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28 May 2022

Two schools are Laois winners in competition supporting children with disabilities

Two schools are Laois winners for supporting children with disabilities

Two touching works of art have won Laois primary schools the titles of County Winners in prestigious Someone Like Me national art competition.

Children and teachers in Castlecuffe National School and Newtown National School are celebrating being named Junior and Senior County Winners respectively of the prestigious national art competition, Someone Like Me.

The Junior County Winner Castlecuffe NS is in Clonaslee. Teacher Brigid Dunne got her Junior and Senior Infants working together on a whole class entry.  This beautiful art piece represents how we all have different weaknesses and strengths but together we are stronger.

Senior County Winners at Newtown NS Crettyard are 5th and 6th Class, another whole class entry led by teacher Claire Walshe.

They made a beautifully crafted 3D model of the Irish Paralympians, displaying their wonderful achievements and encouraging other people with a disability to also achieve their goals.

They join over 40 other schools to compete for the much sought-after national title at an online national awards ceremony to be held on Thursday February 3.

The judges were particularly impressed with the submissions from pupils and teachers at Castlecuffe National School and Newtown National School, selecting them as County Winners based on their insightful and inspirational responses to the theme.

Congratulating Castlecuffe NS and Newtown NS on being named County Winners, Minister of State with special responsibility for disability, Anne Rabbitte T.D. said that she was hugely encouraged by the growing interest in the competition which is helping to develop a shared understanding of how we should treat others in a caring, sensitive and inclusive way, and promoting a sense of belonging and connectedness. 

“We are exceptionally pleased with the response to this year’s competition which took place during challenging times not just in our schools, but right across our communities, due to the ongoing global pandemic,” she said.

“I am so impressed by the standard of entry and the obvious thought that has gone into each creative submission.  Once again, our primary school teachers and pupils have shown their commitment to putting ‘ability’ under the spotlight helping to build a more inclusive society.”

“While I know it will be an anxious wait for the pupils and teachers to hear which of the 48 county winners will be awarded the national title, every entry is a winner when it comes to enabling each and every single person in Ireland to feel a valued member of society.”

Castlecuffe National School and Newtown National School will now go on to compete with more than 40 other schools from around the country for the overall national Someone Like Me award which will be announced at an online ceremony to be held on Thursday 3rd February 2022.

The competition, which offers a range of prizes up to the value of €750, was open to all primary school pupils from junior infants to sixth class and more than 1,800 entries were received from individual pupils, class groups and whole schools right across Ireland.  Entries ranged from posters and collages to large sculptural installations and multi-media pieces.

Someone Like Me, which is organised by the National Disability Authority, attracted more than 1,800 entries from national schools across the length and breadth of the country.  The competition has been designed to be a national celebration of the things that unite children of all abilities and, over its six-year history, more than 8,000 children have taken part, creating a tangible contribution to developing more positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities. 

During the last school term of 2021 teachers and their pupils right across Ireland worked through special lesson plans which challenged them to respond artistically and creatively to the theme of Someone Like Me, while, at the same time, appreciating and respecting similarities and differences in people.

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