At this sweet school in Macroom, kids learn through outdoor play, crafts and yoga
Time flies when you’re having fun.
Especially when you’re a kid.
And at one of Cork’s newest and most innovative junior schools, now enrolling for September, little schoolgoers can expect the days to whiz by in a whirl of magic, mud, and movement.
Experienced teacher and Gaeilgeoir Gráinne Breheny taught in a mainstream school for a decade before following her dream and opening Learn le Grá Junior School in 2021.
The mum-of-three runs the school for children aged between five and eight years old three days a week (Tuesday-Thursday) in Toames, Macroom, Co. Cork. The location is remote but carpooling is arranged for families close to the city.
The research consistently shows that when children are allowed to pursue their interests and passions, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated, and they develop a sense of curiosity that stays with them throughout their lives.
At Learn le Grá, there is no pressure, competition or tests.
Gráinne leads her charges into days filled with outdoor forest adventures, yoga, crafts, gardening, and activities that help them develop life and social skills, with an emphasis on play.
Instead of being told what to learn and how to learn it, children are encouraged to follow their interests and passions, and pursue knowledge and skills that are meaningful to them.
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“Children are given the chance to develop real-life skills, find their own learning pace, and cultivate their emotional intelligence and regulation,” Gráinne told Yay Cork.
“We have guest facilitators in all the time to share their wisdom whether that’s permaculture gardeners, music teachers, and even grandparents who share crafts, traditions, and wisdom!
“Children at Learn le Grá spend a massive time outside in nature and moving through the Celtic Wheel makes so much sense to me. We celebrate the Celtic festivals, and the children adore exploring the myths and folklore of the land.”
It’s important to note, the whole family is invited to be part of the experience:
“You’re not just enrolling your child but the whole family!” explains Gráinne.
“This makes for a much richer learning environment as there is more alignment between ‘school life’ and ‘family life’.” Parents are children’s primary teachers — this is true whether a child is home-schooled, attends mainstream or anything in between. Learn le Grá is a community of families passionate about holistic learning.”
If you are interested in learning more about this innovative school, you can request a free information pack.