The GAA is to provide a daily learning programme to help parents, teachers and children to engage in learning from home, starting today.
There will be a combination of learning activities and skill challenges for children of all ages. The project for primary school children will be overseen by Micheál Martin, a primary school principal from Wexford, who previously oversaw the development of the GAA's Céim ar Aghaidh teachers resource.
The Céim ar Aghaidh/Step Ahead is a GAA Games Development initiative which was first produced for sixth class pupils in 2010 and saw copies circulated to every school in Ireland, with further editions for all classes produced in subsequent years.
"We have taken material from the existing resources to supply teachers, parents and pupils with educational resources based on the enjoyable theme of Gaelic Games," said Martin.
"Using the fun of Gaelic games, it delivers a range of exercises to support learning across all subject areas in the primary school curriculum. The idea is not to overwhelm parents or students. One learning activity and one physical activity will be suggested each day with the subject area changing each day."
Martin feels that it is important to have realistic expectations for children during this time.
"This is a challenging time for everyone and children will sense the anxiety in society. Teachers and schools have set work to be completed at home but it's important to acknowledge that this is a new and difficult experience for children.
"We are attempting to provide a resource that will be beneficial in some homes. My opinion as a school principal is that one learning activity such as that we are providing, as well as continuous book reading, will satisfy children’s learning needs for now.
"It is also essential to get physical activity while respecting social distancing and we hope that the skill challenges can inspire children to get out and practice their skills".
As well as material for primary school children, the GAA Future Leaders programme will be promoted to engage secondary school pupils.
This is a joint initiative from the GAA and the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It is a cross-curricular programme comprising of a series of modules designed to encourage maturity, initiative, responsibility and leadership skills in pupils.
Martin adds that there has been wide engagement in the production of resources over the last week and that a link is being created with RTE in the delivery of their materials while the GPA have been supportive in helping promote the projects.
"As always our clubs have shown great leadership in their communities in responding to this crisis. We know that parents are crying out for help with the new situation of home schooling and we hope that this resource may be a small help to them in supporting their children.
"The materials will be available on various GAA platforms and the aim is to circulate via email to county and club secretaries also."
RTÉ has launched its own "Single Point of Contact" for all the educational content produced by RTÉ, RTÉ Learn, while from Monday onwards RTÉ's Home School Hub will broadcast from 11am to noon on RTÉ2, RTÉ Learn and the RTÉ Player.
The live teaching show in conjunction with the Department of Education will air from Monday to Friday, with a 15-minute catch-up show, RTÉ Home School Extra, airing from 4.15 to 4.30pm each day.