This is the first year we have taken part in the Blue Star Programme and we have found it to be an engaging, enlightening and enjoyable programme. All classes from Junior Infants to sixth class explored Europe under the four key areas. 1. History 2. Geography 3. Culture & Creativity 4. Institutions of the E.U. On the 11th of May we celebrated all things European with our first ever Europe Day celebrations.
Section 1: History
Pupils in 3rd to 6th class took part in our Scarecrow Building Competition. The theme this year was famous Europeans.
Pupils in 3rd & 4th class learnt all about Ancient Greece and then created and presented projects on Ancient Greece.
Section 2: Geography
Throughout the year pupils in 3rd & 4th class as part of our Active Schools Programme decided to Run around Europe during our active break each morning. We ran from Laois to Cork, to Cardiff, to London, to Paris, to Brussels to Amsterdam. We are currently on our way to Berlin. Every lap of our playground represented 1km, to date we've run over 1,250km.
Pupils in classes 2nd to 6th researched the countries of the E.U., created projects on their country of choice and then presented them to the school community. We also put them up on display in our hall on Europe Day for our parents and grandparents to see and ask us questions on the countries.
Section 3: Culture & Creativity
3rd & 4th class explored the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy. Andy Goldworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist producing site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland. They then collected natural materials from the local environment and set about creating their own 'Land Art'.
Junior & Senior Infants listened to Italian composer Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' and then created beautiful trees depicting the four seasons.
Pupils in 3rd & 4th class studied the work of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt in particular his portrait entitled 'Adele Bloch-Bauer' or 'The Lady in Gold'. Then they created their own 'Lady in Black' inspired by Klimt's work.
2nd Class listened to the music of David Bowie an English musician and in particular his masterpiece Starman and Ziggy Stardust, then they created their own artistic masterpieces inspired by his music.
3rd & 4th Class following their research of the Ancient Greeks and learning about the story of Icarus and Daedalus, explored the work of French Artist Henri Matisse and in particular his famous work 'Icarus'. Then they created their own art based on the Greek story and inspired by the work of Matisse.
2nd Class read the poetry of famous English Romantic Poet William Wordsworth and in particular his poem 'Daffodils'. They then created their own daffodil inspired artwork.
3rd & 4th class read the novel Granpa's Great Escape by David Walliams which centres on a grandad who believes he is still fighting in World War II and has been captured by the Nazi's and imprisoned in a war camp. It also tells the story of his grandson Jack who helps him escape from his nursing home/Nazi prison camp 'Twilight Towers'. Then we completed activities based on our novel.
Juniors & Seniors listened to the Story 'The Rainbow Fish' by Swiss author Marcus Pfister. While we know Switzerland is not a member of the E.U. however all of it's neighbours are E.U. members and it is also a great European nation. The story tells the tale of the Rainbow Fish and how important it is to have friends. It helped Juniors and Seniors understand how the E.U. countries work together to help and support each other. How the stronger more powerful nations - 'The Rainbow Fish' help and share their wealth with other nations and together all feel better, stronger and united. Then they created their own Rainbow Fish based on the story.
3rd & 4th class listened to and learnt the words of The Green Fields of France to perform at our Europe Day celebrations. Then we drew pictures depicting scenes from the famous World War I ballad.
2nd class pupils explored the work of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian and linked his work to their own numeracy work on shapes, lines and angles. Then they created wonderfully colourful artwork showing as many different sized squares and rectangles and lots of lines and angles.
We studied the work of Italian artist Leonardo Da Vinci, in particular his world famous Mona Lisa. Then we used Mona Lisa's beguiling smile and created our own Mona Lisa's but we put her in more modern settings like a hairdressers, a car, Croke Park or the swimming pool.
Check out our finished masterpieces below.
Section 4: Institutions of the E.U.
On Friday the 11th of May we had a joint celebration. We celebrated Grandparents Day and Europe Day. We invited our grandparents to a European themed day when we serenaded them with songs from across Europe and we dazzled them with our knowledge of all things European and E.U. related. 5th & 6th presented the foods and customs of 10 European countries. 3rd & 4th showed a video explaining how the E.U. works as well as holding a Europe Day quiz on the E.U. using the website below.
A selection of photos from 5th & 6th class Europe Day presentation. They informed all classes about each country and allowed us sample foods from each country.
Europe Day celebrations