It’s been a busy week at Scoil Mhuire NS with lots going on. Congratulations firstly to our Confirmation class of 2018 (5th and 6th class) who were confirmed on Tuesday by Bishop Noel O’Regan. It was a special day in our community and many thanks to Bishop O’Regan and to Fr. Alan, but in particular to Mr. O’Callaghan for all the fantastic work and guidance he gave to the children in preparing them for the sacrament. Also thanks to the parents who helped out with baking and refreshments in the parish hall directly after the Confirmation. It was very much appreciated and it helped in making it a special day for all involved.
On Thursday some of our senior classes had the privilage of calling into our local bookshop Anna B’s to listen to renowned author Elizabeth Rose Murray. It was a rare but beneficial opportunity to meet and chat with a proven author and ask those questions which might one day help some of our students become authors themselves! Thanks to Elizabeth and Anna B’s for the invite!
On Thursday and Friday Brigid Hartnett, community Garda from Bantry Garda station accepted our invitation to visit us at Scoil Mhuire NS where she gave a fantastically informative chat to our pupils about understanding the internet environment and its potential dangers. In this digital age, empowering your child to remain safe online is imperative and the setting of clear boundaries as well as parental involvement, right until they have the maturity to go it alone, is crucial. Brigid is very experienced, knowlegeable and skilled in this area. She spoke with all classes adapting her material accordingly and she will return after Easter on Wednesday April 11th when she will give a parent advice night. This will begin at 8pm in Fr. Hurley Hall and we ask and encourage all parents of the school, particularly parents of 5th and 6th classes to attend and gain some valuable information which will help you become more aware of how to ensure your child is safe online.
On Thursday Scoil Mhuire NS played host to somewhat of a mobile farm when Tomás and Marian Lannin kindly brought two young calves on a visit to the school. Junior and Senior Infants got to see and even pet the young animals. Some of the children took the visitors in their stride but for others it was a real ‘mooo’ving and fun experience!
This past week also marked Seachtain na Gaeilge, a celebration of the Irish language and culture. All classes learnt the song ‘Cé a chlúdaigh mé le Gaineamh?’ and we performed it together in Fr. Hurley Hall on Friday. As you will notice from the photos we also had a Lá Glas or Green Day where children dressed up in green and Irish colours for St. Patrick’s Day! Our 4th, 5th and 6th classes also took part in a ‘Trá na gCeist’.
Biodiversity is the fifth Green Schools theme and looks at steps which can be taken to increase awareness of the importance of native plants, animals and habitats in a locality. As part of our preparation for this Green Flag, we invited a Biodiversity expert, Calvin Jones of www.irelandswildlife.com to visit our school on Monday and Tuesday. And thank goodness we did! The natural world is a source of wonder, excitement and delight for Calvin and it wasn’t long before some of his enthusiasm and vast knowledge was rubbing off on our pupils. He firstly gave an informative presentation in each classroom on Biodiversity and what it actually means. He then followed this with a visit outdoors to explore the wildlife in and around the school – and the habitats they call home. Children searched for as many plants, insects, animals or animal tracks they could spot and ticked them off on their laminated sheet as they discovered them. Junior and Senior infants did some sterling investigative work outside. Well… that was until Calvin threw them off track saying he could see 28 mammals running around the school grounds with coats on! 4th, 5th and 6th class were even lucky enough to walk to the shoreline and investigate the rich biodiversity on offer there. A huge thanks to Calvin for his wealth of information and enthusiasm throughout the two days and for also taking time out to meet with our Green Schools committee and impart invaluable advice and knowledge to them.
A new afterschool childcare service has opened at Scoil Mhuire National School. Schull Afterschool Club has been made possible through a combination of DCYA (Department of Children and Youth Affairs) capital funding and locally raised funds. The Club is being run by Schull Community Preschool Ltd with newly appointed staff who are fully qualified and well experienced in providing care and running activities for school aged children. A programme of activities each day has been put in place to cater for a wide range of interests and to ensure each child can engage and enjoy themselves regardless of age and ability. Funtastic Fitness is on Mondays, Creative Movement Dance and Play on Tuesdays, Out of the Box Craft and Art on Wednesdays, Circuit Thursdays and Disco Kitchen on Fridays.
A dedicated room has been refurbished with soft seating area for relaxing, a kitchen for cookery activities, benches for art and craft and new school seats and desks for homework (yes, homework is catered for everyday.. except Fridays!). There is a well-stocked library area and plenty of games, as well as a computer for project research. The speakers and TV screen will no doubt come in very handy for demonstration of dance moves for Tuesdays class and fitness class on Mondays and Thursdays.
The Club opens during term time from January 8th to June 21st 2018 from 2pm-5.30pm each day (or 6pm upon request). Plans to expand and provide club service outside of term time will be made in the coming months subject to demand.
Enrolment forms are available at the national school office, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by texting the afterschool phone number – 087 7754254. It is important that any child who wishes to use the service (even on an occasional basis) must first be enrolled, so parents are encouraged to sign up, just in case! More information on the service, activities and fees is available by email or text.
Many people have been involved in the making this project a reality which we hope will be of great benefit to the community. With great thanks to all who have given their time and hard work, we wish everybody involved the very best in Schull Afterschool Club.
Congratulations to all the recipients of our mid-year Attendance Awards which took place today at Scoil Mhuire NS. Scoil Mhuire NS places a strong emphasis on regular attendance which is proven to make a significant difference to a child’s learning and progress over the course of a full year. We had three categories of prize giving; those who only missed two days of school in this current year, those who missed a solitary day and finally those with a 100% attendance record thus far! Prizes of certificates and priceless homework passes were presented to each award winner as well as the added bonus of a Cadbury’s selection box for those with a perfect attendance.
The good news is that the awards will once again take place next June so from January onwards, the slate will be wiped clean and it will be another opportunity to encourage excellent attendance for your child! Well done to all our winners!
Ms. Fitzmaurice’s 4th and 5th class were recently introduced to the Junior Entrepreneur Programme. This innovative programme opens the minds of primary school pupils to the joy of entrepreneurship at a time in their lives when they are full of imagination and open to new possibilities. The programme helps participating pupils to develop a number of skills including literacy, writing, presentation, drawing, technology, research skills, numeracy, financial, consumer awareness, storytelling, listening skills, creative thinking, problem solving, team building and collaboration skills.
The programme has a significant personal development impact on participating pupils, building confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem, and an appreciation of individual skills and talents.
The first step of this programme involved challenging the children to come up with an inovative idea, the ultimate aim being to become a profitable venture. The children worked hard in small groups; collaboratively thinking, creating and researching until they were finally satisfied with their respective business ideas. Each group were then faced with the onerous challenge of presenting their idea to some unforgiving ‘Dragons’; local business owners John Murray from Modern Botany and Miriam Pyburn of Barnetts as well as school principal Mr. Duggan! However our budding entrepreneurs took it in their stride as they confidently pitched their ideas and competently answered questions. After listening to all groups, the Dragons deliberated for quite some time before finally announcing the winning business idea to be ‘Pet Pals’! Pet Pals produces homemade dog treats for sale and congratulations to the winning group on this innovative idea! Congratulations also to all of the other groups who contributed so well to the process.
The next stage of the programme will take place after Christmas and will involve the whole classs working together to make Pet Pals a reality and hopefully a lot of money for our budding entrepreneurs!
PS; Our Dragons were actually really nice!!