12 February, 2018 - Arts & Creativity in the Classroom, Minister Bruton & Minister Madigan launch Creative Schools

Arts Council invites schools across Ireland to apply to the Government’s Creative Schools programme

150 schools across Ireland expected to benefit 

Minister Bruton and Minister Madigan today launched Creative Schools, a central initiative of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme, which puts the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. They encouraged schools right across the State to apply to be part of the initiative. 

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. These are vital skills for all young people to learn. 

Up to 150 schools across the country, 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 once-off grant of €2,000 and training for teachers in the school. 

Speaking at the launch at Central Model Senior School on Marlborough St, Dublin, the Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan and the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, said the initiative represented a wonderful opportunity for children in the participating schools. 

Speaking at the launch, Minister Madigan said: “This 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. 

He added: “Developing the creativity of children and young people enables them to achieve their full potential and grow as well rounded individuals.” 

Minister Bruton stressed that all Department of Education and Skills primary and post-primary schools and Youthreach centres all across the country were eligible to apply, 

Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council, said: “The Arts Council understands that for creativity to thrive we need not only to recognise the importance of the arts but also to build infrastructures, programmes and ways of working that place the arts at the core of school life.” 

And she added: “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.” 

She stressed that the pilot would include schools that are at different stages in their own journey with the arts and creativity. 

“The most important thing is for schools to confirm their interest in developing the arts and creativity at their school, to show that the school leadership is on board, and that children and young people will be facilitated to have a central role in planning for creativity in their school. Wherever your school is at, this is a really exciting opportunity,” Ms McBride said. 

Interested schools should: 

  • Step 1 – Get online to find out more www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools
  • Step 2 – Register your school today
  • Step 3 – Apply online between 20th February and 22nd March 2018 

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

For more information see http://www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/ 

 Ends  

Notes for editors:

 

1.What are the Government launching today? 

The Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools initiative aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. It is a key element of the Creative Youth pillar of the Government’s Creative Ireland programme. 

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. Children and young people will have a central role in this process.

Key to the success of the Creative Schools initiative is the role of the Creative Associate. Creative Associates will work in partnership with schools to develop expertise and approaches that will sustain arts and creative practices in their schools. They 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. They will provide a mechanism for schools to begin to share their learning and good practice with others. 

2.Where is it happening? 

Creative Schools Initiative: Happening in schools across the State. 

3.When will it be up and running? 

When: Schools will submit their applications in March 2018, participating schools will be announced in May 2018 and work will begin in schools in September 2018. 

4.Why does the Creative Schools project matter? 

Participation in the Creative Schools pilot can support schools to: 

  • use the arts to address a school priority in a creative way;
  • develop teaching and learning;
  • motivate, challenge and engage children and young people;
  • develop the creativity of the school community.

Participating schools will be provided with a package of support which includes funding and expertise 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 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. 

5.Any key facts about why it’s important to engage young people in the arts? 

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. 

6.What support will schools get? 

Schools selected to participate in the pilot initiative will receive: 

  • One day’s induction/training for school coordinators where they will meet with other participating schools and with the Creative Schools team

A Creative Associate who will support the school for up to nine days over the 2018–2019 school year. The school will have flexibility in how they wish to schedule these days, in consultation with their Creative Associate. The Creative Associate will support the school to develop a unique programme for the arts and creativity, and will assist in creating or developing links between schools and with artists and arts and cultural organisations locally and/or nationally. Where schools have existing school plans encompassing artistic, cultural and creative activity, the Creative Associate will assist the school to review, build on and develop these plans. 

  • A once-off grant of €2,000 for the 2018/2019 school year
  • Opportunities to share learning with other schools and partners. 

 7.How many schools will be involved over how many counties? 

An initial cohort of 150 schools will participate in the pilot across the State (see point 2 above). A diversity of school settings will be targeted, with a strong focus on inclusion. All Department of Education and Skills primary and post-primary schools and Youthreach centres will be eligible to apply. 

8.How can I find out more? 

Go to http://www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/