At an event earlier today in Glenswilly National School in Letterkenny, Minister McHugh formally launched the roll out of Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools in 150 schools nationwide. Creative Schools is an initiative of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme, which puts the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. The Programme is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht with input and support from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
A full list of the Creative Associates who will work with the 150 Creative Schools nationwide is also being announced today (see link below for full details).
Creative Schools aims to understand, develop and celebrate the arts, as a core aspect of school life, and to foster children and young people’s creativity and participation in the arts as an integral part of their education in Ireland. The initiative is informed by research that shows that young people’s participation in the arts leads to a range of positive outcomes for children with regard to their cognitive development, socio-emotional wellbeing and attitudes to school. Children who participate in the arts in school are more likely to participate outside of school, including reading for pleasure. (Arts Council/ESRI, 2016)
Speaking at the launch today Minister McHugh said; “Putting creativity and the arts at the heart of school life is something that I am passionate about. The arts challenge us to think differently and can change how you look at the world. The Creative Schools project is one that is so important for that reason and I am delighted that it is now being rolled out in 150 schools nationwide. Officials in the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht in partnership with the Arts Council and Creative Ireland are working hard to make this programme a real success, Helping young people to develop life changing skills via exposure to the arts early in life makes real sense and can make a big difference in their overall levels of achievement in life.”
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD., added: “Today is an important and exciting moment, not just for everyone involved in the Creative Ireland Programme and the Creative Schools initiative, but for the thousands of children and young people who will have the opportunity to unleash their creative potential within their everyday school lives.
One of the most inspiring aspects of this programme is the opportunity it offers for each school to create a plan based on their definition of creativity whether that is coding, architecture, stop-start animation or choral singing. We want to support the next generation of creative thinkers and to enable our children and young people to flourish, using their innate creative skills as a powerful tool for learning.
We look forward to following the progress of these 150 pioneering schools, and the team of Creative Associates who will be working with them, over the coming months. We want to learn from them and to explore ways in which we can share and embed best practice and key outcomes with every school in the country by 2022.”
Speaking at the launch today Director of the Arts Council Orlaith McBride said “The Arts Council is committed to supporting schools to fully embrace the arts and creativity. As extensive research has shown time and again the arts are a powerful means through which children and young people can explore communication and collaboration, stimulate their imaginations and harness their curiosity. These are vital skills for all young people to learn.
The Arts Council Creative Schools team has been working hard with primary schools, post-primary schools and Youthreach centres around the country to support them in offering a broad range of creative activities to students. The response from interested schools has been phenomenal and we are delighted to be in a position to roll out the Creative Schools Programme in 150 schools around the country. These schools, with our support, have designed their own, unique programmes putting the arts and creativity at the heart of the school learning programme.”
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.
For more information see http://www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/
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