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The Creative Schools initiative

Children and young people in schools across Ireland are enjoying the benefits of being at the centre of the Creative Schools initiative. Designed to provide opportunities for children and young people to build their artistic and creative skills, each school taking part receives a grant and works with a Creative Associate who use their practical experience in supporting them to develop and implement their own Creative School Plan. The Arts Council recently announced extra funding for creativity in schools and schools like yours are being invited to apply to be part of this initiative.
 
The Creative Schools initiative supports schools to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives. Schools across the country are loving being part of it and each special schools is matched with a Creative Associate with expertise in creativity and education, such as Nora Nic Con Ultigh. Nora has a background in theatre and documentary-making. She was a founding member of Cups and Crowns Educational Theatre Company.
 
Speaking of her work with Creative Schools Nora said, “I have had the privilege of working with schools around the country on the Creative Schools initiative for the past three years. The vision of Creative Schools is to enable to the creative potential of every child and to place the arts and creativity at the heart of school life. A highlight of working on the initiative for me was seeing the Fourth Class students of Gaelscoil Longfoirt totally engrossed in their animation project. They had worked with animator Mary Smyth to create their own animation and were central in the creative decision-making from start to finish. They wrote the story, they designed the set, and they shaped the characters and did the voiceover. I visited them and they introduced their puppets to me. Without long they were immersed in their creative world again. It was evident that this project had benefitted them in a multiplicity of ways and that it would be a memory to cherish in the future.
 
Creative Schools is a fantastic opportunity to build on the creative culture in all schools. As well as that, there are many benefits for the schools in the areas of teaching, learning and wellbeing. A budget of €4,000 is provided to schools over a period of two years and a Creative Associate (someone with a background in both the arts and education) works alongside school staff to run the scheme. From my experience of working on the scheme, I noticed a vibrant creative culture blossoming in schools. All schools, both primary and secondary, have the opportunity to collaborate with artists to further their vibrant culture and to participate in innovative teaching and learning experiences. The initiative aims to embed creativity in school life in far-reaching and sustainable ways. With the student voice guiding the project, it is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the unique identity of the school.”
What interested schools should do today:
1 – Register your school as an organisation/group with the Arts Council’s Online Services today (this can take 5 working days).
3 – Once fully registered schools can log into your Online Services account to download application form and apply online before 17:30 on Thursday 10 June, 2021.
 
Creative Schools Team
 
Scoileanna Ildánacha / Creative Schools
Telephone: +353 (0)1 6180 200  |   e-mail: creativeschools@artscouncil.ie |  70 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.
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The Arts Council  |  An Chomhairle Ealaíon  |  www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/

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