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!

Junior Room Tour

The children in the junior room had a great day on their school tour last Thursday .  Here are some pictures from the show Pinocchio and Pots of Fun. A pit stop in Supermacs was also a highlight of the day. 

National Children’s Choir

Here is a short video taken by Gerry of Tuam Photo Studio of the National Children’s Choir in Salthill. 

National Children’s Choir

Here are some photos of the National Children’s Choir that was held in Dublin. 

The National Children’s Choir is a school-based choral experience for primary school children.  Pupils from 4th, 5th or 6th classes in Irish Primary Schools learn a common repertoire of songs that more than satisfies many objectives of the music programme at the senior end of the primary school. The children learn the repertoire in their own schools, taught by their own teachers, and join with other local schools three times a year to rehearse these songs with one of our Assistant Musical Directors. One rehearsal per year will be conducted by either Órla, Anne or Mairéad, our musical directors.

In Spring 2017, every child will perform in a Regional Concert. A small representative group from each school (typically 10%) will then perform in the National Concert Hall at the end of May.

Formed by the late Seán Creamer in 1985 to celebrate ‘European Music Year’, the choir has enjoyed tremendous success to date. Next year’s concerts will be the seventeenth in a series of bi-annual concerts.

The NCC is much more than large groups of children singing magnificent music to adoring parents, families and friends on local stages and in our National Concert Hall. It is a philosophy, a way of thinking about and celebrating children’s musicality. As a movement it absorbs their energy and gives it back in multiples.

Biodiversity Green Flag

We received our fifth Green Flag for biodiversity in the Galway Bay Hotel on Friday. We had a great day.