Climate Action in Primary Schools (CAPS): An Innovative STEAM Outreach Programme for Primary Schools

Climate Action in Primary Schools (CAPS) : An Innovative STEAM Outreach Programme for Primary Schools

0001 8

0002 3


Post Report review 2

Clare Education Centre is leading on the design, development and pilot of an innovative Outreach programme for primary schools based on climate change and action. The programme harnesses the arts as a foundation for a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) learning process on this complex and challenging area.

The overall goal of the CAPS programme will be to build climate action knowledge and capacity in primary teachers and pupils through creative, collaborative, critical, and innovative thinking about the causes and effects of climate change. Learning how to understand and deal with these issues, using the Arts as a launch pad to investigate, will promote attitudes of individual and collective responsibility towards planet Earth and develop environmental literacy in teachers and pupils alike. The programme will be piloted in a number of schools in County Clare in Autumn 2020.

Read more on HERE 

Listen to Evelyn Sorohan's interview on Clare FM HERE

Participating Schools are: Scoil Mhuire, Ruan, St.Mochulla's NS, Tulla, Kilrush NS, Knockanean NS, Ballina Primary School and Caherea National School.

Lessons to be delivered live via online platform

Short Overview: A STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) Climate Action programme in which the child, teacher and facilitator explore the causes and effects of Climate Change, while engaging in seeking creative solutions to this growing problem.

Structure: Co-facilitated over 6 weeks via virtual means in 1.5 hour sessions (with a break).  All resources (digital and physical) provided to the school. These will be posted to the school in advance and include a USB with digital resources for the teacher.

Overall Climate Action Challenge for the Course: We will use one overall challenge to frame the course and all the activities, so that everything in the individual lessons will reinforce the learning and contribute and combine to fulfil the final project.



STEAM Challenge Videos

STEAM Challenge 1 - Paper Aeroplane

STEAM Challenge 2 - Super Spaghetti Structure

STEAM Challenge 3 - Tin Foil Tower

STEAM Challenge 4 - Floating and Sinking

STEAM Challenge 5 - Build A Bridge 

STEAM Challenge 6 - Build A Shoe Tower 

STEAM Meet 2020

STEAM Meet 2020

In conjunction with our Erasmus+ project on STEAM, we had our inaugural STEAM Meet on Wednesday, March 4th in Clare Education Centre. 

The STEAM Meet was an opportunity for teachers to come together to share their thoughts, ideas, stories and methodologies for teaching STEAM in their classrooms and schools.

The guidelines for the STEAM Meet were as follows:

  • Presentations were to last for a maximum of 5 minutes
  • There should be no more than 3 slides
  • After the presentation, there was 2 minutes for discussion, questions and answers

On the night, there were nine presentations. The biggest challenge was in sticking to the agreed times for both presentations and discussions. The Presenters’ openness in sharing their work and appreciating that of others was heartening.  It was an honour to be in the company of such enthusiastic and creative teachers who gave of their time voluntarily to share and learn with others.

We are looking forward to STEAM Meet 2021 already!

Presentations attached.

STEAM Meet 2020 3 1

Download this file (Combined Presentations.pdf)Presentations [Presentations ]6718 kB

Concern Primary Debate Competition 2019-2020

Concern Primary Debate Competition 2019-2020  

Clare Education Centre hosted the county final of the Concern Primary Debates 2020 on March 12th.  The debating teams from Toonagh NS and St Senan’s Kilrush qualified for the final out of the twenty-two primary schools who participated this year.  The motion for the final was, ‘Young people of Ireland care little for the developing world’. 

The teams had an opportunity to research their positions in advance. On the day, each team nominated three debaters who put together well-formed and researched arguments.  Following a very high standard of debating, Toonagh NS emerged as worthy County Champions. 

Commiserations to the debaters from St. Senan’s NS Kilrush who spoke, persuaded, argued and rebutted admirably. 

Concern organise Primary Debates at a national level and assist with the organisation of the competition. In addition to the support of Concern, Clare Education Centre deeply appreciates the support of our adjudicators Liam Lawlor, Jody O’Connor, Antoinette Barry and Mary Fitzgerald who assisted with the entire competition.  Without our adjudicators, it would not be possible to host the debates. 

Debating engages our young people in research, critical analysis, communication and higher order skills. Watch out for our next competition in September 2020 and consider entering your school team. 

Final Poster

Scríobh Leabhar 2020

Scríobh Leabhar 2020

Unfortunately, we will have to defer 'Scríobh Leabhar 2020'.  We will try to facilitate this when schools return. 

Tionscnamh – Scríobh Leabhar as Gaeilge

To help us process Scríobh Leabhar 2020 we ask each teacher interested to complete the online registration form by clicking here.  Each class must be entered separately. 

Tugtar cuireadh duit a bheith páirteach sa tionscnamh SCRÍOBH LEABHAR atá á reáchtáil ag Foras na Gaeilge i gcomhpháirt le hIonad Oideachais an Chlair.

Is í aidhm na scéime seo ná páistí a spreagadh chun tabhairt faoi leabhair Ghaeilge a scríobh.

Timeframe for Scríobh Leabhar 2020

6th December 2019  Register intent to participate in the project before 5pm
POSTPONED            All books to be returned to Clare Education Centre by 5pm
POSTPONED            Presentation Evening at Clare Education Centre 

Creative Clusters

Creative Clusters 

Spraoilecheile-Creative Schools Cluster 2020 

This Creative School Cluster consists of three Primary schools from Ennis, Co. Clare. St Anne's School, CBS Primary and Knockanen School. The schools have come together to experiment, innovate and collaborate on the design, implementation and evaluation of our creative learning project. We hope to develop the creativity of the learners and teachers and to overcome our learning challenges as a cluster. We will do this by drawing on our own skills and experiences and also on those within the wider community.

Some special memories from their time together - view video HERE


Creative Clusters 2019

Creative Clusters is a pilot initiative of the Department of Education and Skills which is funded through the Schools Excellence Fund as part of the Creative Ireland Programme.  Over 75 schools throughout Ireland participated in the project, including 11 schools from Co Clare. The purpose of the initiative is to demonstrate how creative practices can support clusters of schools to work together to address common learning challenges. It aims to promote new ways of working and collaboration between schools and to provide an opportunity for schools to experiment, innovate and collaborate on the design, implementation and evaluation of a creative learning project. 

The eleven primary schools from Clare presented their projects at Cluster Demonstration Days in early June, all demonstrating ingenuity, imagination, creativity, collaboration and resourcefulness.

Pupils from Coore NS, Kilkee NS, Knockerra NS, Moyasta NS and Shragh NS met in Knockerra Hall to demonstrate their work on the topic of ‘The Science of Toys’.  The groups had considered modern toys, discussed their merits and disadvantages and then set about designing and making their own toys. The results involved the use of levers, magnetics, hydraulics, investigations and skill.  The large attendance wondered from display to display as pupils enthusiastically encouraged them to try out their toys.  Dr Maeve Liston from Mary Immaculate College of Education spoke warmly of her involvement with the schools and acknowledged that the projects were entirely pupil led and surpassed all expectations of those involved with the project.  Some funding for this project was also provided by the Irish American Partnership.

Pupils from Doora NS, Furglan NS, Kilnamona NS and Tubber NS worked on the theme of ‘Connections’.  Families and friends gathered in Clare Education Centre to appreciate the research and investigations carried out and the practical demonstrations of their learning. The variety of projects demonstrated included learning sign language, designing load-bearing bridges, interactive use of circuits and replicating lighthouse signals.  The curiosity of pupils in learning from each other was the highlight of the evening as pupils explained, demonstrated, offered opinions, outlined the challenges addressed and solutions discovered.   

“We are the Animals” brought together Mol an Óige CNS(Ennistymon) and Scoil Mhuire(Lahinch) to work with drama facilitator Nell Smyth. Over several weeks, pupils explored the concept of diversity through movement, drama games, and improvisation. Each child picked a card with the image of a creature and they then depicted the characteristics of the creature through making clay models and painting the animal on large wooden shields.  The final spectacle which was held on the beach in Lahinch involved group chants, movements, drama and games as the children from the senior classes in both schools depicted imagery of warriors fighting against the threat to the creatures of our planet.   52 children from both schools contributed to a visually strong finale full of fun, power and vitality.

At all of the demonstration events, the interactions among children from different schools were of excitement, enjoyment and participation as they explained their work to each other, demonstrated their learning, appreciated the efforts of others, and sought explanations for how other groups had gone about their projects.  Parents and teachers alike complimented pupils highly on their efforts and wondered how pupils had achieved so much, and in such an engaging and participative way.

Speaking about the demonstrations, Ray McInerney, Director of Clare Education Centre, complimented the work of the Cluster Coordinators Michael Browne and Ana Colomber for their enthusiasm and expertise in guiding the teachers and pupils throughout their engagement with the Creative Clusters Project.  The success of the project has led to its continuation for another year allowing the opportunity for another cluster of Clare schools to explore the benefits of clustering and providing collaborative learning opportunities for their pupils.

CLICK HERE for photos from Doora NS, Furglan NS, Kilnamona NS and Tubber NS Cluster
CLICK HERE for photos from Mol an Óige CNS (Ennistymon) and Scoil Mhuire (Lahinch) Cluster
CLICK HERE for photos from Coore NS, Kilkee NS, Knockerra NS, Moyasta NS and Shragh NS Cluster

Video from Mol an Óige CNS (Ennistymon) and Scoil Mhuire (Lahinch) Cluster Day, 5th June 2019 at Lahinch Beach - VIEW HERE.  

CC KnockCC LahinchCC Doora


The ESCI (Education Support Centres Ireland) website pulls in courses from Education Centres all over the country allowing you view all courses taking place nationwide.

Contact the Centre

  • Tel: 065 684 5500
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Govermment Buildings,
Kilrush Road,
Co. Clare