Published: 3rd NOVEMBER 2021

Providing school resources 'as Gaeilge' to boost active travel and inclusion

Sustrans has been able to encourage more children than ever to walk, scoot and cycle to school by providing resources in the Irish language for the first time this year.

Pupils from Gaelscoil na Daróige, Derry~Londonderry with Sustrans Northern Ireland Schools Officer, Richard Farrow

Pupils from Gaelscoil na Daróige in Derry-Londonderry with Active School Travel Officer Richard Farrow.

A number of schools in Northern Ireland that teach in the Irish language and are part of Sustrans’ Active School Travel Programme welcomed the new resources for The Big Pedal and Bike to School Week 2021.

Gaelscoil na Daróige in Derry-Londonderry received Irish language posters and teaching materials on active travel that enabled them to take part in this year’s Big Pedal and Bike to School Week.

Fiachra Ó Donghaile, principal of Gaelscoil na Daróige, said:

"This event was particularly enjoyable and significant this year because for the first time the learning materials and posters were provided as Gaeilge.

"Our incredible growth of 60% in enrolment has presented the challenge of increased traffic."

To combat this rise in traffic Gaelscoil na Daróige successfully applied for participation in the Active School Travel Programme in 2019.

"We wanted to reduce pollution and congestion and increase exercise," explained the principal.

"The Active School Travel Programme has helped us to embed new travel habits and has encouraged a significant number of families to engage in active travel."

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Our Active School Travel Officer, Richard Farrow, understood the ethos of the school and has facilitated correspondence in Gaeilge. He has incorporated Irish words and phrases into his delivery of activities at the school. Blockquote quotation marks
Fiachra Ó Donghaile, principal of Gaelscoil na Daróige

Principal Fiachra Ó Donghaile continued:

"Cognisant that our curriculum is delivered through Gaeilge, we were provided with quality Irish language materials for The Big Pedal and more recently for the Seachtain le teacht ar rothar chun na scoile/Bike to School Week.

"This collaboration has enabled valuable contextual learning opportunities for language acquisition and has also resulted in reduced traffic and healthier travel habits.

"We are determined, in collaboration with the Active School Travel Programme, to apply our determination for language revival to the revival of the environment."

Principal of of Gaelscoil na Daróige, Fiachra Ó Donghaile and Sustrans Schools Officer, Richard Farrow

Fiachra Ó Donghaile, principal of Gaelscoil na Daróige, with Active School Travel Officer Richard Farrow.

Richard Farrow, Active Travel Schools Officer, said:

"I’m really proud to be part of the team at Sustrans that has translated resources into the Irish language.

"We believe strongly in inclusion and diversity, and making these resources available to all pupils is an important step.

"It is a pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic school that are committed to making active travel a viable and realistic choice for their pupils, parents and staff.

"This will have significant and long-lasting benefits to the health and wellbeing of everyone involved!"


Find out more about the Active School Travel Programme.

Discover what else we're doing to increase physical activity and support safety around schools.

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