Work In Schools
CRAFTed is the Design and Crafts Council of Irelands nationwide primary schools programme, which aims to provide skills for life through positive, collaborative and joyful engagement with craft and design processes. By emphasising the making, journey rather than finished products, CRAFTed allows space for experimentation, active learning and personal growth. It focuses on harnessing the creativity of every child, valuing individual creative expression, and providing hands-on ‘in classroom’ learning with skilled Irish makers. Sheila has delivered numerous CRAFTed projects over the past ten years, working with a range of materials such as, clay, textiles & stitch including felt making, drawing & bookmaking. She is especially interested in working in the outdoors and focusing on the natural environment, working with natural and found materials.
In 2017 Sheila participated in the Department of Education and Skills TAP training initiative, and subsequently has delivered a number of TAP projects in Co Kilkenny. TAP supports and enhances arts in education in primary schools. Artists and teachers work together to deliver projects that enhance the creative potential of children in the classroom. The initiative is guided by the principles expressed in the Arts in Education Charter (2012) and Pillar 1 (Creative Youth) of the Creative Ireland Programme (2017–2022). The TAP programme is run by the Education Centres throughout the country.
Creative Clusters provides schools with access to creative people, skills and resources, it supports them to draw on their own skills and experiences and those within their wider communities. Sheila facilitated 5 schools in the Carlow Kilkenny area from Sept 2019 to June 2021 to develop a plan to provide a safe space for all children in the playground at break times. For many children the hustle & bustle of the school yard is a challenging place to be. The projects aim was to address this issue by making the playground a creative outdoor social space for the whole school which would address the various needs of the range of children in each school. Each school devised a plan for their particular needs and supported each other by sharing their knowledge and expertise and drawing on local talent and support. Covid-19 was an extra challenge to deal with but it re-enforced the importance of the outdoor space and a number of the schools have developed outdoor classrooms as part of the project which will be hugely beneficial in the coming months and years.