Case Studies
June 10, 2024

Embedding GCE in Millstreet Community School

“This year’s celebration was more ‘complete’ than any held in previous years. It entertained, informed, and challenged and is something still being talked about in the local community.”

Setting out on the Global Citizenship Education (GCE) Journey

Millstreet Community School (MCS) is a co-educational school situated in the North Cork town of Millstreet which has been host to a Direct Provision Centre for over twenty years. Its history of cultural diversity, inclusion and migration provides a context for the school’s engagement with GCE.

When Millstreet Community School became aware of the work of WorldWise Global Schools and Global Citizenship Education, it had already been hosting an annual event, the Language and Culture Night, which was a celebration of cultural diversity.

However, there had been a growing awareness among the organisers of the event that it was not reaching far enough into the school and local communities, and that it was not building a sense of solidarity. This was coupled with the understanding that a single annual event lacked the potential to explore in depth the global justice issues surrounding migration, diversity and inclusion.

The school was open to re-thinking the event and worked closely with WWGS Education Officers to question and reflect on the aims, objectives and impact of the event. By incorporating a GCE approach, the emphasis shifted from a one-night celebration, to creating time and space for the development of new and different perspectives on migration, diversity and inclusion.

Complexity of Global Justice Issues

Led by WWGS Education Officers, teachers at Millstreet Community School were encouraged to dig deeper; to engage with difficult and controversial questions regarding racism, migration, diversity and inclusion; to explore historical and systemic influences and to seek the root causes of these complex issues.

This led to discussions, debates and new learning relating to the associated global justice and human rights issues.

The impact is evident in how complexity and critical thinking is now embedded into the GCE approach in Millstreet Community School and is reflected in the words of GCE teacher John Magee:

“Our challenge is to assist our students to see that the reasons why people migrate are complex. To take this on board requires dismantling and reconstructing ideas that may have been held to be the truth in a particular situation for years”.

Solidarity & Empathy

Students have played a pivotal role in embedding GCE into Millstreet Community School, notably through the production ‘Belonging’ led by TY GCE students. The 9-minute video, supported by Cork Film Centre explores racism and the concept of belonging and is available to view on the schools YouTube channel (video below).

The production showcases how students reflected on racism, belonging and inclusion and it gives credit to the critical thinking and deep exploration of these issues. Students demonstrate global justice values of empathy and solidarity; they speak about breaking down stereotypes and misconceptions, and describe belonging as a fundamental human need which we all seek.


Over the past decade, Millstreet Community School has transformed its initial once-off Event into a holistic, integrated, and in-depth approach to GCE, providing multiple and varied opportunities to explore global justice issues and now culminates in the annual Language and Culture Week.

This evolution has taken time, patience, and a commitment to GCE. It has also taken a conscious and concerted effort to scaffold teaching and learning around the event and its activities. It includes a variety of cross-curricular teaching, peer-to-peer learning, workshops, guest speakers, and celebrations.

See the school’s YouTube documentary video below (33mins) on the Language and Culture Week events which took place in 2022.


 The school also produces a GCE newsletter which gives an update on GCE activities and showcases the Language and Culture week, 2023’s newsletter is available here. 

Download here the case study in pdf to get all the links to the scaffolding activities that appear in the image below.

Impact: Unlearning & Reconstructing

By critically exploring challenging topics, by unlearning and reconstructing normative and mainstream ideas around racism, migration, diversity and inclusion, stereotypes have been broken down, and there is an openness to develop global justice values of equality and inclusion. Summing it all up, lead teacher John Magee shares:

“At the heart of events is a desire to speak about racism and encourage the whole community not to be by-standers if they witness it. It is also about becoming more aware of the challenges faced by people who come to Ireland as migrants and the importance of building a sense of belonging and inclusion.”

‘Show racism the red card’, a peer-learning workshop

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