Platinum Jubilee

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:00 pm on 14th March 2022.

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Photo of William Humphrey William Humphrey DUP 2:00 pm, 14th March 2022

2. Mr Humphrey asked the Minister of Education what plans she has to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s platinum jubilee. (AQO 3245/17-22)

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

Minister McIlveen is pleased to advise that she has agreed the development and delivery of a platinum jubilee education programme to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s platinum jubilee.

The jubilee education programme will comprise five main projects, including a suite of curriculum resources that are linked to the jubilee; the big NI jubilee message from schools congratulating the Queen on her platinum jubilee; a jubilee poem-writing competition themed on the Queen and the jubilee celebrations; a big jubilee summer fair for schools; and a jubilee bake-off competition for pupils. All the projects link directly to the Northern Ireland curriculum and have the potential to enhance teaching and learning opportunities for all pupils. They will also allow school communities to come together in a spirit of fun and friendship.

The curricular resources will include a history module on the role of the monarchy; an interactive timeline of the Queen’s reign; lessons and resources that focus on the world, society and daily life in the 1950s; and a suite of film-based resources to highlight the Queen’s connection with Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, utilising archive materials from the Queen’s visits. In addition, the Department for Education in England has commissioned a commemorative book for primary-school children across the United Kingdom.

Photo of William Humphrey William Humphrey DUP

On this Commonwealth Day, I commend the Minister, in her absence, for her programme. Earlier today, we planted a tree to mark Her Majesty's platinum jubilee close to Lord Craigavon's tomb. Are there plans for the jubilee celebrations across our education sector to be extended to uniformed organisations?

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

I thank the Member for the question. First, on the tree planting today by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, I commend him for his work in ensuring that a very appropriate commemoration took place for that event. That was good work.

Secondly, I know about his interest in uniformed organisations and their importance right across Northern Ireland. In finalising the development of the programme, the Minister has specifically asked her officials to consider how they might work with uniformed organisations and other youth groups on jubilee projects in order to see how they can be involved.

Photo of Stewart Dickson Stewart Dickson Alliance

Like the Minister, I pay tribute to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in the Assembly for planting a tree today to mark Her Majesty's platinum jubilee. Does the Minister — this is probably apposite as he is also the Agriculture Minister — have any plans to provide trees to any school in Northern Ireland that wishes to plant one to mark this year?

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

Absolutely. We can give an assurance on that. If any schools require trees for tree planting, we can, given that Forest Service has an ample amount, engage with the Education Department on their distribution.