Heritage in Schools

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Auriel is listed as a ‘Heritage Expert’ under the ‘Heritage in Schools Programme’, run by the Heritage Council of Ireland which is primarily an outdoor education programme. The scheme is unique in Ireland. It leads the way in promoting outdoor education and encouraging children to engage directly with the natural and cultural heritage that surrounds them. To date, Auriel has carried out several primary school visits and educational outdoor fieldtrips in the north west of Ireland.

 

Auriel with her class at a megalithic site in Sligo

This is invaluable education as it is immersive, fun and interesting for the children. Auriel loves teaching the younger generations about the past and on how they can make a difference in the future in terms of awareness and protection of Sligo’s incredible archaeology and natural biodiversity. Once the school contacts her, a date is arranged for a fieldtrip to a local site of interest to the school which could be the coast or to a particular historic or archaeological monument or even woodland.  Auriel will devise a lesson plan which includes theory but in particular, practical exercises that the children can do while enjoying the outdoor environment in a structured, fun, interesting and manageable way.

 

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The children can inspect material such as insects, snails, plants, animals, shells, fossils or monuments for example that are on the coast or inland and thus learn about the importance of that material or monument and the importance of nature and the protection of it. They are also encouraged and taught about marine environmental awareness. A teacher will always accompany the classes and assist with the tasks. The children love this experience and remember what they see and do while outdoors and then are also encouraged to finish worksheets and continue their own work in the school after the visit/fieldtrip has taken place. Repeat visits by the heritage expert are encouraged. To date, the experiences Auriel has had with the schools have been entirely positive and feedback has been outstanding. More information on the scheme can be found on the Heritage in Schools programme website. Auriel is Garda Vetted (in line with the current Child Protection Acts).

Auriel teaching the children about fossils on a Seatrails visit by the shore

Third Level Education

Auriel takes third level college students who are studying at the Institute of technology in Sligo on immersive outdoor fieldtrips to archaeological sites and places of historic importance in Sligo and Leitrim. She delivers academic presentations regularly to students studying a Business and Tourism Degree and to students studying their Sport and Recreation Degree. She delivers lectures on subjects relating to prehistoric archaeology at important sites like Carrowkeel megalithic tombs for example and on local history such as Sligo and the Irish famine in the 1800’s.  She also teaches the students how a business like hers operates currently alongside the National Tourism project called the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ and opens their eyes to the potential for heritage tourism to grow and develop in Ireland and the northwest.

Business & Tourism Students on Seatrails Field Trip

Adult Education

Auriel has delivered numerous lectures to special interest and to retirement groups. She completed a large body of research and fieldwork in 2014 on several important Coastal Heritage Sites of County Sligo and delivered it to local heritage groups and communities as part of a Programme for Peace and Reconciliation between Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland. This enabled local people to get involved with their local heritage and realise the educational and tourism potential of certain heritage sites/areas within their communities.

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Auriel currently delivers academic lectures and carries out fieldtrips to adult education classes which are focused on local cultural heritage subjects and tourism subjects in Sligo and whom are training under the MSLETB (Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education Training Board). She has already taken classes out on fieldtrips to Streedagh Strand, Knocknarea Mountain and to Carrowkeel Megalithic site in the  Bricklieve Mountains.

If you would like to talk to Auriel about getting her to talk to your group, carry out a school visit, or do a fieldtrip for your organisation, school or college, please do not hesitate in contacting her.

Auriel on field trip with VEC Students from Sligo at Carrowkeel

 

Fieldtrip to Deerpark Court Tomb

In Dec 2018, Auriel accompanied our school on an archaeological trip to Deerpark in County Sligo. This was our second full day trip with Auriel and we had a wonderful experience. It’s so wonderful to have an archaeologist to accompany schools on trips to historical sites, as we found that Auriel was able to bring the story and history alive of what looked like a stone circle to the children, or just a bunch of stones. Auriel had prepared lots of wonderful information and presented it to the children in a very interesting, engaging and fun way. On the walk to the monument, Auriel engaged the children with lots of information on the geology surrounding them as well as the flora and fauna of Deerpark. We hope to continue to engage Auriel into the future on historical and geography trips to explore our local environment and area.
June McCormack, Principal, Cliffony National School
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