Secondary education programmes

Secondary education programmes

Are you looking for a programme or project that engages students with global issues?

We offer five key secondary education programmes and plenty of workshops and talks for students to gain a deeper understanding of developmental and global issues.

Concern Debates

Concern Debates is an all-Ireland year-long competition for students ( fourth–sixth year). Each year, over 140 schools across the island of Ireland debate topics from climate change to corporate responsibility.

The programme gives students the opportunity to learn skills in research, critical thinking, and public speaking. It also helps students to reflect on, and try to tackle, some of the most important issues facing the world today.

Debating is one of the most important things you can become involved with! You learn how to observe things with an objective lens.

Claire Williams - Concern Debates Finalist

Interested in the Concern Debates?

Concern Debates champions St. Kilian's German School from Clonskeagh holding their trophies at The Helix, Dublin. LtoR Leah Fellenz, Aisling Burns, Oscar Toomey, Isabel van der Voort. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide
Concern Debates champions St. Kilian's German School from Clonskeagh holding their trophies at The Helix, Dublin. LtoR Leah Fellenz, Aisling Burns, Oscar Toomey, Isabel van der Voort. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide
Concern Debates 2019 champions from Largy College, Monaghan. Photo: Camila Berto Gomes / Concern Worldwide.
Concern Debates 2019 champions from Largy College, Monaghan. Photo: Camila Berto Gomes / Concern Worldwide.

Speak Act Do

Speak Act Do is a brand new programme for 2019 which aims to support teachers and students to take action on important global issues. Sign up a class or a whole year group, research and explore the local and global impacts of one of five topics (Gender Equality, Climate Action, Conflict, Hunger or Inequality) and with support from our schools team, organise and plan two actions focusing on your issue.

The programme aims to deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of global issues, understand how they impact on the lives of communities that Concern work with globally and take meaningful action locally and in solidarity with people who face these issues around the world. Students can showcase their project at our annual Agents of Change student event which takes place in March/April each year.

Interested in taking part in Speak Act Do?

Tallaght Community School students presenting their campaign academy project at Concern’s annual Agents of Change event in Croke Park. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.
Tallaght Community School students presenting their campaign academy project at Concern’s annual Agents of Change event in Croke Park. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.
Tallaght Community School students presenting their campaign academy project at Concern’s annual Agents of Change event in Croke Park. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.
Tallaght Community School students presenting their campaign academy project at Concern’s annual Agents of Change event in Croke Park. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.

School talks and workshops

We offer development education workshops for secondary schools to help introduce, or deepen students understanding of, issues facing people across the world.

These can take the form of a talk for 30+ students or an interactive workshop with smaller groups. 

We all learned new things like stats and facts – but also from each other. Gender equality is something that affects everyone.

Luke - Development Education Workshop participant

Interested in hosting a school talk or workshop?

Students taking part in Concern’s annual Agents of Change event in Croke Park. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.
Students taking part in Concern’s annual Agents of Change event in Croke Park. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.
Students taking part in Concern’s annual Agents of Change event in Croke Park. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.
Students taking part in Concern’s annual Agents of Change event in Croke Park. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.

Work experience

*Please note: At this stage, all our Transition Year Work Experience places are booked up.

We host a limited number of Transition Year students for week-long general work experience placements on an individual basis during October, December, and January in our head office in Dublin. Placements are allocated on a first-come basis and designed to give students an insight into what it is like to work in one of Ireland’s biggest NGOs. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept students on a one day per week basis.

Luke really enjoyed his time at Concern. He learned a huge amount from all the staff and was really impressed with the programme!

Rory McAllorum - Parent of work experience student
Students (l-r) Sarah, Alizay, Iona, Kelley and Emma participate in Work experience. Photo: Jason Kennedy / Concern Worldwide.
Students (l-r) Sarah, Alizay, Iona, Kelley and Emma participate in Work experience. Photo: Jason Kennedy / Concern Worldwide.
Students Ellen, Shurooq, Lucy and Eve participate in work experience. Photo: Jason Kennedy / Concern Worldwide.
Students Ellen, Shurooq, Lucy and Eve participate in work experience. Photo: Jason Kennedy / Concern Worldwide.

TY Academy

*Please note: At this stage, all our TY Academy places are booked up.

TY Academy is a week-long programme which runs three times over the year in November and February. It is ideal for Transition Year students who are keen to learn how they can become active global citizens and find out about what it is like to work in an NGO.

During each of these weeks, we host 16 Transition year students on a programme that includes seminars and simulations of work in various roles. Students must also agree to complete a follow-on project in their school (campaigning or fundraising) and have their application signed off by a teacher in order to be considered. Placements are allocated according to information provided on the application form.

It has really inspired me. Even though we are just teenagers, I know that we can make a difference.

Mai - TY Academy Participant
Students participate in TY Academy. Photo: Jason Kennedy / Concern Worldwide.
Students participate in TY Academy. Photo: Jason Kennedy / Concern Worldwide.
Students participate in TY Academy. Photo: Cian Purcell-Milton / Concern Worldwide.
Students participate in TY Academy. Photo: Cian Purcell-Milton / Concern Worldwide.

Agents of Change

Agents of change is our annual end-of-year student event which celebrates primary and secondary students taking local action on global issues! In the past, these have included awareness campaigns about conflicts in the world, practical action on food waste in schools and communities, fundraising actions and speaking out about injustices. This event gives students the opportunity to showcase their projects and meet like-minded peers from around the country.

I really enjoyed the day and it was lovely to meet so many people my age that feel as I do on global issues…that and TY academy were one of the highlights of this school year!

Student - St Louis High School

Interested in taking part in Agents of Change? 

Maryfield College students at Agents of Change. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.
Maryfield College students at Agents of Change. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.
Students taking part in Concern’s annual Agents of Change event in Croke Park. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.
Students taking part in Concern’s annual Agents of Change event in Croke Park. Photo: Ruth Medjber/ Concern Worldwide.

'World Day' workshop

Each year, the United Nations marks key dates to bring attention to global issues which affect many people’s access to human rights. Join us and students from different schools for an interactive workshop as we mark World Food Day, World Toilet Day and International Women’s Day! Find out about complex global problems; hear about what Concern staff and communities around the world are doing to overcome these issues; and get some tips on how to take action as a school community.

These days are perfect for students (fourth–sixth year) and we can accommodate up to five students from each school.

The world day event was hugely important to students as it allowed them to see clearly the place of women in the world and their power to affect change. All in all, a stimulating, enjoyable, empowering workshop.

Deirdre McDonnell - Teacher, Our Lady’s Bower

Interested in taking part in a World Day Workshop?

Pupils from secondary schools across Ireland, take part in a gender equality workshop in Dublin. Photo Concern Worldwide.
Secondary schools taking part in a gender equality workshop in Dublin. Photo: Concern Worldwide.
Pupils from secondary schools across Ireland, take part in a gender equality workshop in Dublin. Photo: Gavin Douglas / Concern Worldwide.
Pupils from secondary schools across Ireland take part in a gender equality workshop in Dublin. Photo: Gavin Douglas / Concern Worldwide.

Teacher training

We offer training sessions for schools and teachers focusing on simple ways to incorporate development education into the curriculum, as well as support for teachers using our resources.

I really appreciate all the help and guidance and am just blown away by your level of commitment and passion for what you do!

Elaine - Teacher, Old Bawn Community School

Interested in receiving Teacher training?

Jessica Maguire, Project Us Coordinator runs and Project Us world café focusing on Climate Action. Pictured at Concern’s annual Agents of Change event in Croke Park. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
Jessica Maguire, Project Us Coordinator runs a Project Us world café focusing on Climate Action. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
Concern Debates Leaflet and wristband. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
Concern Debates Leaflet and wristband. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.

Project Us

Project Us is Concern’s movement for change in Ireland. It is a space (online and off) for communities to gather together to discuss the global and local issues that matter most to us. We'll be exploring how issues at the local level connect to the Sustainable Development Goals through evenings of debate, questions, and ideas at our Coffee conversation events. These engaging events might just be coming to a city near you in 2019 and everyone is welcome to attend!

It's such a good idea. The way it's set up is really nice and casual which makes for great conversation

Fiona - Project Us participant

Find out more about Project Us events

Concern staff members participate in Project Us Café run by students participating in the Concern TY Academy. Photo: Gavin Douglas / Concern Worldwide.
Concern staff members participate in Project Us Café run by students participating in the Concern TY Academy. Photo: Gavin Douglas / Concern Worldwide.
Concern staff members participate in Project Us Café run by students participating in the Concern TY Academy. Photo: Gavin Douglas/ Concern Worldwide.
Concern staff members participate in Project Us Café run by students participating in the Concern TY Academy. Photo: Gavin Douglas / Concern Worldwide.

Talk to our team

  • Arrange a workshop or talk

  • Ask about Campaign Academy or Agents of Change

  • Enquire about the Concern Debates

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