Scoil Eoin Takes Part In Creative Schools Project

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Fifth class pupils from Scoil Eoin, Balloonagh, taking part in the Creative Schools Project. Photo by John Cleary

SCOIL Eoin in Tralee is one of 150 schools chosen from approximately 400 applications to take part in the Creative Schools pilot project.

This initiative aims to put arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives by developing arts and creativity in schools. Faha National School, Fybough National School, Pobalscoil Inbhear Sceine and Presentation Primary School Tralee are the other Kerry schools selected.

For the last six weeks, almost ninety children in Scoil Eoin’s 5th classes have been working together on their first Creative School’s venture, assisted by creative associate Naomi Cahill.

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“I linked the school with a range of professional artists,” explains Naomi, “which gave students the chance to participate in arts and creative workshops. We also created a long-term sustainable plan to increase teachers’ confidence in arts and creative teaching and provide further opportunities to students.”

Fifth class pupils from Scoil Eoin, Balloonagh, taking part in the Creative Schools Project. Photo by John Cleary

Ms. Foley’s class worked with writer Paul Murphy in a number of creative writing workshops. Mr. Kennedy’s class then began visual art workshops with Abe Boland. Mr. Brosnan’s class worked with musician Andrew ‘Skatz’ Scattergood.

The children also enjoyed drama workshops with drama teacher Sharon Costello in preparation of the performance.

Teacher Sinead Curtin also worked with ninety 4th class students to immerse them in a series of creative workshops. Students had the opportunity to work with a range of renowned artistic professionals including: Joan Hickson (Costume Designer), Martin Schaerer (Percussionist) and Clarissa Michaux (Dance Artist).

“My aim was to have this project child-led from start to finish,” says Veronica Donovan, teacher and Creative School co-ordinator. “I wanted the children’s voice and creativity to be heard throughout. The learning was fun, and the process was enjoyed by teachers and students alike.”

The final script was brought to life on stage by the Project Based Learning Class on the school’s first ‘Day of Celebration’.

“You’re not in your shadow,” a delighted student explained after the performance. “You’re not scared to do anything. I felt in my gut that I did that, and I got to say, ‘I did that’.”

“The implementation of the Creative Schools Programme in Scoil Eoin has been hugely successful,” says Mr. O’Toole, Principal. “The children and staff have enjoyed stepping beyond their comfort zones in exploring music, art & drama bringing their work together through a range of creative approaches. The support from our facilitator and artistic practitioners has been top class and the collaborative process has been both imaginative and reflective. We look forward to continued engagement in this highly rewarding programme.”

Creative Schools is an Arts Council-led initiative of the Creative Ireland programme, in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Education and Skills.

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