The Gilson School was once a learning hub for students from the hinterland of Oldcastle. They came from Cavan, Westmeath and all over North Meath to study at the Gilson Endowed School – a school created to provide access to education for those who might not otherwise have been able to avail of it. It was a radical idea for its time – a centre of learning which was multi-denominational, co-educational and free.
The entire focus of the Laurence Gilson legacy was on education and young people. And 200 years later that focus is needed more than ever. In today’s world where the barriers to education can include lack of access to transport and technology, where on-line and remote learning and working are becoming increasingly the norm, there is a lot to learn from the model of learning proposed by Laurence Gilson.
Heritage Week 2020 will provide a forum for debate, discussion and envisioning of Gilson for the 21st Century the results of which would then be showcased during Heritage Week 15-23 August, 2020.
Activities planned include:
- Children’s art competition on the theme of the future of the school building. Download a template here: Art Competition template
- Gathering memories & photographs of former pupils of the school
- Promoting radio documentary on the school first broadcast LMFM, December 2019
- On-line contributions from academics & experts hosted on social media
- Create moderated Facebook/Twitter account to invite contributions on how to make the building relevant for the 21st Century
Given the current and possibly continuing regulations about indoor events, a selection of suitable material gathered will then be exhibited along the railings of the building during Heritage Week.