Last weekend’s “Big Garden Bird Watch”, gave us all plenty of opportunity here at St. Mary’s to get outside. Not only did we immerse ourselves in nature, we also “expressed ourselves” through: creating bird feeders, taking photographs, drawing and recording what we saw!
We know why we spend time outdoors in nature:
It builds our confidence- The way we play in nature is more informal and less structured than most of our indoor play.
It promotes our creativity and imagination. We can think more freely, design our own activities, and approach the world in inventive ways.
It teaches us responsibility. When we take care of the living parts of our environment we learn what happens when we forget to water a plant, or pull a flower out by its roots.
It provides us with different stimulation. We activate all our senses: we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch in outdoor environments.
It gets us moving. Interacting with nature involves more exercise than sitting on our couch!
It makes us think. The phenomena that occur naturally in our gardens and fields make us ask questions about the earth and the life that it supports.
It reduces our stress and helps our Mental Health.
So, what are you waiting for? Be like us and GET OUTSIDE!
A reminder that elections for the school Eco Committee for KS2 pupils (P5,P6,P7) will take place next Monday, October 14th.
Presentations can take the form of a written speech, poem, rap, song or digital presentation. Pupils have been informed that if they intend to stand in the election, they must register with their class teacher. If they are using a supporting digital presentation, it must be brought in on a pen or uploaded to their Google Drive before the date of the election. Promotional posters may also be displayed around the school. Good luck to all of the entrants!
Many thanks to Natural World Products who donated a pallet (50 bags) of compost to the school this week. On hearing the pollytunnel that our school shares with the Ring of Gullion group had been vandalised over the St Patrick’s break, NWP stepped in to help us. It was a wonderful gesture and much of the compost has already been put to use in the new Nursery garden.
Well done to the St Mary’s representative who took part in the 2019 Newry Mourne and Down Environmental Youth Speak Final. There was a lot of hard work put in by the P7 pupil before getting up on the stage in Downpatrick and she certainly did her school, family and community proud. Well done!
Well done to the 21 pupils from P6 and P7 who entered into the Environmental Youth Speak competition for 2019. The theme was, “A Day in the Life of an Eco-Warrior.”
All of the pupils and staff in attendance were blown away by the stage presence, standard of delivery and the content of the speeches. The children demonstrated great courage by getting up on stage in front of a packed assembly hall.
The winning entrant will be the pupil who has the highest combined score for their content and presentation, which are marked in equal measure. Their name will be revealed in school tomorrow and we wish them luck ahead of the Newry, Mourne & Down DC Final in Downpatrick next Tuesday.
The Eco Committee launched the Big Battery Hunt at assembly on Friday. Each family in the school has received a battery collection box to take home. When this is filled with used batteries, pupils can take them into school and empty it into the mega-battery in the foyer. Pupils can refill their collection boxes as often as they wish. Once our mega-battery is completely filled, it will be collected and the school will be entered into a draw for some great prizes.
Thanks also to everyone who contributed towards the non-uniform Green Day on Friday past. A super total of £195 was raised and this money will go towards the Eco Schools programme in the school.
Friday, March 15th will be a non-uniform day. Pupils are invited to wear something green as we celebrate our patron saint and hopefully raise some funds for the St Mary’s Eco Schools programme. A voluntary contribution of £1 per child or £2 per family would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks to Ann Garvey for coming in to school today to facilitate some public speaking workshops for Primary 7 and Primary 6 pupils, who are busy preparing their entries for the 2019 St Mary’s Environmental Youth Speak competition. The children were delighted to receive some tips in the art of public speaking from Ann Garvey, who is an expert in her field.
Pupils have been enhancing their literacy skills through this Eco Schools activity. This project will also incorporate ICT, as the children will submit their work through their Google Classroom.
There is great excitement building now with just one week to go to the big event. The winner will then go forward to represent St Mary’s at the Newry, Mourne & Down DC Final later in the month.
Primary 7 have been working on a Christmas craft with a difference this year, as they created St Mary’s first ever igloo! This STEM task enabled pupils to enhance their mathematical, technological and thinking skills. The idea came from our Eco Committee and the finished product has been given as a gift to the new Accelerated Reading library. The children invited the kitchen staff down to see the finished article today as many of the milk cartons came from the canteen. Bernie liked it that much she wanted to try it out for herself!
Pupils worked through the following stages in this project:
Creating a detailed plan for each stage before commencing the build;
Collecting lots of 2L milk cartons;
Measuring the radius & marking out the circumference of the cardboard base;
Gluing the cartons into pairs using the hot glue gun;
Sticking each pair into place with a space in between to create a curve;
Calculating the decrease in cartons needed for each ascending row;
Bridging the entrance and forming the closed roof at the top.
P7 certainly used a lot “i-glue” in this project, pardon the pun, but can anyone guess how many cartons were used? Pupils can submit their guesses tomorrow to win a special Eco Schools prize!