In Junior Infants we have been having great fun during Literacy stations. We are listening to stories and nursery rhymes, playing Hairy Phonics on the iPads, looking at picture books, playing phonics games with Joanne, learning our ‘Tricky Words’ using play dough and practising our handwriting with Tamasine. Here we are enjoying ourselves!
Órla had some very happy visitors from First Class sharing their preparations for Science Week in November. First Class have taken on the theme of Space this year. Look at this incredible space helmet that one of our students made at home!
Instead of learning about the history of Hallowe’en this year, 4th Class decided to look at costumes and some problems which can be seen from costume companies and shops.
We began by taking a look at a variety of costumes online and noted any stereotypes, bias and assumptions from the costumes made for girls versus the costumes made for boys.
We noticed that nearly all the costumes the girls were dressed in were ‘sweet’ or ‘cute’ brightly coloured clothes which often included skirts or dresses. In contrast, most of the costumes for boys were ‘scary’ or ‘strong’, had dark colours and only offered trousers.
We were also shocked that all of the boys were standing in powerful or tough stances whilst many of the girls appeared to have their arms firmly stuck to their hips or their necks strangely tilted to the side!
We also looked at Cultural Appropriation and how it can make us feel when people think our culture is their costume.
We had a lengthy discussion and walking debate on the possible effects this harmful marketing could have on children and how they act or view themselves.
We then came up with ways in which we could help stop the effects of stereotyping in costumes and clothes and make sure that dressing up is fun, empowering and respectful for everyone!
Using multi-coloured Autumn leaves collected around the school and from home we each made an owl collage in 4th Class. First, we practised sketching owls with pencil and then we decided on a final outline. Afterwards, we used glue and leaves to fill in the owl shape. During the art activity we learned about photosynthesis, why leaves are green and why they lose their leaves at this time of year.
During October, 4th Class went for a short nature walk around our school and collected some acorns. We tested the acorns in some water to see if they were healthy by doing a ‘Float Test’. We have now planted them and we hope to keep the conditions suitable for germination over the next few months. We might get to take home an oak seedling in 2020.
On the 25th of October Senior Infants dressed up as their favourite book characters. We had great fun discussing our favourite books and characters!
Happy Hallowe’en to all. We saw out Book Week with our ever-popular Dress-up day on Friday, 25th October. Lots of our favourite book characters visited us (with a few ghosts and goblins joining in the fun too!).
Our school lobby is festooned with costumes looking for new homes!
This year, we are inviting parents to drop off any pre-loved costumes in the school lobby outside the book fair. There you are welcome to choose some costumes to take home with you! Donations are welcome but not necessary. Please don’t be shy – every costume deserves another day in the sun (or night trick-or-treating!) We hope that our costume drop n’ swap will support our school community in reducing waste.
We are excited to welcome back the Scholastic Book Fair for our annual Book Week. The book fair is taking place in the school hall all week and is open to parents every day at the drop-off and collection times (8.15-8.35, 12.50 – 1.10, 1.50 – 2.10). The children have been enjoying visiting the fair with their teachers.
This Friday, 25th October is our annual dress-up day. A collection of pre-loved costumes are available for our ‘Drop ‘n Swap’ in the school lobby. We welcome all costume donations and invite you to come and take a costume or two. Thank you to our PTA for organising the Drop n’ Swap.
We have already had an amazing response to the Bags2school clothing drive. All donations will be accepted until this Thursday, 24th October and can be left with school staff at the doors at drop-off and collection times.
This term our children from Third Class entered the Festival of Inclusion art competition. One of our boys was chosen as a winner for his beautiful piece on the theme of Family. He was invited to an award ceremony and his artwork is now hanging proudly in Nutgrove Shopping Centre! We are very proud of him.
This morning we had our first visit from the ‘Everyone Counts’ team.
We had Sorcha, the programme co-coordinator from UCD, Sharon who is a designer from the National College of Art & Design and Aoife a Mathematician and Astrophysicist visit our classroom.
Today was mostly about introductions and the children filled in a questionnaire for the team. They also answered some maths problems. Next week, we will start investigating some other, more interesting maths problems. We are excited about the upcoming sessions over the coming months.
The PTA will host a coffee morning for all parents in the school hall this Friday, 11th October at 8.15am. This will be an opportunity to get to know the parents in your child’s class and in the wider school community.
There will also be a meeting for all parents interested in learning about the school cycle bus. This meeting will take place at 8am on Friday morning in the school hall. All parents welcome.
4th Class have begun their violin lessons with Elizabeth from Music Generation. They have been paying very close attention during the lessons so far and have been learning to play notes as well as how to handle the violins correctly.
Ballinteer Educate Together’s winning table quiz team have generously donated their winnings to our yard equipment fund. The children from Fourth and Fifth Class carefully selected sports and games equipment on which to spend their €200 prize fund and have now donated this brand new equipment to our Playworks yard programme. We are very proud of you all!
The Churchtown Residents Association has generously donated €500 to the Students Council fund raising effort for our new school library! Vincent, Helen and Gerry visited us today and presented our Third Class Students Council representatives with a cheque to help us to furnish and stock our library for the coming year. The children learned about the work of the Residents Association and were able to tell our visitors all about the Student Councils’ plans for our new library. Fund raising will continue with all donations from this Friday’s Pyjama Day also going to the library fund.
We are very grateful to the Churchtown Residents Association for supporting our school. We can’t wait to share photos with them of our new school library in the coming school year.
Across the school we have been taking some barista lessons. Our classes have looked at various coffee machines and decided to draw some plans and making our own specially designed coffee machines. We have designed machines with built in cream frothers, milk jugs and double coffee cup holders. The children invented so many wonderful coffee machines it is exciting to see what happens when we put our minds to it.
Drawing the plans.
The baristas in action in Costa Ballinteer.
Photos and videos of our wonderful Spring Ceremony. Thank you to all our parents who came to work in our classrooms this week to make this project happen.
Last month, First Class were learning all about weight so what better way to test out our knowledge and skills than baking cupcakes?!
In groups, we weighed out the butter and sugar, before mixing it together in the mixing bowl. Next we carefully cracked the eggs into the bowl, making sure no shell went in to the mixture (imagine crunching on eggshell in your cupcake! Ew!). When we had mixed the eggs with the butter and sugar, we weighed the self-raising flour were and gently mixed it in to the batter.
This helped our buns to rise and be lovely and fluffy when they were cooked.
We then placed the mixture into bun cases on a baking tray, before putting them into the oven for 20 minutes. When they turned golden-brown, we took them out and got to make yummy icing to decorate our buns. The best bit was definitely getting to taste our iced buns. They were absolutely delicious!
The Write-A-Book Merit winners attended a prize giving ceremony last Monday the 1st of April in the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel in Killiney. It was a fantastic event, where the winners had the opportunity to meet authors from other schools and to celebrate their great achievement. Well done to all the pupils in Ballinteer ETNS who took part in the Write-A-Book project and a special congratulations to Noah, Cian, Maia, Lily, Belle and Alison!
Second and Third Class were visited by a string quartet in April. This is part of our involvement in the Music Generations Programme.
The aim of Music Generations is to provide access to high-quality, subsidised and sustainable performance music education for children and young people in Ireland. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.
As part of our involvement in Music Generations, our Infant classes are taking part in The Early Years Primary programme with experienced music educator, Eimear Lacey. Eimear will visit each class weekly to lead them in a fun-filled, movement and song based programme, with an emphasis on child-led group music-making through play within the classroom. This Orff style approach encourages the use of percussion instruments, improvisation and movement to music.
Percussion, string and voice workshops are being organised for some of our other classes in the coming term.
We had a very exciting day in Senior Infants today, we met Otto. Otto is a highly trained ‘task specific’ golden retriever dog. He is assigned to a wonderful child and he helps keep him safe and calm during stressful situations. He walks very well on a lead and helps him with day today tasks.
He follows directions and stops when asked. We learned the importance of not disturbing assistance dogs when they are working. We can tell Otto was working when he is wearing his blue vest.
We had lots of fun getting to know Otto today and learning how certain animals can be trained to do special jobs for people.
Otto uses a special lead that is attached to the person he is walking with and they can hold Otto using another lead. We want to thank Otto’s family for bringing him into our class today and helping us learn more about assistance dogs and Autism.
We (Tamasine’s class) went to Dundrum Library last week. We were taught how to use the library by Yvonne the librarian. We even borrowed a book! It was so much fun!
Third Class welcomed visitors from the Korean embassy this week. We learned all about South Korea. We explored the culture and were given the opportunity to try on traditional clothes. We also learned about Korean food. We explored the meaning of the Korean flag and also practised some phrases in the Korean language. We even had a chance to play some Korean games. It was very informative and lots of fun!
As part of our Coicís na Gaeilge, all the classes learned an Irish ceili dance and performed them for the whole school!
Infants learned ‘Shoe the Donkey’
First and Second learned ‘Ballaí Luimní’,
Third, Fourth and Fifth learned ‘Ionsaí na hInse’
As well as learning a dance, each class performed a poem (dán) or song (amhráin) or both for the whole school to enjoy.
Second class have been learning all about their local area and about Ireland. As part of this theme, we are becoming familiar with our local environment. We read a story about a magpie who cleans up his environment and then we had our Science class outside to hunt for materials in our own school. We foraged out beside the tennis courts to see what materials we could spot. We found twigs, soil, rocks, flowers, feathers and we felt their texture.
Last Friday, our school gathered in the Churchtown Hall and our principal Orla led us in an all Irish assembly. We learned some songs as Gaelige and we celebrated the last day of a very enjoyable Coicís na Gaeilge. We even began to learn our national anthem ‘Amhráin na bhFiann’!
The winners of the write a book were honored in front of the school alongside our winners of the Credit Union Table Quiz.
7th March 2019
Thank you to all our parents who joined us at the National Parents Council of Ireland Anti-Bullying Talk yesterday evening. It was a fantastic turn out and speaks to the commitment of our school community to ensure that our children are happy and safe in school.
If you have any questions or concerns about bullying please do not hesitate to talk with your child’s class teacher or with Órla or Muireann.
Our review of the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy will conclude next week and will then be available on the school website. Further information and support can also be found at www.tacklebullying.ie. The National Parents Council operates a helpline at 01 8874477 or email@example.com.
Senior Infants took a trip to Airfield Farm to look out for all the signs of spring. We looked at the daffodils and all the other flowers that are beginning to bloom. We learned all about chickens and watched the eggs being collected. We even got to see the cows being milked. We finished off our visit with a trip to the play area. We had a great day and were all very tired after the long walk back to school!
The Ballinteer Educate Together team have advanced to the All Ireland Final of the Credit Union Table Quiz!
Our ‘Red Team’ of students from Fourth and Fifth Class came first in the Chapter Division Final on 3rd March to earn their place in the final. They will join teams from all around the country in the RDS on 7th April.
The Ballinteer Educate Together were very impressive at the Chapter Division finals and won individual prizes as well as €200 for our school. We could not be prouder of their achievement!
A few weeks ago we received an email from 6th class at Donabate Portrane Educate Together inviting us to join them in a March for Climate Change. We began to look into the issue of climate change and discovered that Ireland ranked the worst in the EU for performance on climate change – we were shocked! We researched the many ways we can make small, sustainable changes that can have a positive impact when trying to protect our planet and reduce our carbon footprint – buying fruit and veg without plastic packaging, walking or cycling to school and sharing lifts with friends to live close by, charging electronics only when they need to be charged and plugging them out once they are fully charged, using sources of energy such as solar and hydro power being some examples. Although every little helps and we will now make an effort to be mindful of our carbon footprint, we need the government to prioritise climate action and implement initiatives and incentives to ensure these steps are taken nationwide. Engaging in this research inspired the children to join the March for Climate Change and use their voice to inspire climate action in Ireland.
The march took place on February 13 in front of the Dáil. The children made fantastic signs to bring to the protest. From the moment we left the school grounds the children did an amazing job of raising awareness. Duncan Stewart attended the protest and spoke to the children about the significance of their participation. Eamon Ryan, Catherine Martin, Senator Grace O’Sullivan and Ciarán Cuffe all of the Green Party were also there and expressed how impressed they were with the children and the importance of youth activism. We were so very proud of the children.
We really enjoyed taking part in Wellness Week this week in 5th class. We kicked it off with a breakfast morning on Monday which was great fun. We chatted about our weekends while eating a healthy breakfast together – with one or two nice treats! We had some really great talks throughout the week – Claire spoke to us about essential oils and positive affirmations, Geraldine and Liz did mindfulness sessions with us and we had yoga with Jen. The children tried to do one thing (non screen related) for wellness after school too and there were some lovely experiences including baking, running, head massages and horse riding.
This week First Class were describing how houses and homes can be different, before drawing and labeling pictures of our own homes.
In our table groups, we then had to work together to build houses out of Lego. We were given a brief of what our houses must include (a door, windows, 2 storeys and a roof). At first, this seemed like a very challenging task but the amazing architects, brilliant builders, perfect problem-solvers and enthusiastic engineers of First Class powered through and every single group successfully completed the brief.
To celebrate Chinese New Year last week, the children in 1st class had great fun learning all about China. We read the story of the Chinese zodiac animals and discovered in which year we were born. Some of the children were born in the Year of the Rabbit, others were born in the Year of the Tiger or the Dragon!
For SESE, the children carried out some stations activities based on the topic of China. They played a fact matching activity game, they tried the “Chopstick Challenge”, they completed a fact file on the country of China and they also attempted to build the Great Wall of China out of Lego!
During Art class the children made some Chinese style fans using paper plates, lollipop sticks and paint. They turned out fantastic! We also made some paper lanterns to decorate the hallway.
Happy Chinese New Year!
We have been learning about weight over the past two weeks. Today we got to use the balances ourselves in groups. We took two objects at a time. We then used our hands as balances to estimate which object was heavier. After that, we put the objects on to the balances to check our estimates. It was interesting to see if our estimates were correct. We learned that sometimes, while an object can be smaller than another, it is still the heavier one.
1st class have been very active in Maths class this week! We have been learning about length, width and height. We have been making predictions and then measuring various items around the classroom. We used non-standard units of measurement such as cubes, links, hand spans and strides. Today we tried measuring with a standard unit of measurement, the metre! We used a piece of string, which was exactly one metre long, to measure the doors, windows, desks and even the width of the entire classroom!
First Class were learning all about air and wind. We learned about the history of windmills, what they were used for and also about modern day wind turbines.
We discussed the pros and cons of windy weather and made posters to display this information. Some of the pros the children came up with were that wind is good for flying kites, drying clothes on the line and wind surfing. Some of the cons included damage to trees and rough weather at sea.
We investigated the force of air in Science class by testing a range of materials to see which could be moved by blowing at them. Some objects were easy to move and others, although we huffed and we puffed, just would not budge! Some items, such as a battery, were easier to move on their side rather than standing up.
Next we made some origami paper boats and had races across a basin of water. Some children found it easier to blow the air without a straw and others preferred the straw. Finally we had great fun, playing a game of air football across the tables!
During January in Junior Infants we have had so much fun with toys. From our toy museum to building toys during Aistear. Here we are hard at work designing and making toys! We are particularly proud of the puppets we made as they have arms, legs and heads that can move!
Senior Infants have been doing lots of activities around the theme of ‘food’. We have been discussing the different kinds of foods, our likes and dislikes and how food is important for giving us energy and keeping us healthy.
For art, we used potatoes for printing. We used our imaginations to create flowers, bugs and even monsters!
In Aistear, children built restaurants using waffle blocks and lego. We also had an art station, where the children used clay to make pinch pots. Our very popular role-play area returned again, this time as a restaurant!
We also did some apple tasting. We tried different kinds of apples like Bramley, Gala and Pink Lady and discussed the difference in taste. Pink Lady was the most popular!
Last week, we were exploring and experimenting with pattern in maths, art, music and almost every other subject you can think of! We realised we are surrounded by different patterns so our pattern-making skills were Level: Expert! We made patterns in a variety of ways, including Lego, buttons, shapes, colours and cubes. We even created a grid of 28 different patterns on paper using oil pastels. We then painted each pattern grid with watercolours but the clever oil pastel was able to resist the paint, resulting in these fabulous masterpieces.
From the 21st to 25th of January, we organised a ‘Wellness Week’ in school. During this week, all classes made an extra effort to include activities which promote positive mental health and well-being. These activities included daily meditation, nature walks, mindful eating, mindful colouring and lots of discussions about our emotions and how to deal with them.
Jen, one of our support teachers, has just completed a course in children’s yoga and kindly offered to take each class for a yoga session. This was a huge hit with all the children.
We also had lots of parent volunteers who came to give talks on the areas of wellness that they specialise in.
Our first visit was from Claire, who works with essential oils and teaches people how to use them to support their emotional and physical health. Geraldine is in her 2nd year of Masters at UCD, studying Mindfulness Based Interventions, at the School of Psychology and she came in to do a ‘Mindfullness’ talk with both the senior classes and the junior classes.
Sally is a nutritionist and she came in to talk to some of the classes about the importance of food for keeping us healthy and giving us energy.
Michal has been practising Tibetan Buddhism for last 13 years and he came in to share his knowledge on the benefits of meditation.
Sara is a psychologist and she came in to talk to the junior and seniors infants about worries and how to deal with them.
And finally, Mischa and Caroline visited 2nd class to work on a project called ‘Song of our School’. This project included a walk around school in which the children were encouraged to stop and listen to all the sounds around them. They are now in the process of using these sounds to come up with a unique composition.
Last Friday, we each brought in one of our favourite soft toys. We displayed them like they were in a museum and children from the older classes came to see them. We told them about our toys and they asked us questions. It was really great to do an activity with the older children and our teachers were really proud of what good museum guides we were!
In December, our student council organised and ran a very successful bake sale. The council voted to share 45% of the money raised with the Laura Lynn foundation. One of our teachers volunteers with them, and after hearing this, our fifth class representatives suggested we donate the money to them. LauraLynn is a children’s hospice, and do some amazing work to help support children who are unfortunately very ill.
You can find out more information on the amazing work that LauraLynn do by clicking here : https://lauralynn.ie/
Earlier this week, three representatives from our Student Council visited Laura Lynn to present them with our donation. They were extremely grateful and told us that they could not keep doing the work they do without the generosity of people like our school community.
Senior Infants finished off a great first term in school with a disco in the hall. We loved dancing along to all our favourite songs and had so much fun. Check out our moves!
This December the Senior Infants have had the joy of becoming Arctic explorers and going on an expedition to the Arctic. The boys and girls been learning all about Arctic traditions and animals. They boys and girls have been looking at the many ways people and animals have had to adapt to survive in the Arctic.
Some of the traditions they enjoyed learning about were throat singing and ice fishing. They boys and girls agreed that they would enjoy building snowmen if they were in the Arctic. They thoroughly enjoyed learning all about caribou, lemming, huskies, polar bears, seals and snowy owls.
We also introduced a sensory box, full of sago seeds which looked like snow. The children loved the feel of the beans. They constructed Inuit villages in the sensory box and played with the Arctic animal figures. They also enjoyed building Igloo’s out of Lego and cubes.
Thank you to everyone who send in books and toys to help our exploration of the Arctic.
What a way to mark the end of our first term of Primary School in Ballinteer Educate Together! We had great fun singing and dancing at our disco in Tamasine’s room. We hope you enjoy the pictures.
We wish you all a lovely winter holiday and look forward to seeing you in 2019!
Michelle and Tamasine
Thank you to all for families for donating so generously to the December Drive for Focus Ireland. Over twenty boxes of useful items were donated for families experiencing homelessness this winter. Thank you to Lisa (Rory’s mum) for squeezing this all in to your car for the trip to Focus Ireland!
During December Ballinteer Educate Together would like to support the work of Focus Ireland. We will be asking for donations of useful new items from each class that the school will then donate to Focus Ireland to support families experiencing homelessness in Ireland this winter.
At this time of year, Focus Ireland is also looking for donations of vouchers for supermarkets and toy shops. This is so that families living in emergency accommodation can buy their own toys, gifts and clothes for their children. By doing this it empowers families to make decisions for themselves and gives them choice.
The children will be learning about the themes of homes and homelessness in their Ethical Education lessons. Fifth Class will lead our December assembly to share all that they have learned.
Children can leave all donations in the box in their classroom.
This year, for Science Week (November 11th -18th), the whole school decided to focus on the theme of space. The children loved learning about night and day, the planets, the life of an astronaut and much more. We read lots of stories which tie in with this theme like ‘Man on the Moon’ and ‘Alien’s Love Underpants’. The children also brought in lots of space fact books for us to read. We also did lots of fun ‘space’ writing activities like ’10 things I would bring to space’ and ‘My Alien Poem’.
Our ‘Space’ themed Aistear was so much fun. Our role play area was the International Space Station. The children loved monitoring space for asteroids and exploring the moon.