The May sunshine streams into the classrooms at Scoil Naomh Pádraig. The students from Miss Claire O’Malley’s sixth class and Miss Noreen Bailey’s fifth class are full of enthusiasm.
Energy awareness is something which they have been promoting all year in the pursuit of the school’s second green flag. Ryan Finn explains how they concentrate on turning off lights and computers when they are not in use. Their green slogan is “Switch it off”. Evan Williamson describes how they held a low energy day back in March where they switched off the heating at 2pm instead of 4pm. They also made other alterations to see what they could achieve.
Jack Quirke tells about a recent visit from a Sustainable Energy Ireland representative, who came in to show the pupils how energy can be generated. She had a bike where the power of pedaling spun the wheel, which was connected to a blender, which made smoothies. The pupils also got to ask her questions and play other energy related games.
Another milestone in the sixth class diary was achieved on Sunday May 19 when 13 boys were confirmed, along with the girls’ school, at St. Brigids church. Fr. PJ Somers carried out the honours. In the run up the sacrament, the boys learned about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Peter Nicholl-Walsh lists them off - Courage, Wisdom, Knowledge, Reverence, Understanding, Wonder and Awe,
Sixth class also did a project called “Transport through the Ages” where they looked at how people moved from place to place from walking through to bicycles, trains and boats.
Fifth class pupils have also been very busy. They each chose a topic of their choice for a special project. Evan Williamson chose to look at the Irish boxing scene and the careers of Irish Olympic champion, Katie Taylor and other leading fighters. Roland Adedeji took a more international approach where he researched the legend of Mohammed Ali and Mike Tyson.
Cycling is a sport which is close to Jack Carroll’s heart. He chose to look at mountain bike sports and road racing. Jack Poole did a project on the history of Manchester Utd. The pupils love writing exciting stories. As part of narrative writing, they came up with their own short stories. Jamie Ford told the tale of how a prisoner made his escape from jail. Fifth class wrote descriptive accounts of day to day life as Gaelige. The classes also looked at different styles of writing including reports which mainly deal with description and dispensing information.
The boys at Scoil Naomh Padráig love sport. They just recently lost out by five points in the semi-finals of the Gaelic football Cumann na mBunscoil competition against Ticknevin. Mr. O’Toole coaches the team. This year, they also entered a basketball team for the first time. They also take part in a soccer blitz every year in Kilcullen. The school also organises an in-house summer Gaelic football league.
Dylan Quirke and Nathan Cush tell how they hold a sports day every year with athletics and other activities including an obstacle course. Not many schools are right next to a state-of-the-art swimming pool but Scoil Naomh Pádraig has the privilege of neighbouring the Defence force facility, where the pupils go swimming. Ben Swindelhirst from Newbridge Rugby Club brought the Heineken cup to the school. He also held tag rugby sessions in the school during the year.
Reading is also a popular pursuit for the pupils. They analysed “The Spirit of Titanic” as their class novel. Not only that, they received a visit from the author, Nicola Pearse. Ore Odunuga tells the story of the book and how this young lad, who was working on the ship, passes away and ends up roaming the vessel as a ghost. The students even went to Cobh to see where the huge ship set off to get a sense of the ship and its ill-fated voyage.
“The Hobbit” by JR Tolkien is a another big favourite as well as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Roland likes to read James Patterson novels. The boys regularly use the school library.
The Golden Points system means pupils are awarded points for good deeds and helpful turns, so at the end of each month at assembly, the person with the most points gets a homework pass.
Its that time of year again when the school tour season kicks off. The fourth and fifth class pupils are going to the National History Museum, Collins Barracks and Trinity College. An adventure centre at Larch Hill in Dublin is the destination for Sixth class.
The pupils from sixth class are also preparing for a visit to Carlow IT to learn what college life is like and experience engineering, science and other technology. Another highlight of the year so far has been a visit from Voice of Ireland contestant, Tammy Browne. She sang a number of songs including “Locked out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars.
The pupils also play tin whistle. Sean sometimes brings in his guitar to accompany the class.
Fourth and fifth class have created their own maths game called Maths Trail where you have to solve clues to find your way through to the end. With so many activities going on, the pupils have an exciting time ahead until their summer holidays.