Getting back into the swing of things has been tough on everybody. Sticking with the routines and habits which help our bodies and minds needs lots of praise and encouragement. Today in our assemblies we encouraged this with our Mr Motivator awards.
We met outdoors and in three separate sessions. Remembering Cristiano Ronaldo's words: "Talent is nothing without hard work" the Senior end of the school displayed the fruits of their hard work with a rap from Fourth Class, Oisín's phenomenal hurling skills and Owen's wonderful accompaniment to his classmates singing.
Joshua from Junior Infants displayed his reading skills in the Junior Assembly and all of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes joined together in reading about kindness.
It's good to be out in the sunshine, celebrating hard work and encouraging one another. Looking forward to our June assembly already!
The boys in Ms Mullen and Ms Carragher's class had great fun making Puppets last week.
This lesson came all the way from Holice in the Czech Republic. Both classes joined other pupils from Lithuania, Poland, Italy and the Czech school in the lesson as part of our work on the Erasmus project on our shared Heritage.
As you can see from the photos here, great fun was had by all!
Our April Assembly was held outdoors in glorious summer sunshine. We had three separate assemblies for the Infants, Junior and Senior end of the school. We spoke about the importance of really trying hard with our work and with our fitness and also about the importance of encouraging one another.
Two boys from each class received an award, one for Effort and one for Kindness.
Our next Assembly will be at the end of May. And we will have our ever popular Student of the Year awards at the end of June.
Our school chaplain Fr Joseph Apust called in to see our Communion and Confirmation classes on Friday. It's great to have our outdoor classroom space for these visits. The boys had lots of questions of course and were delighted to chat about what they are learning in preparation for receiving the Sacraments.
Many of our families have gone through the doors of Crumlin Children's Hospital and their children have benefitted from the treatment and care their children have received there. Parent, Joe Hammel, is expressing his gratitude in a very special way by running 10kilometres every day for a year. Joe hopes to raise €40,000 for the hospital and as his Just Giving Page shows, he's well on his way to meeting that target.
We're delighted to virtually run with Joe by have our classes run ten kilometres around our yard. We're
We are so lucky with our outdoor spaces in and around our school! And our courtyard is one of those spaces getting lots of use nowadays.
Mrs Lohan and Ms Kerr's Senior Infants class enjoyed their Easter party there yesterday. What a happy bunch of party goers they are!
And, later in the afternoon, Ms Gerrard popped in to say hello to her Fifth Class boys. Mrs Deirdre Daly is teaching the class while Ms Gerrard is on maternity leave. We wish Ms Gerrard all the best!
We have been working on a project entitled "Our Best for Heritage" with four other European schools. The project was due to end in summer 2020 but has been extended-thanks to Covid, to lockdowns and to the Erasmus programme!
In our recent Erasmus project meeting we enjoyed a tour of Vilnius, a presentation on amber and a trip to Brú no Boinne-all from the comfort of our own homes! Yes, the was a very special get together with students and teachers from the schools in Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and our own school getting together via Zoom.
See can you spot some of our Erasmus club members from last year in the presentation on Newgrange!
Our next trip is to the Czech Republic in May. We will have meetings with our own Erasmus club after Easter to prepare for the virtual trip.
Working together with our European friends is now virtually easy!
Did we ever imagine that there would be days like this?
Half of our school are at home, the other half in school. It's been great having the Junior end of our school back in. Gliondar Mara paved the way with their arrival on the 22nd Feb and now we've a week down for our other Junior Classes.
And it was time to meet and greet the Senior end of the school on Friday.
Almost two hundred pupils and staff tuned in to last Friday's Virtual Assembly. The theme of the assembly was our school motto "Ár ndícheall í gcónaí" reflecting our commitment to always try our best.
And the stars of this assembly certainly pulled out all the stops to give of their best!
We met Joseph's pet hamster, Albert Einstein and heard about his Dad's great daily runs for charity.
We were entertained with jokes by Tyler and head of his super February 100 km challenge.
Nathan read his poem about Lockdown. While Anthony inspired us all with his skill with the Rubrik's cube, Arlo read from his book about animal evolution. Piotr told us about his adventures with Rock Art, Ali talked about his amazing art work and Cillian spoke resolutely about his empowering beliefs.
And we ended the Assembly with the very catchy Lockdown Song, composed, sung and strummed on the ukelele by Harry!
It certainly was an amazing assembly and a great way of connecting with all those lads who are working hard on their skills and hobbies at home.
This time of school closure is a very very challenging one for pupils, parents and staff.
Our recent school survey of parents showed just that. We've had a phenomenal response to the survey with 232 responses to it.
Our two platforms for online learning, Google Classroom and SeeSaw have got a big 'thumbs up' from most parents. Neither platform can fully replace the in school experience for the children, of course but we are pretty relieved to have had them up and running from last term.
The biggest challenge for our parents is trying the balance working from home and working in the home with the new demands now faced with children trying to keep up with their learning.
That said, 40% of our parents reported that the children attended to their school assignments for two hours or more. And 40% of the children worked for one to two hours per day, with the remaining children working for less than an hour.
Zoom is the flavour of the month when it comes to improving class connection. We had just started up our Zoom check ins for every class when the survey was presented and there is a great response to the children seeing one another on Zoom.
Some parents mentioned the possibility of Zoom lessons. We are guided by best practice on this and that shows that pre recorded lessons are preferable to live lessons as they can be replayed for anyone having difficulty with new concepts, can be accessed any time and not everyone can be present for live lessons so they would miss out.
Google Classroom and See Saw allow for audio and video lessons and feedback. This ability to engage directly with each child and to give feedback on assignments is a critical part of keeping him motivated and learning. And something that most parents rated as very important to their children. And that's very true!
It's been a challenging time for sure but the end is in sight.
Meanwhile, it would be great to have as many pupils on board for the Zoom check-ins! Please check your Aladdin notifications for times. And remind your son of the rules of engagement as in the infographic above!
Keep sending your comments and queries via Google Classroom or See Saw or to email@example.com