Once a month our whole school gathers in our school hall to celebrate the achievements and efforts of our pupils. This assembly is run by our assembly committee, Ms McWeeney, Mrs Quinn, Mrs Lohan and Ms Milne.
Every month we have a theme for the individual awards.
Last week we celebrated our November theme: Science. Boys from every class was chosen to receive certificates for their efforts in developing science skills. Boys from Fourth class also gave a presentation to the school on their learning in science and on their work during Science Week.
Assembly is a great time to remind ourselves of the values we hold dear in our school:learning, creativity, co-operation and caring for ourselves and for one another. Our Students Council, our Erasmus club, our early morning hurlers, along with boys who volunteered to help around the school all got a special mention during last week`s assembly.
Tristan, in Mr. Duffy`s class was the recipient of two awards: one for his efforts in Science and another for learning Spanish and Irish in recent months. It is wonderful to see such delight in learning.
The theme for our December assembly is Art. Every class is learning about a particular artist and will decorate the hall with their representations of that artist`s particular style. We will surely be surrounded with colour and creativity for our next Assembly!
Great news from UNESCO this morning! Hurling and camogie have joined the ranks of cultural activities that have attained UNESCO status. As UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) is charged with keeping peace between nations and ensuring that their educational, scientific and cultural treasures are looked after, it`s good to see hurling up there as a tradition worthy of preservation.
This status now means that our government must engage in good safeguarding practices for the game. Is it too optimistic to hope that the Department of Education might throw a few bob our way for some hurling equipment? At €70 a pop, those all essential hurling helmets are expensive and a good hurley costs €30.
Luckily, we`ve got a superb team of in-house coaches on board who give their time for free. And a band of parents who are committed to ensuring that they boys are in school around 8am for hurling training.
Here in our school hurling training has commenced this week and is open to anyone from fifth or sixth class once week.
It is said that the first recorded game of hurling took place between the ancient Irish tribes of the Firbolg and the Tuatha de Danann two thousand years ago in Co Mayo. We`re doing our bit to keep this great game alive!
As part of their scientific investigations last week, Ms. Mullen`s Sixth Class made parachutes. Using material, string and some unsuspecting toy teddies, the boys predicted the effects of a range of variables on the motion of their parachutes.
Would longer strings improve flight?
What effect would a change of fabric have on the parachute?
Would the size of the parachute sail make difference?
Like all good scientists, they carefully measured each variable before predicting what the outcome might be.
Then, it was time for a test flight. Our double height stairwell proved an ideal testing ground. Assembling around the stairwell, the unsuspecting teddies were attached to their parachutes and released for the test flight.
And the results? The scientists concluded that the parachutes fared better if made from a heavier material. The best parachute shape was rectangular rather than square or circular. Eight strings were better than six. Medium length strings were best and finally, the bigger the chute the better.
Best of all, no teddy suffered during this experiment, apart from mild trauma on take off!
And the class will create the ultimate parachute this week, using all the evidence from their investigation.
Junior Infants investigated breathing during Science week. And made pictures out of their results.
They know how to take great big rainbown breaths in their yoga practice. They know that they breathe using their lungs in their bodies. They investigated just how far they could blow paint in art using a straw, their great big rainbow breaths and paint, of course.
The results were some very scary monsters!
Being a scientist is great fun!
We are lucky enough in our school to have a parent who can give us access to an electron microscope. The Hitachi microscope was in our school for the past two weeks. So we made sure to make as much use as possible out of it for our Science week.
This microscope measures objects in microns. 1 million microns in a metre and 1 Billion nanometers in a metre! So the average width of a human hair is 80 microns.
Our pictures here show one of our third classes during their visit to our Science room to see the electron microscope at work. Ms Campbell set up the microscope to show a highly magnified spider's leg and the boys set to work capturing the image with their drawings and recording what the various parts of the leg were.
The marvels of the natural world were presented in an entirely different perspective with this microscope. One which will hopefully inspire our scientists in the months and years ahead.
One of the science activities in Fourth Class for Science week involved learning about absorption. Armed with basins of water, a variety of materials and all important record sheets the scientists investigated rates of absorption.
Sponges, J-cloths and tissues were tested for this particular experiment. The scientists worked together to predict which material would be the most absorbent. They recorded their predictions and then went on to test their predictions in the experiment by measuring the amount of water each material could hold.
Please try this at home! It`s a fun and absorbing activity.
Science week was marked in our school by a variety of investigations and experiments in every class in our school. Ms Smith and Ms. Carragher`s class both got together to build their own catapults! Marshmallows featured very strongly in this experiment along with investigation on how well the finished catapults work, as you can see from these pictures.
Our Parents`Association have just wound up the money collection for their very successful Beach Walk. Held in October every year, this tradition brings out Mams, Dads, grandparent, dogs and, of course, lots of children, for the 5km trek along the silver sands of Bettystown beach.
It is a terrific community occasion and an opportunity to catch up with old friends, and meet new ones, while enjoying one of our most prized local amenity.
This year's Beach Walk also raised the wonderful sum of €7857. Both the boys`and girls`schools will benefit from this fundraiser. The boys school have already been given the green light to purchase a second outdoor handball wall and we are currently pricing other items on our wishlist which will most benefit our pupils and our school.
Parents`Association Chairperson, Eimear Donnelly and Treasurer, Ruth Sherry, were very grateful to the children and to their families for their terrific support. They visited our school library last week to present prizes to boys who made significant contributions with their fundraising for the event. Speaking at the presentation, Eimear Donnelly expressed her delight with this successful fundraiser, especially in the manner that it brought people together in support of the school and of the community.
Along with Ms. Smith, and Ms. Callan, I had the great pleasure of meeting with the boys of our Students`Council today. This was our first meeting and it took place in the relaxing surroundings of our school library.
After a tough campaign, these boys were elected before the mid term break to represent their classes from 2nd through to 6th. They now come brimming with ideas for improving life in our school. They also discussed the possibility of raising funds to support some of the requested improvements.
Ms Smith and Ms Callan presented each boy with his student council pin at the end of the meeting.
After our meeting, the boys reported on the meeting to their classes. They also places suggestion boxes at strategic locations around the school so that more ideas can be added.
At their next meeting the most popular and realistic suggestions will be discussed and we will work together to put them in place.
With this Student Council on board, we will definitely have interesting times ahead!