Creative Heritage Competition - project reports

Working with Creative Ireland towards achieving one of its key goals ‘to enable the creative potential of every child and young person’ the Heritage in Schools Scheme invited applications from primary schools nationwide for an opportunity to creatively explore their local heritage during a series of FIVE FREE VISITS with a Heritage in Schools Expert.  Here's how the projects developed:

Scoil Moling Glynn - 'A creative exploration of the heritage of St. Mullins.'

Scoil Moling Glynn wanted to work on a project based upon the local area of St. Mullins which is steeped in rich heritage (buildings, natural heritage and cultural heritage). The children see St Mullins as a unique place with churches, monastic ruins, cemeteries, holy well, Viking place names as well as an old moat and bailey. In addition the river is central to their local heritage and trading was huge back in the 18th century with the mill. Heritage Expert Orla Bates worked with the school to explore St. Mullins and ask questions such as who, what, where and why. 

There were two parts to the project:

1. Using our senses to explore the river barrow in St. Mullins
by 1st, 2nd and 3rd class

 Read about their project here Scoil Moling Glynn.


2.  A creative Exploration of the Historical Heritage in St. Mullins

by 4th, 5th and 6th class

Read about their project here Scoil Moling2 Edited 12 Dec


Kilaville National School - ‘What life was like 120 years ago in Killavil when our school was built’

Kilaville National School will mark the 120th anniversary of their school building in 2019 and wanted to work on a creative history and folklore project where they would learn about what life was like for the current pupils' ancestors at the turn of the 20th century when the school they now attend was built.

With the help and guidance of Heritage Expert, Patrick Broderick  they imagined life in 1900 on the farm and how the children may have been involved.  Read all about their project at:

St Senan's Primary School - 'Exploring our heritage through nature.'


St Senan's Primary School is situated on the foot of historic Vinegar Hill which played host to some of the most significant battles of the 1798 rebellion. The children of First class visited Vinegar Hill, and with the guidance of Heritage in Schools Expert, Betsy Hickey, explored the naturally occurring flora and fauna of the site and recorded their findings pictorially.  They examined the impact of tourism and visitors on the site, and discussed how to support, maintain and emulate this biodiversity within the school grounds - not only connecting their historic past to the present but also helping to maintain their Green Flag for Biodiversity.

See how they got on! St Senans - 'Exploring our heritage through nature'.

Tubber National School - 'Tubber through the mists of time'

Tubber National School's project Tubber through the mists of time with Heritage Expert Tony Kirby was a huge success. Throughout the project the children completed various cross-curricular activities and on the last day compiled a booklet of their work as a keepsake which the titled 'my book of the Burren'. 

Read more:

Tubber Ns Summary

Tubber Iarlaiths Book

Tubber Emmas Book

Tubber Matthews Book

St Joseph’s P.S Ballinrobe - 'The Tree of Embracement'  

St Joseph's P.S. had for some time been hoping to develop the main entrance to the school to create a welcoming and embracing feel on arrival.  Through their Creative Heritage project they got to work with Heritage Expert Mark Wilson who was also involved in the Ballinrobe Heritage Iron and Crafts Festival with Mayo County Council Heritage Office and the Irish Artist Blacksmiths Association Of Ireland ( IABA ). The school project linked in perfectly with the festival.

Read about the project here St Josephs Ballinrobe Tree Of Embracement.

Gurraneasig N.S. - 'The Wishing Tree'

This creative heritage project was inspired by the ancient tradition in Ireland of Wishing or Fairy trees. Steeped in Celtic mythology and embracing Christian traditions these trees are found in sacred places around Ireland. The idea was visitors left items such as rags, beads or small objects on the tree as they made a prayer or wish or asked for healing.

Gurraneasig NS worked with heritage in schools registered expert and artist Elaine Garde to create a mixed media Wishing Tree mural in the school hall. The children took part in a range of interactive cultural, craft and art workshops.  They focused on the symbolism of trees the early Irish Ogham language and took part in the ancient advent spiral ceremony. All classes created elements of the wishing tree in a variety of mediums and crafts. These included clay and sculpture, weaving, paper making, calligraphy, dyeing with natural pigments and painting.

All families in the school community were invited to write and hang a good wish card on the tree. This celebrates for us the importance of positivity, kind words and unity in the school community.

Castlegar N.S. - 'A creative interpretation of the historical and geographical features of Castlegar'

Castlegar N.S. worked with Heritage Expert Gordon D'Arcy looking and reflecting on the natural features in the local environment. They did a flora and fauna detective nature walk and then reflected on what they saw and learned through the medium of Art. 

Heritage Expert Susanna Anker spoke to the children about the natural and man made features of the local area and the decision was made to represent the castle on a wall hanging using wool. The wool was twisted and shaped by children , appropriate colours and textures were selected and the finished product was appended to a woven background. 

Newtownmountkennedy Primary School - 'Newtownmountkennedy Heritage Trail'

Newtownmountkennedy Primary School researched, designed, and produced a child-friendly, colourful map highlighting the heritage landmarks of Newtownmountkennedy. They worked with Heritage Expert Grace Garde to produce a map to include a simple trail providing both information and clues for the Explorer. They expect the map to be used by classes in their school, members of the wider community and by tourists and hope it will help bring people outdoors and provide educational entertainment for those who use it.

Their hard work on this project was very worthwhile and a stunning map was produced:

Newtownmountkennedy Map