Mods please check the Moderators Group for an important update on Mod tools. If you do not have access to the group, please PM Niamh. Thanks!

Primary school in Ireland after returning from living abroad

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 152 ✭✭ Tomalak

    Hi All

    We are an Irish family living in the UAE. I have two children who were born in the UAE, ages 5 and 3.

    The oldest has started school in the UAE and it's been a fantastic experience so far -- the school is new, huge, bright, with excellent indoor facilities and outdoor activities.

    Our youngest son will start at the same school in January 2022.

    Eventually we will move back to Ireland, certainly before the oldest turns 10.

    Our house in Ireland is in a nice development on the outskirts of a typical Irish village. The village has a shop, a church, two pubs and a typical national school built in the 60s. The school is very small, as one would expect -- with around 60 students (vs. 2000 students where we are at the moment). It is very much like the national school I attended myself when I was a child back in the late 80s and early to mid-90s.

    In a nearby village around 5km away there is a newer, larger school which, for some reason, is more popular with the people in our estate than the school in our village.

    (We are "blow-ins" to this particular village and frankly don't know the area very well yet).

    I have two main questions:
    1. How can I gauge one primary school over another in terms of the nature of the educational experience and environment? For example, if one school leans towards a more working class demographic vs. another school leaning towards a more middle class demographic, etc.?
    2. Irish language: As my kids will not have had exposure to Irish at the time of their return (most probably ages 10 and 8), how would this be managed? I understand there are exemptions for Irish for those who joined an Irish school from age 12; but this won't apply to my kids. In practice, how is Irish taught to newcomers who are significantly older than the age at which it is typically introduced as a subject? Is there any way to avoid Irish?


  • #2

    Do the kids have multiple languages?

    from the DES circular -
    "a. pupils whose education up to 12 years of age (or up to and including the final year of their primary
    education) was received outside the State and where they did not have opportunity to engage in the study
    of Irish
    b. pupils who were previously enrolled as recognised pupils in primary schools who are being re-enrolled
    after a period spent abroad, provided that at least three consecutive years have elapsed since the previous
    enrolment in the state and are at least 12 years of age on re-enrolment

    c. pupils who:
    i. have at least reached second class"

    so your kids would be exempt but if they are already fluent in multiple languages it might not be too hard for them to pick up.

    I have no idea what school life is like in UAE but you will find some teachers who have taught in both that can give you feed back. My kids like to tell "horror" stories to their friends about primary school in Ireland and what it was like they miss their friends but would never return to the irish system.

    Demographics are still mixed in ireland but you can see a list of the most disadvantaged school if you search DEIS schools, this does not mean they are not amazing schools just in more disadvantaged communities.

    You might not have much of a school choice and might have to accept your local school due to catchment areas.

    Catholicism is engrained in everything in national school.

Sign In or Register to comment.