ON FRIDAY, March 4, 2022, the teachers and students at St Aidan’s community school in Tallaght revealed to the public their amazing
Well-being and Neurodiversity walls.
The new walls in the school were made and created by ideas from members of the student council. They worked with artist Julie The Genie who designed both walls, she has also worked with other schools on making their walls interesting.
When asked about the importance of the walls Kevin Shortall, principal of St Aidan’s said: “If you’re well you can excel, I’ll explain why. The starting point to everything in school life is well-being and if you’re not feeling 100 percent your best then you can’t learn. So, we want to make well-being our main priority.
This shows how much the school cares about students. By having these walls and getting students involved in the creation of them makes it special. The school is very proud of what they have created and the walls have brought a happier atmosphere to St Aidan’s.
Well-being is your mental and physical health and how you feel in everyday life. For young people a big part of their daily life is school so having the well-being wall in the school is a great way for kids to know how to manage their mental health. Neurodiversity is a way to describe the different ways that people learn. In every school there are people that learn differently to other people. Learning and social education is something that sometimes is not talked about in schools. Having the Neurodiversity wall let’s people know that there are people that learn differently. We have to be sensitive to people’s needs no matter what they are.
“That when we think of learning we think of how we learn but there are a lot of ways different people learn and neurodiversity refers to the different ways people learn and it has been displayed outside of the ASD and NBSS classrooms”
Deputy principal Una Maloney said: “It’s the most important wall in the school,” referring to the well-being wall. The school’s student council supervisor Shane Casey echoed the importance of the well-being wall, he said: “I believe that when you are well you can learn better and at the core of learning that’s where well-being is. The well-being piece is educational to people who don’t know or understand where to start with well-being.” He added that the neurodiversity wall reflects the different ways we learn, he said: “That when we think of learning we think of how we learn but there are a lot of ways different people learn and neurodiversity refers to the different ways people learn and it has been displayed outside of the ASD and NBSS classrooms.”
Lord Mayor of South Dublin Councillor Peter Kavangh was in attandance at the launch as well as, people from Barnardos and the board of St. Aidan’s community school.
First-year student Samantha Barry said: “Having someone [Mayor Kavanagh] that is important in the community there for something that people in the school have worked so hard on is a moment that students and teachers won’t forget. The well-being and neurodiversity walls have made this school so much more inclusive and a better place.”
Friday (March 4) was also a day that the students wore in bright colours to represent their support for positive wellbeing. Two members of the student council Chloe Geoghan and me, Ella Chaney spoke about what the well-being and neurodiversity walls are about.
I really enjoyed working with the echo even if it only was for a week. I learned a lot about what it was like to work on a real newspaper. Seeing your name over an article you wrote is very exciting and gratifying. Learning the inner workings of a newspaper and working with an editor is an amazing experience and something I am very grateful for. – Ella Chaney – St. Aidan’s Community School