Here in Gortskehy N.S., we are delighted to announce our involvement with the Digital Schools Excellence programme. We are part of a three school cluster which includes St. Pats BNS, Castlebar and Meelickmore N.S.. We made an application to be involved in this project to the Department of Education and Skills last year and were successful. We will be working as a team over the next 3 years to enhance our teaching and your children’s learning using digital technologies. Each family will receive a copy of our first newsletter below. We are in the process of developing our own website where you will be able to view our ongoing progress throughout the year.
Our class tour for 2018 was to Graune Pet Farm. We all had such a great day out, meeting lots of different animals including Sammy the snake!! Once we finished saying hello and learning about the animals, we had lunch together and then some well deserved playtime. Please see the short video clip below of our day out.
A sincere thank you to all who supported our Pupil Art Exhibition which took place on Thursday 24th May. It was a great success!
This week we built our very own bug hotel here at school. The children really enjoyed this activity and learnt more about biodiversity along the way. They all worked hard to find suitable materials and construct an attractive dwelling place for the insects in Gortskehy!
What is a bug hotel? A bug hotel is a manmade structure created from natural and recycled materials to provide shelter for insects. They can come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the specific purpose or insect it is catering for. They usually consist of different sections that provide insects with nesting facilities – offering shelter or refuge for many types of insects. Many insect hotels are used as nest sites by insects including solitary bees. Other insects hotels are specifically designed to allow the insects to hibernate, notable examples include ladybirds and butterflies.
Good materials to construct insect hotels with can include using dry stone walls or old tiles. Drilled holes in the hotel materials also encourage insects to leave larvae to gestate. Different materials, such as stones and woods are recommended for a wide range and diversity of insect life. Logs and bark, bound reeds and bamboo are also often used. The various components or sizes of holes attract different species.
Building a bug hotel will not just benefit wildlife in our area but we will have the pleasure of being able to watch a host of different creatures making their homes and learn all about their fascinating behaviours. A bug hotel offers free accommodation to its occupants. In return, when it’s time to go they’ll be right on site to go about their pollination and pest predation. The good news is a bug hotel costs nothing just a little time and effort. Please watch the photostory attached to see the children creating the bug hotel.
We are taking part in the Eco Ranger’s primary school programme which is run by Bord na Móna and involves various fun activities with our pupils to discover, learn and connect with nature. Helen O’Callaghan from the Irish Examiner contacted us to find out more and you can read the full article here.
Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 4th, 5th and 6th Classes set off on the bus to explore the natural habitat along ‘The Land of the Giants’ around Clare Lake.. Before we set off, we discussed water safety and the children discussed how we stay safe around a body of water. Even with the damp weather the children were very excited.
We found some minibeasts, lots of natural vegetation and birds! We saw ducks, geese and dogs out for their walk! We found lots of snails. We saw bees and flies particularly near the water’s edge. We found Marsh Marigolds, Daisies, Daffodils, Dandelions, Bullrushes, Yellow Iris, Ivy and many trees including Fir, Birch, Ash and Scots Pine.
The children worked in groups and had fun filling out their Eco Safari journals. The whole experience was again very enjoyable and educational, the children are all great ‘Guardians of the Land’. Please take a minute to view a short video of our Eco Safari below, thanks.
Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st and 6th Classes went on a very successful Eco Safari last week here in Gortskehy. Before we set off, we discussed road safety and the children put on their hi-vis vests. The excitement was palpable. We then explored the natural hedgerows that exist close by our school.
The children were very enthusiastic and interested, we brought magnifying glasses and collection jars to help with our search. We found lots of minibeasts, natural vegetation and even a fossil! The children worked in groups and had fun filling out their Eco Safari journals. The whole experience was so enjoyable and very educational. We are looking forward already to our next Eco Safari. Please take the time to view the video of our safari.
Friendship…… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything. Muhammad Ali
We are so excited and happy to have received our very own Buddy Bench! This has been a project involving the greater school community, without whose help and generosity, it would not have been possible. Eugene McCartan so generously donated the timber (Larch) and gave of his time cutting and delivering the timber. Claremorris Men’s Shed kindly designed and created the bench for us and lastly but very importantly the Infants all took part in decorating it!
What is a Buddy Bench? Buddy Benches are a fabulous resource used in schools throughout the world which promote positive mental health and emotional well being. It is a physical bench that is in the school yard and If a child has no one to play with or would like someone to talk to, they sit on the bench. This is a signal to the other children on yard that they need companionship. The children learn that it is ok to ask for help and others will come to their aid. Children learn it is not ok to leave anyone out and we treat others always, as we like to be treated ourselves. It is a safe place in a busy playground where loneliness can be dispelled and lifelong friendships fostered. It promotes inclusion for every child in the school. Everyone is valued.
Thank you to everyone who came to Garrymore hall to watch our play ‘It’s a Baby’ before the Christmas holidays. The children worked very hard to learn all the songs and actions in the weeks leading up to the performance. I am very proud of them. They had such fun performing for all of you and really enjoyed the whole process. Please take a few minutes to view the video of our play by following the link below, thank you.
Senior Infants (2017/18)