Belfast trailblazing artist puts her 23-year teaching career on hold to bring her genius new digital art portal to life, aimed at keeping art on the school curriculum.

After two years of development, Sinead McDermott unveiled her new digital resource to over 100 Primary School Principals at the Head Space Conference event in Galgorm Resort, Co Antrim.

Sinead is an artist and qualified art and design teacher with over 23 years teaching experience in primary and post primary schools in Northern Ireland. In 2020 she took a career break to develop her business ideas. The Art and Design Factory is Sinead’s online and in person art school which allows her to teach classes to wider range of ages and abilities. During lockdown she had over 500 participants across the globe attend one of her online classes.

Sinead developed the digital portal to offer classes at the click of a button. As a teacher she knew many colleagues were expected to teach art to children having very little training or experience as artists themselves.

“Many teachers don’t teach art in their classrooms because they are not confident in their own creative ability and lack the flare and passion for art to confidently deliver quality classes.” says Sinead

“This resource will equip pupils and teachers alike with creative skills and confidence that will ensure the creative output of the classes is celebrated and grows. I have seen first-hand how art empowers a child, harnesses growth, and enables them to improve their mental wellbeing. It provides escapism. I am extremely passionate about encouraging arts is accessible for all and deliver in a way that caters for all learning abilities. Lessons are structured consisting of themes on the national curriculum.”

Sarah Kavanagh, Arts Coordinator at St. Oliver Plunkett’s Primary School, Belfast says: “The portal is an excellent way of ensuring that our teaching staff are able to deliver effective art lessons across the curriculum. It is child centred and very easy for the children to follow.  With so many lessons available, the portal can be used throughout both KS1 and KS2, with great links with our various WAU topics.”

The digital portal Sinead has developed means she can teach the classes in multiple locations via the online portal. This gives teachers the opportunity to keep art on their class timetable with none of the pressure on them as teachers to dream up ideas or learn how to draw, paint, or make. The class watch Sinead on a screen and follow the instructions. The teacher can stop, pause, rewind, fast forward to suit the skill and ability level of the class. The art portal enables teachers to have an art session with their class at any time. Sinead has recorded 40 classes that are offered as part of the digital package.

Within the introduction Sinead shares her knowledge of the Arts, with referencing artists throughout history of art alongside designers and other relevant facts and information. Each lesson is taught in a step-by-step format Numeracy, literacy, EMU, PDMU and WAU are all embedded in the lessons subtly, with cross curricular links for reinforced learning.

If you would like to find out more about this invaluable resource, then please click here

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