One Book One School

February 18th 2019.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Given the huge interest generated in school and in homes by the “One School One Book” project over the past three years, we have decided to continue with the project in fourth, fifth and sixth classes after the midterm break.

One School One Book is a community reading project based on the successful One City One Book project that takes place across the world. As part of One School One Book project, children and their families are encouraged to read and discuss a particular book and engage in support activities. We hope that all children and families will read the book at the same pace in school-thus generating interest, debate and anticipation across the school community. Please do not read ahead as it may spoil class-based activities.

This year the book we have chosen is A Dangerous Crossing by Jane Mitchell. It tells the story of Ghalib, a Syrian boy whose family has no choice but to flee their country. Together they set out on a terrible journey that leads them through dark and dangerous places. Ghalib comes under fire, is caught in a tear-gas attack, experiences the wretched and hopeless life of a refugee camp, and he still has to face the perils of a voyage in a boat that is far from seaworthy.

Based on the experiences of real Syrian families, A Dangerous Crossing is a story of bravery and solidarity in the face of despair.

The book retails at €11.99 but we are selling a copy to each family for €6. We will distribute copies to 4th, 5th and 6th classes today. Only the  youngest sibling in each family will receive a copy and they should return €6 to the class teacher.

As siblings (4th -6th ) will be sharing the family book, please ensure that the youngest sibling returns it to class each day.

We hope you enjoy the book choice this year. Despite the serious subject matter the children will recognise the uplifting messages of resilience, resourcefulness and hope which permeate this book. We will have an opportunity to chat to the author when she visits the school on Wed, 3rd April.

Yours sincerely,

Denis Courtney.

Debating Club

Some members of Ms. Murray’s and Ms. O’Brien’s classes have been participating in a debating club these last few weeks. The club, run by Ms. Ní Fheargail, has been meeting at lunchtimes in the library . The members have completes activities to develop their debating skills. The improvement in these skills was easy to see this week, when the children debated against each other on the following motions

All children should have mobile phones.

Homework is unnecessary.

The children in the audience decided on the winning motion by showing either a red or green card, depending on which speakers has convinced them of their motion the most!

Well done to all the children involved for using their lunch break to work on a new skill.

Debating will continue next week for the children in Mr. O’ Loughlin’s and Ms. Murray’s classes.

Thank you to Ms. Ní Fhearghail for giving up her own lunch break to run this worthwhile club.

 

 

 

Rainbows

What is Rainbows ?

Rainbows is a national children’s voluntary service with an average of 6,000 children and young people coming into the service every year throughout Ireland.

The Rainbows ethos  is that the grief experienced by children and young people in Ireland, following a significant loss in their lives through bereavement, parental separation or divorce, is recognised and that they are offered the understanding and support necessary to foster emotional well-being.

Rainbows supports children and young people in groups. There are groups for children and young people who have been affected by the death of a close family member and there are groups for children and young people whose family has changed because their parents have separated or divorced.

Core Values

  • Grief and loss are normal and natural
  • Grief and loss – a personal, individual journey different for every child and young person
  • The dignity of each individual’s grief journey is at all times respected
  • Participants are not approached directly to avail of the service – the service is offered in local communities
  • Children and young people are best supported within the family. Rainbows supports families at a time of loss
  • Children and young people are active, resilient participants in their own lives
  • Grief and loss can have a profound impact
  • Grief needs to be acknowledged and supported, not denied, buried or ignored
  • The emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people is fundamental to their future mental health and well being
  • Rainbows Ireland recognises the value of group support for children and young people, providing a process of normalisation and engagement with peers in similar situations

Guiding Principals

  • Ensure that all children or young people accessing the service of the Rainbows Programme are safe and that Rainbows Will Do No Harm
  • Ensure that the needs of children or young people experiencing a significant loss through the death of someone close and/or through the impact of separation and divorce are central to all practices and procedures
  • The service is a needs led service that seeks to act as an intervention or prevention in a child or young person’s life at a time of significant loss
  • It is a Level Two service of facilitation and support offered in local communities. It is free of charge.
  • Rainbows objectives are focused on effective outcomes and impact, that is the healthy adaptation and integration of significant loss in a child or young person’s life
  • All Rainbows Programmes will be delivered as set out in policies and procedures of the Rainbows organisation, by trained Volunteers, providing a warm, welcoming, trusting environment.
  • Rainbows Ireland is committed to inclusivity, equality and operating procedures that are non-judgmental and non-directive
  • Rainbows Ireland is committed to Best Practice guidelines, policies and procedures in all aspects of service delivery benchmarked by international and national standards.
  • Rainbows Ireland has a commitment as a national voluntary organisation to deliver and sustain consistent and continuous support to children and young people experiencing significant loss through death, separation and divorce.
  • Rainbows Ireland recognises its Duty of Care and has protocols in place for the efficient and appropriate referral pathways for those who present with more specific needs, or at risk.
  • Central to the delivery of the Rainbows service is the specific boundaries of the service.
  • Rainbows Ireland is committed to continually developing and improving all aspects of service delivery and organisational practice – governance, training, continuous professional development, supervision, care, support and welfare of volunteers and staff, evaluation/measurement/monitoring, reflective practices and reviews, finance and financial recording
  • Rainbows at all times aims to be a learning organisation where people, systems and processes are continually improving to enhance the service.
  • The Rainbows organisation, recognises a collective responsibility in supporting bereaved children and young people at the various levels of the Bereavement Care Pyramid in Ireland. Rainbows Ireland is committed to collaboration and linking with peer organisations and services.

 

Digital Schools of Distinction

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We are delighted to announce that St. Brigid’s has received a Digital Schools of Distinction Award!

Back in June, we received a visit from a Digital Schools validator who assessed the school’s use of technology for learning across a range of class levels. Representatives from infants up to sixth class demonstrated the ways in which we use technology in our school. Projects demonstrated include

  • digital art

  • digital storytelling

  • robotics

  • coding

  • Minecraft

  • Google classroom

  • interactive whiteboard use

  • school library use
  •  iPads and apps across a range of class levels.

The validator was hugely impressed with the exceptional use of technology across the school and stated in his report that “this school and its teachers, students and community lead the way for all other schools to follow”.

We are absolutely thrilled and are looking forward to the presentation of the Digital Schools of Distinction Award later this term.

” What was observed and experienced during this DSoD validation was nothing short of exemplary and I would especially like to thank the príomhoide, Mr Denis Courtney and Nicola Fay and all the teaching staff and students of the school for giving the validator a glimpse of what a superb and dedicated school is achieving in ICT when a clear vision is defined, managed and implemented on a daily basis. It was my absolute privilege and pleasure to feel totally inspired after my visit. “

 

Read the full  report here

 I believe this school and the teachers, students and community lead the way for all other schools to follow”

Discover Primary Science and Maths Award

We are delighted to announce we have received a Discover Primary Science and Maths Plaque of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Excellence for the year 2016/2017.

As part of our new STEM initiative this year each class in the school were involved in a variety of hands-on, specially selected projects and activities. Projects included coding, robotics, engineering activities, digital art, creating animations, writing digital stories etc. This work complemented all the STEM work that was already happening in our school.  A huge thanks to all teachers and pupils in the school for their enthusiasm and work.  All of the STEM project videos and photos can be seen on the STEM section of our school website.  

We were thrilled to receive such positive feedback for our work from the Science Foundation of Ireland:

“Excellent use of available resources has really complemented the sterling work by both staff & students alike. Evidence of whole school involvement is incredibly pleasing to see. Keep up the great work.”

We want to thank Ms. O’ Callaghan who has been leading our Stem initiative this year 

STEM education is an approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content and skills of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Some of the activities also became STEAM activities with the addition of ‘A’ for creative arts. The learning is project-based and focuses on inquiry, student – led investigation and the development of skills such as communication, collaboration and problem solving. 

 

Buddy Reading

Infants visit their buddies classroom in June

Junior Infants have just begun BUDDY READING . We have used buddy reading in Junior Infants for the last number of years and we love it!  Each child is paired with an older buddy from 5th class who comes down to their classroom and listens to them read and talk about their book every day.

Some of the benefits of pairing a younger child with an older one are

  1. Build confidence – The buddy reading builds confidence in the child as they read aloud to their buddy.

  2. Builds cognitive skills – in a child and thus increases attention and motivations for the tasks.  Interpersonal and social  skills are developed . The skills of the older students also are passed on, as the younger students follow their peers.

  3. Positive Attitude – Classroom practices build a positive attitude towards literacy and help the young student blossom into better students who are confident and can read better. The students are more responsive to the reinforcement and feedback provided by their buddies.

  4. Learning made fun – Buddies have a lot of fun together and thus learning is made a lot of fun and interesting. The buddy makes reading fun and makes the children look forward to it. The buddy reading makes the reading more enjoyable and once the liking is there at both ends, both look forward to many more such sessions.

  5. Benefits for Older Buddies

    When an older child acts as a reading buddy, he reaps benefits as well. Having a younger child look up to him as an example can help the older child develop a desire to be a good role model. Whether this results in better reading habits, better grades or better behavior, it’s a winning situation all around. In addition, taking a step away from books on his own level and spending time with easier reading can motivate the older child to read more on his own.

One Book One School

 

Given the huge interest generated in school and in homes by the “One School One Book” Project over the past two years, we have decided to continue with the project in third, fourth, fifth and sixth classes after the midterm break.

One School One Book is a community reading project based on the successful One City One Book project that takes place across the world. As part of One School One Book project, children and their families are encouraged to read and discuss a particular book, along with supporting activities held in school. We hope that all children and families will read the book at the same pace as in school – thus generating interest, debate and anticipation across the school community. Please do not read ahead  as it may spoil the many class-based activities.

This year the chosen book is New York Times and international bestseller “Wonder”, written by R. J. Palacio. Wonder tells the incredibly inspiring and heart-warming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time. After encountering ignorance, discrimination and hostility, the sweet-natured Auggie gradually wins acceptance, and ultimately triumphs over his circumstances.

This book has the power to engage children in a compelling and moving read that will may cause tears, laughter, empathy and much discussion. We believe that this is a book for the whole family – children and adults.

We hope you enjoy this project. With your interest and support, this project will spark a deeper love of reading and a maybe a better understanding of difference.

 

Early Maths

We have introduced Maths support in the Junior Classes using the Ready Steady Maths , Numicon and Mata sa Ranga Programs whilst the support in the Senior Classes is mainly in problem solving.

 

The videos on this page were taken in Senior Infants and show the children playing Ready Steady Go Maths Games. These games have been devised for children to play as part of their number activities to help them develop and consolidate important ideas in number in a fun way. This program is being taught in Senior Infants with the help of the Learning Support Team. It is part of our Numeracy School Improvement Plan.

Click on the images to play the video clips.

Happy Faces Game

Animal Matching Game

Making 5 Game

Sweetie Jars

Apple Memory Game