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Monday, 11th June 2018

Three Drogheda Schools to participate in pilot Creative Schools scheme

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Ministers Richard Bruton and Josepha Madigan at the launch of the Creative Ireland Programme.

Three local schools have been selected to participate in a pilot scheme for a new programme which puts the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives.

The Arts Council led initiative is called the Creative Ireland Programme and its aim is to give children and young people increased access to creative activities in schools.

Launched earlier this year by Minister for Education Richard Bruton and Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, the programme is a central initiative of Pillar 1 of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme.

The chosen schools in the Drogheda area are - Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt Na Mara in Drogheda, Scoil Muire Gan Smál in Termonfeckin and Tullyallen National School.

They were chosen from over 400 applicants and the pilot programme will begin in September 2018 and run through to the end of the school year in 2019.

Through the programme, the Arts Council hopes to engage with children and young people across the country to enable their creativity and linking them in with the arts and creative infrastructure in their locality and nationally.

Marietta Graham Reynolds of Tullyallen National School, said: “We endeavour to develop the creative potential of each pupil for the enrichment of their learning experience and holistic development.

“Participation in creative art enables them to enjoy enhanced cultural awareness, academic performance, inventiveness, visual learning, decision making and language development.”

The 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 they 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.

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan T.D., said: “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.

Minister Bruton said: “Every child has the ability within them to be creative and through this initiative they will have the opportunity to explore the world around them and discover a new way of learning.

“The initiative is important because the arts are a powerful means through which children and young people can explore communication and collaboration, stimulate their imaginations to be inventive, and harness their curiosity. Engagement in the arts and creativity requires rigour, discipline and resilience, nurturing learners’ sense of agency and self-worth. This combination of skills underpins all successful learning.”

The long-term aim is for every school nationwide to have the opportunity to participate in Creative Schools.

Local TD Fergus O'Dowd, a teacher himself, said: “Art and music are a part of who we are as a nation. This pilot initiative will develop and celebrate the arts and creativity in our schools.

“It will establish a range of collaborative opportunities for schools and will develop and strengthen the relationships between schools and the broader cultural and community infrastructure locally and further afield. I have no doubt the scheme will prove a great success.”

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