A few hours ago we arrived at Lisbon airport. We were met at the airport and taken to Rio Maior where the host families were there to greet us. We didn’t expect it but it’s been raining heavily all day and for the past few days. The pupils were great and we didn’t have any problems along the way. We have an exciting week ahead. Everyone gave Sian their best wishes as it’s her birthday today! 🎂
“Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Thanks to everyone who came to our star gazing party on the 14th March. Though the sky was overcast at the beginning of the evening, the cloud cover thankfully dispersed over Gortskehy NS and we all enjoyed a very informative and sociable evening. The session was very kindly led by Astronomer Derek Dempsey of Newport Astronomy Club. He brought two fabulous telescopes with him as you’ll see below in the photos. Fiona Hopkins also came along and used the light meter to measure how dark our night sky in Gortskehy is. By 9pm the meter showed a reading of 20.93 which indicates excellent conditions for star gazing with almost no light pollution.
Derek used his laser pointer to show us the planets Venus and Mars and the North Star. Then the star constellations of Cassiopeia, Leo, Orion and the Plough.
Cassiopeia is one of the most recognisable constellations in our night sky with its distinctive ‘W’ shape consisting of five bright stars. It is very easy to spot and one of the earliest constellations that young children can be shown and come to recognise.
Leo looks like its namesake. A distinctive backwards question mark forms the head and chest, then it moves to the left to form a triangle and the lion’s rear end.
Orion’s belt of three stars is one of the easiest asterisms to find in the sky at night. Orion is useful to any star gazer as one can use him to find a variety of other constellations in the sky.
The Plough is one of the most easily recognisable asterisms in the night sky consisting of the seven brightest stars of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. The Plough is well known in many cultures and goes by many names, among them the Big Dipper, the Great Wagon, Saptarishi, and the Saucepan. The asterism is particularly prominent in the northern sky in the summer, and is one of the first star patterns we learn to identify.
Thanks so much to everyone who contributed and helped out in making our star gazing a really educational and enjoyable evening. I hope it’s a seed of knowledge sowed and a memory that will stay with the children for a long time.
Sixth class (2016/17)
On the first of February we made St. Brigid’s crosses. They were made with rushes. Every class got a turn making them.
Saint Brigid was named after a goddess. She was born in Dundalk. She died in Kildare. Her feast day is on the first of February. Her name in Irish is Naomh Bríd. Her saint names are St. Brigid of Ireland or St. Brigid of Kildare. She is one of Ireland’s patron saints along with St. Patrick and St. Columba. She helped a lot of people and animals. She was very kind and loving. There are many stories of St. Brigid. Here is one of them.
One day while Brigid was cooking steak for dinner a hungry dog came by and smelled the food. He went to where Brigid was cooking. She gave him a steak even though she knew her father would be mad at her. The dog left and Brigid prayed that her father wouldn’t be angry. She looked in the pot and a new steak had appeared. God was helping her because she helped the dog.