Your Gallery at School

Two teens drawing together at the Creative Schools event in the Gallery
Photographer: Liam KidneyCredit

Announcement!

We are delighted to announce the three post-primary schools that will be participating in Your Gallery at School this autumn/winter. This holistic outreach programme, supported by SMBC Aviation Capital, brings the National Gallery of Ireland directly to schools. 

Following an open application process, the following schools have been selected: 

  • Coláiste Mhichíl, Sexton St, Co. Limerick
  • Ennistymon Vocational School, Ennistymon, Co. Clare 
  • Youthreach Leixlip, Leixlip, Co. Kildare

These schools will take part in workshops appropriate for the students’ ages and school levels, covering the following areas:

  • Learning through and about art: a practical workshop inspired by the national collection.
  • Wellbeing: a sensory session focusing on slow looking and mindfulness.
  • Creative Careers: a talk and Q&A with Gallery staff and an established artist, enabling students to learn about a variety of arts careers.

Meet the three post-primary schools, below!

Vibrant photo of a large stone building on a sunny day

 Coláiste Mhichíl, Sexton St, Co. Limerick

“Coláiste Mhichíl is delighted to be part of the Your Gallery at School programme. This fantastic initiative will create important links with the National Gallery of Ireland. The students of Coláiste Mhichíl will benefit greatly through the engagement with the creative careers, wellbeing and learning through art areas of the programme. We cannot wait to get started!”

Photo of a group of young people wearing face coverings in an art classroom

 Ennistymon Vocational School, Ennistymon, Co. Clare 

"Here at Ennistymon Vocational School we feel thankful and privileged to have been selected to participate in the Your Gallery at School programme as facilitated by the National Gallery of Ireland. We are very much looking forward to expanding our artistic knowledge and enhancing our creativity through working with the nominated artist. We envision it to be an enriching experience for our art students who unfortunately have been unable to physically experience the wonder of gallery and museum type spaces due to the restrictions put in place these past number of months. The concept of the three workshops will provide students with an educational overview of artistic career paths, mindful and creative connections and ways of viewing, verbalising and articulating their views on artworks, all essential tools in encouraging and nurturing the arts within our learners."

Abstract painted poster with the words This is Youthreach Leixlip. Diversity Family Education

Youthreach Leixlip, Leixlip, Co. Kildare

“Youthreach Leixlip aims to empower our Learners to realise their full potential by providing an educational programme in a kind, nurturing and supportive environment.”

About the initiative

Supported by SMBC Aviation Capital, Your Gallery at School builds on the success of the Gallery’s established schools programme and develop new content and partnerships outside of the Gallery walls.

Your Gallery at School aims to break down the barriers that prevent engagement with the arts through holistic programming that ensures children transition to adulthood equipped with the life-changing benefits of art. We also aim to build in students a sense of ownership of their National Gallery so they have a positive place to turn to in adulthood. Engagement occurs in three key strands: learning through and about art, wellbeing, and creative careers.

As children transition through school and on to adulthood in their personal and professional lives, creativity and innovation are transferrable and valuable skills. Art education also offers hope, the confidence and belief that children can create a life of curiosity and engagement with the world.

Art can help to give young people all of these skills and attitudes. However, many children in Ireland today experience barriers to engaging with the arts. If a child does not engage with art in their childhood, studies show they are unlikely to do so as adults.

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    Partner schools

    Over the course of 2021, we will work with six schools – who would not usually be able to visit the Gallery – to create a tailored programme of activities for their students.  

    Participating schools will be selected via an open application process. Selected schools will not have visited the Gallery in the past three years and will be from one or more of three key groups:

    1. DEIS schools to address socio-economic barriers to accessing culture.
    2. Boys schools to address the gender barrier to accessing culture.
    3. Schools geographically far away (over 2 hours away from Dublin) to address the geographic barrier to accessing culture.

    Workshops

    The Gallery will collaborate with each school to identify a class or group of students to work with, who need most support with successful transitions. We will provide a package of three workshops appropriate for the students’ ages and school levels, covering the following areas:

    1. Learning through and about art: a practical workshop inspired by the national collection.
    2. Wellbeing: a sensory session focusing on slow looking and mindfulness.
    3. Creative Careers: a talk and Q&A with Gallery staff, and an established artist, enabling students to learn about a variety of arts careers.

    Due to the global pandemic, in order to ensure project continuity and successful, safe completion, these workshops will be configured in a flexible ‘future proof’ manner, mindful of all government guidelines and in dialogue with both schools and facilitators. Workshops may take place physically or digitally.

    We will appoint an external videographer and evaluator to document and report on the project. By participating in the project you agree to assist them with their research and for your school to feature in publicity.

      Meet the primary-school participants

      In this short video, we talk to the three primary schools, selected following an open application process, who participated in workshops in spring/summer 2021. The participating schools were Scoil Chiaráin CBS, Dublin 5; Cliffoney National School, Sligo; and Donagh National School, Donegal.

      Your Gallery at School

      Primary-school participants 2021

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