On May 16th 2017, Fourth Class received a Creative Schools award for their 20 minute Promenade Theatre production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. This involved students performing five scenes not on a stage but in five different locations (outdoors and indoors) around the school. The invited audience followed the actors as they performed the street fight scene in Verona in the Infants yard, the Masquerade Ball in the school hall, the Balcony Scene at the outdoor railings, to the Friary in an alcove in a doorway, to another street fight in the main school yard, to the Capulet House in the school hall to the final Crypt scene staged in the school poly tunnel. This Drama project was co-ordinated by Helen Ni Ailiosa.
The second phase of this integrated arts project was co-ordinated by Fourth Class teacher Margo Ni Shuilleabhain. This involved the creation of a series of collaborative pastel pictures depicting the characters and action in each of the five scenes. This beautiful, ‘romantic’ Visual Arts display was exhibited at the Award Ceremony in ‘The Ark’.
The distinguished classical pianist John O’ Connor presented the award and was charmed by Fourth class Valerie when, dressed as Juliet, presented him with a rose, quoting from the play ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’. This Creative Schools Award is one of a number of initiatives hosted by the ACAE (Association for Arts and Creativity in Education) which directly promotes and nurtures creativity in the classroom.
This year, the Association for Arts and Creativity in Education invited eight previous award-winning schools to showcase their high standard of creative work. Scoil Mhuire was one of these eight and on the day ‘stole the show’ (Ger O’ Sé, founding member of ACAE)
In May 2017, four very interested scientists in 6th class were selected to make a trip to UCC to represent our school at the Salters’ Institute Festival of Chemistry. This Salters’ Festival of Chemisty is one of 51 festivals that happened throughout the UK and Ireland in 2017, aiming to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences amongst the young. We are very grateful to our PFA who both made this opportunity possible and covered the costs involved in attending and traveling to the event. Bean Ui Shúilleabháin traveled with the girls for the day.
As you can see, our students had a very interesting day: they had a chance to participate in a lab challenge and also got to see a chemistry magic show. We were very proud to have been awarded 3rd prize in the challenge and also 3rd place in the university challenge. We came home with a lovely box of science resources for the school. We’re are especially proud to have done so well as we were the only participating primary school at the event!
54 students in Fourth Class have recently won a national award for their 16 minute potted production of Shakespeare’s great tragedy – Hamlet. These enthusiastic young ladies worked over four months on this exciting Shakespearean project. They designed costumes, composed the narration, rehearsed and polished their performances and won a prestigious award at this year’s Creative Schools Award initiative, now in its fifth year, hosted by the Association for Creativity and Arts in Education. This award is given to schools, primary and secondary, who achieve a high standard in a project that shows evidence of invention, student voice, the creative process and teacher reflection. Forty or so schools nationwide received the award on May 31st. The award ceremony took place at the Ark, national children’s cultural centre, Temple Bar, Dublin. Scoil Mhuire was invited to perform ‘Hamlet’ at the ceremony and was warmly received by a captive audience. Guest speaker Síle Seoige was moved by the poise and discipline of each actor. Scoil Mhuire was awarded a special merit award for their innovative project. The part of Hamlet was played by Niamh Fleming. The project was directed by Helen Ní Ailíosa, assisted by Scoil Mhuire staff Margo Ní Shuilleabháin, Mary Breatnach and Fiona Butléir. School principal was charmed by the drama and literature project stating that ‘the students have developed great skills that will benefit them in so many ways in the future’.
Scoil Mhuire students have won a top award in this year’s Creative Schools Project hosted by the Association for Creativity and Arts in Education. The award was made to Scoil Mhuire on Monday, May 19th, at the Ark Cultural Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin. Sixth class students carried out a History project through Drama and I.T. while Fourth class students carried out a creative writing project, both on the topic of the Brandy Lane explosion.
On Saturday night, Nov 3rd, 1810, three houses were demolished and many others were set on fire. The explosion was caused by a worker at the Ballincollig Royal Gunpowder Mills who brought home wet gunpowder and tried to dry it by candlelight. The theft of gunpowder from the Mills was common at that time. Money was to be made selling on the explosive to quarry workers for rock blasting. That night, twenty two people were killed and forty others were injured.
The Sixth class project was the creation of a ten minute film on the events leading up to, including and after the explosion. Students devised the script, co-ordinated costuming, make-up as well as acting and directing the scenes. The two class teachers, Claire Ní Bhriain and Margo Ní Shuilleabháin facilitated the students in their creative work. Meanwhile, the Fourth class students created the front page of a newspaper two days after the explosion giving details of the tragedy.
The students, with help from teachers Mary Breatnach and Helen Ní Ailíosa drafted and formatted the page. The page featured ads for a pawnbroker, two jobs for stable boys, the results of a hurling match as well as the breaking news of the explosion. Both projects were conducted over a four month period.
Ballincollig Royal Gunpowder Mills (1794 – 1903) supplied the British Government with up to 16,000 barrels of gunpowder a year. The ruins of over sixty buildings are still scattered throughout the 130 acres complex. Five hundred workers were employed at the height of production at Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills. This is Scoil Mhuire’s third year to receive a Creative Schools Award. In all, twenty five schools around Ireland received awards from A.C.A.E., under the auspices of the Department of Education and Skills.
Scoil Mhuire has just received its Active Flag! The girls and teachers have been working extremely hard all year to keep active and to promote physical activity in our school day. We introduced lots of new fun activities like – ‘Dance at Ten’, ‘Funday Monday’ and ‘Friendsday Wednesday’. We have started a new running challenge in the senior classes where we run a kilometre and record it on our chart. We are hoping to run a full marathon!!
While working towards this Active Flag it has made us realise how easy it is to keep active and how fun it can be. On rainy days we do ‘Bizzy Breaks’ or ‘Just Dance’ to get us moving.
Our Active Flag motto is – Health is the Prize, When you Exercise.
For the second year running, Scoil Mhuire won a national award for Creative Schools. The award was made to Scoil Mhuire teacher, Helen Ní Ailíosa, for a project carried out with Fourth class and their teacher Máire Breatnach. The award ceremony was held in the Ark Cultural Centre for Children, Temple Bar, Dublin on Monday May 20th. The award was presented by Senator David Norris on behalf of the Association for Creativity and Arts in Education. The ACAE Creative Schools award initiative encourages imaginative teaching and learning in Irish classrooms and operates under the auspices of the Department of Education and Skills.