Pupils from the De La Salle Boys Primary School in Castlebar, Co Mayo are to star in an RTE One documentary Creative Kids this Sunday, May 3 at 6.30pm.
The documentary is inspired by the roll-out of Creative Schools, a pilot project focussing on creativity and the Arts in primary and secondary schools all around Ireland.
Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme, puts the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. The initiative 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 Kids followed five schools over the course of the academic year as they implemented the Creative Schools project and encouraged their pupils to think about the Arts and creativity in a whole new way.
Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council said: "As everyone will see from this wonderful documentary, the Creative Schools programme is already a great success, and has changed the lives of hundreds of young people from a broad range of schools across the whole country.
"The Arts Council is very proud to be delivering this programme, and I would strongly encourage principals and teachers to consider applying so that their schools can participate in Creative Schools. The closing date has been extended to June 25 2020."
The De La Salle Boys Primary School focused on modern dance, Joe Carty, Principal at De La Salle Boys Primary said: "We were thrilled to be chosen to participate in the Creative Schools programme.
"It has been one of the most exciting and satisfying projects that we have ever undertaken. Over four hundred pupils and forty staff immersed themselves fully in the art form of dance. The positive energy and sparks of creativity shared by all was truly uplifting.
"The children realised new potential within themselves for expression and their self-confidence soared. Smiles and laughter were the order of the day. A big thank you to those who supported and encouraged our pupils and staff throughout our journey: Lucy Hill (creative associate ), Catherine Donnelly (dance artist in residence ) and the Creative Schools team at the Arts Council.
"Trojan work was done by staff members who were on the Creative Schools committee. The incredible work of all these persons and groups was instrumental in the success of the project. We intend to build on this success now – our pupils like it when we dance to their tune.”
Students and teachers kicked off the Creative Schools initiative by coming together to discuss what type of projects they wanted to pursue. The projects and disciplines agreed on were driven by the students themselves in cooperation with a ‘Creative Associate’ – an artist and/or teacher hired by Creative Ireland to work with the schools to help facilitate and roll out their ideas. In many cases local artists were brought into the schools to host workshops or to work with the students on their projects.
Creative Associate, Lucy Hill, said: "The Creative Schools program allows us to infiltrate school’s with creative energy drawn from so many directions; artists, teachers, children, families, and the wider community both locally and nationally.
"We have had opportunities to meet, talk, listen, try, fail, push, experiment and enjoy, all the while building strong and healthy creative relationships and systems as a resource for the school to build on once the program is finished for them.
"The boys hit the ground running, they have been incredibly energetic, ambitious, enthusiastic, up for all of the madness, the ideal creative school really. I think they were exemplary in terms of creativity before the program, but their warmth and willingness to take the project seriously has been so impressive and as their creative associate it has just been wonderful to be part of.
"I was very lucky to be paired with such a strong school that deeply values the creativity of children and teachers alike, who were so supportive of the program, they made my job very easy and such a pleasure from start to finish."
The Arts Council has invited schools across Mayo to take part in their Creative Schools initiative, opening up the programme to another 150 schools, bringing the total number to 300. All Department of Education and Skills primary and post-primary schools, special schools and Youthreach centres are eligible to apply.
Interested schools should: (1 ) Get online to find out more www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools, (2 ) Register your school today (this can take up to 5 working days ) and (3 ) Apply online between before June 25.