Offaly teacher awarded Creative Schools funding

Karen O'Grady


Karen O'Grady


Offaly teacher awarded Creative Schools funding

Ailbhe Curran, a teacher in Gaelscoil na Laochra, Birr

A Birr teacher has been has been awarded over €5,000 in funding from the Creative Schools Programme.

Ailbhe Curran, a native of Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, is a doctoral student at Mary Immaculate College (MIC). She has previously completed an MA in Education and the Arts at MIC. She is now a mainstream class teacher and Deputy Principal at Gaelscoil na Laochra in Birr.

The funding comes under the Creative Schools programme, a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme which aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young peoples’ lives.

As part of the programme, Ailbhe will be working as the school Creative Coordinator in partnership with a Creative Associate to develop and implement a child-centered creative school plan which supports the development of pupils’ imagination and creativity.

Speaking after being awarded the funding, Ailbhe said: "I am really looking forward to working on the programme with my Creative Associate over the next two years and the new insights and perspectives that involvement in such a project will bring to my studies. As Deputy Principal, I also hope that the project will allow the opportunity for school management to reflect on ways in which teachers and school leaders can further utilise creativity within their own practice. This will be a wonderful opportunity for the students and the whole school community to fully embrace the arts and creativity in our everyday lives."

Ailbhe also pointed to an extract from her successful funding proposal which ties the school’s motto with the aim of the programme: “Our school's motto is 'Doras Feasa Fiafraí' which translates as 'The Door to Knowledge is to Question'.

"As a school, we want to guide our students on a journey of questioning, experimentation, creation and re-creation so that we can discover how to take our collective creative capacity to new heights. Through this project, we hope to use our focus on creative practice, and the arts in particular, in three key ways: to promote diversity and inclusion; to promote wellbeing and build connections; and to support the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills across all curricular areas.”