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News - Kilkenny Education Centre

Kilkenny Education Centre and Guests Seo Linn Honour Local Students with Scríobh Leabhar Awards

Medals and Certificates of Participation were awarded to over 70 young authors from nine Primary schools at a Scríobh Leabhar 2017 Awards day organised recently by Kilkenny Education Centre in conjunction with Foras na Gaeilge. They were proudly supported by their teachers, Principals, Parents and Guardians and Grandparents in The Watershed Leisure Centre. In total, 533 students were recognised for their work as authors and illustrators of their own Irish language books across a range of topics.

Margaret Maxwell, Director of Kilkenny Education Centre, welcomed the children, their teachers and Parents and said, "The most wonderful aspect of the Scríobh Leabhar Project is the fact that the children not only write and illustrate their lovely books as Gaeilge, but that they also share their books with children in other schools who read them and nominate the special 'Gradam' Award winners". She thanked the schools, teachers, students, without whom there would be no Scríobh Leabhar Project. She went on to acknowledge the support of Foras na Gaeilge and all the team in Kilkenny Education Centre for co-ordinating and planning the celebration event, in particular, Administrator Monica Skehan.

Maria Kelly, former Principal of Presentation Primary School, helped students representing the nine schools speak about and show off their books and along with Chairperson of Kilkenny Education Centre, Eithne McKenna, presented the awards. Wille McTiernan presented a lovely slideshow of all the books which had been awarded a Gradam.

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The star attraction on the day were undoubtedly Seo Linn, and Irish language band who, through their combined love of Gaeilge and Ceol, have successfully promoted Irish amongst young people. Three of the band, Kevin, Daithí and Keith are Kilkenny natives and Stiofán, the lead singer is by now almost one of our own! The band inspired the young students with their message that Irish is fun and cool and something to be proud of. Children and adults alike took to the floor to dance and sing along to songs such as Caisléan ar an Droim (Ed Sheeran's Castle on the Hill) and Avicci's Wake Me Up (as Gaeilge).

Schools participating in the Project this year were: St. John of God Primary School, Kilkenny, Dualla N.S., Tipperary, S.N. Móin Ruadh, St. Michael's N.S., Danesfort, Marymount N.S., The Rower, St. Aidan's N.S., Kilmanagh, Moneenroe N.S., Scoil Naomh Fiachra, Clontubrid and Holy Family G.N.S., Carlow.

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Awards for Primary School Film Producers

Kilkenny Education Centre hosted an awards ceremony for Carlow and Kilkenny Primary schools recently in The Set Theatre. The films, which were written, directed, filmed and edited by children spanned a range of genres including Mystery, Action, Adventure, Real Life Drama and Comedy. Willie McTiernan, the Co-Ordinator of the FÍS Project in Kilkenny Education Centre, praised the hard work and commitment of teachers and pupils involved in the Project.

FÍS is a successful film project for Primary schools that explores film as a medium of expression in relation to the arts, and introduces children to aspects of the film-making process. It was originally set up as a pilot project by the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dún Laoghaire but was subsequently rolled out to all schools nationwide with the support of the Department of Education and Skills and PDST Technology in Education. It has been facilitated in local schools by Kilkenny Education Centre for over twelve years now.

Margaret Maxwell, the new Director of Kilkenny Education Centre spoke about the powerful learning for children who participate in the Project, who develop essential skills in film making but also in literacy, communication and teamwork.

The films screened were:

  • St. Brendan's N.S., Newmarket, The Famous Five and the Kidnapped Boy
  • S.N. Móin Ruadh, The Móin Ruadh Mystery
  • Scoil Chiaráin Naofa, Stoneyford, School Alone
  • Newtown Dunleckney N.S., Bagenalstown, From Star Wars to Fairyland
  • Lisnafunchin N.S., The BabyMeiser 1000 and Prison Break
  • Scoil Mhuire N.S., Gowran, Stranded

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Gary McHugh, Young Irish Filmmakers, viewed the films and presented awards to the schools in a variety of categories. Gary awarded mini Oscars and clapperboards to the schools in categories such as Soundtrack, Animation, Use of Green Screen and Special Effects.

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CRAFTed Projects Showcased in Kilkenny Education Centre

Teachers, children, parents and craftmakers gathered in Kilkenny Education Centre recently to celebrate another successful collaboration between the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) and Kilkenny Education Centre. Craft projects by children in five Kilkenny and Tipperary schools were showcased: St. Brigid's N.S., Kells, St. John's Senior School, Kilkenny, School of the Holy Spirit, Kilkenny, St. Mary's Central, N.S., Killenaule and St. Colmcille's N.S., Inistioge. Children patiently explained how they had created their wonderful pieces, using a range of materials such as textiles, clay and print.

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The CRAFTed Initiative is a visual arts based educational programme, which places professional craftspeople with teachers in Primary school. It focuses on integrated learning methodologies through the Visual Arts Curriculum, using a process-led approach that centres on the child's own creativity.

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Speaking at the Showase, Margaret Maxwell, Director of Kilkenny Education Centre, highly commended the high standards exemplified by the craftspeople, teachers and students involved in the Project and thanked them all for their involvement. "These CRAFTed projects on display this evening provide an excellent example of how curriculum areas such as Geography, History, Literacy and Numeracy can be integrated together in the delivery of a Visual Arts project. We are delighted to have been involved in this Initiative and congratulate all the children for their work. Each piece is unique and beautiful. It's obvious that the children have learned to work together to create their pieces over time, refining and improving at every stage".

She also said that the CRAFTed Programme allows children and teachers a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the life of a craftsperson and to experience working with materials that may not always be accessible in the Primary school setting.

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John Tynan, Head of Education, DCCoI, also spoke at the Showcase. "I am very impressed by the fantastic projects on display and wish to congratulate the pupils and their teachers". He thanked all who had contributed to the success of the Programme including Kilkenny Education Centre Administrator, Honorah Rochford, CRAFTed National Co-Ordinator, Carrie Lynam, Regional Co-Ordinator, Maeve Sookram and all of the Education Panel.

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School's Out, Give Farm Safety a Big Shout!

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As part of a national awareness raising effort, the Health and Safety Authority are appealing to Primary teachers to make the last message given to children before the summer break a farm safety message. This is a high risk time for children on farms and the HSA are asking for your help in preventing a child in your school from being seriously injured or dying in a farm accident this summer. You may be visiting farms on school trips this month, which presents an ideal opportunity for exploring Farm Safety in the classroom.

In the past decade (2007-2016), farm accidents have claimed the lives of 23 children. These are dreadful tragedies for families and heart-breaking for communities and schools alike. It is important that children from both farming and non-farming backgrounds hear these messages as holidays are a high risk time for children who are off school and spend a lot of time on their family farm or visiting friends' and relatives' farms. It is also a very busy time for farmers when much work needs to be done.

In the last few weeks of school, teachers are asked to do the following:

Highlight the resources developed to give key farm safety messages in 30 minutes. These include a set of seven PowerPoint slides, specifically developed for use in all Primary classes. Teachers can use them with their whiteboards or print off to photocopy. The last slide contains links to further HSA farm safety resources on the HSA website, which include a series of short Farm Safety videos involving children on their farms. In addition to this, the HSA's dedicated e-learning portal contains a short interactive course for Primary students called Keep Safe on the Farm (40 minute online course suitable for the whiteboard).

Farm safety is an explicit topic in the SPHE curriculum at Primary level. Schools can make a real difference to children by equipping them with the skills to keep them safe on the farm and encouraging them to bring the safety message home to Parents and Grandparents. Teachers are asked to join with the HSA in helping to prevent children from dying on farms this summer. By working together, we can bring a positive safety message home to them and their families. The last message they receive before the summer break could save lives.

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Sixth Annual Research Conference 2017

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Region 3: Research Conference will be held in Kilkenny Education Centre on Saturday 14th October 2017. Waterford Teachers' Centre, Kilkenny Education Centre and Co. Wexford Education Centre are currently accepting proposals for presentations and full papers for consideration for publication in the Conference Journal. Click here to view the Conference flyer.

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