These were just some of the questions facing our two brave quiz teams in the Credit Union Chapter quiz in Athboy on Saturday. The audience listened intently, as genial quizmaster, Tommy Weir, fired out the questions to the top teams in Meath's primary schools.
The quiz would decide which teams from the Junior and Senior squads would qualify for the Leinster Quiz final. Our school were unique in having two teams to represent us. Seán, Lauchie, Daithi and Daniel represented us in the Junior section and Joe, Cormac, Jack and Conor were on our Senior team.
They battled manfully through ten rounds of questions, with an extra two rounds for the senior team. And, at the end of the evening, the Junior team came out with a very respectable fourth position, while the Senior team along with St Patrick's Primary School, Slane got through to the All-Ireland Final!
April 8th is the date, the RDS is the venue and our Seniors are on their way. Meanwhile, the Junior team have two more years of quiz fun and competitions lying ahead of them.
And the answers to the above questions are:
All roads lead to Athboy tomorrow, for the next round of the Credit Union Quiz! Our two teams beat all the schools in our local area to claim first place in both the senior and junior sections of Round One!
They`ve been chewing up the quiz books for the past few weeks, and bracing themselves for what is sure to be a hotly contested event in the next round.
The very best of luck boys! See you tomorrow in Athboy Community School for a 2pm start!
While we all battled with the snow and ice last week, Ms Smith's First Class were navigating ice-bergs and Arctic waters as they re-created the doomed passenger liner Titanic and her final moments at sea.
The whole class are passionate Titanic buffs. They've done their research and know that the Titanic set sail in 1912 with just over passengers aboard. The storm of last week has given them some idea of what the cold waters of the Arctic were like for the cruise ship as it sailed at speed towards America.
The boys know that the owner of the ship was keen to impress on the world just how fast the enormous passenger ship could travel across the Atlantic. He urged the captain to pick up speed. That decision alone, as the boys in First Class realise, was a foolish one.
An iceberg was spotted from the ship's crow's nest, directly on the ship's course. But it was too late.
There are wonderful reconstructions of the Titanic outside the classroom door. Some show the ship in all her glory. Others show it slipping into the Arctic depths, surrounded by drowning passengers and its inadequate supply of lifeboats.
Some have written about the bravery of Captain Smith. Others about the greed of the ship's owner. Each of them have their own angle on the story.
The ship never made it to America of course. But the tragedy of the Titanic has made its way into every boy's heart in Ms Smith's Class.
The boys in Ms Smyth's and Ms Campbell's Senior Infants had a very special visitor to help them celebrate the Chinese New Year. Mrs Zhao-Dunne is a parent of one of the boys in Ms. Smyth's and she had come to tell the boys all about the traditions around the great Chinese celebrations.
The boys were clearly enthralled. They had already explored the topic of China through their Aistear sessions.
Mrs Zhao-Dunne explained how the phases of the moon determined the start of the Chinese New Year. She told them the traditional tale of the mythological creature Nian and explained that each Chinese New Year was dedicated to a different animal, with 2018 being the Year of the Dog.
The boys especially loved the Chinese New Year tradition of giving children red envelopes containing money, perhaps a custom they might like to adopt here! And they delighted too in Mrs Zhao-Dunne's parting gift to them all-their names, written in Chinese characters.
Thank you for such an entertaining afternoon, Mrs. Zhao-Dunne!
Mairead McGuinness is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), and also Vice President of that Parliament. The boys from Ms Carragher's Fifth Class and Mr Arthur's Sixth Class were delighted to welcome her to our school during the week.
Mairead has a special interest in education, particularly, of course in relation to the European Union and she came to support our project for the Blue Star Programme. This programme encourages our students to build their knowledge of Europe's culture, history and politics.
Mairead got to see the work of every class in a slide show presentation of the school's work. Then, the boys in fifth and sixth presented their own projects in person to Mairead.
An MEP since 2004, Mairead spoke a little about her background in agriculture and media. She also spoke about the difficulties of life as a politician commuting from Dublin to Brussels each week but of the importance work of the EU. Getting representatives from twenty seven nations to agree with one another was often difficult but ultimately has brought a lot of improvements and, vitally, has encouraged peace among nations.
Laytown lady, Emir Smith-Duff also accompanied Ms McGuinness and was equally delighted to chat with the boys and their teachers and answer their questions. She pointed out that the twelve stars on the EU flag symbolized the EU ideals of unity, solidarity and harmony.
With a plane to catch and meetings to attend, Mairead was whisked away to Dublin Airport but left us all inspired to learn more about the vital work of our European politicians and its parliament.
Wednesday last saw our boys from fifth and sixth classes take on Duleek Boys' School in the second round of the Cooney Cup. Conditions were perfect on the day and our boys had a spring in their step as they lobbed point after point over the bar.
Duleek boys put up a superb defence. They were fast on their feet and quick to tackle. With a terrific pitch on their school campus, they no doubt had put in plenty of practice in honing their Gaelic football skills.
But the Donacarney boys had been training hard for this occasion too. Under the direction of Mr Arthur, Mr Culligan, Mr Lynch and Mr Duffy they had turned out in droves for their 8 am training sessions and everyone in the squad had a chance to play on the Duleek pitch.
Donacarney also had very welcome support from parents and from the former principal, Mr O'Conghaile. They were thrilled of course with the Donacarney win but know that the next match will be a tough one too.
On the 16th March we will line out again. This time against St Mary's Primary Parish School. We're looking forward to the challenge!
The Battle of the Boyne site at Oldbridge, Drogheda was the setting for another clash yesterday as teams from all around Leinster competed at the annual Rás na hÉireann event.
Muck was in plentiful supply but at least the rain was there to wash it off faces and jerseys as the competitors bounced around the field.
Our school was represented there in four categories, U9, U 11, U13, and U15. Coached and organized by Ms Brennan, they wereteams from highly competitive athletic clubs such as the Tullamore Harriers, Bohermeen, Boyne A.C, St Peter's Dunboyne and of course, Dunleer AC.
Dunleer AC were the organizers of the entire event and they did a superb job. Instructions were clear, the field and carpark were well stewarded, the track well marked and supervised and each of the races were run off on time.
U9s ran 500 metres, U 11s ran 1,000 metres, U 13s 1,500m and U15s ran 2,500m.
But this was cross country and the going was tough.
Nevertheless, our teams showed great spirit and character claiming gold, silver and bronze in the U15s, U13s and U9s respectively.
But more importantly, they all showed great determination and spirit on that most famous of battle sites. Every one of them completed the course. Some indeed fell, picked themselves up and continued on. We are proud of them all and wish them many more days of happy running.
Today is Pancake Day! The boys in Ms Smyth's Senior Infant class each got a chance to enjoy some delicious pancakes with their favourite topping of Nutella.
Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday marks the start of Lent. Traditionally, it was a time when the last of the eggs and flour were used up in advance of Ash Wednesday, which is a day of fasting.
I called to the doctor's surgery last week. I had a sore wrist. Luckily for me, there were two hospitals in our school! This is all thanks to the fantastic Aistear program which are running in Junior and Senior Infants.
These hospitals come fully equipped with stethoscopes, syringes, scalpels. They are run by the most enthusiastic of medical teams featuring receptions, radiologist, doctors and nurses.
After making an appointment, I was whisked away to the hospital tent. Upon careful examination of my sore wrist, the doctor was only too keen to adminster an injection. In fact I had three injections in all! He also wrote a brief prescription before sending me to the pharmacy.
Maybe the medication worked but Aistear certainly is. Learning through play in this way allows for the exploration of environments which are familiar to the children. This leads in turn to opportunities to develop oral language, reading and writing. And it was just great to see the boys in Ms Rice's and Ms Martin's class having so much fun with the process.
More information on Aistear here!
It's the first day of February and. even though the weather was decidedly wintry today, officially it's the first day of Spring.
The first of February also marks the feast day of Saint Brigid. Brigid, or Bríd, as she is known in Irish, is renowned for making a cross out of rushes.
All around our school this week, boys were busy making Saint Brigid's Crosses.
Vast quantities of rushes were required and Mr Conneely, Mr Arthur, Ms. Callan and Mr. Lynch collected these from marshland and bogs and the boys from third to sixth class got busy sorting out rushes and weaving crosses.
Meanwhile, both Third Classes gathered together for a special Prayer Service. This prayer service celebrated Catholic Schools' week and also the heritage of Saint Brigid.
The boys told stories of Saint Brigid, her life in County Louth and Kildare and of how she comforted a dying chieftain by telling him about Jesus. Gathering rushes from the floor of the chieftain's house, Brigid weaved a cross and spoke to the chieftain of the crucifixion and resurrection of Our Lord.
Our Prayer Space celebrates Saint Brigid for the month of February. She is part of the richness of our Irish heritage, her cross being almost as widely recognized as the harp and the shamrock as a distinctly Irish symbol. Brigid herself is one of our patron saints. Her memory lives on too in those named after her. Bríd, Bridie and Breda are all variations of the name Brigid.
According to an ancient Irish custom, hanging St. Brigid's crosses over the doors or windows of the house protected the house from harm.
Nowadays, the parade of Brigid's crosses from our school reminds us that it is worthwhile keeping some ancient traditions alive and that Spring days of sunshine, warmth, life and growth have finally arrived.