NDA Primary School Art Competition winners

A group of 5th and 6th class pupils from The Downs National School in Mullingar, County Westmeath were today (5 December 2018) announced as the overall winners of the ‘Someone Like Me’ art competition supported by the National Disability Authority (NDA). The primary schools initiative aims to promote disability awareness, nurture understanding and highlight the similarities that exist within people of all abilities.

The winning entry, selected from a shortlist of 45 entries, is a multi-media animation showing a girl with a disability enjoying everyday life. The pupils from The Downs National School, overseen by their teacher, Catherine Staunton, created the animated movie consisting of approximately 600 individual frames. For each frame, they created scenes, characters, furniture and props from paper, card, plasticine, paint, colours, wire and mesh which they then filmed and pieced together.

Commenting on the winning entries, Helen Guinan, National Disability Authority Chairperson said that:  “The NDA is very happy to be supporting ‘Someone Like Me’. The quality and breadth of the winning entries reflects the interest and creativity of the pupils involved. Creating positive attitudes at primary school level is very important.  The NDA has commissioned four national surveys on public attitudes to disability, since 2001. The evidence from each survey suggests that the earlier that positive attitudes towards disability and mental health are introduced the greater the opportunities are to promote inclusive education and to improve outcomes for persons with disabilities as they grow older.”

The ‘Someone Like Me’ national primary school art competition is funded by the NDA. According to Census 2016, over 600,000 people in Ireland have a disability, and children under 15 make up 53,000 of that figure.

The competition, which offers a range of prizes up to the value of €750, was open to all primary school pupils from junior infants to sixth class and 2,400 entries were received from individual pupils, class groups and whole schools right across Ireland.  Entries ranged from posters and collages to large sculptural installations and multi-media pieces.

The judging panel for the competition included Caomhán Mac Con Iomaire, Education Administrator at the National Gallery of Ireland, Mark Maguire, Assistant-Curator for Engagement & Learning at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and Ellen Keane, three-time Paralympian as well as the European Para-swimming Champion 2018.