Presentation School is part of an initiative by the Arts Council called Creative Schools. Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. Creative Schools is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. It aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives and to reinforce the impact the arts and creativity has on student learning, development and wellbeing.
Initiatives and Projects
“Taking Down Walls”
As a creative school, we began our creative journey with a project called “Taking Down Walls” to highlight awareness of the diversity that exists in schools and beyond and the potential for prejudice. This was a wonderful process where we engaged the expertise of the whole school community, including visiting teachers, parents, grandparents and relatives of our pupils, to explore and celebrate diversity through many art forms, such as dance, music, singing, mime, drama, visual art, film and creative movement.
“No Barriers”- Siamsa Tíre
It culminated in a show in Siamsa Tíre called “No Barriers”, which was a celebration of diversity and undoubtedly was a night that will be etched on our memories for many years to come.
RTE Documentary – “Creative Kids”
Based on our project we were chosen to take part in an RTE Documentary called “Creative Kids” which aired in May 2020 and is available to view on RTE Player. This was a huge achievement for our school, as there were just 5 schools from the whole country selected for this documentary. We are very proud of everybody who took part.
“Shape and Space”
In Year 2 as a creative school we looked at the space we occupied and the shape it was in. We then looked at creative ways to improve that space with a STEM focus in mind. Our main aim was to encourage the children to develop creative skills, critical thinking skills, higher order and problem-solving skills.
“No Home for Plastic”
This led us to a programme to reduce plastic called “No Home for Plastic” in conjunction with Voice Ireland. Through this programme, we conducted audits at home and in school to create awareness of the volume of plastic we use every day. It forced us to look at ways to reduce this.
The “Listen” Programme – Build an Orchestra
We found a way to reuse discarded, once-off plastics and other materials creatively by building an orchestra of percussion and pitched instruments with the help of creative practitioners Andrew Scattergood and Donnchadha O’Connor in partnership with Kerry ETB.
Wallpaper, plastic bottles, discarded scraps of fabric, old t-shirts and other materials were used to create junk couture and were then paraded on the catwalk during our fashion show fundraiser.
“Save Our Planet” – Drama and Drumming Workshops
This initiative explored two important themes – caring for our environment and respect for other cultures. It also engaged the expertise and talent of renowned percussionist Martin Scharer and Speech and Drama director, Sharon Costello. The children really loved their drumming and drama workshops and benefited enormously from them.
Save the Park
For this project, we looked at extending our “green” initiatives to the community. We expressed our ideas through art mediums, such as paintings, posters, construction, dance, singing, poetry and writing to create awareness. We linked with the “Save the Green” committee and with Kerry County Council to take part in a local initiative to improve Tralee Town Park. Every month a different class is responsible for litter-picking in the park as part of our effort to give back to the community and to make a difference.
“A Short Hopeful Guide to Climate change” by author Oisín McGann
Inspired by Greta Thunberg and the strong vibrant school strike movement for climate change, our girls have been busy submitting their ideas to help make this first of its kind environmentally friendly Irish book. This book will be unique –
Most importantly, this book is part of the solution – a step into the future for Irish children’s environmentally-friendly book publishing. We’re very excited about the finished product, available in 2021.
In 2021 we will look at creative ways to ensure our children’s wellbeing is catered for, particularly in the current climate where their resilience and courage has certainly been tested. We will work with artists, Andrew Scattergood and Sharon Costello, who will deliver online creative wellbeing sessions to our junior school pupils.
The Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools initiative aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives.
Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. Creative Schools is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Creative Schools, formerly Arts Rich Schools/Arís, draws on the commitments set out in the Arts in Education Charter.
This initiative will understand, develop and celebrate the arts and creativity in 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 within which they operate. The long term aim is for every school to be supported to fully embrace the arts and creativity, ensuring a positive experience and strong outcomes for children and young people.