Newsletter February 2016

A word from the Principal…..
Dear Parents/Guardians,
We’ve had a very busy February in St. Peter’s.  While all the shared reading and bio-diversity work has been  going on our Senior Classes have taken part in a Ceremony of Light followed by the Sacrament of Confirmation, administered by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on February 11th and some of our second class pupils have received the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  We’re also taking part in the I.N.T.O. Handwriting Competition and some of our pupils are training very hard for cross-country and Olympic handball finals also.  Our Junior Orchestra performed in the Church, both for Confirmation and at a special concert on Sunday afternoon, February 28th.  The pupils are also beavering away in their Art classes, covering the theme of St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter.
Here’s hoping our new Government will be as industrious!!
Joan Quinn  -   Principal
Junior Infants News
We had a very busy time this month learning all about spring! We marked the first day of spring by learning about St. Brigid and her beautiful cloak. 
We love looking out for signs of spring at home and at school. We learned about the life cycle of a plant and we planted cress seeds. We water them every day and we are waiting for them to grow. 
It was also Valentine’s Day, so we painted wooden frames red and decorated them.
We have started to practice for Seachtain na Gaeilge. We love singing songs and learning poems as Gaeilge!
Senior Infants
Spring is here! The days are getting longer and the nights are getting shorter! This month in Senior Infants we have been busy welcoming the new season. We've been learning all about the weather patterns associated with the changing season and we are enjoying recognising and naming all the Spring flowers that we are beginning to see sprouting up in the gardens and parks. We have decorated our classrooms and corridors with brightly coloured re-imaginings of the Spring time environment; yellow daffodils, fluffy lambs and rainbows brighten up our walls!  For Valentine's Day we made some pretty arts and crafts for our loved ones; we hope our parents liked them!  We really enjoyed our mid-term break, and we shared our news and wrote all about how much fun on our extra days off!
This month in Ms. M. Flanagan's First Class we learned about St. Brigid as St. Brigid's Day was the 1st of February.  Ms. Flanagan showed us how to make a St. Brigid's Cross from rushes.  We made a simpler version using coloured paper.  We also learned about Lent and listened to the story about "The Lost Sheep."  We also heard the story from the sheep's point of view.  We learned a poem about pancakes for Pancake Tuesday.  We also had a poem about an alien and we drew pictures of what we thought he looked like!  Our reader had a story about aliens who landed at the children's house.  We then pretended we were the aliens and wrote a postcard home to our native planet!  We learned a little rhyme and poem to help us to remember the names of the planets.  In History we were comparing old and new photos of some well known Dublin landmarks such as The GPO, O'Connell Street, Trinity College and looked for similarities and differences between them.  We did a lot of map work in Geography.  In Science we were learning all about insects and got to look at some real-life models.

Ms. A. Quinn
Maths in particular has been extremely hands on. We covered both capacity and weight in the measures strand. This involved a lot of group work and mathematical experiments where children had to estimate, find the real answers and then find the difference between their estimates and the actual answer. It was so much fun seeing who could make the closest estimates! As well as that we have started to add much bigger numbers and have become pros at "carrying one"!!!
We are continuing to enjoy learning about biodiversity and ways in which we can help biodiversity. As part of this we learned all about food chains! The craziest part was we learned that plants are actually able to produce their own food using sunlight! I think we can all agree that this particular skill would be extremely handy and cost effective!  We also learned about all of the things a plant needs in order to grow and, seeing as we had become such experts, we decided to grow our own plants! None of us minded getting our fingers dirty planting seeds and covering them with soil :)
Ms. S. Mulhall
The boys and girls in our class have been very busy this month. We have spent a lot of time working on our maths. We have learned how to rename our tens and units. Now we can add even bigger numbers. 
Spring time has been very exciting learning all about the changes for plants and animals. We have looked at birds’ nests and chatted all about the buds on the trees. 
In history this month we are learning all about 1916 preparing for the Easter Rising celebrations. We are talking all about the proclamation and colours of the Irish flag. 
We are also revising our Irish songs and poems in preparation for the Seachtain na Gaeilge performance in our school in March. We are all very excited. 
Ms. E Reilly
This month in our class we had lots going on. In English, we learned all about debating and had lots of fun discussing many different topics, deciding if we were for or against. We also spent a lot of time learning about the writing process and how to make our stories even better than they already are!! In Maths, we learned how to rename when subtracting and we found it really easy…we are so speedy at our subtraction now J In Art, we completed our snowmen by wrapping them up in scarves and hats…they are so cute!!! We also made lovely Valentine cards and “key to my heart” keyrings. As Gaeilge, we are getting very good at writing and speaking in full sentences…we are going to keep up the good work .We had a very special occasion in second classes this month…40 of our pupils received the Sacrament of Reconciliation (First Confession) on February 16th. We worked really hard preparing for it and we enjoyed the evening. Thanks to Ms Ryan and her 4th Class for all the lovely singing. J Now we are ready to begin our preparation for our First Holy Communion, which takes place on May 8th.Finally, we would like to welcome Ms.Ní Loinsigh to our class. She will be with us in the coming weekand we are really enjoying her lessons, learning lots of new, exciting things J
Ms. S. Moore 
In 2nd Class, we were very excited about the start of Spring this month. On February 1st we celebrated St. Bridget's Day by making St. Bridget crosses using pipe cleaners. We enjoyed observing the changes in weather in Spring and also the wildlife and nature. We learned all about life on the farm and learned where milk and wool come from. On February 16th, some children celebrated their Frist Confession. This was a very important event in the childrens' lives. I would like to thank the co-operation received from the parents and also the children themselves who did a fantastic job on the night! This week, Monday 22nd, we welcomed a new teacher to our class, Ms Raftery. Ms Raftery will be with our class for a few weeks and we look forward to all the work she will be doing in our class.
Ms. S. Molloy
This month we have been looking outside of our own little country at the rest of the world! We learned all about Spain. Did you know that Spanish people sometimes have a 'siesta' in the middle of the day when the weather is very hot?! We learned a song called 'Hello to all the Children in the World' which taught us how to say hello in many languages. Some children in the class who come from other countries taught us how to say hello in their languages too! We are currently working on projects about various countries around the world and are enjoying learning all about them.  In preparation for the General Election, we have been discussing what we think the Government should do to improve our own country. We're not quite old enough to vote or run for election, but we did make our own campaign posters and explained to our classmates what we would do if we were elected! The future would be bright if we were your politicians!! 
Ms. M. Beirne
In February third class started work on our exposition writing as part of the First Steps programme. We have had many interesting debates including the school uniform debate and a discussion on whether cats or dogs make the best pets. We have been working with regular and irregular 2 D shapes and finding shapes that tessellate.  They have also started learning their division tables in Maths. In Geography we have been finding out lots of interesting things about Brazil such as its language, major cities, main geographical features, and cultural events. In Art we finished off our work on our mosaics of a scene from nature. We also worked with clay and made bowls in which to put some mini Easter eggs. In Science we conducted an experiment on plants in which we investigated the conditions necessary for plants to make their own food (photosynthesis) and grow. They planted seeds in three different pots. Pot A contained the control which had the optimal conditions for growth (sunlight and water), Pot B had sunlight but no water and Pot C had water but was kept in a darkened room. Children observed that the only seeds that grew healthily were the seeds in Pot A (the control) which had all the optimal conditions for growth.  
Ms. A. Ryan
During the month of February we have been busy learning about Ancient Rome and how the Roman empire expanded under the reign of Augustus. We examined famous Roman architecture such as the Roman Forum, Circus Maximus and the Colosseum. We discovered how historians believe that  during the reign of Titus the Colosseum was often flooded and held naval battles!!  We began reading our novel “Holes” by Louis Sachar and are intrigued already. We played music and sang at the Confirmation and First Confession and enjoyed both occasions immensely. We are looking forward to performing at the Seachtain na Gaeilge concert in March!

Mr. Ryan
Mr. Ryan's 5th class were extremely busy at the start of February as we were preparing for both the Ceremony of Light and the Sacrament of  Confirmation. We had to complete our confirmation booklets which were displayed in the church before and after the ceremony. We worked really hard in our preparation and both ceremonies were very successful. In English, we started the novel 'The Guns of Easter'. This is a story about a young boy called Jimmy who lives in Dublin during the week of the 1916 Rising. The novel details his life through this tough time in history. We are also preparing for our Seachtain na Gaeilge concert in Irish. We will perform some songs and poems. One of our songs is by a famous Irish man called Padraig Pearse who was involved in the Easter Rising. The song is called 'Óró Sé Do Bheatha 'Bhaile' .We also took part in the Irish seanfhocal art competition where we wrote an old Irish saying and included a picture to explain it. We learned about the 'Great Irish Famine' and how there were many changes to Ireland as a result. We focused on food webs and food chains in Science and examined the concepts of producers as well as primary, secondary and tertiary consumers. Finally we are also learning a famous pop song for our violin lessons ('Ho Hey' by the Lumineers). 
Ms. O’Brien
In Miss O’Brien’s 5th class this month we have begun reading our very interesting novel ‘The Guns of Easter’. It is opening our eyes to the experiences of people in Ireland in 1916. We have been engaging in lots of debates in English, such as uniforms, homework, children having pets and debating the advantages and disadvantages of electronics and books. In Gaeilge, we have been learning about ‘éadaí’. In Science, we have been learning about mixtures. A mixture is made up of two or more substances which are jumbled together. For example for breakfast you may have a bowl of cereal and milk, this is a mixture. Cream is also a mixture so we conducted an experiment to see if we could separate cream into two parts, a solid and a liquid. In our experiment, we turned the cream into a solid yellow lump (butter) and a whitish liquid (buttermilk)! Why did this happen? Cream is a mixture. It is made of tiny drops of water mixed with fat droplets and protein. By shaking the cream in the jar we made the fat droplets stick together, forming butter. The liquid part had the protein and that was the buttermilk we created. It was a fun experiment and some children took home the butter and buttermilk. In History, we learned all about the famine which we found really interesting. In Geography we are learning about the geography of Europe. Did you know that Russia is by far the largest country in Europe, taking up 40% of the continent (although the country has territory in both Europe and Asia), The Vatican City is the smallest country in Europe and it is also the smallest country in the world! 
Miss A Horan
This month we were really busy preparing for our Confirmation Ceremony. We worked really hard putting the final touches to our booklets, songs and prayers. We had a fabulous day and it was worth all the effort. The following day we got our photographs taken and the much anticipated 'mystery trip' location was finally revealed. We had a great day at the Energy Fun Centre and returned to the school exhausted.
We have also been working on our projects on 'Native Irish Species'. We presented our projects to the class and it was really interesting hearing about the huge variety of animals to be found in Ireland.
Ms. A. Carroll.
On Thursday 4th February, the students from 5th and 6th class came together in St. Peter's Church to celebrate the Ceremony of Light. The students renewed their Baptismal Promises and they made promises regarding alcohol and drugs.  Their parents passed on the 'light' to them.  It was a very solemn occasion.  On Thursday 11th February, the same students made their Confirmation. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was the celebrant. The students were accompanied by their sponsors to receive the Gift of The Holy Spirit. The students chose a saint's name as their Confirmation name.  It was a lovely occasion and the choir and the orchestra performed beautifully. (Thanks to Ms. Ryan and er 4th class and Ciara also). The church was decorated with the students' Confirmation booklets which were assembled by the students themselves. We had refreshments and a lovely Confirmation cake in the hall after the Ceremony.  
Dates to Remember:
Wednesday 16th March ‘16:  School closes at 12 noon for
Easter holidays.
Monday 4th April ‘16:  School will re-open at 8.50a.m.

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