Creative Schools

Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. It aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives. We were delighted to be a recipient of this award for the 2019/2020 school year. Our overall goal is to integrate creativity and fun into our approach to learning across all curriculum areas at Brannoxtown Community National School.

Our Creative Associate 

Our Creative Associate is Helen Flanagan.

Creative Associates are artists, creative practitioners and/or educators with an understanding of the arts and creativity and its potential to transform the lives of children and young people. Creative Associates will match the needs of schools to arts and creative opportunities in their locality.

Helen Flanagan is a writer and filmmaker with a parallel practice in performance, theatre and live events. She has had several short films funded and produced, as well as well as children’s documentary and television series. Her performance work incorporates ritual, magic and play and often uses historic buildings and unconventional venues as performance spaces. Helen works with the Arts Council of Ireland on the Creative Schools initiative and is the resident facilitator on Screen 8, a youth filmmaking programme supported by the Dublin International Film Festival and the Digital Hub. She facilitates storytelling and writing workshops with young people and adults and volunteers with Fighting Words, a creative writing centre for young people, where she facilitates shadow puppetry summer camps.

Shadow Puppetry Workshop- September 2020

Working together, children created different fantasy characters and stories.  Using a light projector, cardboard cutouts and a range of different props the children brought these stories to life in a shadow puppetry show! At a time when we’re using so much technology, children were mesmerised (by the simplicity of) their achievements with an old overhead projector, white sheet and cardboard!

Mask Making Workshop- October 2020

Inspired by their creative stories and puppet show, children planned and design a personalised mask. Children chose different colours and materials to add to their masks. We used the masks in creative play and drama.

Willow Hut Workshop 2020

All children at Brannoxtown CNS worked with Beth Murphy, from Willow Wonders, to create a beautiful willow hut for our new school garden. The two-days of construction involved learning in maths, language and science and developing physical skills. We are all looking forward to using all hut during outside play. 

Fantasy Doors Workshop- December 2020

We continued our Creative Schools journey in December with a Fantasy Doors workshop with our Creative School’s associate, Helen Flanagan. The children had the opportunity to personalise their own door. First, children gave their doors a base coat and then chose what designs to paint and materials to add.

Creative Week June 2020

In June 2020, we held a virtual Creative Week at Brannoxtown CNS. We explored some of ideas for our Creative Schools Project. Children then contributed their thoughts and ideas from home.

This is a video about our Willow Hut task:

Creative Schools Workshops 2019/2020

Since January, Helen has visited Brannoxtown Community National School for three workshops.

Workshop 1: On the 15th of January, we explored what creativity means to each of us through different games and activities. We also thought about all the opportunities we have to be creative both inside and outside of school.

Workshop 2: Creativity through play, games and movement was the main topic of discussion at our first workshop. So on Wednesday 5th February, we focused on this aspect of creativity in our second workshop. We played lots of games and explored different ways to share our creative thoughts and ideas through play, drama and movement.

Workshop 3: We had our third workshop on Monday 2nd March. On the basis of the information gathered at our first two workshops, we explored ways we could make our playground a more creative place. All the children came up with great ideas and enjoyed drawing diagrams and making models. Some of our ideas included a chill out area, a fairy garden, a bug hotel and bird feeders.

Our next steps are to implement our ideas across a range of disciplines including art, drama and music. We are currently in touch with artists who will enable us to do this and look forward to sharing our plans with everyone very soon.