Launch of new school’s programme: Embracing Cultural Diversity in the Classroom

11 March, 2020

Chester Beatty Launches Intercultural Museum Programme for Schools


Chester Beatty has launched an Intercultural museum programme for primary and post-primary schools.  The new all-Ireland project offers students and their teachers the opportunity to explore world cultures in an Irish museum.  Participants will be encouraged to engage with Chester Beatty’s Islamic, East Asian and European collections through a variety of activities including guided tours, self-guided visits, online learning resources and access to the extensive image gallery.

The new programme was launched by Katherine Licken, Secretary General, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Fionnuala Croke, Director at the Chester Beatty. It is supported by Creative Ireland and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Intercultural dialogue and learning plays a key role in the museum’s mission and fosters dialogue with the communities represented in Chester Beatty’s unique collections.  These collections offer wonderful learning opportunities and support a number of key curricular areas from art history to world faiths. A range of free teaching resources are available to support self-guided visits and inspire activities back at school.

The project is being launched after an 18-month research activity by the Learning and Education Department at Chester Beatty to develop and build its first Intercultural programme for schools. The research was carried out in co-operation with Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Maynooth University, the Intercultural Education Service (Education Authority of Northern Ireland) and the UK Heritec Education Consultancy.  A key component of the development programme was the training of guides and facilitators in visual thinking strategies and object-based learning to reflect the school curriculum.

An additional key development will see Chester Beatty work with the Junior Cycle Religious Education programme to offer professional development for teachers, inspired by the museum’s collections exploring world faiths.

Students and teachers from three of the schools involved in the progamme attended the launch at Chester Beatty – Lecarrow Community National School Roscommon; St Clare’s School, Cuper Road Belfast and Donegall Road Primary School, Belfast. They created a beautiful collage inspired by the geometric and artistic patterns found in the Islamic collections as well as taking tours to see artworks including a Chinese Dragon robe, Japanese scrolls and a Buddha.

Schools have full access to Chester Beatty’s remarkable treasures through the website thus allowing students and teachers to experience the Chester Beatty from the school desk or from home.    In addition, the CB’s new Digital Museum Guide app offers audio tours in six languages, virtual 3D walkthroughs of the museum, online browsing of the Chester Beatty’s world-renowned treasures, and a news section to highlight our extensive programme of events and activities. For more details of the programme please visit our website


Listen to this podcast by pupils from Lecarrow Community National School and their Principal Mr Naos Connaughton about their visit to the Chester Beatty for the launch of the new school’s programme.


Supported by

Creative Ireland and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

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Chester Beatty
Dublin Castle
Dublin 2
D02 AD92