1. Project Guidelines, 2023/24

To All Participants

A sincere thanks for your entry into the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project. If this is the first time entering the Project, you’re very welcome.

If you have entered before, you’re very welcome back. We have a large number of schools involved in the city.

As a large number of students are entering, below are a number of guidelines to get everyone thinking about their work.



Project Book

All project material should be in an A4 size Project book. You can use an A4 binder or even create your own project book.

The front cover of you project should have your name/s, project title, school, category entered and teacher clearly marked amongst the front cover design.

Your project may be as large as you wish but probably minimum 20 pages (text + pictures + sketches).

Basic Layout

Your project should have a beginning, middle and end (conclusion)

  • Beginning – state why you chose your project
  • Middle – What you discovered written up – the facts, figures, photos, sketches
  • End – State what you learned from this project, your thoughts, your views on your work

The Framework of your Project

In terms of what the judges are looking for, the five main things to have in your project are:

Design (20%)

Creativity (20%)

Imagination (30%)

Opinion (15%)

Publicity (15%).

Design (20%)

The design of your project is important. It should be as colourful as possible. The challenge to you is to bring the facts and figures alive.

You should take your own photographs and avoid taking present day photographs from the internet.

Any text taken from books and the internet should be in your own words (as far as possible). Your project should also have sketch maps locating areas you are talking about.

Creativity (20%)

Prizes in the past have been given to students’ projects, which have taken a clever approach to the topic. You are challenged to bring the facts and figures alive. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the overall design and plan of your project. At the end of the day, it’s your project!

For this section, you have to choose one of two creative methods – make a model on an aspect of your project or make a short film on your project.

In terms of the models, all models should be referred to in the project book.

Put a picture of it in your project book and tell the reader how you put the model together.

The best model trophy in general goes to the largest but also creative and realistic model.

Imagination (30%)

You also need a now and then section. Try to compare and connect the past to your present and your immediate future. You can mention changing technologies.

For example if you are doing a history of a street? Well try to find an old photograph and then go back and retake the photograph in the present day. Your work should involve re-imagining what life may have been like. Do use your imagination (within reason). Do tell the truth of the story you are researching!

Opinion (15%)

Your opinion is very important to the overall aims of the project. Do give your opinion throughout the project plus your reasons for your comments.

Personalise your project. Why did you choose your project title? Why is your topic important or not important to you?

Publicity (15%)

Every year, the students involved in the project produce lots of project books and do enormous work getting the information from the local community.

This section is about showing your work to the wider community. That includes parents, family, the local community or getting newspaper coverage.

Some Points of Information

  • The Web:

The Web is a great resource but approach with caution. Any text from books and the internet should be in your own words, Marks will be lost if you cut and paste information. Judges are looking to read your project and not the internet’s project.

  • Library:

Local libraries generally have loads of information on a range of topics. If you explain out to the librarian what you are doing, they will help you as much as possible. It is also important that you search the library catalogues that are online in most libraries.

  • Fieldwork:

Everyone should go on fieldwork. Just mind yourself. Don’t go wandering by yourself. On fieldwork, make sure you bring a camera and a notebook. Try to talk to local people as much as possible as they usually have a great knowledge.

  • Interviews:

Interviewing people is an ideal source of information for all topics but can be very daunting. While interviewing people make sure you prepare for the interview. Come up with the questions that you wish to ask. Be polite and listen.

  • Buildings:

Cork City and County has many old buildings that are still standing from over the last eight hundred years. If you are doing a project on a street or a place, do think about the different buildings, their textures, colours, and makeup. They may help you to create a trail of the area that you are trying to write about.

  • Photograph Collections:

Perhaps the most well known photographic collection available in the city and county Libraries plus also online at the National Photographic Archive (http://hip.nli.ie/#focus). As well as that, don’t forget your own family photographs can show changing fashions. You should take your own present day photographs and avoid taking present day photographs from the internet.

  • Artefacts:

Old artefacts are kept by everyone to remember the past. They are usually made up of photographs but sometimes people keep actual objects. For example, recently I came across an old blacksmith’s forge where the anvil, the actual accounts and some of the horse shoes survive. Every year, students also do projects on their local school. Keep in mind with projects such as these that some of the old school books, uniforms, letters, diaries are great discoveries and that if you discover them you should write about them in your project book.

  • Cork’s Heritage Centres:

They provide loads of information and pictures broken down into understandable language.

  • Maps:

Your project should have sketch maps locating areas you are talking about. Old maps can be used effectively when detailing the changing face of an area over time.

  • Newspapers:

Old newspapers are a great source to find out what was happening at certain times in Cork’s past. They may also be useful for the overall graphic design of your project.

The Workshop

The above points are some guidelines, so that we get as much as much out of the Project by completion in December 2023.

Thanks again and best of luck!

Kieran McCarthy,