It looks like the 6th class girls had a fantastic time on their final school tour with Scoil Mhuire! Did we keep the best until last? Was Ballyhass Lakes the school tour of all school tours?
Next week it will be Active School Week here at Scoil Mhuire. We aim to include a variety of fun activities that everyone can enjoy. The girls will need to wear their track suit all week. We have a lot of activities planned, including:
- Dance at 10;
- Dance Fit;
- Jigsaw Relays;
- Teddy Bears Picnic (Infant classes);
- School Circuit;
- Table Tennis (rang 3);
- Run 1k in a day;
- “Sports for All Day” is planned for Tuesday!
Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some fine weather. Check back on the school blog for reviews of the activities and some pictures of the children in action!
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.
In May 2017, four very interested scientists in 6th class were selected to make a trip to UCC to represent our school at the Salters’ Institute Festival of Chemistry. This Salters’ Festival of Chemisty is one of 51 festivals that happened throughout the UK and Ireland in 2017, aiming to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences amongst the young. We are very grateful to our PFA who both made this opportunity possible and covered the costs involved in attending and traveling to the event. Bean Ui Shúilleabháin traveled with the girls for the day.
As you can see, our students had a very interesting day: they had a chance to participate in a lab challenge and also got to see a chemistry magic show. We were very proud to have been awarded 3rd prize in the challenge and also 3rd place in the university challenge. We came home with a lovely box of science resources for the school. We’re are especially proud to have done so well as we were the only participating primary school at the event!
Scoil Mhuire Soar Into The Future
Scoil Mhuire have entered in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition for the third year in a row. Over the past five months the pupils of Scoil Mhuire have worked around the clock to design, build, programme and drive their Robot, Rocky.
The world needs the students of today to become the scientists, engineers, and problem-solving leaders of tomorrow. Science constantly presents us with new breakthroughs and challenges, creating greater opportunities for problem-solving through technology. The solutions to these problems could help change the world, and technology-based problem solvers will be the people to make it all possible. Each season, one Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) subject is the primary focus of the VEX IQ STEM Research Project. This year the STEM Research Project theme focuses on Robotic Technology in the community. Students are encouraged to think about how Robotic Technology is being used in areas they encounter on a daily basis. Teams will develop an area of study that interests them.
Scoil Mhuire Robotics Team investigated the use of robots in the home and predicted the future of robotics. In October the team visited Collins Barracks in Cork City and analysed how the bomb disposal robot called “Hobo” functioned. Using this information Scoil Mhuire experimented with their own robot. They discovered their robot could travel up to forty three metres while “Hobo” could only travel ten metres. The project team predict robots will play a dominant role in the home.
Blue Frog Robotics
The Scoil Mhuire Robotics Team completed an ample amount of research based on robots in the community. Blue Frog Robotics was one company which fascinated them. This company have been developing robots since 2007. Blue Frog Robotics developed a robot called “Buddy” (The Companion Robot). Buddy is the revolutionary companion robot that improves your everyday life. Open source and easy to use, BUDDY connects, protects, and interacts with each member of your family. Their goal is to design and develop robots that are accessible to everyone and help people live easier and safer, and have fun.
We hope you will have enjoyed some of our Christmas shows this year. For the first time we experimented with a variety of venues for our Christmas performances: some of our Christmas productions were performed on stage at the community theatre; some were in the spacious community centre hall; and the infant classes performed in the school hall. Each class group produced a show of their choice and parents were invited to come and enjoy the festivities. Colourful costumes, music, interesting story lines and most importantly the girls’ creativity and talents made each performance unique and special. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience and a great end to 2016!
Junior and Senior Infants had three very successful showings of “Whoops-a-Daisy Angel” in the school hall. Poor Whoops-a-Daisy got everything wrong to begin with, but it all worked out in the end with the safe arrival of Baby Jesus. It was amazing to see such young children taking charge of the stage, singing all their songs, remembering lines and enjoying the story of Christmas. Well done to all involved!
Our first and second class groups joined forces to produce a show called “The Smallest Angel”. 5 Angels were sent on a mission to find the best place on earth for Baby Jesus to be born. They didn’t have much luck until the smallest angel, exhausted from her travels, took a nap in a stable in Bethlehem…..which was of course the perfect spot for Jesus to be born. The girls really enjoyed giving us a tour of the world in this show. We loved the international aspect of it all, as well as the wonderful singing, dancing and acting! Bravo everyone!!
Third class decided to host an awards event this year: “The Stars are Coming out for Christmas”. There were some very worthy contestants: Christmas Cards; the Christmas tree; Santa and his elves; and Christmas Dinner. A surprise last minute entry, “Beth” – the star of Bethlehem (the celestial sort) stole the show and won the award for the “Most Outstanding Contribution to Christmas”. In this show we loved the jokes that just kept on coming from reporters on the red carpet, the professional hosting of the event, the music, the dancing and the poetry. Everyone contributed to make this show outstanding – the girls were all stars!
Fourth class decided to take the traditional well loved story of the “Magic Toy Shop”. Hans, the toy maker had terrible trouble when his cat Grudles got up to mischief and all the toys came to life for one night! There were marching soldiers, dancing dolls, puppets, a rocking horse and even a jack in the box! It almost ended in disaster when Han’s precious porcelain doll fell and broke…but fortunately the other toys were able to find some glue and put her back together again. The costumes were stunning! The acting was top class! The audience loved the story-line and the animated characters. What a wonderful performance – well done girls!
Fifth class created their very own “Christmas Goggle Box” -based on the popular TV show. They worked hard on their script to include some of their favourite shows and a lot of humour – such a creative and smart group of children! We saw a typical family gathered around the TV watching a variety of shows and celebrities including Donald Trump & Melania, Ryan Tibridy on the Toy Show, Dathaí & Máire from the Today Show and even some X-Factor extracts! We were most impressed that our girls created a script with such humour and insight and that the actresses captured each character so well!
The Sixth Class show was a pantomime – all in rhyme! Oh yes it was!!! Cinderella was looking for a fella and her ugly sisters were of course getting in the way, with their big feet! Red Hot Cinders was jam packed with Irish dancing, pop dancing, a minuet and singing, not to mention top notch acting as you would expect in a pantomime! We had audience involvement as the two sixth class teachers danced with the classes to compete for the spotlight – fortunately both classes were winners! There was great humor and the girls were so confident on stage. Weren’t they great? Oh yes they were!
A special word of thank you to parents, teachers and others who contributed to the performances – providing costumes, practicing songs and lines, calming nerves, stage management, introductions, script writing, the set, photography, sound, stage painting, lighting, road crossing, putting out chairs and many other tasks.
“To Sing is to Pray Twice”
(St Augustime, 430 AD)
The Confirmation ceremony in Scoil Mhuire, Ballincollig took place on Thursday, May 9th. Bishop John Buckley confirmed the two sixth classes. Fr George O’Mahony, Fr Dave O’Connell and Fr John Buckley, an uncle of one the pupils, concelebrated the Mass. Bishop Buckley welcomed the girls, their extended families and sponsors who had come from near and far to be present for the ceremony.
This was a moving and uplifting ceremony, a feast of singing, music and prayer. There were Irish, Latin, English and Italian songs ranging from traditional to contemporary styles. Soloists, duets, small and whole groups sang beautifully. The sixth class pupils were backed by the fifth class choir.
Highlights in the varied repertoire included the 1,000 year old Gregorian chant, ‘Veni Creator’; Taizé’s own ‘Confitemini Domino’ sung in dulcet harmony; the students’ favourite ‘Laschia Ch’io Pianga’; the poignant Communion reflection ‘Unexpected Song’:
“Now no matter where I am, no matter what I do,
The love of God the Father comes,
Like an unexpected song, an unexpected song that only we are hearing”.
Many in the congregation commented on the surprise element in the selection of songs and music: every part of the ceremony brought a new unexpected musical or singing treat! The ceremony finished on a high note with the up-tempo song of praise ‘Celebrate’. ‘Celebrate’ was written by Australian catechist, Monica Browne. Earlier this school year, Monica worked with the sixth class students in workshops on meditation and music. The teachers and students devised their own actions to this song. It was a lively finish to an unforgettable occasion.
There was also an accompanying feast of music: maracas, tingling triangles, wood blocks, tambourines, chime bars as well as a tin whistle band from fourth class who gave beautiful performances of ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Morning has Broken’. Two young violinists from fifth class played poignant Irish airs that they had previously played for the President, Michael D. Higgins when he visited Ballincollig.
The pupils were prepared by their class teachers, Margo Ní Shúilleabháin and Claire Ní Bhriain as well as Scoil Mhuire teacher, Helen Ní Ailíosa who accompanied the girls on the Church organ.
Girls being girls, there was also a very high level of sartorial elegance!
No detail was left unattended to as the girls shone in a range of exquisite styles and hairdos. There are many ways to praise God and to celebrate this milestone in the girls’ spiritual development.