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Ardagh NS has been chosen to take part in Arts’ Council Creative Schools Programme for 2020/21 and 2021/22.

The Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools initiative aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives.

Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. Creative Schools is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Creative Schools, formerly Arts Rich Schools/Arís, draws on the commitments set out in the Arts in Education Charter.

This initiative will understand, develop and celebrate the arts and creativity in our school. It will establish a range of collaborative opportunities for our school and will develop and strengthen the relationships between the school and the broader cultural and community infrastructure within which we operate. The long term aim is for every school to be supported to fully embrace the arts and creativity, ensuring a positive experience and strong outcomes for children and young people.

As part of this programme our school has been assigned a Creative Associate who will work with the school. 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 match the needs of schools to arts and creative opportunities in their locality. They identify potential areas for improvement and inspire, energise and drive schools forward in addressing these.


Keep an eye on our blog and Twitter accounts for more updates on this exciting creative journey.

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Karen Webster our Creative Associate

Karen is a ceramicist and a painter with particular interest in arts and ecology. She has a MA(Res), investigating the role art can play in engaging children with environmental education. Karen is a tutor with the Eco Arts Practice course at CCAD, a Heritage in Schools specialist and delivers training for youth workers, teachers and educators nationwide. 

What Did I Miss ?

Workshop for 5th and 6th Class

Our Creative School’s Associative Lucy Hill informed us of a workshop being facilitated by The Ark Children’s Cultural Centre, Dublin.  On Thursday 6th May, two artists "zoomed in" and onto our classroom's digital whiteboard for a 90 minute interactive workshop. Illustrator Duffy Mooney Sheppard and playwright Kate Heffernan facilitated a really interesting and fun workshop in speech writing and visual art. The workshop reflected the themes of a new play which The Ark will "live stream” to our classroom in June. The play by Shaun Dunne entitled "What Did I Miss?" is  a story about primary school children's experiences in 6th class - and those that are going through the transition from primary to secondary school education during a pandemic. During the workshop we created memory books of our years in Ardagh N.S. We travelled back in time to our first day in Junior Infants. Next, we illustrated through art and language how school has changed during the pandemic and then finally we moved to the future and imagined ourselves in sixty years’ time.


Here are 6th Class during the zoom workshop with The Ark.

The workshop with “The Ark” inspired us to write about our memories of this past year. We brainstormed our ideas, collaborated and wrote this poem during creative writing class.




Always Remember

Student Elections, Book Character Day,

The Nativity Christmas Play.

Skipping ropes and hula hoops,

Lots of footballs on the roof.

Science Blast trips to Dublin City,

None this year, what a pity!


Swimming sessions in Ballina Pool,

Chanting “SHOP” on the bus back to school,

“Run around Europe”, “The Daily Mile”,

Keeping active with a smile.

Obstacle courses, walkway routes,

6th class beat the teachers, that’s the truth!


Cross country running gave us a stitch,

Training for weeks on Ardagh Pitch.

Cumann na mBunscol, Mini 7’s,

In pouring rain from the Heavens.

No football again this year,

When it returns we’ll give a great cheer.


Our colourful art on the wall,

Brightening up the dark school hall.

Bua na Cainte, Mental Maths,

Learning lots of History facts,

Handwriting and Friday tests,

Always trying to do our best.


Laptops and iPads , Whiteboards and chalk,

Friday Assemblies and time to talk.

Fun in the playground every day,

Hoping the rain would stay at bay.

Some great memories have been made,

Let’s make sure they never fade.



Corona Virus, Covid nineteen

And all that happened in between

Lockdowns and Home-schooling

Teachers’ Seesawing and Zooming.

Cautious return to Bubbles and Pods,

“Have you sanitized your hands?”

“Yes, I nod.”


Eight years completed, it’s time to move on,

Those infant days are long gone.

I’m proud of myself, I’ve accomplished a lot,

I’m thankful for the friends and teachers I’ve got.

Let’s hope next year is Covid free,

                    Watch out secondary school, here comes me!


Written by 5th & 6th Class, Ardagh N.S 2021

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Creative School Week 2021

Brave New Future

10TH -17TH May

Here in Ardagh NS we enjoyed participating in our first 'Creative Schools Week' this year. Each classroom explored and experimented with a variety of creative processes and produced some amazing art work. 


Junior and Senior Infants

Junior and Senior Infants were very busy this week being very creative.

Here they are modeling their fantastic paper collage crowns.

They are seen here using chalk pastels to create wonderful pictures.

The boys and girls are very proud of the lovely Mr Potato Heads they made this week too.

1st and 2nd Class

The boys and girls in 1st and 2nd class enjoyed some weaving activities this week.

They also made a coil pot each using clay . To celebrate Mayo Day they printed Mayo flags using items they found around the classroom.

3rd and 4th Class

In 3rd and 4th class the children created fantastic mono-prints using printing ink and lino as can be seen from the display of pictures below.

They also explored with colour and paint while using a marbling technique to produce beautiful and unique decorative pieces. 

The boys and girls of 3rd and 4th class can be seen below enjoying creating birds nest using clay.

5th and 6th Class

The boys and girls from 5th and 6th class can be seen here exploring paint and colour as they create fantastically colourful Hot Air Balloons.

5th & 6th class chose chocolate and sweet wrappers as the theme for their Pop Art lesson.

They used view finders to zoom in on part of the wrapper and then recreated the images using crayon, markers and paint.

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5th &  6th Class studied some of the paintings of Jack B yeats. The spectacular oil painting - titled A Fair Day, Mayo - was painted in 1925 and once hung in the office of Eamon de Valera when he was leader of the newly formed Fianna Fail.

 This painting inspired our festivals and shows drawings. We tried to capture the excitement and atmosphere of the crowds at Heritage Day, Ballina, The Mardi Gras and Fireworks Night , Ballina, The Duck Race on The Moy, The Funfair, The Bonniconlon Show, The Pig Race in Crossmolina , The Tullamore Show and  others.


Creative School Workshop in the Senior Classes

In December 2021 5th and 6th Class enjoyed three workshops on Multimedia Design with the artist Orla Casey. It was a wonderful opportunity to develop our artistic and creative skills using technology. We worked on our designs using our new chrome books and produced some great prints by the end of the lessons. It was challenging at times but very enjoyable and we learned many new skills which we have been practising and improving on since the workshop.

Creative School Workshop in 3rd and 4th class.

January 2022 

3rd and 4th class had the pleasure of a wonderful workshop with illustrator Melanie Whelan.

We had lots of fun playing sketching games and brainstorming  fantastic characters.  #creativeschool

Creative School Workshop in Junior and Senior Infants

The children in Junior and Senior Infants enjoyed working with the artist Carmel Balfe to create these lovely puppets.