Schools invited to work together on creative cluster projects from coding to cartoons

Successful applicants will receive up to €15,000 to bring ideas to fruition

Minister for Education Norma Foley has invited applications from both primary and secondary schools. Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Minister for Education Norma Foley has invited applications from both primary and secondary schools. Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

 

Schools are being invited to apply for funding to work together on creative projects ranging from cartoons to coding.

Successful applicants will receive up to €15,000 in funding to help bring their ideas to fruition, along with access to a specialist facilitator or artist in their chosen area of interest.

The Creative Clusters initiative - which forms part of the Government’s Creative Ireland programme - which aims to give children the opportunity to realise their full creative potential.

A total budget of almost €600,000 is being provided for the school’s initiative this year.

Minister for Education Norma Foley has invited applications from both primary and secondary schools. The application process opens today and runs until May 14th 2021.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for schools to work together on a project of their choice,” she said.

“ Schools are given complete freedom to design and develop their own project, with support from a local facilitator and their local Education Centre.”

She added: “It is important that our children are allowed to express themselves and learn to adapt and collaborate. Creative Clusters gives students of all ages the opportunity to develop these essential skills, enjoy and explore artistic and creative expression.”

To date, the initiative has seen schools work together to develop creative projects and collaborate on new ideas based on their local experience and unique perspective.

In Kerry, for example, three primary schools and a secondary school are focusing on music collaboration and inclusivity.

The project - which includes Holy Cross Mercy primary school, Kilgobnet NS, Scoil Bhríde Loreto NS and St Brigid’s Secondary School - is based on communication and collaboration and involves composing, performing and a focus on music and live instruments, such as the ukulele.

Students are learning the process of music recording by working with studio experts via Zoom to equalise, mix and level tracks to produce CDs.

In Dublin, St Marnock’s NS Portmarnock, St Helen’s Senior School Malahide and Portmarnock Educate Together NS have formed a cluster to work on an animation, digital storytelling and coding in association with Drumcondra Education Centre.

The focus and challenge of the cluster is to encourage creativity through digital literacies by focusing on coding, technologies in animation and storytelling using a green screen.

In Carlow and Kilkenny, two primary and two secondary schools - Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach, Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc , Coláiste Pobail Osraí and Gaelscoil Osraí - formed a creative cluster to explore the arts, heritage and Irish culture.

Students worked with an Irish language poet and animation studio Cartoon Saloon to develop a shared body of work, through the medium of Irish with illustrations for public display in the community.