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  • Erna van der Werff

Culture uNIGHTed in Ireland

Friday 23 September 2022 was Culture Night in Ireland. In Dundalk, Creative Spark hosted a mini-conference showcasing the Culture United project in which it has been participating with Gaelscoil Dhún Dealgan for the last three years.

Culture United is an Erasmus+ project with partners in Scotland, Ireland, Finland, and The Netherlands, who are working together to use cultural events and heritage festivals as a way to incorporate multidisciplinary ways of teaching in primary schools. This helps students to become more engaged with what they are learning and contributes to students’ cultural and social development, as well as their creativity.

The event kicked off with a beautiful performance by the harp players from Rang a Sé in the Gaelscoil.

Sarah Daly, Executive Director of Creative Spark, gave an overview of the project and its aims, followed by Áine Uí Choinne, Head Teacher at Gaelscoil Dhún Dealgan, who spoke about the learning and impact the project has had on the teachers, staff and students. Teachers, Sionann Ui Bhraonáin and Eadaoin Nic Aodha, introduced a video made by the Gaelscoil pupils in which they explained how they had made friends with other pupils from the partner schools in Edinburgh and how they had exchanged letters and had video calls with the schools there.

The event launched the Culture United Teacher Training programme which is available free of charge on Thinkific to anyone interested in learning how to imbed more culture and creativity in their teaching. We also launched the Cultural Organisers Toolkit, which aims to help events organisations to work better with teachers, schools and their pupils. This toolkit is available to download on the Culture United website.

Creative Spark and Gaelscoil Dhún Dealgan are the Irish partners in this project and have learned and shared a lot with colleagues from the Netherlands, Scotland and Finland.

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