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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.
Throughout the month of October 5th class were learning all about Ancient Greece. As part of this they took part in a STEM challenge, the aim of which was to design and create either an Ancient Greek chariot or an Ancient Greek catapult. The children worked really hard designing and choosing the best materials. We put their finished products to the test to see which catapult could launch something the furthest and which chariot could actually travel along a flat surface. We had great fun!
Written by 5th class
On Tuesday we went to the W.B. Yeats Exhibition at The National Library of Ireland. We took the LUAS from Dundrum to Dawson Street.
When we arrived we were met by our tour guide Maeve. She told us a lot about W.B. Yeats and his family, for example we knew he had a brother called Jack but we learned that he also had two sisters called Susan and Elizabeth, or Lily and Lolly as they were better known. When he was in school he wasn’t very good at spelling and yet he became the first Irish man to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. We saw a trophy he won at school. He and his sister had a secret code language and we saw a letter he wrote using this secret code. He was part of a group interested in the occult called the Golden Dawn. In his last poem he wrote about where he wanted to be buried, Under Ben Bulben, although there are questions about whether it is really his body buried there. We saw a lock of his hair, it was a tradition to keep a lock of hair to remember someone. We also saw his spectacles. We saw his original handwritten poems.
5th Class are off to a great start this year. They have worked har d over the past number of weeks learning about the mountains, rivers and lakes of Ireland. They worked in pairs to create and present projects on a physical feature of Ireland, taking a trip to Dundrum Library and using books and iPads to gather interesting information and pictures to include in their projects. I was one proud teacher!