The RTÉ School Hub teachers - John Sharpson, Ray Cuddihy, Clíona Ní Chiosáin and Emer O'Neill (front) | PICTURE: RTÉ
AS schools in Limerick and around the country remain closed due to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mary Immaculate College has once again teamed up with RTÉ to support families and children in continuing their learning during this time.
A Macalla Teo production, filming of RTÉ’s Home School Hub recommenced last month, following its initial run from the first lockdown in March 2020.
The Home School Hub was created to provide much-needed reassurance for children and families during unimaginable uncertainty and allowed thousands of children and their families from all over the country to tune in for an hour every day to engage with innovative curriculum-based content and enjoy active fun-based activities.
While schools are continuing to support children through online platforms during this wave of the pandemic, the Home School Hub provides a different medium of engagement and allows children to spend time learning that involves less focus on devices.
The teachers, Ray Cuddihy, Clíona Ní Chiosáin, John Sharpson and Emer O’Neill are acutely aware of children’s unique learning environments at this time and a focus is maintained on adopting a universal pedagogy designed to support all children’s participation.
Professor Emer Ring, Dean of Education at MIC has welcomed the college's continued involvement in supporting the initiative which has proved a hit with children and parents.
“RTÉ’s Home School Hub is an outstanding response to these times, which endeavours to replicate the classroom and provide an opportunity for children to spend some time in a familiar environment and experience creative and engaging curriculum-linked experiences. MIC is delighted through the RTÉ Home School Hub to be able to support children’s learning and in a very small way alleviate the impact of this unimaginable crisis on children’s lives," she said.
Professor Ring added that it is a privilege to work with such a committed and enthusiastic production team and teachers. "As the Irish proverb goes, ‘Ní neart go cur le chéile’ captures the generous support from my colleagues in the Faculty of Education who have volunteered their own time to support this teacher-led initiative. In particular, Seán De Brún, Dr Anne Dolan, Martina Ní Fhátharta, Sara Fitzgerald, Dr Mairéad Hourigan, Dr Aisling Leavy, Dr Maeve Liston, Dr TJ Ó Ceallaigh and Dr Gavan Ring have been of great support and I thank them sincerely for sharing their extensive expertise in curriculum and pedagogy," she said.
Mairéad Fitzmaurice, who graduated from MIC as a primary teacher in 2019 and is currently studying on the MA in STEM Education at MIC, is also continuing as a researcher for the new series.
"I am privileged to be part of series two of RTÉ Home School Hub as educational researcher. I really enjoyed my time working on the first series. The programme is a credit to all who worked on it, in particular to the four teachers Múinteoir Ray, Múinteoir John, Múinteoir Emer and Múinteoir Clíona. I am also very grateful for the help and support of Professor Emer Ring and the Faculty of Education in Mary Immaculate College. I look forward to meeting the production crew in person once restrictions allow and I can travel. It will be nice to put faces to the people I have been working with since last March. It is an experience that I will never forget and I am proud to be part of such a wonderful educational community," she said.
Mary Immaculate College is particularly proud of teacher and presenter, Ray Cuddihy, who is a recent graduate having completed the Professional Master of Education (PME) at MIC in 2019.
Commenting on returning to filming Múinteoir Ray remarked: “I'm more than happy to be back in front of the cameras with Home School Hub. The reaction to the first run in 2020 from our audience, both young and old, was truly overwhelming. It's a real honour for me to showcase teaching techniques and strategies that are tailored for this unique learning setting. As always, it's a huge team effort. The link with Mary Immaculate College Faculty of Education and in particular with Professor Emer Ring is instrumental. This support provides the Hub with a solid platform to be creative, engaging and energetic in creating content.”
Tune in to Home School Hub on RTÉ 2 television on weekdays from 10am to 12.10pm and to After School Hub from 3.15pm to 4.20pm.