Teacher Support


To register for your free teacher’s pack, call or email our project office

If, after receiving your teacher’s pack, you have any queries, please read the FAQ Section. If you have any further questions, please fill out our query form or call our hotline number 01 522 4834



What is Irish Aid?

Irish Aid is Ireland’s official programme of overseas assistance/aid to developing countries. It is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
• Irish Aid works with governments and development organisations in over 80 countries.
• In humanitarian emergencies Irish Aid saves lives by quickly providing vital funds and assistance to organisations on the ground.
• Most of Irish Aid’s work, however, is focused on long-term development, especially in eight key partner countries, where it works with governments and other agencies to tackle the root causes of poverty and inequality and support human rights.
• Ireland, through Irish Aid, is a leader in the fight against hunger and climate change – it spends over 20% of its budget on improving nutrition and supporting farming communities to cope with the impact of climate change, especially in Africa.
• The Irish Aid programme is seen as a model in global terms because of its effectiveness and commitment to fighting poverty (for more information about Irish Aid and the official programme of overseas assistance see www.irishaid.ie).

What are the Our World Irish Aid Awards?

Irish Aid established the Our World Irish Aid Awards programme in 2005 to increase primary pupils’ understanding of the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development and the work of Irish Aid. By participating, pupils learn about the links between their lives and the lives of children in developing countries, and the role they can play in helping to create a better world for children everywhere.

Schools are provided with all the learning and teaching materials they need, which are related to the curriculum and the class level. Teachers are also provided with individual support by phone and online.
Each year, participating 3rd-6th class pupils learn about a specific theme and present what they have learnt through any medium, including writing, art, drama, poetry, film, music.

Each year, we celebrate the work of the top 60 schools through 4 regional awards events, with a National Final event for the 12 finalist schools in Dublin Castle in June 2019.

The deadline for Our World Irish Aid Award entries is 5th April 2019.

For all you need to know about the Awards, see the information in the Teacher’s section

What are the UN Goals for Sustainable Development?

193 countries of the United Nations, including Ireland, are working together to create a better world and a better future for all by 2030, through the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, which were agreed in September 2015, with Ireland taking a leading role in negotiations. These Goals, which build on the achievements of the previous UN Millennium Development Goals, seek to bring about a better future for children everywhere and for future generations.
The 17 Global Goals are as follows (simplified wording):

1. End poverty
2. End hunger
3. Make sure everyone can live healthy lives
4. Make sure everyone gets a good education
5. Make sure that women and girls get the same chances as men and boys
6. Make sure that everyone has access to clean water and proper toilets
7. Make sure that everyone has enough heat, light and power without damaging the environment
8. Help countries to develop and provide good jobs in a way that benefits everyone
9. Build schools, hospitals and roads, and promote creative businesses and industries, that make the people’s lives better
10. Make sure that everyone is treated fairly and that countries treat each other fairly
11. Make cities environmentally friendly and safe communities where people can live well
12. Make sure we only buy or use what we need so that we do not use up the earth’s scarce resources
13. Act now to fight climate change
14. Look after the life in our oceans and seas
15. Look after forests, animals and the earth itself
16. Work for peace and justice inside and between countries
17. Countries will work together as partners to achieve the Global Goals and make the world a better place for everyone

What is the theme of the 2020 Our World Irish Aid Awards?

The theme this year is ‘A Better World’.

Can participation in the Our World Irish Aid Awards help me fulfil curriculum objectives?

Yes! The lesson plans on the Awards website have been written to provide pupils with learning opportunities directly related to the primary curriculum, including:
• Curriculum Areas Republic of Ireland: Languages, Social, Personal & Health Education, Arts Education, Social, Environmental & Scientific Education, Religious/Ethical Education, Literacy & Numeracy.
• Areas of Learning Northern Ireland: Language & Literacy, Mathematics & Numeracy, Personal Development & Mutual Understanding, The Arts, The World Around Us, Religious Education.

Can I get individual advice about the Our World Irish Aid Awards as my pupils progress through the process?

Yes. You can either call our dedicated hotline number on 01 522 4834 and one of our team will be more than happy to help you. Or, you can send in your own query using the query submission form available on the Contact us section, and our online support team will reply within two days.

What benefit do pupils get out of participating in the Our World Irish Aid Awards?

Taking part will help pupils learn about wider world issues and will provide them with learning opportunities directly related to the primary curriculum. Through the teaching and learning support materials, pupils are provided with current information on developing countries, encouraged to develop their own ideas and use a range of analytical and communication skills to develop their project.
In addition, pupils will have fun using their creativity to present their projects in a wide range of media (music, art, writing, new media, etc.) and enjoy presenting what they have learnt to other classes or to the wider community.
Finally, if your school is selected as the top 15 in your region, the project will be exhibited at the regional event nearest your school, where they will receive an award. From there they may even be selected to go to the national finals in Dublin Castle!

How do I take part with my pupils?

Taking part is easy: Once you register, you will receive a teacher’s pack and free pupils’ magazines by mail. You can also access lesson plans linked to this year’s theme ‘Leave No One Behind’ on the teacher’s page of this website. Most teachers explore the issues through using at least some of the activities and information in the pupils’ magazine and in the lesson plans. You can then discuss with your pupils what topic or topics to focus on, and how to present their knowledge and ideas as a project. Pupils can work on their project in pairs, in small groups, as a whole class or as a school. It is important for you and your pupils to decide:
• The format in which to present their work
• How they will share their learning with the school/wider community
After that it’s a matter of creating the project – that’s where the fun starts!

What are the important deadlines for teachers/pupils participating in the Our World Irish Aid Awards?

Deadline for receipt of project entries is: 3rd April 2020.
Send in your entries, along with a completed entry diary to:
Our World Irish Aid Awards, Real Nation, 24 Arran Quay, Dublin 7.

Or you can email the project to: ourworld@realnation.ie

What format should we use to present the project?

The project can take any number of forms. The pupils might display their work in a project book. But, perhaps a mural or 3D model might also be a good option. If the children are interested in writing, why not invite them to write a poem or a story to express their views of a better future for all of the children in the world? All ideas are welcome!
It is important to make sure that you fill out your Entry Diary and that the pupils share their learning with the wider school or community – for example exhibiting their work, giving a presentation to other classes about what they have learned, etc.
If pupils complete any large pieces of work like 3D models or large posters/artwork – please just photograph it and send us pictures.
Don’t forget to label everything you send as clearly as possible with the school name and roll number!

I don’t have much time. Can I still take part?

The project that pupils submit can be as complex or as simple as you like. The programme is designed to suit a busy classroom where teachers can dip in and out of the resources provided. Please call us if you have any concerns about the scale of your project or getting it done in time

I don’t know much about the developing world. How can I teach this to my pupils?

You do not have to be a development ‘expert’ to participate in the OWIAA. The classroom resources provided on this website provide step-by-step instructions for teachers, with supporting worksheets and background information.

The Awards help pupils to understand how the world works as an interconnected whole rather than as a divided world, and encourage them to explore the connections between different parts of the world. When teaching about poverty and development, you should try to emphasize the capacity and ability of people and countries, even in extreme poverty, to direct their own development and how this is fundamental to aid and development programmes.

A list of guidelines for teaching about development is available here.

Find a complete list of Developing Countries here.

Where can I access more information about development education?

The classroom resources provided on this website provide step-by-step lesson plans for teachers, with supporting worksheets and background information, which are adequate for participation in the Awards.

However, the following publications and websites also have a wonderful range of ideas, resources and materials presented in teacher-friendly and child-friendly interactive style:

  • One World, Our World Storybook for 10-12 year olds on 5 of Irish Aid’s partner countries. Available free from Irish Aid [PDF]
  • Development and Intercultural Education Matters! – A practical guide from the primary classroom is a DVD created by the DICE Project and INTO learning exploring good practice for development and intercultural education. Contact info@dice.ie to request a copy.
  • Me, You, Everyone (2006) Amnesty International Irish Section.
  • Oxfam UK has excellent materials, free to download on: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/education/resources
  • It is also worth checking out: www.developmenteducation.ie for additional primary classroom resources.
  • Irish Aid runs free music-based workshops on food and farming in Africa in May and June for 5th and 6th classes in the Irish Aid Centre, Clonmel St, Dublin 2. To find out more contact Ana Barbu at the Irish Aid Centre: AnaMaria.Barbu@dfa.ie or 01- 4082832

Are there organisations that can help me to teach about development issues in my classroom?

There are many very good overseas development organisations which may provide speakers and facilitators for primary schools, including: