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Toolkit for diversity in the primary school - Together towards inclusion



Practitioners in primary education. Note that a very similar toolkit for post-primary education was found for UK (NI), published in 2010 by the Inclusion and Diversity Service[1] .

[1] available at  


Country/ies or organisation that developed the tool

Integrate Ireland Language and Training, and Southern Education and Library Board (Ireland)

Date of creation of toolkit and periodicity of updates


Purpose of the toolkit

Guidance on best practices (to improve the design of policies and practices).

The toolkit aims at helping schools create and sustain a welcoming and inclusive environment for students and parents from all backgrounds and ensure equal access for all.

Description of each of the tools

The toolkit is a handbook and comprises the following 4 sections:

Section 1 - ‘Getting ready’ discusses the issues involved in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for new students and their parents.

  • Getting the school ready:
    • school environment
    • staff involvement
    • admissions
    • preparing all students
  • Getting the classroom ready:
    • welcoming class
    • welcoming environment
    • everyday activities
    • classroom area
    • resources

Section 2 - ‘Early days’ discusses the first steps towards the integration of students from other countries, cultures and ethnicities during the first weeks/months.

  • Early classroom days:
    • features of a supportive classroom
    • dos and don’ts
    • rules and routines
    • sense of belonging
    • sense of place
    • intercultural awareness
    • learning a new language
    • starter activities
    • language games
    • songs
    • storytelling
    • inclusive teaching strategies
    • communication with home
    • initial observations: the silent period

Section 3 - ‘Moving on’ discusses the ongoing provision for students in the primary school setting, including language development, monitoring and assessing progress, and celebrating diversity.

  • Moving on in the classroom:
    • language skills
    • planning for language in the curriculum
    • stages of language development
    • adapted planners: literacy and geography
    • celebrating diversity in the classroom/whole school
    • monitoring and assessing progress

Section 4 - ‘What next?’ Discusses planning for inclusion and diversity which includes auditing of current practice, action planning for priority areas of development, and staff training needs.

  • The school:
    • planning for inclusion
    • school and community
  • The classroom:
    • using the European Language Portfolio (ELP) to record progress
    • using the European Language Portfolio (ELP) to promote students’ autonomy

Type of guidance given to users

For each section, the toolkit provides advice and how-to guidance on the implementation of an inclusive school and on liaising with families. It also defines the concepts, roles and responsibilities of each actor. The main goal is to ensure that non-native students are integrated and acquire the necessary language skills. It also provides checklist tables, suggestions, examples of initiatives and activities to do with the students, as well as a dos-and-don’ts list to be used by practitioners.

Source of information of the different tools

Integrate Ireland Language and Training and Southern Education and Library Board

Link/s to the toolkit and further information

Related resources


Toolkit for diversity in the primary school