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New Directory launched for Heritage In Schools Scheme

The Heritage Council is delighted to bring you the new and expanded Heritage Expert Directory for the Heritage in Schools Scheme. We are fortunate to be able to include 55 enthusiastic new experts on to the scheme which, combined with the expertise of our existing members means the scheme will continue to grow and develop its reach in the years ahead. Despite the severity of the cuts to the Heritage Council’s budget since 2008 we have prioritized investment in this scheme. Even with reduced budgets the scheme continues to bring heritage expertise directly into the classroom reaching approximately 120,000 children each year and we look forward to seeing these numbers continue to grow in the coming years. This is due to the support and willingness of the Specialists to reduce costs to ensure as many visits to children as possible can take place throughout the year. 

One of the main objectives of the scheme is to encourage and support outdoor learning and over the past number of years we have successfully brought a wide range of cultural and natural heritage specialists on to the scheme including a number of archaeologists and nature enthusiasts. At a time when children are spending more and more time indoors, it is a priority for the Heritage Council to provide them with an opportunity to experience their heritage in a hands-on way. The Heritage in Schools Scheme is a great way for teachers to get specialist knowledge to support an outdoor classroom experience while meeting the demanding needs of the curriculum. The feedback from teachers has been fantastic and that support motivates us to ensure the scheme keeps growing and developing. 

The scheme not only promotes outdoor learning and interaction with nature but also seeks to instill in the children a curiousity and enthusiasm for all aspects of our cultural and built heritage. The experts on the scheme are as diverse as they are enthusiastic - there are scientists and storytellers, artists and historians and zoologists — each of whom have a passion for our heritage which is infectious for the children. The scheme provides something to engage every child and from the feedback that we receive every year, there is something to engage every teacher too.

We look forward to continuing to work with the schools and heritage experts so that the value of heritage is shared with those who will in time have responsibility for its care and conservation. 

For further details on our Heritage in Schools Scheme see our dedicated website www.heritageinschools.ie