New GMGY Curriculum for 3rd to 6th Class

In Community National Schools we use the Goodness me, Goodness You! programme. Until this year this was developed as far as 2nd class. The curriculum has now been developed for children in 3rd to 6th class by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. The curriculum has four strands: Story We Are A Community National School Thinking Time Beliefs and Religions In the strand of story children learn to appreciate the art of story, drama, music and poetry as forms of expression. They will listen to stories from around Ireland and around the world that inspire them and make them think about how they feel and act. In the strand ‘We Are A Community National School’ children will learn about the values the schools promote, for example human rights, equality, citizenship, participation and appreciation of diversity. In the strand ‘Thinking Time’ children will engage with Philosophy for Children. Children are offered the opportunity to develop their own questions and discuss them with their peers. The teacher facilitates this discussion. Allowing children to engage in philosophical questioning has been proven to raise IQ and increase oracy skills. In the strand ‘Beliefs and Religions’ children learn about religions and beliefs that exist in our world. The teacher will choose a topic from the curriculum, for example ‘Celebration’, to explore with the class. The class will look at the history of celebration in Ireland and then explore celebrations that take place around the world, both religious celebrations and secular celebrations. At the end of the lesson the children are asked to bring home a family project. This project can be completed at...

Scoil Aonghusa C.N.S. pupils learn how living things grow

“There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere”. Isaac Asimov (Biochemist) Scoil Aonghusa C.N.S. received its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) award last year and is continuing to develop the science and maths curriculum in the school. Over the last few weeks 1st/2nd/3rd class pupils have been doing some project work, learning about how living things grow. Teacher Cora Nash led the project which involved studying plants. The children learned that people have been growing plants for thousands of years and that they can provide us with food, materials (wood, paper) and clothes.The children have been asking questions such as how do they themselves grow and what helps animals and flowers to grow. They decided to use an experiment to help them answer their question, this is easily done at home as well as in school. Their question: What do plants need to grow? Prediction: Seeds without water, correct temperature or light will not grow. Equipment needed:  5 rectangular plastic carton lids, 1 plastic carton, cotton wool, water, watercress seeds Method: Five sets of watercress seeds were placed in cotton wool on a carton lid. Trial 1 Control: Would seeds grow in ideal conditions? One set of seeds was placed in ideal growing conditions, with air, light, moisture and correct temperature (seeds were placed on cotton wool in a carton lid, watered and placed on a window sill). The students then investigated what effect each variable had by doing the following: Trial 2 Would seeds grow without air ( seeds were watered, placed in an airtight box and placed on the...

Scoil Aonghusa C.N.S’s Spring Visitor

Spring at last and all around the country farms are full of newly born lambs and calves. The pupils at Scoil Aonghusa were delighted to receive a visit from a 4 day old pet lamb which was brought in by one of the families at the school. All the children had the opportunity to feed the lamb his morning bottle and learn all about him. 1st/2nd/3rd class teacher Mrs Noreen O’Regan used the opportunity to teach the children about sheep farming and they discussed breeds of sheep, names of adult male (ram) and female (ewe), how and why they were farmed for wool, meat and milk and what they ate. The children then put their writing skills into practice and wrote an essay about sheep...

Visit from Author Pauline Devine

Children’s author Pauline Devine visited the school in November to speak to the4th, 5th & 6th class students about her books and the life of an author.     Her novel, Best Friends (8-11 years) published in 1993 was translated into Norwegian and Swedish. It is about Sarah who gets what she most wants in life – a pony- and hopes it will win her new friends.         Riders By The Grey Lake (Children’s Press, 1996) is a novel about pony kids Eithne and Mandy whose main interest is winning for their school team and who have little time for green issues until a mining company drills holes into their Granny’s mountain farm and Eithne sees a boy emerging from the lake on a mysterious white horse. Forces are at work that both attract and threaten ( 9-12 years ). In Best Friends Again (1999) Sarah discovers she has an older sister she was never told about and what that means for herself and those she cares about.     A captivating story for for younger first readers (6-8 year olds) includesThe Hungry Horse(Children’s Press, 2002). Once upon a time, in the beautiful Land of In Between, there lived a wise old king, but when the king died, leaving his kingdom divided between his two sons, Huff and Puff, trouble arose. They quarreled, partitioned the kingdom, and put up a great border between them. When King Huff’s horse is put under a spell and changed, only Peaky with the aid of Princess Pom Pom, King Puff’s daughter, can save him.   MAMÓ AGUS AN PEILEADÓIR  (Coiscéim 2011) é...

Scoil Aonghusa CNS makes learning fun

At 10am every day, 19 energetic 5 and 6 year olds at Scoil Aonghusa Community National School enter their ‘World of Fun’ and the bubbling sound of chitter­chatter, laughter and learning can be heard. This is all thanks to the new Aistear Centre Playroom that has been created to provide for ‘learning through play’ as part of Aistear, the early childhood curriculum framework. Aistear team lead Nora O’Sullivan and Class teacher Eimear O’Driscoll are actively implementing learning through play to allow children to grow and develop their social and emotional skills whilst also integrating key concepts and skills across curriculum areas such as English/Irish, mathematics and art. The children learn through play using toys as tools that help them solve problems, negotiate, share, co­operate and also to develop both fine and gross motor skills. The children’s natural curiosity, love of learning and willingness to engage are developed and each step in the Aistear journey helps them gain more of the skills they need to succeed in life. Arlene Forster, Director of Curriculum and Assessment, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment commented “Aistear (NCCA, 2009) highlights the importance of play for young children’s early learning and development. Alongside the fun it provides, play helps children to manage their feelings, develop as thinkers and language users, develop socially, and to be creative and imaginative. Play is key to building strong foundations for young children to become effective communicators and learners. Key messages from Aistear are shaping the development of the primary curriculum beginning with a new Language Curriculum (English and Irish) for all children in all primary schools”. Scoil Aonghusa CNS Aistear team...