School level




TV programmes with a learning focus 10 - 16 June



Ar Son Na Poblachta

RTÉ One     Monday,  19.30 - 20:00

The documentary examines the war of independence, bringing fresh narratives of real people that cast light and understanding on Ireland's past.

You might also be interested in the documentary at 21:35 about dissident Republican and IRA member Dolours Price, who reflects on her upbringing in Belfast, her actions during the Troubles and her disillusionment.

Classroom Activity: 

1. PDST has shared a document to support teachers teaching potentially emotive or controversial topics for the period 1919-1923. Access here.

2. Historian Dr Margaret Ward, QUB, talks to RTÉ’s Bryan Dobson about the various roles that women played during the Irish war of independence. Watch it here.


Cosáin Cheoil

RTÉ One   Friday, 20:30 - 21.00  

Taking inspiration from the likes of Clannad and Runrig, this episode looks at how Irish and Scottish musicians have tried to incorporate their native languages in their singing.

Classroom Activity: 

1. Introduce students to the components of the Leaving Certificate Music course with this presentation by Music teacher, Matthew Quinn.

2. Have a look at this comprehensive introduction to Irish music from the Curriculum Support Team for Music. It provides an introduction to the characteristics and history of Irish traditional music, song and dance, with a particular emphasis on change and development within this tradition.

The Handmaid's Tale

RTÉ Two   Thursday  22:15 - 23.15

Dystopian drama based on Margaret Atwood's novel about a future American theocracy, in which women are kept as slaves purely for breeding

Classroom Activity:
1. The Handmaid's Tale is a prescribed text for the Leaving Certificate English examination 2020 and 2021. Students could watch the drama above to investigate the following question taken from the 2019 Leaving Cert paper 2:

“The female characters in Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, fail each other.”  Based on your reading of the novel, to what extent do you agree or disagree with the above statement? Explain your answer, giving reasons for your response. Develop your answer with reference to Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.

The Planets

BBC Two Saturday, 19:00 - 20:30

Professor Brian Cox examines Jupiter, the largest and oldest planet in the solar system, revealing how its immense gravity influenced where other planets developed, destroying several nascent planets and negatively influencing the development of Mars.

Classroom Activity:

1. The Armagh Planetarium website has excellent teacher information sheets for each planet, the sun, asteroids, kuiper belt & oort cloud, the milky way and exoplanets. Students could use the information cards to decide on a correlation between the planets and to represent the correlation visually using a model/graph/chart.

2. The European Space Agency portal has a fun and creative research project that allows pupils to discover Earths closest neighbours in space. Activities include collecting information about the solar system and a variety of classroom discussions.

Lessons to Accompany Clips from Programmes.

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra proudly presents Music In the Classroom, its hugely popular series of tailor-made concerts for primary and second level music students, live at the National Concert Hall.
RTÉ will be live-streaming one concert in each of the series (music for primary schools, music for Junior Cert & music for Leaving Cert) via RTÉ Culture

For Leaving Certificate students, Tom Redmond presents a step-by-step guide to Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, highlighting key themes and sections, with excerpts, and concluding with a full performance by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.

Scoilnet has collaborated with the RTÉ Archives to bring together a collection of resources that relate directly to the Irish Curriculum. The archives provide an array of primary sources which students can use to hone their skills such as working as a historian, analysing evidence and developing an understanding of change and continuity.

RTÉ has partnered with Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) to bring radio documentaries into the classrooms around Ireland. Targeted at 12-15yr olds, the aim of this partnership is to educate students in literacy skills - and encourage a critical ear to radio. Each radio documentary is accompanied by a worksheet to enable both students and teachers to analyse, discuss and utilise these radio documentaries.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has partnered with RTÉ Learn to bring media into junior cycle  classrooms. The teacher resource guide supports the delivery of the new Junior Cycle English and Science curricula. The materials are based around the successful TV programme ‘Tommy Bowe’s Body Check’ which was produced by Indiepics.

RTÉ Radio na Gaeltachta (2015) six part series that focused on various areas of the Higher Level Irish language exam - the oral exam, poetry, prose pieces and descriptions of the pictures. 

Building Ireland was a TV series broadcast on RTÉ that explored how Ireland's great building and engineering achievements came to be, and their impact on the development of Irish towns and cities.

The makers of the series, Esras Films, have made 18 short video clips from the programmes available to Scoilnet and subject editors have developed curriculum-focused lessons around the clips.

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