Corrymeela Programmes


Post Primary Schools

Corrymeela’s mission is to “Transform Division through Human Encounter”

Corrymeela offers a range of programmes for Post Primary Schools through teacher training and follow up support, direct work with young people, both residentially and school–based and resource development.

The main focus of our Post Primary work is the ‘Facing our History, Shaping the Future’ programme, which we deliver in collaboration with international NGO ‘Facing History and Ourselves’.
Our approach enables learners to explore issues such as identity and belonging, prejudice and discrimination and civic engagement. We do this through investigating historical case studies where there has been deep rooted violence, with our main focus being on an exploration of the events leading up to and including the Holocaust, the US Civil Rights movement and the ‘Causes and Consequences of the Partition of Ireland’. Our programmes are fully aligned to the Northern Ireland Curriculum and have a particular focus on the subject areas of History, Citizenship and Personal Development, but with strong links also to Religious Education.

The project demonstrated that effective history education can be a transformative experience and can make a significant contribution to the process of reconciliation’ (ETI Evaluation Report 2013).

Teacher Training and follow up support

We offer a range of half day, full day and residential training opportunities for teachers. The focus is on helping teachers to develop important skills in classroom pedagogy such as how to conduct a discussion in which students truly talk and listen to one another, how to raise controversial topics and how to establish a classroom atmosphere of trust. Moreover, teachers experience new resources and learn new teaching strategies. Typically, training will cover some or all of Facing History and Ourselves’ ‘scope and sequence’. Follow up support is offered to participating teachers to enable them to integrate their learning into the classroom.
We can also deliver bespoke teacher training events to meet an identified need in a school or across schools as part of a shared education partnership. Schools may also be interested in developing ‘whole–school’ and cross–curricula approaches to teaching these important issues and we can support this development.

Direct Work with Young People 

Residential Programmes

Residentials at Corrymeela provide a focussed, safe and diverse environment for young people to learn to live well together. We have specific expertise in hosting schools on a cross community basis as part of shared education initiatives, but we also welcome schools who wish to develop their own school community.

Residential programmes typically include introductory ice breakers and team building, explorations of identity and relationships and a thematic focus on issues of identity, diversity and community and/or a focus on a particular historical case study (the Holocaust, US Civil Rights, the Partition of Ireland). Programmes can be tailored across Key Stage 3,4 and A Level. We have also developed a Youth Leadership for Diversity programme that supports young people to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes to create positive change in their schools and communities. Our menu of programmes are listed below and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of schools and pupils:

The Holocaust and Human Behaviour
U.S Civil Rights and Civic Participation (available soon)
The Causes and Consequences of Partition (available soon)
Youth Leadership for Diversity (available soon)

We have also developed a number of programmes that focus on the transition. This includes a Year 13 programme that seeks to build community and Year 14 programme that support pupils to begin the period of planning the next phase of their life and movement beyond school. These programmes combine elements of team building, discussion, debate and reflection with the aim of helping young people to feel empowered and confident in their own skills and ideas. We hope to focus their understanding upon their own resilience whilst building confidence through problem solving, strategising and communication. This is run as a minimum one night residential. Some template programmes are below.

·       Year 13 Transition Programme
·       Year 14 Transition Programme

The film below provides a case study of our work with Friends’ School, Lisburn and St Dominic’s Grammar School for Girls’, Belfast.

Whilst the centre can accommodate approximately 100 people, we don’t encourage residentials over 50 people, unless there is significant development work or a longer stay. We would always encourage at least a two–night stay, but can facilitate programmes for one–night (minimum 24 hours).

The Corrymeela Centre operates as a lived community and so our visitors join in the life of the community through helping with dishes, making their beds and supporting the up keep of the living space. Our experience is that young people enjoy the responsibility and it adds value to their experience.

School –Based Workshops or Day Visits at the Centre

Corrymeela can also come to your school to deliver workshops that focus on the themes outlined above. This can be as part of a longer programme or as a one–off event. We would recommend no less than one hour per workshop. The cost of this will vary depending on the number of children and amount of facilitators required. We can also deliver these workshops as part of a day visit to the Corrymeela Centre, Ballycastle.

Resource Development

Through our partnership with Facing History and Ourselves, participating teachers have access to a global network of over 50,000 educators and a significant suite of resources that include the latest research and historiography. Corrymeela has also developed significant classroom resources that support a focus on sensitive local history including the period of the ‘Troubles’. This includes:

·       A Key Stage 3 scheme of work exploring ‘the Causes and Consequences of the partition of Ireland’.

·       UP Standing: Stories of Courage from Northern Ireland – A DVD, Story Book and Educators’ Guide that focus on stories of people who stood up to violence, prejudice, discrimination and violence in the context of Northern Ireland. Watch this video now.

·       ‘The Choices We Made: Bystanding and Conflict in Northern Ireland’ – A DVD and Educators’ Guide (in press) that explores 6 stories of individual wrestling with how to behave and act when confronted with Sectarianism, prejudice or violence. Watch a trailer for this video now.

“Thanks so much for this resource, having taught for almost 14 years, I feel my teaching has really been enhanced by this, adding a fresh, current reality. Teacher Feedback on UP Standing Resource


Through generous funding from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, the Community Relations Council and Stichting Het Solidariteitsfonds we can offer a number of teacher training events and follow up support at little or no cost. This can include substitute teacher costs if essential. Bespoke teacher training outside of this programme is normally costed at £200–250 per day per facilitator. For school workshops the same fee applies. For groups over 30 people we would require an additional facilitator. For costs relating to residentials and day visits, please see the Bookings section of the website. On occasion we may have funding available to subsidise costs, particularly for schools who want to build a long term relationship with us. If costs are prohibitive, please talk directly to us.

For more information, please contact Sean Pettis, Development Worker– Education via email or Telephone 028 9050 8080.


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