Áitbheo Senior – creating place heroes
I have lived here all my life; I couldn’t believe this was all in my local area, amazing!
The 10 week Áitbheo course is aimed at Transition Year groups and will increase the student’s sense of place and knowledge of their place. While the focus of Áitbheo is on the student’s own place – our knowledge of the Burren region is used to complement the learning in the form of case studies.
The Áitbheo programme provides an innovative approach to the study of some of the standard curriculum subjects. Students are lead on an investigation of their own area, focusing on a 3km radius of their homes, gaining skills and knowledge which can be applied throughout their education. Delivered over 9 double classes and culminating in a fieldtrip, students are encouraged to engage critical thinking skills, take part in self-directed enquiry learning and express views and opinions on topics such as landscape, biodiversity, looking to the past, conservation and community.
In the beginning I felt pressure to enjoy it or at least pretend for the teachers’ sake, after the first lesson I didn’t have to pretend to enjoy learning about the Burren, I was genuinely enjoying it. Everything I learned was because I wanted to learn it, it wasn’t for exams, there was no pressure and it wasn’t from a book. Student Quote.
During the course students complete a personal reflective journal, where they consider their own opinions on the topics under discussion. Some quotes from these journals are included below.
When looking at maps before it was just an area and some roads, now it’s changed. It’s a community with culture and heritage. Our place is ours alone and it’s unique to how we each see it.
I view older structures more intently, makes you wonder what used to happen there. It’s strange to think that there were things built a long time ago and some of them have become forgotten.
When I look at my map now, I recognise the wells and churches and built heritage more than I did. I think to myself, why were these built, who built them? I also acknowledge the wildlife and sealife in my area and am more aware about conservation in place to preserve the wildlife.
I view my area very differently to how I used to. Before, I would just pass scenery and historic things without a second glance. Now I stop and look around and actually think about what’s going on around me. I notice the smaller things about my area like little rivers, holy wells, cairns and megalithic tombs.
I view my area differently now. I now see that everything has special meaning. I see the old monuments and know that they all were part of our old community. My local area’s landscape plays a big part in our everyday life. I love to look at the hills and mountains – it makes me feel happy.
The course can also be delivered over a shorter time frame, although the 9 double class periods and fieldtrip is optimal. If you’d like to find out more about the options for bringing Áitbheo to your school, call Áine on 091 638096 or email email@example.com.
Learn more about our other options for secondary schools:
Young Burren Leader Bursary Fieldtrips