Teachers around Europe: U.K. and Ireland

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“Amo l’Italia e penso che Roma sia la città più bella” – dice Ms Jessica Thomas, un’insegnante inglese di Stamford, U.K., intervistata da Laura, Federico e Beatrice di 3°M, nell’ambito del Progetto Etwinning (un gemellaggio elettronico tra scuole).


Where is your school?


My school is called Stamford Queen Eleanor School and is in a town called Stamford in a county

called Lincolnshire, in the east of the UK.


Which subject/s do you teach?


I teach French and Italian


Which are the most important monuments/places in your town?


Stamford is a very old town and was used to film the new version of Pride & Prejeudice!  There is a very old elizabethan house called “Burghley House” a beautiful old hotel called “The George Hotel” and a river!  Every summer at a nearby country house called “Tolethorpe” there is an open-air theatre where Shakespeare plays are performed.


What do young people do and where do they go in their free time?


Young people in the area go to the cinema at the arts centre or in nearby Peterborough or they go shopping in town. There’s also a swimming pool and park that is popular.  They like to go out on their bikes or sometimes just be lazy and stay at home!


Which TV programs are the most popular among young people?


Our students like the following programs… Skins, Waterloo Road, Gavin & Stacey, Lee Evans & Power Rangers!


Who are the most popular singers, actors or sport stars in your country?


They like Justin Bieber, JLS, One Direction & Will Smith.


In Italian there are many slangs, way of saying  very popular. For example “scialla”  is a way of saying: take it easy. Are there typical ways of saying especially used by kids?


Chill = Relax!

Soz = Sorry

Innit = Isn’t it/a way of ending your sentence  (e.g. It’s cool..innit?)

Aint – it isn’t (e.g. It aint my fault) – but this is very bad grammar, so don’t use these with adults!!


What do you think of Rome and Italy?


I love Italy and I think that Rome is the most beautiful city – although it’s always very busy!!  I’m looking forward to arranging a trip so that my students can see how lovely it is as well.



(Beatrice Graziani, Federico Bonetto and Laura Di Benehttp://du107w.dub107.mail.live.com/att/GetAttachment.aspx?tnail=0&messageId=d12839e8-52a0-11e1-a095-00237de3ecb4&Aux=54|0|8CEB4C4B9EC9D20||0|0|0|0||&maxwidth=220&maxheight=160&size=Att&blob=MHxzY2hvb2wuanBnfGltYWdlL2pwZWc_3ddetto, 3°M)



Queen Eleanor School – Stamford – U.K



Ms Sandra Costello, una giovane insegnante irlandese, risponde alle domande di Caterina, Alexandra e Desireè di 3°B sulla sua esperienza come assistente comenius in una scuola di Roma lo scorso anno scolastico e sul suo attuale incarico di insegnante di Italiano a Cork (Eire).


Which subjects do you teach?

I teach English and Italian.

 Do you like your job? Why did you choose this job? 

I do like my job for the most part. This year I am studying to be a teacher (so I’m not a real teacher yet) and it’s very challenging. In the mornings I teach and in the afternoons I go to university for my lectures. I have a lot of essays and teaching plans and evaluations to do and I have a supervisor who comes to judge my teaching sometimes. It is a very stressful year. I do enjoy teaching especially when things go well but I’m still learning so I have a long way to go to be a good teacher. I think once I’m a good teacher I will enjoy it far more.

            I have chosen teaching as a career because I know that I definitely want a career in which I can work with people. I am a very social person and really enjoy working with other people and society. I also have a passion for working with young people and guiding and helping them in becoming adults. I am passionate about my subjects and aim to encourage others to love English and Italian and enjoy them in the way I have.

Can you talk about your school? What kind of school is it? Which subjects do students study?

My school is called Coláiste Daibhéid (Davitt’s College) and it is quite a small school. There are only two classes of about 22 students in each year (5 years) and about 21 students in Transition Year (4A). Transition Year is the year in between the Junior Cycle (first three years) and the Senior Cycle (last two years) and it is optional. It is not really an academic year and it is more a chance for students to do much practical work and projects. There are many trips and activities also in TY. The school is a gaelscoil which means that the students speak Irish and learn all their subjects (except English and other languages) through Irish. Teachers speak Irish in the staffroom and pupils speak Irish socially and in class. This type of school is rare in Ireland. It is a city school which is about 10 minutes walk from the city centre of Cork.

The Junior Cycle subjects are English, Irish, Maths, French, History, Geography, Religion, Physical Education, C.S.P.E. (Civic, Social and Political Education), S.P.H.E (Social, Personal and Health Education), Science and Computers. There’s a choice between Art and Home Economics and between Music and Business Studies. The school puts a special focus on Art and Music and promotes talents in these areas as much as academic subjects. After these three years, the pupils have official exams in most of these subjects and this is called the Junior Certificate.

In Transition Year students study a variety of different subjects they would not have the opportunity to study at any other time, as well as their normal subjects. Coláiste Daibhéid provides a high quality Transition Year Programme. Programme content varies from year to year. Along with the usual subjects e.g. Irish, English, Mathematics, French, Science, Music and Geography, Students also participate in a wide range of activities e.g. Gaisce (President’s Award), Share (Charity work), Work Experience, Architectural Studies, Japanese, Food Preparation and Safety (HACCP), Russian and Italian.

The Senior Cycle subjects are dependent on pupil interest and available resources. The present provision includes: Irish, English, Mathematics, French, German, Geography, History, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Business, Home Economics, Music, Art, Japanese and Applied Mathematics. After these two years pupils must take the Leaving Certificate exams in most of their subjects (7/8) in order to be accepted into third level education. English, Irish and Maths are the most important subjects and there are two exams in each.

 Which are the most popular sports in Ireland?

            Gaelic Football and Hurling are hugely popular in Ireland and so too are Soccer and Rugby. Soccer might be the most popular sport in Ireland as many follow the English Premiership and most support Manchester United or Liverpool. Rugby has become huge in the past ten years as Ireland have gotten better as a national team and Irish clubs such as Munster and Leinster have achieved a lot of success in Europe.

Gaelic Football has been essential in Ireland for the past 100 years. It is an Irish sport that only exists here. People are not paid to play Gaelic Football and play for pride and to represent the part of Ireland that they come from. Particular areas of Ireland (counties) are particularly skilled in Gaelic Football e.g. Kerry, Dublin and Cork. Hurling is also an Irish sport that cannot be seen anywhere else. Hurling players are not paid either and see it as an honor to represent their county. Few counties in Ireland have a skilled Hurling team as Hurling is a very difficult, highly technical sport. It is maybe the most difficult sport in the world. The counties of Kilkenny, Tipperary and Cork are very dominant in Irish Hurling.

 Can you talk about your city?

 Cork is the second biggest city in Ireland. It is beautiful and has a really nice and friendly atmosphere. The city is absolutely perfect for shopping. It has every shop you could need and many cafes, cinemas and places to socialize. There is an Opera House which holds ballets, operas and pantomimes, and many other theatres. There is a lovely market (The English Market, which Queen Elizabeth II has visited last year) which sells a wide of fresh delicious foods. The River Lee runs through the city in two parallel channels. Cork has a university (University College Cork) and various colleges including The Cork School of Music and The Crawford Art College which demonstrate the importance of promoting the arts in the city. The city is steeped in history dating back to Celtic myth and tradition. There are two cathedrals and many museums, art galleries and places of interest. There is a really nice park called Fitzgerald’s Park where young people often spend time. There are plenty of sports related places in the city also. The rugby stadium is called Musgrave Park.

What do young people do in their free time?

            In their free time, young people hang out in the Fitzgerald’s Park, go to the cinema, go shopping, take part in a wide range of sports, spend time with their friends, go bowling and take part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. They also spend a lot of time on the internet, play musical instruments and watch television and read. Some young people have part time jobs.

Which are the most popular television programs?

            A lot of young people watch True Blood and Vampire Diaries due to the Twilight films. Glee, One Tree Hill, Two and a Half Men, Desperate Housewives, The Big Bang Theory, The Inbetweeners and Grey’s Anatomy are all quite popular also. Young people sometimes watch English soap operas such as Coronation Street and Eastenders and every year they watch X Factor. Most young people continue to watch The Simpsons, South Park and Family Guy. Father Ted is an Irish programme that Irish people of all ages adore. I really like Criminal Minds and Friends and I used to adore Lost.

 What kind of music do you listen to? What is your favorite singer or band?

             I really like a wide range of rock music. I like old stuff such as David Bowie, Rolling Stones, T-Rex, Beatles, Kinks and Led Zeppelin. I also like a lot of modern stuff like Radiohead, Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Arcade Fire and Smashing Pumpkins. My favourite band of all time would be Nirvana and my favourite band at the moment would be Foo Fighters. I really like Irish singers such as Damien Rice and Glen Hansard also.

Can you talk about your experience in Rome?

            My experience in Rome was one of the best experiences in my life. I had an absolutely amazing year. It was great getting to know all the kids and helping them learn English every day. They were all very friendly and welcoming. I loved living in Rome too. There was always so much happening and so many things to do and see. I loved visiting all the museums and monuments and going to cultural events. There are still many things I have to see in Rome. It was so amazing to walk around and breathe in all the history. Everything was so beautiful and had so much character. Obviously, the food was absolutely amazing and the ice cream and coffee. I made many great friends there which made my experience of Rome even more special. I learned more about myself and became even more independent. The school in which I worked was very welcoming, especially my supervisor teacher Mrs. Esposito who was incredibly nice and provided me with any support I needed throughout the year.

Do you miss anything of Rome?

             I miss many things about Rome. I miss the food which was fantastic. It wasn’t too expensive to eat out in Rome either so I miss that. Pasta and pizza tastes totally different here and totally inferior. I miss looking around me and taking in all the beauty and just being absorbed into the Italian language. I miss the people I met there and the adventure we went on together and also waking up and not knowing where the day might take me. I miss having time to do whatever I wanted and discovering random events in the streets and shopping. I also miss the kids and teachers and all their unique personalities. It really is a terrific city and it will always have a very special place in my heart.




(Caterina Ceccarelli, Alessandra Mihai, Desirèe Novelli, 3°B)




Coláiste Daibhéid (Davitt’s College) Cork - IRELAND

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baby 02/17/2012 16:16