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Launch Of The Time That Shape Us

St Colm’s Pupils Launch Anthology Reflecting on Life in Lockdown

St Colm’s High School in Belfast hosted a special event on Wednesday 10th November to celebrate the launch of a new poetry and photographic anthology, created by pupils, entitled ‘The Times That Shape Us’.


The school’s focus from the outset was improving mental health and wellbeing through the mediums of poetry, photography and music, and students worked with their teacher, Ursula Mackel, and a range of artistson this year-long project. The poems composed by the young people reflect their time in lockdown and how this period affected their mental health. Pupils also produced a collection of photographs, which depict snapshots of what mattered to them during this pivotal point in their history.


Adrian Walsh, Principal of St Colm’s said he is extremely proud of the achievements of this group of young people. “These students have participated in the Creative Schools Partnership Programme with enthusiasm and positive energy. It has been wonderful to watch their self-confidence and self-esteem grow as they enjoyed new experiences through engagement with the arts and the opportunity to meet a variety of people from different backgrounds and cultures. It has been inspirational to witness how they channelled their experiences of the pandemic and lockdown into poetry, photography and music. There is no doubt about the immense benefits of this programme for our young people.”


Senior Teacher and Creative Schools’ Coordinator Ursula Mackel stated: “It has been a privilege to work with this group of young people on The Creative School Partnership Programme. The disruption of the educational journey of our students and their subsequent return to some sort of “normality” gave us the impetus to pursue our ambition of the publication of an anthology of their work in poetry and photography. The fact that they have lived through what will be known as a significant point in history enthused and encouraged them to share their experiences and we are delighted with the finished project.”