Why Choose
Irish Medium Education?

Irish-medium education is a rapidly growing education sector which delivers education through the Irish language. The pre-schools which provide this are called Naíscoileanna and the schools are called Gaelscoileanna.

Naíscoileanna & Gaelscoileanna deliver the curriculum through the Irish language immersion system. This system allows children to learn a second language as a natural part of their day to day school life. Irish is the language of communication and children quickly and naturally acquire understanding of and fluency through planned, structured play.

Children follow the national curriculum, the same as any English language school. They are taught the full range of subjects and also learn to read and write in English. This is structured as part of a well-designed and highly successful programme which results in the children becoming fluent in both Irish and English.


Naíscoil is often the first step on your child’s IME journey.  Through play-based learning experiences your child will cover the Pre-School Curriculum focussing on 6 key areas of learning, just as they would in any pre-school.  This will prepare them to transition to primary school but also ensure they make progress and achieve their full potential.  BUT, in Naíscoil we add a 7th area of learning… Irish! So even if you choose English medium primary school, your child will have covered the same curriculum but benefitted from an enhanced experience!


Over 900 children in IME primary provision in Co Derry alone

Just as with a Naíscoil, IME primary schools follow the same curriculum as an English medium school, but with the additional element of fluency in two languages rather than one.  Just as it occurs in a Naíscoil, while the standard curriculum for English medium follows the six areas of learning, ‘in the Irish-medium context this becomes seven.


From 16 children in 2015, it’s grown to 295 pupils in 2022

As with a naíscoíl or gaelsccoil, Gaelcholáiste Dhoire follows the same curriculum as an English medium post primary school, offering the same (and increased) opportunities for study and extracurricular activities.  It’s success, evident in its impressive growth trajectory, can be contributed not just to the growing appetite for Irish Medium Education, but also to its child-centred ethos, aiming to place the student at the centre of everything they do.  They emphasise critical thinking, developing skills for the future and a holistic approach to learning. Success is measured not only in the academic achievements of it’s alumni, but in its levels of pastoral care, sense of community belonging and extra-curricular prowess on the sporting fields and beyond.


Mighty Oaks,
From Little Acorns

In January 1992, Naíscoil Charn Tóchair started with only 7 pupils. From this one pre-school in rural South Derry, there are currently 11 naíscoilleanna (pre-schools), 7 Gaelscoileanna (primary schools), one Irish-medium unit and a Gaelcholáiste (secondary school), altogether catering for around 1700 children within Co Derry. Within the last 10 years, the Irish medium Education (IME) sector has more than doubled in size.