News from the Boys’ School

Spring is in the Air!

The school has recently received six new iPads. It is hoped that the children will gain greatly from using these iPads for range of activities to support learning and to further their ICT skills.

Miss McDaid’s 1st class used the iPads during their Maths stations and they really enjoyed some apps to practice addition!

2nd class have been busy making a beautiful spring Art display. Daffodils were made using toilet rolls. Spring lambs were created using paper plates and cotton wool. Nesting birds among new leaves complete the spring scene.

The whole school has been engaging in activities to promote Fairtrade fortnight. This kicked off with a presentation by Mr Patsy Toland from Self-Help Africa. Pupils attended talks in the Colgan Hall about food waste and conservation. We designed posters for display in a local cafes and shops, had quizzes, debates and discussions in class, social media campaigns, as well as hosted a coffee morning for parents using Fair Trade products.

Our school garden is doing very well after some hard work by the boys in the autumn. We have daffodil, crocus, primrose and hyacinth flowers as well as a selection of herbs at present.

 

Grandparent’s Day

Miss Mc Daid’s Granny Lucy came to visit the boys in Senior Infants and 1st Class. She told them all about school and life long ago when she was a little girl. The boys really enjoyed the visit and learned lots of interesting information.

Some Grandparents came into 4th class and the boys interviewed them about a range of topics. They talked about technology long ago. The boys were amazed when they were told the steps that needed to be taken to make a phone call from Birmingham! The person had to go to the phone box and call the operator who would transfer you to the operator in Liverpool, who would transfer you to Dublin, who transferred you to Donegal, who connected you to White’s Solicitor in Carndonagh. They would find out who was needed on the phone and hang up. Somebody then had to run and fetch the person that was needed on the phone and the call would have to be made all over again!

The boys also learned about life at school, first jobs, transport, sweets, toys and games and holidays long ago. One of the best topics of conversation was the mischief that the grandparents got up to when they were young, but that information is strictly confidential!!

Grandparents also helped many of the classes to make St. Brigid’s crosses. The staff and pupils would like to thank everyone who attended the school to celebrate Grandparent’s Day.

Fun with Maths

2nd Class are currently taking part in a four week ‘Fun with Maths’ programme. The children in 2nd class in St. Patricks BNS and GNS meet on Thursdays to play Maths games with the help of their parents. Any parents willing to help can come along from 11:15-12:15 on the following dates:

Thursday 26th January – St. Patrick’s GNS

Thursday 2nd February – St. Patricks BNS

Thursday 9th February – St. Patricks GNS

Thursday 16th February – St. Patricks BNS

A Very Busy January!

Peace Proms

The school choir is participating in the Peace Proms program. Peace Proms is a choral education program which impacts 20,000 primary school children in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This programme is recognised as Ireland’s most valuable Arts Education initiative. Dr. Helen Haughey has been working very hard to prepare the choir for this event.

On Tuesday, 24th January, the school choir travelled to the Ulster Hall in Belfast for a workshop in preparation for the concert.

The choir will also take part in the Peace Proms concert in the SSE Arena on Sunday 26th February. It should be a memorable occasion for staff and pupils!

 

Literacy Lift Off

Senior Infants are taking part in the Literacy Lift Off programme at present. Literacy Lift-Off is a whole-class intervention aimed at increasing each child’s competency in oral language, reading and writing. Diverse activities are essential for extending literacy processing power. Hence, the pupils work in ‘stations’ to carry out a number of activities in reading and writing, over the course of an hour, under the guidance of 4 teachers.

During each Literacy Lift-Off session, children experience four activities:

  • Familiar Reading
  • Word Work
  • Writing
  • New Book

Station 1: Familiar Reading


Pupils read previously seen PM+ Readers. Purpose: Development of enjoyment, fluency, comprehension and speed.

Station 2: Word Work


They use magnetic letters on the whiteboard to make and break words. Purpose: To show children how words work, so that they can make a fast visual analysis of their reading.

Station 3: Writing


Pupils write sentences based on a poster that they have discussed.
Purpose: The purpose is to encourage children to focus their thought so that they can create a concise well-formed sentence based on the poster that they have just discussed as a whole class at the beginning of the lesson .

Station 4: New Book


Encountering new texts each day challenges the pupils to discover new ways to go beyond their current operating ability and lift their literacy processing. Purpose: Pupils learn to use strategic activities to read new texts.

Junior and Senior Infants

Aistear

This month’s theme focused on fruit and vegetables. A fruit and vegetable shop was set up in the class. Children engaged in role play as customer and shopkeeper. A game called ‘Shopping List’ was taught to the boys. This is a memory game which focused on language development and turn-taking. This month’s theme was integrated with Gaeilge and SPHE. Healthy eating and taking care of our body was discussed in SPHE.

The Ravenous Beast

       

Junior and Senior Infant’s enjoyed the story ‘The Ravenous Beast’. The boys came up with wonderful ideas explaining what else the Ravenous Beast might eat! Ideas included giants, boats, cities and even the school! The children enjoyed exploring the language of the book, and amazing drawings and paintings were created by all!

 

Senior Infants and 1st class

                    

Senior Infants and 1st class have been learning all about polar bears and the chilly Arctic landscape that they come from! They wrote detailed reports based on what they learned about the polar bears. The boys made some lovely polar bear art work using different coloured paper and chalk. They also painted winter landscapes with a focus on perspective and cold colours.

 

Third Class

This month Third Class were examining communication methods.  We learned about how people used to stay in touch in the past by using methods such as the Pony Express and how carrier pigeons were used during World War 1 when travelling became difficult.  We also listened to some Morse Code and tried to decipher it! We then looked at how scientific advancements have made it much easier to communicate with people, even if they are on the other side of the world. We made a string telephone and listened to messages from people on the other side of the classroom.  It was great fun!

In history we examined the Middle Ages and learned how a town crier was used to spread news among the people.  We also learned about what life was like in this era, how craftsmen came together to form guilds and how people who broke the law were put in stocks and had rotten eggs thrown at them!  We then used clay to design and make our very own medieval castles – definitely fit for any king or queen!

Christmas is coming!

December has been a very busy month!

Christmas Art

A child doing some artThere has been some fantastic artwork done in all the classrooms in the school this month and displayed throughout the school.

During December, Senior and First class used clay and Christmas cookie cutters to make their own Christmas tree decorations. Firstly we rolled out the clay and choose our design. Once dried, we then painted the decorations. Finally we used PVA glue and glitter to finish.

In 2nd class, some beautiful Nativity silhouettes were created by painting the background scene and cutting out the silhouette figures from black paper. Don’t they look stunning?

History and Science in 3rd class

This month as well as preparing for their Christmas play “Straw and Order”, Third Class have been learning about Stone Age peoples.  They researched what life was like in that era.  They also learned about the rituals conducted by Stone  Age peoples, including finding out about the ancient passage tomb at Newgrange.  They are eagerly awaiting the shortest day of the year, and hoping for clear skies, so we can watch the sunlight entering the burial chamber in Newgrange!

Because of the importance of the seasons and the sun to the people of the Stone Age Third Class also examined the effect of the sun and the wider solar system on human life to this very day.  Third class also conducted experiments to investigate the relationship between light and various different materials and tried to make freaky reflections using mirrors and water!

Cinema Trips

Junior Infants to 1st class went to the cinema on Thursday, 15th December, to see the film ‘Trolls’. It was a very busy morning getting everyone packed onto the buses and away but a great day was had by all! On Monday, the 19th December, 3rd to 6th class had their cinema trip. 3rd and 4th saw ‘Moama’ and 5th and 6th saw ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’. Both groups really enjoyed their day out and were fantastic representatives for the school.

Christmas Plays

All classes have worked so hard on their Christmas play or performance throughout the month of December resulting in some fantastic shows in the last few weeks. Here is a short snapshot of some of the events from throughout the school!

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More photos and videos of the Christmas Performances can be viewed on the school Facebook page

The whole school is now looking forward to the holidays on Thursday. The principal and staff would like to wish all the pupils and their families a peaceful, happy Christmas and New Year.

Nollaig shona duit

October update

We had a very successful Maths Week 17th – 21st October. The children all enjoyed engaging in fun Maths activities. On Tuesday 18th, all classes were invited to a special Maths fair organised by Mrs Doherty and some pupils from 5th class. The children got to complete some Maths logic puzzles and we discovered we have some very competitive Mathematicians!

We had great fun dressing up for Hallowe’en. There was plenty of scary faces about that day! The Junior and Senior Infants performed the Hallowe’en Sing Song for family members in the GP room. They knew so many lovely new songs and everyone enjoyed the performance.

1st class are taking part in the Literacy Lift Off programme at present. We have 4 stations and each group rotates to each station over 50 minutes. This programme allows our pupils to develop their literacy skills in a small group setting. The boys really enjoy the sessions and are exposed to a large variety of books covering a vast array of topics.