This school year saw Scoil Mhuire introduce an after school science club for the first time. It was offered for a block of 6 weeks, for an hour after school on Wednesdays, to girls in 5th and 6th classes and was entirely optional. The uptake was fantastic as the girls are generally very interested in science and curious about the world around them. In total the club ran three times in the year allowing 36 children this wonderful opportunity to work scientifically in a small group. It was a pleasure for Bean Uí Shúilleabháin (and Iníon Uí Chéilleachair, some weeks) to work with each group as they all displayed such enthusiasm and interest in all things scientific.
In science club the girls were encouraged to bring their own ideas or materials to explore. Teachers also provided interesting ideas and materials for both demonstration and hands on investigation. The girls got a chance to made bouncy balls and slime, to explore friction and electrical circuits amongst other things! Ask the girls how a lemon and some wires might be used to light a bulb, what shapes are best used in the construction of cup-towers or ask them about how oxygen gas can be made and demonstrated to be present – they will have a lot to tell you! We won’t say anything about the dent in the library ceiling or how it might have happened….all in the name of science! It’s nice to know science is leaving it’s mark on the school.
We had a fantastic day at Fota Wildlife Park in May! Our guide took us all around the park and we learned some very interesting things! Did you know for example, that an ostrich egg is so strong, a junior infant could stand on it, and it would not shatter? Or, that a baby giraffe can stand up just hours after being born?
We walked a lot, had a picnic, and a ride on the Fota fun train. We were also really excited to see our transport there and back was a double-decker bus!!
On May 16th 2017, Fourth Class received a Creative Schools award for their 20 minute Promenade Theatre production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. This involved students performing five scenes not on a stage but in five different locations (outdoors and indoors) around the school. The invited audience followed the actors as they performed the street fight scene in Verona in the Infants yard, the Masquerade Ball in the school hall, the Balcony Scene at the outdoor railings, to the Friary in an alcove in a doorway, to another street fight in the main school yard, to the Capulet House in the school hall to the final Crypt scene staged in the school poly tunnel. This Drama project was co-ordinated by Helen Ni Ailiosa.
The second phase of this integrated arts project was co-ordinated by Fourth Class teacher Margo Ni Shuilleabhain. This involved the creation of a series of collaborative pastel pictures depicting the characters and action in each of the five scenes. This beautiful, ‘romantic’ Visual Arts display was exhibited at the Award Ceremony in ‘The Ark’.
The distinguished classical pianist John O’ Connor presented the award and was charmed by Fourth class Valerie when, dressed as Juliet, presented him with a rose, quoting from the play ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’. This Creative Schools Award is one of a number of initiatives hosted by the ACAE (Association for Arts and Creativity in Education) which directly promotes and nurtures creativity in the classroom.
This year, the Association for Arts and Creativity in Education invited eight previous award-winning schools to showcase their high standard of creative work. Scoil Mhuire was one of these eight and on the day ‘stole the show’ (Ger O’ Sé, founding member of ACAE)