Nerve Centre Wins Big at DCAL Awards Ceremony

Nerve Centre Wins Big at DCAL Awards Ceremony

The Nerve Centre has been recognised for its innovative creative learning programmes with several wins at the DCAL Learning & Innovation Awards 2015, which acknowledge and celebrate creative approaches to education, life-long learning and social innovation.

The Nerve Centre’s ‘Creative Centenaries’ project picked up the Innovation award at a ceremony in The Playhouse, in Derry, on Wednesday this week.

Creative Centenaries takes a fresh approach to exploring events within the Decade of Centenaries (1912-1922) and how they are commemorated, using a suite of educational resources including 3D animations, graphic stories, interactive iBooks and a website (


With support from DCAL, every primary and secondary school across Northern Ireland recently received copies of graphic stories exploring the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme through the experiences of real-life characters. Printed back to back, the stories also feature an education pack with detailed maps, background information and curriculum-mapped digital tasks for use in the classroom.

Nerve Belfast, the Nerve Centre’s Creative Learning Centre based in south Belfast, won the STEAM award for a partnership with Stranmillis University College which introduced new teaching models into the classrooms of five primary schools in Belfast.

Student teachers were trained in all aspects of digital storytelling and film techniques allowing them to create their own films, websites and QR codes to introduce topics and provide an exciting and creative way to engage pupils with science.

Nerve Belfast was also ‘Highly Commended’ in the same category for its ‘Improving Attendance Pilot Project’, in partnership with the South & East Belfast Education Welfare Service and St Joseph’s College, Belfast. The programme engaged pupils in varied, stimulating activities using digital technology and creative multimedia applications.

Carál Ní Chuilín, Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, said: “The organisations and individuals who have been recognised today clearly demonstrate the important role and contribution of culture, arts and leisure in helping people realise their potential.

“The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure remains committed to proactively changing the patterns of social disadvantage that have existed historically. Together we need to do something very different and take new approaches to overcome systemic barriers to promote equality of opportunity.”

Pearse Moore, chief executive of the Nerve Centre, said: “To be recognised with these awards is a credit to the hard work and dedication of Nerve Centre staff and our many partner organisations. With the support of DCAL and NI Screen, the Nerve Centre has been able to deliver exciting programmes across Northern Ireland, which are having a positive impact on good relations and equipping our young people with skills fit for a 21st century workforce.”

The Nerve Centre’s work in the area of creative learning impacted on over 30,000 last year, including teachers, youth leaders and young people, 80% of whom are from disadvantaged communities in Northern Ireland.

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