PUPILS from three Cork primary schools will participate in a special concert at Fitzgerald Park at 11am this morning.
The three primary schools Berrings NS, Scoil Barra Naofa, Monkstown, and St Catherine’s NS, Bishopstown, have all joined forces as part of a Creative Clusters initiative.
Creative Clusters is an initiative of the Department of Education and is funded through the Schools Excellence Fund and is a plan to enable the creative potential of every child and young person.
It is a creative learning project that supports a cluster of schools to address a common issue or challenge. Each cluster runs for two years and includes funding for a facilitator to support each project.
The focus for year one of this cluster project involving the three Cork schools was on the promotion of enjoyment and understanding of music.
All three strands of the music curriculum listening and responding, performing, and composing are incorporated throughout the project.
Aoife Dasari, a teacher in St Catherine’s NS, said their school was delighted to join the Creative Cluster Project.
“We were delighted to get involved. There is a nice mix of a rural school, a harbour school, and a suburban school. It was a team effort. There was a lot of collaboration between the three schools.
“We were thrilled when our application was successful. It means that we get funding over the next two years to work on an area of creativity that we may find challenging ourselves as teachers and to do it in the cluster format,” she said.
The teachers contacted well-known Cork singer John Spillane, who relished the opportunity to support and guide the students and teachers through the Creative Cluster Project.
John conducted a number of songwriting workshops with pupils from the three national schools.
John was inspired by Gaeilge, local folklore, history, and place names in Monkstown, Berrings, and Bishopstown respectively. Ms Dasari said the initiative is all about giving the students a ‘voice’.
“John did three workshops in each of the three schools. John has been fantastic in giving them ideas and helping with their creative endeavours. He has based it on folklore and history. Our two third classes are involved from our school, and we will be performing two songs.
“The students have missed out on so much over the last few years and they have really enjoyed this experience.
“They have fully embraced this project. It has been great for helping to bring out their creativity. This project is all about giving the children a voice. The students had a big input into what we were doing. It is a great initiative,” she added.
The three Cork primary schools will be performing their specially selected songs this morning at 11am in Fitzgerald Park.
Ms Dasari said her students are looking forward to performing. “The students are looking forward to performing.
“They have worked so hard and they are looking forward to showcasing all their hard work. It will be an opportunity for the three schools to come together and showcase their songs for everybody,” she added.