Your Gallery at School

Group of school children taking part in an interactive tour of the Sorolla exhibition
Photo © National Gallery of Ireland.Credit

We are delighted to announce the three primary schools that will be participating in Your Gallery at School.

This new 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:

  • Scoil Chiaráin CBS, Dublin 5 
  • Cliffoney National School, Sligo 
  • Donagh National School, Donegal

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 primary schools, below!

 Scoil Chiaráin CBS, Dublin 5

"We are so excited here at Scoil Chiaráin C.B.S. to take part in the National Gallery's Your Gallery at School project. We feel very honoured to be one of the chosen schools. We are eager to get started and we cannot wait to learn more about art, the Gallery and our wellbeing and mindfulness through art. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity."

- Noreen Mc Loughlin

 Cliffoney National School, Sligo

"Cliffoney National School, County Sligo, is delighted to have been selected to participate in the National Gallery of Ireland’s  Your Gallery At School initiative. As a school situated in the north west of the country (some distance from Dublin’s An Lár!), we are so pleased that this outreach programme of the National Gallery will facilitate our school to experience being at the centre of the art and creativity of the National Gallery. We look forward to participating in the three workshops."

- Liz Longworth 

Donagh National School, Donegal

"Donagh N.S. are thrilled to have been selected for the Your Gallery at School programme. The series of workshops will underpin the key values of the primary school curriculum - to foster a love of learning, to build skills for life and to develop each child’s potential in the area of arts, culture and self-care. We have small pupil numbers and feel that this programme will really nurture and harness artistic interests and creativity in our pupils. It will provide a new focus for our school pupils (and the school community, at large) and give all concerned a holistic perspective and appreciation of the arts. We hope that it will fire up their artistic creativity and awaken their curiosity in the world of art and culture. In these challenging times, we are appreciative also of this opportunity to focus on the mindfulness aspect of art. We are excited to learn more about the work of the staff of the National Gallery and the variety of career opportunities in the world of art. Such a valuable learning opportunity for all our staff and pupils!"

- Caroline Carey, Principal Teacher

 

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Two teens drawing together at the Creative Schools event in the Gallery

 

Background to Your Gallery at School initiative

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Supported by SMBC Aviation Capital, Your Gallery at School will build 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.

    Partner schools

    Over the course of 2021, we will work with six schools that wouldn’t usually be able to visit the Gallery, to create a tailored programme of activities for their students. Post-primary applications will open in August 2021.

    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, and 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.

      Key dates

      We will work with three primary schools in spring/summer 2021 and three post-primary schools in autumn 2021. Please note that this timeline is for the primary phase of the project only. Post-primary applications will open in August 2021.

      • 11 January: Primary-school applications open 
      • 5 February: Applications close
      • 8–19 February: Applications assessed
      • 22 February: Schools informed of outcome 
      • 22 February – 12 March: Successful schools paired with lead facilitators to plan tailored programme of workshops
      • 15 March – May: Primary schools workshops delivered

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