Screen NS are working very hard to achieve a “Blue Star Flag” this year.

The Blue Star Programme is an education initiative for primary school students across Ireland.

The idea of the Programme is simple: to foster better understanding and knowledge of the European Union and how it affects the lives of Irish citizens among Irish primary pupils through classroom projects and activities. The Blue Star Programme aims to introduce participants (pupils, teachers, parents and the wider community) to the EU; what it means and how it works. The Programme also aims to foster a strong sense of awareness of the EU among its participants that reaches far beyond the school walls and out into the wider community.

How Does It Work? Teams of students of all ages, from primary schools all over Ireland, are challenged to get creative and think about Europe by carrying out projects in relation to the history, geography, culture and creativity, and Institutions of the EU. Each participating school is required to carry out projects and tasks, incorporating elements that include information about: The foundation and development of the European Union The cultural and linguistic diversity of Europe What the European Union does and how its work affects the lives of citizens The Blue Star Programme has creativity at its core and its structure and project work encourages teachers and pupils from all corners of Ireland to ‘think outside the box’. The wider school community are also encouraged to get involved and contribute to the Programme.

What Is Involved? Participating schools submit an Action Plan to the Blue Star National Coordinator (which in 2011-2012 was European Movement Ireland), outlining the goals they hope to achieve over the course of the school year. At the end of the year, schools are required to submit a Final Report outlining how each of the four key elements (historical, geographical, cultural and creative, and Institutional) were explored over the course of the year.

Schools are also required to host an event for Europe Day such as an art exhibition, concert, parade or food fair. Each school’s submission is assessed by the National Coordinator and a Judging Panel.

All schools that successfully complete the Blue Star Programme are awarded an EU Flag and a Blue Star certificate signed by the Minister for European Affairs.

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