Doing my degree in St Mary’s has been a wonderful experience that has equipped me well for a career in teaching. I have made lifelong friends, expanded my horizons and I like to think I have thrown myself wholeheartedly into the St Mary’s community which has provided me with many opportunities
Subject Study – Irish
Study of Irish enhances the intellectual formation of the student teacher and facilitates the development of their curriculum leadership capacity.
Students also learn both a practical and a theoretical basis for understanding how best to teach Irish in the classroom, enabling them to integrate their learning of Irish with their professional development as teachers.
Students gain knowledge and skills in Irish language and literature through the study of key texts and also through closely developed links with Gaeltacht areas. Staff and students alike make an invaluable contribution to the life of the Irish language community through their extensive participation in research, Irish language media and cultural groups.
The course is designed to afford students the following opportunities:
- to acquire full fluency in spoken Irish and accuracy in written Irish;
- to develop an appreciation of the Irish language, its literature and its attendant cultural heritage;
- to learn to teach Irish effectively both in English medium and in Irish-medium schools.
All genres of modern Irish literature are studied: short stories, poetry, drama, autobiography and the novel. In year three there is additional content from the Classical and Post-classical Periods and an opportunity to learn about the history of the language. Oral practice and periods of residence in Irish-speaking areas form an integral part of the course.
This aspect of the programme enables the development of the professional knowledge and understanding underpinning successful teaching. The modules address a wide range of topics such as: philosophical perspectives on learning and teaching; child development and psychology; the curriculum in schools; Safeguarding and Children’s Rights; the social aspects of schooling; principles of effective teaching and learning; issues pertaining to diversity and inclusion; and the education of children who experience Special Educational Needs.
Professional Development and School Experience
This element helps students connect theories with real-life experiences by encouraging them to think about and learn from what they do. Each year, students are asked to demonstrate increasing levels of proficiency in the classroom in line with the GTCNI teaching competence framework. Students are provided with opportunities to teach children of varying ages and abilities in a range of different contexts. There are also opportunities for students to choose options through which they may gain experience of teaching in the nursery and/or special school sectors. Students must be successful in School Experience each year in order to proceed to the next stage of the course.
There is a strong emphasis across the BEd Programme on the areas of Literacy, Numeracy, and Using ICT, along with the practical application and development of these areas to practice during School Experience.
Modules within this strand of the programme involve the study of teaching strategies and modes of learning for all areas of the Northern Ireland Curriculum.
St Mary’s has given me an outstanding experience as a student. The staff are all so encouraging and will go above and beyond to ensure students succeed. The atmosphere at St Mary’s is incredibly welcoming, and you can’t help but feel like a valued part of the community from day one.
St Mary’s is a warm environment. Staff are so friendly and continuously offering support.
How to Apply
Undergraduate Admissions are made directly to the college rather than through UCAS.Apply Now