- Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education in Ireland - Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education

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About was established in 2006 and provides a broad range of information to parents and teachers nationwide through the pre-school, primary and secondary years.

We are delighted to now be able to extend the supports we offer to teachers and parents through the provision of online e-learning courses. Our courses are for primary school teachers who are looking for relevant and dynamic courses to support their CPD learning during Summer & Autumn 2022. Summer Courses are approved for EPV days.

Our Course Developers & Tutors

Petrina O'Donnell

Petrina O’Donnell has a background in Teaching and IT. With many years teaching in the mainstream, SEN and as teaching principal, Petrina has identified keyskills that would benefit teachers  in understanding important relationships surrounding the school community and dialogue, the development of communication techniques for challenging situations, and the use of self-protective wellbeing strategies when dealing with stress.

Petrina has developed her expertise as tutor and course designer through:

  • Masters in IT in Education -Mary Immaculate College (MIC)
  • Certificate in Coaching & Mentoring Skills (IITD)
  • Fellow membership of IITD
  • PDST tutor
  • Tutor/lecturer at MIC, Hibernia College and through Limerick Education Centre
  • Delivery of many teacher courses on IT in the school through the Limerick Education Centre

Brian Mc Carthy

Brian McCarthy has 28 years teaching experience in primary education (including five years as teaching principal and has been working as a S.E.N. teacher for the past 12 years. He has been an associate facilitator with the PDST since 2007.

As well as having a special interest in helping children with movement difficulties he has vast experience and knowledge in physical education including:
  • undertook ‘Training of Trainers-P.E’ course in 2007 through the PDST
  • associate facilitator with PDST (P.E.) since 2007 facilitating summer courses and C.P.D. workshops during the school year
  • facilitated the ‘Move well, Move Often’ physical literacy summer course
  • guest lecturer Mary Immaculate College of Education in the area of physical literacy
  • designed the Equilibrium Movement Programme which has been implemented in his school on a daily basis for the past 4 years
  • designed and facilitated a night course on sensorimotor development and physical literacy which was delivered through the Limerick Education Centre
  • designed and facilitated a presentation for parents of primary school children focusing on the academic benefits of sensorimotor development and how this can be integrated with physical literacy
  • Diploma in Sports Injury Therapy
  • Diploma in Applied Kinesiology

Aidan Stanley

Aidan Stanley is the founder of enviroKids Workshops which delivers enviromental workshops to both Primary and Secondary Schools, Social Clus, Scouting Ireland, Local Community Groups and Public Libraries around the country.

Aidan holds a QQi in 'Special Needs' and 'Train the Trainer' and has a distinciton in Sustainability Devlopment and Biology and Biodversity Studies.

"Aidan, from enviroKids Workshops came in to give a talk to our 5th & 6th class. His presentation was excellent, truly gripping and he had a great way with the children, holding their attention for the entire duration of the talk, The presentation itself was so interesting - the images and facts that Aidan showed were mind-blowing and the children were genuinely intrigued and moved by what they saw. " Teacher, Allen National School

Cathy O'Connor

Cathy O'Connor has 14 years teaching experience; 8 years in a mainstream classroom followed by 6 years teaching in learning support and resource.

Cathy undertook OKAY Kidding Around Yoga course for teaching yoga to children from 2-18 years.

This led her to create and develop the yÓGa Kids Programme which is specifically designed to integrate and support teaching of the Irish Primary School Curriculum.

Cathy has been delivering this programme in primary schools across County Limerick

Gillian Blaney Shorte

Gillian is the Founder and Art Director of Artzone, Ireland’s leading Children’s art and Design School. Artzone is run by Qualified Art Teachers working to the Primary School Visual Arts Curriculum, researching and developing new portfolios for three age groups every term.
Gillian is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design + Technology , with an Honours Degree in Art and Design Education. A firm believer in lifelong learning, she also studied Visual Education, Fine Art, Painting and Photography at IADT, Dun Laoghaire. Gillian founded Artzone in 2003 after 12 years working in the formal education system as a secondary school art teacher.

At that time she was also running community-based art programmes. Artzone has grown year on year and now employs 25 full and part-time teachers with 2,200 students attending weekly art classes and over 2,500 students attending seasonal art camps yearly. She remains the driving force and inspiration behind the Artzone portfolios for classes and camps. In true entrepreneurial fashion, Gillian is continuously researching, developing and perfecting new portfolios, projects, products and services. In 2020 Gillian won Creative Industries Leader of the Year. She was the Image Creative Business Woman of the Year in 2019.

Eliya Lavine

Eliya Lavine is a primary school teacher and outdoor nature-based educator with experience teaching in the mainstream classroom, in learning support, as a substitute teacher, and as a garden and Forest School practitioner in her home state of California, Ireland, and internationally.

Eliya’s academic background at the intersection of people and planet ranges from her Bsc with a focus on Sustainable Food Systems and Forestry and Natural Resources, MA in Education rooted in diversity and inclusion, and qualification as a Forest School Practitioner. Her experiences working in educational community gardens and elementary schools as a mainstream and garden teacher in Los Angeles and Oakland, California, USA, on rooftop gardens and at international schools in Shanghai, China, and with Forest Schools and primary schools in Dublin, Ireland have contributed a range of skills and approaches to her nature-based learning facilitation toolkit.

Eliya currently serves as a Creative Associate for the Arts Council’s Creative Schools Programme, and her initiative, Seed Scholars, has received Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and Creative Ireland funding to support a host of Nature Learning and Forest School projects for primary schools and families.

Barbara McGraynor

Barbara McGraynor is a Primary School teacher and a Forest School leader with over 20 years experience teaching in mainstream.

Barbara’s academic background includes a Masters in Education and a certificate in Forest School leadership (Open College Network, UK). She is a Forest School Leader (Level 3 through OCN, Circle of Life Rediscovery), an An Taisce Climate Ambassador and a Greensod Biodiversity Ambassador.

Barbara has completed a ‘Working with Challenging Behaviour in the Outdoors’ certificate with the National Open College Network (UK).

Barbara is SESE and Green Schools post holder in her school. She is passionate about getting children outdoors to develop a nature connection within the school context. She has a passion for outdoor education and developing resilience and decision-making skills in children.

View our 2022 Summer Courses