The Minister of Education and Skills, Ms Jan O’Sullivan, visited St. Michael’s School, Mervue to launch an Erasmus+ Project entitled, Global Citizenship Steps in Europe. Also present were past pupils and Dáil Deputies, Derek Nolan and Brian Walsh. The Minister remarked, “I’m delighted to be here in the company of two of your past pupils who are members of the Oireachtas and TD’s in the Dáil, Derek Nolan and Brian Walsh. I know that they are thrilled to be back at school again.”`

    There are schools from seven countries involved in this partnership: Germany, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Ireland. Partnerships enable European schools to work together on issues of shared interest over a two year period. The general objectives of these partnerships include fostering the development of key competencies including digital skills, promoting the take-up of innovative practices, promoting cross-border co-operation, enhancing the continuing professional development of teachers, and the fostering of equity and inclusion.

    Global citizenship is the theme of the project. It is exciting and relevant to children, making learning more interesting and giving it added meaning. It endeavours to empower pupils enabling them to change things, and to learn that they have choices about how they behave.

    This is the fourth such project coordinated by St Michael’s School and Minister O’Sullivan remarked, “It is such a brilliant opportunity to be involved in programmes like Erasmus+…..The concept of global citizenship and the opportunity for all these wonderful, young people here to be involved in a programme where they learn about citizens of other countries, and how we are all human beings and citizens of the world, and we all bring our special gifts and our cultural differences and we learn from each other.”

    She added, “It has been an absolute privilege to visit this school and to see the best of what I as minister want to see in schools, which is having opportunities to open your minds and learn in a way that involves learning with other people and learning about yourselves.”

    The project will deliver very strong learning outcomes for pupils especially in the subject areas of language, environmental sciences, foreign language, art and citizenship. There will be special emphasis on pupils developing ICT programming skills so that they understand the creative and expressive potential of technology.

    Deputy Derek Nolan reminded pupils, “In Mervue School today you have two members of the Oireachtas and the Minister of Education. You (pupils) can do anything you want! You have a great school and great families. Go and do it.”