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CBS Ennistymon recently held their annual Arts Week which included various events, the finale being culminating with a Gallery Experience hosted by the Leaving Certs who painted canvas works based on their experience of Covid. At the official opening pupils were invited to sample various foods from around the world. Our picture shows principal Mary Lyons cutting the tape at the official opening. Photograph by John Kelly

Arts take centre stage at Ennistymon CBS

ENNISTYMON CBS held its annual Arts week recently, with a series of events helping students access their own creativity and exposing them to new artistic experiences.
Teacher Emma Jane Brown said, “We’re very lucky that management are very supportive of everything to do with the arts here in Ennistymon.
“This was our third annual Arts week, we had a really great first one, last year obviously it was impacted by Covid, we were doing remote learning and everything was virtual. It was really fantastic this year to be able to do things in person.”
Explaining what had taken place, Emma Jane added, “We started off with a podcast workshop with Ruairi McKiernan, who’s a Fulbright scholar and author and he has two podcasts himself. Our TYs and second years were at that and it was fab.
“We also had Féile CBS on the Wednesday, which was sports activities, in their class pods outside. We had an ice cream van and a barbecue on the day and things like that. It was fantastic and it was a really good day for their welbeing.
“On the Thursday we had virtual career talks from people who might not usually come to the school for careers guidance.
“Representatives of the Lir academy in Trinity college, which does stage building and acting degree courses, gave a virtual talk.
“We had one with Tom Felle who is a journalism lecturer in NUI Galway. We had a career talk from Christy O’Connor about being a journalist and having been involved in the GAA.
“We had Ré Ó Laighleis who is an Irish storyteller based in Ballyvaughan, he talked to our second years.
“We had Aindrias De Staic, he came and did simple performance based workshops, they were held outside on the astroturf, we were so lucky we had beautiful sunshine during the week, which we hadn’t expected.”
She said Friday had been a particular highlight of the week. “We had an open mic session outside, and anybody who felt like playing or performing did so. John O’Connell is a local professional musician and he was here,
“Our final event of the week was our CBS pop up gallery, which was run by Emer Griffey, we have two outdoor rooms, and we turned those into pop up galleries.
“We had exhibitions that were opened by our principal Mary Lyons and it was fantastic.
“The Leaving Certs created the art with Ms Griffey in class, based on their experiences during class or part of their English Leaving Cert syllabus.
“We also had Food of the World, we have two students from Spain and Germany with us and with Neville Fitzpatrick they did really wonderful canapes. It was a lovely event to end on and one of our musicians played some jazz in the background.”
She feels it is vital to go beyond the basics of the school curriculum and give the students different experiences.
“It’s so important we get to do things like this when the students were alone for so much of the last year. You have to teach people how to interact and engage with their creativity.”

by Owen Ryan

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