This halfterm we have had two themes running side by side ‘Its a Wonderful World’ and ‘War and Peace’. The main focus was on WW1 – the history, the music, the poetry and the less obvious perspectives such as how women were central figures in the war effort at the time. We also looked in detail about different flora and fauna in the environment and ways in which we can help maintain it for future generations. Despite having to do our Drumcondra tests this month we still had time for lots of learning and fun!
We started to finish up the last chapters in our Irish text book during the month of May which consisted of Ocaidi Spesialta (special occasions) Rac gan stad and Féile an tsamhraidh! The children particularly enjoyed looking at a story where the characters attended a rock concert and get up to mischief while also revising their past knowledge of Christmas markets vocabulary when discussing the new summer fair vocabulary. We also had made some lovely Irish calendars for the month of May and wrote our first full ‘aiste’ about a concert.
During our English studies we focused on narrative poetry in the context of WW1. We looked at lots of examples of poetry from the time and how different poetic tools are used to convey images and feelings in the mind of the reader. We wrote some amazing poetry too which is on display outside the classroom and performed these during a poetry slam last Friday. We took a break from the heavy war poetry for a couple of weeks to get ready for our assembly. The children wrote some biodiversity raps trying to convince their schoolmates to look after the environment. These were the hit of the assembly and each child was amazing in their performance.
We covered quite a few Maths topics this month in order to be fully equipped for our end of year assessments. We looked at Directed Numbers, Area, Capacity, Length, Weight and Number Theory. These topics lent themselves very well to practical maths in and outside of the classroom. We also enjoyed some Maths treasure hunts that linked up with our PE topic of orienteering. This was a great way to recap on our long multiplication knowledge!
We were doing artwork consistently throughout the past few weeks in the form of diagrams of plants and animals in our environment. We loved learning how to draw specific plants and animals. We created some beautiful poppy backdrops for our WW1 poetry and used them to illustrate our lovely poetry. As part of our environmental work we made bee homes for solitary bees using recycled materials. Please let me know if you notice that any bees have chosen to live in your bee home! We also did some work on perspective art linked to Active Week where we looked at angles of sports that are not typically seen.
Science / Geography
The children created an environmental booklet continuing on the work they have done in previous years based on the book Wild Things at School. We looked in detail at animals (foxes and badgers), mini beasts (bees), trees (hazel), flowers(poppies and speedwell) and birds (kestrels). The children really enjoyed the topic and did some lovely written work.
The main focus this halfterm was on orienteering. The children too part in a range of team building activities and preparation tasks before they took part in treasure hunts around the school area. We did some invasion games to link our WW1 learning. We also had a jam packed week full of activities during Active Week. The children loved every minute but probably most enjoyable were the beach activities and taking penalties on myself!
Our value for this month is ‘Happiness’ and we tried to find things that make us happy on a daily basis and incorporate these into our daily lives at school. We also continued our learning on Belief Systems. Some of the topics we covered included What makes a good leader? We explored the role of Hindu priest, Muslim Imam and Buddhist Dhammapada: How they are chosen, their authority, common features and differences between leaders etc. We virtually visited a mosque using the internet and also explored rites of passage like Islamic Aqeeqah and young adults fasting for Ramadan, Hindu Eight samskaras e.g. Upanayana, Buddhist initiation, marriage and funerals and Christian events like first holy communion. The last part of our learning was to explore the links between religious codes of conduct: The Five Pillars of Islam, The Ten Yamas of Hinduism, The Five Precepts of Buddhism and the Ten Commandments.
Extra Curricular Activities
Some more highlights of this month were our special interactions with TDs in Grangegorman during the Walk 21 Ireland event, meeting the minister for Finance and the Dutch Ambassador and meeting the mayor of Helsinki. During these events, the children spoke wonderfully about areas of interest to them and were so respectful and engaged during the sometimes quite long meetings! Our 5th class had the opportunity to perform our Taibhsi no Laoch song for the Helsinki visitors along with some colleagues from Educate Together head office. They really did us proud.
We had an amazing day on our school tour to Russborough House in Wicklow. The children really had the best time in the outdoors facing their fears, being adventurous and playing together. It was great to be back on school tours again after so long. We also spent a lovely afternoon in Cabra Library with some local artists who taught us how to make our own books and decorate them. We really are a creative bunch here in 5th Class!
Stay tuned for all the news from our brand new topic which we started today!