Search the Membership

Search Form

Search for:


Search the Case Studies

Search Form

Search for:


Search the Articles

Search Form

Search for:


Search MirandaNet

Search Form

Search in:


Amnesty International: Protect the Human

Amnesty International

MirandaNet Fellowship is not associated with any political grouping, but we support many of the aims of organisations such as Amnesty International and urge members to look at the AUUK site and see if they agree with these aims as well.

MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)

NB: use this link to go to the current membership list

Membership List | Publications | Research | Specialist Area List | Braided Learning Ejournal


William Tate MBE

Website: www.belvoirparkprimary.org

Personal Statement | ICT Details | Recent Projects | Case Histories


Personal Statement

Past President National Association of Headteachers (Northern Ireland) & Honorary Student Stranmillis College Student Representative Council. Fellow of the Regional Training Unit in Belfast, Fellow Chartered Management Institute, Fellow Royal Society of Arts. MBE awarded for Services to Education in Northern Ireland.

Academic qualifications include; Certfificate of Education, Bachelor of Education, Postgraduate Diploma Educational Leadership, Master Business Administration (International).

I have spent 13 years of my careeer as a Head of Department in two secondary schools and 19 years as a Principal in 2 primary schools. I have been an Associate Assessor on the Department of Education school inspection team. I also worked with the Northern Ireland Children's Commissioner on Speech & Language Therapy Provision and the Department of Education Cross Border Autism Project.

I led the process of change to achieve the following: Investors in People; Southern Education and Library Board International Curriculum Award; Allied Irish Bank Better Ireland Community Award; Marcel Rudloff Award for Reconciliation Strasbourg; Chairman Aughnacloy and Truagh European Studies Schools Project (Cross Border and Cross Community, a Video-conferencing-based project).

ICT Interests

I first began working with computers in school in 1977 which seems like a lifetime ago. I have taught using the first generation of whiteboards and video-conferencing and that was radical in the early and mid 1990's in Northern Ireland.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Technology School of the Future in Adelaide as part of my MBA studies.

I have extensive experience of ICT teaching and as webmaster in school.

Recent Projects

Reseeding ICT throughout Belvoir Park Primary School 2008 - 2009

The BOG in school had decided to introduce whiteboards into Belvoir in 2008 to help raise the standard of ICT teaching. The programme's targets were estimated to be achieved within a period of three school years as we had to engage with staff, children and parents.

This was to be an interesting project as the staff had no experience of whiteboards and individual ICT skills were restricted. We appointed Mr Robert Smith as a teacher in school with specific expertise in teaching ICT to train staff in the mechanics of whiteboards. He also introduced the children to the ICT Accreditation Scheme in Key Stage 2. The children achieved exceptional results, including level 6 not normally awarded in the Primary sector, after a two year period.

The teachers had been very worried about the introduction of IWBs so we had to find some method of closing the learning gap with a low level of stress for all staff. To do this we purchased two commercial packages that would have an immediate impact in the classroom. Education City is an exceptional learning tool both for children and staff. It consists of activities which are inclusive and interactive and can be accessed in school and at home 365 days per year. There are modules in Literacy, Numeracy, Science and French. The second was Debbie Hepplewhite's Phonics International for the IWB as the Department of Education had mandated schools to introduce phonics into schools. 

Very quickly the staff realised that the IWBs were easy to use and a fantastic teaching tool. The engagement from pupils in school with the packages was instant. We bought into the home access package for Education City and in a period of 3 terms there were 19000 hits in a school with 300 pupils. The staff, children and parents were delighted with the progress of ICT teaching. What had seemed to be a challenge in introducing IWBs and the slow process in training staff had been solved in a few short months.

I am trying to develop the website as a tool for learning in school and at home for both staff and children. Next term I will be developing the Moodle platform to see if we can make it work in a primary school for children.staff and parents. The first step will invlove staff setting homework online related tp phonics teaching, French and Numeracy. The potential for online anonymous pastoral care and whole school quality surveys is both exciting and challenging.

Case Histories

A.T.E.S.S.P.

Aughnacloy Truagh European Studies Schools Project.

"Building People Bridges."

A.T.E.S.S.P. was a cross-border, cross-community project involving a cluster of six schools - three in Aughnacloy, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland and three in the parish of Errigal Truagh, Co. Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland.

The aim of the project was building peace & promoting reconciliation and it wassupported by the E.U. Special Support Programme For Peace and Reconciliation.

A More Detailed History

National AIB Better Ireland Award to Aughnacloy/Truagh European Studies Schools Project (ATESSP)

The Aughnacloy/Truagh European Studies Schools Project received important national recognition last weekend in the National Finals of the AIB Better Ireland Awards held at the Point Depot, Dublin. The Presentation of awards took place during the Ireland 2000 - A Celebration presented live by Gay Byrne on RTE 1. There are three levels in the Awards Level 1 for Local Area and Community Groups, Level 2 for Regional Groups and Level 3 for National Organisations. This project was entered in Level 1 and won through at this level competing with excellent community projects from Dunhill Co.Waterford, Sligo and Inner City Dublin. This award follows on the RTE 1 Nationwide Broadcast of the twelve projects in the final stages which gave a good introduction to the varied range of Community work from all over the country North and South drawn from the 2000 groups who entered the AIB Better Ireland Awards Programme this year.

At the reception in the AIB Bank Centre after the Awards ceremony, the representatives of the project had an opportunity to speak to the national independent Adjudicators from Belfast and Cork who had interviewed representatives of the project on three occasions during the Summer. They were particularly appreciative of the many strands in this project, which had each been developed to a high level with the work of Peace and Reconciliation extremely well integrated in each level.

BACKGROUND - COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

This project represents a bringing together of many different developments in both Aughnacloy and Truagh Communities over some ten years. In Aughnacloy there was the formation of the Cross Community Play Group in 1988 that has worked to bring parents and children together across the religious and political divisions. The Development Association there worked quietly and consistently through the height of the divisions and distrust that had been exacerbated by the violence of 30 years that deeply affected this Border Area. This led them to work with the International Fund for Ireland (I.F.I.) to refurbish magnificently the disused Mc Creedys Mill. They have sought through many other ways to overcome the real divisions in their community and identify common needs for development. Truagh Development Association had been working with Mr. Michael Curran of I.F.I., Mr. Martin Daly of FAS and later Mr. Donald McDonald as part of a community training and development programme.This led them to involvement with the EU Inter Reg. Programme, Tidy Towns, Co. Development Team and consultants Mr. Colin Stutt of Stutt Consultancy, Professor Harford Robb, Joint Chair of Cross Border Business Enterprise UU and UCD and Mr. Jim Phelan Rural Community Sector UCD. More and more they came to identify the need for community learning opportunities and this led to outreach initiatives with Dungannon College of Further Education and Monaghan VEC.

TACKLING EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE

For some time too the primary schools had been identifying their need for help. In many ways, as in many areas of rural Ireland, the education infrastructure was very poor. The quality of school buildings and ground was very poor and limited. In a multiclass system there were no resources to identify or provide for those with learning difficulties. For many families there was still an unwillingness to acknowledge that their child could have a learning difficulty and would need specialist help. There was no educational psychologist to whom teachers could refer children with learning difficulties and even when such help was got through a private service there was no remedial service to give help and that had gone on for decades. A long campaign led to the appointment of a remedial teacher in 1995 for seven schools over three parishes in North Monaghan.

The EU SPECIAL SUPPORT PROGRAMME FOR PEACE AND RECONCILIATION

When the EU Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation administered by Area Development Management Ltd and the Combat Poverty Agency was set up following the first Peace Initiative in August 1994, the two Development Associations came together to explore areas of common interest. They identified eight areas of social interaction including Education and Senior Citizens. These two have been carried on and developed. From 94- 96 the Aughnacloy Truagh Schools Project was shaped with significant help from Eileen Sung of Dept of Education, Northern Ireland and Mr. Andrew Ryan of the Dept of Education and Science, European Studies Programme, An t-Uasail Maire Ni Ghogain, District Inspector, the Southern Education and Library Board, the Western Education and Library Board. There was input also from Ms. Karen Hamrick of the US Development of Agriculture who outlined the contribution of ICT and video conferencing to overcoming the Educational disadvantage and isolation of small rural schools in the USA. Gradually a cluster of six schools was formed involving the three schools in Aughnacloy and the three in Truagh so as to involve both Communities as completely as possible. The cluster principle was highlighted in that it guaranteed each school its own ethos and identity but where they would agree to cooperate in certain defined areas.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

An application was developed and submitted to the EU. Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation. It identified areas of common need in education related to the peripherality of the region and the effects of the decades of violence in the area. It set out to counteract that by proposing to focus on the curriculum particularly the area of Environmental Studies and develop a joint/common curriculum in this area. In particular the application proposed to focus on a sense of place namely the beautiful Blackwater Valley which they shared and to discover and celebrate this shared sense of place through cultural heritage including a study of settlement patterns from 4000 BC to the present, music, drama, art, business enterprise, agriculture and tourism. One of the significant actions was to organise joint bus trips so that pupils could visit each of the six schools, their catchment areas and a range of significant landmarks and places that are central to the landscape and story of the Celtic Christian Heritage of the Blackwater Valley. Aughnacloy/Truagh European Studies Schools Project (ATESSP)

A LOCAL FOCUS

The proposal to the EU SSPPR also identified the use of I.C.T. and particularly video conferencing to facilitate the ongoing joint exchanges above on a more regular basis through technology. Included also was a proposal to make the I.C.T. equipment available to parents and young and the wider community so as to introduce the Information Society to an area where there were no computers in the schools and little knowledge of technology. The need was clearly seen to extend the range of learning opportunities that were being developed with Dungannon College and Monaghan V.E.C.. It was very clear that opportunities for learning had to be very local to encourage people to avail of the service and to provide accreditation for courses. The need for personnel to develop a joint curriculum and secondly the community aspect of the project was clearly seen and the part time project officers were also applied for. While this application was being developed and processed by the EU SSPPR over a year, ongoing contacts were being developed between the Principals and Staffs of the six schools, the Boards of Governors, B.O.M. s and parents committees and the two Development Associations.

IMPLEMENTING THE PROJECT

Eventually funding for the Project came through in the late Spring in 97. There was a flurry of activity to have telecom services ready, to install ISDN lines in the six schools, update the specifications for the I.C.T. equipment, select project officers and train teaching staffs in the use of I.C.T. in Education and introduce equipment to the six schools and both communities and arrange for local tutors with the assistance of Dungannon College to deliver a range of Computer Courses that Summer to adults and young people in Summer Camps in Aughnacloy and Clara.

PROMOTING THE LEARNING AND INFORMATION SOCIETY

Every effort was made to inform members of both communities and when the project began properly in the Schools in September 1997 there was approval from all parents to support their childrens involvement in the project. New friendships were made between pupils, teachers and the wider community. A wide range of actions were planned to implement the objectives of the project and achieve peace and reconciliation in a wholly integrated way. The active promotion of the learning and information society was seen as a key objective to counteract the educational disadvantages the region and its people have suffered from for many decades. A range of taster and confidence building courses were introduced and avidly a vailed of. A gradual series of I.C.T. skills were developed and taught in a comprehensive way through the classes down to infants.

 

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS AND STRUCTURES

Other Significant Milestones in the development of the project was the End of Year Presentation in Aughnacloy High School in June 1998 and the Taoiseach, Mr.Bertie Aherns visit in October 1998. The Management Committee comprised of the Principals of the six schools and representatives of Aughnacloy and Truagh Development Associations meet regularly and plan a range of actions and evaluate progress. This has continued although the funding of the EU SSPPR ended in August 1999. The services of the two part time project officers are sorely missed but the committee seek to consolidate and extend the initiatives that have been taken.

AIB BETTER IRELAND AWARDS

Various community developments projects have been entered for these awards over the past four years and the Schools Project has been entered for two years without success. The Project was entered again this year with additional information and the committee were delighted to get through each step of the way to the National Winner Level 1 last weekend.

A MULTI AGENCY APPROACH TO REGIONAL PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT

The major aim of this project is to build Peace and Reconciliation through establishing and developing an integrated multi-agency approach to Regional Peace and Development.We are indebted to the following for our success to date in this endeavour; the work of both Development Committees in Truagh and Aughnacloy;the children, parents, and the many local groups and organisations in both communities; I.F.I. and the various EU Programmes, Inter Reg, LEADER and particularly the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation; Government Departments and Agencies-DENI and the Department of Education and Science, Departments of Foreign Affairs; Social, Community and Family Affairs- Students Summer Jobs Scheme; Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Health and Children; I. T. 2000; Monaghan Education Centre; Magee College, U.U.; FAS through their Community Development Programme and Community Employment Scheme, and the County Development Board, Coillte, Monaghan, Dungannon and Armagh Councils and the Blackwater Catchment Plan and local Educational Providers such as Dungannon College and Monaghan VEC, Co. Monaghan Partnership, The Centre for Cross Border Studies, Armagh; Annesley Resources Ltd; Town of Monaghan Co-op, M.S.D. Computers, Murphy Videos and other local firms; Co-Opera N.I.; Glencree Centre for Reconciliation; the local media- The Northern Standard and Mr. Paddy Turley, Tyrone Courier, Dungannon Observer and Northern Sound. We also wish to acknowledge the significant contribution of our local Public Representatives at national and local level. We also acknowledge the positive political developments particularly the work of Political and Community leaders in bringing about Peace and a Political Settlement in Northern Ireland.

LOCAL BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT

The major beneficiaries of this project are the pupils, their families and both communities, in implementing the learning and information society, discovering and celebrating their own area through the Environmental Studies section of both Curricula North and South and through all, building Peace and Reconciliation in this Cross Border Region. In that, many aspects of the project can be adapted by other groups along the Border Corridor and indeed within all communities.

DEVELOPING THE POTENTIAL OF THIS PROJECT THE FUTURE

Many agencies now realize that building Peace and Reconciliation is a priority in all communities in all parts of Ireland and is not just of concern in North / South relationships. The project has sought help from the Curriculum Development Unit, the National Council for Curriculum Assessment ( NCCA) and the Research and Training Unit, DENI to work with the project to develop its tremendous potential and make available to others the substantive aspects of the project. The Management Committee have already applied to the Department of Education and Science and DENI and related agencies for assistance particularly through a Director and Administrative / Secretarial assistance to consolidate and extend the present achievements and the potential of the project . A huge amount of work has been done by teaching principals in three teacher schools in extending the potential of the Curriculum in imaginative ways with a major impact on the community short and long term. In that, the support of parents, teachers and both communities has been a most significant factor. Our priority at all times is to seek to improve the development of children, their families and the communities of Truagh and Aughnacloy through the six schools cluster taking account of local, regional, national and EU developments. All, as outlined, will also contribute to this central aim. The Management Committee wish to acknowledge and thank the wide range of people and agencies who have helped with the Project over the years and especially the EU SSPPR and A.I.B.

Information Communication Technology and A.T.E.S.S.P

From 94-96 the Aughnacloy Truagh Schools Project was shaped with significant help from Eileen Sung of DENI and Mr. Andrew Ryan of the Dept of Education and Science, European Studies Programme, An t-Uasail Maire Ni Ghogain, District Inspector, DES, the Southern Education and Library Board and the Western Education and Library Board. Input came also from Ms. Karen Hamrick of the US Development of Agriculture who outlined the contribution of ICT and video conferencing to overcoming the Educational disadvantage and isolation of small rural schools in the USA.

 

A cluster of six schools was formed involving the three schools in Aughnacloy and the three in Truagh so as to involve both Communities as completely as possible. The cluster principle was highlighted in that it guaranteed each school its own ethos and identity but where they would agree to cooperate in certain defined areas.The proposal to the EU SSPPR also identified the use of I.C.T. and particularly video conferencing to facilitate the ongoing joint exchanges above on a more regular basis through technology. Included also was a proposal to make the I.C.T. equipment available to parents and young and the wider community so as to introduce the Information Society to an area where there were no computers in the schools and little knowledge of technology.

 

The need was clearly seen to extend the range of learning opportunities that were being developed with Dungannon College and Monaghan V.E.C. It was very clear that opportunities for learning had to be very local to encourage people to avail of the service and to provide accreditation for courses. The need for personnel to develop a joint curriculum and secondly the community aspect of the project was clearly seen and the part time project officers were also applied for. While this application was being developed and processed by the EU SSPPR over a year, ongoing contacts were being developed between the Principals and Staffs of the six schools, the Boards of Governors, B.O.M.s and parents committees and the two Development Associations

Funding for the Project came through in the late Spring in 1997. There was a flurry of activity to install ISDN lines in the six schools, update the specifications for the I.C.T. equipment, select project officers and train teaching staffs in the use of I.C.T. in education, introduce equipment to the six schools and both communities and arrange for local tutors with the assistance of Dungannon College to deliver a range of Computer Courses that Summer to adults and young people in Summer Camps in Aughnacloy and Clara.

LOCAL BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT

The major beneficiaries of this project are the pupils, their families and both communities, in implementing the learning and information society, discovering and celebrating their own area through the Environmental Studies section of both Curricula North and South and through all, building Peace and Reconciliation in this Cross Border Region. In that, many aspects of the project can be adapted by other groups along the Border Corridor and indeed within all communities.

Since the formal project came to an end the schools have now become ICT literate during the years 2000 – 2007, as a consequence of the new curriculum both North and South and the focus of ICT in schools. The staff are competent & ICT is now an everyday tool and the people continue to co-operate at school and community level on a range of projects. This was a project with its roots in 1988 it details an extended study and a chronicle of the development of using computers as a vehicle to achieve a goal.

In 2008 we have peace in Northern Ireland and I believe that our project was successful in Building People Bridges. The original school leaders who set up the programme have moved to other schools, retired or died but the children remember a special time in their lives.

May I express my thanks to the Webmaster Miss Emer Brennan for her report and the driving force Father Sean Nolan who has remained in the area to lead the next generation of ICT development.

Dedicated to the memory of Master Joe McAleese a gentleman and scholar.

Chairman Billy Tate (2008)

www.atessp.ie

 

 


MirandaNet Members can go to the Log on/off area to edit their own profiles.


[Back to the top]

[Back]