Monthly Archives: November 2016

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J.C.S.P. Author in Residence
Literacy initiative

This programme focussed on creative writing skills development where the author Ann Egan worked for a period of time with a group of JCSP students.
Ann Egan, Laois native, was 2010 Laois writer-in-residence, has an MA in History.
Her many writing residencies include residencies in: counties, hospitals, schools, prisons. Widely published in Ireland and abroad, her poems were broadcast on RTE and BBC. She has read in Germany, France and England. Her many awards include Writers’ Week Poetry Prizes; The Annaghmakerrig Award; The Oki Prize.
Writer of four books, editor 30 books, 2010 Guest Editor of The Midlands Arts and Culture Review, her recent writing commissions included text for three songs for Music Generation Laois.

Poetry Ireland
Connecting poetry and people
Writers in Residence: Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
Writers in Residence part-funds short residencies by writers and storytellers with primary and post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. The scheme is supported by The Arts Council and Arts Council Northern Ireland.

Introduction by Ms. Boland, J.C.S.P. Co-ordinator and English/SEN teacher
This school year was a year of new beginnings in Portlaoise College. The second year English class I teach is for students who are studying for the new Junior Cycle English examination and they are also students of the Junior Certificate Schools Programme. The Junior Certificate School Programme is a national programme sponsored by the Department of Education and Skills and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. It attempts to help young people experience success and develop a positive self-image by providing a curriculum and assessment framework suitable to their needs. On completion of the programme students receive a profile which is an official record of their achievements from the Department of Education and Skills.
I was able to contact a Laois Writer Ann Egan through Poetry Ireland and she was very willing to share her expertise and enthusiasm with the class. Each workshop was a time in the week where the student voice could be heard. It was a pleasure working with Ann Egan. I have to say I am proud of the students for their participation. This is a great piece of creative writing for these students to put their name to.
Well done everyone: keep up your hard work!
Ms. Sinéad Boland
21st November 2016

Introduction by Ann Egan
I was delighted to receive an invitation from Ms Boland in Portlaoise College to come and, ‘Make A Story,’ with her Junior Certificate School Programme Class.
I am a native of County Laois, and was Laois writer-in-residence in 2010, so it was very special for me to be in my beloved home county.

On our first workshop, I quickly found out that the students loved adventure stories, with lots of activities and excitement. They were then in the middle of reading their examination novel, ‘Of Mice And Men,’ by John Steinbeck. We talked about the work of a writer. Very soon we were creating our own characters. There were boys in our first workshop, so we created two characters from their ideas. Our characters, Jack and Patrick moved to the centre of our story.

We sent them on an adventure – a day’s orienteering in Togher Woods. The boys, and later on the girls who joined us, used all their ideas, their imagination, and their creativity to make our story exciting, adventurous and full of drama.

All the students contributed enthusiastically to our collaborative story. So after five workshops we arrived at our final chapter. We won’t tell you about it, but hope you enjoy reading it as much as we all enjoyed collaborating with each other, sharing the wonderful world of our imagination, and exploring the possibilities of our achievements which have no bounds.

We believe in our potential, and in yours too.
Our college motto is: Scientia Est Potentia.

Thank you to Poetry Ireland Writers’ In Schools Scheme and also to Junior Certificate School Programme for making this writing residency possible.
Thanks to :
Ms Boland for her dedication, enthusiasm, and spirit of adventure;
to Miss Scully for her input;
to the Special Needs Assistants – Catherine Bergin and Andrea Meszesan for their help,
and to all the students, the writers of our book, our creators of tomorrow.

I wish each person well and congratulate them all on their creativity, their imagination, and their abilities to achieve their dreams, in their studies and in their life’s journey.

Ann Egan, Writer
14Th November 2016