Tips from 2019 Rose Escort of the Year (and qualified Primary School Teacher) Jamie Flannery to parents and kids who are at home, for work they can do to continue learning in a fun and interactive way.

by Jamie Flannery

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Hi All

Jamie Flannery your 2019 Rose Escort of the Year. I hope everyone is keeping safe and minding themselves in these unprecedented times. I am a qualified primary school teacher and want to share some tips to parents and kids who are at home, on work which you could be engaging in to continue learning in a fun and interactive way.

I’ve broken down the links to certain websites for some of the curricular areas in the primary school curriculum, and have added in some fun extra activities, which include a link to a recipe book for example. If you’ve any questions or want to contact me please do and I’ll help out in whatever way possible.

Below I have broken the work out into the various curricular areas English, Gaeilge, Maths, SESE (Geography, History, Science), creative arts and P.E.


Free writing

Many pupils will be familiar with the concept of  “free writing” and may have a special notebook or journal in which they write freely about any topic of choice, and in any genre. This is a simple idea that can be continued in the home setting. Children have the autonomy to decide what they wish to write about and there is a variety of different styles that they can practice:

  • Diary writing (personal accounts)
  • Recount writing (a report of an event)
  • Fiction (short stories)
  • Instructional writing (e.g. rules of a game, the children can even come up with a new idea and create their own game!)
  • Poetry (limericks, acrostic poems etc.) (offer a free 7-day trial)

Letter writing

Post from a pen-pal and the anticipation of awaiting the arrival of a response may be lost in our global world where social media has taken over the art of writing, but this may be the time to resurrect that magic!

Another interesting idea is to chart the journey of a letter from the writer to the recipient. An Post have an educational resource on their website:

Children can also design their own stamp, or begin a collection of stamps, and look out for special commemorative stamps that were commissioned by An Post to celebrate a particular occasion.

Book review

We all know that a grá for reading is one of the most important gifts that we can pass on to our children. Use this opportunity to read a wide selection of books. Children can then write a review, give their personal opinion, talk about their favourite character and give a star rating. They may have a chance to present this in front of an audience in their own home (i.e. immediate family – maintain social distance!)



Caint agus cómhrá

Bí ag caint as Gaeilge chomh minic as is féidir!

Try to incorporate Irish into daily activities. As well as cartoons on TG4, children can play games such as “I Spy” (Feicim le mo shúilín) as Gaeilge and perhaps put labels (lipéid) on items around the house. There are some useful websites online to support the learning of Irish (mar shampla Duo Lingo agus Seomra Ranga).

Some links:




If parents are venturing out to shop and stock up on groceries, children can help by writing the list of what is needed. Depending on the age of the child, elements of mathematics could be incorporated here estimating prices and weights etc. Children could also work out which option is better value (e.g. two individual boxes containing 80 teabags or one box with 160 etc.)

Cooking and baking (weight and time)

  • How many / how much of an ingredient is needed?
  • If a recipe is to serve two but the meal is for four people, we must double the amount.
  • If the dish takes 45 minutes to cook, what time will it be ready at?
  • Make an analogue clock.
  • Convert time on an analogue clock to digital time.

Some useful links


Geography, History & Science

Project work – Geography & History

History - Research a history topic – 1916, The Famine, World War I and II

Geography - Research a country in Europe and find out interesting facts about it

  • Children can work on a longer-term project based on a theme of their choice.
  • A scrap book is ideal, and children can cut and paste articles, pictures, diagrams and pieces of writing.
  • Other children may prefer to use their I.T. skills and create a PowerPoint presentation.

Science links



Some useful links

Go Noodle - Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.:

Outdoors / Physical Activity

There are endless opportunities for physical activity. Even if children are playing on their own or in very small groups, there are many fun ways of keeping active:

  • Hopscotch
  • Skipping
  • Hula-hoops
  • Obstacle courses
  • Treasure hunts

Local GAA clubs and county teams have been posting videos on their social media outlets with some of their star players, demonstrating drills that children can follow.

Nature walks

This is one for parents and children. It is so important to remember to get active and get outdoors to open spaces.

Incorporate science, geography, oral language, drama and music into a walk, whether it’s in a nearby park, along a beach or in the countryside.


Creative arts

Most homes will have a “bits-and-bobs” box or a bosca somewhere with nets, buttons, lids, wrapping paper etc. Now is a good time to use those recyclables and create a piece of artwork. Children should be encouraged to be original, be creative – and don’t forget to take a picture!

I am an Artist

A visual arts initiative comprising 30 short TV programmes (each six minutes in length), an interactive website with slideshows, lessons, weblinks and interactive games, providing a stimulating collection of curriculum-mapped resources.

Famous artist

Research a famous artist and carry out a drawing based on your observations of his or her work.

 For example - Research Banksy and start your own picture based on his style of art


Extra links

Back to basics – other enjoyable, but educational activities:

  • Board games
  • Card games
  • Lego
  • Jenga
  • Jigsaws
  • Flying a kite
  • Memory games (e.g. stop the clock with one letter of the alphabet and come up with words beginning with a specific letter under certain headings, such as boy name; girl name; country or city; food; item of clothing; activity; kitchen utensil etc.)


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Jamie is an enthuastic, ambitious, open-minded and courteous Gaeilgeoir from Dingle in the Kingdom of Kerry.  He enjoys being on stage, and has been part of Siamsa Tíre, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland in Tralee, since the age of six, performing through the medium of Irish dance, song and drama. He is a primary school teacher working in Gaelscoil Charraig Uí Léighin in Cork, and thoroughly enjoys every day of the job because he can bring his own personality to the classroom whilst teaching through Irish. 

Throughout his years in college in UCD, he promoted the Irish language through organising events with Bord na Gaeilge UCD.  He has a real interest in engaging in charity work and has spent time teaching with the charity UCD Volunteer Overseas in both Tanzania and Haiti, and has been involved with the organisation Darkness into Light in Dingle since 2016. 

Instagram: @jamie_flann

Continue Learning and Have Fun