Creative Cluster Project

Creative Clusters is a pilot initiative of the Department of Education and Skills, led by and in partnership with the 21 full-time Teacher Education Centres (ATECI) and funded through the Schools Excellence Fund – Creative Clusters Initiative.

Creative Clusters is an important initiative of Creative Youth – A Plan to Enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person, which was published in December 2017 as part of the Creative Ireland Programme. The Creative Youth Plan aims to give every child practical access to tuition, experience and participation in art, music, drama and coding by 2022.

Abbey Community College have successfully established a creative cluster with four of the local primary schools in Boyle. The creative cluster project has involved a collaborative approach with the primary schools with a specific focus on the areas of Science Technology Engineering Art and Math (STEAM) The project has allowed the primary school students to come to Abbey community College and work in the science laboratories with some of our secondary schools’ students. It has also allowed our students to work in a mentoring capacity and help the each of the primary schools prepare a school project for entry into the upcoming ESB science blast competition.

ESB Science Blast is a science competition which has been designed exclusively for primary school students. It will take place on the 4th of March 2020 The students prepare a class project which they will present in the RDS in Dublin. The children will talk about what they have found with judges, their peers and teachers from other schools. Some of the benefits of taking part in the ESB science blast competition include:

· A fun-filled, interactive way to engage students with STEAM skills.

· Massive confidence-builder for the students

· Measured improvement in maths and science, as well as oral and literacy skills

The project has seen the primary and secondary school students work together and develop a range of skills including, project management, research, teaching, communication, basic laboratory skills and clay model making to name but a few.

The project has also had the additional benefit of easing the transition of the primary school students into secondary school. It has given the primary schools students an opportunity to come to a secondary school and work in the school with secondary school students and teachers during a school term. They have got to experience secondary school first hand, ahead of making that important transition. The project is ongoing and below are some of the activities and pictures of the work so far:

Tuesday December 03, 2019

If you want to learn something teach it. Our TY students put this advice into practice today when they taught primary school students from St Joseph's national school all about the light microscope. The primary students had a taste of working on a scientific task and our TY students an experience of teaching. Well done to all involved great work.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Well done to our students from Abbey Community College in their science work with some of the primary school students from Scoil Na Naingeal, Parochial School and Woodbrook School. The students worked on the microscope and prepared specimens for viewing under the microscope. Well done to all involved.

Tuesday, January 7

Fantastic collaboration today between Abbey Community College Boyle and St Joseph’s National Boys School. The transition year students involved mentored the primary school students on the Scientific method and help them to prepare their Science project which will be entered into the ESB Science Blast competition in the coming weeks. It is a great way for all students involved to learn about Science and also develop their interpersonal, IT and project management skills. Thank you to all the students involved and well do on all the great work.

Tuesday, January 21

Great collaboration between Abbey Community College and a local primary school Scoil Na nAingeal today. Students worked on a project about mental health. Transition year students mentored the primary school students on the best way to present their project in the upcoming science blast ESB competition. Thank you to all the transition year students involved some great work done. Also specific recognition to Kirsty McHenry a student at Abbey Community College who delivered an excellent presentation and lesson to the primary school students on how to build a model brain out of modelling clay. Thank you to all involved.

Tuesday, February 11

Well done to our students at Abbey Community College who delivered an excellent practical on the principal of energy conversion. They worked with students from Woodbrook primary school and helped them to prepare for their entry into the ESB Science Blast competition great work from all the students involved.

BETT exhibition London 2020

Frank Colohan, Deputy Principal, visited the BETT exhibition at the Excel conference centre in London from the 22nd to the 25th of January. Frank was representing the GRETB and was sponsored by the Erasmus+ programme. The exhibition showcases the latest technological developments in education and also hosts lectures from experts in this field.

OSOS conference in Marathon, Greece 2019

In July 2019, four staff from Abbey Community College attended the OSOS conference in Marathon, Greece. The group presented information to the conference outlining projects we as a school are involved in. These include projects on recycling, innovation stations and the promotion of STEAM subjects within local primary schools. Our attendance at the conference was supported by Leargas who administer Erasmus funding in Ireland.

During the conference which was attended by teachers from 15 Different countries, both David Harding and Frank Colohan hosted a lengthy and informative Q&A covering the areas of management, leadership and leading educational change in the context teaching and learning within an Educational organisation.