Newsletter January/February 2016
Here is some information, letting you know some of the very exciting things that went on last month and some of those planned for this term
Mother Tongue Week: We had our most successful Mother tongue week ever in December. During this week, we emphasise the importance of the child’s home language-lots of different activities with Parental involvement. Parents came in and taught songs to groups. All the classes worked on a particular country, learning about that language and country and doing artwork to decorate the hall and the school, celebrating what a truly international community we are. Children were given passports and went around to see other classes, learn a couple of facts about the country they were doing and get their passports stamped. Parents came in to read to language groups in their home language.
Mother tongue concert. What a wonderful way to end our first term with a very successful Mother tongue concert. Thanks to Virginia and Zedd who taught the Lithuanian Da Gaideliai to Lithuanian speakers; Serena for her Christmas song, Mos Caciun mosul bun for the Romanian group; Karolina for the Polish song, Domowa Piosenka; Monserrat for Bata Mi for the children speak Yuroba and Shandana for Pakistani anthem in Urdu. There were even parents who performed themselves. Thanks to Sophie who gave a haunting rendition of an eighteenth century traditional Mandarin song about the beautiful jasmine flower, Mo Li Hua. Her performance with the Mandarin group brought tears to our eyes. This was wonderfully contrasted with a stirring performance by our new family, the Mastrominicos from Italy who performed a rousing Italian song Me so ‘mbriacato as well as preparing a group for an extremely lively traditional Italian dance, the Tarantella, which was greatly enjoyed by the dancers and audience alike. Class teachers also prepared the children with many different language performances also, including the Latvian chant Es bi j puka, O le le from the Congo, Hung chai may may from China. Adula, a traditional Ugandan chant, Ta San Nichloas ag teacht as Gaeilge, Frere Jacques in ten different languages, Jambo (Swahili) from Kenya, Padesneig from Poland and La Vague Noire from France. The two 4th classes did a wonderful Bollywood style dance Jai Ho which was a firm favourite with many of the audience. Second class did a great version of Hello to all the children of the world. Bell ringers and tin whistle players added to the merriment on the day.
1916 Centenary Programme
March 15th has been designated Proclamation Day for all schools in Ireland. On this day there will be a flag raising ceremony, children will sing the irish National Anthem and the actual proclamation (or part of it) will be read out. We will also be reading from our own schools “Proclamation for a New Generation” which we are working on at the moment. More information to follow
School Self Evaluation: School Planning and the Introduction of Guided reading
At the moment we are implementing vocabulary development in literacy and problem solving strategies in Numeracy. These initiatives are continuing. We have also decided to roll out Guided reading, which is a very specific way of teaching reading. Children are tested prior to grouping and then they are very tightly grouped according to their reading and comprehension levels. Classes from 2nd to 6th will be involved in this new initiative. Each class will have help from a member of the support staff twice a week to implement four groups using the 5 step classroom plan for guided reading. Involves a huge investment of personnel and funds. We have purchased about €10,000 worth of books to supplement our reading stocks. All children from 2nd to 6th have been individually tested and graded at levels appropriate to their instructional level.
Colette has sourced Ready Steady Sing programme for children in 4th class. It is a once a week high quality singing lessons, which are run by Jennifer a music teacher employed by Music Generation. Although the course is heavily subsidised by South Dublin County Council and the group U 2 , there is still a cost . The PTA has agreed to fund this cost for the school. We hoe to offer it to all fourth classes as they make their way through the school
Auditions for main parts and rehearsals have begun on a production of Mary Poppins for the end of the year. All children from 2nd to 6th are welcome to take part. Rehearsals take place on Friday afternoon during Golden Time.
After school clubs
Football, drama, art, keyboard, tin whistle, Irish dancing, chess, basketball lego are all currently taking part in the schools after school programme.
New Language Curriculum
The Department of Education and Skills are introducing a new language curriculum in all primary schools commencing next September. The new Primary Language Curriculum/Curaclam Teanga na Bunscoile for English and Irish has been developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). This curriculum is for teachers of pupils of all abilities in the junior primary years, i.e. from junior infants to second class inclusive. it concerns language teaching in English and Irish.
School Year 2016/17
There will be an initial emphasis on the Oral Language/Teanga ó Bhéal strand. From September 2016, this strand will begin to be implemented for infants to second class.
School Year 2017/18
From September 2017 the Reading/Léitheoireacht and Writing/Scríbhneoireacht strands will begin to be implemented for infants to second class alongside the oral language strand.
School Year 2018/19
From September 2018, there will be full implementation of all strands for infants to second class.
School Year 2019/20
From September 2019, implementation of Primary Language Curriculum/Curaclam Teanga na Bunscoile for third to sixth class will begin.
Year 1 November 2015 to June 2016
Familiarisation with the curriculum and initial preparation for schools, introduction to and planning for teaching and learning using the learning outcomes and the progression continua of the oral language strand. Implementation will involve
a) a half-day information seminar for school Principals (facilitated by PDST), followed by a half-day school closure for in-school, whole-staff CPD through use of on-line supports.
b) and b) one subsequent full-day seminar for school Principals and one other teacher (facilitated by PDST),
followed by a second half day school closure for in-school, whole-staff CPD through use of on-line supports. Substitution for attendance at seminars, where required, will be provided.
So for this school year two early closings, one on Wednesday 27th January and the other to follow further training for myself and Catherine (Literacy post holder).