Wellbeing & Creative Schools

Creative Schools:

What is Creative Schools?

Creative Schools is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme to enable the creative potential of every child. Creative Schools is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. The Creative Schools initiative supports schools/centres to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives. This initiative provides opportunities for young people to build their artistic and creative skills; to communicate, collaborate, stimulate their imaginations, be inventive, and to harness their curiosity. It will empower young people to develop, implement and evaluate arts and creative activity throughout their schools/centres and stimulate additional ways of working that reinforce the impact of creativity on children and young people’s learning, development and well-being.

Ramsgrange Community School, Creative Schools 2020-2022

RCS put in a successful application to become a Creative School in 2020. The success of the application is accredited to the already fantastic arts programmes that exist in RCS as well as the commitment and passion for the arts shown by our students, staff, parents and wider school community. As part of the Creative Schools Programme, the school was awarded a grant to facilitate the Creative Schools Plan. In December 2020, RCS met with their Creative Associate Tony McCleane-Fay who will work with RCS to help develop the programme along side our Creative School Coordinator RCS Art Teacher Avril Buttle. Student voice is an integral part of Creative Schools and as a result, a student committee was formed with representatives from every year group in the school. An advisory committee was also formed to support our creative journey. Committee members include school Principal Rachel O’Connor, Co-Ordinator Avril Buttle, Creative Associate Tony McCleane-Fay, Teachers Karen Hartigan, Marese Howley and William Gillard, Parents and Artist Helen Mason and Lorraine Waters and past HCL Ann Cadogan as well as representatives from the student committee.

The Arts in Ramsgrange Community School

The arts are and always have been an integral part of RCS. We have a long history of academic success in all of our arts subjects but more importantly, a long history of rich student engagement, community participation and parental involvement through the arts ensuring that all members of our school community have opportunities to be creative, express themselves and collaborate in innovative and imaginative ways. Below is a list of just come of the opportunities and arts experiences we have engaged in/are currently engaging in and offer in our school:

  • Formal teaching of the Visual Art, Drama, English, and Music Curriculum.
  • Craft club
  • Coding club
  • School band
  • Theatre and drama club
  • Junk Kouture
  • Living Arts Project with Wexford County Council
  • JCSP Artist Residency Project
  • Waterford Walls Collaboration
  • Mural collaboration with Helen McLean
  • St Patricks Day Parade collaboration with Caoimhe Dunn Puppetry
  • Metal work garden sculpture project
  • Bevel furniture JCSP initiative
  • Poetry Aloud
  • Portfolio club
  • Art Club
  • Success in local art competitions: Wexford Opera Talbot Art Competition, Texaco, Credit Union Art Competition, Mental Health Wexford.
  • School Choir
  • JCSP Music collaboration with Generation Wexford
  • JCSP Music collaboration with musician Anita Mahon
  • Production of school concert
  • Production of student written and directed school play
  • RCS 40 Community Art Exhibition
  • Primary school visual art workshops in the art department
  • Parent art groups
  • JCSP and Parent Gardens
  • Collaboration with Wild Metal outdoor sculpture project
  • Drumming workshops
  • Gallery trips to Dublin
  • Trips to the theatre
  • Artist, musician, and theatre invited guest speakers
  • Spoken word workshops


Click on the link below to access the full Junior Cycle Guidelines:

 Wellbeing is an area of learning in junior cycle.  The Wellbeing Guidelines provide schools with support for planning a junior cycle Wellbeing programme.

The Wellbeing Guidelines provide details on the following:

Background and rationale for Wellbeing

  • Wellbeing and the Framework for Junior Cycle
  • Wellbeing – A whole school approach to Wellbeing
  • Wellbeing and the curriculum
  • Assessment and reporting
  • Tools for getting started

What will students be learning in their Wellbeing programme?

Through the Wellbeing programme students will be learning the knowledge, attitudes and skills to enable them to protect and promote their own wellbeing and that of others. The junior cycle Wellbeing programme will begin in 2017 with 300 hours of timetabled learning in Wellbeing over the three years of junior cycle. This will build up to 400 hours by 2020 as the new junior cycle is implemented in schools.

The four main pillars of the junior cycle

Wellbeing programme are Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE), Physical Education (PE), Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and guidance education.

  • Other subjects, short courses and units of learning can also contribute to a school’s Wellbeing programme. Schools can be flexible when planning their Wellbeing programme. Students, parents and teachers all have a part to play in planning a programme that suits the needs of the students in their school. As part of the new Junior Cycle students will be experiencing a new area of learning called Wellbeing. This will build on the work schools are already doing in support of students’ wellbeing and make it more visible for students.

Why wellbeing matters?

All the day-to-day interactions that take place in school can impact on students’ wellbeing. Therefore everyone can play a part in supporting wellbeing. Students have a right to feel cared for in schools. Developing good relationships in the classroom and throughout the school are essential for students’ wellbeing and for effective teaching and learning. When students feel included, respected and listened to, they are more ready to learn and more successful in their learning. Wellbeing matters not only because it leads to students doing better at school but it can also influence young people’s outcomes as adults.

What is Wellbeing?

We often associate wellbeing with mental or physical health. Wellbeing is broader than this. Wellbeing includes social, emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual and environmental aspects. Learning in Wellbeing focuses on the students’ journey across all aspects of wellbeing. While it is recognised that the journey towards wellbeing continues throughout our lives, it is one where schools play an important part.

Six indicators of wellbeing

To help make sure everyone –students, parents, and teachers – has a common understanding of what wellbeing means, six indicators describe what is important for young people’s wellbeing. These indicators are not seen as goals or targets to be reached. The journey towards wellbeing is never complete and will always involve ups and downs. Often it is through dealing with obstacles and set-backs that people grow. The wellbeing indicators make it easier for everyone to have conversations about student wellbeing and may help identify where a student is in need of support.

6 indicators of Wellbeing:

Active, Responsible, Connected, Resilient, Respected, Aware