Girls from Presentation primary school Tralee on stage at Siamsa Tire, Tralee, Co. Kerry.
Girls from Presentation primary school Tralee on stage at Siamsa Tire, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

Creative Kids documentary Sunday on RTE One, directed by Anna Rodgers

A new documentary, Creative Kids, airs this Sunday, May 3rd on RTE One at 6:30 pm. The documentary is inspired by the roll-out of Creative Schools, a pilot project focussing on creativity and the Arts in primary and secondary schools all around Ireland.

Directed by Anna Rodgers and produced by Aoife Kavanagh for Frontline Films, Creative Kids followed five schools over the course of the academic year as they implemented the Creative Schools project and encouraged their pupils to think about the Arts and creativity in a whole new way. The five schools featured are Presentation Primary School, Tralee, Co. Kerry; Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School, Stepaside, Dublin 18; St. Patricks De La Salle Primary School, Castlebar, Co. Mayo; Presentation Primary School, Warrenmount, Blackpitts, Dublin 8; and Scoil Athphoirt primary, Arranmore Island, Co. Donegal.

Students and teachers kicked off the Creative Schools initiative by coming together to discuss what type of projects they wanted to pursue. The projects and disciplines agreed on were driven by the students themselves in cooperation with a ‘Creative Associate’ – an artist and/or teacher hired by Creative Ireland to work with the schools to help facilitate and roll out their ideas. In many cases, local artists were brought into the schools to host workshops or to work with the students on their projects.

The following are the projects/disciplines chosen by each of the schools featuring in the documentary:

  • Presentation Primary School Tralee: A whole-school music and dance show staged at Siamsa Tire in Tralee with the theme of ‘Breaking Boundaries’
  • Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School: An end-of-year festival on the grounds of the school exploring the theme of sustainability.
  • St. Patrick’s De La Salle: Modern dance
  • Presentation Primary School, Warrenmount, Blackpitts, Dublin 8: Baking.
  • Scoil Athphoirt Primary, Arranmore Island: A project focussing on the theme of ‘How to be an Explorer in the World’.

Featured Students:

1. Cuan Weijer: Cuan is 15 and attends Stepaside Educate Together secondary school in Stepaside, Co. Dublin. Cuan loves Stepaside Educate Together having had some negative experiences in two previous schools he attended. Cuan is really embracing the Creative Schools project – he’s the Chairman of the Festival committee and is really enjoying organising the various events and activities leading up to festival day. Cuan was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and finds great relief from involving himself in creative activities. We visit Cuan’s home in Glencree in Wicklow. When Cuan is at home he spends hours helping his grandad in his work shop – one of their favourite things to do together is fix old clocks.

Ciara O' Shea and Mahek Hussain, Presentation primary school, Tralee, Co. Kerry.
Ciara O’ Shea and Mahek Hussain, Presentation primary school, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

2. Ciara O’ Shea and Mehek Hussain. 9-year-olds Ciara and Mehek are both in third class in Presentation Convent Primary School Tralee and are great friends. The pair are performing on stage together during the big show in Siamsa Tire. They have spent weeks rehearsing their songs and dance moves. Both girls love singing and dancing as a way of expressing themselves. We hear Ciara and Mehek discussing the theme of the show – Breaking down Boundaries and they tell us how its not important where you come from “….what colour you are, whether you wear glasses or not”, but that they are all “equally the same and special”. We join Ciara and Mehek for a play date in Ciara’s house where they practice their performance pieces ahead of the show.