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Ark Cultural Centre supports teachers and students

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 29/05/2020. Ark Cultural Centre supports teachers and studentsTags: Teachers

A key element of the ongoing work of The Ark over the past 25 years has been working with schools. This includes commissioning and presenting programmes and productions for public and school audiences (ages 2-12) to experience, as well as running a series of Continuing Professional Development workshops and summer courses for teachers. 
Since The Ark building in Temple Bar remains closed due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, The Ark team have found new ways to engage with audiences, and has been providing opportunities for children to discover and love the arts through The Ark @ Home, a series of online arts activities and experiences for children in their own homes. Now, recognising the challenges being faced by parents juggling work, childcare and homeschooling, The Ark is working to support teachers in delivering arts-based learning in a number of ways to ensure they reach as many children as possible who might otherwise be deprived of arts and culture while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.

ARK access programme for students

Now in its fourth year, The Ark’s Access Programme provides students from Dublin’s City Centre DEIS schools with free access to some of the Ark’s events over one school year. Teachers are provided with CPD (Continuing Professional Development) opportunities and online interactive classroom packs to increase engagement with The Ark as well as facilitating the teacher’s own development and ability to deliver arts-centered curricular activities in the classroom. Ark Access for Schools encourages a positive and uplifting element to these children’s lives and attempts to bridge the gap between those who have regular access to the arts and those who don’t.
As part of this programme, The Ark has engaged illustrator Duffy Mooney Sheppard and novelist Dave Rudden to create and deliver original online workshops for schools in visual arts and creative writing respectively. Working closely with The Ark’s neighbouring city centre schools, children and teachers will be offered bespoke online workshops tailored to each school’s individual needs. As well as this, each school will be offered recorded tutorials and activity packs. 
Duffy Mooney Sheppard’s workshops will be inspired by Wilhelma the Tortoise (a sculpture by Imogen Stuart commissioned by The Ark for their Beautiful Beasts collection) and her adventurous life travelling at sea. Each class will meet the artist facilitator Duffy online and use basic materials available at home to create a unique pictorial story map of their own. At the end of the session, children will be able to share the world they have created with their class and teacher.
Dave Rudden’s workshops will focus on the accessibility of creativity. Everybody has what it takes to be a writer. Inspiration is everywhere. Students will receive tips and prompts that are easily applicable to their own work, as well as feedback and encouragement to get their writing career started.

The ARK @ home for teachers

The Ark has unveiled a new initiative,  
The Ark @ Home for Teachers, giving teachers access to a selection of curriculum linked resources to support them in delivering arts-based learning to children remotely while they are at home.

Stream a Show 

For example, teachers can stream a recording of a previous Ark theatre production online for their class and can request a private video link for their class that will allow students to watch a show online from their homes. All of the shows are accompanied by a complementary teacher's resource or classroom activity pack so that teachers can maximise learning opportunities for their students. 
The shows available include: The Haircut! by Wayne Jordan & Tom Lane (2019) commissioned and produced by The Ark, Peat by Kate Heffernan (2019) commissioned and produced by The Ark,  Monster Music Improv (2016) developed and produced by The Ark & Improvised Music Company and Far Away From Me by Amy Conroy (2015) commissioned and produced by The Ark. 

Classroom Activity Pack 

All the resources tie into specific areas of the primary school curriculum and are catalogued by subject to make them easy to find. As well as covering arts subjects such as drama, music and visual art, they also contain many cross-curricular activities, with opportunities for arts-based learning across subjects such as science, geography and history. 
As well as packs to accompany the viewing of a show, there are also Classroom Activity Packs available tying into other previous programmes at The Ark, such as the recent Fly Me To The Moon programme exploring astronomy through visual art, and Game Plan, which is all about Board Games. 

To find out more 

If you’re a teacher and would like to learn more about what online resources are currently available for your school, or if you would like to find out more about The Ark Access Programme, please visit or contact Liam on 

About the Ark 

The Ark is a place where children can discover and love the arts, exploring theatre, music, literature, art, film, dance and more. Over the past 25 years, The Ark, located in the heart of Dublin City, has commissioned, presented and developed work especially for children aged 2-12. Although created for this age group, the productions and events are also adored by adults of all ages! The Ark team continues to play a key role in encouraging artists and other companies to explore the area of creating work for children and sharing their expertise through running continuing professional development sessions for artists and primary school teachers.
The Ark gratefully acknowledges the support of its principal funder the Arts Council and also its other annual supporters: the Department of Education and Skills, Temple Bar Cultural Trust, Dublin City Council, UNESCO Dublin City of Literature. 


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