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29 March 2012

Skip hop comes to Skerries Educate Together!

The sun shone when Mark from Skip Hop came to school on Tuesday 27th March!

A big thank you to the Parents Association for the money they raised….as the skipping workshop was enjoyed by all students.  Sheila and Claire organised the day.

All classes did  a skipping workshop with Mark, and then there was a demonstration in the afternoon where some of the students showed off their new skills.

28 March 2012

Easter Holiday Arrangements

School closes on Friday 30th of March at 11.40am for the Easter Holidays. School reopens on Monday 16th of April at 8.30am. Hope everyone has a nice break.

16 March 2012

Bank Holiday Arrangements

We are finishing at the normal time today and school will re-open on Wednesday 21st of March at 8.30am. Hope the rain stops for the mad scientists in the Skerries parade tomorrow!  Have a nice weekend.

16 March 2012

Skip Hop Workshop 16th March 2012

We had to postpone the Skiphop workshop today due to the inclement weather. The surface was too slippy to continue skipping. Even Emily from Skerries News got a little wet taking photos of the Junior and Senior Infants skipping.  The good news is that Skiphop will be back with us on Tuesday 27th March and hopefully the weather will have improved!

16 March 2012

Important News about our New School Building

Children, Parents and Friends,

We are delighted to confirm that the second phase of our school building will commence early in the new year. This was announced by the minister recently under the school building programme. We’re very excited about this and are very happy if people wish to view the plans of the new building. These are posted on the lift door in the downstairs corridor. All are welcome.  Ar Fheabhas! Fantastic! Magnifique!

22 February 2012

One Book! One Community!

 

by David Almond

On Wednesday, 22nd February, 5th Class embarked on a reading project in conjunction with other local schools – Bracken Educate Together NS, Balbriggan Educate Together NS, St. Teresa’s NS, and Balbriggan Community College.

5th class in each primary school and a group of 1st Year students from Balbriggan Community College will be reading a book called Skellig by David Almond over a period of 5 weeks and sharing their experiences and opinions of the book. They will also be doing some literacy and art projects based on the book such as debates, role play and creation of character profiles to mention but a few. Students from all the schools will come together to work on small joint projects. The art projects will be on display in Balbriggan Library over the Spring holidays. The children will be expected to read some of the book each day either in class or at home.

A major aspect of this project will be the use of a ‘One Book’ blog, where the children will have the opportunity to come together online to individually share their own ideas about the book. We encourage all the children to leave a comment….and parents too if you start to read the book! This blog will be mediated by one teacher from the participating schools and all posts will be approved by them before being posted to ensure the safety of the children. The link to the blog is http://balbrigganonebook.wordpress.com

The children will be attending a screening of Skellig, the film, in Balbriggan Library during the last week before the Spring holidays. This will give them a chance to see the film adaptation of the book and it will be a great way to finish off the project.

As part of this project we would like to invite parents to share in this reading experience. Parents can help their children read the book. This will give parents and children an opportunity to discuss the book and share opinions. Parents can add comments to the online blog and they will be invited to come together with the children at the end of the project to watch the film adaptation of the book. We are encouraging all parents to show an interest in their children’s reading at home and to ask them questions about the book. If any parents would like a copy for themselves please let us know.

This is an exciting venture for all schools involved and we hope it helps garner a sense of community and friendship amongst the schools whilst, most importantly, encouraging children to engage with books and the joy of reading and to share that experience with their parents.

We hope everyone enjoys reading this book – children, parents and teachers! It promises to be a great few weeks….so what are you waiting for….get reading!!!

                                                                   


20 February 2012

Welcome to the Principal’s Page

Hi. My name is Tomás. Welcome to the Principal’s page of our school website. I hope you enjoy the content available throughout the site and that it gives you a good idea as to what our school is about. As with any other school in Ireland it falls to us at Skerries  Educate Together to do our very best to create a warm, stimulating learning environment for the children who come to our school. This means that we teach all the subjects on the Irish Primary School curriculum as well as the Learn Together Ethics Programme particular to Educate Together schools. If you wish you can learn more about this programme on other pages of our website.

For the moment let me assure you that we are committed to doing our very best for the wonderful children who attend our school. If you are interested in enrolling a child with us you may do so through this website. If you would like to come and see us and just look around you are most welcome to do that also  – just make an appointment with our secretary, Sharon. Fáilte roimh cách. We look forward to meeting you.

20 February 2012

Our Background and Vision

For anybody who may be curious about our school and how it sees itself I would like to provide some backround information and some thoughts on how we aspire to carry out the important task of nurturing a thriving community of learners.

The first Educate Together schools were set up in the mid to late 1970’s. They were set up by a movement of parents who wished to have a different model of primary school available for their children. It was important that the child was considered to be at the centre of all activity based at the school. This ranged from decision making about how the school should be run to the very style of teaching to be encouraged within individual classrooms. It was also important to these parents that boys and girls be educated together.(At that time there weren’t that many co-educational schools). Being from  diverse faith backgrounds, or perhaps from a family which didn’t subscribe to any particular faith at all was seen as an issue which had not, until then, been fully understood and catered for within primary education in Ireland. It was important to these parents that children of all belief systems and none should have the opportunity to learn in the same school setting. It was also important that no specific religion or belief system should be treated as the only possible valid  perspective through which to view and interpret life and it’s meaning.

The exchange of ideas and perspectives on the type of school these parents would like for their children lead to the founding of the first Educate Together type schools. As a result of  discussions and explorations that took place on the journey towards setting up such schools a strong sensitivity and understanding of diversity evolved. This also lead to a commitment to equality which parents wished to be carried through to their own children’s learning. A final cornerstone of the Educate Together movement was the experience of using democratic methods of developing policy and guiding decision making. So,  democracy itself was identified as an important social tool to use and guide us as we both make decisions as well as  seek to encourage children  to engage with and partcipate in society.

How does that all influence how we teach and respond to the children at our school? I suppose that at first I need to say that the education of each child is seen as a collaborative venture. It involves parents, teachers and the children themselves interacting with each other in a way that supports the child to grow as a learner. For this to be real we need to focus on a number of things which I would regard as important. It is important that all members of the school community feel valued and involved in the task of supporting children to develop their own gifts and talents and grow in their understanding of the world about them. It is also important that we are open and receptive to children and parents when they come to our school. It is important that we connect with parents and children – that we greet them in a positive cheerful manner and listen to their concerns when they arise. It is important that we give useful relevant  feedback to parents and to children on how they are getting along as learners. It is also important that we enlist the support of parents in various learning opportunities we can provide to children such as tours, helping out with literacy or numeracy lessons and of course art! As teachers it is also important that we are open to each other as colleagues so that we share expertise and support and encourage each other in providing interesting, stimulating and relevant lessons to the children under our care. At the heart of all our interaction with each other is the need to communicate respect for each other, particularly if we disagree over something. Perhaps the most valuable lesson we can provide to our children is to witness differences of views or perspectives being resolved through genuine respectful dialogue.

And so, it is my hope that we have developed so far as a dynamic learning community committed to sharing views and to each others growth as learners. This could be learning as a child within the school, or, as a teacher  developing their own professional skillls, or, as a parent learning new ways to support and encourage their own child’s development.

Looking forward into the future I would see our school as a place where children from all backgrounds, with differing religious beliefs or with no specific religious belief, with special educational needs and also without such needs, feel welcome and excited about coming to our school to learn. I also see it as a place where parents themselves know that they are welcome and that their roles as primary educators of their children are respected and valued. I would like to see parents feeling comfortable to come forward with their own ideas and initiatives on how their children’s experience of school may be enriched and full of joy. I would like to see teachers feeling enthusiastic about their work  and fulfilled as a result of their efforts. I would like to see teachers’ interest in their professional development and their energy levels sustained and supported by the culture in which they find themselves working. I would like the school, within the wider community, to have a reputation for excellence with teaching and learning and for it to be known as a warm, inviting and dynamic place to visit or be part of.

I believe that the adults among us share a very special privelege – that is the privelege of bearing witness to the emergence of individual persons from  four year old infants to twelve or thirteen year old young people. Lets hope that together we provide a safe and vibrant place of learning for these important people and that we succeed in preparing them well for moving on to a new and fresh challenge – the next stage in their lives – secondary school.

14 February 2012

David’s Class Show and Tell!

David’s Senior Infants and First Class have been practicing doing Oral Reports. An Oral Report is when we give our audience important information. We need to remember to speak slowly and clearly. We also need to make sure that we make Eye Contact with the listener. Today, we brought in some of our favourite things to use for Oral Reporting!

06 February 2012

Friendship Day 2012

As part of our Learn Together /Ethical Education Programme our whole school celebrated Friendship Day on 3rd February this year.

After assembly the senior children buddied up with the infant children and all joined hands to form a  Human Friendship Bracelet outside in our school garden.  The whole school had learned the song ‘Friends Forever’ and the sound of over 150 children singing this song together was simply amazing.

We also planted a cherry blossom tree on the day to symbolise friendship.  Asked why a tree is a good symbol of friendship the children replied that it symbolises strength, nurturing, sharing, protection, blossoming and growth.

During the week the children participated in a ‘Friendship is…..’ art competition.  Their work is inspiring and thought provoking and shows how meaningful friendship is for the children of our school.  Each morning of the week leading up to Friendship Day some children got the opportunity to read their own friendship poems to the  whole school over the intercom.  A child also read out our friendship quote of the week ‘The only way to make a friend is to be one‘ .  Classes read many friendship stories and got involved in lots of friendship activities.

We have been learning all about human rights recently so we supported Amnesty International this year by selling friendship bracelets on Friendship Day.  This activity helped the children to become actively involved in helping Amnesty Intl to provide shelter for the street children of Guatemala.  We are very proud to say that we raised 400 euro.  Thanks to all parents and friends who supported us.

We would like to invite all parents and friends to come and admire the wonderful art work created by the children.  Well done everyone!

 

Friendship is……..

Human Friendship Bracelet

Friendship is sharing your skipping rope (Miranda, Senior Infants)

 

you gotta be a friend to make new friends

You gotta sing along with your best friends

You gotta have fun with your best friends

You have the world around you every time you smile at people

And they smile back!  (Adam, 1st Class)

 

Make new friends, keep the old,

One is silver and the other gold,

a circle is round, it has no end

that’s how long I will be your friend (Emily, 1st Class)

 

Friendship is about having fun, fun is friends and friends are the best thing in the world (Sam, 1st Class)

 

Friendship is when you have a friend that you can rely on. The best person who can cheer you up is your friend.  (Audrey 2nd Class)

 

Friendshp is fun, Friendship is caring,

It doesn’t matter if you are big or small

Or even if you and your friend are in a different class.

Without friends you would be lonely,

Smile, giggle, play if you have friendship,

Friendship is fun, Friendship is caring. (Madeleine, 2nd Class)

 

Good friends always stay until the end (Ava, 2nd Class)

 

Friendship is about being kind.

It is blue and pink

It tastes strong and sweet

It smells like flowers,

It  feels soft and fluffy

It sounds like peaceful music (Rob, 2nd Class)

 

Friendship gives you love and joy

Doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or boy

It’s Friendship – let’s work together! (Asha, 3rd Class)

 

Friendship is having someone to play with while you’re at school, or maybe feeling lonely.  A good friend will always be there for you if you are feeling sad. (Nova, 3rd Class)

 

Friendship is like a bird that flies in the air, knowing they are always there

Come over, then I’ll come over too.  When last did I play with you?

Friendship gets stronger every day like a flower in a day,

All I really want to say is that friendship is wonderful –

It makes you feel good. (Agnes, 4th Class)

 

I’ll always be beside you until the very end,

wiping all your tears away,

being your best friend.

I’ll smile when you smile, and feel the pain you feel,

and if you shed a single tear,

I promise I’ll cry too! (Evelina, 5th Class)