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    Annual Report 2015

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  • Peace Impact Programme

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    The Peace Impact programme is delivering sensitive interventions in communities that have not previously, or have only partially, participated in peace building and reconciliation activities.

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  • Peace Walls Programme

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    The Peace Walls Programme focuses on helping interface communities to bring about the conditions that can allow for the removal of Peace Walls. Click here to read more.

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    The latest edition of our newsletter looks at commmunities taking risks for peace.

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CREDIT (Classrooms Re-imagined: Education in Diversity and Inclusion for Teachers)

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CREDITCREDIT (Classrooms Re-imagined: Education in Diversity and Inclusion for Teachers) is a project jointly run by teacher training colleges Stranmillis University College and St Mary’s University College.
The core aim of the project is to provide in-service courses for teachers across Northern Ireland in nursery, primary and post-primary schools to help them develop awareness and practical skills in dealing with division, diversity, inclusion and community relations/reconciliation in the classroom and throughout the schools in which they work.

According to Lisa McKenzie, Deputy Director of CREDIT, the courses help educators support the development of specific curriculum areas such as Personal Development and Mutual Understanding; and Local and Global Citizenship. It also addresses key issues which have arisen in recent years – with the influx of immigrants mainly from Europe – in relation to diversity and inclusion.

The project offers two different courses:

Exploring skills in CREDIT: This is a three-day course for teachers who want to develop basic skills in this area. It is also suitable for teachers who have trained outside Northern Ireland or who have not had the opportunity to explore these areas of practice. The course enables teachers to look at the whole area of diversity and mutual understanding, and has a workshop on controversial issues. It also helps develop a sectarianism, racism and anti-bias curriculum and provides practical options for contact, sharing and collaboration between schools.

Extending skills in CREDIT: This is a more in-depth five-day course which helps teachers to embed best practice into their own schools and classes. The course includes visits to the local community, developing a culturally diverse ethos for a school, collaboration between schools and reimagining how classrooms should operate.

To date 84 teachers have taken part in the courses. They have come from throughout Northern Ireland and all sectors of education. CREDIT courses have been delivered to a further 42 teachers as part of other Fund Sharing in Education Programme projects.

Lisa says that the project has wider benefits for teachers. They have time to embed good practice in the classroom and the courses help the teachers to prepare children for all the challenges of life today and in the future.

“They also have the opportunity to network and share good practice with others across all phases of education. Ultimately the aim is to help young people find and reach their full potential and become meaningful contributors to society and be able to cope with the specific challenges of life in the province. They learn how to live together in a more inclusive society,” she adds.

Testimonials from teachers who have taken part in the courses bear out Lisa’s definition of their impact.

“A highly practical and manageable course; all teachers should get this opportunity to up-skill in this area.”
“I can’t wait to get back to school to make a plan of action. I feel my school might be over-looking this area at present.”

“I gained new ideas and the ability to develop these within the classroom. The practical activities were fun and challenging.”

“My attitudes have completely changed. I feel like my eyes have been opened”.

A recent evaluation of CREDIT by the Education and Training Inspectorate found the overall quality of the provision of the project to be above the expected level. It also highlighted that the project is effectively meeting the overall aims of the Sharing in Education Programme.