Creative Schools Training 2018, Image credit: Laura Keogh
The Creative Schools initiative was established in 2017 to support schools and Youthreach centres to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives. There are currently 120 Creative Associates across eight regions in Ireland.
Over the course of their Creative Schools journey, participating schools/centres strengthen and develop links with artists, creative practitioners, arts, heritage and cultural groups and organisations in their localities and regions. The school environment
has changed drastically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this:
All training for Creative Associates moved online, and consciously included the use of digital tools such as Mural, Menti and Padlet
Creative Schools scheduled and designed specialist development training about working creatively in unpredictable scenarios, which recognised the need for risk taking and innovation by Creative Associates engaging remotely.
A small fixed number of paid hours were provided to Creative Associates to independently upskill in relation to using digital tools to either assist working remotely with children, young people and teachers in their school-buildings, and to assist
working remotely during school-building closures.
Creative Associates established a common digital tool in order to facilitate exchange of information between them and to share advice and examples of ways to work with schools during the extended periods of remote learning.
Much of the activity carried out by children and young people during the pandemic has subsequently also migrated online or depended on technologies. Visual and plastic work has been photographed and recorded and shared digitally. Literary and
spoken word activity has been shared and recorded using digital means. Dramatic, documentary and audio-visual works and projects have been carried out by children and young people remotely.
In the future, Creative Associates view the digital transformation as having a lasting positive effect on youth voice and expression, skills development and visibility of work completed by children and young people across their local communities, counties
‘In exploring their own understanding of creativity, and in identifying important themes and areas of interest to them, children and young people have given expression to their experiences during the pandemic, including the experience of relying on the digital space for learning and social engagement.’ —Catherine Boothman, Creative Schools Manager