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16 Jun

We have experimented with baking and cooking this year, overall, I think we have some budding chefs in the 6th Class Classroom! I’m not sure if many of the tasty treats made it all the way home for parents to taste!

Throwback to the time we got so engrossed in our science experiment and (with a broken clock!) managed to spend an extra 15 minutes in school…every pupil’s dream!!

Halloween was a lot of fun with great art projects like these! The class created 3 full- size creatures to terrify the guests at the Halloween Disco! (I’m not too sure how James feels about being the monster model in this snap…!)

What an amazing memory that will stay with us for a long time! Spending weeks measuring our own feelings and emotions, and comparing these statistics with differing weather conditions was all worth it to be given a fantastic report and award by none other than Evelyn Cusack!

The final result of weeks of hard work!! I could not have been more proud or impressed with the children’s diligent efforts and amazing manners and presentation skills on the day. They really did the school proud.

We have gone on some really fun trips this year, most notably to Sealife! Look at how enthralled Dylan is with the stingray! (or is the stingray enthralled with Dylan?!) Having an aquarium in the classroom for a few weeks was also another exciting treat!

I can’t forget to mention all of the amazing sports trips we have been on (with great thanks to Paddy and to John for training us)! Rain or shine, the Peter’s boys and girls were out doing us proud several times this year, always with a great attitude and super team work!

6th Class is a huge year as we spend a lot of time preparing for the celebration of Confirmation. This image from the Service of Light only gives a snapshot of the amazing art produced by the children. What you can’t see or hear here is the children’s amazing behaviour on the day and the beautiful singing and readings from the pupils. A really nice memory and a terrific day all round!

We have had some fun in the classroom, for example using marshmallows to create 3D shapes! Some really impressive work, even an octahedron was made!! (I am still finding mini-marshmallows everywhere in the classroom…!)

When the kids earned a thousand points we had a great day making and eating pizzas and watching movies! Some terrific chefs in the 6th Class Classroom, future careers are being forged!

A shout out to the three children who showed up to school the day after Confirmation!! Well, I thought they deserved a treat so off we went to Lidl to buy lots of goodies for a movie afternoon!

6th Class are so lucky to be able to experience the new Computer room/Library before they leave for Secondary school! It is really fun to explore and learn using interactive methods and the kids LOVE it!

What an amazing day spent at the park just last week! Thanks to Paddy for setting up lots of fun activities, a great day had and a lovely memory made.

12 Jun

In March, Dylan and Adem (3rd Class) and Kyra and Carla (2nd Class) made their way on the Dart to the Royal Irish Academy of Music, in Dublin City Centre.

They had worked hard every Tuesday for months, after school, on their poem, mime, story, reading and theory, in preparation for their Grade 1 and Grade 2, Speech and Drama exams.

After the exam, Dylan, Adem, Kyra and Carla enjoyed some treats in a lovely little cafe beside the Academy, before hopping on the Dart back to Bray.

Their results arrived last week and all 4 of the boys and girls did incredibly well! They should be SO proud of themselves and this wonderful achievement.

Congratulations to these boys and girls!

12 Jun

Junior Infants are coming towards the end of their first year in St. Peter’s, and what a year it has been!

Last week, we had a chat about our favourite memories of our first year in school, with some recounting their first day in school to others chatting with excitement about Sports Day, the day we each made rockets for Space Week, our time spent in our Aistear areas and so many more special moments besides. Garylee exclaimed “I want to stay in this school forever” … he will have to be reminded of that at the Sixth Class Graduation in years to come!

You can see the work completed by each of the children outside the Junior Infant classroom on their favourite moments of the school year. Feel free to pop in and have a chat with your child about their work.

I scrolled through my many photos of this wonderful class and all they achieved in this special, first year in school. I remembered fondly our Christmas Play, the Three Little Pigs and the time we had a visit from the doctor and Ella dressed up in the Dr. Maria’s scrubs! Or the time Oisín was the first child to get to spend some ‘chill’ time in the classroom tent. Then there was the time we worked together in small groups, to respond to an illustrators design work, as part of an Art project one Friday morning. With so many memories I will forever hold dear, it’s hard to recap an entire year in only one blog post!

 

I’ve put together some photo collages below. I hope you enjoy them. Don’t forget, lots of photos exist in previous blog posts – just search Junior Infants on the blog and you can take a trip down memory lane in recapping some of the highlights of 2016-2017.

Thank you, very specially, to all the parents of Junior Infants and everyone who helped me in and outside the classroom throughout my year with this amazing little class!

I hope everyone has a lovely, happy summer!

Ms. Farren

8 Jun

Wow, how busy have we been? We’ve already packed so much into our last term! Read on to find out more!

We made a video about friendship!

We also made news recordings!


Breaking news from St Peter’s, Bray on Vimeo.

Breaking news from St Peter’s, Bray on Vimeo.

5th Class Breaking news from St Peter’s, Bray on Vimeo.

Breaking News from St Peter’s, Bray on Vimeo.

We’re working on our coding!

We’re also keeping up our reading workshops!

We’re working on our mindfulness!

However, there is always time for tea!

We were learning about China and we built a terracotta army!

We also built homemade catapults in a STEM lesson!

We’ve had great fun with Frankie in Music class!

Some inspectors came to visit our class and they loved our work! They were very kind to us.

Our Roots of Empathy journey came to an end!

We learned all about how to look after our teeth.

We now watch the news everyday. It helps us to learn about the world.

We prayed to Mary every day in May.

Our students have shone in their local community!

We put together our Science project for the school Discover Primary Science entry.

It has been a sporty couple of weeks!

We’re cycling 60km every day as a class!

We’re designing t-shirts!

As always, past pupils came to visit!

We celebrated Tech Week 2017!

We relaxed with some brain breaks!

We’ve been working on our dramatic performances!

We are simply in love with our new computer room!

We learned about new saints!

We’ve been as creative as ever!

Phew! Can you believe we only have 2 and a half weeks left together? Bring on the summer fun!

8 May

http://www.stpetersbrayblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/primaryscience1.png

Welcome to our submission for the Discover Primary Science and Maths award for 2017. This is our 12th year taking part in the Awards! Once again this year 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.

This is the 3rd 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.

Yet again, a huge amount of work has gone into this. Every class in the whole school has taken part in this application, well done to all the pupils and teachers! For the fifth year in a row, we are using our blog to submit our award and to link back to our activities that have taken part during the year. Our SFI Award number this year is WW026.

Step 1: Science

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

  • Energy and Forces: 1st Class learned all about floating and sinking. They used this new information to help them make their own boats! Read all about their experiment here.
  • Living Things: 2nd Class conducted an experiment based on their bodies, focusing on their hearts and their pulse. You can read all about their experiment here.
  • Environmental Awareness and Care: 3rd Class investigated solar energy, and were very lucky with the week they chose as the sun was shining! You can read about their experiment here.
  • Materials: Senior Infants used their STEM lesson to try and help Humpty Dumpty out! Read all about their great teamwork and solutions here.
  • Environmental Awareness and Care: Junior Infants learned all about our environment and how they could help Sandy Shores. You can read all about their great work here!
  • Materials: 4th Class were experimenting with sound and materials. You can check out their fun investigation here.

Boys and girls from 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th class took part in the First Lego League again this year thanks to Mr. Kinsella and Ms. Byrne, in partnership with Salesforce. You can read all about the huge effort that went in to planning for their trip to Galway here.

You can also read all about our Space Week activites here and here!

6th Class also took part in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, which you can read all about here.

Step 2: Technology

In the second step, we had to ensure that technology was used by our pupils. 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.

For example, for Space Week, we recorded a poem with a pupil from each class taking part in our podcast. You can listen to it here.

Mr. Kinsella and Ms. Byrne ran an after school club which culminated in our school taking part in the FIRST Lego League in Galway. It was a superb experience for the boys and girls which you can read about here.

Throughout all the other classes in the school, pupils of every age have also used cameras, laptops, animoto, and this blog, as well as apps such as vine and twitter, to showcase the work that they have been doing during the course of the year. As you can see from our submission this year, we have continued to implement technology in our day-to-day teaching and learning, with Maths and Science at the forefront of this. You can check out all of our tweets from the year @stpetersbray!

Step 3: Engineering

For the third step of our application for the DPSM Plaque of STEM Excellence, we have had a big focus on the Design and Make element of Science. Last year, our staff worked 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 was an integral part of our engineering activities. An example of how we look to incorporate STEM into our lessons can be seen here, where Senior Infants looked to design and make ways to help Humpty Dumpty!

We include two examples of our Design and Make lessons as part of our application. As you can see from our blog post by 5th Class here, we have numerous examples of engineering taking place in our school across many classes during Engineers Week.

Step 4: Maths

Throughout our Science investigations, we incorporated Maths where possible, For example, 2nd learned about data and used charts to record their results here, and 3rd Class used mathematical skills to record their solar science experiment, which you can read about here.

Step 5: STEM Showcase

6th Class took part yet again in the BT Young Scientist Exhibition in the RDS in January this year. This year they investigated if the weather affects our learning. As always, they put a lot of effort into their submission, and presented it brilliantly on the day. You can read about their work here.

We hoped you enjoyed reading our submission!

6 May

6th Class took part in the RDS Young Scientist Fair once again. Our theme this year was our climate, specifically looking at the question of “Does weather affect our ability to learn in school?”.

After we had agreed on the theme and question for our Science presentation, we began by making our predictions. Some of the pupils thought they weather would affect us in school. For example, Leanne thought the sound of rain is very relaxing so that in turn, might help us concentrate better in class. Abbie also made the point that sometimes people get headaches when it is too hot and that it makes it hard to get your work done then.

However, not everybody agreed on this. This provoked great debate amongst the class, with Finn arguing that once curtains are closed and you have music on, you are unaware of the weather outside so how can it affect your work. Other children in the class made the point that “weather can’t get to our brains!”.

Following our class discussions we agreed that we had to conduct an experiment to try and help us come up with a scientific outcome to our question. For this, each pupil had their own learning journal for the project. They recorded what type of weather it was outside each day, recording specific details regarding the weather such as what direction the wind was blowing from. Each pupil had questions to answer for each day in their learning journal. These questions included how they felt and self-assessed the quality of their work for the day.

To gather specific information on the weather for our learning journals, we decided we needed to construct our own weather instruments. We wanted to make a rain gauge to measure the amount of rainfall each day, a barometer to measure the air pressure, a wind vane to measure what direction the wind was blowing each day, and an anemometer to measure the wind speed.

One group in the class made the rain gauge. For this they got a two litre bottle and cut off the top quarter of it. We turned the quarter of the bottle upside down and used it as a funnel for the rain water. We made sure it wasn’t blown over by the wind by putting stones in the bottom of it. We used permanent marker to mark off the different heights in centimetres along the side of the bottle.

Another group made the barometer. They took a jam jar and put a balloon over the top of it. Two straws were then sellotaped together to the balloon. A cardboard arrow was cut out and attached to the straws. As the air pressure changed in the jar, the arrow would move on the straws to show us that the air pressure had changed.

A third group made the ameometer, using a pencils and cups. It was tricky to stick them altogether. One of the cups had an “x” put on it so that we could count how many times the cups rotated in a minute in the wind. We chose a minute to help make it a fair test, to help factor in sudden gusts of wind.

The fourth and final group made a wind vane. They used a paper plate, which was labelled north, south, east and west. When the pencil blew in the wind, it showed which direction the wind was coming from.

For 2 weeks, during the months of December and January, we recorded the weather each day, along with our answers to our learning journal questions. After we had completed the two week period and had collected all of our data, our next job was to analyse it using the whole class data.

Our observations from the data recorded were that our concentration levels were found to be low on windy days. It was also found that we couldn’t release our energy on rainy days which in turn affected our learning outcomes in the classroom. A third observation was that when it was sunny, we found it hard to concentrate because some of us couldn’t wait to get outside to play!

On January 12th, we took our findings with us into the RDS Young Scientist Exhibition. Five pupils were chosen to represent the school. We had spent days doing mock interviews and presentations in school to prepare us for the busy day ahead of us. We also spent a lot of time preparing the backdrop for our stand at the Science fair which helped us display our project and our findings. We also made a Science quiz for visitors to take, to help them interact with our project.

The judges were very impressed with our research, including RTE Weather Presenter Evelyn Cusack. Ms. Cusack took our weather quiz and was the only person to get top marks on in during the day. We were delighted when she presented us with our trophy, a great reward for all the hard work put in by all the boys, girls and our teacher.

 

6 May

First class have been learning about summer, the beach and boats in Bray harbour. Our focus was how boats float in the water. We discussed the importance of boats as the transport of goods/people, but in order to do so the boat must float. Firstly we brainstormed the properties of making a boat. We discussed materials that would be good or bad to float and why. We linked the Titanic which sank and concluded our boats would require good construction without any holes to avoid sinking.

In order to predict we needed to understand floating and sinking so we investigated with an orange. Once placed in water it floated at first and when pealed and re-tested it sank. This led us to discuss heavy, light, shape and size.

Next we begin investigating. After measuring the blu tack to ensure we all got the same amount we begin to conduct our fair test. The pupils predicted and recorded how many peas their boat would hold before they begin to pull and stretch the material.

Some begin to focus on making pretty looking boats and even added oars. This focus on the apperance of the boat rather than size and shape led to an interesting discovery when they tested their creations.

In testing our boats we had some difficulty in getting them to float. Some just sank as soon as their passengers (peas) were added.

We took some time to re-design our boats with a focusing on floating instead of looking like a typical boat. We improved them by experimenting with different shapes and curling the sides to keep the peas on and eventually got them floating.

Each group recorded their results in a table and we compared each group’s findings to conclude our experiment.

First class really enjoyed making boats!

 

5 May

Senior Infants have been taking part in an after-school club based on STEM. Carl Dempsey from Salesforce has been helping out with the club and we’ve really enjoyed welcoming him to our classroom. All of the sessions were based on nursery rhymes or fairytales.

We measured this tower and it was the tallest!

Session 1 was based on Humpty Dumpty and materials. Humpty Dumpty likes to sit on high structures so we got into groups and built walls as high as we could. The walls had to stand by themselves by the end of the five minutes. We learned a lot about what makes structures sturdy – we discovered that wide bases were the key to making sure they stayed standing.

Working together!

Teamwork was a bit tricky because we all had different ideas. We had to discuss everyone’s ideas and try them out as we went. We noticed that the best structures were the ones where the team worked together!

Next, we tested the best materials to protect Humpty Dumpty from breaking when he fell. First, we had to predict the best material to protect Humpty Dumpty. Predicting is a really important skill when you’re working as a scientist!

We all discussed which one we thought would be most effective and which one we thought would be least effective. Some very interesting predictions drew on our experiences – some people mentioned that tissue paper and paper are used when a parcel is packed so that they predicted that they would protect the egg.

Discussing our work helped us to make better predictions!

Next, we had to test the best material. We learned about fair testing. The only thing we could change was the material protecting Humpty Dumpty. The same person had to drop the egg bag. We used metre sticks to ensure that the eggs weren’t dropped from different heights and the egg tester was really careful to drop the egg rather than throw it! We had started our work on length during the week so we knew how long a metre should be but the metre stick helped us to measure it exactly.

We tested each egg carefully and recorded our results on our prediction sheets. One person was the tester. Another recorded the results and another was the checker – they had to be happy with the test before the tester was allowed to drop the egg.

We were really surprised by how well the rice protected the egg. The tissue paper didn’t protect the egg well at all. We suggested that maybe if there was more of it, or if it was shredded, it might have done a better job. We were also really interested in the PlayDoh. Some of the eggs were better protected than others by the PlayDoh. We think it would be a great investigation to see if we could make a special egg case from PlayDoh in the future!

Carl from Salesforce helped us with our predictions and testing!

5 May

This week, in Junior Infants, we met a whale named Sally, who lives in the sea beside a lovely village called Sandy Shores. We asked Sally lots of questions about Sandy Shores and made predictions about what she might like to play, eat and do for fun!

She was very upset the second time she came to visit us, however, because Sandy Shores had developed a terrible litter problem. Her home was getting polluted with lots of rubbish and this made her feel very sad.

Luckily, Junior Infants are experts at dealing with rubbish and looking after the environment. The Lord Mayor of Sandy Shores heard that Junior Infants were experts and sent them a letter, asking them to please help. They spoke with each other and recorded what they felt they needed to do to help the Lord Mayor, Sally and all in Sandy Shores.

Junior Infants went into role as ‘Superhelpers’ named ‘The Litter Busters’ and went to Sandy Shores to tidy up the rubbish.

Some children were leaders. They wore a high vis jacket and their job was to make sure all the Litter Busters were doing their bit to look after the environment at Sandy Shores.

Other children had grabbers. They used these to grab litter from the sea in which Sally the whale lives.

Fia, Reece, Oisin and Amber had a wonderful idea! They decided that they needed to build some bins in Sandy Shores so that this problem wouldn’t arise again.

Kaiden and Ella were very busy sorting the rubbish into the correct bins. Reece, Aaron and Tyler worked hard on sorting the fruit they found into different sets. They then counted how many of each fruit they found.

The Litter Busters thought that it would be important to make posters to make sure that the villagers from Sandy Shores would be able to learn that it is not ok to to litter their streets, beach and waters. The Litter Busters, in pairs, created wonderful posters showing the villagers of Sandy Shores how to take care of their rubbish. They then presented them to the class.

Junior Infants made the Lord Mayor and Sally very happy with they work they did to restore Sandy Shores and teach the villagers how to look after this picturesque village, from here on out!

Well done Junior Infants!

5 May

2nd class have been learning all about our bodies in science.

After chatting in our pairs about what we thought our hearts did, we then examined our wrists to find veins.

Some of us thought they were blue, some purple and some green. When we held them over our heads for a minute they started to feel cold and numb. We thought maybe that’s because it was harder for the blood to get to it when it was up so high.

Then we looked at finding our pulses. Some of us had seen in movies how doctors and medics check pulses, but we had never done it ourselves. We found that we couldn’t use our thumbs because they had their own sort of pulse which was just too confusing!

When we were able to find our pulse, we worked in partners to count it. A very clever girl in our class suggested that we could find out how many there were in a minute by counting how many there were in 30 seconds and then doubling that amount. We’re pretty good at doubling big numbers, so we gave it a go.

Sometimes it was hard to find so we thought about where else we might feel the blood pumping around our bodies too.

After we we had recorded our ‘resting heart rate’, we worked in groups to brainstorm how our heart rate might speed up or slow down. We thought maybe sleeping, resting or sitting for a while would keep it slow. We also thought that activities like football, running, eating, talking lots and dancing would speed it up. So we moved outside on this beautiful sunny day to do some exercise!

After 2 big running laps and a few star jumps, we counted our pulse again for 30 seconds and doubled it to find our heart rate for 1 minute.

We were amazed to find how much faster it was. We noticed that we had to count a lot quicker! We went inside and 5 minutes later we checked our pulses again and they were much closer to our original resting pulse.

We then graphed our results using bar charts. We looked at our results and found that the middle bar was much higher and then it went back down after exercise.

We thought it was funny how some of us hadn’t gone down to the exact same heart rate as we started with. We had two thoughts about this, firstly maybe we weren’t counting exactly right and secondly, maybe that meant we weren’t as fit as we should be! We asked Ms. Boland if that meant we should do more P.E. everyday!

Our conclusion was that exercise increases heart rate. We thought maybe the rest of our body needed more blood to help it when it was busy!