Esker ETNS Newsletter March 2023
Hello to all children, parents, guardians, relatives and friends of Esker ETNS. Term 2 is drawing to a close, and there’s a real sense that Spring is in the air! There are buds on the trees, longer evenings and fewer bad weather breaktimes spent indoors!
Firstly we want to say a big thank you to all the parent body for supporting and helping us with the new Traffic arrangements. We are only one week in, but we can already see the positive changes. Children are safe and traffic is calmer. A fifth class child commented that it smells nicer outside now and that we can hear the birds singing.
Remember that the school is now a Drop off zone only in the morning, apart from permit holders. No parking on the roundabout. There is lots of parking on Castle Road.
Thank you again. Your help with this matter is greatly appreciated!
Look what was happening in Term 2!
When we come to the end of a term and look back over what went on, we are always impressed by how much is happening in Esker ETNS. Here’s a taste of just some of those activities.
The Incredible Edibles Program
4th class Red took part in the Incredible Edibles program. The aim of the program is to educate students about growing fruit and vegetables and to increase their knowledge of food origin and quality. We planted strawberry plants and potatoes, and sowed seeds for chives, spinach and lettuce. All plants are doing well so far, and we’re looking forward to eating our produce in the near future!
Children from a number of classes have been invited to join Lego Clubs, which are a fun way of developing listening, speaking and co-operative working skills.
In the Lego Clubs children learn to work together as part of a team. They also work on their communication skills.
Each child has a role to play - the Engineer, the Supplier and the Builder. Each Lego Club is provided with a large Lego set, together with an instruction manual outlining the step-by step instructions to make a variety of models. The Engineer’s job is to read the instructions and describe what Lego brick are needed. The Supplier must find the specific bricks and give them to the Builder. The Builder follows the Engineer’s instructions to assemble the model correctly..
It is a lot of fun and the children must work together as a team and give lots of really clear instructions.
Art Club took place in 3rd Class with Leah this term. The children explored many different styles of art and worked with a variety of materials. Over the first two weeks they created a collaborative artwork, inspired by the art of Eric Carle. The children made the artwork by exploring different paint textures, using brushes, sticks, bubble wrap and cotton buds. Over the following weeks the children made pastel drawings, valentine’s cards, and bookmarks. Art club ended with an activity inspired by the French artist Henri Matisse. The children cut interesting shapes out of coloured paper and layered them to create beautiful paper collages. It was a great success and Leah was very impressed by the talent and creativity in 3rd class.
Yard Monitors for Junior Yard
Fourth class have been yard monitors since October. We take it in turns to go out and help the junior classes play games fairly and have fun. We have a Chill Zone, Skipping Zone, Penalty Shoot Out Zone and Games Zone. We have really enjoyed getting to know the younger children and it makes us very happy and proud to know they look up to us. I feel I am a valuable member of the school. As a group we have learnt a lot of important skills. We have developed our negotiation skills. If we want to do the same job we have learnt how to work it out. It has improved our communication and teamwork skills. Most important of all, we have made friends from different classes and helped the Junior and Senior Infants to have fun and feel safe on the yard. We really enjoy it too.
By Abdirahaman 4th Class Red.
Yard Monitors for Senior Yard
The yard monitors bring out the trolley each day full of the equipment needed for the Senior Yard. We have to make sure the equipment is returned, keep stock and check what needs replacing. We have a football zone, basketball zone and freeplay area. In the soft yard area, we have skipping, games, gymnastics and a climbing zone. There is a quiet area where we can read, draw and we have recently got some new Snakes & Ladders and Ludo games on the magnet boards. It is a busy and important job in our school and we really enjoy being yard monitors.
By Diana, Lavinia and Paige
GAA for First Class Green and Red.
First Class Green and Red have enjoyed taking part in GAA on Tuesdays as part of their PE lessons with coach Alan from Lucan Sarsfields. They have had the chance to learn numerous new skills while having lots of fun! They have been taking part in both hurling and football during the lessons. We have really enjoyed the GAA lessons!
Green School Committee
The Green School Committee have been doing a fantastic job of reducing food waste at Esker. They’ve been working with Paula and Grace to cancel lunch orders that are no longer needed and have stopped hundreds of lunches from going into the bin since October 2022. They’ve also been reducing food waste in the staff room. Every Friday, 2 volunteers empty the compost bin in the staff room and feed it to our wormery. A wormery is a place where worms can grow, compost and make more worms. A wormery will recycle food waste into fertiliser. The Green School Committee is looking forward to using this fertiliser in our raised beds this spring.
We’re also looking forward to a visit from Biodiversity in Schools in May.
The Active Committee
The Active Committee for 2022/23 are Paige, Rayaan, Sami, Vanessa, Ben, Nectaria, Inaya and Kareemah. We are really enjoying being on the committee. We are enjoying helping, we like the fact that we can do more football activities, running and more.
So far we have organised Feel Good Friday, Keepy Uppy Friday and a competition for a crest for our new jerseys. We plan to bring back 'Walk a Mile with a Smile in April and our running challenge in May. Some members of the committee helped to do a stock take of our equipment and pumped up all the balls for the classrooms. We are really looking forward to sports day and having a music playlist there.
Hello from Junior Blue
We’ve been very busy in Blue this term. We’ve been exploring our local area; walking to nearby parks and playing in the fields. We love playing outside and make sure we get some fresh air every day. We’ve also been working hard on our activities in class, learning to play and taking turns. We had lots of fun playing doctor for Aistear and learned all about people who help us, like a doctor and a post person. We even posted some letters to our houses. We’re learning lots and trying our best every day!
Some children in the school are working on extra maths problems at home through IXL Maths.
Children in 5th Class are working very hard.
They have answered over 20,000 Maths questions together !!!
Before the end of a term or midterm break they receive certificates to celebrate their hard work and have a hot chocolate break with Katie.
A well-deserved hot chocolate.
Chess for Fun
There is a long tradition of playing chess at Esker.
Each year 6th class and some very lucky 5th class students can join the chess club after school. This year the club is run by Declan in 6th Green.
But we found there are a lot more children in 5th class who want to play chess. Each Monday, 8 different children who know how to play chess have the opportunity to play against one another in a league with Katie before hometime.
Then on Friday afternoons 5th Red and 5th Green have chess lessons altogether with all the 5th Class teachers. It is lots of fun learning a new game, new skills and playing against our friends. 5th Class are also learning about etiquette, how to be respectful while playing against each other and strategy.
The Student Council have worked together to share the voices of students in our school. We helped with taste testing some new recipes for Carambola hot lunches and helped with the new traffic management at school time. We were also very proud of the Culture Day we organised and the money we raised. We are now working on ideas for how we can make a difference in our community by being Social Activists.
The Student Council samples new lunch offerings from Carambola
Sixth Class Landmark Projects
In 6th Green we have been working on cardboard construction. In small groups the students researched a famous landmark, planned how to construct a model of their landmark using cardboard, sketched out ideas and finally constructed their models.
The children constructed models of the Taj Mahal, Big Ben, The Louvre and Tower Bridge.
Third class trip to Clondalkin round tower
On our final day of swimming lessons at Clondalkin leisure Centre, both third classes went on a guided tour of Clondalkin Round Tower. We learned about the life of monks in the monastery and the invasion of vikings too. The children listened to the guides telling stories and also got a chance to play games from long ago, use interactive digital games and dress up in traditional Irish clothes of the workers who worked in the nearby paper mill.
Fifth Class students began Cards Club on Thursday 23rd February.
The children enjoyed playing family friendly card games such as Snap, Crazy 8s, War, Go Fish and Rummy. They learned some magic tricks using playing cards too. They are looking forward to finishing off the 6 week block with some STEM challenges!
STEMpathy with Gerry & Lucy from the Technological University of Dublin (TU)
What is STEMpathy?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These are subjects which we recognise to be of particular importance in today’s world, and they are subjects which we in Esker work hard to promote.
Empathy is the ability to share and understand the feelings of others.
A combination of these two skills results in:
STEMpathy is a programme for primary schools that aims to combine a knowledge of STEM subjects with the human quality of empathy. The programme teaches children how to apply the principles of imaginative thinking to create solutions for problems people experience in their everyday lives.
Fifth Class Red and Green have completed a five week STEMpathy workshop with Gerry and Lucy from TU Dublin. Over the course of the five weeks, the children have worked in groups of three to create a superhero character and design and create a product that their character can use to improve their lives and the lives of others.
The two fifth classes are planning on holding a STEMpathy showcase to show off their amazing inventions and creations. More news of this soon!
Spring Art Competition
Grace was absolutely delighted with the number of wonderful entries she received to her Spring Art competition. The standard was so high she found it almost impossible to pick winners. All the staff have remarked on the beautiful work which is posted up on the corridor near the Junior Infants classrooms. Stop and have a look if you get the chance. Well done to everyone who entered.
Here’s one of the worthy winners from Fatima in Second Red.
Esker Loves Books
We always stress the importance of reading for a multitude of reasons-the way it can improve literacy skills, increase general knowledge and provide hours of inexpensive enjoyment. As a way of reminding the children of the benefits and pleasures of reading, every second year we hold our own mini literary festival called Esker Loves Books. This year our theme was Irish Legends.
We had story writing and photo competitions, parents coming in to read to children in their own language, older and younger classes buddying up to read and write stories together, trips to the library, DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read), teachers and children talking about their favourite books, a dress up day and even a special performance of the legend of “Fionn and the Giant” by the teachers!
The talented cast of Fionn and the Giant.
A strange place to read!
Seachtain na Gaeilge
D’éirigh thar barr le seachtain na Gaeilge. (Irish week was a great success). Beannacht na páistí linn gach lá as Gaeilge (The children greeted us everyday in Irish) agus i rith an lae (and during the day) bhí go leor deiseanna ann chun ár scileanna Gaeilge a fheabhsú ar bhealaí spraíúla (there were lots of opportunities to improve our Irish language in fun ways). Bhí os cionn céad iontráil (There were over a hundred entries) ar chomórtas Linda “An Ghaeilge Mórthimpeall Orm” (to Linda’s “Irish all around us” competition. Ba mhian liom go bhféadfaimis iad go léir a phriontáil! (I wish we could print them all!)
Gaeilge is all around us!
The Big Sing
There was great excitement yesterday as the Esker Choir headed off to participate in The Big Sing. This was a concert held in the National Stadium in which schools from all over Dublin took part. The Esker Choir has worked hard all term learning twelve songs and medleys-the same songs being learnt by every choir attending the concert. The result was a resounding success, as the parents who attended the concert I’m sure, will agree. Well done to all involved, and we look forward to making lots more music in the future.
Very well done to the 60+ children who represented Esker ETNS in football competitions this term. Although the results didn’t always go our way, there was no shortage of energy, enthusiasm and sportsmanship on display. There is real talent and athleticism in evidence amongst our footballers. We are confident our footballers will go from strength to strength as life gets back to normal post-Covid, and our teams’ experience of competitive play increases, Many thanks to Rob, Heidi and Emer for their hard work as team coaches and managers!
Queues have been forming every morning for a very popular parent run event -The Spring Raffle. Congratulations to all our winners!
We are always happy to have parents involved in the life of the school, and this term there has been lots of parental involvement.
Mums and Dads have visited us to attend language coffee mornings, craft classes, yoga classes and English classes. Parents also came in to visit a number of classes to read to the children in their own language. And of course many thanks to our Parents Association for organising the ever popular Book and Treat Sale. They raised an impressive €870 all of which will be spent on the children, one way or another!
And so term 2 draws to a close. We would like to take this opportunity to wish those of you who celebrate Eid, Eid Mubarak, and to those of you who celebrate Easter, Happy Easter. Happy holidays to all of you and we look forward to seeing you back for a busy final term on Monday, 17th April.
Slán go fóill (Bye for now),
Gemma and all the staff of Esker ETNS.
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