Ficheall 2023/2024

Ficheall 2023/2024 is the national network of primary teachers promoting chess in their schools for the social and cognitive benefits it has for primary school students. Ficheall teachers use chess as a tool to teach through and an opportunity for their students to develop new skills and values, as well as representing their school at Ficheall tournaments called Féile Fichille (chess festival).


The website contains many excellent resources created by fellow primary school teachers such as:

       A series of 10 beginner chess lessons (with optional integration to the SPHE curriculum)

       List of CPD chess courses for teachers (summer, evening and online courses)

       Chess numeracy puzzles

       Ficheall newsletters with chess updates

       Online Teacher Chess Club


Ficheall Summer Course

Cork Education Support Centre have hosted the Chess for Social Skills summer course previously with great success. Upon completion of this course teachers can play chess (most attend the course having never played chess before) and can teach the basics of chess to students in their class while also teaching key SPHE curriculum objectives from 1st to 6th class (all of this without worksheets).


Féile Fichille Chess Tournaments

Féile Fichille tournaments are non-competitive chess tournaments organised annually in Term 2. No medals, prizes or trophies are presented. Instead, the day is a celebration of the students learning chess and social skills as well as their teachers’ leadership skills to introduce the initiative in their school. For many students it is their first opportunity to wear their school jersey and represent their school. More details about Féile Fichille Tournaments can be found here (including a checklist to ensure students are ready for the Féile Fichille)


Féile Fichille Timeline

       September: Registrations Open

       October: Registrations Close

       November: Schools informed of tournament date and venue

       January/ February/ March: Féile Fichille tournament will be scheduled in term 2. Registered schools will be allocated one Féile Fichille tournament to attend. Schools are required to be at the venue at 9.30am with the event concluded by 2pm


Contact Us

If you have any queries regarding the Féile Fichille Tournaments please contact Ficheall using the Contact Us link here.

Call-Out for Artists / Creative Practitioners for the Teacher-Artist Partnership+ CPD Programme

Announcing a wonderful opportunity for Artists (all art forms/creative practises) / Creative Practitioners to broaden their practice, receive training and project fees, develop creative partnerships with teachers, and transform the lives of children in every County in Ireland



is a Creative Ireland, Department of Education led and approved Summer Course offering:



-       Open to artists / creative practitioners, working in any art form / creative practise, who are committed to sharing their practice with children and teachers in a modern primary school environment

-       Specialist, week-long training (3rd – 7th July 2023 based in Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin to prepare the artist / creative practitioner for the unique requirements of working harmoniously in partnership with a teacher within the modern Irish classroom

-       A training allowance of €150 per day over the initial 5-day training/induction week (€750 in total), plus travel with daily lunch provided.

-       Brokerage and development of partnerships with creative teachers, in schools committed to contemporary arts learning, practice and creativity.

-       Guarantee of a paid, follow up in-school-residency within a local primary school (€1,100 Fee total inclusive of €200 Travel) to carry out a 20-hour project (14 contact hours plus 6 hours planning, preparation and evaluation) in partnership with your teacher partner throughout the 2023/2024 academic year

-       Artists / Creative Practitioners are required to complete at least one or two TAP+ in-school Residencies following participation on the TAP+ Summer Course.

-       As you will be a TAP+ trained artist/creative practitioner, you will also be eligible to participate in the forthcoming 2023/2024 BLAST in-school residencies. If you are available, we would be obliged if you could complete at least one or two BLAST in-school Residencies. Please use the following link for more information on the BLAST initiative: BLAST Information

-       Information, learning and networking opportunities for further freelance work within the education system.

Artists / Creative Practitioners must

·       have a track record of a minimum of three years’ professional practice in any art form / creative practise

·       demonstrate an interest in / commitment to: the principles of Arts and Creativity in Education and to enhancing the lives of children through arts/creative practice

·       be willing to learn about modern classroom culture and to work in equal partnership with teachers

·       Combine a sense of fun, joy and collaboration with professional dedication and high artistic/creative vision

·       Be willing to undertake child protection training as part of the induction week, and undergo standard Garda vetting before taking up project placements.

Artists / Creative Practitioners can apply to be part of the scheme via expressions of interest along with an application. These should be sent to the Director of your local Education Support Centre: no later than 5pm on Friday 23rd June 2023.

Expressions of interest should be in the form of a letter of max 600 words, accompanied by a CV or short Bio with links to images or samples of relevant work.

The letter should set out:

1.           Where you trained

2.           A very brief description of your practice

3.           Why you might wish to work in partnership with a teacher and with children in a school setting

4.           What you think qualifies you to take up this opportunity

Places on this national Creative Ireland CPD initiative are limited to four Artists / Creative Practitioners per full-time Education Support Centre area. Final decision on offers of places will be taken by the Director of the local Education Support Centre in collaboration with the Local Authority Arts Office. Any queries in relation to the Teacher Artist Partnership+ CPD Summer Course should be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BLAST Arts in Education Residency Initiative 2023



Arts in Education residency initiative in primary and post-primary schools

Guidelines and application forms here: 

The Department of Education is announcing the launch of the 2023 Arts-in-Education BLAST Residency Programme, which will enable up to 425 new Arts-in-Education residencies in schools each year.

This initiative aims to support the integration of the principles and key skills outlined in the Arts-in-Education Charter and the Creative Ireland Programme (2023-2027), Pillar 1 Creative Youth.

The aim of this scheme is to give students in schools all over the country the opportunity to work with a professional artist on unique projects to be planned and developed between the artist, the teacher and the school under the co-ordination of the Education Support Centres Ireland ESCI network of 21 full-time education centres. This initiative supports children and young people for the future, where skills like the ability to connect and collaborate with others, engage in creative and critical thinking and practice inclusivity at every level will be paramount to peace, stability, sustainable economic growth and equality.

What is proposed is a unique streamlined process whereby schools apply for an artist on the Online Register of Approved Artists who are already trained for the new BLAST Arts-in-Education Residency Programme, managed by the local education centre. The education centre will also pay the artist which will further remove the administrative burden on teachers and schools.


How this BLAST residency initiative will operate


The education centre:

While the programme will be nationally coordinated by the Arts in Education administrative base located at the Education Centre Tralee, schools will apply for a BLAST Arts-in-Education Residency to the full-time education centre in their area, based on the Online Register of Approved Artists. The Register of Approved Artists in each education centre will be arranged by artist and discipline, include relevant required and approved training experience, examples of previous work and examples of relevant or related experience in an educational and community context.

In excess of 412 artists are currently trained and registered on the Online Register of Approved Artists, managed by the education centre network nationally. All artists will have submitted their Child Safeguarding Best Practice Policy (to include Child Safeguarding Statement) and their Certificate of completion of the Children First Training module to the education centre.

What is proposed is a unique streamlined process when schools apply for an artist under the new BLAST Arts-in-Education Residency Programme. The education centre will also arrange for payment of the artist, which will further remove the administrative burden on teachers and schools.


Garda vetting:

Garda vetting for artists for successful school applications will be organised with the individual artist by the education centre in collaboration with the school. Schools may separately (if they wish) request the artist to apply for Garda vetting specifically to work in their school.


The artists:

Artists from any artistic discipline who have been trained in partnership working with schools will be registered with each of the 21 full-time ESCI centres. Artistic disciplines include visual arts, crafts, music, dance, drama, literature and film. Creative disciplines will be expanded as the residency programme develops over the next number of years.

The artists on the Register of Approved Artists will have been previously trained and have engaged in school residencies under the Teacher-Artist Partnership CPD and Residency initiative or the Arts in Junior Cycle Programme which are both approved and led by the Department of Education.


The school:

The schools must be in the catchment of the local full-time education centre. Schools may submit only one application. Schools should make their own selection of artists on the Approved Register, based on CVs/examples of recent work, training and recommendations. Inclusion of artists on the Approved Register is based on training in the education centre (TAP) in addition to suitability/artistic qualification etc. and has taken place in advance to ensure the selected artist satisfies school policies in relation to engagement of external personnel.

Once a school is approved for the scheme, the school has a commitment to the artist, who will have earmarked that time for the project and could potentially turn down other work at the times scheduled to work with the school.


This initiative encourages:

  • Schools, primary and post-primary, that have not recently had an opportunity to participate in such creative initiatives to apply.
  • Schools supporting inclusion and enhanced arts-in-education engagement with students from disadvantaged backgrounds and students with special educational needs to apply.
  • Schools that have a track record in teacher-artist partnership working in the classroom and school to apply.
  • A whole-school commitment to the project, but it is not a requirement that all classes work with the artist.
  • A whole-school commitment to the project, but it is a requirement that one teacher and class work with the artist in a teacher/artist/class partnership.
  • Projects should have regard to the relevant school curricula where appropriate and have a focus on process.

BLAST Arts-in-Education Residency funding:

The artist’s fee is €1,100 per residency with up to €200 of that allocated to travel costs for the artist. This is funded by the Department of Education via each education centre. The education centre will pay the artist in accordance with agreed guidelines after the artist and teacher/school evaluations have been submitted and received. In certain instances, this may include the payment of two instalments of €550 with agreement.

The artist will be funded for 20 contact hours, including 6 hours planning/development/review time. Participating schools must pay for materials associated with the project and also for documentation of the project through photographs etc. and any other costs involved including insurance costs. If an artist needs to use their own materials for the project, please be advised the artist is entitled to invoice the school (with the school’s prior approval) to cover the cost for these materials. Funded residencies can be delivered throughout the academic year commencing in September in the year the residency was approved.

Schools must acknowledge the Department of Education and the local education support centre in all publicity relating to the project.


Successful applications:

Successful schools will be required to sign a short contract with their local education centre accepting the terms of the BLAST Arts-in-Education Residency Programme prior to the commencement of the residency. Successful residencies should not be started until official written notification to proceed has been received from the education centre and once Garda vetting has been completed and this has been communicated to the school.

It is a specific condition of this residency programme that a teacher works closely and collaborates with the artist to plan the learning experience and is present at all times with the artist while working with students in the school and to enhance further teacher-artist partnership. Schools will be responsible for ensuring the residency complies with Public Health advice relevant at the time of the project.



The education centre will put in place the necessary evaluation for Arts-in-Education residencies. This will include a school visit, completion and return of the Teacher/School Feedback Form and the Artist Feedback Form. The second instalment of the artist fee will be paid following the submission of the final reports.

Any images submitted by the school either in reports or on completing the project may be used to promote the department of education approved and lead creative youth initiative under the creative Ireland 2023-2027 Programme, through print and other media including social media. It is therefore important that the schools have permission for the use of such images, noting in the consent forms that they will be used for this purpose, and only send images to the education centre once parental consent has been obtained. A nationally approved Consent Form will be provided to each school.


Completed applications must include

  • A completed general information section.
  • A completed application section outlining the following information:
  • Theme of the project,
  • Rationale for application,
  • Benefits to teaching and learning,
  • Capacity and commitment
  • Children and young peoples voice.
  • Please also indicate the planned time-frame schedule and planned method of documentation for the project.

The application should demonstrate a whole school commitment to the project. It is a specific condition of this residency programme that a teacher works closely and collaborates with the artist to plan the learning experience for their class and is present at all times with the artist while working with students in the class in the school to enhance further teacher-artist partnership. (This means that the whole school should be supportive and flexible in facilitating the project).

Applications will open on 23 March 2023.The closing date is 19 May 2023.

This initiative will be supported by the ESCI education support centre network, Teacher Artist Partnership CPD programme, Arts in Junior Cycle, NAPD Creative Engagement Programme and the Arts in Education Portal.


Guidelines and application forms here: 

Watch promotional video here: 

Schools Excellence Fund - Creative Clusters 2023

Guidelines 2023

Creative Clusters is a pilot initiative of the Department of Education, led by and in partnership with the 21 full-time education centres (Education Support Centres Ireland - ESCI) and funded through the Schools Excellence Fund – Creative Clusters Initiative.

Application forms and guidelines in the link below: 

Creative Clusters is an initiative of Creative Youth Creative Youth – A Plan to Enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person, which was published in December 2017 as part of the Creative Ireland Programme. The Creative Youth Plan aims to give every child practical access to tuition, experience and participation in art, music, drama and coding by 2022.

A Creative Cluster will typically consist of between three and five schools collaborating on the design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of an innovative creative-learning project which supports them to address a common issue or challenge.

Each Creative Cluster will receive funding of €3,000 per school in each cluster over a two-year period to implement their project in the 2023–2025 school years (e.g. a cluster of three schools would get €9,000 over two years while a cluster of five schools would receive €15,000 over two years). Clusters will receive 50% of the total funding in Year 1, with the second 50% being provided in Year 2.

Schools in a cluster are expected to collaborate on how this funding is allocated and spent to support the implementation of their project.

In addition, paid substitution will be provided for the Regional Cluster Training event and two/three local cluster meetings per school year.


Criteria for selection of applicants

Creative Cluster applications will be assessed by the local teacher education centre. Applications will be assessed and scored against the following criteria:

  • the rationale for the application
  • benefits to teaching and learning
  • capacity and commitment of all the schools in the cluster to participate
  • children and Young People's Voices

The application process will be open from 23 March 2023 until 12 May 2023.


Application forms and guidelines in the link below:



Watch the promotional video here: 

Ionad Tacaíochta Oideachais Chorcaí - CORK EDUCATION SUPPORT CENTRE



Ionad Tacaíochta Oideachais Chorcaí, Teach an Reachtaire, Bóthar an Iarthair, Corcaigh


Cork Education Support Centre, The Rectory, Western Road, Cork




Busanna Áitiúla agus páireáil teoranta do ghluaisteáin

Local Buses and limited carparking available



 +353 21 4255600
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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