The first post-primary R.E. teachers’ in-service for this academic year took place last Thursday, October 26th in the John Paul II Pastoral Centre, Killarney. Twenty post-primary schools were represented from throughout the diocese.
Cormac Bonnor, former principal of the Presentation Secondary School, Milltown, facilitated a session on Mental Health First Aid. The Mental Health First Aid Programme was created in Canberra, Australia in 2000 by an educator and mental health consumer (Betty Kitchener) working as a volunteer in partnership with a mental health researcher (Anthony Jorm). The M.H.F.A. programme has now spread to 24 countries and has been incorporated into national mental health policy in many. Cormac now facilitates session on the above.
Cormac was followed by Kieran McTigue. Kieran works with the Professional Development Services for Teachers and is also a teacher in Garbally College, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. This workshop provided an opportunity for all teachers to improve their Information & Communications Technology (I.C.T.) skills in the Religious Education classroom.
Kate Liffey presented a session entitled ‘Challenges Facing R.E. today.’ Kate is the National Director for Catechetics with the Irish Bishops’ Conference. In the afternoon, Jonny Sommerville presented his resource for senior cycle R.E. called NUA. Jonny believes that NUA is a critical resource, providing a safe space and fresh ways to explore belief in Jesus.
Special thanks to Kingdon Catering, Tralee, who provided the delicious lunch on the day.