Guest Blogger: Sinéad Ní Bhrádaigh Creative Schools Coordinator & Teacher- Blog No. 2
Sinéad Ní Bhrádaigh has worked in Galway Educate Together since 2002. She has a life long interest in the arts, primarily in the musical side of the arts. She plays classical piano to Senior Certificate level and has been involved with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann as a piano and fiddle player and tutor in Dublin and Galway. In 2001, Sinéad completed a Higher Diploma in Arts Administration and gained great experience volunteering with the Town Hall Theatre and Galway Arts Centre. Sinéad established the GETNS school choir in 2004, and now collaborates with another teacher to run a choir with 100 students in the school. The GETNS choir has performed at several Peace Proms, at the Town Hall Theatre and at community events.
Getting the Show on the Road….. – Blog 2
This second part of the process, putting together a programme of events on our theme of Food, Cooking and Nature, is a really exciting and energising process. It felt like it took such a long time to get to the point of settling on a theme that reflected the needs and wants of the children, their parents, and school staff. There was so much to choose from, the net was very wide. When we finally settled on the theme, it was really exciting to be able to brainstorm and come up with ideas that would reflect the needs of the school community in a programme of activities.
Yvonne had been busy behind the scenes putting the feelers out and getting in touch with artists and professionals working in these circles. All of the professionals that Yvonne contacted were very enthusiastic about participating in the Creative Schools Programme and delighted to link in with our primary school in a sustainable way. We have now arranged for every class level to have a workshop/trip off site, which could only have been achieved as a result of the funding we received as part of this process. We are very grateful to have had access to this funding and it’s a wonderful asset to have for our second year programme as well. Through these workshops the children will be bug hunting, foraging in our local woods, making tinctures, becoming Bee Aware and making our school grounds pollinator friendly, visiting an Organic Farm and a workshop with Yvonne on some short films she made around the butter making process.
Our Creative Schools panel of teachers and children also brainstormed together and came up with a “Menu of Activities” (pardon the pun!) that every classroom can engage with over the next few weeks. These activities range from Science experiments with food items, setting classroom up as a restaurant and having a healthy shared lunch; inviting parents in to classroom to bake with the children or to share their skills, screenings of food related programmes and documentaries. We are hoping to document the activities that the children are engaging in over the next couple of weeks so that we can celebrate this creativity when we come back after the summer holidays. It’s going to be an action packed few weeks and we are looking forward to it immensely!