St Clare’s N.S. Ballyjamesduff

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First Class

Fáilte  romhat go Rang a hAon!!!

First class had a busy start to our first term. We were delighted to be back at school, having fun with our friends and learning lot of new things. We stay at school for an extra hour each day now and have time to learn even more than we did as infants! Our Belonging Tree and Hot Air Balloon art activities made us all feel ready to launch into our new school year.


We have spent time enjoying the brand-new areas within our school since we returned, reading books in the comfy surroundings of our school library, learning together in our outdoor classroom and visiting our fantastic new playground. We were so lucky to win a raffle ticket to be the first class to visit the playground on the day that it opened. Now that was a special treat!



First and second class also have a new yard to play in this year and have lots of fun there every day, being kind to our friends, looking out for each other and making sure to include everyone in our games!


In our own classroom, some of the lessons we have really enjoyed so far have been our senses science experiment, our maths dice games and lots of art and craft activities. We drew our self-portraits; created some amazing colour-wheel magic eyes, each with its own super-power; designed dingle-dangle scarecrows; and, finger-painted Autumn trees too.

Most recently, we started guided reading sessions in our class. We welcome Ms. McGovern to our class to help us with our reading each week. We also took an Autumn nature walk and noticed all the Autumnal change taking place along the Nun’s walk.

It has been a very busy term in 1st class, learning lots of new things, being creative, celebrating special occasions, starting tennis lessons, continuing our guided reading sessions, working on the Stay Safe programme and having endless fun at the same time!

Back in January, we explored weather in S.E.S.E. and learned about two famous scientists Anders Celsius, who created the Celsius scale to measure temperature and Sir Francis Beaufort, who invented the Beaufort scale to measure wind speed. We listened to pieces of music depicting the wind in various forms and then designed colourful windsocks to measure wind direction. We were very proud of our creative efforts!

In February, we learned all about St. Valentine, made love-bugs for St. Valentine’s Day and explored the country of China in S.E.S.E. We also celebrated Safer Internet Day and took part in the school poster competition. Congratulations to Oliver Allen who was awarded the prize in Ms. Cunningham’s class!

March was jam-packed with exciting and interesting activities! We marked Pancake Tuesday by creating our own perfect pancake faces in class, using a variety of yummy toppings. Not only did our culinary creations look really adorable, they were absolutely delicious too!

We learned about the religious season of Lent, learned some new special prayers for Lent and celebrated Ash Wednesday by making a Lenten Promises Box and writing our own Lenten promises. Fingers crossed we can keep those promises until Easter Sunday!

We were treated to a visit by the local fire service in early March also. We heard all about the work of firefighters, learned about the equipment that they use, how they protect themselves and the new state-of-the-art fire station Ballyjamesduff will boast in the near future. We delightedly accepted an invitation to visit the new station when it is completed. We even got to try out their very powerful fire-hoses and were rather drenched afterwards!! Huge thanks to the local fire crew who gave their time to teach us all about the incredible work of the fire service. We now may have a few budding fire-fighters in our class!

In conjunction with World Book Day 2022, we devoted a whole week to the celebration of books and reading. We designed bookmarks, brought our favourite books into school, did lots of D.E.A.R. time, decorated our classroom door with our favourite book cover designs in the style of the ‘Borrow Box’ library app, and even created a display of ‘The Twits’ paintings to decorate the corridor outside our classroom. Mr. Smith’s 4th class popped in for a visit, partnered up with each one of us and read us some really brilliant stories. They kindly presented each of us with a personalised bookmark too-that was really thoughtful of them!

Ms. McGovern treated us to a literacy hour of fun and games during World Book Week also. We played Snakes and Ladders, Xs and Os, card games, Roll and Read and word-hunts, all based on words and reading. We really enjoyed it and improved our reading skills at the same time.

Even art was based on a book during World Book Week. We created the elusive ‘Where’s Wally’ character using potatoes, paint and pom-poms. We really had to concentrate as it was a very delicate and tricky task!

We rounded of World Book Week by dressing up as our favourite characters and what a mixture of intriguing, superhuman, hairy, fantastical and regal beings we had! From Gangsta Granny, Mr. and Mrs. Twit and Matilda to The Cat in the Hat, princesses, unicorns, a king and superheroes, it was a colourful and imaginative collection of characters that graced our classroom on the day. Congratulations to Macie Daly who received a book voucher for her convincing, creative home-made Mrs. Twit costume!

1st class were really lucky to be offered a five-week course of tennis lessons this term also. Our coach is fantastic and we really enjoy our weekly sessions. It is a wonderful chance to learn a brand-new sport and our tennis skills are improving rapidly. Wimbledon here we come!!

Bhí Seachtain na Gaeilge den scoth againn i mbliana. Le linn na seachtaine, rinneamar Tóraíocht Tasice (treasure hunt), Biongo Mór (bingo), comórtas ealaíne (art competition) agus céilí sa halla. Tá comhghairdeas tuillte ag Alex Smith as an gcomórtás ealaíne a bhuachaint! D’fhoghlaimear conas ‘An Haka’ a dhéanamh trí mheán na Gaeilge agus chruthaíomar seamróga le cailc (chalk shamrock designs) agus fir seamróige (shamrock men) freisin. Bhaineamar an-sult as an seachtain go léir!

After a few busy weeks of hard work, learning, creativity and physical activity we fully deserved a visit to the fabulous new school playground What fun we had! We are so lucky to have such a superb facility in our school. We are looking forward to the next time we get to make a return visit already!

Term three was a busy one in 1st class! We were very creative with lots of

imaginative art-making taking place in our classroom. One of our favourite

activities was the clay ladybirds that we moulded and painted once they were

dry. They are now proudly displayed in our homes!

In science this term, one of the topics we explored was magnets. We examined

a variety of different materials to see if they were magnetic, looked at whether

magnets worked through various materials and were amazed to see how we were

able to move different magnetic objects around using only our magnets!

We also took a wildflower walk and familiarised ourselves with the many

different wildflowers growing along The Nun’s Walk. When we returned from

our walk, we designed some chalk wildflower designs, just like the famous artist

Georgia O’Keefe.

In religion, as part of our Grow In Love programme, we heard and dramatised

the story of The Pentecost and learned all about the Holy Spirit.

We were thrilled to welcome the return of our annual school tours this year and

having missed out on school tours for the last two years due to Covid ’10, for

first class it was our very first school tour EVER! We had a fantastic day in The

Crystal Maze and even managed to bring home a fabulous trophy for our school

with each of our teams collecting over 100 crystals each for the various

challenges we undertook in the day!

We had big cheesy grins this month! We have been working so hard on being kind and respectful this month and all of our hard work paid off! We were awarded a Pizza Party for filling our Pizza Reward Chart full of Pizza Slices.

In June, first class were working on Outdoor and Adventure activities in P.E.

We had a super afternoon enjoying a photostar orienteering activity in the

school grounds, where we each had to solve photo clues to fill our answer grids.

We have been learning all about Measures and Weight in Maths this month. We enjoyed weighing different items (and eating our chocolate items afterwards!)

We were also busy making lemonade! We were practicing writing procedures in June and what better way to practice but to make it! It was delicious!