Author: Pupils Drumraney School

Bricks 4 Kidz

The children built motorised windmill models today as part of our Bricks 4 Kidz workshop.

They also learned all about:
– renewable and non-renewable energy sources
– wind energy and how it can be harnessed and converted into electricity
– how the energy in the wind pushes against the panels of a windmill to turn gears and how the gears drive the tools used to perform tasks such as pumping water or grinding grain to make flour.
– how the propeller-like blades of a wind turbine turn around a rotor and how the rotor is connected to the main shaft which spins a generator to create electricity
– how generators convert motive power (mechanical energy) into electrical power for everyday use in houses

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What’s involved in a Bricks 4 Kidz in-school workshop?

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Bricks 4 Kidz is an internationally renowned children’s educational play franchise which operates in over 40 countries. Bricks 4 Kidz provide LEGO® Technic workshops for primary schools, during which students get to build motorised models using specially designed project kits. These carefully planned construction activities have been designed by engineers and architects to help teach some important principles of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The Bricks 4 Kidz ‘hands-on, minds-on’ approach to learning is imaginative, multi-sensory and fun. While children are building and having fun, they are also developing important life skills such as problem solving, communications and spatial intelligence. The Bricks 4 Kidz workshops use LEGO® to deliver lessons which are correlated to cross-disciplinary curriculum objectives.
Our students really enjoyed our Brick 4 Kidz workshop and we look forward to arranging another one sometime soon. 

What is the Someone Like Me Art Competition All About?

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The Someone Like Me Art Competition for primary schools was organised by the Department of Justice and Equality as a way of developing children’s understanding of disabilities and to help them celebrate the aspects that make them and their classmates unique. The initiative is supported by the National Disability Authority and is aimed at promoting inclusiveness and positive attitudes towards disability in schools.
Drumraney N.S.is ‘a small school with a big heart’. We are always keen to participate in the Someone Like Me project because we are an inclusive school where the participation and opinions of all pupils are valued.
In addition to completing the relevant lesson and resource sheets available on the Someone Like Me website, our Junior and Senior classes explored this topic in more detail by carrying out other discussions and activities in this area.  The children were encouraged to consider other people’s feelings and to treat others the way they would like to be treated themselves. We discussed how we each have unique personality traits, qualities, strengths, limitations, interests and abilities but that we all have an equally valid and important contribution to make to our school and the wider world.
As part of the Someone Like Me competition each year, the children explore and discuss these topics in depth and creatively express what they have learned through a collaborative art project.
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You can view some of our previous entries below.

Fit Squad

The children (and teachers) really enjoyed their morning workout with the Fyffes Fit Squad this morning. Why not try a few of the ‘Zoo Moves’ they learned at home?
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Thank you to Fit Squad for the intensive workout today and for the key-rings and fresh bananas we were given afterwards. We can’t wait to see how many of you try out the Banana & Strawberry Smoothie at home.

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What do the Fyffes Fit Squad do?

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Fyffes Fit Squad want to provide children of all ages with an opportunity to increase their physical activity. The Fit Squad visit schools and organisations to offer 45-60min fitness sessions by accredited instructors. These instructors aim to get everyone actively involved, regardless of age, ability or sporting background. They put participants through their paces in a fun and interactive way and the session intensity is tailored to suit the needs and ability of the group. Schools take part in this initiative by inviting the Fit Squad to their school.
We really enjoyed our workout with the Fit Squad. What a great start to any school day!

ReelLIFE SCIENCE – science video competition

The ReelLIFE SCIENCE project is an innovative science video competition that is open to participants of all ages; from Primary and Secondary Schools, Community Groups, Youth Groups and Clubs all around Ireland. It encourages participants to pick up a camera or smartphone and make an engaging and educational three-minute video communicating a science topic of their choice.
Each year, there are a selection of current and topical science themes announced on which the video entries can be based. The winning videos are selected by a panel of special guest judges and the winning videos are screened for the public at the Galway Science and Technology Festival during Science Week.
This project encourages people to connect with science and technology and to share their knowledge and creativity in a new and exciting way. There is always great excitement while we’re working on a new ReelLIFE SCIENCE video and the children really enjoy participating in this competition. In addition to the STEM content explored in the videos, the planning and video-making process provides them with opportunities to learn and practise a wide range of additional skills.
Below you’ll find some of our previous entries to this competition – we hope you’ll enjoy watching them!

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What is the Discover Primary Science and Maths programme?

The Discover Primary Science and Maths (DPSM) programme is part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Education and Public Engagement Programme, which aims to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). DPSM originated in 2003 with the goal of introducing primary school students to science in a practical, hands-on, enjoyable and interactive way.
As part of the DPSM process in our school we carried out lots of experiments and investigations, we increased our use of ICT for teaching and learning, we went on educational trips and organised visits from guest speakers. We also organised a variety of events and activities for Science WeekMaths Week and Engineers Week. In order to meet the award criteria, we had to compile a comprehensive Log of Evidence to ensure that all of the criteria had been met.
Our school was awarded with our Plaque of STEM Excellence from the Science Foundation Ireland as recognition for our hard work. Participating in the awards programme has helped to raise the profile of science and Maths within the school. It has also provided a structured framework for developing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) work throughout the school.DPSM

What is the PAWS programme?

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The PAWS (Primary Aquatics Water Safety) programme is a comprehensive educational resource for primary schools that teaches basic water safety skills. It was developed by Irish Water Safety, in partnership with The Educational Company of Ireland, and teaches children how to be safe around water in homes, farms, pools, beaches and on our waterways.
PAWS incorporates all aspects of the physical education aquatics strand of the primary school curriculum and outlines life-saving guidelines for children of all ages. The programme is very well designed and includes beautiful illustrations, a wealth of tips and advice, and all sorts of interactive games and puzzles to reinforce lessons learned. The children really enjoyed the discussions and activities included in the programme.
On completion of the programme, each class received a Primary Aquatics Water Safety Certificate from Irish Water Safety.