Thousands of children and young people will soon enjoy more access to creative activities at school via this Arts Council-led initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme.
Reflecting the diversity of education settings in the country, 150 schools nationwide have now been chosen to participate in the Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools pilot programme, beginning this September.
Launched earlier this year by Minister Bruton and Minister Madigan, the programme is a central initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme’s Pillar 1, which puts the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives.
Following an overwhelming 400+ applications, the selected 150 schools include primary, secondary, special, DEIS and co-educational schools; as well as Youthreach centres, rural, urban, single-sex and Irish-language medium schools. The enthusiastic response to the call for applications indicates just how vital creativity and the arts already is within our school system. With the pilot beginning in September 2018 and running to the end of 2019’s school year, this appetite for creativity and arts through education can now be steadily built upon.
This innovative pilot is a cornerstone of the Creative Youth Plan, an initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme, led by the Arts Council and in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Education and Skills.
Creative Schools & Creative Associates
When applying, schools were asked to explain how their participation would support learning and development in the arts and creativity; their capacity to engage as a school; and their plans for ensuring that children and young people play an active role in developing, implementing and evaluating their work as a Creative School.
Through this pilot programme, the Arts Council is engaging with children and young people across the country – enabling their creativity and connecting them to the arts and creative infrastructure, locally and nationally.
Schools selected for the pilot will be provided with a package of support which includes funding and expertise from a Creative Associate to enable them to explore the potential impact of the arts and creativity on school life. A Creative Associate is an artist and/or educator with a true understanding of the arts and creativity and its potential to transform the lives of young people. A dynamic agent for change, each school’s Creative Associate is uniquely placed to form partnerships between schools and the arts and cultural community.
With the support of their Creative Associate, schools will develop a Creative School plan and design a unique programme that responds to the needs and priorities of their school. This process will support children and young people to challenge themselves in new ways, to gain in confidence and to take a more active role in learning. These specially-chosen individuals will inspire, energise and creatively drive the schools forward.
Read the full list of the pilot’s successfully selected schools, here.
Check back here for updates on the chosen schools’ activities and achievements as the school year progresses.
If your school applied and wasn’t successful, there will be lots of other ways in which the Creative Ireland Programme will be supporting creativity for children and young people.