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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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
For sensory play we used play dough and lots of other materials like pipe cleaners, marbles and goggly eyes to make little aliens.
The children made super rockets, moon cars and space stations in using the junk art.
The children used their imaginations and the small world figures to explore space and all its’ wonders!
First Class had a busy day today learning lots about Science. First we learned some interesting facts about the solar system. We then work on some space themed problem solving in Maths class. Later we were invited by Lucy’s 5th Class to see a science demonstration, called “Elephants Toothpaste”! 5th Class students showed us that when you mix yeast, water, washing up liquid, food dye and hydrogen peroxide, they create a chemical reaction, that really does look like a giant toothpaste tube being squeezed out! After that we went back to our own class and created some art work to represent the solar system. The children used marbles to create an interesting effect on their planets. I will share some photos of the finished work later, as they are not quite completed yet!
A super day of science!
In Senior Infants, the theme for October has been ‘Houses and Homes’. The children have really enjoyed learning all about the rooms in a house, the different kinds of homes and the importance of families. Our Aistear was based around the ‘The Estate Agent’ and the children have had so much fun.
In the role-play area, the children have been taking it in turns to be an auctioneer at a property auction. They have also been working in an estate agent office, answering phone calls and helping the customers to find their dream homes.
In the construction area, the children have made some amazing properties, from boat houses to apartment blocks as high at the classroom ceiling!
For junk art, we have been working on bedroom dioramas. The children really used their imaginations to turn items like egg cartons into beds. We had a visit from Aoife’s 4th class to check out our brilliant work.
The introduction of a small world activity has been a huge hit. The children loved playing with the small figures in the toy houses. They loved to pretend that there was a birthday party happening in the houses or that a moody teenager was causing trouble!
For the past few weeks, students from First to Fifth Class have been on the campaign trail! We held elections in each class to vote in two representatives from each class to join this years student council. All of the students who participated must be commended and the school walls were filled with campaign posters alongside excellent ideas for improving our school!
On Friday , the newly elected representatives from each class met for the very first time, shared their ideas and decided among themselves what to prioritise. Already the student council will be writing a letter filled with ideas to the PTA, to the staff in our school on the yard committee and they also have a few pressing questions for our principal Orla!
Jessica and Muireann, the teacher facilitators, would like to take this opportunity to welcome the new student council and we can’t wait for an excellent year ahead!
We had a visit from a visual artist, Caroline Byrne who carried out a wonderful workshop entitled “Connection to Time and Place”. Caroline showed us how to create wonderful little characters out of natural items that can be gathered during autumn. She showed us how we could make little homes for the characters too. We used bees wax to stick pine cones, conkers, acorns, leaves and seeds together to create little elves, fairies and much more. It was amazing to see the children’s imaginations come alive with ideas! They had a great time and were very proud of their pieces of art! Many of the children plan to place the characters in their garden or window at home. Some children plan to place them into the ground in the hope that one day a tree might grow from their seed artwork!
Senior Infants have just started Aistear and we are having so much fun. Our Aistear activities this month are based around ‘The Optician’ and include; an optician role-play area, junk art, construction and play dough.
The Optician role play area is a firm favourite with the children and we are super at taking it in turns to be a customer, a receptionist and an optician. We have had costumers coming to the optician looking for prescription sunglasses, eye drops for eye infections and eye tests. We even had a customer come in with two lazy eyes!
We have loved getting creative with the junk art and we have made really cool eye machines. Some dispense glasses when you enter money, some are x-ray machines and others tell you which kind of glasses you need. Check out our junk art glasses and eye patches.
The children had the great idea to use the eye play dough mats as the x-ray scans and used play dough to show what was wrong with the eyes. Here are some eye scans showing water and sand in the eyes.
We also put on our hard hats and high-vis jackets and got to work building opticians offices, glasses, eye machines and even apartment blocks! We made one taller than Emer!
Mission: To see if we can make water to move from one location to another.
Our investigation of capillary action. Capillary action as we found out is how flowers move water from the ground beneath them up through their stems up into their petals and leaves. From our discussion on habitats we discovered that cacti must be really good at capillary action as there is not much water around them.
We used clear cups. paper towels, water and food colouring for this experiment. The best part is we could do this at home very easily as there are not a lot of materials needed.
We put the two glasses next to each other and filled both with the same amount of water. We then put a drop of different coloured food colouring into both. It is easier to see the water with the food colouring in it.
We then put the paper towel which was cut to an inch wide into both cups. We then put an empty cup in between the cups that were full with water.
What happened: After some time we saw the coloured water crept along the paper towels and pooled into the empty cup all by itself. We made the water walk.
This month, we have reintroduce the Playworks programme on the yard. Playworks is a form of structured play in which some children from 3rd and 4th class act as coaches and organise games for the other children to take part in. The games running at the moment are circle dodgeball, bandaid tag and hot potato. So far, the coaches are doing a fantastic job and the children are really enjoying it.
The mission: roll a marble from the top of the box to the bottom in the slowest time possible.
This week we were working as engineers looking at ways to slow things down. Traffic engineers use all kinds of ways of slowing down traffic. They have designed methods to encourage drivers to slow down and not drive too fast by setting up speed bumps and chicanes. Some measures make drivers slow down because they change the a the road looks- like planting trees along the sides of the road, or making the road narrower. We took all of this into consideration when building our marble runs.
Firstly like all good engineers we designed a plan before getting started. We looked at the materials we had to work with and organised how we would place them on the box to design the slowest run possible.
We drew our plans using all of the materials and placing them on the box to measure for size before sticking them down.
Next when were were happy that we had used all the materials correctly we stuck them down using double sided tape and blue tack.
Then we tested our first run. we wrote down the time it took to get the marble from the top to the bottom. This was the fun part but we noted that sometimes the marble got stuck so we had to move the track to ensure it flowed freely.
We then all came together and spoke about our designs and the time it took from the marble to run from the top to the bottom. When we heard the times we all set back to work again moving the materials to see if we could make our run slower before we retried the run.
We tried the run another two times and wrote down our times. It was a lot of fun testing the marble, but it was very hard to slow it down the second time.
We really loved this experiment and it was so much fun testing other peoples marble runs and seeing what people design using the same materials.
The winning design with the slowest time. Well done 🙂
As the school have moved location this year we decided to take advantage of this and go on a class walk around our local area. We looked at aerial images of the school on google maps in our class with our teachers and learned about Dundrum. We picked out some of the most obvious features like the road and the Luas and decided to study them as a class. We also looked at some old pictures of Dundrum and we compared our findings against the land features that exist today and we discovered that Dundrum has changed a lot. The Dudrum Shopping centre wasn’t always there and the Dudrum Luas Bridge wasn’t always there. Our teachers explained that the new Luas Bridge used to be a train station years go before the Luas existed.
As part of Engineers week we decided to investigate the Dundrum Luas Bridge. We watched this video in class and decided to see if we could find similar features in our local bridge.
Video on building Bridges:
We noticed that the Luas Bridge also had triangles as they are an important feature of a bridge and used for strength and stability.
We enjoy studying engineering in our local area and reading books about bridges.
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.
Trailing around School
This week in First Class we decided to take our Maths outdoors and it was loads of fun. We took our clipboards and sheets and went outside to gather the information we needed. We decided to measure how many steps we took from the front door of our school to the gate. We then counted the number of bars in the gate when we reached it.
It was difficult to count and walk at the same time so we had to concentrate very hard. It took us about 150 steps to reach the gate from the front door.
Group number two had to take a record of the number of cars at the front of the school and we wrote down all the registration numbers of the cars and the colour of each car. We discovered that the colour silver was very popular among the teachers in school. Our teacher said that was because it was easier to keep silver cars clean :).
We also had to count the number of windows at the front of our school. As there were lots of windows it took us a few goes to get it right. It was very interesting to note the difference in the window shape from our school building to the window shapes in the new school building where second and third class are.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Maths Trail around the school. It was lots of fun to get a chance to do some Maths outside.
For science this week we looked back into the past to see what science experiement people used years ago. We decided to make a catapult. We made an experiment with lollipop sticks and elastic bands. It was very simple and lots of fun. We realised we needed to reinforce the catapults to make them stronger. Reinforcements are very important for structures in all of our science experiements, to make sure our structures are strong and stable.
We now know that the triangle is one of the strongest shapes in the world, we learned this while undertaking our spaghetti bridge building experiment.
Catapults were first introduced in battles to destroy castles. We learned about elasticity and how it is stretchy and how rubber bands stretch very far. We also learned that if we stretch it very far and let it go it will hurt your fingers.
The best part about the catapult challenge was when we had a catapult race at the end and had to see which catapult could shoot the stick the furthest.
The Science bit:
Elasticity is the ability of an object or material to resume its normal shape after being stretched or compressed. We used a rubber band for the elasticity part of our experiment. When looking at catapults from years ago, we learned that big rubber bands would not be effective they had to use ropes instead. We decided to vary our experiement by using different numbers of rubber bands.
Here in Senior Infants we have settled in to our new classrooms and are really enjoying all the space that we have, especially when it’s time for Aistear!
This month we have been studying the weather, which seemed very appropriate after the events in October and our visit from storm Ophelia. During Aistear we have participated in many different activities.
…writing weather reports…
…designing weather-appropriate outfits…
…role-playing in the weather station…
…and using the water station to investigate floating and sinking. Some of us have even been carrying out weather experiments!
We here at Ballinteer ETNS were not happy to hear about the unfair treatment of the girls soccer team by the FAI. It made us angry and cross, so we put our heads together, and every child in our school wrote a letter to the head of the FAI.
We like to think our collective influence had some impact on the positive outcome!
In March, Junior Infants have been learning lots about people who help us. We were very lucky to have some of our parents come in to visit us and tell us about their jobs and how they help people. Our first visit was from Sarah, Nina’s mum. Sarah is a psychotherapist, who works with children. She told us about her job and how people come to her to talk about their feelings. We played some fun games too.
Next, we had a visit from Fiadh’s dad, Dave. Dave is a fire fighter. He explained all the different jobs that fire fighters have to do and gave us some fire safety information. Dave brought in lots of equipment to show the class and even let the children try on his helmet!
Today we had lots of fun in First Class. In the morning we were so excited to observe the frogspawn Zach brought in to school. We have been learning about frogs and it was very interesting to see real frogspawn. We read a book about the life cycle of a frog. During Art we made our own frogs from clay. We can’t wait to paint them next week!
We had a wonderful week last week for Seachtain na Gaeilge. We danced and sang songs and used our Irish whenever we could. We can say lots of words and phrases in Irish and enjoyed playing games like Deir Ó Grádaigh and Bróga Draíochta.
Lastly, we are very proud of our art work. We learned about Brazilian artist Romero Britto. He uses lots of geometric shapes and bright colours in his work. Our beautiful pictures were inspired by his work.
Last week Senior Infants went on our Autumn walk. We had a lot of fun on our adventure with Aisling, Ann and Críona. We saw the leaves turning gold, red and orange. We collected pine cones, acorns, conkers and leaves. We even saw a squirrel! We finished off our walk with a quick trip to the playground. It was a fantastic day!
Senior Infants had an egg hunt today! We heard rumors that something with a fluffy tail was hopping about outside, we also heard that this creature had dropped shiny oval objects around the playground! We had a prime suspect in mind – could it be the Easter Bunny? We had to investigate!
Imagine our delight when we saw our playground littered with shiny oval eggs! We went on an egg hunt, collecting them all into baskets. We counted them as they went in and there was exactly one for every child!
It wasn’t just eggs that we found…We found bunny shaped prints leading out of the gate….We found some white feathery fur …. Some people even say they saw a white fluffy tail disappearing over the fence as we walked in! Very curious!
Senior Infants have been exploring the Arctic (and the Emperor Penguins in the Antarctica) over the past moth. We have learnt all about the Inuits, the Arctic animals and the Arctic weather conditions during our Aistear play. We have made some beautiful igloos, fantastic penguins and essential exploring equipment during our play. Here is a snapshot of what we have been up to….
As last week was Math week, we had a big focus on numeracy in Senior Infants. Thanks to all the fundraising by the PA last year, we were able to buy new numeracy equipment which the children really enjoyed! Here are some of the construction activities we were working on last week;
We were also playing counting games using the Ready, Set, Go Math programme, and playing games with rules.
We also read a math book every day! We had a fantastic Math Week!