How it Works | Heritage in Schools

How it Works

The Heritage in Schools Scheme provides a panel of Heritage Specialists who visit primary schools (in-person or virtually) to help children and their teachers learn about and appreciate their local heritage. The Scheme supports the stated aims and objectives of the Social, Scientific and Environmental Education (SESE) curriculum and provides an additional educational tool and resource for teachers.

  • To generate greater awareness, respect, interest and appreciation of our heritage among primary school children (4-12 year olds) by encouraging both teachers and pupils to engage with their local heritage in a hands-on, interactive and meaningful way, through place-based learning.
  • To encourage learning in the outdoor classroom in order to address the increasing decline in time spent outdoors by Irish children.

An in-person visit from a Heritage in Schools Specialist might be to your school grounds or to a local heritage site. Visits are hands-on and interactive and take place in the outdoor classroom where possible. The Specialist will tailor the visit to your requirements and a full or half day visit may be structured so that the Specialist works with different groups of children throughout the visit. Group sizes are limited to 30 children.

Visit our Heritage Specialist directory to see what topics are offered.

Our virtual Heritage in Schools programme enables schools to engage with our Specialists remotely when restrictions may limit the opportunity for face to face visits or when geographic locations prevent the Specialist visiting the school in person.

A virtual visit offers a mix of pre-recorded and live interactive sessions for children and teachers and includes the following elements:

  • Pre-recorded video (10-15 mins for junior classes and 20 mins (max) for senior classes). The video had scheduled pauses and prompts for teacher to allow opportunity for in-class discussion.
  • Teacher’s notes for each recording as well as activities and worksheets to be completed during or after the session.
  • A real-time virtual interactive session with the children and teacher (40-60 mins) delivered over Zoom. This is a follow-up to the pre-recorded session and activities. These sessions are interactive; have an activity in the middle to break up screen time and allow for teacher’s input.

Visit our Heritage Specialist directory to see what topics are offered.

How much does an in-person visit from a Specialist cost?

Visits are part-funded by the school and the Heritage Council. The Heritage Council will also cover travel costs.

Duration of visit Half Day (2.5 - 3 hours) Whole Day (5 - 5.5 hours)
Cost to school €60 €100
Cost to Heritage Council €80 €150
Cost to designated disadvantaged school €40 €60
Cost to Heritage Council €100 €190

How much does a virtual visit from a Specialist cost?

Visits are part-funded by the school and the Heritage Council. A virtual visit offers a pre-recording, supporting notes for teacher and two live Zoom sessions (40-60 mins)

Virtual visit Pre-recording, supporting notes, 2 live Zoom sessions
Cost to school €60
Cost to Heritage Council €90
Cost to designated disadvantaged school €40
Cost to Heritage Council €110

The Scheme funds visits which support the SESE curriculum [only] where the topics link in with the stated aims of the Scheme as outlined above.

Topics should relate to local heritage and may cover heritage subjects as defined by the Heritage Act: monuments, archaeological objects, heritage objects such as art and industrial works, documents and genealogical records, architectural heritage, flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, geology, heritage gardens, parks and inland waterways.

The Scheme supports heritage topics in the more broader sense including culture, genealogy, folklore, oral heritage and local history and aims to strengthen the links between art, culture and heritage.

Visits covering the Green School's 'Biodiversity' theme are funded through the Scheme - the other themes in the Green School's programme do not come under the remit of the Scheme.

If a school books five visits with the same Specialist in the same calendar year the fifth visit will be free i.e. the Heritage Council will cover the full cost of the fifth visit. The visits must take place in the same calendar year.

  • Visit the Heritage in Schools website and browse our Heritage Specialists for ‘virtual’ or ‘in-person’ visits
  • When you find a Specialist to suit your requirements contact the Specialist to arrange a date and then select ‘book a visit’ on that Specialist’s profile page or go straight to the booking page if you have already spoken to the Specialist
  • You will receive an email with a reference number when your booking is approved
  • Make internal arrangements to have payment ready for the Heritage Specialist on the day of the visit

Please note the following before submitting a booking request:

  • Specialists will accept the risk that visits may be cancelled due to inclement weather but schools are required to give at least FIVE working days’ notice for cancellations where at all possible. Please appreciate that Specialists are self-employed and do not get paid for cancelled visits - a late cancellation means loss of earnings!
  • The Heritage Specialist may require advance payment to secure the booking. In such cases payments will be fully refunded by the Specialist where FIVE working days' notice of cancellation is provided
  • Some programmes are delivered by two Specialists working together – in these cases the rate will be double the usual rate
  • Specialists will work with a maximum of 30 children
  • A visit confirmation form (VCF) will need to be completed and signed by the class teacher after each visit
  • A short evaluation form must be completed after each visit (or series of visits if more than one with a particular Specialist)
  • School Covid-19 protocol for visitors musts be emailed to the Specialist in advance of the visit. Our Specialists will strictly adhere to protocols in place
  • Specialists will remain up-to-date with public health measures relating to COVID-19
  • All bookings must be approved in advance of visit by the Heritage Council. Failure to book in advance, may result in the visit not being subsidised by the Heritage Council

  • The Heritage Specialist has been contacted and has agreed to the requested dates
  • The class teacher will be present at all times during the visit and will maintain adequate supervision of children
  • The number of children participating in a visit should not exceed 30 and, for virtual visits, should be from one class
  • As an invited visitor the heritage specialist is covered under the school’s public liability insurance
  • The heritage specialist will be paid at the agreed rate upon completion of each visit
  • Collection of data regarding contact information for session participants will be in line with the GDPR legislation
  • No photo, video, or audio recording of sessions (virtual or in-person) is permitted by participants
  • Links to resources provided by the specialist will not be shared with third parties
  • An online evaluation survey will be completed after each visit
  • A Visit Confirmation Form will be returned to the specialist by the class teacher after each visit (within 2 working days)
  • The school has obtained parental consent for all children involved in virtual visits
  • A representative of the Heritage Council may attend virtual sessions for evaluation if arranged in advance with the teacher
  • The pre-recorded tutorial will be viewed, and associated tasks completed before the live virtual visit
  • At least 5 working days’ notice will be provided for cancellations. The specialist is self-employed and does not get paid if a visit is cancelled. Adequate notice will allow other work to be scheduled