Gaelscoil ilchreidmheach i mBaile Locha Riach – Multidenominational primary school in Loughrea

How a Gaelscoil works

Gaelscoil Riabhach is a mutidenominational primary school in Loughrea, Co. Galway. We provide immersion education through the medium of Irish for boys and girls, under the patronage of An Foras Pátrúnachta.

Immersion education is the system of education of an Irish-Medium school. The benefits of Immersion education are recognised internationally. At Gaelscoil Riabhach the pupils are immersed in Irish from their first day in school. The teacher will speak only Irish to the pupils until their second term in Senior Infants. This system has been proven worldwide to be the most effective for language acquisition (MET, 1998).

From day one your child will learn Irish in a natural way through engaging and fun activities such as:

  • Songs, rhymes and poems
  • Stories
  • Drama activities
  • Language games
  • Structured and unstructured play
  • Learning phrases and words in thematic contexts
  • Interacting with teachers, visitors and other children

According to research on bilingual education the following are some of the benefits for students:

  • Better performance academically (Gallagher & Hanna, 2002).
  • Easier to learn a third and a fourth language (Cenoz & Valencia 1994).
  • An understanding and openness to other cultures (Gallagher & Hanna, 2002).
  • Improvement in cognitive functioning in creativity and communication (Bialystok et al. 2005).
  • Higher scores in English and Maths (Education Research Centre, 2011)
  • Enhanced awareness of identity, culture and sense of community (Baker, 2003)
  • Increased Self Esteem (Baker, 2003)
  • Bilingual Education enriches academic productivity, creative talents and self-esteem in students (NMABE, 2006; Cummins, 2000)
  • Improved communication and social skills (Cummins, 2000)