Welcome to the senior room of 5th and 6th class! Our teacher is Tríona. The senior room is always a very busy, creative, interesting and fun classroom and this year is no different. This year we have 26 students in the senior room (11 in 5th class and 15 in 6th class).
Maths is an important part of the curriculum and thankfully the students are embracing the heavy workload. The curriculum is presented in a variety of different ways throughout the year. We are currently revising all the multiplication tables and children are battling it out for King and Queen of the Tables weekly! Olivia joins us for maths every Wednesday to assist in the classroom for some extra support. It’s great to have two teachers in the classroom at the same time! On Thursday Olivia re-joins us as she presents Numeracy Hour. This is an hour of maths group and pair work designed to help pupils learn strategies to tackle problem solving in maths. Once a month we will have Maths 4 Fun in the classroom in which we have the use 8 ipads and headphones. Pupils also learn about using their “Maths Eyes” to recognise maths in the world around them.
The children learn the core language subjects of English and Irish daily in the classroom. They are working hard on a variety of reading comprehensions, oral language exercises, grammar exercises, writing, spelling, poetry and songs. We have just began reading a class novel, “Carrie’s War” and the children are eager to get through a few pages every day.
The children are enjoying learning French with Monique every Monday. Recently, Monique generously treated pupils to some delicious baguettes with chocolate and many French cheeses, some very smelly ones too! Merci Monique!
On Tuesday Mary Finn visits our classroom and we have a great Traditional Music Session. We are so lucky that children play a variety of instruments such as tin whistle, accordion, concertina and fiddle in the senior room. We try to practice a few times a week as we all enjoy a few tunes in between other subjects. We are currently practising for Grandparent’s Day on the 13th of December and looking forward to showing off our talents!
Sport is always eagerly looked forward to and we are grateful to Connemara Rugby Club who have sent Jason to us to teach the pupils Tag Rugby. We have also just completed a very successful 6 week course of Swimming lessons in the Station House in Clifden.
The highlight of our year so far has to be the “Circus”. We have been so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to learn circus skills from the Galway Community Circus. Circus aims to create a space where there is a balance between creativity and physical exercise in a non-competitive atmosphere. Circus is not only beneficial to the body, but to the mind also. Circus training is an alternative form of physical education which can help with balance, hand-eye coordination, body awareness and physical ability. The children are busy preparing for a circus show on 30th November to let parents and other students see what they have learned.
Later in the year the pupils will have the opportunity to participate in Yoga, Gaelic and Soccer. In June we compete in Cuman na mBunscoil GAA tournament and also the FAI Soccer tournament in which we have had great enjoyment and much success down through the years.
The children will participate in two Microteaching lessons at the GMIT. The lessons, presented by the second year students in the college, are always very interesting and enjoyable.
This year the children are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. There are 19 pupils being confirmed in March 2018. Prior to confirmation the children will participate in the Ceremony of Light. Preparations for this very special day are ongoing throughout the year but we look forward especially to a Retreat in Ballintubber Abbey in February 2018.
Every Wednesday we do a Visual Arts lesson which will usually be linked into some other aspect of the curriculum. The children are very talented and highly motivated when it comes to art. During Sea Week we had a visit from Gordon Darcy who taught the children how to draw many different types of gulls. We also met Dave McGrath who taught the children about the phases of the moon and how to plot them on graphs. We look forward to more guests in May during Bog Week.
We have just begun a six week course of Coding with Bowen in which the children learn about Scratch and how to programme. It is so impressive to see what they can produce and how quickly they are progressing. It’s second nature to many of them!
I am sure the year ahead will have many more exciting opportunities for us all in the senior room. I will keep you posted!