Friendship week at Scoil Aonghusa CNS
Helen Keller once said “ The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, not touched…but are felt in the heart”
Scoil Aonghusa CNS celebrated Friendship week in September and there were many planned activities integrated into the curriculum in recognition of this. From the moment children are born, from their first social smile, they are making friends. This continues all the way through primary school and onwards to secondary, learning how to be a friend is a lifelong process. School is a safe environment for children to interact with their friends and to get to know them. Friendship is a very important part of a child’s life. Throughout childhood, parents and teachers guide them, educate them, plan their daily activities but friends they choose for themselves. Scoil Aonghusa CNS recognises the importance of friendship at home and in the school classrooms and the playground. The children thoroughly enjoyed the fun activities and friendships they made at the school last week. Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States said “ Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together”.
The Junior and Senior Infants were busy taking part in a ‘Fill a Bucket’ project in their classroom. The children made and decorated friendship buckets. The project is based around a book called “Have you filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud. The idea is that every child has an invisible bucket on their head that contains their feelings, when their bucket is full they feel very good but when it is empty they feel very sad. The children learned that they could fill each other’s buckets by being nice to their friends, by playing nicely, doing something nice or perhaps paying a compliment to a friend. They watched a video about the fill a bucket story on Youtube.
The Middle and Senior classes also took part in the project, learning about, and participating in, friendship throughout the week. One of these was “The Kindness Tree”. The children made their own tree by planting large twigs in plant pots and each child made their own leaf and wrote down something kind that they had done. The leaves were then attached to the the tree and it was placed on display in the classroom. Another project involved the children learning to develop a friendly approach to children that they wouldn’t usually play with. The children sat in a circle and the teacher called the children alternately A and B around the table. Each A and B pair of children were then given some time to learn as much about each other as possible e.g likes, dislikes, hobbies. At the end of the time each child was then asked to introduce their friend and say 3 things about them, for example Otto said “ This is my friend Louis, he likes playing with blocks, reading Dr Seuss books and playing with me in the playground.”
Co-ordinator of Friendship week, teacher Mrs Nora O’Sullivan commented “ Friendship is a very important part of a child’s life, here at Scoil Aonghusa CNS we want children to develop healthy and happy friendships in our classrooms and in the playground. The children had a very enjoyable week and we are seeing and hearing about new friendships in the playground already”.