On Monday, May 8th, 2017 a wonderfully enthusiastic bunch of Claddagh National School Staff headed off on a magical mystery treasure hunt organised by our very own tour guide Mr. Joseph Walsh. He set out 15 difficult clues for our clever staff to find on the way to our Salthill Promendade which involved not only fitness, agility … look at Mr. Gabriel Farragher using all his core strength to bend down to look under the bench for the clues but also our mental energy to figure out some of the difficult clues!
Some staff chose to work on the difficult treasure hunt on their own while others worked in teams or pairs! They all did fantastic work and the winners were announced the following day at the Erasmus Plus HAPPENS Festival which was a celebration of Europe Day!
Well done to all our clever staff!! The prizes were food and beverage vouchers from our local restaurants! This was a terrific way to encourage us to get out in nature during a stressful busy time of year while also allowing us to be mindful of the nature around us and improve our mental health. Working together with our colleagues, having a laugh, improving our work / life balance and thinking laterally are all part of the core aims of the Erasmus Plus HAPPENS programme and this activity addressed all those objectives in a fun and active way.
The winners were:
3rd Prize: Mrs. Inez Riordan, Deputy Principal
2nd Prize: Mrs. Keira Glynn & Ms. Jennifer Lee
1st Prize: Mrs. Sara Grier
Ann Dillon from Health and Herbs here in Galway gave a presentation and discussion on the various applications of herbs and plants in promoting health and well-being. Ann explained the benefits of using a range of local herbs, as well as demonstrating how and why they can be used.
Students from the Claddagh NS ASD Classes, along with the support of local Secondary School students took advantage of the recent fine weather in Galway. Students enjoyed hunting for various things on the beach. A great time was had by the students and assistants.
The Claddagh school staff were invited to create a piece of art today. We looked and responded to a painting by Wassily Kandinsky, The piece “In Blue” was painted in 1925 in Russia. We looked at the painting and participants used words like, strong, straight, colourful, travel, angles and masculinity to describe this abstract piece. The teachers also could see images like tomato, rooster and light house in the painting. Participants were then invited to paint a response to the painting, people painted a mix of abstract and representational work. They mixed colours as they were only offered the 3 primary colours and white. All participants enjoyed the time to sit, chat and create. It is a practice we could build into our term, perhaps once a term meet at lunch time just to sit, chat and create. I believe that creative practice not only allows a space to relax but also a space to connect with other participants.
The children of 3rd classes listened to Aquarium by Camille Saint-Saen. They discussed the affect of the music, how it made them feel and what images it brought to mind. The children then represented these feelings through the medium of paint and reflected on the use of colour, shape and brush movement.
Mr Walsh’s Sixth Class has been hard at work researching about SIRT foods. Please read their excellent findings and research!
The teachers at Claddagh learned about healthy super foods called SIRT foods at the Cardiff learning week and came back and shared this learning with the children.
Mr. Leonard’s Fourth Class really enjoyed discussing and displaying different feelings during circle time, all with the help of some Kimochis.
We first discussed the various feelings, talking about how some of them were simple and some of them were more complicated; how we liked some and didn’t like others. We also recognised that everybody experiences all different sorts of feelings, and that they are all perfectly normal.
Next, using the Kimochis, we picked four different feelings we would like to examine during the session: brave, sensitive, left out and silly. Taking turns, we passed the Kimochi chart around the room and, at first, completed the sentence: “I feel X when…”
On the next round, we added some fun by adding a demonstration of the feeling before finishing the sentence. The children really enjoyed acting out times when they felt brave (see pictures)!
In the next session, we went on to discuss possible reactions to different emotions, e.g. how feeling left out can often lead to jealousy, which causes us to act in ways that hurt other people. We role-played more positive reactions to feelings we didn’t like.
Overall, these activities were greatly enjoyed by the children, and one of the interesting things about them was that the children got to see that everyone – even their teacher! – experiences all different types of feelings.
Teachers were given an explanation of the Gymnastics Scheme used in our Welsh partner school where infant aged children are told a story where animals are used to illustrate various gymnastics poses and actions to help them to understand how to use their bodies in different ways. The resources given to our school were shared with the staff and in particular, with the infant class teachers, who will begin to incorporate these new ideas into the lessons.
Anna Parkinson shared the fun transition activities she learned at the Cardiff LTTA with the staff. As you can see, these brain games and lesson transition activities went over a bomb with the staff who love to learn something they can use the very next day with their students.
In the game seen in the photos, the staff must try to remove their finger from the person beside them while simultaneously trying to grab the finger of the person on the other side of them! We’re not sure the staff are up for this level of eye-hand coordination on a Monday morning after a long January but we did our best and we’re certain the children will love this and the other games we learned from Ms. Parkinson!
On Monday, February 6th, the teachers and Special Needs Assistants at the Claddagh National School attended a training event after school given by the staff who attended the Learning Teaching Training Activities week in Cardiff, Wales in November.
The Staff thoroughly enjoyed the tasting session. We savoured a delicious snack of Medjool dates, stuffed with almond nut butter topped with a square of 85% pure dark chocolate. Even the most skeptical taste testers were impressed with this delicious special treat!! We also served high quality coffee, green tea. You can also see a special secret concoction prepared by our very own expert Ms. Brenda Kenny. It was a warming drink with many of the SIRT Ingredients that can help to prevent colds and flus. It including citrus fruits, cayenne pepper and other ingredients! Ms. Kenny also made energy balls which were gobbled up by the hungry staff! This was definitely a popular event and we will enjoy trying the SIRT foods with our families at home!
Thanks to the Welsh team for introducing the concept of SIRT (Super) foods to us and we’ll enjoy this yummy dissemination!