Una Burke pictured with Katie Hutton Special Education Needs Teacher, Principal Fiona Reynolds and Jacqueline Ryan Assistant Principal at Tarmon NS.
International Fashion Designer Úna Burke from Cootehall was visiting Tarmon NS over the past week showing pupils how to work with leather and design beautiful pieces.
Úna, who is a sister of Principal Fiona Reynolds, was there to show her support for the school which is struggling with numbers for September. She was also there as a member of The Design and Crafts Council of Ireland's Craft Education Panel, guiding kids on Creative Careers.
Úna told the Leitrim Observer she knows “first hand” the benefits of a rural school. She attended a small school as a child and enjoyed the more personal approach.
She said in smaller classes, “children get to stray a little from the curriculum to try out other skills and life learning exercises that are so important to give a rounded holistic education.”
Úna said Tarmon needs to take advantage of the housing crisis around the country, adding the “safety and warm welcome here could benefits lots of families.”
She was also complimentary of the Irish school system which she said is so different and not as rigid as that in London, where she now lives and works.
Úna said showcasing crafts gives children “a different view of what success looks like.” She said they need to know there is more to life than academic success.
Úna created leather wall art, school bag tags and bracelets with the children.
She said she holds workshops with schools and recently did a workshop with Facebook Headquarters in London.
Úna added that she loved seeing “how happy the children are” in Tarmon NS and what a great relationship they have with their teachers and classmates. She noted they all held respect for each other and hopes this environment can continue.
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