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Schools Long Ago

Fourth and Fifth class recently explored the history of schooling in Ireland from early times to the twentieth century. We really enjoyed learning about all the different types of schools and seeing how different they were to our school today. We looked at education throughout different time periods;

  • Pre-Christian and Christian Times
  • Early Irish Monastic Schools
  • Hedge School – 17th & 18th Century
  • National Schools in the 19th Century

We explored in detail School 100 Years Ago. Here is a summary of all we learned, through examining photographs, memoirs, artifacts, roll-books and school reports:

Life in Irish Schools was very different 100 years ago. There were no computers, CD players, gel pens or markers. Many schools were small; often they had only one room. There was no running water and the heat came from a fireplace behind the teacher’s desk. Taking care of the schoolhouse was everyone’s job. Families took turns sending wood to the school for heating. Windows were usually high so that the children could not see out and be distracted!

Children sat at long desks with inkwells in them. They wrote with pens that had sharp nibs that they dipped into the inkbottles in the inkwells. In some schools you were not allowed to write with your left hand! Most of the work was done with chalk on a slate, as books and copies were very expensive.

Discipline in the national schools was very strict. Children who misbehaved or did not learn their lessons were hit with a cane. Some teachers had a “Dunce’s Corner”. Any child who missed a question had to stand there. The children learned reading, writing, and arithmetic when they weren’t needed to work in the fields or at home. 


 Our Class Artifacts

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Here we are writing using nibs and ink

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Here we are painting using quills and coloured ink

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St Brigid’s Crosses

In preparation for St. Brigid’s day the pupils of 4th & 5th class made St Brigid’s crosses last Friday. They learnt about the life of St Brigid through stories and poems about St. Brigid.  We even made some St. Brigid’s Crosses!  The annual tradition of making the crosses is lovely for both the pupils and their families who are delighted to receive a new cross into their homes on time for St. Brigid’s day.

We hope that everyone’s home will be blessed and that everyone will have a happy, safe year.

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3D Shape Creation

In 4th & 5th Class we have been learning about the properties of various 3D shapes. We have been talking about them in terms of how many edges, faces and corners (vertices) they have, what types of faces they have, and whether they can stack, roll or both. We enjoyed making our very own 3D shapes using maths sticks and plasticine, polydrons and card. Check out our cubes, cuboids, prisms and pyramids and many more below. After we made our shapes we had fun making our own creations!

 Our Shapes (1)Our Shapes (2)Our Shapes (3)Our Shapes (4)Our Shapes (5)Our Shapes (6)Our Shapes (7)Our Shapes (8).

Our Shapes (9)Our Shapes (10)Our Shapes (11) Our Shapes (14)Our Shapes (12)Our Shapes (13)

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Our Plasticine & Match Sticks 3D Creations

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Our 3D Creations

Our Gymnastics Routines

4th & 5th class recently took to the floor in the GPR and performed a two minute gymnastics routine (in groups) that the children had choreographed themselves. There were cartwheels, rolls, handstands, pyramids, and stunts using benches and the horse. It was a spectacular end to our Gymnastics PE lessons.

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The X-Mas Factor

A very entertaining and enjoyable time was had by all in fourth and fifth class on Friday 12th December as they performed their Christmas Concert – The X-Mas Factor to a packed GPR. The concert was a twist on the popular TV series ‘The X-Factor’.

Here are a few pictures of us in our costumes:

XMas Factor (15)

The Judges: Mr Claus, Mrs Claus, Rudolph, Jack Frost

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Jack Frost & the Snow Gang

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Mr Claus & the Elves

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Mr Claus & the Elves (Audience)

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Rudolph & the Reindeer

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Mrs Claus & the Angels

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The Narrators/Presenters