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St Joseph’s Cartoon Capers are the Business

25 February 2016

Pupils at St Joseph’s have been swapping school work for cartoons – but parents don’t need to worry, it’s all part of an enterprising new initiative geared towards teaching students more about the creative industries.

Working in conjunction with Derry City and Strabane District Council’s business team, pupils have been getting involved in a number of creative projects as part their ongoing Enterprise Programme. And one talented Year 8 pupil was recently offered the chance to work with the award winning team at local children’s media company Cheers Dog Ears, after scooping first prize in a special animation competition at the school.

Stephen Doherty was selected as the winner from 82 entries, shortlisted first by the Dog Ears team before being named the winner by his classmates. Dog Ears loved his Night Fox character so much they invited him along to their studio in Bishop Street to develop his design further. Stephen met with John McDaid, Laura Campbell and Donal Mangan from the company who have inspired him to keep drawing and refining his work.

The year eight Cartoon Competition is part of a wider St Joseph’s Boys’ School Junior School Creative Enterprise Competition, with two more competitions to follow as teacher Paddy McCourt explained: “The next stage of this competition series is getting Year Nine pupils to design toys and games associated with Stephen’s cartoon concept and Year Ten pupils to create a chocolate treat associated with Night Fox as well. The purpose of the competition is to demonstrate that creative ideas can spin off into different areas of enterprise.”

The school’s creative Enterprise Programme is supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council, and Business Manager Louise Breslin said she was delighted to see so much enthusiasm for the initiative. “We are delighted to be working with St Joseph’s School as they have been so creative in their enterprise projects, and they have been working really hard to develop new ideas which can be developed into viable business ideas.

“The school have also been developing their Junk Kouture project ahead of their entry in the JK Recycled Competition, and we have been so impressed by the standard of their work.

Junk Kouture is a national competition for second level students, which challenges teenagers to create high-end wearable fashion from everyday junk that would normally find its way into the bin.

“The boys are really talented and are a pleasure to work with, I want to wish them all the best ahead of the regional heat in the Millennium Forum on March 4th.”