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In this documentary, students are given the opportunity to step into the world of a private boarding school, Cistercian College Roscrea. Shown through the eyes of past, current and possible future boarders, the documentary explores the inner workings of a world that otherwise only exists in books or films such as Harry Potter. Students are also asked to consider the purpose of boarding schools and questions why anyone would want to go to one; what’s wrong with community schools and whether it’s cruel on children to send them away from home so young? Find out if it’s all about points and privilege or a practical solution to educating teenage boys and giving them a better future. And, if they do have a better future; is it really worth €75,000?
The thematic unit of work uses the documentary as a primary text, as is recommended in the English Specification.
- In studying the documentary, students engage with all four LITERACY skills, i.e. Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing
- The oral and written assignments support development of JUNIOR CYCLE KEY SKILLS as well as a selection of LEARNING OUTCOMES from the ENGLISH SPECIFICATION.
- In a carefully staged, AFL process, the unit begins with pre-listening, challenging students to tap into their prior knowledge, their thoughts and feelings about the context in the text.
- The documentary, for classroom purposes has been divided into short, relevant clips and the associated activities/ worksheets will develop a variety of comprehension skills, e.g. anticipation; active-listening; discussion; post-listening and reflective/ creative activities.
- Methodologies used in the teaching and learning resources encourage the student to become a critical, autonomous, self-directed and reflective learner. This is facilitated through AFL tasks which include peer and self-reflection sheets.
By the end of this unit of work, students will be ready to complete a summative assessment task, suitable for the Oral Communication Task. An outline of the CBA can be found in the specification for Junior Cycle English (October 2015) which is available on the JCT website
Throughout the unit of work, students will be guided through activities which include:
- Pre-listening creative work, imagining how they would spend €75,000
- A follow-up listening activity to compare and contrast how they would spend their money and how the narrator suggests it could be spent
- pay close attention to sound effects
- Active listening worksheets which require students to record details about a day in the life of a boarder and to the positive and aspects of life at Cistercian College.
- A script-writing activity based around the imagined scenario of an unhappy boarding school student who calls home to persuade his parents to let him come home
The unit builds up to the final, summative task; planning and delivering a persuasive talk about the merits of their school to possible students and their parents.
The summative task is preceded by scaffolding activities, followed by AfL materials including self and peers assessment activities.
Documentary description from the documentary makers:
Say you had €75,000 to spare. What would you do with it? You could buy a car or a house or go travelling around the world or just live on it. Or, if you had a spare seventy-five grand and a boy in Sixth Class, you could enrol him in a private boarding-school like Cistercian College Roscrea.
Why would anyone do that? What’s wrong with community schools? Is it cruel on children to send them away from home so young? That’s what this documentary hopes to find out.
Cistercian College Roscrea invites Sixth Class boys to stay overnight to see if they like the idea of boarding-school. So, the Documentary On One did just that: spent 24 hours in Cistercian College Roscrea.
Find out if it’s all about points and privilege or a practical solution to educating teenage boys and giving them a better future. And, if they do have a better future; is it really worth €75,000?
Made by: Ronan Kelly
First broadcast: June 2014
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.