Junior School News 16 October 2020
Dates for Your Diary
Friday 23 Hallowe’en Dress Up Day!
Mid-term break (26 – 30 October). Full school day.
Aftercare open until 6:00pm
From the Office
There have been further changes to the government’s Living with COVID-19 plan. We are making every effort during the school day to keep Alexandra College COVID-free, so we are asking for your full co-operation too. We want to continue to keep all of our students and staff safe and well. Playdates and sleepovers cannot happen at this time. During these challenging times, your on-going understanding and support is very much appreciated by all of us.
Hallowe’en Dress Up:
We love the seasonal events in the Junior School! The girls may come to school dressed up on Friday, October 23rd. No scary face paint or Hallowe’en masks please as we have very young children in the Junior School. Props should be avoided as they have too many touch points. We want to all have a safe and enjoyable day.
Alex STEAM Challenge 2020
Unfortunately due to Covid-19, the annual Intel Mini Scientist competition will not be going ahead this year. In order to keep the spirit of the competition alive, we will be hosting our own internal and online event -the first Alex STEAM Competition 2020. Our aim is to keep the competition quite similar to the Intel Mini Scientist competition. As it takes an online format, we have modified the guidelines accordingly. We will ask an independent judge to view the girls' presentations and award first, second and third prizes as before. As we cannot use the hall and present to a judge, each class will now present to the camera.
Preschool-J2: Each group will do a class video, max 4 minutes
J3 - J6: Individual/small group videos, max 1.5 minutes each.
Once all the videos have been collated, we intend to host the videos on Google Sites. This will allow the videos to be viewed easily by the judges, other students and parents. The winner(s) will be announced on Friday 20 November.
J6 – Zip It!
On Monday, 12th of October, the girls from J6W and J6R along with their teachers, Mr. Fitzgerald and Ms. Byrnes, went on a short trip up the Dublin Mountains to the Zip It! High ropes course, located in Tibradden Woods. Leaving at 8.45 in the morning, the girls would get a much welcome break from the classroom, considering all of the hard work that they have been doing since practically the first day back at school in August.
A bus brought them on the 25 minute journey up to the course, which was fully compliant with the Fáilte Ireland Tourism Charter for Covid-19. The girls also wore masks and sat in their pods on the bus journey to ensure that everyone was safe.
When they arrived in Tibradden, the instructors Aaron, Eoin and Hannah greeted the girls, fitted them with their harnesses and gave them a safety demonstration. Once they showed that they were comfortable on the initiation course, they were allowed off to explore the other five courses in the park. There was great excitement and encouragement as the girls cheered each other on, especially when some went higher than they thought that they could beforehand.
At about 1.45pm, all of the girls were called by group until everyone was down safely from the course. They had lunch before getting back on the bus and returning to Alex, buzzing from the day and very tired.
Thank you to Ms. Lamplugh for the idea of taking the J6's for a much needed day away. They really appreciated and enjoyed it! Thank you also to the brilliant instructors at Zip It! who were so helpful and friendly.
Ms. Byrnes and Mr. Fitzgerald
J3W: The Importance of Friendship
Friendship is such an important part of life and of Alex. This week, J3 White wrote and illustrated individual pieces about what friendship means to them. The girls also created individual jigsaw pieces on the theme of friendship, which fit together to form a beautiful jigsaw, just like we all fit together in our own way. Finally, they performed their friendship song as Gaeilge - Tá Cara Aga Ionam. Well done, girls.
Mr. O’ Connor
Preschool Uppers: “The Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert
The Preschool Upper girls read a most beautiful book called “The Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert. It was all about Autumn and featured the wind gusting and the Leaf Man on the move. The children wondered if he was drifting east, over the marsh and ducks and geese, or heading west above the orchards, prairie meadows and spotted cows. No one was quite sure but this much is certain: “A leaf man’s got to go where the wind blows”. The girls were intrigued by the evocative autumnally colour schemed leaf illustrations and could not wait to go on a nature walk to collect leaves to transform their art collage into animals, fish and people. They produced some beautiful imaginative creations which we later laminated and displayed in the classroom, They were very proud of their work and it was a great way to teach the children all about the autumn leaves.
Preschool Upper also enjoyed Maths Week using their ELS Early Learning counting and sorting game featuring fruit counters, bug counters, farm animal counters and dinosaur counters.
J5 Hockey Blitz
Our J5 students had a wonderful afternoon playing hockey last Friday. They played in a round robin format with J5 Reds and J5 Whites being both sporting and competitive right from the first whistle! These great photos were snapped by our roving photographer Carina, who is recovering from a foot injury at the moment, and I think she really captured the excitement and spirit of our afternoon’s blitz. Well done, Carina!
Close mini-matches, goals being scored from all angles, the two teams to come out of their respective round robin table were, from the Red’s class, the Non-Bibs and the Greens, and from the J’5 White’s Class, the Blue Stripes and Non-Bibs emerged winners. They all contested in the semi-finals and eventual final. The other teams played off for group places.
All of our players played skilfully and with great enthusiasm throughout the afternoon, so very well done to everybody. The finalists were the Red Non-Bibs and the White Non-Bibs and with a very close score of 2 - 1, resulting in the Red Non-Bibs coming in first place overall. Many thanks goes to our TY students who were busy on refereeing duty on the day.
J6W and Budget Day 2021
This week was a very important week for Ireland. Budget 2021 was revealed at the Convention Centre in Dublin on Tuesday afternoon, where the Dáil was meeting. The Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe and Mattie McGrath presented their measures for the coming year.
The girls in J6W watched it all live, as the measures were introduced and debated. They were intrigued as they listened to the terminology used by both sides of the house. They learned about how the Government try to present the Budget as fair, but the opposition parties must critique and make sure that the Government is held accountable.
The J6W girls then drafted, edited and presented their own budget for Ireland in 2021, having been given an imaginary sum of €70 billion, the same as the government had to spend this year.
This exercise taught the girls to use billions in place value, find percentages, practise addition and subtraction, practise their persuasive writing skills and learn about how the government uses money from taxation to spend in a budget, and think about some of the consequences of decisions made on Budget Day. We all learned that it is not easy to draft a budget that is fair to everyone.
You never know, a girl who is in J6W now, may someday take to her feet in the Dáil chamber as the Minister of Finance on Budget Day!
Well done girls.