Minister Richard Bruton and Minister of State Josepha Madigan
Two Kilkenny schools are among the 150 schools across Ireland chosen to participate in the Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools pilot programme.
Launched earlier this year by Minister Bruton and Minister Madigan, the programme is a central initiative of Pillar 1 of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme, which aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives.
The chosen schools in Kilkenny are Gaelscoil Osraí and St Brigid's National School in Kells.
Chosen from over 400 applicants, schools chosen to take part in the programme include primary schools, secondary schools, Youthreach centres, special schools, DEIS schools, co-educational schools, rural, urban, single-sex and Irish-language medium schools. Work will begin in September 2018 and run through to the end of the school year in 2019.
In their application, schools had 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 the programme, the Arts Council is engaging with children and young people across the country enabling their creativity and linking them in with the arts and creative infrastructure in their locality and nationally.
“We are committed to making and creating across the Arts curriculum. Craft-Ed gave us a taste for a whole-school experience, where our staff learned greatly from the artist," said Irene Browne of St Brigid’s National School.
"With the Creative Schools programme, we wish to set children on a creative path, understand their creative process, and to learn to value the Arts.”
Sean O’hArgain of Gaelscoil Osrai said the school was delighted to have been chosen.
“With the programme, we want to improve our participation across all art areas, upskill our staff and develop a comprehensive art policy for the school," he said.
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. 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
“Today is a hugely significant moment, not just for the Creative Ireland Programme, but for the thousands of children and young people who will have the opportunity to experience creativity as a key part of school life," said Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan.
"Today, we reinforce the idea that the arts are a powerful means through which our children and young people can develop their creative capacities and skills, which in turn will help guide and empower them as they embark upon their own journeys of discovery, inspiration and achievement.
"I am delighted that every county across the country will have the opportunity to participate in the pilot Creative Schools programme and to see the range and diversity of schools who will begin the programme in September. Today’s announcement would not be possible without the support of my colleague Minister Bruton and the passion and commitment of the Arts Council and the many artists who will be involved in bringing the Creative Schools programme to life in the coming weeks and months.”