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Culture Night 2015 Cork City Photo Credit: Clare Keogh


Creative Schools pilot to put arts in the classroom

The newly launched pilot programme will benefit 150 schools across the country.

This morning’s launch of Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools will see arts and creativity take centre-stage in Irish classrooms, with 150 schools expected to benefit across the country.

Launched by Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan and the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard BrutonScoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools is a central initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme, which puts the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives.

Led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, up to 150 schools will participate in the pilot and work with artists, creative practitioners and educators to develop their own unique programme of arts and creative work, connecting them to the full range of local and regional cultural resources and opportunities.

In addition, all schools will also receive a further range of supports including a one-off grant of €2,000 and training for the schools’ teachers.

The arts are a powerful means through which children and young people can explore communication and collaboration, stimulate their imaginations into inventive action and harness their innate curiosity. These are vital skills for all young people to learn and schools right across the State are encouraged to apply to be part of the innovative initiative.

All Department of Education and Skills primary and post-primary schools and Youthreach centres across the country are eligible to apply, interested schools should:

Speaking at the launch at Central Model Senior School on Dublin’s Marlborough St, Minister Madigan and Minister Bruton said the initiative represented a wonderful opportunity for children in the participating schools.

Minister Madigan said: “This Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools pilot is a vital element of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme. It means participating schools will be provided with funding and expertise to enable them to explore the potential impact of the arts and creativity on school life.”

“Every place is different, and every school is different, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how each of the 150 schools will design their own, unique programme,” she added.

Minister Bruton said: “Creativity and flexibility are vital skills for any young person to have in a modern society. The arts challenge a person to think differently and be inventive in finding solutions to problems. That is why participation in the arts is ideal for equipping young people with the ability to be inventive, critical and adaptable.”

Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council, said: “I would encourage any parent to bring this initiative to the attention of their children’s school – and any teachers or principals to register today. We’d like to make sure that a range of schools participate in the pilot phase – in different parts of the country, rural and urban, DEIS schools, special schools, and Youthreach centres.”

With children and young people playing a central role in the process, participating schools will understand, develop and celebrate their engagement with the arts, empowering them to bring about real change in the way they work. They will draw on the range of resources within their school and wider community developing new ways of working that reinforce the impact of creativity on student learning, development, and wellbeing.

Applications open on the 20 February and participating schools will be announced in May 2018. Work will begin in schools in September 2018.

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