“I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.”   Georgia O'Keeffe                           


Art as a subject aspires to nurture and build transferable skills which students take with them out into the world. Inherently, art facilitates holistic learning by supporting academic, emotional and creative development. Students are encouraged to find their individual creative voices and to use this to guide them through the many experiences, processes and challenges that they will encounter throughout their education and lives as they grow as confident global citizens. 

The aims of Art as a subject are to:
    - Nurture a sense of personal identity and develop self-esteem through creative expression and technical skills.
    - Engage with a variety of materials and techniques, appreciate the work of other artists and value their own artwork.
     - Equip students with an awareness of the role of art within the context of cultural, historical, economic and social settings.
    - Support visual literacy and verbal communication.
    - Encourage students to question and critically assess the world around them.
    - Promote creative thinking and problem-solving skills, acknowledging that errors are valuable occurrences which we learn from. 

Facilities offered by the school for the Department:

Every artist needs a suitable workspace. At Ursuline College Blackrock we are very lucky to have a spacious art room which is flooded with natural light. Whether you are an aspiring sculptor, printmaker, painter, or ceramicist you will find all the facilities needed to support your creativity. Our art room is home to kilns, pottery wheels, a printing press, easels, and numerous other tools and materials needed for exploring crafts such as batik, puppet making and book craft. 

Information on Junior Cycle/Junior Cert Course/ Syllabus

 Junior Cycle Visual Art

Students will be enabled to progressively improve their skills as an artist/ craftsperson/ designer in a space that is safe for them to explore ideas and diverse processes both creatively and imaginatively”. JCT 

Visual Art is a practical subject, all exam work is project based and undertaken throughout the school year. Students will engage in a combination of classroom based assessments and a state certified examination. 

Information on Leaving Certificate  Course/Syllabus

“Leaving Certificate Art is made up of four units linked together and based on the everyday visual experience of the student's own environment”. - PDST
    - Still Life or Imaginative Composition (25%)
    - Craft or Design (25%)
    - Life Drawing (12.5%)
    - Art History and Appreciation (37.5%)
    - The practical component is completed during class time while students sit a written exam in June.

Past exam papers for Leaving Certificate Art History and Appreciation can be found on  www.examinations.ie

Materials and Equipment Needed for the subject:

     - 1st year students can order an art pack from school in September.
    - Students in 2nd - 6th year may need to top up their art pack. All materials can be found in Cork Art Supplies or Art and Hobby.
    - Folder A3
    - A3 sketch pad
    - Range of drawing pencils e.g. HB, 2B, 4B, 6B
    - Colouring pencils
    - Watercolour paints

Activities that could support a student in the subject:
    - Family trips to local galleries such as the Crawford Gallery, the Glucksman Gallery, and the Lavit Gallery. Entry is free and open to everybody.
    - Keep an eye on the ‘Live & Event’ programme at the Omniplex in Mahon Point. Documentaries about artists are often featured which may be of interest to senior students.
    - Have a chat. Ask about what your daughter is making or studying in class, maybe she could even teach you what she has learned. Remember there is an artist in all of us! 

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso     

Home Economics is studied by all students in 1st Year  and so we aim to put cookery, needlework and a basic standard of hygiene and nutrition skills at the core of the 1st Year programme. 

Students are taught by enthusiastic teachers with a genuine passion for the subject in order to inspire them to choose this practical subject for Junior Cycle and/or Leaving Certificate. The teachers have comprehensive experience teaching students at all levels, preparing them for practical cookery examinations, needlework projects and written papers as well as having worked with the State Examination Commission correcting Junior and Leaving Cert exams.  The teachers work collaboratively to develop an overall strategy for home economics teaching at the school.    


The Home Economics Department is unique in the south side of Cork for having a suite of three major rooms to serve the subject - two fully equipped, cookery rooms and one dress design room.  All rooms have a computer linked to our school digital network and all benefit from data projectors. 

Overall aims of the department:
    - The Home Economics Department at the Ursuline Secondary School aims to equip students with skills for life in a society that is becoming increasingly fast-paced and complex.
    - To develop an awareness and enjoyment of Home Economics among all students.
    - To prepare all students for their role in society by developing an awareness of the social, moral, economic, environmental and aesthetic implications of their choices in home, work and community life.
    - To encourage all students to develop their understanding and practice of the subject to the limit of their potential
     - To develop students’ potential to analyse problems, research and evaluate information logically and critically. To produce practical solutions, to evaluate their own solutions and to communicate their ideas effectively with others.
    - To develop staff expertise in order to ensure the highest possible standards of teaching and learning.

Junior Cycle Home Economics (introduced September 2019)

     - There are three Strands to Junior Cert Home Economics:
    - Food Health and Culinary Skills
    - Responsible Family Living

Textiles & Craft

And there are four Elements to Junior Cert Home Economics:

     - Consumer Competence
    - Sustainable & Responsible Living
    - Health & Wellbeing

     - Individual & Family Empowerments

Leaving Certificate Home Economics (Scientific & Social)

Students learn from the following areas:
    - Food Studies
    - Resource Management
    - Consumer Studies
    - Sociology

     - Elective Area: Currently specialising in Social Studies.

Home Economics is examined at Leaving Certificate with a 2 ½ hour terminal paper worth 80% of the result taken in June after 6th year.  There is a practical set of 4 Food Studies Assignments which are worth 20% and these are submitted in the November preceding their terminal exam.  These practical assignments are researched and carried out in 5th Year under the supervision of the teacher and carry a genuine chance for students to positively influence their terminal grade if they are done diligently.

Materials and Equipment Needed for the subject:
    - Each student should present to class with their assigned text book
    - 1-2 copies (to facilitate one copy being corrected by the teacher)
    - Hardback A4 copy for Cookery Class.
    - Apron for Cookery Class.
    - A selection of containers for transporting cookery gear to and from class.

Activities that could support a student in Home Economics:
     - Useful websites to help with revision include  www.studyclix.ie and www.examinations.ie
    - Practicing skills learned in cookery class at home - recipes, chopping skills, reading recipes.
    - See: YouTube: "How Home Economics can support students in this rapidly changing world"


Aims of the Department:
    - Develop knowledge, skills and awareness of performing, composing, listening and responding.
    - Develop artistic awareness and self-expression through music
    - Develop musical literacy, critical skills and language to engage with today’s musical world.

     - Develop skills to work on a one-to-one basis and as part of a group.

Facilities offered by the school for the Department:
    - Large, grand piano-shaped music room
    - Access to piano
    - 25 ukuleles in the music room
    - Wide range of percussion instruments
    - Program ‘MuseScore’ available on all school computers

Information on Junior Cycle/Junior Cert Course/ Syllabus:
    - The new Junior Cycle course is a 3-year course where students develop skills in performing, composing, listening and responding.
    - There are two classroom-based assessments: A Composition Portfolio and a Programme Note.
    - Composition Portfolio: The students will be compiling a collection of their musical ideas and creative expressions in a variety of genres and styles over time.
    - Programme Note: The students will but together a Programme Note informing an audience on the content of their upcoming practical examination in         third year.
    - There will be a practical examination and a written examination in 3rd Year. 

“Learning about and through the arts is fundamental to an education that aspires to nurture and support the development of the whole person. Awareness of, Involvement in and appreciation of the arts enables students to encounter a richer world of creativity imagination and innovation.”         from Junior Cycle NCCA Specification: 

Information on Leaving Certificate  Course/Syllabus:
    - The Leaving Certificate Course is a 2 year course with three essential activities in performing, composing and listening.
    - The students study prescribed set works, study composition, develop listening skills and study Irish music.
    - There is a practical examination in 6th year which is worth 50%
    - At the end of 6th year, the students sit a composing examination and an aural examination. 

Materials and Equipment Needed for the subject:
    - Textbooks
    - Recorder
    - Manuscript copy

     - Hardback copy

Activities that could support a student in the subject:
    - Learning a musical instrument outside of school.
    - Singing solo, in a group or in a choir
    - Playing with an instrument for performance or in a group
     - Listening to a variety of genres
    - Composing their own music
    - Useful websites www.studyclix.ie  www.examinations.ie www.youtube.com www.musescore.org 
    - Family trips to music events and concerts

“Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”       Plato 

Contact Us

Ursuline College Blackrock, Cork, T12HR04

Phone: 021 - 4358012

Email: administration@urscorkb.com

Useful Information

Opening Hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm

Mr Patrick McBeth

Deputy Principal:
Ms Paula Goggin

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