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SUMMER TERM 2013
Rathdown Music Festival
Many congratulations to our Wind Ensemble, under the leadership of Mr Alex Daudet, who were Highly Commended at the recent music festival in Rathdown School. The ensemble, which was newly formed this year, consists of flutes, descant recorders and treble recorders. The adjudicator, Ms. Deirdre Moynihan commented on how well the group listened to one another and gave “a very convincing performance”.
AIJS Music Festival
This year’s AIJS Music Festival, hosted by Rathdown School, saw Castle Park String Ensemble and Senior Hobbies Choir take to the stage along with 6 other AIJS schools in a non-competitive, concert event. This was a fantastic opportunity for the children to showcase their own talents while also enjoying the performances from the other AIJS schools. Our programme included a traditional Irish song by the Choir and Ensemble (Tiocfaidh an Samhradh), a Handel piece for Strings (Canticorum Jubilo) followed by a lively performance of California Dreaming and the spiritual Down By The Riverside. Well done to all who took part!
Friends of Castle Park Quiz Night & Auction, 25th April
A fantastic night was had by all at our fundraising Quiz Night and Auction. Many thanks to everyone for their support, especially to the very generous sponsors of the Auction lots. The organising committee put in sterling work behind the scenes and on the night, and our Quiz Master & Auctioneer, Gavin Dredge, kept the proceedings firmly on course. Congratulations to the Star Wars team who were the overall winners, closely followed by The Croods!
Clean Up Day, 22nd April
Monday’s sunny weather and dry conditions allowed plenty of time for the children to scour the grounds picking up stray litter. They were all very enthusiastic and were amazed by what they found, even when at first glance there didn’t seem to be any litter evident. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council provided the blue collection bags which they picked up from us for disposal.
Green Schools Success!
Ms Prendergast was delighted to receive the news this week that our application to achieve Green Schools status has been successful. Over the last two years we have been focusing on the “Litter and Waste” standards throughout the School and we will now turn our attention to “Energy” whilst still maintaining our high awareness of controlling litter and waste throughout the School. Coincidentally, Form VIC/P’s scheduled Assembly this week was on the theme of Environmental Issues, so it was most appropriate that Ms Prendergast was able to make the announcement about our success on Friday. Green Schools, known internationally as Eco-Schools, is an international environmental education programme, environmental management system and award scheme that promotes and acknowledges long-term, whole school action for the environment. Unlike a once-off project, it is a long-term programme that introduces participants (students, teachers, parents and the wider community) to the concept of an environmental management system. Ms Prendergast and Ms Fraser, accompanied by two representatives of the Green Schools Committee, will attend the Green Schools Awards Ceremony, hosted by An Taisce, on 21st May at Croke Park when we will receive our actual flag.
SPRING TERM 2013
Wesley College Music Festival
This year both our Senior Choirs joined forces to compete in the Wesley College Music Festival. This annual event sees participants from many Primary and Secondary Schools who come together for a weekend of music, both vocal and instrumental. Castle Park compete in the Primary Schools Choir category adn although we didn't come away with any of the top prizes I am delighted to say the choir represented the School very well, giving a lively and heartfelt performance of the song "I Can Feel the Rhythm" by American composer Cristi Cary Miller. The adjudicator, Dr Albert Bradshaw, commented on how good their blend was with well-balanced part-singing and good drive.
The choir's next outing will be to support the Confirmation pupils in the Church of the Assumption, Dalkey on Tuesday March 12th. Well done to all involved!
On Tuesday, chemist Professor Malachy Thompson, came into Form VI's science class to demonstrate some experiments for us. He did demonstrations on physics and chemistry. We were all amazed when he literally made an explosion in Juliette's hands by adding butane gas to soap bubbles and lighting them. He explained forces, light and much more to us. My favourite experiment was when Prof Thompson brought a lighted candle (attached to a meter stick) up to a balloon filled with butane gas and oxygen. The balloon exploded and for about a second there was a balloon shaped fireball in the air. Overall, it was an extremely enjoyable presentation and all of Form VI learned a lot of interesting things about physics and chemistry. (Amy, Form VIC/P)
Green Schools Flag Report
Green Schools is an organisation that focuses on making schools more environmentally-friendly. Its aims are to promote recycling, care of the environment and as well as to raise awareness of these issues. Castle Park has had a Green Schools Committee since 2010. It was formed so that our School could become a greener school to benefit the environment and the students.
An inspector comes to your school. If he decides the school's standard of eco-friendliness is high enough, he awards the school the Green Schools flag. We try to put it into practice on a daily basis by picking up litter and putting it in the bin, using the recycling bins and reducing the amount we waste. We have worked really hard over the past number of years towards this goal. This year, the inspector came to our school. He talked about what we had done well and what we need to improve on. For example, he said that we needed to log more of the things we did in an action plan. But overall, we did very well. There were seven steps that we had to pass:
- Green Schools committee
- Environmental review
- Action plan
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Curriculum work
- Informing and involving
- Green code
At the end of the inspection, we showed him around the School. He saw the compost bins, the paper bins in the classrooms and all the posters on being a Green School. He also noted how well everybody knew the slogan the pupils had come up with themsleves:
Rubbish, waste, sort it out!
Just don't be a litter lout.
Hopefully we have done enough to be awarded the flag this year. Well done everybody! (Henry G, Form VIC/P)
We are about to launch a Castle Park School QR code that will prvoide a quick link to specific information on our website or App. The posters advertising this year's musical, The Wizard of Oz, will feature our first QR code.
Tim Mulholland from T2 our E Strategy Partners, spoke to our Form V & Form VI pupils earlier this week about this technology. He explained that QR Codes provide a quick link between the online and offline worlds and enhance our mobile experience.
Matthew F, VC, reports that, "I think the QR Code experience was very interesting and will help pupils, teachers and visitors access our website quickly and easily." Tim commented that he was really impressed with the children's ICT LIteracy.
BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra have several lovely stories available as podcasts that can be downloaded. Many of these are suitable for children and some of the adults serials would also be suitable for older children. Please check on their website for the relevant links.
Safer Internet Day 2013
Safer Internet Day 2013 is an EU wide initiative to promote a safer Internet for all users, especially young people, and will be celebrated in Ireland on Tuesday 5th February 2013. This year, Safer Internet Day, is urging all net users to “Connect with Respect”, more information can be found at www.saferinternet.ie.
As we are all aware, technology plays a very important role in our everyday routines. Sharing ideas, thoughts and information is now an integral part of young people’s lives. New technologies provide many opportunities for them to develop their creative and communicative skills, in ways that are relevant to them, in school and at home. However, these new opportunities can often come with disadvantages and unforeseeable dangers. So how can we help our children make positive, informed choices when creating and sharing online? Form V have decided to create a Makewav.es website (https://www.makewav.es/castlepark/) that will allow our senior pupils to safely share their creative writing stories, projects, videos, podcasts, blogs etc. with each other and with the other pupils in their year group. The website is a social learning environment that provides social media for education. The most important thing about this website is that all the interaction is done in a safe and monitored environment. Mr Shaughnessy is our website administrator and has complete control over who can become a member and who can view and share our pupils’ information. Form VC will pioneer this project with the rest of the senior classes coming onboard in the coming weeks.
https://www.makewav.es/castlepark/) that will allow our senior pupils to safely share their creative writing stories, projects, videos, podcasts, blogs etc. with each other and with the other pupils in their year group. The website is a social learning environment that provides social media for education. The most important thing about this website is that all the interaction is done so in a safe and monitored environment.
We will also take part in ‘The Safe Programme’, a programme of practical activities to develop children’s skills, confidence and safety awareness when using social networking sites. The Safe programme offers easy to deliver, practical activities to develop our pupils’ safety awareness and digital literacy skills. The pupils will receive a certificate and a digital badge for their webpage once they have completed the programme successfully. We are all very excited about this project and look forward to becoming safer Internet users.
Mr P Shaughnessy
Leinster Schools Swimming
Well done to Ben D, VP, who has qualified for the Finals to be held in March.
Hockey Teams Qualify for League Finals
Well done to both the boys' and girls' teams which have achieved League success this term and now move on to the finals stage of their respective competitions. A fantastic result for our hard working and talented players!
AIJS Photographic Competition
Imogen, IVC, and William, VC, have both won second place in their relevant categories in the recent AIJS Photographic Competition.
Boughey Trophy - Instrumental
Congratulations to those pupils who represented their Houses so well in the Instrumental Section of the Boughey Trophy on Friday 18th. The Choral Section will take place on 1st February.
Congratulations to David H and Tom G who have recently competed in the Leinster individual chess championships, held over the last few weekends (January). David came third in the u12 section and ninth in the u14s, whilst Tom came sixth in the u11s and seventh in the u14s. Just before the Christmas holidays our team of four boys played Holly Park B team and won 3/1. The final round of the school team league matches took place on Thursday when they played Johnstown School, unfortunately they lost 3/1, however, they may still qualify for the quarter finals based on the overall results of the whole league - we will find out in a few weeks’ time.
RDS Primary Science Fair
Mr Landy’s Form VI Science class brought their interesting project on how the surface of a hockey ball and a pitch’s surface affect how far and true a ball will roll to the Primary Science Fair on Saturday 12th January. Part of the project involved the class working in groups to create or select a device for propelling the ball in a consistent manner in order to give a fair test of the different surfaces. On the day, the pupils demonstrated fabulous social skills explaining the project to the many adults and children who came to look at it. A special mention must go to Katie-Jane, Jana and Josie who were on duty when the judge arrived. The judge gave high praise to the enthusiasm of the three girls saying how articulate they were explaining the different elements of the experiment. She was also very impressed by the methodology used, the recording of data and the concepts underlying the experiment. Form VI represented the School very well indeed and I would like to thank Mr Landy for supporting and developing the project and organising the day. Congratulations also goes to Guy W who won an iPad at the Young Scientist Exhibition as a prize when he competed in a Dragon's Den style investment game.
Term commences on Tuesday 8th January for all pupils. Hobbies programme and music lessons commence from Monday 14th January.
Spring Term Calendar has been circulated to all families and is also available on this website.
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AUTUMN TERM 2012
December Musical Maestros
Congratulations to this month's Maestros Josh, IVC and Jessica IC
Form III's Trip to Croke Park and the National Wax Museum
"One of our favourite parts of Croke Park was where you could test how high you could jump and press a button. When we were in the stadium we were 100 feet above the ground. The tour guide, John Jo, took us into the changing room. We all sat in front of different county jerseys. We got to stand where they give the trophy to the winning team. Changing Room 2 is called the lucky changing room because the teams that use Changing Room 2 usually win their matches. We got to play gaelic football and hurling.
When we left Croke Park we got back on the bus and went to the Wax Museum. The Wax Museum was really fun. We learned lots about ancient Irish history in the "Myths & Legends" room. They had a special room where you could crawl through a tunnel. We loved singing songs and pretending we were in a band. In the "Hall of Fame" we saw Jedward, U2, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Darth Vader, Yoda and Luke Skywalker. It was fun!"
Report by Luke C, Neve C and Ella McN
Green Schools Committee, 28th November
Our committee met during the week and have chosen a slogan to be used throughout the school to raise awareness, so look out for posters made by the children over the next few weeks.
Throughout the School, the ICT curriculum promotes a culture of safe usage and ensures children are aware of the issues and pitfalls of modern technology. The School continues to use Barracuda filtering system to ensure safe internet access and we would encourage you, as parents, to ensure that all devices at home allowing access to the web are suitably filtered for children’s use.
Rubbish, waste - sort it out
Just don't be a litter lout!
New waste bins have been installed in The Street, and are helping to keep it neat and tidy.
New Fixtures Noticeboard
There is a new noticeboard in the Playground by the doors to the Assembly/Dining Hall. Team sheets will be pinned here for pupils and parents to consult for all forthcoming fixtures.
Senior Art Competition
Well done to the ten finalists in the senior Art Competition, there was a great range of media from pencil sketches to collage to painting. Their work was displayed in The Street for all to see whilst the judging took place. Congratulations to Josie VIC/P the overall winner, and to Amy VIC/P, Robin VC and Alessandra IVC, the runners up.
Form IV Discover the Rainforest
Form IV enjoyed a wonderful day at the Zoo, where they participated in the Rainforest Discovery programme. They got a chance to see many of the exotic animals and plants native to the rainforest, from squirrel monkeys to tapirs to elephants. After this they headed out onto the African Plains and watched feeding time for many of the animals. They it was time for their own lunch and a quick visit to the gift shop before heading back to School on the bus.
Launch of Christmas Hamper Appeal, 26th November
Each child brought home a letter this week about our Annual Christmas Hamper Appeal. The Prep pupils will have written in their Homework Journal the specific items that their class is focussing on collecting this year, Montessori pupils may bring in any suitable non-perishable food items.
The main collection point is in The Street. Montessori children may also leave their donations in the first classroom in the Montessori corridor.
Thank you in advance for all your support.
Johns Junior Singing Trophy, 26th November
Well done to all the boys and girls who took part in this year's Junior Singing Competition Johns Cup. Last Friday 10 finalists sang for the School during Assembly and this year I'm delighed to announce that Ella McN, IIIP came first with her beautiful clear singing of "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid. In second pace was Timothy C IIIP who performed "Let's Go Fly a Kite" from Mary Poppins with great energy and in third place was Douglas J IIIC who gave us a lively rendition of "Supercalifragilistic" from Mary Poppins. Ms E McKiernan
Castle Park X Factor, 17th November - A Brilliant Night!
On Saturday evening 300 parents and children were entertained in the Assembly Hall at our X Factor lip sync event. The children performed to their favourite songs on an amazing X Factor style set with very professional production. They certainly rose to the occasion and performed their hearts out! The evening was rounded off with great food, a disco and catch up with friends.
A big thank you to Karen Peesker for making this such a huge success! Many thanks to Sherry McKenna, Kirsty Foynes, Sonja McGinn and Biran De-Alker for playing their part in the organisation of the event. Kevin Peesker took to the stage as MC and kept the show firmly on the road, many thanks to him. We are also very grateful to Joyce Richardson, who gave the groups huge encouragement and support with their choreography. Also thanks to Nicole Le Saout, who took such beautiful photos of the children. A final thank you to all the volunteers, including our Form VI student leaders. And a thank you to all our fantastic performers, each participant received a certificate and photograph with their act. We also intend to give each participant a DVD of the performances once it has been edited and replicated. This was our main fundraising event this year and it has raised in excess of €2500 towards the new climbing framce. It really was a night to remember. Jack S from Montessori summed it all up with "That was a brilliant night, I am so proud to be going to Castle Park!"
Parker Library Update
The "Who Next" feature on the Library app has recently been enhanced. It now features a list of 759 authors compiled by two librarians. Once your child has borrowed a book the feature will suggest similar authors by genre and theme. Ths is just the first of some exciting new developments that will be introduced before Christmas, so please keep checking in.
Many thanks to Old Cepian, Mr Brian Crawford, a pupil in the School in the 1950s, our special guest at the Remembrance Assembly on Friday 9th November. Mr Meade and Ms Brady led the Assembly during which the Form VI pupils laid wreaths in the Memorial Garden in front of the Prep classroom block. After Assembly Mr Crawford kindly spoke informally with the children who had many questions for him about his time as a pupil here in the School and about the experiences of those who fought in the two World Wars and other conficts.
November Musical Maestros
Congratulations to Lauren and Imgoen, this month's Maestros.
Team Hope Shoeboxes
Well done everyone! We assembled 199 shoeboxes which were collected by Team Hope and will soon be heading on their way to children in under-priviledged communities in eastern Europe and Africa.
Montessori Harvest Concert
The Montessori Year Two and Pre Prep pupils have been rehearsing with great enthusiasm over the last few weeks to be ready for the Harvest Concert which was held on the morning of Friday 19th October. A colourful range of Hallowe'en costumes brightened up the stage in the Assembly Hall as the Year Two pupils gave their first public performance at the School. They sang about Squirrel Nutkin, Scratchety Hedgehogs and Wicked Witches and also recited two seasonal poems. The the Pre Prep pupils sang of Autumn and Harvest and rounded off the Concert with a lively Hallowe'en Calypso! Well done to all the performers who entertained us with gusto and panache and many thanks to Ms McKiernan for all her hard work in preparation for the Concert.
Brook House Singing Trophy - 17th October
Over 50 children from Forms IV to VI auditioned for the annual Brook House Singing Competition over the last few weeks, and Ms McKiernan had the unenviable task of whittling this number down to the ten finalists. At Assembly on Wednesday we were entertained by these ten poised and talented boys and girls who had chosen a varied selection of songs, both traditional and modern, to perform. Congratulations to Alessandra, Josh, Anna, Robin, Oskar, Suzanna, Olivia, Drummond, Katie-Jane and Honor for their wonderful performances.
This year's winner is Katie-Jane who was presented with the Brook House Trophy at Assembly on Friday 19th. She sang "Patience" by Take That and accompanied herself on the guitar, many congratulations to her. Runner-up Honor sang "When You Believe" from the Prince of Egypt, and third placed Suzanna sang "Ave Maria" as arranged by Beyonce.
Montessori Harvest Concert
On Friday 19th October the Montessori Year Two and Pre Prep pupils presented their annual Harvest Concert to their parents and friends. A colourful range of Hallowe'en costumes brighted up the stage in the Asembly Hall as the Year Two children sang about Squirrel Nutkin, Scratchety Hedgehogs and Wicked Witches and also recited some seasonal poems. Then the Pre Prep pupils sang of Autumn and Harvest and rounded off fthe Concert with a lively Hallowee'n Calypso. Well done to all the performers who entertained us with gusto and panache and many thanks to Ms McKiernan for all her hard work in preparation for the Concert.
On 19th October we held a non-uniform day in aid of Barnardos and are delighted that we raised 643 euro for this worthy cause.
Over the summer months, we have introduced a new and exciting facility in the Library which uses engaging technologies to develop independent motivated readers and learners for life. in conjunction with Micro Librarain, our library software suppliers, we are delighted to introduce the iMLS app which allows staff, pupils and parents to access the Parker Library from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or other smartphone or tablet. If you would like to find out more please refer to the website www.microlib.co.uk.
Green Schools Campaign
Our Green Schools Campaign is firmly on course so that we can submit our application by the end of this term. On 8th October, Kelvin, also known as Marvin the Magician, assisted by Billy the Bird, brought their Recycling Magic Show to School. Pupils in Forms I to IV were entertained on the theme of "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle". Many thanks to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council who sponsored Kelvin's visit to School.
Congratulations to our Musical Maestros for the month of October - Anya and Zoe.
Welcome back to the Autumn Term, we are looking forward to a busy term with lots of activities scheduled. Check the copy of the Calendar circulated via the schoolbags for a full list of the main highlights of the forthcoming term.
SUMMER TERM 2012
Edwardes are the winning house for the Summer Term and also winning house for the year - congratulations to all members of the House, enjoy your special supper on 26th June.
"Exercise for Emily" non-uniform day
Thank you for your fantastic support for the non-uniform day held on Thursday 14th June in aid of "Exercise for Emily". We raised €2500 which will go towards purchasing an FES cycle for Emily to use.
Our Trip to Carlingford Adventure Centre, written by Amy, Form V
We were all incredibly excited and giddy about our class trip to Carlingford. On the morning of the trip, we piled onto the bus and waved goodby to our parents. After what seemed like forever we arrived at the Centre and were welcome by the staff. We dropped our bags in our dorms and headed to lunch. On Wednesday we took part in two activities, raft building and a nature walk. Not many people slept that night after eating all of the sweets we bought!
In the morning we drowsily made our way to breakfast. We did double frenzies, which is double kayaking. We double frenzied up to a small beach where there was a tunnel with a stream. We followed its course until we came to a gurgling waterfall. After lunch we had fun doing laser combat, where we dressed up in camouflage jumpsuits and shot each other with lasers in the woods. That night we did the nightline walk which was awesome. It is a trail in the woods that the whole class had to make their way around by working together while blindfolded. After another trip to the sweetshop, we went to our dorms in high spirits.
Next morning we finally arrived at our last activity, the high ropes. It's a climbing course in the air. Luckily, there were harnesses. It was an amazing experience and showed us the importance of team work.
We were reluctant to leave the Adventure Centre. It exceeded everyone's expectations and we are all dying to visit it again soon.
We sent 25 children to the Leinster Swimming Championships on Sunday 28th May. This is a prestigious event and all the children were very excited to be able to take part. The venue was the Tallaght Sports Complex and some children were there all day to compete in their events. Most noticeable was Bjarne who claimed gold in the u11 backstroke, breast stroke and butterfly and also the silver medal in his freestyle. Bjarne was delighted with his achievements and he also claimed some personal best times. Castle Park then had the relay events in the afternoon which brought much success. The u10 girls' team claimed the gold medal in their event, while our u11 girls claimed the bronze, we also achieved sixth place with our B team. Our u11 boys' team claimed the silver medal in the relay. It was a lovely end to the long day. A special thank you must go out to all the Castle Park parents who brought their children to the event and supported them throughout the day. In particular thank you to Ben and Elliot, and their parents, who were due to compete in the relay but due to an administrative error were unable to swim. Well done to all the children who took part and who swam so well. (Ms A Davey)
One Thousand Paper Cranes - Form VI
Form VI are currently working towards their goal of folding one thousand paper cranes. In Japan, the paper crane is a symbol of health and good luck. Our class is folding one thousand paper cranes to send to the Hiroshima Peace Park. During World War II America dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The American president, Harry Truman, thought that the bomb would force Japan to surrender quickly. On August 6th 1945, the bomb was dropped by a B29 bomber called the Enola Gay. In the few seconds after the bomb was dropped about 80,000 people were killed. In the weeks and years to come, many thousands more died from radiation poisoning. Three days later, an equally destructive bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, another Japanese city. In the Hiroshima Peace Park, which commemorates the deaths of the people in the city from radiation and the atomic bomb, there are thousands of paper cranes, including a giant paper crane monument. Our cranes will join them in time for the memorial date, August 6th. (Report by Naomi T)
Visit to SEAI Workshop in Dun Laoghaire - Form VI
On Wednesday 9th May Form VIC/P of Castle Park visited Dun Laoghaire Town Hall. There we attended a workshop held by the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Association Ireland). When we arrived the SEAI official led us inside the grand building. It was a very beautiful building and I myself had never been inside it. I admired the building's architecture very much.
Initially the official asked us a few qustions about energy and renewables and non-renewables to find out what level to pitch the workshop at. Then we watched a brief DVD explaining the production and usage of fossil fuels. Next we discussed how energy travelled, and that all actions have an equal and opposite reaction; we proved Newton's Law by make a human "Newton' Cradle". We then played an energy-based game on a lifesize board It was great fun and very educational.
Finally we carried out a few experiments, they were very enjoyable. In one we made a lemon battery, the other a vitamin rocket in which the CO2 blows off the container. That was very funny and very unpredictable, thank you SEAI! (Report by Chris C)
Form IV Visit Croke Park and the GAA Museum
Matthew F reports on the recent trip by From IV - Today Form IV in Castle Park went to Croke Park in Dublin. This massive stadium was built in 1913 and can seat a staggering 82,300 people! It is the fourth biggest stadium in Europe. The order is the Camp Nou, Wembley, Estadio Santiago Bernabéu and then Croke Park. It was a 45 minutes drive form Dalkey. We got to go to the Interactive area, the VIP area, the Press seats and had a full guided tour. Pat Gilroy is manager of the Dubs and we won the Sam Maguire Cup. Up the Dubs! The names of the All Ireland GAA cups are the Sam Maguire and the Liam MacCarthy Cup. Near the DART tracks is a standing area, known as Hill 16. It is called Hill 16 because in 1916 after there was fighting in Dublin city centre, a pile of rubble from there was used to form where Hill 16 now is. The Hogan Stand is named after Michael Hogan who was shot in a raid on Croke Park by British soldiers. Overall it was a very interesting experience and I would recommend it strongly.
Form III present The Vikings
Just before the end of the Spring Term the pupils from Form III visited the Dublinia exhibition in the city centre. Last week Form IIIC presented an Assembly based on the theme of the Vikings. Here is a report written by Robyn F and Matthew D about the two events:
IIIC and IIIP went to Dublinia, Conor our tour guide was the best tour guide ever, he was dressed as a Viking. He was very kind and told us lots of interesting facts. We found out that Viking means "sea pirate". We learned that Vikings were buried with their swords and their shields. We also learned that they were very vain. The Vikings sailed in boats called longships. We learned that Vikings didn't actually have horns on their helmets. The Vikings stole children and sold them as slaves. Matthew P and Stella pretended to be slaves. We also learned a very funny fact that 1200 years ago toilet paper wasn't invented so they wiped their bottoms with shells.
After our tour of the exhibition we did an archaeological dig. We wore hard hats and hi-vis vests that said "History Hunter" on the back. Phoebe found a sword, Robin found a jug made from animal bone and Freya found a leather shoe.
This week, IIIC did an Assembly about the Vikings for their parents. Zoe and Shane wore the blond "Alice" wigs and pretended to be Viking children and were sold as slaves. Will showed one of the comics about the Vikings that we made with "Comic LIfe" on the iPads. At the end we sang a song called "Viking Rock, Viking Roll" and it was very funny.
Chess continues to be a popular hobby on a Friday afternoon, facilitated by the Grandmaster School of Chess. Some of our pupils are also involved in leagues and competitions and have represented the School at recent events.
In March our squad participated in the inaugural "Chess for All" competition in Malahide which involved a six round tournament and over 40 schools from around the country. The competition clashed with the Wesley Choral Competition so Alex S and Levi P stepped in to play with David H and Tom G. They finished in 11th place overall, but had been consistently ranked in 2nd and 3rd place up until the final round.
The all Ireland Junior Chess Championship was held over the Easter break. Tom G played in the under 10 category and did very well, finishing in 4th place overall. David H played in the under 12 category and finished in 7th place.
Castle Park hosted the quarter finals of the Leinster Schools Chess League on 17th April, playing against the Donnybrook A Team. Castle Park put up a good fight, winning one game and drawing another, but Donnybrook As won the remaining two games, the final score being Castle Park 1.5 and Donnybrook As 2.5.
School Mile Challenge
The School Mile Challenge will be held on Friday 4th May when all pupils from Pre Pre upwards will take part in this nationwide event organised by the Irish Schools' Athletic Association and Athletics Ireland. This event aims to encourage students to participate regularly in recreational sport. There is a fun competitive element as the search is on for the best schools, counties and provinces taking part, but that is incidental to the main aim of promoting running and walking as part of a balanced healthy lifestyle. The time taken to complete the mile will be recorded for each pupil and they will be rewarded with a colour coded wrist band that correlates to the time achieved.
SPRING TERM 2012
Daffodil Day Fundraiser, Non-uniform Day on 30th March
We collected over 590 euro in aid of the Irish Cancer Society on the last day of term - well done everyone.
Alice in Wonderland Jr
Well done to all the cast from Forms V and VI and the supporting choir from Form IV for two fantastic performances of this year's School Musical. Each night's audience enjoyed a colourful musical treat and our thanks go to all concerned for all their hard work resulting in such great entertainment for all.
Mothers' Day Assembly on 21st March
The children of Pre Prep 1 prepared a very special Assembly to commemorate Mothers' Day. They had brought in photographs of themsleves as babies, and also a recent photo taken with their mum, which were used to make a slide show which was on display as their parents arrived. The children had left a pink rose and a chocolate treat on their mums' seats as an extra special surprise. The Assembly started with a role play on how we can show our mums how much we love and appreciate them. All of the children spoke out clearly and distinctly, obviously enjoying the limelight! They then showed pictures they had made of their mum's faces and sent a personal message to each of their mums. They finished with a concluding prayer in honour of the mothers and special ladies in their lives, and sang a song entitled "You're My Mom". Well done to Olivia's class.
On Thursday 22nd March eleven pupils in Form VI celebrated their Confirmation with three other local schools in the Church of the Assumption in Dalkey. It was a wonderful occasion for them to gather together with families and sponsors, fellow pupils and teachers. They all carried out their jobs reverently and with a great sense of awareness of the importance of the day. Ms McKiernan conducted the joint choir of our own Form V & VI with pupils from Harold Boys'. We wish all those Confirmed all the very best on this next stage of their faith journey.
CP Day Celebrations
Thursday 15th March was the occasion of the School's 108th birthday. We celebrated in the usual fashion, following the raising of the School flag all the pupils enjoyed birthday cake and hot chocolate. The morning then proceeded with the Crocodile Game and the Teacher Treasure Hunt for the Prep department pupils, and fun games in the Sports Hall for the Montessori children. Ross House won the Teacher Treasure Hunt and Pringle the Crocodile Game. During the afternoon we were delighted to welcome back some Old Cepians who toured the School and enjoyed meeting up with each other.
Plays Week - 5th to 8th March
At 7.00pm each evening last week the Assembly Hall was filled with family and friends eagerly anticipating the Annual Plays Week productions from the pupils in Forms I to IV.
On Monday IC introduced "Jack and the Beanstalk", followed by IIIC's search for "The King of Spain's Treasure". Tuesday evening was IP's turn to tell us "That's the Trouble with Goldilocks" whilst IIIP sorted out the confusion in "Alas in Blunderland". On Wednesday we heard from IIC all about "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" which preceded Mr Meade's retelling of the epic tale of "The Trojan War" presented by IVC. The final night's performances, on Thursday, were IIP's quest for "The Missing Magic" and IVP's classic tale of "Romeo and Juliette".
Many thanks to all pupils and teachers for the hard work that went into producing such fantastic and entertaining performances. Thanks also to the parents who helped with costumens and make up; to Ms Ryan for her assistance with props and scenery and to John Payne for stage construction and many other tasks along the way. The team effort resulted in an excellent week of drama for all.
Wesley College Music Festival, March 2012
A big well done and congratulations to all who took part in the Wesley College Music Festival on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd March. This year our School was represented by the Junior and Senior Choir, which competed in the Primary School Choirs category, and the Orchestra, which took part in the Primary Orchestra category. Over 20 primary schools from around Dublin took part over the two days and I am delighted to say that Castle Park was on top form in both competitions. Our Junior Choir were among the youngest competitors in a competition of a very high standard and they received great praise from the adjudicator, Blanaid Murphy, who said they were "very well prepared" and sang with "clear enjoyment" for their performance of Peter Jenkyns' The Wizard. The Senior Choir who sang the Caribbean calypso Ophelia Letter Blow 'Way received praise for their "confidence" and for being "lively and rhythmically secure". Our newly formed and ever-expanding School Orchestra finished the weekend on a high note with their film music medley of The Great Escape/The A Team. The adjudicator, Jonathan Browner, commented on their "effective music making which really got going in the tutti section". The weekend was a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all involved and I was very happy with the level of confidence and ease shown in the pupils' performances.
World Book Day, 1st March
To celebrate World Book Day this year all pupils from Pre Prep upwards have added a link to our "Best Book Chain" over the last few weeks. They have filled out details of their favourite book and why they recommend it on slips of paper. All the slips have been linked together to make a long chain and Ms Kingston asked the children to guess how many links there were in total in the chain. Congratulations to Joe, our winner, and Matthew, runner up. Jack and Neasa were the two Pre Prep pupils with the closest guesses.
All pupils in the School are activley involved in this year's Greenwave project, logging sightings of the early signs of the arrival of spring.
We have been searching for six designated species - frogspawn, primrose, horse chestnut, swallows, hawthorn and ash. To date we have spotted the first three on the list and are keeping our eyes peeled for the arrival of the next three.
Further information on this exciting initiative for primary schools can be found a www.greenwave.ie.
Sam Maguire Visits Castle Park, Monday 27th February
All pupils and staff assembled in the Hall early on Monday morning in eager anticipation of the arrival of the Sam Maguire Cup here at School. We were doubly surprised when Eamonn Fennell, Senior Dublin MIdfielder, unexpectedly arrived to carry the cup into the Hall. Fabio was the lucky pupil who had the honor of escorting the Sam Maguire and Eamonn up onto the stage in front of the whole school. Many thanks to Vodafone who had provided us with lots of Dublin merchandise which all the pupils enjoyed, they waved their flags with pride and joy. Dublin won the All Ireland this year, beating Kerry by one point in the final at Croke Park. Dublin hasn't won the Sam Maguire since 1995 so the county has been buzzing ever since, and the Cup has been very busy visiting lots of schools throughout Dublin city and county.
Eamonn spoke to the children telling them how hard the team had worked to achieve this momentous win, and he reminded them that you do not always have to be the best player or the most talented, but if you are dedicated and determined you can achieve just as much. Several of the children were lucky enough to ask him a few questions and then it was the turn of each class group to have their photo taken with the Cup. There was real excitement around the School for the morning as the children took the opportunity to ask Eamonn to sign their flags and jerseys.
Many thanks to Eamonn Fennell for giving up his time to visit us today. Also a big thank you to Cuala GAA Club for organising the visit. If any children would like to become involved in their local GAA club, please contact Ken Fitzgerald via Cuala.
Family Ski Trip to Italy, February 2012
This year's Family Ski Trip took place over the mid-term break. Our destination was Ponte de Legno in Italy, a pretty alpine village nestled in the valley below the ski area of Passo Tonale.
The group of sixty six, comprising fourteen families, set off for Dublin airport on the Friday afternoon. A flight to Milan and then a bus trip to the resort kept us all busy until the early hours of Saturday morning when we arrived at the Hotel Bellavista, whose staff greeted us with a welcoming meal and refreshments. Off to bed then to ready ourselves for a busy first day finding our way around the resort, acclimatising to the cold and altitude, getting fitted for skis and equipment and organising the groups for lessons. Other important research carried out on the first day included locating the cafe serving the most delicious hot chocolate, sampling the different flavours of ice cream at the gelateria across the road from the hotel, and locating the swimming pool and ice rink.
The week progressed too quickly, those in lessons improved rapidly and the more experienced skiers regaled us with tales of the black runs down the glacier and other death-defying challenges and achievements!
On the last night we gathered to receive prizes and certificates from the ski school instructors and then the children performed a talent show for their parents. Well done to all the performers - a range of musical and singing sketches, jokes and dance routines rounded off the evening to rapturous applause.
Many thanks to Mr Tindale for all the hard work he put int to organising and coordinating the trip again this year; and to Mr Hillman, Mrs Tindale and Ms Mollard for providing a few hours' entertainment for the children each evening before dinner, while the parents took the opportunity to relax and unwind.
Visit by Beachborough School, England
We are looking forward to welcoming pupils from Beachborough School on 7th and 8th February
Chinese New Year - Year of the Dragon
At the end of January we welcomed the Chinese New Year, the pupils in Annaliese's class had a wonderful display up outside their classroom and have being learning about the significance of the colour red which signifies happiness, and that the number two is a lucky number.
Congratulations to Amy Cox whose Doodle has been selected for this year's competition. Voting is now taking place on the Google website
, where you can view Amy's design in the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class pupils category and cast your vote for her entry.
Primary Science Fair - BT Young Scientist Exhibition, 14th January 2012
Well done to Form VI pupils on their impressive project, presented at the P