St. Brigid’s GNS, Cabinteely; Artist: Tunde Toth; Teacher: Laragh McFeely, 3rd class – Session 7

Session 7 took place on the 8th of February when we looked at again, a different way to explore and create MAPS.

The children drew maps of their journeys from home to school, on long, narrow strips of papers (till rolls). The shape of the paper presents a challenge of course, as everyone has to figure out their own way to represent roundabouts, changing directions and the turns and twists of their journey. There have been some unusual and very clever solutions in the class!

Mapping of the visual elements of these routes was followed by the mapping of sounds, significant colours and smells – turning the activity into a sensory investigation of everyday locations and travels.

Ms McFeely had the long maps perfectly displayed – suspended from the beams in the high-ceiling classroom.


St. Brigid’s GNS, Cabinteely; Artist in residence: Tunde Toth; Teacher: Laragh McFeely; 3rd class – Session 5

Session 5

25th January 2019

As I arrived to the class room, I was very happy to see that last week’s beautiful and very imaginative space drawings have been already given attention and displayed! Next to the colourful soft pastel drawings is now also a new surface set up: a board for creating constellations – real or imaginary.

We had a lot of talk about stars, shapes and constellations at this session and had great fun looking at them and creating them in many different ways: using threads and drawing pins on the board, pencils and white pastels to draw them and (re)creating them from… marshmallows!! (It wasn’t easy to resist eating them too). The children also used movement and their own bodies to create imaginary constellations: they worked in small groups, secretly as much as possible to come up with ideas, then they “acted out” and constructed their constellations in the middle of the class room floor. We all had to try to guess what the constellation was: we had a (moving!) boat, an eye, a top hat and a clock!

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Residency at St.Brigid’s GNS, Cabinteely, Artist: Tunde Toth; Teacher: Laragh McFeely; 3rd class – Session 3

Our third session took place on the 7th of December.

The children went for a walk with Ms McFeely to the school garden before our session, on one of those rare sunny and dry days  – and collected plenty of nature materials to fill a large table in the class room.

They worked in 4 groups (5/6 girls in a group) to create an indoor Land Art piece in the class room – inspired by ‘Winter’, using the collected material on large white sheets of paper. The collaborative process naturally presented challenges for the groups as agreement had to be reached about ideas, design, selection of materials and construction of the works. Some PVA glue was used to secure the position of some of the material but most pieces were loosely placed on the paper.

Ownership and the “life time” of the pieces were discussed and after the initial interest in taking the works home, everyone realized that these are one of those ephemeral pieces that will be photographed and documented throughout the process but they wont last and will be later discarded.


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Residency at St. Brigid`s GNS, Cabinteely, Artist: Tunde Toth Teacher: Laragh McFeely – Session 1 – 2

St Brigid`s GNS (Cabinteely) — 3rd class

SESSION 1 — 20 November 2018

SESSION 2 — 27 November 2018

We started our residency with two short and connecting sessions in November – so I decided to reflect on these two introductory and discussion based sessions in one post.

Laragh, the class teacher and I started to plan the beginning of our project at the planning evening (Blackrock Education Centre), trying to discuss aspects of our chosen theme PLACE, considering various approaches and creative processes we could bring to the class. We both are keen to create a residency that is collaborative, interactive and participatory as much as possible in a school environment. I`m interested in process led, experimental working methods where the children will be encouraged to develop and express individual ideas, opinions as well as working together with others.

No better way to start this than a session of brain storming and mind mapping! The children were very responsive and there was no shortage of ideas and connections when discussing PLACE. After the general brain storm we tried to break down the responses and associations into 4 groups: nature, buildings, imaginary places and places from memories. The children were asked to write further ideas and responses to these words and make little drawings for each.


Laragh was telling me about the school garden at our initial meeting. Considering the significance of the garden in the school`s life and the school`s location next to Cabinteely Park, we knew that nature-places and the natural environment will probably be important when discussing place and connections with places. we were planning a walk in the garden or the park as part of our session but weather conditions made this impossible. Laragh took out the class for a walk later, between two sessions. The children collected natural materials from the grounds – a large pile of leaves, barks, nuts, flowers, grasses etc.

I suggested a Looking and Responding session for the class, exploring exciting, fun and accessible examples of Land Art. We looked at contemporary works and classic Land Art examples, many from Andy Goldsworthy, and discussed ephemeral pieces that won`t last, the concept of site specific works and various materials that artists use.

The METNs 6th Class Ninth Dance Session – Rehearsals with Umbrellas!

dlr Primary Arts Blog, 9th Dance Class, (11th Session) 6th June 2014
Monkstown Educate Together NS 6th Class
Artists: Robert Connor & Loretta Yurick, Dance Theatre of Ireland

Today, we did EVERYTHING for our performances for St. Paul’s Glenageary which takes place next week, June 12. WOW, it took a couple hours, but we made it through everything… and with the music. Not only did we make it through everything (we have learned a lot of material) but we perfected a lot of things! And connected other things. Also we got to use Umbrellas for the first time for the Singing in the Rain.
So the order of the programme is: Opening remarks, Loretta & Robert will explain a bit about Nature Moves and the work we’ve done together the past 12 weeks.
Then for the performance, the running order of sections is

The two Corridors representing transition to secondary school
Earth & Tree Poems
Girls Tree section
Boys Tree Section
Crab Section
Then there will be a little introduction about SINGING IN THE RAIN, while we get our umbrellas. And then our finale performance

Then a magnificent and well deserved bow!
Performance is at 1:15 pm Thursday June 12 at the church, St. Pauls, Glenageary, 31 Silchester Road.
All the children will eat before coming to the church and will be in the church ready to have a “run through” with music at Noon.
Everyone is psyched. Wearing black or a dark color.
They were amazing today!

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The METNS 6th Class first Nature Moves outing – finding the roots of inspiration.

DLR Primary Arts Blog, Session 1, 26 March 2014
Monkstown Educate Together NS 6th Class
Artists: Robert Connor & Loretta Yurick, Dance Theatre of Ireland

Our dlr Creative Practitioners in Primary Schools project with the 6th Class at Monkstown Educate Together National School (METNS) is entitled Nature Moves. It takes nature as a source for exploring and creating dance, and engages students physically with their natural environment. It involves bringing the students through a number of experiential learning activities in two different local nature settings, working with Environmental Educator Mouse (Andrew Fleming) of OWLS. The remaining sessions will explore the nature of dance, with the students learning set material and creating their own dances inspired by nature and their outdoor experiences.

Our first session started on a misty morning on Killiney Hill. Thankfully it soon lifted and we were spared a soaking. But then again there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.

Mouse introduced the concepts of predator, prey and survival, engaging the students (the predators) immediately with the challenge of trying to catch him (the prey). Try as they might, they did not succeed, as he demonstrated how small animals have protective strategies, even feigning injury, to fool their predators and thereby escape. His “limp” was a ruse, luring the students into thinking he would be easy to catch, and instead he easily scampered past them.

Food storage and retrieval became a practical matter as each student was given a nut to hide, and at the end of the session we would return to see if they could find it.

Other activities were about sensory awareness, focusing some senses, e.g. hearing and touch, when light was diminished, in the way that nocturnal animals navigate in the dark. A “caterpillar walk” took blindfolded students past ivy thickets, over, under and around trees, past stumps and rocks, all being discerned without vision. Afterwards, with their blindfolds removed, they tried to retrace the path they had just traveled.

Climbing and balance challenges included traversing a number of fallen trees. Confidence grew as each student had a go (or two or three) at crossing the logs, some low, some higher. Some even tried blindfolded!

Looping back via the coastal vista, in pairs the students identified “photo frames” for each another, taking turns choosing a particular sight for the other to view; sky, trees, roots, colour, pattern. Everyone appreciated the sea view, even on this shrouded day.

Back to find the hidden nuts, the last task before going. Seventeen students found the nuts (out of 28 that was a pretty good return; Mouse had predicted 10!)

The METNS 6th Class first Nature Moves outing – finding the roots of inspiration.

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