Places on Cake Decorating courses are filing very fast this term. You could say they’re going like hot cakes! St Mary’s College in Naas filled their course in just 24 hours. Pobalscoil Neasáin, Baldoyle have added a second class after the places on the first course were snapped up super quick! Others are filling up quickly too!
The good news, however, is that there are schools across Dublin, Cork, Kildare, Louth and Wexford running courses for those looking to learn about sugar craft and cake decoration.
Scoil Mhuire Community School in Clane run three classes, including a piping skills course. In addition to their regular Monday and Tuesday evening courses, St Colmcille’s CS in Knocklyon will be running a Christmas Cake Decoration workshop on Saturday 4th December.
Elsewhere in Dublin, you’ll find courses at Cabinteely CS in Dublin 18; Coolmine CS and Hartstown CS in Dublin 15; and Old Bawn CS in Tallaght, Dublin 24. There will also be courses at Boyne CS, Trim, and Ashbourne CS in Co. Meath; Ashton School in Cork; Coláiste Chiaráin in Leixlip, Co Kildare, and Gorey CS in Co Wexford.
Enrol now to learn how to make striking cakes like those pictured. Check out individual school websites for further details and booking information. Classes start in late September and early October
A selection of cakes made by cake decorating participants at Gorey Community School
Wide range of online courses available for those wishing to learn from the comfort of their own homeRead Now
These will be some return to normality this autumn as schools across the country prepare to run face-to-face adult education classes, in accordance with COVID guidance and protocols. For those wishing to continue learning from the comfort of their own homes, however, some online courses are also being offered.
Range of certified courses available
Those looking to gain QQI qualifications are spoilt for choice. Donahies Community School, O'Fiaich Institute, Dundalk and Pobalscoil Neasáin will be running the ever-popular Level 5 and Level 6 Special Needs Assisting (SNA) modules. They will also be offering the level 5 Bookkeeping: Manual & Computerised module, and Donahies will be running the level 5 module in Payroll: Manual & Computerised. The QQI Level 5 module in Intellectual Disability Studies can be completed online via Cabinteely Community School.
O'Fiaich Institute will also be running online QQI Level 5 courses in Communications, Crimonology, Child Development, Social Studies, Word Processing and Psychology, and the Level 6 award in Mental Health Awareness.
The Environmental Health Officers Association certified Primary Food Course (Food Safety) will be available live online via Scoil Mhuire, Clane.
Learn a new language
Among the language courses being offered online this term are beginners and intermediate French classes at St Colmcille’s Community School, Knocklyon; Beginners Irish and Return to Irish at Pobalscoil Neasáin; and Spanish at Bishopstown Community School (beginners' course), Cabinteely Community School (daytime beginners and daytime improvers courses), Donahies Community School (beginners and improvers), and O'Fiaich Institute (beginners).
You can learn Irish Sign Language online through Donahies Community School and Bishopstown Community School.
Pick up a new skill or hobby
Pobalscoil Neasáin are running an online Creative Writing course. Intermediate Bridge courses (evening and daytime options) are available at St Tiernan’s Community School. Music Production and Podcasting courses will be running at Pobalscoil Neasáin. O'Fiaich Institute Dundalk are also offering Indian Cookery, Guitar, Beauty & Make-Up, and Ukulele for Beginners. They'll also be delivering online courses in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Powerpoint).
Online Mindfulness courses are available via both Cabinteely Community School and St Colmcille’s Community School. Scoil Mhuire, Clane will by running a Grief and Sorrow Workshop over 5 sessions, and one of their Cognitive Behavioural Therapy courses will be available online.
Pilates and Yoga via Zoom
Finally, with some doubt still remaining over in-person exercise classes, a number of centres will be providing Pilates and Yoga classes via Zoom. Daytime Pilates classes will be available through Cabinteely Community School, St Colmcille’s Community School, and St Tiernan’s Community School. Malahide Community School will be running a Pilates course specifically for women. A mixed ability Yoga class is available through Cabinteely, while Malahide will be running online Yoga classes for beginners and improvers, as well as a designated Yoga for Men course.
Courses start from mid September and enrolment is now available.
Gorey Community School is offering an QQI L5 Entrepreneurship for Women programme in the 2021/2022. This follows the successful launch of the programme last year – targeted at participants who qualify under the under the Back to Education (BTEI) programme.
Essentially, the course is geared towards helping participants to develop the skills to become an entrepreneur and to identify and develop a new business idea. Whether they want to set up a new business or develop an existing business, this practical course helps planning the next steps, managing risks, problem solving, and outside-the-box thinking. It also develop the personal and interpersonal skills, values, and attributes needed by entrepreneurs.
Female entrepreneur Pauline Reid of Wicklow Candles completed the programme last year. Pauline hand-pours and sells 100 per cent beeswax candles and wax melts and uses only natural fragrances and reusable/recyclable packaging.
“One of the big breakthroughs was in problem solving in the Personal Effectiveness module – that helped me to analyse my sales patterns. I was able to identify that I had too few products and needed to add gift sets to the mix. My sales were around Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Christmas and sales would plateau for the rest of the year. So I was able to look at different strategies for consistent sales during the year – the course made me get into the nitty-gritty of my business.”
The programme is targeted at women who are unemployed and want to set up their own business. Or, women who may want to progress from being an employee to running their own business. It is also suitable for women in an existing business who want to scope out a new business idea and develop extra skills to expand their business.
Benefits of collaboration
Engaging and working with fellow female entrepreneurs on the course was also an advantage. “One of the others suggested the whole wellness area to me and I have since bought a domain name catering for wellness. And I worked with others on assignments, so that helped as well.”
As a result of the confidence generated by the course, Pauline was happy to be included in a gift set promotion by well-known brand Glendalough Distillery. “My products were included in gift sets being sent to social media influencers, and that was a huge opportunity to get my brand out there,” said Pauline.
New product range
She has since developed new products, investigated new fragrances, and is streamlining the process of making the candles and wax melts. “A larger wax melter will cut down on my operational time and give me more time for marketing,” said Pauline, who has added a digital marketing training course to her arsenal!
Having just moved to a new home, Pauline is looking forward to creating even more fabulous products from her bespoke craft room. Committed to natural products and fragrances, she is committed to growing a sustainable business. “I’ve also added high-grade quality essential oils to my product range, including lavender, sweet orange, peppermint, eucalyptus, chamomile, rosemary, lemon, bergamot, geranium, and lime.”
Benefits of QQI L5 course
This year, the Entrepreneurship for Women certificate comprises two modules: Entrepreneurial Skills (5N1951) and Personal Effectiveness (5N1390). The practical course will get entrepreneurs thinking about key elements of their business plan, equip them with vital communication skills, and boost their personal effectiveness in group situations.
Assessments are targeted at developing their business ideas, problem solving, identifying areas for growth, with an emphasis on share skills and experiences to benefit each other.
Fee and Duration
The course will run over 12 Tuesday nights and two Saturdays in the Autumn and Spring terms: total 24 nights, four Saturdays. Relevant speakers and women in existing businesses will also share information and experiences with the participants.
This course is free for all qualified BTEI applicants. For further information, email Fintan Kemple, Director of Adult Education at firstname.lastname@example.org
This course is delivered by Deirdre O’Flynn, who has run her own content creation agency for over 20 years. A businesswomen’s network facilitator, Deirdre is a member of County Wexford Chamber, and an experienced tutor of QQI modules in Communications, Customer Service, Business English, and Work Experience. She is also a committed walker!
'Investing in Your Future': This project is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union under the European Social Fund.
Perhaps you’ve always wished you could strum along during a singsong! Maybe you fancy yourself as the next Jimmy Page! You may even already have a guitar sitting idly in the corner! Well dust off that instrument, get ready to play until your fingers bleed, and sign up for Guitar courses starting in the coming weeks at the following schools:
• Bishopstown CS (online), starts w/c 22 Feb
• Hartstown CS (online), starts w/c 22 Feb
• Old Bawn CS, Dublin 24, starts w/c 7 Mar
• Mary’s College, Naas, starts w/c 12 Apr
Enrolments are now being taken at all these schools.
Online French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, English and Irish language courses available this springRead Now
The emphasis of the language courses run at schools in our network tends to be on improving conversational aspects of the language, in preparation for holidaying and travelling in a foreign country. The following are the language classes being offered for the Spring 2021 Term:
• Ashbourne CS, Meath: Spanish; starts w/c 15 Feb
• Bishopstown CS: Spanish; starts w/c 22 Feb
• Carrigaline CS, Cork: Spanish; starts w/c 15 Feb
• Hartstown CS: English, French, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish; start w/c 22 Feb
• Old Bawn CS - English, Irish; start w/c 8 Mar
• Scoil Mhuire CS, Clane - French, German, Italian, Irish, Spanish; start w/c 1 Mar
• St Mary’s College, Naas - English, Italian, Spanish; start w/c 22 Feb
Spring 2021 classes are now available for booking. Classes start in the coming weeks.
Read more about the Spanish classes at some of our Cork schools here, here and here
Did you know that Pilates offers a host of physiological and psychological health benefits? Completing regular Pilates routines can result in increased strength, flexibility, muscle tone, coordination and balance, reduced stress and anxiety, enhanced concentration, and improved circulation and nerve function.
Schools running online Pilates Classes this term include:
• Hartstown CS, Dublin: starts w/c 22 Feb
• Old Bawn CS, Dublin: starts w/c 8 Mar
• Scoil Mhuire CS, Clane: starts w/c 1 Mar
Spring 2021 classes are now available for booking. Classes start in the coming weeks.
Community and Comprehensive schools within the NACED Adult Education network offer classes in a wide range of subjects, including Art and Crafts, Languages, Cookery, Computers, Exercise, DIY and Self-Development. Most courses will be running online this term.
Do you have a fancy camera that you don't really know how to use? Would you like to know more about taking and editing photos to be proud of? This spring, you'll be able to attend a Digital Photography course, via one of our Adult Education centres, from the comfort of your own home!
The following schools will be running online photography classes over the coming months:
• Hartstown CS: starting w/c 22 Feb
• Old Bawn CS: starting w/c 8 Mar
• Scoil Mhuire CS, Clane: starting w/c 1 Mar
• St Mary’s College, Naas: start date tbc
Accredited course available
Scoil Mhuire in Clane are running three photography courses, including the QQI Certified Level 5 Component Module in Digital Photography (5N1270). This course covers the theory and practice of digital photographic production, including editing using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
Enrolment is now available for courses at the above schools. Courses will start from late February.
The QQI Level 5 module Care of the Older Person is designed to equip the learner with the skills and knowledge to care for the older person and their specific needs. Learners will demonstrate good work practice, understand the concept of the ageing process, be able to meet the full range of needs of older people in a variety of care settings and enhance the quality of life of the older person. This module is a component of Level 5 Healthcare Support Award (5M4339), but can be taken as a stand-alone piece of learning/CPD.
The following schools will be running the Care of the Older Person module online this term:
• Hartstown Community School, Dublin 15 (starting 22 Feb)
• Gorey Community School, Wexford (starting 15 Feb)
• Scoil Mhuire Community School, Clane, Co Kildare (starting 3 Mar)
• St Mary's College, Naas, Co Kildare (started this week)
Care of the Older Person is just one of a broad range of certified and hobby courses running at the 30 or so schools within the NACED/Adult Education Ireland network. You’ll find further details on all the schools within our network, and details of courses they are running, via our website. Courses start in the coming weeks.
Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world, and a popular evening class subject at many of our schools. The following schools will be running online Spanish courses for adults this term:
• Ashbourne CS, Meath: Intermediate; starts w/c 15 Feb
• Bishopstown CS, Cork: Beginners; starts w/c 22 Feb
• Carrigaline CS, Cork: Beginners; Improvers; Intermediate; start w/c 15 Feb
• Donahies CS, Dublin: Beginners; starts w/c 15 Feb
• Hartstown CS, Dublin: Beginners, Improvers, Intermediate; start date TBC
• Scoil Mhuire, Clane: Beginners; Improvers; start w/c 1 Mar
• St Mary’s, Naas: Beginners; Improvers; start w/c 22 Feb
These courses focus on conversational Spanish, helping you gain functional spoken Spanish for holidays and business trips.
Spanish is just one of a broad range of certified and hobby courses running at the 30 or so schools within the NACED/Adult Education Ireland network.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, courses will be run live online this term. This means that participants across the country will have access to courses this term, even those who are not geographically close to one of our Adult Education delivery sites!
Below are details of the schools which will be running popular QQI certified SNA courses this term.
Level 5 Special Needs Assisting (5N1786)
• Ashbourne CS, Meath, starts w/c 15 Feb
• Gorey Community School, starts w/c 15 Feb
• Portmarnock CS, Dublin, starts w/c 15 Feb
• St Mary’s, Naas, starts w/c 22 Feb.
Level 6 Special Needs Assisting (6M1957)
• Ashbourne CS, Meath, starts w/c 15 Feb
• Donahies CS, Dublin, starts w/c 15 Feb
• Portmarnock CS, Dublin, starts w/c 15 Feb
• St Mary’s, Naas, starts w/c 22 Feb
Special Needs Assisting is just one of a broad range of certified and hobby courses running at the 30 or so schools within the NACED/Adult Education Ireland network. Courses will be run online this term and start in the coming weeks.
Community schools all over the country have adapted to Covid-19 by offering classes either online or a mix of face-to-face and online.
St Colmcille’s Community School in Dublin 16’s Knocklyon has responded to these unprecedented times by offering a variety of online classes.
All classes will be through the online platform, Zoom, and will run for six weeks. Starting on 2 November, the classes will take participants nicely up to Christmas – a welcome break for everyone this year.
When we travel again
For those thinking of holidaying in 2021, French and Spanish will prepare you for that holiday in Paris or Rome, the Riviera or Lake Garda!
Bridge and Creative Writing will keep brains ticking over – with writers having plenty of time this winter to tease out character angles and plot lines.
Mind, body, spirit
Pilates will be useful in keeping people supple while Daoist Yoga and Qi Gong tend to the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of practitioners.
And, if you feel Christmas needs to be different to any other year, the Italian Cookery class will certainly shake things up!
Lifelong learning during the pandemic
This year, as Ireland enters its second year, make lifelong learning all the more important. Hobbies and leisure activities are vital in terms of physical and mental health. As the nights close in, open up your digital device, and welcome in a new world and a new community to your life.
Find out more about night classes in St Colmcille’s Community School, Knocklyon, Dublin 16 on their website, Facebook and Twitter.
Securing that all-important H4 in Higher Level Irish in the Leaving Cert can be a challenge. Bishopstown Community School in Cork city offers a night class in the European Certificate in Irish (Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge [TEG]) as a chance to get those all-important points.
“The course is ideal for people who want to get into primary school teaching or who want to teach Irish in secondary school and who did not get the points they needed in the Leaving Cert.” So said Robert Goggin, who delivers the TEG course. Robert himself teachers Irish, English, and History in the day school.
Irish oral examination
“We cover listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and I prepare learners for the oral Irish examination. The oral exams are usually in April and August, but the next one is in January now because the previous one was cancelled due to the pandemic.”
This is high-level Irish, then, and much more that the cúpla focail ! “Most of the learners in the class are in their final year of college and want to teach Irish – so they would be in their early to mid-20s. We also have learners who have gone back to education and want to get to that higher level of Irish.”
Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge
The TEG provides a series of general Irish language proficiency examinations and qualifications for adult learners of Irish. TEG exams give candidates an opportunity to show their ability in speaking, listening, reading and writing Irish at different levels, as absolute beginner to intermediate and advanced levels.
The TEG is administered by the Centre for Irish Language at Maynooth University and allows learners to undertake examinations at five different levels of proficiency.
“Depending on the requirements of the college learners are applying to, our students would need to be doing the B1 and B2 -Intermediate - levels,” said Robert. Levels A1 and A2 might suit beginners, with C1 a more Advanced Level.
Professional Masters in Education
Institutions of education around Ireland that offer the Professional Masters in Education (PME - Primary Teaching) often require applicants to take the TEG Intermediate Level 1 (B1) Irish-language oral examination.
This follows a Department of Education and Skills decision in 2018 to have one oral Irish examination for students seeking to gain entry to post-graduate programmes for primary teaching in DCU, Maynooth University, Marino Institute of Education, and Mary Immaculate College in Limerick. These are the four state-funded providers of primary teacher training.
Find out more about night classes in Bishopstown Community School, Cork, on the Adult Education website page or on Facebook.
A new Entrepreneurship for Women programme has started in the Adult Education Department in Gorey Community School, Co Wexford.
“We identified this area as a need to be filled in our area,” said Fintan Kemple, Director of Adult Education in the school. Indeed, nationally, promoting female entrepreneurship is viewed as a key source of job creation and innovation and a necessary step for addressing income inequality and social exclusion.
Particular factors affect female entrepreneurship, including lower levels of self-confidence, lacking visible role models, fewer networking opportunities, and a greater fear of failure.
This programme has been designed to create a community of women who want to get a business idea off the ground. It will help them to develop the skills to become an entrepreneur and to fine-tune and develop their business idea.
“We are running the programme through three QQI Level 5 modules – Entrepreneurial Skills, Personal Effectiveness, and Communications,” said Fintan. “So, the participants will get to research, test, and get the groundwork done to progress their business through the assignments. This makes the course of real practical benefit to the participants.
“The plan is to have speakers from relevant funding organisations as well as other women in existing businesses address the group. And, again, this is about making sure that the programme is tailored to the needs of the participants. Everything about the course is designed to move their business idea along and to help them prepare a business plan.
The course is particularly relevant now, said Fintan, as women continue to be under-represented as entrepreneurs. In Ireland, more men than women actively plan and start new businesses. And research has shown that the rate of entrepreneurship among women in Ireland is eighth highest in Europe. The rate of entrepreneurship among men in Ireland is the fourth highest.
The course is delivered by Deirdre O’Flynn, who has run a content and training bureau in Wicklow and Wexford for over 20 years. She also facilitates a network of women in business management, the professions and the arts, which meets monthly.
The programme is funded under the Back to Education Initiative, which aims to give qualifying participants an opportunity to combine a return to learning with family, work, and other responsibilities.
You will find details of all night classes in Gorey Community School on their website, on Facebook, and Instagram.
The lockdown and social distancing has made a video star of gardening tutor Linda Gilsenan! Maybe a reluctant video star, but she does include videos from her own garden in her Design Your Own Garden night class in Boyne Community School, Trim, Co Meath.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the school is offering a mix of face-to-face and online classes on Monday nights in the Autumn term. Linda’s Design Your Own Garden night class will be online.
A designer of wildlife-friendly gardens for individuals, community groups, and companies, she is an organic gardener passionate about biodiversity. “With the videos, I can bring people into the garden, show them what I am talking about, and then they can ask questions afterwards.”
Examples of her recent work include designing planting beds for biodiversity with a Tidy Towns group and a webinar on how to propagate plants. “You have to adapt – as gardeners, we’re not really into technology, we want to be outdoors, growing things. There’s a lot of work in the videos – my husband videos me talking and is able to get close-ups of the work involved in the garden.”
Interest in garden spaces
Gardening experienced something of a renaissance during the lockdown earlier in 2020. “Because people were at home then – and may be at home again next Spring – they wanted their gardens to look nice. They saw the garden as a social space and started to look at it more creatively.”
But deciding what you want in and from your garden takes a little analysis. “In the class, we start from scratch. So, I get them to observe their garden space in terms of where the sun shines, what shelter is there, what way does the wind blow.
“I ask them what they want from the garden. Is it a play area? Do they want to sit in the sun or the shade? Is there a clothes line, a shed? What do they want the garden to do?
“If you’re designing a garden, look at where you spend you time inside when you are looking out? If you want flowers and colour, place them right beside your house so you’ll see them and be able to keep an eye on them in terms of maintenance.
“In the class, we look at the sun, soil types, the types and size of plants, trees, and shrubs, flowers and bulbs, climbing plants.”
Biodiversity is a huge interest for Linda, and she points to the loss of hedgerows and hay meadows as a concern. “Plants are great for wildlife, and fruits trees for pollinators. We wouldn't have apples without bees pollinating – as humans, we want to be out and about in nature and our gardens, and we can do that without hindering biodiversity.”
A former operations manager in the The Sanctuary, a meditation centre for social change in the heart of Dublin city, Linda used to teach gardening courses and has brought that ethos with her into her work.
In the Spring, she will deliver an Organic Gardening class in Boyne CS, focusing on vegetables, fruit, and herbs.
And, with biodiversity and the natural world coming more to the fore every day, her classes are right on trend!
You’ll find Linda Gilsenan, Wild Way Garden Design, on Instagram.
Details of night classes offered by Boyne Community School are available on the Adult Education Department’s website and Facebook.
Scoil Mhuire Community School in Clane, Co Kildare, offers a diverse range of day and night classes this autumn for adults. The range covers certified and QQI courses, IT, business, languages, arts, beauty, fashion, human behaviour, dance, sport, fitness, music, drama, self-development, health and safety, crafts, gardening and more!
QQI modules include the Level 5 Major Awards in Early Childhood Care And Education and Healthcare Support. Other QQI modules include Digital Photography, Bookkeeping, Digital Marketing, Medical Terminology, and Train the Trainer.
Interesting Hobby and Leisure Classes
A range of interesting hobby and leisure classes is on offer – we’ve just picked a handful but there is so much more to choose from!
Interesting courses include Bee Keeping, designed to take the mystery out of backyard bee keeping as a hobby. This course opens the lid of the honey bee’s hive, enabling the novice beekeeper to understand this complex and fascinating world. It will explore the life cycle of the hive, what happens when the bees swarm and so much more. The course content includes recognising bees (worker, drone, queen), the hive, equipment, seasons (Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring and activities in each), stings, swarms, feeding, harvesting honey, pests, and diseases.
Somatic Movement Education is offered by day and night. It is a gentle, safe, and highly effective way to end chronic pain, improve balance, flexibility and posture and relieve day-to-day stress. Participants learn to practice a series of easy and comfortable movements through different areas of the body, to help free the body from patterns of habitual muscular tension, lengthening muscles back to their natural, relaxed state to allow for pain free movement. Somatic movements can help with many issues from mobility for the aging, through to pain/stress management and injury rehabilitation.
Chakradance is a wellbeing practice, involving movement meditation to beautiful music, helping release blocked energy and bringing more joy, freedom, and balance into your life. Often called ‘the musical sister of yoga’, learners will be guided into their own free movement, in a candlelit space with their eyes softy closed. A gentle journey inwards will help participants reconnect with themselves as they take time out from today’s busy world.
Sports psychology is of huge interest today as teams look for extra margins to improve team wellbeing and performance. This course is a basic introduction to improve the understanding of the basic principles and theories of sport psychology. The following areas will be covered: goal setting, imagery, self-talk, motivation, communication, team cohesion, leadership, and injury. It will also address how to apply some of these principles to a real sport environment. This course is aimed at coaches, athletes, and anyone with an interest in the area of sport psychology.
According to the adult education’s brochure, given the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is hoped to run courses as closely as possible to the way they have always been run. “This being the case, we are looking at the university guidelines for face-to-face classrooms and this means having small classes in large class rooms in order for us to observe physical distancing rules.”
However, as with every school in the country, there is a need to prepare for blended delivery of courses. “This will mean that depending on the advice from the government regarding tightening or loosening the control measures of lockdown, we might have to switch to online classes at short notice.
“As a consequence, people who are thinking of applying for our courses for 2020-2021 will need access to a personal computer or laptop to take part in distance learning. We will do our utmost to give you the best learning experience that circumstances allow and hope to be able to continue with our preferred face-to-face classroom-based teaching for as long as possible and it is safe to do so.”
Courses start the week beginning 5 October 2020.
You can find all the details on further education and training from Scoil Mhuire Community School in Clane, Co Kildare online and on Facebook.
Many adult education departments are adapting to Covid-19 and Ashton School in Cork is no exception.
According to Adult Education Director John O’Sullivan on the department’s website, “we have adapted due to the uncertainty we faced as we awaited instructions and advice from the appropriate authorities”.
As a result, the programme of classes this term is limited but there is still plenty of interest available.
New classes on offer in the school include Happy Habits – Wellbeing, where you can learn activities that are scientifically proven to increase your wellbeing. The more you practice them the happier you are. The Start Your Own Business course is particularly relevant at the moment. In this class, you will complete a business plan which will act as a road map for your business development idea. It will cover Target Market, Law, Tax, Employment, Finance/Funding, PR and Networking.
The power of Zoom
Other new classes will be delivered remotely using Zoom.
With many third-level courses not online and students participating from home, the Academic Writing & Research class will be particularly useful. Participants will learn how to read and dissect academic text, write a bibliography, manage their time and structure essays. This is suitable for third level courses with a strong focus on essay writing.
As well as in-school and remote learning, Ashton School also offers classes that are held in other locations. Golf, horse-riding and tennis are all offered in suitable locations, so that participants can get the best out of their experiences.
“We are very appreciative of the effort our tutors are making to offer courses,” said John. “We are also very grateful to the community for the support we have received in Adult Education over a long number of years.”
In addition, “it is very important for us to assure those who enrol that we are following all protocols and procedures as advised by NPHET and the Government. Classes will be reduced in size.” And, the department’s Covid-19 guidelines are also available on its site, so that all measures and precautions are being taken to protect learners and staff.
Chinese is just one of many courses on offer in the Adult Education programme at St Tiernan's Community School, Ballally, Dublin 16. The school runs a range of evening classes, covering new skills, accredited qualifications, hobbies, and fitness.
Arnold Guo is the tutor charged with teaching Mandarin to participants. “I came to Ireland in 1997 and pursued a Master’s in marketing in Dublin City University. I’ve worked in different industries since then and have taught Chinese along the way. A year ago, I contacted Ronan Conneely, the Adult Education Director in St Tiernan’s about teaching Chinese there.”
Lots of reasons to learn
Today, Beginners and Intermediate Chinese classes are held online on Tuesday evenings and classes also run on Saturdays. “People come to the classes for different reasons. Some are business people who are doing business in China, other may had a holiday booked in China. For others, they may have a parent, a friend, or partner who is Chinese and they want to learn how to communicate in Chinese.
Focus on spoken Mandarin
“At the start, the focus is on spoken Mandarin. The Chinese writing system is complex and we teach that in the second year for those who want to learn more. There are tens of thousands of characters in Chinese writing, but there are 3,000 that are most commonly used. However, we would only expect our students to learn between 100-300 characters! You have to be really committed to learn written Chinese – in China, we spend 10 years learning to write, from primary to secondary school.”
Leaving Cert subject
Interestingly, Mandarin Chinese has been added to the subjects on the Leaving Cert, with the first exams in 2022. This was introduced in the Government’s Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017-2026. It is part of a Government drive to boost language skills and to facilitate school leavers and graduates to be able to work in a global economy.
Arnold was one of those involved in co-ordinating Chinese language schools to approach the Department of Education with an offer to assist in teaching Chinese. “We’ve been in touch to offer our help and we’re looking for an opportunity to work together.”
Other night classes
Other night classes on offer in St Tiernan’s Community School include Acting, Guitar, Ukulele, Creative Writing, Yoga, Bridge, Art, Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish, Photography, Typing, Pilates, and Pole Fitness, among others. QQI awards in Childcare and Personal and Professional Development are also available.
Face masks are the new must-have item as we adjust to living with Covid-19. And the sewing class in The Donahies Community School in Dublin 13 has been right on trend with its production of cotton face masks.
“During the lockdown and over the summer, most people made face masks for friends and family,” says sewing tutor Mary Coonan.
“With things in short supply and shops closed during the lockdown, people made do with what they had. They were able to make face masks from pieces of fabric that they had left over or collected over the years. So, there was a lot of upcycling and recycling.”
Mary is an experienced designer, and her sewing class is so popular that it runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, along with Wednesday afternoons, Saturday mornings and Saturday afternoons.
Some of the facemasks made during lockdown by Donahies Sewing class participants
Upcycling, recycling, creativity
“People looked online for face mask patterns,” says Mary, who trained at The Grafton Academy of Dress Designing in Dublin. “And, during the lockdown, when people had time, they altered clothes using patterns again that they had time to research online. People got into the habit of using what they had.”
The pandemic also brought out people’s creativity and highlighted the value of the personal touch. “We had people making toys for children’s birthdays. When the restrictions were lifted, another woman made masks for her neighbours when she got to her holiday home – it was a great way of getting to know people. Others made bunting for events in people’s gardens.
“It was invaluable to be able to do something during the lockdown and to be doing something useful.”
Donahies Community School Sewing class participants made facemasks from friends and family.
Inspired by Covid-19
Classes start back in September and will be in line with Covid-19 guidelines. “We’re all getting used to social distancing but we’ll be able to deal with it because we want to be back. It will be different but we’ll manage it.”
The class is open to people of all sewing abilities and is a great way to destress. “No matter how bad the day, you’ll forget it when you start sewing!”
Mary’s always coming up with innovative ideas and, naturally, Covid-19 will inspire a lot of them. “I’m thinking of face masks for Hallowe’en and Christmas. And a bag with space for a hand sanitiser, a mask, and gloves. As gifts for children, we’re thinking of washable pencil cases, reusable and washable lunch bags made with oil cloth.
“We’ll concentrate on recyclable, reusable, and washable - everyone is moving away from the throwaway culture.” And that’s why this sewing class with its finger on the pulse will thrive.
You’ll find information about the night classes offered by The Donahies Community School on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the Internet.
It’s all systems go at O’Fiaich Institute in Dundalk, Co Louth.
Night classes commence during the week starting Monday, 21 September, and include QQI certification.
Popular night classes include QQI Level 5 and Level 6 in Business Studies, Early Childhood Care and Education, Healthcare Support, as well as Level 6 in Healthcare Services Supervisory Management. The college also offers the QQI Level 6 Training & Development Special Purpose Award.
Professionally certified courses include Basic Food Hygiene, People Moving and Handling, and Safeguarding Vulnerable People.
Also on offer are safety training courses in Mobile Elevating Work Platforms, Power Pallet Truck Training, Forklift Training (Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council Certified), First Aid Training, Basic Life Support, and Hiab Training.
A wide variety of hobby courses is on offer, as well as interesting IT options.
As with other further education providers, the college has had to take the current pandemic into consideration. It has reshaped timetables and reviewed its systems to ensure the safe return of both staff and students – all in line with the recently issued Government guidelines for further and higher education.
Online in summer
Indeed, during the summer, night class tutors devised online classes which ran in June. These included Beginners Spanish Conversation Practice, Beginners MakeUp, Covid-19 Return to Work, Creative Writing, Yoga, Calligraphy, Growing Organically at Home, Mindfulness, Self-Care during Covid-19, and Creating Textile Gifts at Home for Self and Others.
You’ll find information about the night classes offered by O’Fiaich College on Facebook or the Internet.
Gorey Community School in Co Wexford has enlisted the help of a hairdresser with TV, film, and theatre experience to tutor a night class in Hair Braiding and Plaiting.
The five-week course will cover everything from the basics of hair plaiting up to the intricacies of French, Dutch, fishtail and waterfall plaiting. Learners will even be able to duplicate the Viking look as featured in the TV series of the same name!
Tutor Marion O’Toole herself worked in the Viking TV series, as well as Game of Thrones, Moone Boy, Little Women, Badlands, and the Wexford Opera Festival.
“Viking plaits are quite popular now and many of those styles were designed on Vikings and Game of Thrones,” says Marion, who runs a mobile hairdressing service covering Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow, and Dublin.
On set, hair styles would have been researched by the creative director and the job of the hair department was to implement those styles. “You’d have to stay true to the look and adapt the style to the people in front of you – the look had to be real and not overdone. The work was really creative and enjoyable.” Indeed, Marion was part of the team that won an Irish Film and Television Academy award for creative hair design on Vikings.
Working on set is not all glamour: “The hair, make-up, and wardrobe departments work long hours, prepping in the morning and working until the end of filming each day as different scenes are set up and require different people.” Marion is secretary of the Hairdressers Guild which negotiates terms and conditions for hairdressers on film and television work.
Today, she specialises in wedding and occasion hair styles, as well as hair extensions. “There’s one technique to braiding or plaiting your hair and, once you’ve mastered that, you can adapt that to other styles.
“Dutch plaits, for instance, are popular with girls who play sport or for school days. Waterfall plaits are popular with First Communion girls. Fishtail plaits then are suitable for the dressier look.”
Whatever the occasion, once you’re able to master crossing over three strands of hair, you have cracked the code of plaiting and braiding!
Night classes in Gorey
Click here for the full range of night classes in Gorey Community School, Co Wexford
Malahide Community School, Co Dublin, has launched its Autumn 2020 list of night classes. And, as with everything else these days, amendments have been made to take account of Covid-19.
“Classes that we are offering will be delivered in different ways,” said Robbie Harrold, Director of Adult Education. “Like most other enterprises, we have had to make many changes to the way we run things so that participation by adult learners can be done safely and risk to health is almost reduced completely.”
Blended and remote learning
One of the big changes is the inclusion of blended learning and remote learning alongside the traditional face-to-face format. “Some classes are available in school only, for instance, Computing, Guitar, and Digital Photography. Other courses, such as Irish Conversation and Italian, will be available in a blended format i.e. a small number of students in the classroom while others will view the class on webcam. And others, such as Yoga and Pilates, are only available remotely.”
A range of classes
Interesting night classes available this Autumn include Fashion Design, Happy Healthy & Retired, You Have the Right to Be Happy and Successful – Turn Obstacles into Opportunities, Personal development through Creative Practices, Event Management, Radio broadcasting, podcasting and voiceovers (Introduction). Language, literacy, computers, golf, singing, and dancing classes are also included in the mix this term.
Popular classes such as Art, Pottery, Furniture Restoration, Jewellery Making, and Bread Making are not available for this Autumn Term. However, the hope is that these will be back on offer in January 2021.
Covid-19 has led to new guidelines for this term. These include class times of 90 minutes duration; no teas/coffees will be available in the school; classes will start and finish at staggered intervals; and nearly all classes will run for eight weeks.
In the meantime, people continue to be interested in night classes, says Robbie, with enrolments showing a continued interest in lifelong learning as offered by Malahide Community School.
When a proposed visit to Ireland by Spanish students was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers turned to technology instead. Spanish tutor Mariana Jiménez Moreno, who delivers beginners and advanced Spanish night classes in Cork, tells the story:
“In January, a group of adult Spaniards in Valencia who were doing English classes put together a plan to visit Ireland in April. Nuria, the person who organised the trip, contacted me looking for Irish students here who were learning Spanish.
I introduced the idea of the exchange in my classes then. Students interested in doing it recorded a series of videos introducing themselves and describing their cities. We were getting ready to welcome the Spaniards in Cork on April 16 - but everything stopped with the lockdown.
Classes were suspended, so I waited for a month to see if the classes would resume. When it looked like classes were not going to resume, I contacted Nuria, the Spanish students' organiser in order to promote an online exchange between students from Valencia and Cork. Vicente Rodrigo, another Spanish adult education tutor, joined us in the idea. So, the three of us decided to support our students and provide them with tools and resources to keep them going in their language learning process.
The plan was to hold group exchanges through video conferences using Zoom among our students and to promote online one-to-one exchanges. The main objective of the videoconferences was to create a platform where connections among students could be created with the support of their teachers, as well as to engage the students during these difficult times.
We did the online exchange in May with 27 students from Cork and Valencia. The feedback from the students was that they liked being in contact with native speakers of the English and Spanish. Participants were eager to learn and share and they learned that daily practice is essential to be able to carry on a basic conversation in the language they were learning. They also learned to speak with more confidence and fluency, and slower; to overcome shyness and to improve their pronunciation. The online exchanges were also an opportunity to speak and use what they already knew as well as an opportunity to work on their weaknesses.”
Mariana Jiménez Moreno delivers beginners and advanced Spanish night classes in Bishopstown Community School, Ballincollig Community School, Ashton Comprehensive School, and Carrigaline Community School. Last year, in simpler times, she took her adult learners on a trip to Spain.