Sligo Round Trip – Field Study Local Bus Services
Carmel’s class did a field study in the local bus around Sligo Town, basically a “Geography Applied” lesson. They got on the S1 Bus and went all around the town before returning back home to SSP. The children bought their own tickets, found their seat and off we went, safely driven by the nice and friendly woman driver. Shannon had prepared a checklist that was given to each child of things to find while viewing Sligo from inside the local bus. For many of the children this was actually the first time ever they went on a ride with the local bus, quite exciting.
Primary Colours Exhibition and Workshop
The older children went to see the Primary Colours Exhibition in Hyde Bridge Gallery recently. On the day it wasn’t just about looking at paintings. Included was also a lot of creative activity inspired by the show. We have a few impressions:
Following the visit to Hyde Bridge Gallery we also had two artist workshops in the school. Michael has written an account that can be found here.
Chess in Manorhamilton
The older children went to Manorhamilton to play in a chess tournament. The games were kept short and players rotated from one to the next table frequently. Hence they had an opportunity to play with a number of other children on the day.
And on the way from Manorhamilton to Sligo we even had a chance to go to Glencar Waterfall – so in all, a great day out, lots of brainworks and lots of fun.
Recently Carmel’s class was out at the chestnut tree looking for conkers …
… when Nabil found a little frog.
But we didn’t dare to try the trick with the kiss.
You don’t know what this is about? Check here. The kiss is at 47:00 minutes, but the story is all before …
There are some places in the Sligo area that are a kind of trademark. Knocknarea is one of them. On top of the mountain a massive cairn is found which is said to be the burial place of the legendary Queen Maeve. For us the annual climb of Knocknarea is as good as an obligatory part of the program at Sligo School Project.
Last year we could experiment with the new trail from the Strandhill side of the mountain. However we found the pathway through the forest rather bothersome. Hence we decided this year we would revert to our traditional climb from the Ransboro Side of the mountain. We were incredibly lucky with the weather also and had a fabulous day.
Garda Station and Court House
On Friday the 10th of June, Mark, the community guard, took the older children on a tour of the Garda Station and the Court House. Mark is a regular visitor to the school so the children know him quite well. The tour of the station was interesting. The children saw the interview room, the wall where people are measured, the room where finger-prints are taken as well as the camera room. There were lots of TV screens in that room and one of the guards showed us the camera that watches over the school! There is a gym in the station also for the guards to use on their breaks.
The highlight of the station visit for some children was going inside the cells. They were anxious to know what they were like. They were quite shocked to see how basic they were with only a bed and a toilet (Not like the ones we use!).
The Court House is a very impressive building. Mark took the children into one of the court rooms. He showed them where the judge sits as well as the criminals, journalists and general public. They had fun pretending to participate in a court case.
Thanks to Mark for taking the time to show the children around. Activities like this certainly create good relationships between the guards and the community. We have two reports on the visit.
On Friday the 10th of June we all went to the Garda Station for a tour. We met Mark at 10 o’ clock. He is a community guard.
Mark gave us a tour of the station. We saw the camera room and the place where the guards take finger prints. They use a machine to take the finger prints.
After the station, we went to the Court House. Mark took us into a court room. We saw the judge’s seat. I was sitting in the judge’s seat. It was fun.
By: Manus Irwin
Garda Station and Court House
We went to the Garda Station on the 10th of June. We walked to the station because it is near the school. We met Mark there. He is a community guard.
First Mark took us into the interview room where people get asked lots of questions. Then we went to where people get measured. They measured me. After that, we went into a cell. There was a bed and a toilet in the cell and nothing else.
There was a gym where the police do exercise and boxing. Next we went to a camera room. There were lots of cameras and we could see our school on one of the screens. When we went outside, we saw a police car. Everyone got inside the car.
When we were finished in the station, Mark took us over to the Court House. He brought us into a court room. Everybody had a turn to be the judge.
Then we went back to school. It was a lot of fun.
By: Tamas Perei
It may be worthwhile to point out that for many children in SSP English is not their first language. For them to be able after a few years of learning a new language to actually write a fully fledged story or report in English is an achievement that can not be praised highly enough.
GAA Amigos Skills Competition
Ross Donavan from the GAA came to the school in early February to do a skills competition with the children. The result of that was that 8 children (4 boys and 4 girls) were picked to represent the school in the Amigos Competition. They competed against 10 other schools. The competition took place in Summerhill College on the 29th of February. The children from SSP were:
Cassie, Samara, Ieva, Hodan
Paddy, Michael, Manus, Tamas (Unfortunately, Manus was in Dublin on the day and couldn’t go)
They performed very well on the day and got high scores. However, they didn’t progress to the next round. The skills tested were soloing, kick passing, catching and shooting. All skills were performed with both feet i.e. Strong and weak side.
On 3rd of March the older children went to an engineering workshop in the I.T. as part of Science and Engineering Week, 2016. The title of the workshop was, ‘Who wants to be a superhero?’ The children learned about super powers in the real world – strength, xray vision, flying, saving lives, lasers and wind turbines among other interesting science and engineering facts and activities. Events like this help the children to realise that science and engineering are interesting and exciting areas in which to work.
Sligo County Museum
The County Museum in Stephen Street is a small museum but there are lots of interesting artefacts to see. It is located just beside the library and well worth a visit (see also here).
For us it is only a few minutes walk, but there is always a lot to find on the way, too.
In October, pupils from the Mercy College and Summerhill College put on the musical, ‘Grease’, in the Hawkswell. The older children went to see the matinee and really enjoyed the performance. We are lucky to have easy access to the theatres and galleries and we certainly take advantage of the fact that they are all in close proximity to the school.
In September, the older children went to see an art exhibition in the Hawkswell. The exhibition was by Wayne O’Connor. His focus was on Fairy tales and the children enjoyed looking at all the pictures as well as trying to create some of their own.
Sligo Abbey is a very interesting place to visit and since it’s so close to the school, the children often take a trip there. The staff are happy to give guided tours to the children but sometimes, the children prefer to explore the old building themselves. It was first built over 800 years ago. Sligo was a very different town then.
The Abbey closes its gates for the winter every year so we always try to visit in September since it is so close to the school. The building is 800 years old and no matter how often the children go to the Abbey, they still love to explore and learn.
The River Garavogue and Doorly Park
We are very close to the river Garavogue. This is the shortest river in Ireland. In the warmer parts of the year we are frequently at the river and in the recreational area of Doorly Park. For us this is even a kind of nature trail with lots of opportunities to explore fauna and flora.
The older children are visiting various historical sites around the town with Paul Conlon from the School Completion Programme. Paul works in the school on Tuesdays and now that the weather has improved, our history walks have begun. So far, the children have been to the Greenfort, Sligo Jail and the two cathedrals, The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception which is a catholic cathedral and St John’s Cathedral which is a protestant Cathedral. Each of these sites has a story attached to it and Paul is very enthusiastic in how he delivers the historical information to the children.
As well as visiting the sites, Paul also shows the children presentations on the whiteboard which include old and new photographs as well as plenty of interesting facts. Here is a sample of the photographs that we took on our walks. We plan on making a historical booklet at the end of the year which will include photographs and interesting facts on each site visited. The booklet will serve as a useful resource on local history for years to come. Sincere thanks to Paul for all his hard work and for bringing history alive for the children.
For more information on ‘Greenfort’, see the link below
For more information on ‘Sligo Jail’, see the link below.
For more information on Sligo Cathedrals, see the following links.
On Thursday the 25th of March, the children attended a tennis workshop in the Tennis Club. The day was a great success with all of the children learning the basic skills of the game in a fun environment. Parents might like to know that coaching is available to children from ages 8 to 12 on Saturday mornings at the Tennis Club. For further details, you should contact the coach, Olwyn, on 0863514123.
Science and Engineering Week in the I.T.
The children from 2nd to 6th were fortunate to be able to attend a Science and Engineering workshop in the I.T. during Engineer’s Week. The experience was very entertaining and educational. The children learned about science and engineering in their own lives. Ordinary objects were used to perform magic! Forces, magnetism, chemical reactions, balance and explosive gases were some of the topics explored on the day.
The older children were learning about Fairtrade in Core Curriculum. The first two weeks in March are deemed to be Fairtrade Week. Once the children learned about the concept, they went to visit a local shop to see how many Fairtrade products they could find. So if your children are encouraging you to buy particular products while doing your shopping, there probably is a very good reason for it! They have learned that buying Fairtrade products means that the producers get a fair price and also, some of your money will be used to help poor communities in the world.
Saint Brigid’s Crosses
February 1st is the feast day of Saint Brigid. The children were learning about St. Brigid and they went to Doorley Park to gather some rushes to make St. Brigid’s Crosses. As rushes grow in wet areas, there were plenty to be found along the river.
The cross is a traditional craft. Years ago, most houses in Ireland would have a cross hanging in the house. The children managed very well as you can see in the pictures.
Tour of the Model Gallery
In November, the older children got a guided tour of the Model Gallery. They saw a variety of paintings and sculptures and also were able to experience a light and sound installation. The guide on the day had worksheets for the children and she told them all about the various pieces of art in the gallery.
The children were invited to a performance in the Mercy Secondary School by the Young Americans. This is a group of American teenagers who travel all over the world performing music and dancing. They did a workshop in the Mercy and the show we went to see was a performance by the young Americans and pupils from the Mercy. It was very lively and the children enjoyed the experience. One of the members of the group is actually a girl from Sligo who joined the group and travelled with them when she finished school.
World War II Exhibition
The older children went to a World War II exhibition which was held in the County Museum. It was very interesting, especially since some of the children had studied this topic in History last year.
Garda Station (visit in 14/15)
Mark, the community guard, recently took the children on a tour of the Garda Station. This was a very interesting day for the children.