The Pushkin Project

  The children in Belmont NS have been inspired this year by their involvement in a project run by Sacha Hamilton, Duchess of Abercorn. She is wife to Lord Abercorn and their family estate is situated in Omagh in the foothills of the Sperrin mountains. The estate has been in the family since 1612.

 

Throughout the Troubles the family continued to reside in Northern Ireland and lived with the constant threat of violence. This had an effect on Sacha’s children and she realised that thousands of children across the divide were also living in fear. She also became aware of their “urgent need to express their thoughts, their feelings and their inner world”.

 

Inspired by her ancestor, Alexander Pushkin, the great Russian writer, Sacha Hamilton established the Pushkin Trust aiming to ‘unite children and adults in the common bond of creativity which transcends all the factors which otherwise might divide them’.

The Trust invites schools north and south of the border to participate in a year long series of workshops, outings and experiences so that the children can develop an awareness of their environment and inspire them to respond in a creative way through dance, visual arts, music, poetry and writing.

 

Teachers from Belmont visited the estate in November to attend a weekend long workshop entitled ‘Inspiring Educators’. This allowed them to return to school brimming with ideas and enthusiasm.

 

The theme for 2016/2017 was ‘Floodtide in the Heart’, a line from the Seamus Heaney poem ‘The Cure at Troy’. Funding was generously provided by the Pushkin Trust allowing the school to bring in facilitators and go on outings all connected to the theme. The children in the senior classes benefited greatly from all these experiences which included a workshop with drummer Peter Crann, trips to local sites with Gordon D’Arcy and Carol Reynolds, a visit to the salmon hatchery in Cong and a forest walk in Clonbur. The year long activities concluded with a Pushkin Day in Brigit’s Garden.

 

The project gave the children new eyes to see the beauty and variety of life around them and ignited their imagination to write and enjoy it!

Memory Kites!

Some memories from a fantastic year in the infant room! 

Summer is here.

Cherry Blossom trees bloosoming in the infant room. 

Floodtides of the Heart

As part of the on-going work for the Pushkin Project the children in the senior room drew swans and birds. 

Amazing Aztecs

Check out the fantastic masks the children in the senior room made.