Sonia Caldwell - Heritage Experts | Heritage in Schools

Sonia Caldwell

Sonia Caldwell
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Science, History, Geography
Curriculum Strands:
Story (History), Local Studies (History), Early people and ancient societies (History), Continuity and change over time (History), Human environments (Geography), Natural environments (Geography), Living things (Science), Materials (Science)
Counties catered for:
Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford
Classes catered for:
All Classes

Book in-person visit

Sonia is an artist and craft maker who has been working in schools for many years. She is fascinated by the craft practices of the past where things were made for practical and decorative purposes from materials that were collected locally.

She also paints botanical subjects and shares her knowledge of native plants with the children.

Sonia’s visits can be adapted to suit many themes that are being worked on in the school or she can plan a day of workshops based around her main activities.

All workshops are adapted to suit each age group. Many of the topics below can be blended together during a visit and she will include other ideas that teachers can follow on with like stories, songs, videos and research ideas.

In-person school visits

Choose from the options below or contact Sonia for further information:

Children will learn how people in the past provided the things they needed from local materials. A visit can include one or more of the following activities which will be partially or entirely hands on and creative. In some workshops children will have a finished craft piece to take home with them.

  • Basketmaking
  • Textile fibres
  • Weaving
  • Ink and dye made from plants
  • Book making
  • Leatherwork
  • Rush weaving
  • Straw craft
  • Paper making
  • Printing
  • Rope making

Children will explore their local area [ rural and urban ] and learn how to identify native wild plants and study their leaf shapes. Creative activities will then be adapted around this using collage, printing, drawing and crafts. Lots of other fun things will be learnt about plants on the way looking at their names and folklore associated with them.

Sonia can adapt a workshop to suit something that the class or whole school is working on like a local project, a time from history or a seasonal event .

Here are examples of previous workshops -

  1. Life in the local tower house
  2. Exploring and making many of the crafts in the section above
  3. The Book of Kells - bookmaking, ink making and looking at inspiration from plants
  4. Composting - creative activities around microscopic life in the compost process
  5. Mapping your area - townlands, plant life and more incorporated into a local project
  6. Rhythm and craft - incorporating music, pattern and maths into craft
  7. Seasonal activities - Christmas, Easter, Harvest, Lá an Dreoilín, St Brigids day
  8. Green Flag projects

Many of the workshops mentioned in the above section will include an outdoor element to them or can also be done entirely outdoors, weather permitting. This will include collecting materials in or around the school for the projects or studying plant life in the area. Other outdoor projects not in the lists above are den and stick construction, flower crowns, living willow work and outdoor sound stories and craft games.

Sonia also has plenty of experience in the her own vegetable garden and can plan a creative workshop in and around the garden in the school.

Tá roinnt gaeilge agam agus táim sásta é a úsáid trí na ceardlanna. Thosaigh mé ag foghlaim Gaeilge arís, go mall, timpeall sé blianna ó shin. Níl gaeilge líofa agam fós agus caithfidh mé a úsáid Béarla freisin ó am go ham.Tá suim go mór orm i an naisc idir ar dteanga, ar oidhreacht, ar plandaí agus ceard.


  • "Wonderful workshop. Perfectly pitched to each age group. Would love to have her back again. Recommend thoroughly."
  • "We are a special school. Sonia was excellent. The workshop was structured perfectly and catered for children's diverse levels of ability. They enjoyed the range of activities and had so much fun. I will highly recommend it to other teachers."
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  • "The children really enjoyed working outdoors with Sonia."
  • "Such an excellent learning experience for the kids. Sonia was so well organized."
  • "Excellent facilitor . Very enjoyable workshop."
  • "We all thoroughly enjoyed our day. It was both hands on and informative. The younger group were weaving with wool and the older group were making ropes out of rushes."
  • "Outstanding. Sonia came with a wealth of materials to support her art lesson, which was based on a wonderful, informative walk along our road. She was really great to engage and interact with the children, and they got so much from her visit." - Union Hall, Cork
  • "We had Sonia visit 2 years ago and the pupils really enjoyed her visit. We were delighted that she was able to return." - Togher BNS, Cork
  • "It is not always easy to encourage visitors to our school to speak as Gaeilge. Sonia spoke as Gaeilge. She wasn’t so sure of some vocabulary but brought a dictionary to ensure that she was understood. Also, materials for a making workshop with over eighty children can be difficult to find. Sonia harvested her own supply of native wood for us to use, which was extremely generous." - Gaelscoil Mhichíl Ui Choileain, Cork

Additional Information

  • Provides in-person visits
  • Caters for special needs
  • Provides practical/hands-on activities
  • Provides field trips
  • Visits as Gaeilge

Contact Details

Phone (Home):
028 38946
087 066 7871