mercer's Hotel Dublin on Wednesday 25th May. The awards were presented by Frank McDonald, Environment Editor of The Irish Times. See the winning posters here.

A new edition of the CSPE Textbook Make A Difference! is now available. It is written by Conor Harrison and Mairin Wilson and published by Folens. It comes with a workbook and teacher's manual.

There is a CSPE related job vacancy as desribed below (advertised in National Press last week). The full text of the ad, detailed job description and application form are downloadable from here. Closing date Fri 4th May.
" The Teacher Education Section of the Department of Education and Science proposes to appoint a Student Council Coordinator to design and deliver a programme of professional development to respond to identified needs and to support teachers and schools involved in establishing and developing student councils at secondlevel. The Student Council Co-ordinator will work at Assistant National Coordinator level within the Civic Social and Political Education Support Service with specific responsibility for student councils".

Conratulations to all our prizewinners in the Slogan/Poster competition!
Transition year 1st Prize - Ms Shauna Kane St Mary's Secondary School Ballina, Co Mayo, Teacher : Mr C Allen
2nd Prize Mairead Shannon Hazelwood College Dromcollogher Co Limerick teacher ; Ms Maria Curtin
3rd Prize Ms Dorothy Szebenie and Lynda O'Sullivan Hazelwood College, Dromcollogher Co Limerick, teacher Ms Maria Curtin
1st Prize Junior Certificate Section Shannon Quilty, St Augustine's College Teacher : Mr P MacCraith Duckspool Abbeyside Co Waterford
2nd Prize Shane O'Riordan, Ballbriggan Community College. Teacher: G. Murphy
3rd Prize Claire Glynn, Glenamaddy Community School, Co Galway. Teacher Ms Lisa Conboy.

Prizewinners have been notified. See winning posters here.

The awards for our Slogan/Poster competition will be announced shortly. The was a huge response (over 2,000 works) and work of an extraordinarily high quality was submitted. The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 25th April in Mercer's Hotel Dublin (Near St Stephen's Green) at 2 pm.

ECO-UNESCO, Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation, has announced the list of projects that will take part in the Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) Showcase 2007. The 34 short-listed projects (full list available on ) will attend the YEA Showcase and Awards Ceremony on the 21st of May to be held in the Round Room of the Mansion House, in Dublin. The YEA Showcase will be open between 11.30am and 3pm to visitors who wish to view the amazing work carried out by young people between 12 and 18 years old all over Ireland making a difference to the environment and their community. The YEA Ceremony will be held after the YEA Showcase where the young people will be honoured for the work they have carried out. This year the ceremony will be exclusive for guests and hosted by Aidan Power from RTE’s The Café and TTV.

Spring Day for Europe is an annual citizen-driven initiative aimed to encourage young people to debate, reflect, learn and make their voices heard on European issues. See Spring Day website for more details.

EDCO publishers have announced a new workbook to go with their CSPE text One World.

The official deadline for completion of RAPs and CWABs this year is Friday May 4th, though you might be advised to set an earlier in-school deadline, even May 1st to allow more time to chase up those students who are slow to produce the goods.
CSPE Exam this year has changed to Friday morning of the first week. 8th June 9.30 to 11.00 am. Perhaps this will mean students staying longer in the exam rather than extending the weekend by finishing extra early Friday afternoon!
No Logo Day this year is on Friday 30/3/07. Info has already been sent to schools. It is organised by the Green Party, and is associated in particular with Eamon Ryan TD. see
Lenten packs were recently sent to all schools. Theme this year is gender equality. The pack includes a CSPE Resource "Urari-Equality". A CD-Rom is also included.
National Spring Clean this year is from 1st - 30th April. Info has been sent to schools, but is also available at
On Sat March 3rd in Waterford Institute of Technology there's a Youth Forum on the European Union and the Environment. Participants must be over 16, and closing date for applications is Tues Feb 27th.
Contact Anne Barrington at 01-6705900 or
Material has also come to schools looking for young people to join the advisory panel of the Ombudsman for Children. Deadline is Monday February 26th. All the info has been sent to schools, but is also available at

Some upcoming inservice, all in Education Centres. Booking forms have already been sent to schools, and course details should also be i the SLSS brochure recently sent to schools. Tues 13th Feb - Stewardship and Sustainable Development - Navan Thurs 15 Feb - Film in CSPE - Blackrock Education Centre Tues 27 Feb - Teaching About Europe - Waterford Thurs 1st March - Drama Techniques in CSPE - Cork Tues 6th March - The Reluctant Learner and CSPE (!) - Athlone Wed 7th March - Using ICT in CSPE - Castlebar AND Enniscorthy For all courses except Enniscorthy send forms from school to Colm O'Keefe, CSPE Administrator, CDVEC, Curriculum Development Unit, Sundrive Rd, Crumlin Dublin 12. Fax - 01-4537659, ph - 01-4535487 All courses are daytime, except the Enniscorthy. To book the latter ring the centre directly at 0539239100.

ECO-UNESCO's One-Day Training Courses: ECO-EDUCATION An Introductory Course on Environmental Education ENROL NOW! Are you a teacher and need some top tips on teaching about the environment? Do you work with young people and need some support? Would you like to learn how Environmental Education can complement your work with young people? Enrol today on our exciting One-Day Training Course, ECO-EDUCATION, on Thursday 8th or Saturday 24th February! What is it about? This course explores how you can introduce environmental education creatively to the curriculum or in other educational activities with young people. The day will provide participants with interesting facts, fun activities and practical ideas to use with young people. This interactive course demonstrates how to inspire and up-skill young people in a non-threatening, informal manner. Environmental Education: empowers young people promotes environmental citizenship builds self confidence builds self-esteem up-skills young people Dates Thursday 8th Feb 07, 10am - 4pm Saturday 24th Feb 07, 10am - 4pm Venue ENFO - 17 St. Andrew Street, Dublin 2 Fees (per person) €70 - ECO-UNESCO Members €80 - Voluntary and Community Sector €90 - Statutory and Others If you are interested in enrolling for this course, please contact Melissa Bendall, ECO-UNESCO’s Education and Training Officer on 01 662 5491 or email us at

Register your intent to carry out a Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) project before 24th November 2006!
How do I register for the Young Environmentalist Awards? There are numerous ways to register, its quick, short and relatively painless! Pick an option that suits you best: · You can register online at · Fill out the short form on page 12 of the YEA Booklet, which was posted to all secondary schools and youth groups in September. · Alternatively request a form from ECO-UNESCO, 26 Clare St, Dublin 2. Call 00353 1 6625491 for support and information about the YEA. Take action now for Your Environment, Your Community and Your Personal Development! The Young Environmentalist Awards is Ireland’s all-island environmental awards programme for young people between the ages of 12 to 18 and aims to honour young people who protect, conserve and enhance our environment by undertaking a local environmental project. The YEA has been running since 1999, and attracts hundreds of young people each year. Important Dates: Register to enter before: 24th November 2006 Closing Date (for project submissions): 23rd February 2007 Showcase and Awards Ceremony: May 2007.

National Conference Update: Conference schedule has now been completed and will be sent to schools in a national mailing. It should arrive in the week beginning 28th August. A copy is also available for download here. A list of B and B's local to the venue (The Arklow Bay Hotel, Arklow, Co. Wicklow) is also available to download here. Deadline for application is Thurs 7th Sept.

Our National Conference and AGM this year will be held on Fr 15th and Sat 16th Sept in the Arklow Bay Hotel, Arklow, Co. Wicklow. More details will follow, but among the highlights planned are the launch of a national poster and slogan competition for CSPE and TY classes, and workshops on arms control, law in the classroom, citizenship education in Transition Year, and the usual sessions on Acton porojects. Full details will be in schools by Sept 1st. For those wishing to stay overnight on the Friday a limited number of sharing rooms are available in the hotel at a reduced rate - contact the hotel directly as soon as possible (0402-32309) and mention the conference. A list of local B and Bs will be available shortly. Arklow is well served by public transport - buses from Dublin or Wexford ever 90 mins or so, buses from Waterford a few times a day, trains from Dublin and Wexford. Pickup from the train station will be available on the Friday night.

CSPE Paper Junior Certificate 2006 Response of Association of CSPE Teachers
In general we gave the paper a broad welcome. The quality of presentation was good, the colour inserts were of good quality. We welcome the inclusion of some topical material - e.g. the Millennium Development Goals, the Make Poverty History campaign, the European Year of Citizenship Through Education.
In Section 2 it was good to see a public service (Dublin Bus) spearheading in a high visibility way the cause of anti-racism as part of the Know Racism campaign. There was plenty of variety on the paper all the course concepts from the syllabus were covered. On the first question it was interesting to note the inclusion of the Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin, and a former Minister of Education, Mary O'Rourke. For balance there were also male international figures.
Lots of questions asked students give actions they could take. There was some danger of actions being repeated with resultant loss of marks. In Secton 2 it was not always clear when students' own opinion was looked or when answers were to be found in the stimulus material. This was the case in some of the "c" parts of the questions, before the questions clearly moved on to seeking the students' own opinions. One question that asked about the activities of the Council of Europe (Section 2 Question 4) was likely to be difficult for many students.
There good opportunities to do posters in many questions in Section 3, allowing for a variety of skills and means of expression. Unlike the previous year there were few issues specific to young people.
We felt that political correctness may have resulted in awkward phrasing on Question 2 Section 3. It would have been less confusing if the question referred to "people" rather than men and women. Some students might have thought that three reasons and three for women needed to be given. In this question there was a superfluous phrase about Countess Markievicz that didn't relate directly to any question. Section (b) of this question should have given the proportion of women in Dáil Éireann instead of using the phrase "quite small". In other questions accurate information was given - e.g. the number of MEPs or the number of countries in The Council of Europe. The question should have been a gender question or one about people in politics, but it was trying to go both ways.

Reminder: meeting for all members to discuss the CSPE Paper on Friday from 4 pm in Blackrock Education Centre. Hope as many as possible can make it. Look for our comments on Saturday's papers and on our website.

Schools are being surveyed about Senior Cycle developments in Social and Political Education. Some or all schools have been circulated with a questionnaire on the matter. Several copies have been sent and further info and copies of the questionnaire are available at Deadline is Fri 5th May.

The European Commission Representation in Ireland invites all students and teachers to celebrate Europe Day on 9th May. From 11.45am to 2.30pm students and teachers can find out more about countries in the European Union, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Croatia, at their Embassies' stands on South King Street in Dublin 2. The Dublin Gospel Choir will provide musical entertainment from 12.30 to 2pm. An open-top bus will tour Dublin city centre and distribute information about the European Union at various locations. A vintage open-top bus located on South King Street will be an information centre on the European Union, in association with the European Movement. The European Commission Representation will deliver a special 4-page supplement packed with information to all secondary schools on Europe Day. 25 copies will be delivered to each school. The Irish Times, Irish Independent and Irish Examiner will also carry special Europe Day supplements. Everyone is invited to celebrate Europe Day at a concert of European classical music, featuring the winners of the Siemen's Feis Ceoil 2006, which will take place at 1.15pm in St. Ann’s Church on Dawson Street, Dublin 2. This concert has been organised by the European Parliament Office and the European Commission Representation in Ireland. Café d'Europe, in Bewley's café on Grafton street, will be launched at 11am. This event, which features writer Brian Friel as its host, is an initiative of the Embassy of Austria. If your school is organising a Europe Day event, let us know about it, and we will put it on the schools’ section on our website,!

The latest edition of CSPE News, from the support service, has arrived in schools. Cover story features the recent Young Citizen Awards, there’s a biography of Rosa Lee Parks, stories from CSPE teachers, a notice board of coming events, various projects and competitions and a guide to recently published resources and those essential contact details for the support service. Accompanying the CSPE News is a new resource A Musical Approach to CSPE by Kathryn Moore. Kathryn suggests ways of including popular songs in the teaching of CSPE concepts and in particular uses Imagine (John Lennon), Feed the World (Band Aid), Colours of the Wind (Pocahontas Soundtrack), Where is the Love (Black Eyed Peas), Homeless (Paul Simon), Ghetto Gospel (2Pac and Elton John) and Pride, in the name of love (U2). For each song a methodology is suggested and there are further suggestions for developing the approach.

New Text: The Educational Company is back in the CSPE Textbook stakes with ONE WORLD, by Deirdre Murphy and Jim Ryan. The approach is both concept based and Unit based. A whole section is devoted to each of the 7 concepts. There ideas for Action Projects and assessment, revision and exam type questions throughout, with plenty of visuals and case studies. See resources page.

NEW – Distance Education Graduate Certificate / Diploma / M.ED. In Development Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick invites expressions of interest from potential students for the following new course commencing September 2006*. Successful applicants will participate in a number of modules (including interactive and participative workshops) leading to a Graduate Certificate / Diploma or Masters in Development Education. The Course will be learner centered, participative and, crucially, action based. The Course will be accessible through distance education from all parts of the country. Course modules were designed in conjunction with 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World, The Development Studies Centre (DSC) Kimmage Manor, and University of Limerick. The course is being developed as part of a project funded by Development Cooperation Ireland. The project advisory group includes Concern, Trocaire and DICE. This Course is in response to the need for a University accredited programme for educating development education practitioners and to try and promote the highest standards in all aspects of development education work. For further information contact: Deirdre O’Rourke at the college. (*Course subject to approval)

Two substantial new resources arrived in schools recently:
1 - the usual Trocaire Lenten Pack, this year on children's rights, which includes resources specifically tailored for CSPE, with CD-Rom included.
2- "Education for All" - a CSPE Resource Pack from the Irish Coalition for the Global Campaign for Education. There are plenty of class plans, games, case studies, action projects and a teacher's guide.

Just arrived in schools - a CD Rom "CSPE Starter Pack", with all the basic CSPE documents - The Syllabus, The Revised Teacher Guidelines, a slide show for induction inservice, past examination papers, Blank RAPs and CWABs and more. A must have!

One Off Courses for CSPE (all in Education Centres) 2 teachers per school per course all 9.15 am to 3.45 pm
CSPE with Mixed Abilities - Tues 21 Jan, Monaghan, Thurs 2nd Feb Athlone.
CSPE with students in need of learning support: Tues 7 Feb Cork, Thurs 9 Feb Dublin West.
CSPE and Controversial Issues - Tues 21 Feb Kilkenny, Thurs 23rd Feb, Castlebar.

We have two pamphlets we can send on request in pdf format: - two pamphlets which describe and invite applications to attend two distinct conferences on Cooperative Learning which will take place on February 25th, March 1st and March 4th . The conference speakers are Professors David and Roger Johnson from the University of Minnesota both of whom have long been associated with the development of Cooperative Learning as an active learning and classroom management strategy to support student achievement and self esteem. The Conferences on February 25th and March 4th are intended primarily for classroom teachers interested in exploring alternative approaches which might help to enrich the classroom experience for their students. The Conference on March 1st is intended primarily for leaders of schools and leaders within the education sector.

Just arrived in schools - the blank RAP and CWAB Booklets - check that the numbers are right for your school and send for more if necessary. Circular S85/05 (green sheet) has also arrived pointing out the usual criteria for RAPs and CWABs. This is accompanied by a pink A4 card reminding teachers of some of the basic guidelines about submitting the RAPs and CWABs.

What Next for the European Union? - This is a new video/DVD (2005) on the future of the EU. It is presented by Ray Darcy, with Sinéad Ni Loideain and Danann Breathneach for the National Forum on Europe. It was sent to all schools in late October. See our Resources page.
Making a Difference - A new resource from the National Youth Development Education Programme, 3 Montague St Dublin 2. (01-4784122) It has a wider application than CSPE, and features a variety of activities related to citizenship and youth participation. There is also a separate Teachers' Guide. See Resources page.

Just arriving in schools, a new pack for CSPE - Vote - Exploring Democracy, Equality, Participation and Elections. Published by the Gender Equality Unit of the Dept of Education and Science and the City of Dublin VEC Curriculum Development Unit, and written by Deirdre Phelan. There are teachers' notes, Ideas and plans for Action Projects (such as Mock Election), profiles of female politicians, worksheets and more. The pack is accompanied by a CD Rom.

The President has launched the Young Citizen Award, which may be applicable to our CSPE students. Quote from "Young people between the ages of 12 and 25 who are participating in formal (school) or non-formal (youth organisations and clubs) education and who are involved in voluntary (unpaid) active citizenship initiatives can nominate themselves or be nominated. Nominations will be accepted from/for groups as well as individuals. All nominations that meet the criteria set by the National Steering Committee of the Young Citizen Award will receive a certificate signed by President Mary McAleese. Everyone who receives a certificate will be entered into a lottery for a chance to attend a special event in Áras an Uachtaráin, where they will meet the President and be presented with a specially designed pin to mark the 2005 European Year of Citizenship through Education. " More info

Reminder: Major Citizenship Conference in Killiney, Dublin, 24th - 26th November. Various options for attending are available. Deadline for applications: Fri 14th Oct. More info.

Conference: There are still some places available at this Saturday's Conference. If you or colleagues are interested please email us as soon as possible with details. The Luas from City Centre goes very close to the venue.
The new Teacher Guidelines for CSPE have finally arrived in schools. There is Course Content, sample lessons, Active Learning Methodologies, Project Ideas, a guide to useful resources and more. Each school seems to have got a number of copies so make sure they are kept safe for future CSPE teachers!
The Plain English Guide to Citizenship Terms has been published by the National Adult Literacy Agency. It contains explanations to around 400 citizenship terms. It wasn't designed for CSPE but it should be of great benefit nevertheless. And it's available free from the Agency, and can be downloaded free from See also Resources page.

Focus Ireland, the leading charity in Ireland working with people who are homeless, are having our first ever Schoolmates Sleepover. This is a fundraising event which links in with the CSPE curriculum (unit 2 – The Community) and encourages teachers and students to take part in a sponsored sleepover. CSPE teachers are provided with a module to use to while covering the issue of homelessness in class. In addition, students who register will receive free tshirts, wristbands and have the chance to win computers for their school and a personal ipod, by entering our competitions. More info at

The Annual Conference and AGM of the Association will take place on Saturday October 1st in the Institute of Technology, Tallaght, Dublin, from 9.30 am. There will be an address from the Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin TD at 10.a.m. along with an input on the Civic Merit Award for the European Year of Citizenship Through Education. Workshops include: Climate Change, The challenge of Citizenship, Global Challenge (Concern) and a Human Rights workshop from Amnesty International, Organising Action Projects, Reporting on Action Projects. There will also be a resources exhibition. To view and/or download a brochure/booking form click here.

Inservice: The Support Service for CSPE will be providing induction inservice this Autumn - details will be sent to schools shortly. Here is an outline of the events: Oct 5 Tralee, Oct 6 CDU, Crumlin Dublin, Oct 10 Navan Ed Centre, Oct 11 Waterford Ed Centre, Oct 13 Clare Ed Centre, Oct 20 Sligo Ed centre Also there are 2 days for CSPE Co-Ordinators - Nov 10th Athlone, Nov 15th Kildare. Further info on inservice: National Co-ordinator, with responsibility for Region 1 Conor Harrison 8, Dara Crescent, Celbridge, Co. Kildare. Mobile: 087-2405710 Tel/Fax: +353-1-6102805 E-mail:


The following is the rsponse of the Association of CSPE Teachers to this year's Junior Certificate CSPE Paper:

In general we give the paper a broad welcome. There is good variety and balance in the questions. This year the presentation is much improved, with good quality colour inserts for the questions in Section 2. We welcome the provision this year for the first time of a dedicated blank poster page at the back of the answer book - to facilitate the poster making option of some questions in Section 3.

There is a good orientation towards issues related to young people, for example the topical question on child labour, the student council question that related well to the current European Year of Citizenship Through Education, and the question on Anne Frank.

There is a substantial and welcome action component in many questions especially in Section 2 - e.g. "Describe two actions your school could take …", "two actions your CSPE class could take", "two actions you could take". The question on the CSPE concepts in Section 1 is an improvement on a previous year's question (2003) on the concepts. In Section 2, Question 4 (b) on Trading Fairly, there is not a clear answer in the text - as to why the wages of tea pluckers are so low. In Section 3 Question 2 (b) on the Round Tower Campaign, there is too much to do for the six marks given - the objection letter and the "two other development proposals". In Section 3, Question 3 (a) on the Mock Election, to be accurate the mock election is an action project only for the CSPE class rather than for the whole school as stated in the question.

Recently sent to schools - Second Level Student Councils in Ireland: A Study of Enablers, Barriers and Supports. It is a research report by The Children's Research Centre, Trinity College, on behalf of The National Children's Office, and runs to 138 pages. It is an invaluable resource for schools, and particularly relevant for CSPE classes using the Student Council elections as an Action Project. For an example of the Student Council election as an Action Project see our Action Projects section or click here.

The new Guidelines for CSPE Teachers are now available to download from the NCCA website Follow the link to what's new from the home page. These guidlines will be sent to schools in September.

This year's Junior Certificate CSPE paper is on Friday June 10th 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm. As usual there will be a meeting open to all members to discuss the paper in the Blackrock Education Centre from 4.00 pm that evening.

This year's deadline for completion of Reports on Action Projects and Course Work Assessment books is Friday May 6th.

The association has a stand at this year's Education Show in the RDS, Dublin,
on April 21st until April 23rd, along with a detailed article about the Association in the special magazine of the event.

2005 is the European Year of Citizenship through Education. The aim is to launch throughout Europe a campaign to popularise and put into practice the education for democratic citizenship policies and programmes developed within the Council of Europe. Click here for a Word document that has a variety of links to useful resources for this event. Also go to the website for related events and activities in Ireland. This site also gives details of grants for the production of resources.

Trócaire has launched a new website ( - to faciltate fast sponsorship. Visitors to the site can set up their own website where friends and family can log on to sign up for sponsorship.

Trócaire's Lenten Campaign for 2005 Help Make Poverty History Trócaire's annual Education & Action Pack, including a CD-Rom with over 200 images, to support its Lenten Campaign is now available. This Lent our pack focuses on Ethiopia twenty years on from the devastating famine of 1984/85. Through interactive activities and personal stories, you and your students will have the opportunity to explore issues of hunger and poverty while at the same time addressing the CSPE concepts of human dignity, development and interdependence. Ideas for action will also allow the students to play their part to help Make Poverty History. The pack is available free of charge from Trócaire, Maynooth (01-6293333) or Cork (021-4275622) or you can download it from the Education section of our website

There is a series of local inservice sessions in the Education Centres in February and March 2005. Details have been sent to schools and are available on our calendar page.

Recently arrived in schools - a video, DVD and booklet from the Forum on Europe all about the EU constitution and institutions. It was probably addressed to the TY Coordinator, but others may have received it as well. See the Resources page for further details.

Press Release from Cavan/Monaghan Youth Active Citizenship Project
Young People from County Monaghan to express views of their County to decision makers. On Monday 22nd November, Monaghan County Development Board and the Department of Community and Enterprise, Monaghan County Council will host a children/young people's seminar in the Pheonix Centre, Carrickmacrossl, Co. Monaghan. Children and young people aged 7-17 from all over County Monaghan will attend this event. The day has two main functions. Firstly, to listen to children and young peoples views about local decisions that affect their lives and secondly to elect a Junior Council or a Comhairle na nOg for County Monaghan. Each national school, primary school and youth organisation within the county has been invited to send representatives to the children's seminar in Carrickmacross. A report of the day will be available to organisations within the county, and will be presented to Monaghan County Council, Monaghan County Development Board and the National Children's Office. After this seminar, Comhairle na nOg will act as a shadow youth council for County Monaghan. Councillors will have a number of important roles. They will be consulted on issues that affect their lives, will represent County Monaghan at the National Dail na nOg (Young People's Parliament) and the Dail na bPaisti (Children's Parliament), and will experience how the democratic process works on ground level. In 2004, Monaghan and Cavan County Development Boards received funding under the Peace II Programme to develop a two-year pilot programme 'Cavan/Monaghan Youth Active Citizenship Project' which aims to involve children and young people in the democratic process in a meaningful way. This project is supported by agencies and organisations within the County such as Monaghan Youth Federation, Neighbourhood Youth Project, ISPCC, Foroige, North Eastern Health Board, County Monaghan Partnership and Monaghan Education Centre. If you are interested in attending this Seminar, or if you require further information, please contact Jenny Mc Loughlin, Youth Development Officer @ 047 38140.

Our annual Conference and AGM were held on Saturday October 16th in the Institute of Technology, Tallaght. At the AGM the new committee was elected: Phillip Irwin, Jeanne Barrett, Bernadine O'Sullivan and Brendan O'Regan were re-elected. New members elected were Theresa Burke and Catherine Byrne. Officers will be elected at the first post-AGM committee meeting. Gratitude was expressed to outgoing Vice Chair Hannah Clarke for her contribution to the committee in the past few years. See photos of the event here.

The New Cabinet: Mary Hanafin (former CSPE Teacher!) - Department of Education; Willie O'Dea - Department of Defence, Dick Roche Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government;Mary Harney, Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children; Brian Cowen - Finance; Foreign Affairs Minister is Dermot Ahern; Michéal Martin - Department of Enterprise, Trade, & Employment; Mary Coughlan Agriculture, while Noel Dempsey - Communications Department; Martin Cullen - Transport; Séamus Brennan - Social & Family Affairs. Michael McDowell remains in the Justice Department. Éamon Ó Cuív stays in Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, and John O'Donoghue in Arts, Sport and Tourism.

Schools have recently been circulated with details of the high profile Young Environmentalists Awards, run by Eco-Unesco. Deadline for registration is 26 Nov and for submission of projects is 28th Feb 2005. For further details go to

Details of the annual Conference will be arriving in school during the coming week, and members will receive the details with their Newsletter, posted Fri 24th Sept. Print it directly or save and print later. The Cionference will take place on Saturday Oct 16th, in the Tallaght Institute of Technology, off the Belgard Rd, opposite The Square and near the M50. Check here for directions. Deadline for applications is Fri Oct 8th.
On the 16th registration is at 9.30 am, there are workshops from 10.00 am to 11.00 am (Trócaire-Malawi and the Millenium Development Goals, Amnesty-Imagining a Better World, Sustainable Energy Ireland-Enery Awareness), a resources exhibition with tea/coffee break until 11.30 when there will be an open forum. Deirdre will present her research on CSPE in schools, and there will be an item on the US Presidential Election with speakers from Democrats Abroad and Republicans Abroad. After lunch there will be workshops on Managing and Reporting on Action Projects, and on Coordinating CSPE in school. The AGM of the Association will take place at 3.30 pm.

Details of CSPE Inservice for October and November 2004 have been sent to schools. Check our Calendar page for details.

The Annual Conference of the Association will take place on Saturday 16th Oct in the Tallaght Institute of Education, Dublin. Plans are being finalised so check back soon for details.


CSPE PAPER 2004 - Response of Association of CSPE Teachers

Overall, we found the paper quite manageable, with nothing to make it too difficult for students. In fact some disquiet was expressed that the paper was too easy, not challenging enough. However there was plenty of variety in topics and approach, and the style and layout were well in line with previous papers.
The topicality of certain questions (e.g. War in Iraq, Local Elections, EU Enlargement) was very welcome, though the citizenship referendum should have featured, especially as it was it was taking place on the same day as the CSPE paper, and a more substantial question on the EU enlargement would have been appropriate.
However the appearance of such a substantial question on electronic voting was disappointing, considering that this initiative had been dropped. Questions were working on the assumption that e-voting would be used, and when this plan was abandoned the exam paper should have been revisited. We are very critical of the quality of the pictures - the budget approach calls into question official attitudes to the subject. Other subjects, like English and History, get glossy colour pictures. The colour picture of the cabinet was unclear, and the e-voting picture was in poor black and white when it could have been in colour.
The "Key Facts" on Disability for the question in Section 2 Question 4 could have been much better presented visually, and there was a free half page on the picture insert page to allow for this.

Section 1:
This was straightforward. Question 3 used Irish language terms that might make it difficult for non-national students, but it was felt that these were basic terms in CSPE.

Section 2:
We would question whether there was enough content/knowledge based questions in this section. Question 1 on e-voting has already been commented on above - but it was quite doable. If it was to be on the paper a question could have been asked about the controversy surrounding the issue rather than assuming that e-voting would be used. At least students would probably be aware of the issues because of the publicity. Question 1 (c) was of questionable accuracy ("What is the difference between electronic voting and the voting system used up to now"). Question 2, using Headlines, was a typical CSPE paper question going right back to the original Sample Paper, though the headlines themselves could have been better presented. We would question the distribution of marks - 2 (c) is a substantial question but only gets 4 marks. Question 4 features a welcome issue, that of gender equality, though as mentioned the accompanying picture was of poor quality. Under this picture figures were given which effectively gave away the answers to 3(a) and 3(c). In question 4 the issue and questions were good but the stimulus material ("Key Facts") could have been presented more imaginatively and colourfully.

Section 3:
There was a good variety of topics and questions here and it was clear to students what was required of them. However some questions called for the making of a poster, which is fine, but no blank page was provided for the purpose - just three heavily lined pages.