An active panda?

There were reports of a panda playing basketball on yard on Friday. The students of Ms Ferguson’s class reported that she was great at basketball and took a breakto snack on bamboo. She said she would be back for Active Week and that we can call her “Active Panda”!

Watch Geckoria’s Claymation here!

We have recently been learning about the 1916 Rising in history and reading the novel Friend or Foe. Inspired by all this, Geckoria decided to make a claymation to depict life at the time.

Here are some of the group’s comments about their work:

I really liked it because it was fun.

I liked the music and the sound effects.

I liked that it was black and white and looked like what it would have really been like in 1916.

Click on the link below to watch the claymation in full!

1916 Rising

Watch Hufflepuff’s Claymation here!

Hufflepuff made a claymation about an alien invasion and a watermelon called Steve. It is a major news story in New York city.

Here are some of the group’s comments on their work:

I liked that it was original and that people laughed at it.

The speaking, sound effects and music were funny and the actions were good.

I liked editing the claymation.

Click below to watch the claymation in full!

Alien Invasion

Making Claymations!

Over four weeks we worked in groups and made claymations.  The first step in making a claymation is to draw a storyboard of our movie. Once we had a plan in mind we got to work making our clay models. Have a look at some of the characters and props being created below.

Here are all of the finished characters and props!

Next step was to arrange our set and take our pictures. We had to be careful and keep the camera really steady. 

Once we had all of our pictures taken we had to upload the photographs onto the laptops. We had to edit our photographs, add text, add narration and create music for our claymation! This was definitely the hardest part of making the claymations. It took a lot of patience and teamwork.

When we finished our claymations, we had a Movie Day! We watched every group’s claymation and we really enjoyed seeing everyone’s hard work come to life! Thanks to Ms. Ferguson for popping in to watch them with us and sharing our work on Twitter!

St Molaga’s Active Schools Programme

St Molaga’s is committed to becoming an Active School. We are currently working hard to be awarded our first Active Flag. Here is some information about what we have been doing over the last two years.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME
In terms of our Physical Education Programme, all classes provide timetabled PE for a minimum of one hour per week and engage with every strand of the PE curriculum as laid down by the Department of Education. The different strands are: Games, Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics, Outdoor and Adventure and Aquatics. Unfortunately, we no longer have access to the swimming pool in Gormanston where we used to bring 3rd and 4th classes for swimming every year, but every class in the school covers Water Safety lessons which also make up an important part of this strand. Teachers in St. Molaga’s had the opportunity this year to avail of continuing professional development in the area of Gymnastics. This was very beneficial and will be helpful to teachers in delivering the Gymnastics strand of the curriculum. Many classes got several opportunities to dance this year, during Seachtain na Gaeilge and Arts week, not to mention work done under the Dance strand in their class PE lessons. Many teachers have uploaded photos of their Dance lessons to the Blog and they can be viewed by clicking on the “Active Flag” tag. The summer term is an ideal time to work on Athletics and Outdoor pursuits and many classes are busy working on these strands this term. The Games strand is always very popular amongst the pupils and a wide variety of different sports are played by the different classes throughout the school. Teachers are also supported by local clubs (Balbriggan rugby club, O’ Dwyers GAA etc). in their delivery of the Games strand.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY INITIATIVES
We have introduced a number of new initiatives between this year and last year to help make our school community more active. The majority of classes are now “doing laps” every day, some classes several times a day as a transition between lessons. Both children and teachers are very positive about the benefits of the running. The children enjoy getting out to stretch their legs and the teachers report that the running keeps the children alert and energised. This is a wonderful, simple, cost-free initiative that has great benefits for the children, both academically and in terms of building up their fitness and stamina.
Another initiative we have introduced is “busy breaks”. Many classes have built these movement breaks into their daily routines, again often as a transition between lessons, where the children get up and dance or jump around in their places to stretch their muscles and work off some energy. We have also agreed as a staff to always give children movement breaks in the classroom on days when it rains and it is not possible to go out.
Children in St Molaga’s are encouraged to walk and cycle to school and the Golden Boot and Golden Bike awards are given out regularly to the classes which have walked or cycled the most to school. Children are encouraged to be active at break times in the yard and we have rotas to encourage use by all of the basketball nets and the football areas. We have yard markings to encourage yard games such as hopscotch, and equipment such as skipping ropes to appeal to children who may not like to play ball games. 6th class pupils look after the equipment and show newer children into the school how to use it.
Another initiative this year is the introduction of active homework. Many classes do this on a weekly basis, other at certain times of the year. We are very keen for our pupils to understand that PE is a subject as important as everything else they study in St. Molaga’s.
As a staff we made the decision to do away with the “treat on Friday” that had become traditional in the school. We now encourage the children to bring a healthy, balanced, nutritious lunch every day, including Friday and to keep sweets as an occasional treat, at home rather than at school, with the exception of special days such as the school tour, or an end-of-year party, but again, even on these occasions, children are encouraged to eat sweet foods in moderation.
We have been focussing on building in an active element to as many of our school activities as possible this year. All special events, arts week, Christmas, Seachtain na Gaeilge etc. should have activities planned that get the children up and moving. Many teachers have been reflecting on how to bring more activity into other curricular areas, whether that means a history, science or maths trail, a nature walk, or dance movements to go with times tables!
Children with special needs are very well catered for in St Molaga’s school. They are included in all PE lessons and active pursuits. Many children with additional needs are afforded extra busy breaks and valuable opportunities to build up their fine and gross motor skills during the school day.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS
In St Molaga’s we are lucky to have excellent and beneficial partnerships with many community groups. Since last year, groups that have come into the school to share their expertise and work with our children include: O’ Dwyers GAA, Balbriggan Rugby club, the FAI and Balbriggan boxing club. Children have also had cycle training, yoga, scooter training and Sports Conditioning. We also had a parent who generously shared her expertise in Basketball coaching. Many children in our school participated in Gaelic football, hurling, soccer and rugby blitzes and competitions outside the school organised by our local clubs. We are hoping to continue to develop these partnerships in the years ahead and try to bring some new sports into the school as well.

ACTIVE SCHOOLS WEEK
We ran a wonderful Active Schools Week in St Molaga’s in 2017 and we are planning to run another in June 2018. There are many photos on the school blog of Active week 2017. This was a new initiative and has grown out of the Sports Days that classes participated in in the past.
Last year we had a very successful and popular Gymnastics, Dance and Skills display in the school hall. For many children, this was the first time they got the opportunity to showcase their talents in gymnastics, kick-boxing, karate, Taekwondo, ballet, Irish dancing etc. in school. We also had some terrific sports skills displays that included “keepie-uppies”, hurling skills (solo-ing, pucking, catching with one hand) and rugby skills. It was something we had never done before and both the participants and the audience were delighted with the outcome. This is certainly something that could become a fixture in the school calendar!
Other events that were part and parcel of Active week last year included a Gaelic Blitz for girls, two soccer leagues, two Pupils versus Teachers soccer matches, an obstacle course, basketball coaching, taster sessions in boxing, marathons, races, inter-class matches, Drop Everything and Dance and Drop Everything and Run.
We are greatly looking forward to another successful Active Week this year and hopefully we can continue to build on these successes going forward to make St Molaga’s the most active school in Balbriggan.

Remember, our new Active School Motto is:
HOP, SKIP, JUMP, PLAY,
LET’S BE ACTIVE EVERY DAY

All About Sound!

Recently we learned all about sound!

We carried out some investigations to see how sound travels through air and wood and designed and made ear muffs using tissue, bubble wrap or cotton wool! We even designed and made our own instruments. They turned out really well! Take a look!

We know that our hearing is very important so we learned all about our ears. We watched a video which told us about the different parts of the ear and their functions. We then used playdough and made a model of the ear in our groups.

 

 

 

Pat Browne Rugby Cup

6th Class boys and girls took part in the qualifying round of the Pat Browne cup (a tag rugby competition) in Balbriggan Rugby Club on Friday 4th May 2018. They played matches against other schools in the area. The team, captained by Shannon, put on a number of excellent performances to book the school a place in the final which will take place some evening in the next few weeks – date to be decided. All participants were awarded medals at the end of the day and St Molaga’s team were jubilant to get to the finals and to be given the chance to keep the Pat Browne Cup in our trophy cabinet for the coming year! Congratulations in particular to Charlie on his first time to wear the St Molaga’s jersey and represent his school in a sporting event! Well done to all the children for their excellent sportsmanship in congratulating all participating teams, and especially St. Georges who gave us a real run for our money in the final match! We are looking forward to the final in the coming weeks.

Check out these short video clips of the action on the day:

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Daily Laps

We have been running three laps of the Astro pitch almost every day since September. It is great exercise and we have al improved our fitness and speed. Earlier in the year we completed the Kids Marathon where we ran the last mile of a full marathon in Santry. We learned that a marathon is 26.2 miles or 42.195 kms.

Balbriggan Co. Dublin