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It is only the end of our first month and we have already been up to so much! Not only have we all become great friends (me included!!) but we have been catching up on all of the fun things we got up to over the summer. After such an uncertain last year, it has been wonderful to be surrounded by friends once again, playing and learning as all should be. We have rediscovered our own beauty with self-portraits, hung up in the corridor for all of the world to see! We’ve made the most of our lovely Finsbury park with games and stations during PE. We have explored Irish myths and legends with The Children of Lir and the magical tale of those poor children who were turned into swans. And that’s only to start!!
We had the great privilege of a Nature Writing Workshop with Shane Casey, hosted by Unesco in which we wrote nature stories about badgers, hedgehogs, ducks and hares, oh my! Our imaginations really spilled onto the page for that one but still, we long for when an author can really and truly come in to visit!
We each chose our own passion project, whatever we liked! Some chose holidays and summer memories, some decided that animals were their favourite thing, others created objects and scenes of wonder for us to marvel at! We heard about everything from the history of fashion to football. We even had a volcanic eruption to enjoy! We worked so hard on these projects at home and being able to share them with our classmates made the dedication and work all the more sweet!
Another excellent month is sure to come, with plenty of fun, learning and new discoveries along the way!
(Photos to follow!)
Our classrooms and corridors came alive again this September.
10 familiar songs from our whole school singing assemblies are waiting. We would love to see your videos of you and your family joining in with some of our school songs. If you have a favourite Ballinteer Educate Together song that you would like to hear, please send us your requests : )
Here is a sample of some impressive work being submitted online in 4th Class. The objective was to find an animal and investigate a unique feature or skill that it has.
There’s some very interesting reading here about different animals including Pandas, Puppies, the Lyrebird, Sea Otters, the Vampire Squid and the Mozambique Spitting Cobra!
Also in here is a snap of Orest’s reaction to the music piece Rhapsody in Blue as well as Rijin’s prize winning Art Competition bicycle! Some of the projects can be downloaded at the bottom.
We are all learning how to adapt to this new mode of learning and we will hopefully pick up some useful skills along the way! This week some children were practising their typing skills as well as learning how to use software such as Word and Powerpoint.
4th Class are well in to their duathlon training now and this week it was cycling proficiency and bike handling. The children were navigating obstacle courses and practising their cycling skills whilst cycling close to others. Gary from Triathlon Ireland is impressed with the children’s listening skills. We’d like to thanks the parents for their support in getting the bikes to school. It really makes a difference as the more bikes we have the more time each child gets to practise. Thanks also to those who shared their bikes!
Recently some children from 4th Class took a trip to ‘The Good Neighbour’. It’s a shop down the road ner Dundrum Post Office that specialises in selling produce to customers who bring their own reusable containers. It was enlightening to realise how many products are available to purchase without the need for extra packaging. It does not mean that the produce costs more either, in fact it’s cheaper! Our purchases involved us estimating and using weighing scales as well as counting money. A big thank you to Jess from The Good Neighbour and we wish her all the best with her new buisiness. It’s a great way for us to help reduce our production of C02.
Before the Mid-Term break, 4th class studied the works of Post-Pop Art artist, Burton Morris. We loved the bright colours he uses and how the images seem to pop out of the page at you. A characteristic common to many of Morris’ pieces is the black spikes around the edges of his paintings.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we created impressive collage heart posters, in the style of Burton Morris’ iconic ‘I Love You’ collection. Individually, they looked lovely but altogether they were super striking!
As a response to some lessons we’ve been having at school about Climate Change, Lola from 4th wrote an impressive poem. It describes the current situation and more importantly gives us some ideas of what we can do to make a positive change. We have debated Reducing, Reusing and Recycling as approaches to help change Global Warming and we have decided that……..”Reducing our desire to have more stuff than we need is a very good thing to do”!
4th, 5th and 6th Classes have created their own books, as part of the Write-A-Book Project, organised by Blackrock Education Centre. This annual event celebrates the talented writers in our school and gives the children the opportunity to experience the writing of children in other primary schools in Dublin. It is a fantastically inspiring event and all children have thoroughly enjoyed the process and have learned a great deal along the way!
Kindness Week is in full swing at school. The children have been sharing their experiences of practising acts of kindess daily. They’re also enjoying the opportunity to do some things they might not have been able to do if they had their regular homework. According to them they’ve been playing together more, spending more time with parents, playing with pets more, spending more time outside and practising their hobbies! During the day we have been looking at some inspiring videos, learning kindness skills, thinking about the impact of kind acts and discussing positive messages about kindness.
One statement from a student in 4th Class was that ‘Kindness is like a good disease’!
In response to the Kindness Boomerang idea, Lily and Sophie from 4th made their own Kindness Boomerang Video! http://tiny.cc/ballinteer
We went to Airfield on a self-guided walk and saw the Jersey cows producing milk. The milk came out of the cows udders. There are two ways of milking, by hand or by machine. Sophie and Seán
The fact that there were 24 hens in the small space amazed us and we thought it was cool that the colour of their ears is the same as the eggs that they lay. Liam and Orest
Near the walled gardens we saw a yew tree. Yew trees have poisonous leaves if eaten raw but can be made into medicine that treats cancer. Lily and Alex
We were able to see how the gardeners make rhubarb taste sweeter and grow longer. It is done by the Airfield farmers, it’s called Rhubarb Forcing. They put a special black cover over it. It works because the rhubarb grows towards the light at the top. Rían and Stefan
In Airfield, we also saw the huge Sequoia (Giant Redwood) tree. The tree was humongous, in fact it is the biggest tree in Airfield. It is the biggest species of tree in the world. Zach, Jacob, Finn and Jason
On the trip to Airfield we tasted fresh milk from the cows. It was delicious, creamy and had bits of fat in it. It had been pasteurised before we tasted it which means that it had been heated and cooled quickly to kill some of the bacteria. Conan and Mindaugas
The trip to Airfield included going on a silent nature walk. We walked over a wooden bridge going across a pond. We stopped in the middle of the bridge and closed our eyes to listen to nature’s sounds other than the traffic and noise in the distance. Divisha, Eva and Lola
We saw tropical plants under a piece of plastic which kept the heat in. There were different sized plants, some were cactii. Patrick and Shane
Some of the animals on our trip today were young. We saw piglets resting, calves playing and we also saw many fully grown animals such as goats, sheep, pigs, chickens and cows. We had lots of fun in Airfield. Freya and Rijin
There were some brussel sprouts growing. They grow on a tall green plant with a lettuce shaped top. On the stem of the plant, there were little green brussel sprouts. Lola, Eva, Divisha
Near the end of a lovely walk we got to play in a playground. We all went on the zipline. The animals and farms were beautiful and we all had a great time. Anna and Katie
We have been learning about food (bia) in Irish recently and instead of simply reading a recipe (oideas) on how to make fresh fruit salad (sailéad Torthaí úra), what better way to learn our new words (ár bhfocail nua) but following the recipe and making our own fruit salad! We worked together to wash (nigh), cut (gearr) and mix (measc) apples (úlla), bananas (bananaí), pears (piorraí), oranges (oráistí) and grapes (caora finiúna). Béile blasta a bhí ann!
Some of 4th Class visited the European Headquarters of Facebook a few weeks ago. This was organised by Susan, an aunt of Alex in 4th and Dougie in 5th. The journey to the city centre and swapping trams on the Luas was different than a regular school day! We walked across the Liffey noting historical sites and buildings and then we arrived at the headquarters which seemed like a very secure building, more like an airport! We saw what the inside of a technology company looks like for the employees and it seemed like the staff enjoy all of the perks that the job comes with. We also learned about the very high number of active users of Facebook there are in the world which is approximately 2.5 billion. That means that one third of the worlds population log on to Facebook most days. It led to interesting discussions!
Aongus’ 4th Class were lucky enough to visit the UCD Science Department last week as part of the college’s outreach programme. The children got a tour of the UCD campus getting to see in to lecture halls, tutorial rooms and the different types of laboratories there. After the tour the children took part in a lecture especially prepared for them about ‘The Eye’. We got to do different experiments where we were trying to find our blind spot and find out some quirky features of our eyes. Interestingly, the staff at the college use Zebra Fish to find out more about human eyes. Because of that the children experienced working with pipettes and petri dishes to move around the tiny Zebra Fish. They also got to see close-up images of tiny shrimp through a microscope. We would like to thank Alex’s mother Imelda for helping to organise this trip.
During Science week and in the week after it, the children in 4th Class had lots of opportunities to learn through science and technology. One of those opportunities was when both classes took a trip to the Mill Theatre to take part in a Bricks4Kidz workshop during which all enjoyed making and adapting robots. Here are some photos from that trip.
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.
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.
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.
Today in 4th Class we had a very informative presentation from Swara about the Hindu and Indian festival of Diwali. Swara described the five days of celebration in great detail and she was a very confident speaker as she presented. The class then got to ask questions about the The Festival of Light and colour in a diva.
4th Class were very lucky this week when they each got to learn about and extract the DNA of a banana! 8 scientists from Cell Explorers, a UCD organised initiative, visited the classrooms and turned them into a Science Lab for the day. The children used pipettes, test tubes, ethanol and liquid detergent to extract the DNA using a very specific scientific method aided by the volunteers. A very enjoyable science session was had and a big thanks to Aoife who organised this visit!
Today, some of the 4th Class students were lucky enough to take part in a Futsal tournament organised by the Football Association of Ireland. Our students were commended for their sporting behaviour on the field and and they definitely had a lot of fun! Thanks to our support teacher Nathalie and our volunteer Brian for helping making the day happen.
An organisation called the Dublin Simon Community got in touch with 4th Class to ask if they would help fundraise for them on the summer solstice, the 21st of June. They help homeless people access services they need in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Meath. They picked the 21st of June because it is the longest day of the year and a day that homeless people can find difficult.
Simon gave us some sunglasses to sell. It cost Simon €2 to make each pair so if we sold them for more than that, Simon would get that profit. We thought about it and decided together to sell them for €3.99 each. So the 4th Class students went to the different classes to market the glasses and explain when they would be sold. Maggie from 4th Class got the idea that on the summer solstice we could all wear yellow because of the glasses and the solstice. We sold the glasses in all of the different classrooms and on the 21st of June nearly the whole school wore yellow and the glasses. All in all it was a great and kind thing to do.
A group of parents who organised the religion classes in our school decided to donate €140 to our collection. We’d like to say a big thank you to them!
In total we raised €1210, so after the cost of making the sunglasses is taken out, Dublin Simon will have €730 to put to good use with homeless people.
Thanks to everyone who helped and supported us!
Mariam, Georgia and Aongus
During 4th Class Math / Art they learned a little more about symmetry by doing symmetrical art. Aongus, their teacher took a photo of each student’s face and then they cut that photo in half. After that they stuck their faces on to coloured card and drew the other side. All in all, it was a very fun Maths lesson and they learned a lot about symmetry along the way.
Joseph and Julia
We were all super excited to meet an amazing cartoonist at Dundrum library. He taught us how to draw amazing funny cartoons like dogs, unicorns, zombies and much more. We all really enjoyed our super fun visit, and loved all the funny pictures. Aiden Courtney was the name of the brilliant cartoonist, he makes comics with lots of other people aswell. He was very funny and we found him super interesting. We loved the amazing comic-book workshop and we hope to meet him again.
Aitana and Aimee
On Friday the 16th of March Ballinteer Educate Together school had a school Céilí Mór to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge and St. Patrick’s Day. The first acts from Fourth Class were three musicians, Carla who played the flute, Kian who played the Violin and Joseph who played the banjo. Then 4th Class sand two Irish songs called ‘Trasna na donnta’ and Óró mo bháidín. After that, 3rd and 4th danced the Siege of Ennis. Some girls from Laura’s class Second Class did some Irish Dancing which was very impressive!! After that, 3rd Class sang the cup song as Gaeilge! They had a great time watching all of the performances.
Ella and Carla
During Engineer’s week, 4th Class had two outstanding engineers come to their class. Their names were Carl and Alan. Alan is a Civil Engineer and Carl is a Chemical Engineer. They told us what engineers do and that if we didn’t have engineers, we wouldn’t have all the high-tech things that we have today. Carl and Alan showed us very interesting videos about engineers and how they learn from their mistakes everyday. They brought over lollipop sticks and blu-tak for us to make small bridges that could hold a coca-cola bottle, it was so much fun. All and all 4th Class had an excellent time with the engineers.
Hailey and Maia
For 2 Wednesdays, 4th Class did Irish Dancing with their teachers Sarah and Aongus. The dances they did were “Shoe the Donkey” and “The Siege of Ennis”. Then 4th Class decided to do only “The Siege of Ennis” with 3rd Class and Junior Infants too. 1st Class and 2nd Class did “Shoe the Donkey. Second Class also did ‘The walls of Limerick’. There was one practise with 3rd before the show. Everybody did brilliantly!
Mark and Yunseo
Just before the Winter holidays our school got a surprise visit from two Dublin hurling team players who brought with them none other than the Sam Maguire cup! All of the classes sang a song such as Molly Malone, Everywhere we go and many more. The classes got to do a ‘Q and A’ with the hurling players. After that, they got to take pictures with the Sam Maguire cup. Overall it was a fun day for all to remember.
During January and February, Fourth Class decided to spread the message about some things that need to change on Earth. With the help of an artist, Caroline Lynch, the class made some outstanding posters. The posters showed some world dilemmas such as plastic pollution, global warming and the use of palm oil, in colourful detail. By seeing these posters it should change others’ minds on what they use and do. By writing this blog post, it will spread more awareness on these problems. Fourth class worked hard to create these posters, and hope they will make their own changes to the world.
Alex and Kuba
This term some classes had a visit from Gordon Cooke (Hayden’s Dad). They learned that he is a lecturer and researcher at the IT in Tallaght in Biological Science. He talked to them about bacteria and told them what type is good and what type is bad. He also told them that medicine can be bad if you don’t use it responsibly. He also said that medicine can sometimes do the wrong job and kill bacteria that the body needs. Another thing he mentioned was how important it is to wash your hands or you could get sick. Overall it was a very good visit and he knew a lot of information.
Mariam and Erica
K’Nex Masters at work
We have been very busy in school this week constructing with our K’NEX. We have decided to explore the world of Civil Engineering and try our hand at building structures for specific purposes.
First of all we spent some time drawing up the blue print and planning the building we wanted to build. We then had a class discussion about the materials we could use. This team chat was great as we could see everyone’s ideas and figure out what would work best.
We then got down to the construction. Some of the children had experience playing K’NEX at home, and they gave us some advice. They knew all the K’NEX tricks and were able to share their advice with the group. They became the project leaders and advisers.
For every structure we started with a foundation and decided that the most stable shapes were squares and rectangles. They were also the easiest to build.
For the roof we decided that a triangle would be a good shape to help the rain and snow flow off the roof. We learned that a triangle is the strongest shape for construction, from building our bridges.
We had so much fun using the K’NEX and can’t wait to use them again.
Edible Engineering Experiment
This week in science we were set the task of working as an engineer to build a bridge out of food. Before we undertook the project we came together as a project team and discussed the work of an engineer. We then look looked at the most important infrastructures in our immediate environment for our build.
The planning stage:
Fortunately for us, our school is located beside the Luas Bridge in Dundrum. From looking at this incredible bridge we studied the structures and shapes that we saw and deduced that triangular shapes are important when building a bridge.
Step 2. Construction
We then looked at some bridges that we had seen on our travels and holidays and we came up with some more examples of bridges Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco and the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
When building the bridges using spaghetti and marshmallows, we realized that sometimes we need to make the materials we are using smaller or bigger to suit the build. We had to half some of the spaghetti and use twice as many marshmallows to make the structure secure.
We concluded that if our structure were to stand string for a long period of time we would have to reinforce the spaghetti and use twice as many spaghetti sticks to make the bridge hold. This was a really fun experiment and we learned that it is sometimes hard to work in a team but when we listen to each other the outcome can be very successful.
Our school has started a Student Council and we have elected two members to it. We did proportional representation (PR) voting, the type of voting used in Ireland. We had sixteen candidates, we are very proud of them and they are proud of themselves. Everyone had to make their own speech and read it out in front of the class. Even if we didn’t win, we still had great fun!
The whole class was recently working to make 9 different science videos. We were working in groups of 2 or 3. Each group made brilliant and interesting science videos to enter the competition organised by the National University of Ireland in Galway. The competition is called ReelLIFE SCIENCE. There were 1500 participants in the whole country and we all got certificates for entering. It was great fun, interesting and scientific. The videos can be viewed here.
Our class has had visits from Dónal of Ballinteer St. John’s Gaelic Football Club. Every Wednesday morning at 9am we would go outside to play gaelic. We did mini-matches and passing to improve our skills and to learn how to play the game. We also played some fun games like stuck in the mud, racing and grab a bib! We did it for six weeks and it was awesome! Our class would like to thank Dónal for giving us gaelic lessons.
Daniel and Paddy
On the 24th of October were all visited by Gardaí from Dundrum. Their names were Ivan and Linda. They taught us about Halloween safety. They showed some awesome gadgets. They also told us how important it is to stay away from fireworks. We also got to hold their handcuffs, they felt so cool.
They told us about the crimes they solved (they were awesome). They also showed us their badges. They had amazing uniforms and they told us about the numbers on their uniforms. They told us how they use their gadgets and that amazing stuff.
We saw their Garda car on the way out of school. We feel grateful for them coming over. We hope to see them again. We had a BLAST!
On Monday the 8th and Friday the 13th of October, 4th Class were lucky enough to meet Catherine Martin TD and Senator Neale Richmond. Catherine and Neale talked about their jobs and the budget. Neale talked about being a Senator in the Senate and Catherine talked about being a TD in the Dáil. They also talked to us about how people get elected to the Government. We found out that Neale has been elected twice. All of 4th class were very happy after their visits.
Maggie (with editing from Kuba)