Available Courses

  • Students explore Fota House for clues about what life was like for those living and working there. They learn to 'read' the building for clues about the ambitions of the owner and contrast between live above and below stairs.

    An introductory flipchart is available to download for teachers to use in class.

  • This unit is designed to help students gain a more concrete understanding of some of the abstract terms that are used to explain language. The ultimate objective is for students to use one or more of the language genres to compose a short piece of writing that concerns an incident, a character or a setting ...or all three.

    A flip chart is available to download for students to introduce this topic in class.

  • Politics and Parlourmaids addresses the notion that history is written by those in power. It asks students to think about the different people who lived in Fota house and how each of their stories can contribute to our understanding of the house.

    An introductory flipchart is available for download. This flipchart introduces the topic to students in preparation for a visit to the house.

  • This unit has been developed for students of Leaving Certificate English and History who are studying The Last September as a text for their exam, or are studying ‘The Pursuit of Sovereignty and the Impact of Partition, 1912-49\'. It aims to give students a clear impression of the political events happening in Cork during September 1920, a month in which violence and tension was escalating in both city and county. Using a case study approach, students use the Web to gather news stories for a publication/broadcast about September 1920.
  • Exhibitions and related themes feature regularly on the Leaving Certificate Art History and Appreciation paper. We have developed this unit to encourage students to analyse an exhibition, and to think critically about how it is planned and designed in different contexts and spaces. You can use this unit to provide the basis for an exhibition design project using a visit to Fota House as inspiration.
  • The aim of this unit is for students to develop a sketchbook or mood board where they can record their personal responses to the design of Fota and the domestic interior of the Regency period. The unit is intended to enable students to make connections with and develop themes relating to the house, gardens, arboretum and collection at Fota from observational sketches. Our objective is to encourage students to take a critical look at the architectural style of Fota and also the functional design of the house by observing and recording these elements with particular reference to texture and pattern and use of space in a big house.
  • This unit is designed to chime with two aspects of the Leaving Cert English curriculum: cultural context/social setting and creative writing. In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries some of the finest Irish novels to be written were created by residents of the big house. The spaces and rituals of the house, along with the political turmoil outside the demesne wall form both backdrop and narrative. In this unit works by George Moore, Somerville and Ross, and Elizabeth Bowen are discussed as exemplars of the type. Students are then set the challenge of composing their own piece of creative writing following a trip to Fota.
  • We have designed this unit to give students a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes at a historic property. It looks at what attracts visitors and what they like to do when they are there. The unit focuses on an event planning and marketing assignment with the aim of encouraging students develop an understanding of the role of product development, marketing and audience focus in the heritage sector today.
  • An understanding of the Land Acts and the Land War form an integral part of the Leaving Cert History Syllabus. We have designed this unit to develop students understanding of this subject in the context of Fota House, its landlord and its tenants. Students are asked to examine original documents and photographs in order to assess the impact of the Land Acts/War on Fota.

Here you will find support materials for guiding your students use of Fota Learning Zone. Each unit available on the site is mirrored here by a course containing useful backup material for you.
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