General, Funding, Partnerships

Good Relations Week 2023 – The Creative Schools Partnership Programme

15th September, 2023

In celebration of Good Relations Week 2023, we’ve taken a look back at some of the incredible projects funded through the Creative Schools Partnership Programme.

The Creative Schools Partnership is a pioneering funding programme, supported through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s National Lottery funds, the Education Authority for Northern Ireland and Urban Villages Initiative, in line with a key action within the Northern Ireland Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy.

Pupils in school uniform display self portraits which together create a colourful stained glass window
Pupils at Malone College will this week officially unveil a stained glass window created as part of the Creative Schools Partnership Programme

Malone College

Year 9 and 10 students at Malone College worked with visual artist Kerrie Hanna to create a series of glass tiles which have been forged together to create a colourful bespoke stained glass window for the school.

Thanks to this special project, the group had the opportunity to step outside of their normal school activities to take part in specially devised drama and art sessions led by professional artists and focused on encouraging creative learning and improving student confidence. With 26 different languages spoken by students within the school, a primary focus of the project has been on celebrating cultural diversity and promoting inclusion.

A special exhibition to mark the project will take place on Wednesday 20th September, as part of Good Relations Week.

Read more: New Stained-Glass Window will celebrate Diversity… | Arts Council NI (

Creative Schools Ambassador Event

Earlier this year, children from schools participating in the Creative Schools Partnership Programme had an opportunity to come together to meet one another and take workshops designed to share learning, teach new skills and build confidence through the arts.

Three Creative Schools Ambassador events were held at the end of March. Belfast Boys’ Model, Blessed Trinity College and Mercy College Belfast met at the Duncairn Arts Centre in North Belfast. Ashfield Girls’ High School and St Vincent’s Centre met at Linenhall Library in Belfast City Centre and St Joseph’s Boys’ High School and St Cecilia’s College met in Derry/Londonderry. The sessions were facilitated by a range of artists: Ayesha Mailey, a dancer with Echo Echo, Shena Kelly, a dancer with Du Dance, DJ Cahir Glen, filmmaker Graham Ginty, singer/songwriter Dan Ferguson and actors Jazzmin McClure, Christina Nelson and Rob Crawford.

Read more: Creative Schools Ambassador Event | Arts Council NI (

Belfast Boys’ Model School

Thanks to funding from the Creative Schools Partnership, Year 10 students at Boys’ Model have been training as young reporters, working under the guidance of experienced journalist Mark Devenport and Nerve Belfast to create a magazine, uncovering the hidden history of the area and its people.

As part of the project, the boys have been learning interview techniques, how to write and construct stories and how to design and lay them out on page. Once completed, the magazine will be distributed within the community. The boys have also been working on the designs for a new colourful wall mural, which will go on display in the local area.

Read more: Boys’ Model Students uncover the untold stories of… | Arts Council NI (

Mercy College
Students at Mercy College in North Belfast worked with artist Karen Kinghan to produce a narrative and documentary film reflecting on the school’s 60 year history.

The film reflected on the impact of COVID, on their school and their wider community, adding valuable insight and experience and developing good relations. The project gave 22 students a chance to develop film making skills, including their own scripts, music and visuals. The project worked across key curriculum subjects including Drama, Art, History and English and focused on building student resilience, confidence and self-esteem.

Read more: Funding announced for 11 schools to place… | Arts Council NI (

St Cecilia’s College

Thanks to funding from the Creative Schools Partnership Programme, a group of girls at St Cecilia’s College in Derry/Londonderry created a series of inspirational podcasts, addressing mental health issues and reflecting on the impact of the pandemic.

Working with professional artists from Bounce Culture, students wrote scripts, conducted interviews, learned technical skills and even created their own music soundtracks.

Read more: Mental Health Podcasts help St Cecilia’s Girls… | Arts Council NI (