The Keep on Track Project is a unique collaborative, cross curricular project connecting 15 schools from Galway to Dublin along the Inter City Rail Line, culminating in a launch day which was held in the Radisson Hotel in Galway on June 9th 2011 at 12 noon, at which schools presented their Project Findings.
A Special Iarnród Éireann train brought all schools involved to and from Galway for the day of celebration. The schools involved in the project and the station they have adopted were as follows:
- Scoil Chaitríona Renmore, Galway
- Athenry Boy’s N.S: Athenry
- Attymon N.S, Attymon
- Woodlawn N.S.: Woodlawn
- St. Augustine’s N.S., Clontuskert: Ballinasloe
- St. Mary’s N.S.: Athlone
- Scoil Bríde: Clara
- Scoil Mhuire: Tullamore
- Scoil Bhríde: Tullamore
- St. Joseph’s N.S., Ballyadams: Portarlington
- St. Peter’s Boy’s N.S: Monasterevin
- Scoil Bhríde Noafa: Kildare
- Scoil Bhríde, Sallins: Sallins/Naas
- Primrose Hill, Celbridge: Hazelhatch/Celbridge
- Holy Spirit B.N.S.: Dublin
Each school adopted a station to tell the rich story of that station in a variety of formats. Classes from Senior Infants to Sixth class took part in the project, researching materials and engaging in learning experiences relevant to their own curricular level.
Schools compiled their work across all curricular areas and presented project materials and outcomes on a joint project blog, the first project of its kind in the country using the Scoilnet Blogs platform. www.keepontrack.scoilnet.ie
Iarnród Éireann (www.irishrail.ie) as Keep on Track Sponsor and has made archive materials available to aid the implementation of the project and facilitated Railway Station visits from each school.
Myles McHugh, Service Planning Manager for Iarnród Éireann, said “we are proud to have supported the Keep on Track project, and to facilitate a unique education project which will be of benefit to the schools involved individually and collectively. Railways are about connecting communities, and we hope the shared experiences and learning for the schools along the line involved will be rewarding for the children involved.”
The project is also supported by the Education Centres in the relevant catchment areas: Galway, Athlone, Portlaoise, Kildare and Drumcondra Education Centres collaborated to enable schools and teachers in their region to participate.
Director of Galway Education Centre; Bernard Kirk says “This project is one of the most exciting projects we have been involved with since I became Director of the Galway Education Centre over thirteen years ago. The reason is simple. The project has been conceptualised, organised and driven by a group of committed primary school teachers under great leadership from Kate Murray and Cathal O’Connell. The Keep on Track Project goes to the heart of CPD for teachers by facilitating the sharing of practical ideas, concepts and curriculum implementation among peers in a supportive, constructive and excellently led project. The website and the resources already created and available as part of the project, highlight the depth and breadth of the Revised Curriculum at its best.”
A Workshop Day for Teachers took place in Athlone Education Centre on the 20th of January 2011. Each Education Centre facilitated their schools with regards to attendance on the day. NCTE, the National Centre for Technology in Education ( www.ncte.ie ) has committed to the project through the use of Scoilnet Blogs and also through access to Scoilnet Maps www.maps.scoilnet.ie This is the first opportunity for Primary Schools in Ireland to access this resource. In Galway, Josephine Vahey, of the County Library Service aided schools sourcing research material and class novels for the project.
The Keep on Track Project was chosen to represent Ireland at the Microsoft Innovative Education Forum in Moscow in March of this year. The purpose of this event was to promote international sharing of innovative practices of technology integration and provide Europe-wide networking opportunities among top innovators. It also focused international attention on the importance of technology innovation in education.
Dr. Kevin Marshall, Academic Programme Manager in Ireland stated that “Microsoft was proud to facilitate this exciting opportunity to bring the most innovative teachers from around the continent together to share their experiences and practice.”
Keep on Track offered huge opportunities for teachers and students to engage with ‘real life’ learning experiences in a cross curricular manner. It also cements the collaboration between schools, Education Centres and the NCTE and provides a model for co-operation between schools and industry. The 21st century learning models engaged in by the students will be on display for all to see at the Keep on Track Launch in Galway next Thursday 9th of June.