Everyone has been pleased to welcome the warmer weather this April. The Eco– team have been out and about tidying and checking the bird feeders and bug hotel. We have noticed more birds visiting our school grounds. We even had a friendly robin watch us as we worked! The Ulster Wildlife team presented certificates to our pupils for completing their ‘Grassroots Challenge.’ We started our new topic about the ‘Rainforest.’ We have been using a variety of art techniques, including marbling, to create prints that can be turned into vegetation for our new display. We have also been carrying our theme in our cookery and made yummy Rainforest cookies.
March has proven to be another busy month for Class 9. We have been putting into practise all of the things we have learned to lead a healthy lifestyle. The pupils conducted their own challenges based on healthy eating, good hygiene and including more exercise. We took part in ‘Healthy Sandwich Day’ and ‘Juice and Jive Day.’ We have also been considering healthy minds and enjoyed some yoga sessions. Everyone was very productive for our recent ‘Open Day’ events. Class 9 are part of the Eco-team and decided to demonstrate how we have been making food for our garden birds; a skill we learned as part of the ‘Grassroots Challenge’ organised by Ulster Wildlife. We hope you managed to catch our BBC News Report about their great work. We are proud of our class members, Simon, Tristan, Lucy, Benito and Josh, who took part in an Interschool's Concert in the Market Place Theatre in Armagh. Well done! We wish everyone a very Happy Easter!
February has been jam packed month for Class 9. We have been working hard on our topic of ‘Healthy Living’. We have been looking at the Eat well Plate considering healthy meal and snack choices. We enjoyed our Valentine disco with Ceara School. Everyone was showing off their dance moves on the dance floor. We have taken part in more Ulster Wildlife workshops. The pupils have been very industrious making bird boxes and bird feeders. They enjoyed hanging up the feeders on trees within our grounds, ready for hungry birds during the winter months. Everyone was very excited when we had a visit from a barn owl and a hedgehog. We have created a hedgehog home in some bushes. We made clay models of the little hedgehog that visited. The pupils also learned about mini-beasts. We went on a mini-beast scavenger hunt and made a mini-beast hotel from wooden crates and logs. Hopefully will have some wildlife visiting Donard School very soon!
Happy New Year from Class 9 ! The pupils completed work on the final part of their topic based on ‘Our Local Community.’ They carried out a survey to find out what amenities are available in Banbridge town. We learned about the history of the town, the linen industry and discovered Dunbar School, where Donard School first began. We had a go at weaving and all the pupils made their own posters or leaflets about areas that particularly interested them. We have started our new topic about ‘Healthy Eating and Lifestyles’. We had a sandwich challenge and all the pupils had to create their own sandwich.
Classes 9 & 11 are part of the Eco Schools Team. We have been learning about biodiversity and wanted to discover ways that we can improve our school grounds and encourage wildlife to visit there. We have been taking part in the ‘Grassroots Challenge Programme’ organised by Ulster Wildlife. We completed a survey of school grounds to find out where we could make improvements. We learned to identify the variety of birds that visit our gardens and we made bird feed cones and rings to hang up in our school grounds. We also had a visit from a bat and we learned about its nocturnal habits and what it needs to survive. We even made our own bats in art!
As always we have had a very busy month in Class 9, we are continuing with our ‘Local Area’ topic this month. In cookery we made sausages and champ, a dish that went down very well! We have also been learning the address of our school . We had a very interesting visit from the Environmental Council Officer all about ideas we could explore as part of Eco Schools. The pupils enjoyed learning about how to make compost with a little help from our friendly earth worm.
The most exciting day we had this month was our trip to the SSE Arena in Belfast to watch an ice hockey match between two American teams. The pupils and staff had a great time! Thank you to James, one of our staff, who brought in some ice hockey gear for our pupils to try on.
We are very busy with rehearsals for our senior school production of “A Christmas Carole.” We hope you are able to come and support us. We would like to welcome our friend Ryan to class 9.
We have had an eventful month in Class 9. Senior School pupils entered a Boccia Tournament, organised by Disability NI. All the pupils enjoyed taking part and tried their very best. We have also been learning some rugby ball skills with James, a new member to our staff. You can tell by the picture, all the pupils are having great fun as well as keeping fit. We have also been playing some maths games with a ‘pirate treasure island’ theme, that involved using our counting and money skills. Our new topic, ‘My Local Area’ is in full swing. The pupils have been using Google Maps to find their homes online. They were investigating how long it took everyone to travel to school. We also carried out a traffic survey and decided that Banbridge is a busy town. We made models of our homes using junk materials and I’m sure you will agree, they did a very good job! We have been focusing on Northern Ireland in our cookery. We made soda bread and also an Ulster breakfast. We hope everyone has a well earned rest and enjoys their half term break.
Welcome to the new school year! In Class 9 we have Paul, Dylan, Benito, Josh, Ewan and William. A special welcome to Simon, Tristan and Lucy who have also joined the class and are new pupils in Senior School. We have had a busy start to September and all the pupils have been getting into the swing of things. We have been going fishing on Fridays. The pupils have been learning to have great patience and to be quiet so as not to frighten the fish away! We were very excited to see a helicopter land in the playing field. Class 9 had a birds eye view from their new classroom. We have been embracing the new season and our art work has featured lots of autumn printing, blown paint and clay work. The pupils also designed their own cool skateboard that included their name and some of things that interest them. We familiarized ourselves with kitchen equipment and made a few pupil favorites in cookery; pizza and pancakes are always a big hit. Class 9 and Class 11 will be in charge of Eco-Schools and we will keep you informed of all the activities we are planning.
This month the pupils have had the opportunity to choose their own topic to study. Class 9 pupils picked ‘Disney’ as their choice. We have been in the jungle, under the sea and in outer space! We made ‘Honey Bear Buns’ in cookery for our ‘Jungle Book 'week. We created our own ‘Nemo’ underwater pictures and we made a Star Wars ‘Yoda’ card for Father’s Day. We have been doing a lot of measuring this month; length, weight and capacity. The pupils enjoyed using the balance scales and comparing them to the electronic scales. In Drama, our pupils pretended to be in a barber’s shop. We had good fun learning how to have a wet shave. We have been very lucky with weather and Class 9 have enjoyed walking over to Solitude Park to use the outdoor gym. We have had a brilliant year and the staff are very proud of all our pupils. Thank you to our parents for their continued support. We hope you have a lovely summer break and look forward to seeing everyone in the new term.
Class 9 enjoyed their visit to the Ulster Museum in Belfast. We got to handle lots of Egyptian artefacts and we even got to see a real mummy, called Takabuti. The pupils enjoyed exploring other areas within the museum especially the interactive room. Everyone enjoyed their day and staff were very impressed by how all our pupils could remember so many Egyptian facts. The month of May has brought our ‘Volcano’ topic to an end. The pupils created lots of volcano pictures and models, and volcanoes have been our inspiration in cookery. We carried out our own volcanic eruption experiments using vinegar, baking soda and food colouring. We leanred all about the Giant’s Causeway and how it was formed. We also learned about the famous legend of the giant, Finn McCool. The pupils had great fun role playing the Irish and Scottish giants. Our pupils got the opportunity to watch and listen to the Ulster Orchestra play live in concert. We have been focussing on travelling safely in our community. The pupils have been putting their ‘Green Cross Code’ into action and enjoyed playing the role of a lollypop person assisting others on their way to school.
Class 9 have had a busy start to the new school year. We have embarked on our new topic, ‘The Egyptians.’ We have been exploring the geography of Egypt; its landscape and weather. We learned how important the River Nile was to the Ancient Egyptian people and their way of life. We compared farming during that period with modern farming. The Egyptian theme has been extended through our cooking and artwork. You can see our pupils making a couscous dish and some Egyptian jewellery from clay.
We have been learning about the importance of water for our bodies. We carried out a ‘taste test’ guessing each drink, making choices and recording which drinks we liked or disliked.
We all enjoyed the Scottish Piper who came to school to celebrate ‘Burn’s Day.’ Some of our pupils took part in the ‘Sensory Sensations’ workshop. As you can see from our photos, they had great fun!