First Class

April 2021

It has been wonderful to see the girls in Mrs. Carew’s and Mrs. Begala’s First Class return to school so enthusiastically! They are motivated and there is a strong sense of teamwork in the class.

A nice rhyming read, both story and poem, often rounds off our day.  “Who Has Seen the Wind?” by Christina Rossetti is a new favourite. The girls have loved learning it off to recite for others! Throughout their reading and listening, they eagerly pick out tricky words that they have learned and recognise, a word linked to the sound of the week or simply words or phrases that resonate with them.

The girls have carried out lots of hands-on work in Maths. This has enabled them to gain a deeper understanding of Place Value in particular. There is some great adding, subtracting and problem-solving going on. The girls are also enjoying some fun games such as “Guess My Number”.

We have incorporated some lovely art activities into our days back in the classroom – clay friendship hearts, cherry blossom paintings, looking and responding to the work of Dutch artist, Piet Mondrian, best known for

his 1920’s works of art that feature only horizontal and vertical lines along with black, white and primary colours. The girls created their own individual pieces and then developed on this by mixing the primary colours to make secondary colours. We love seeing the children express themselves through these activities, each piece unique.

Mindfulness activities are thoroughly enjoyed by the children. They help to relax both the body and the mind; they calm and help with focus, bringing the awareness to the present moment – a great start to the busy day or simply a transition activity between lessons,

and a lovely moment for us all in present times!

“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.”

L.R. Knost

September 2020

Smiling, happy and ready to learn! New year… new class… new classroom.

Our usual Sunday’s Well GNS response to our Marymount Appeal. All the children wore red and white and contributed generously. Thank you and well done!

An empty display board… waiting for samples of the children’s artwork.

The children created the colourful border by cutting fringes on brightly coloured rectangles of paper…

The children loved the final result… A display of their beautifully drawn lions!

The girls really enjoyed the process of creating these masks! They also loved making the mosaic pictures which border the display board.

October 2020

Great fun is had during P.E. time every week. The girls love to play and move freely throughout our large hall. In this picture, you can see the children greatly enjoying the chasing game ‘Spiders and Flies’.

This is the magnificent view from our sensory garden. The children love to spend time in the garden.

Having a chat… socially distanced of course!

Checking out our outdoor pizza oven.

The sensory garden provides a safe place in which the children can explore nature and learn childhood skills including climbing trees and…..

… balancing on beams and…

… sliding and…

… more sliding!!

Just hanging around in the Autumn sunshine! It is nice for the kids to get a break from the books!

Checking out our fairy door tree.

Jumping from stepping stone to stepping stone.

Climbing up a steep slope with the help of a rope… a great workout for young muscles.

Starting a long climb!

November 2020

Science Week: The kids had great fun throughout the week. As part of their exploration into how materials can change when mixed together, they made rainbows using Skittles and water!

Just like real scientists, the children wore lab coats and goggles while they dissected and labelled the parts of an apple! The leftovers were fed to the birds who visit our school garden.

The children thoroughly enjoyed participating in a Zoom lesson delivered by Dr. Frances McCarthy from the Blackrock Castle Observatory. She invited them to draw pictures of aliens…. and here are some of the results. Enjoy!

Outdoor Fun! In line with the Department of Education advice, the kids are enjoying outdoor learning and exploration including such activities as creating leaf and pebble sculptures and learning to skip!

Winter Picnic

Toasting marshmallows in the pizza oven.

Warming little hands at the fire.

Yummy! Toasted marshmallows taste lovely!

Principal, Liz Horgan, enjoys a chat with the girls.

Chilling out in the Winter sunshine.

March 2020

Ideas for Learning @ Home

Here are some general online resources:

March started with all of us in First class and indeed pupils throughout the school beginning to hear about something called Corona virus. Little did we realise then the huge effect it would have on all our lives. However we are all in this together and we look forward to all being back in school together again, when it will be safe for all of us.

We began to see posters like this around the school helping use to keep safe and well.

We celebrated World Book Day on Friday, 6th March. We had a wonderful time with all the girls dressing as characters from their favourite books. A whole-school assembly in the Halla, gave us the chance to admire the costumes worn by the girls in all other classes. Following this we returned to our own classroom and enjoyed a relaxing DEAR time

Earlier in the week we had a lovely visit to our local library, where the helpful librarian Elizabeth treated us to Storytime ahead of World Book Day.

But just as we were getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the shutdown of schools for our safety began and you can see some of the ideas available to help learning on this website.

Guides to learning for the girls were initially provided by emails to the parents.

Following the Easter holidays, we have switched to using Seesaw as our learning platform. This enables us to send ideas for learning to the girls and receive pictures of their work back and we can then provide feedback to them on the work we have seen. It’s different to what we are all used to in the classroom but we are all learning new ways and trying our best. This is set to continue for the foreseeable future. Stay well and safe everyone.

February 2020

Soon after returning to school after the Christmas break, the girls of First Class began carrying out investigations in the class. Topics under scrutiny included whether items float or sink , what happens when different liquids are mixed and even why do raisins ‘dance’ ?! The parents and families were invited to watch the girls carry out these wonderful experiments during STEM Week in January. 

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The variety of weather we watched unfolding outside our cosy classroom during Storm Denis led us to study weather in more detail and also inspired some beautiful artwork based on the rainbows that thankfully followed the wind and rain  of the  storm. 

Lots of hands- on Maths continues in Room 2 and this term so far has included sorting real-life 3D shapes and representing numbers up to 20 in different ways such as on the  notation board and on the abacus. 

In February, we were blessed with fine weather during our Health Promotion Week.This enabled us to do lots of outdoor activities such as joining the rest of the school community in an fast-moving exercise session full of Jumping Jacks and other fabulously invigorating exercises; and exploring our local are local area by going on a walk down Strawberry Hill , up Shanakill and back to the school via Blarney Road.One of the highlights of the week was the Fruit Tasting session where the tastebuds were certainly awakened! 

The girls were also really lucky to receive four coaching sessions of Gymnastics from Gymnastics Ireland coaches Nicole and Cozmin. The girls and their teachers all learnt a lot of new skills. 

We are building up to celebrating World Book Day with daily DEAR –Drop Everything And Read sessions , discussing which character from our favourite book we might dress up as. In addition our regular visit to the tremendous local facility that is Hollyhill Library was added to by a wonderful talk about all the library has to offer, and a story-reading session,kindly provided to us by the very helpful librarian Elizabeth. 

Special occasions  such as St. Brigid’s Day and St. Valentine’s Day were joyfully celebrated and we look forward to celebrating St Patrick’s Day in this term all. 

We love books

December 2019

The girls of First class have been busy preparing for Christmas.

They have been exploring the theme of waiting, both in terms of Advent and also in the daily routine of the class, using the First and Then Method .This also ties in with our Maths theme of Time.

Our play Whoops-a-Daisy Angel takes to the stage on Wednesday, December 18th. There is great excitement amongst the girls who have worked so hard preparing for it. We all really appreciate the musical input given to us by Mrs O’ Connor.

Some lovely examples of Christmas Art have been produced by the girls. These include Snow Scenes, Christmas Trees and Baubles (linked to our work on doubles in Maths) and even Christmas Meerkats.

Progress in Literacy is being made by the girls, helped along by the Lift Off to Literacy Team of Mrs O’Sullivan, Ms Horgan and Mr Mulcahy who come to our room three times a week .

In Numeracy our Maths Recovery Programme lead by Ms Murphy continues also and the girls are experiencing many different aspects of number.

Nollaig Shona Daoibh go Léir!

November 2019

Visits to the local library take place once a fortnight and books from one of First Class’s preferred authors, Julia Donaldson, have been in high demand! A nice rhyming read, both story and poem, often rounds off our busy day. The poem, Picture-books in Winter, by Robert Louis Stevenson is a new favourite. The girls are eager to pick out words or phrases that resonate with them. 

Our Mindfulness breaks are thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated by the children. It helps to relax both the body and the mind, calming and also helping with focus – a great way to transition from one activity to the next! 

The theme of “The Playground” extended to our own construction work in the classroom! The girls teamed up, and through trial and error, constructed a piece of playground equipment of their own. 

April 2019

The girls of First Class have had a very busy and interesting term.

Among some of the highlights were World Book Day, the Visit of Smiley Eileey and a new girl joining the class.

The girls have been working very hard and progressing through all areas of their school work . Here is a photo of some girls working on the sound of the week.

In-class supports in the areas of literacy and numeracy such as PALLL –a language programme, The Queens of Reading Book Club and Maths Recovery are all running in our room at present. Thanks to all those who come to our class to help with these great opportunities for learning. We also make regular and very worthwhile visits to Hollyhill Library.

Significant events such as St. Valentine’s Day , St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and World Book Day were all marked and celebrated. These resulted in the production of lovely artwork and also a very enjoyable Irish dancing session.

Well done to all the girls and to all those at home who support them so well.

Looking forward to a great Summer Term!


First class enjoyed art , oral language & storytime lessons in the sunshine.

1st class teamed up with 5th class to take part in an orienteering competition in school. They searched around the school grounds to find clues & answer questions together. We had great fun!