The Next Generation of Scientists

The Next Generation of Scientists are being inspired at Scoil Aonghusa CNS Scoil Aonghusa CNS pupils recently attended the seventh annual Munster Maths and Science Family Fair in Mallow. The aim of the event which is organised by the Mallow Development Partnership in association with Cork County Council and Mallow Chamber is to create awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths by showcasing exhibits from industry, research institutes, third level institutions, science clubs and local schools. Pupils from the school saw all types of weirds and wonderful things at the fair. They met the army bomb disposal unit with their bomb disposal robot. They did lots of fun things such as putting together a digestive system model, did some 3D printing and tried out some virtual reality games. They also had the opportunity to speak to some students from local colleges, a CIT chemical engineering student told them she hoped to specialise in burn treatments. Pupils from Mr Buckley’s senior classroom at Scoil Aonghusa took a project called “ Balloon Rocket Cars” which investigated Newton’s Laws of Motion: 1. Objects at rest will stay at rest and objects in motion will stay in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. In other words, the forces that push a rocket up must be stronger than the force of gravity pulling it down. 2. For every action there is always an opposite and equal reaction. When an action takes place, like gases escaping from the rocket, a reaction follows – the rocket rises in the air. The children made rocket cars which were powered by pressurised...

Friendship Week

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....

Active Schools

Scoil Aonghusa CNS Pupils walking and learning together Scoil Aonghusa CNS Pupils took the 2017 Mallow Health Week seriously and are walking to/from and around the school at the GAA complex in Carrigoon as part of a green schools initiative W.O.W, Walk on Wednesdays. This initiative will continue when the school moves to its permanent residence in the lovely new building in Castlepark. The school takes the health of all its pupils and staff very seriously and to this end they have signed up for both the ‘Active Schools’ and the ‘Healthy Schools’ initiatives which empower children to develop healthy attitudes towards diet, exercise and mental health. Walking is an excellent form of exercise for young children, it builds and supports large muscle groups in the body. It helps develop gross motor skills and improves co-ordination. Children learn better when they are fit and healthy and they often eat and sleep better after doing exercise as it helps them burn off energy. How well children perform in the classroom can depend on how physically fit they are. Numerous scientific studies have been done on this, and in a review of these, researchers at the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam found strong evidence of a link between physical exercise and academic performance. The studies suggest that exercise can improve cognition by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, daily exercise can also reduce stress and improve a child’s mood, making children more likely to behave well in the classroom. Scoil Aonghusa CNS offers many sports to children including basketball, football, hurling, athletics, table tennis, dancing and swimming....

Jolly Phonics

Scoil Aonghusa makes reading fun The new school year is well under way at Scoil Aonghusa CNS. Junior and Senior Infant teacher  Ms Stephanie Mulcahy has welcomed nineteen 4 to 6 year olds into her classroom this year. The Infant classroom is a fun place full of all sorts of learning games and play. Special emphasis is placed on early reading skills. Ms Mulcahy uses a number of approaches to help the children on their reading journey and to develop a love of books at this early age. One of the programs used is called Jolly Phonics, a fun and child centered approach to teaching literacy using synthetic phonics. For those of you that have not heard about phonics before, think back to your days of  watching  Sesame Street and you may have come across letter sounds. Phonics is all about a child learning the sounds of the letters and learning to blend these together and use them to identify the sounds in words that they are trying to read. The letters are split into 7 groups. The letters are taught in this order so that the children can start reading words as soon as possible. Of course there are some words that can’t be sounded out and these are called tricky words, Jolly phonics program allows for them to be taught separately. The phonics method of teaching helps all children learn to read. A study carried out at the London School of Economics showed that children taught using the phonics methodology had better reading skills by age 7 than those taught using traditional methods. Check out http://jollylearning.co.uk/ for...

Reading Buddies

Reading Buddies at Scoil Aonghusa Reading is always fun at Scoil Aonghusa and the Junior and Senior Infants love participating in a fun shared reading activity every week. Older children from 2nd and 3rd class visit the infant classroom every week to read with their friends. The children read together in pairs with the older child guiding the younger child. Children will often learn better from older children, they pick up their enthusiasm for books and also see that reading is a skill that can be mastered and enjoyed. This shared reading activity helps the infant children integrate into the school, they get to know children from the older classes and make friendships that transcend to the the playground. The activity also helps give an older child confidence both academically and socially. Principal Catherine Fleming commented “Our infants enjoy their weekly shared reading sessions. Shared reading motivates children to read, develops fluency, comprehension and increases vocabulary. Shared reading can also be enjoyed at home… all you need is a book and an imagination. “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free” Frederick...

Aistear

Scoil Aonghusa CNS Mallow makes learning fun! At 1pm every day, 19 energetic 5 and 6 year olds at Scoil Aonghusa CNS enter their ‘World of Fun’ and the bubbling sound of chitter-chatter, laughter and learning can be heard. This is all thanks to the playroom that was created to provide for ‘learning through play’ as part of Aistear, the early childhood curriculum framework. Scoil Aonghusa is getting the keys of their brand new state of the art school building at Castlepark at the start of November and the children can’t wait to play in the new Aistear room there as well. Teacher Stephanie Mulcahy has been actively implementing learning through play over the last two years 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, helping them solve problems, negotiate, share, co-operate 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. When hearing about the implementation of the Aistear curriculum at Scoil Aonghusa CNS, 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...