The work of Seamus Heaney has been providing the inspiration for a group of young film makers who are bringing storytelling to life on screen.
The children from 8 schools in the Mid Ulster area, are taking part in an education programme linked to the creation of a new £4M facility in Bellaghy by Mid Ulster District Council, which will showcase the life and work of the poet and Nobel Laureate.
Pupils from Bellaghy Primary School and St John Bosco Primary School are among those taking part and have been working together to write their own stories, create scripts and translate them into moving images using iPads.
Commenting on the film making project, principal of St John Bosco Primary School, Mrs Sharon Dobbin said ‘This was a great opportunity for our pupils to work collaboratively researching the life of Seamus Heaney presenting their findings using ipads. This was a chance for our children to reflect on the great achievements of a local man, embedding a shared pride of their community and enabling them to be part of the legacy that will be housed in the new centre for generations to come.’
Mrs Mary Lou Richmond, Principal of Bellaghy Primary School also commented ‘The film making project was an excellent catalyst to develop extensive learning across the curriculum, particularly in the areas of Literacy and ICT. Completing the film on Heaney’s life and poetry with our friends from St John Bosco PS was a valuable shared learning experience.’
Meanwhile, 6 other local schools, including St Mary’s PS Bellaghy, have completed a series of creative writing workshops using the poetry of Seamus Heaney as inspiration for their own poems which will now be edited for publication in a new book.
Speaking about the Creative Writing project, Mrs Mary McCann, Acting Principal in St Mary’s Primary School said ‘Pupils in Primary 6 worked with Maura Johnston, taking inspiration from the Seamus Heaney poem ‘Blackberry Picking’. The class composed their own poems which will be published in a book later this year. This will be such an opportunity for the pupils to see their own work published and may even inspire a few to follow the steps of Seamus Heaney!’
The education programme has been developed by Mid Ulster District Council, is part-funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland and being delivered by the Verbal Arts Centre.
Seamus Heaney HomePlace will open in September 2016 and feature an interactive exhibition, using the latest touchscreen, video and audio technology, with a theatre and performance space, learning zones for children and adults, as well as community space.