Pupils from two Dublin schools – Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School and Presentation Primary school, Warrenmount in Blackpitts Dublin 8, are to star in an RTE One documentary Creative Kids this Sunday, 3rd May at 6.30pm.
The documentary is inspired by the roll-out of Creative Schools, a pilot project focussing on creativity and the Arts in primary and secondary schools all around Ireland.
Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme, puts the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. The initiative is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Creative Kids followed five schools over the course of the academic year as they implemented the Creative Schools project and encouraged their pupils to think about the Arts and creativity in a whole new way.
Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council said;
“As everyone will see from this wonderful documentary, the Creative Schools programme is already a great success, and has changed the lives of hundreds of young people from a broad range of schools across the whole country. The Arts Council is very proud to be delivering this programme, and I would strongly encourage principals and teachers to consider applying so that their schools can participate in Creative Schools. The closing date has been extended to 25 June 2020.”
Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School focused on an end-of-year festival on the grounds of the school exploring the theme of sustainability. While Presentation Primary School, Warrenmount, Blackpitts, Dublin 8 focused on Baking.
Alice O’Connor, Teacher at Stepaside ETNS said;
“Our school benefitted hugely from being part of the Creative Schools programme as it gave students a strong voice that allowed them to access creativity in their own terms outside of the parameters of the regular curricular teaching and learning. It also gave the teachers and staff access to artists in the community to work with on projects and initiatives that enhanced student learning and the teaching across the whole school. Last year our creative schools programme culminated in a festival, bringing together a year of collaboration and creation and was such an exciting celebration for students, staff, parents and the community. The whole experience has left a strong creative legacy which we have grown from and we are excited to see what continues to unfold in to the future in terms of creativity.”
Students and teachers kicked off the Creative Schools initiative by coming together to discuss what type of projects they wanted to pursue. The projects and disciplines agreed on were driven by the students themselves in cooperation with a ‘Creative Associate’ – an artist and/or teacher hired by Creative Ireland to work with the schools to help facilitate and roll out their ideas. In many cases local artists were brought into the schools to host workshops or to work with the students on their projects.
Gwen Williams, Creative Associate at Presentation Primary school said;
“Each project has enabled the creative potential of the children and listened to each unique voice so as to represent the student body in a meaningful way. Arts and creativity have been placed at the heart of teaching and learning in the schools and have become indispensable to the children’s education. The children, their schools and their communities have been illuminated and enriched through their involvement in the Creative School initiative.
The scope of the projects has enhanced partnerships with families, communities, artists, professionals and institutions and this has created unlimited possibilities for improving education for all students.
On one of my visits to the school I met a little girl who was struggling academically and was very shy. During the project she came out of her shell. Her teacher and her parents were amazed. The creative element had a powerful impact on her and enabled her to flourish. It gave her a chance to shine. Imagine how projects like this could reach all children and make school a place of endless possibilities for all children.”
The Arts Council has invited schools across Dublin to take part in their Creative Schools initiative, opening up the programme to another 150 schools, bringing the total number to 300. All Department of Education and Skills primary and post-primary schools, special schools and Youthreach centres are eligible to apply.
Interested schools should:
Step 1 – Get online to find out more www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools
Step 2 – Register your school today (this can take up to 5 working days)
Step 3 – Apply online between before 25 June 2020.