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11 Sep

Fáilte arís go dtí ‘Frása na Seachtaine’ againn!

Maith sibh gach duine ar thús iontach! Go leor Gaeilge iontach le cloisteáil timpeall na scoile.

Anois, is é frása na seachtaine seo:

Is frása an – úsáideach é seo.

Ádh mór ort ag cleachtadh do chuid Gaeilge! Ní féidir linn fanacht le go leor Gaeilge a chloisteáil ar scoil! 

4 Sep

Fáilte go dtí ‘Frása na Seachtaine’ againn!

Táimid chun iarracht speisialta a dhéanamh Gaeilge a labhairt le chéile ar scoil agus iarracht a dhéanamh gach frása a úsáid sa bhaile.

Is é frása na seachtaine seo:

Is feidir leat an cheist seo a fhreagairt ar bhealaí éagsúla:

Tá mé go maith, go raibh maith agat!

Tá tuirse orm!

Tá áthas orm!

Ádh mór ort ag cleachtadh do chuid Gaeilge! Ní féidir linn fanacht le go leor Gaeilge a chloisteáil ar scoil!

 
23 Jun
2 Jun

Please click on the link and answer the three questions on the recent visit by the inspectors to our school. Thank you!

https://forms.gle/7wJrGNdW88YZ1EiV6

4 May

5th class have being working so hard to complete our JEP. We can not wait for our open day on friday the fifth of May .Every class will have a chance to come down and buy our amazing SQUISM’S, for €1.50.

We have amzazing offers! I honestly think buying one or two would really benefit you and your classmates/teacher!

20 Apr

5th Class need your help with some market reserach for our JEP project!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScme_enC3kF7pMhTbaUmmnaHoMfsdbVgcVHaBCgDughp1MRFg/viewform

29 Mar

Junior Infants have been discussing Humpty Dumpty coming up to Easter. We felt sorry for poor Humpty after he fell off the wall and couldn’t be put back together. So we discussed how we could have protected Humpty Dumpty when he fell. We decided to test which material might have protected the poor egg.

Each group chose a different material to fill a bag containing an egg. The bag was then dropped from the same height off the table in the classroom to see if it would protect the egg from breaking. Groups chose Play Doh, water, flour, popcorn and paper from materials provided.

We made predictions on which material would work best. Water was the clear favourite with 7 predicting it would protect the egg the best. It was a fairly even split across the others with 4 predicting flour and popcorn and 3 predicting Play Doh and paper would do the best job.

We were surprised that the eggs in the paper and Play Doh broke on the first drop. The egg in the water broke when we increased the height of the drop. We couldn’t believe that the eggs in flour and popcorn survived.

We needed a bigger height so decided to drop them from a first floor window in the school. Even more amazingly the eggs both survived. We figured if we ever fall from a wall we want to be inside a bag of flour or popcorn for protection.

23 Mar

Welcome to our submission for the Curious Minds (previously the Discover Primary Science and Maths) Award for 2023. This is our 18th 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.

This is the 9th 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 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 eleventh year, we are using our blog to submit our award and to link back to our activities that have taken place during the 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 3rd Class Rockets , Junior Infant Magnets and 4th Class trying to figure out how to Balance a Lever

Living Things: 

  • Living things is always a strand we like to sink our teeth into and this year 3rd class were no different learning about Teeth . If that didn’t get your pulses racing may 6th classes exercise and Heart Rate study will. When you have a chance to catch your breath find out how much 5th class learned about the Lungs.

Environmental Awareness and Care:  

Materials and Change: 

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 Junior Infant class have loved early programming activities with beebots and getting to use the school tablets. Check out how we use IT in Infants.

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 Frasaí na Seachtaine.

Integrating technology into our numeracy can make it more engaging for pupils, here 6th class used zoom to take part in a Zoom Maths Quiz, while 5th class have been using their interactive whiteboard to explore and create patterns.

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. You can check out all of our tweets from the year @stpetersbray!

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. Muldowney’s 5th class didn’t need much persuading to design and make Gingerbread Houses, while Ms. Meaney’s 4th Class took the theme of the Olympics and made it miniature with their Olympic Table Top Games.

We love to get parents involved in their children’s learning and we were delighted with the results of the Senior Infants Space Project.

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 4th Class used Maths Week to learn about capacity, word problems and lines and angles.

We loved the resource available to school for Maths week and Ms. Lohan’s 3rd class really loved Maths Week TV.

All classes had fun engaging in Maths week and the infants are no exception with some examples here from Ms. Roche’s Class taking part in Maths Week and Mr. Kinsella’s class enjoying number runs and chalk drawings.

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 link.

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!

23 Mar
We planted lots of different flowers on Tuesday! We can’t wait to see them bloom.

We have also been working on some Easter art.

Take a look at our cute little chicks in their eggs 🐣
We used pegs, card and glue to create these. They turned out great!
22 Mar

This year 6th class took part in the ESB Science Blast and asked the question: ‘How clean is our school? An investigation into the unseen micro- organisms that are found in our school’.

We thought this was an interesting question and that we might find some very surprising results! Take a look below at our investigation…

We started examining this question by researching and learning about bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Bacteria:

We know that bacteria are single – celled organisms, and that there are probably more individual bacteria than any other sort of micro – organism on the planet.  Most bacteria live under ground or in water, but many live inside or on the skin of other organisms, including humans. Most bacteria reproduce by dividing down the middle to form 2 separate cells. They then each divide again to form a total of 4 more cells. Some bacteria cause disease but there are lots of good bacteria too, like the kind that helps humans digest food.

Fungi:

A fungus is a simple organism, or living thing, that is neither a plant nor an animal. When there is more than one fungus they are called fungi. Some familiar fungi are mushrooms, moulds, mildews, truffles, and yeasts. Fungi grow particularly well in mild, moist regions and in the tropics. A fungus grows by feeding on other organisms. Most fungi feed on dead plant and animal material. These fungi are called saprophytes. Other fungi get their food from living plants and animals. These fungi are called parasites. A fungus generally consists of a mass of threadlike strands called hyphae.

Viruses:

Viruses are tiny particles that cause disease in people, animals, and plants. Different viruses cause the common cold, influenza (flu), chicken pox, measles, AIDS, and many other diseases. Viruses are so tiny that people can see them only with powerful microscopes. Some viruses have a spherical, or round, shape. Others are shaped like rods. Viruses are made up mostly of a substance called nucleic acid surrounded by protein. On its own, a virus is lifeless. However, it becomes active when it infects, or enters, a  cell of an animal or a plant. Once inside a cell, a virus can reproduce itself, like living things can. Doctors use vaccines to prevent many diseases caused by viruses. Vaccines are substances made from dead or weakened viruses. They prepare the immune system to fight off active forms of these viruses.

Our display in the RDS!

Hypothesis:

If there are a large number of people occupying a building on a daily basis, then there will be a big variety of bacteria and fungi found throughout our school.

Investigation:

1. Make a list of rooms and surfaces in school that you want to test for the presence of micro – organisms.

2. Use agar plates for the collection of micro – organisms. It is important that the agar plates are only opened when necessary: when taking a swab from a surface or being placed in a room for a period of time (4- 5 days). It is important that the lid sits under the dish for collection of micro – organisms so it can be quickly replaced.

3. Ensure that you have an agar plate set as a ‘control’. This control will not contain any micro – organisms and when compared with the samples we collect, we will be able to determine if surfaces and locations were dirty or relatively clean.

4. After the collection of micro – organisms, parafilm must be used to seal the agar plate. This ensures no other micro – organisms are collected as the plate is now air tight.

5. Put the sealed agar plates in a warm environment. They need to be incubated for micro – organism to grow. Bacteria and fungi grow best in moist, hot, environments.

6. If micro – organisms don’t grow the first time, swab or expose the plate again.

7. Examine the micro – organisms on each agar plate as they are likely different in appearance.

8. Record your findings.

We were lucky to work with a Science expert while carrying out our investigation and had the opportunity to examine micro – organisms under a microscope. The micro – organisms were magnified 400 times which was amazing to see – bacteria appears as shiny dots, fungi has hyphae and viruses were not visible as we need a much stronger microscope to see them (but they could still be present nonetheless!)

Maintaining the parafilm on the agar plates was extremely important as there could be potentially infectious micro – organisms collected. We also advise not to get too close as some agar plates have begun to emit strong odours!

Results:

After we collected our agar plates and incubated them to ensure a suitable environment for the growth of micro – organisms, we had to count our results! This required great patience and teamwork to ensure accuracy! We classified the micro – organisms according to appearance and colour. We graphed our results using Lego which we found worked as a clear visual for us.

Our agar plates yielded great results! We can confirm that there are a variety of micro – organisms to be found everywhere in our school (and probably every school!)

During the course of our investigation we also found out some fun facts…

  • There are 6kg of bacteria in an adult’s human gut! There are about 3kg of bacteria in a child’s gut.
  • Lots of scientists are now having a debate about whether or not viruses should be classified as ‘micro – organisms’. They argue that because viruses don’t reproduce by themselves (they only do this when they infect another living cell) that they are different to bacteria and fungi.
  • Bacteria and fungi can be seen with the naked eye. Viruses are much smaller and we need a very powerful microscope to see them. These microscopes magnify the virus 250,000 times. They cost about €250,000.

What would we change/ keep in mind if we carried out this investigation again:

We discovered that the temperature in our school affected the collection of micro – organisms. We began our investigation in December. Some of the agar plates that we left out in different locations did not appear to collect any micro – organisms due to it being too cold.

We re – tested these areas in January, which included the staff room, library and sensory room, and yielded more accurate results.

With our award!