As part of the school’s on-going Staff Development Programme for 2013-2014, staff at New-Bridge Integrated College recently participated in training on the ‘Teaching of Controversial Issues’ organised by NICIE and delivered by NICIE representatives, Sheelagh Deane and Denise Morgan.
During the session teachers considered the relevance to the curriculum of teaching sensitive and emotive issues and explored questions such as how should we approach the teaching of sensitive issues during the Decade of Centenaries? What are the implications for the whole curriculum both in the classroom and beyond?
Drawing upon the expertise within the school, the Heads of History and Citizenship modelled existing good practice to help answer these questions and demonstrated the importance of using the appropriate teaching strategies to handle the sensitive nature of these issues for the classroom.
The staff evaluations of the session showed a great level of self awareness as regards their own teaching and an interest in moving this initiative forward through more professional development for staff, pupils and the wider school community.
The Principal, Mrs Anne Anderson, expressed her support of the programme and outlined future developments for the school by telling staff “We in New-Bridge Integrated College have a strong foundation upon which we can build through our Connected Learning projects, our new work on CRED and our integrated ethos which promotes the acknowledgment and accommodation of diversity in all aspects of our work. We look forward to developing specific guidelines for our teachers, pupils and wider school community when dealing with controversial issues in the classroom and beyond, and will engage fully with our NICIE colleagues, CCEA and programmes such as ‘Facing History’ to inspire and support our pupils to becoming good citizens in the future”.