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18 Apr

Welcome to our submission for the Curious Minds (previously the Discover Primary Science and Maths) Award for 2024. This is our 19th year taking part in the awards, once again, we are applying for the Plaque of STEM Excellence. This award is given to schools that carry out extensive work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, all of which are very important in St. Peter’s.

We are delighted that this is the 10th year that we have had Junior and Senior Infants taking part in the award! It is great to see the young scientists have so much fun learning about Science and Maths. Each year we try to put a big focus on STEM across the school, with a whole school approach, helping us achieve even more in this area. This has also meant, due to current circumstances, that we have broadened our scope to encourage STEM at home, which has been both challenging and exciting.

You can read all about it and see the evidence below. It has been great to see the improvements we can make towards helping our school incorporating STEM as a way of thinking, rather than as a stand-alone subject.

All of the pupils are seeing that STEM is about the skills required to learn about science, technology and mathematics, and how engineering and design processes and principles are used to achieve an outcome. As students of STEM, we identify a problem. We then need to create possible solutions to these problems, which we can then go and test.

Yet again, a huge amount of work has gone into this application. Every single class in the school has taken part, so a big well done to all the pupils and teachers! For the 12th year, we are using our blog to submit our award and to link back to our activities that have taken place during the school year.

Step 1: Science

For this step, we carried out hands-on science investigations under the four different strands in classes throughout the school. We also tried to include numeracy in these investigations where possible, linking in with Step 4.

Energy and Forces: 

  • This is always a popular strand as it really excites the children with fun experiments to engage in. There are lots of experiments on show this year but just for a taste here is Magnets work with Junior Infants or 4th Class Lighthouses using electricity!

Living Things: 

  • Living things is always a strand we like to sink our teeth into and this year was no different as 2nd class learned all about Taste . If that didn’t get your pulses racing maybe 3rd class will with there work on Heart Rate

Environmental Awareness and Care:  

Materials and Change: 

  • Check out how Rocket Fuel works with 3rd class experiment testing what happens with cola and mentos and find out what the best materials are to keep Teddy warm with Coat for Teddy Senior Infant experiment.

We love a chance to undertake whole school STEM projects and although curtailed the last couple of years we are delighted to be able to get back to taking part in various projects. Check out all of our Science Week activities on our blog!

Step 2: Technology

The second step in the application is Technology. Ensuring that ICT is used by our pupils and/or product design using materials (using different materials for design and make projects).

As a previous winner of the Junior Spider Awards, technology has become a part of every-day life in St. Peter’s. We were also awarded the Digital School of Distinction award, which showcased the effort and time we put in incorporating technology into our daily school lives.

We believe this is true for children at all levels. Mr. Kinsella’s class have loved early programming activities with beebots and getting to use the school tablets. Check out how we use Technology in the school.

Programming continues in older classes who have been using Lego Wedo. They have loved getting to play with the kits and programming them and engaging with the interactive lessons using the Lego Wedo software.

We see the importance of integrating technology across the curriculum with pupils using cameras, tablets, animoto, and the blog, as well as apps such as Class Dojo and Twitter, to showcase the work that they have been doing during the course of the year. We use our blog weekly to set challenges as Gaeilge for classes with Frásaí na Seachtaine .

Integrating technology into our numeracy can make it more engaging for pupils, here 3rd class used zoom to take part in Coding for Maths Week, while 6th Class Maths Week Quiz showed how we can take part in Maths online.

As you can see from our submission, we have continued to implement technology in our day-to-day teaching and learning, with maths and science at the forefront of this.

Step 3: Engineering

For the third step of our application for the Curious Minds Plaque of STEM Excellence, we have had a big focus on the Design and Make element of science. Our staff have worked previously in conjunction with St. Patrick’s College regarding professional development in STEM. A big part of this focused on the Design and Make process, and helped us make sure STEM is an integral part of our engineering activities.

Design and Make Projects are always popular. Ms. Roche’s Senior Infant class didn’t need much persuading to design and make Space Rockets, while Ms. Meaney’s 4th Class have been lighting up their STEM activities with their Lighthouses.

Ms. Muldowney’s 5th Class were heads and shoulders (or actually lungs and hands) above the rest with their Model Lung and Bionic Hand

Step 4: Maths

Throughout our science investigations, all classes looked to incorporate Maths as much as possible and like opportunities to explore concepts in a fun way like celebrating Maths Week in the school. Here 5th class used Maths Week to explore Word Problems and tessalation.

Incorporating cooking and math skills has been popular this year with Baking in 6th Class and in Fraction Pizzas 3rd Class!

All classes had fun engaging in Maths week and Ms. Leggett’s 1st class making 2D Frankensteinsand 4th Class Maths Trail keeping them activity.

Step 5: STEM Showcase

As a school we know how important it is for students to present their work to an audience, especially with all the hard work put into STEM initiatives by pupils and staff. We always love taking part in initiatives like Science Blast and this year has been no different with 6th Class taking on the Science Blast Challenge.

Typically, classes present their learning during Assembly or at our own showcases but these last couple of years have obviously been a challenge mixing groups. That didn’t stop teachers highlighting some of the great work pupils are doing through our School Blog and twitter and we were delighted with 4th class were able to take part in the Intel Mini Scientist Competition and were able to hold a science fair to show off all the work they put in for this years’ event.

We couldn’t include all our STEM activities as our teachers and pupils work so hard throughout the year on this but we hope you enjoyed reading a few examples from our submission for the Curious Minds Awards!

16 Apr

Poor Teddy has lost his coat. He has asked Senior Infants to help him make a new one but he is not sure which is the best material he should make his coat from. He wants one that will protect him from getting wet if it rains. Should it be made from… foil? plastic? paper? We helped Teddy out by testing these materials to find out.

In small groups, we placed a dry cube into a cup and then covered each cup with foil on the top using an elastic band, plastic and tinfoil. We made predictions about which materials we thought would be waterproof and which would not be. Then we poured some water on each cup to see if it would keep the cube in the cup dry or wet.


We made sure to pour the same amount of water on each cup with a dropper to make our experiment fair.

Our findings were: the water soaked completely through the tissue paper. The plastic kept each cube completely dry and the tinfoil kept each cube dry but one group found that it tore easily so therefore it wet their cube.

As a class we decided that Teddy should make a coat out of plastic to help keep him dry from rain. One child added that he should stick cotton wool on the inside of it to help keep him warm as well.

15 Apr

Fáilte ar ais chuig Frása na Seachtaine!

Maith sibh go léir ag déanamh sár – iarracht le do chuid frásaí Gaeilge an tseachtain seo!

Táimid fós ag foghlaim faoi théama na siopadóireachta.

Is é frása na seachtaine seo…

8 Apr

Fáilte ar ais chuig Frása na Seachtaine agus fáilte ar ais chuig an scoil do gach duine tar éis do laethanta saoire na Cásca. Tá súil againn gur bhain tú taitneamh as do shos!

Fáilte ar ais go dtí an téarma deireanach den bhliain!

An mhí seo beimid ag foghlaim gach rud faoi siopadóireacht’!

Is é frása na seachtaine seo…

25 Mar

Fáilte ar ais chuig Frása na Seachtaine!

Maith sibh gach duine, is iontach an rud é Gaeilge a chloisteáil timpeall na scoile!

Anois, is é frása na seachtaine:

20 Mar
20 Mar

In 5th class we have been working hard with the Junior Entrepreneur Project. We came up with a few business ideas in groups and then we pitched these ideas at our Meet the Dragon’s event.

Everyone came up with some brilliant business ideas, but one group came out on top, ‘The Positive Beads’. A business that plans to make and sell beaded bracelets with slogans or positive phrases on them.

We look forward to continuing our JEP journey and seeing our business take off.

14 Mar

Junior infants have had great fun experimenting with magnets in science. Firstly we discovered how magnets work and then we experimented with magnets of all sizes to see what was magnetic and what was not.

13 Mar

Senior Infants have spent a lot of time learning about Space last month.

One of our lesson was making a rocket from paper, a straw and sellotape. We wanted to see if we cold blow the rocket off the straw using air from our mouths.

We had to investigate to see which position to place the straw and how much breath to use to ‘launch’ the rocket.

Once we found the best way to blow the rocket we wanted to see who could blow it the furthest.

We all went into the hall and in small groups, stood at the one point to make it fair. Then we launched our rockets on the count of 3, and whoever had the rocket that flew the furthest went to one side.

Finally, the finalist all went up against each other and there was one over all winner. We had lots of fun investigating forces through rocket launching.

12 Mar

With Spring upon us we have been learning about nature and the environment. Linking in with our work on recycling before Christmas we have been discussing the impact plants and trees have on us and the earth.

We took a nature walk to look for signs of Spring. We learning all about parts of a plant. How trees create oxygen for us to breath and have planted our own seeds which we will watch sprout and grow over the coming weeks.