The DCU Changemaker Schools, established in September 2020, is a network of 15 innovative primary schools on the island of Ireland who were chosen for their pioneering work in the development of the skills of empathy, creativity, leadership and teamwork.
Over the past year this professional learning network has grown in strength and numbers and the network has grown to 19 schools. This social innovative initiative has one powerful yet simple ambition – to support students as Changemakers. A Changemaker is someone with the skills and confidence to lead change in their home, school and community.
Ballymoney National School in Ballineen, County Cork, is the only Church of Ireland School in the network. It is a small, rural school with 29 pupils. We were independently nominated to join the network, there was an initial interview with the directors of the programme, a school visit followed and members of our Board of Management and parents were interviewed.
Being nominated for the network, acknowledges with huge contribution what the whole school community has made to the culture of the school with empathy at the core of our daily interactions. Pupils voice is very evident in our school and we have an effective system of distributed leadership where everybody in included. Joining the network is a wonderful opportunity for our school to network with other creative and positive schools and to learn from their innovative ideas.
The DCU Changemaker Network is shortlisted in the Best Outreach Education Programme Category at the Education Awards. Visit www.dcuchangemakernetwork.com for more information on the programme.