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Lisneal College - Lambeg Tuition

In 2010 the College started to engage with the Ulster-Scots Agency and an Ulster-Scots After School Club offering Highland Dancing, Lambeg drumming and Fife all of which were established as part of Lisneal’s wide range of extra curriculum activities. The College appointed County Down native Darren Gibson, a teacher in the Art and Design Department as their Ulster-Scots coordinator.




Lisneal College is situated in the Waterside area of Londonderry.  The College was opened in September 2004 as the result of an amalgamation between Clondermot and Faughan Valley High Schools.  In September 2007 the College moved to new premises on The Crescent Link Road.


The Ulster-Scots After School Club, which was funded by the Ulster-Scots Agency, began as a ten-week extracurricular workshop.  A dedicated ‘band’ of students have been getting to grips with the massive Lambeg drums, learning what’s involved with the Fife and enjoying a fling or two at Highland Dancing classes.   Ulster-Scots Agency peripatetic tutors, Mark Anderson and Kerry Jordan, were both involved in the after school activities.  These activities have proved so popular with the pupils at Lisneal that the Ulster-Scots Agency has extended the initiative to the classroom with an additional term of drumming and fifing lessons for year 10’s.


Darren Gibson, Ulster-Scots coordinator at the school said: “These workshops have sparked a real desire amongst our pupils to learn more about their heritage and cultural traditions


The College’s History Department has also taken up the opportunity to engage in Ulster-Scots activity, with a special interest in the Plantation of Ulster.  Year 9 pupils in Lisneal have been given the opportunity to find out more about the Plantation of Ulster.  Workshops were delivered by Donegal man, Charlie Gallagher who has a gift for making history come alive – especially for young people.


Charlie gives a fresh slant on this period of history - a mixture of heavy history and stand up comedy is very educational while keeping the pupils hanging on his every word. Charlie also incorporates many authentic weapons from the early Plantation, along with replicas he has crafted himself, into his workshops to build up an accurate picture of life in Plantation Ireland.


After entertaining the pupils with the details of Plantation life, Charlie pointed out the significance of the Plantation and how it shaped much of our life today.  This period of history defined much of the 400 years that was to follow, therefore a full understanding of it is vitally important to appreciate our rich culture.


Pupil’s comments included:


“I hadn’t really thought about how tough life must have been in the 1600’s”

“I couldn’t stop giggling - Charlie made our lesson so much fun”

“I can see how the Plantation affected so much of our past and impacted on so much of life today”


Head of history Susan Keown commented “The Plantation is a notoriously difficult event to teach and yet is so important in understanding many of our attitudes and environment today. It was a pleasure to have Charlie in the department and we are grateful to the Ulster-Scots Agency for supporting and creating the event.”


By Darren Gibson, Art & Design Department and Ulster-Scots coordinator, Lisneal College.

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