All posts by Fintan

Bereavement of Brian Ruane

The school are saddened to announce the bereavement, following a sustained illness of Brian Ruane.  Brian gave  twelve years of voluntary service to the governance of the school as a current  Board of  Management  member and  former Chairperson.  Brian contributed hugely to the development of the inclusive and rights-based function and performance of this  school, specifically,  and to the Educate Together movement nationally.

He will be sorely missed in our school and our symapathies go to his wife Beth (teacher in the school), daughter Saorla, colleagues, friends and children. We will remember him formally at our Assemblies, this Monday ( Jan 8th), and look forward to doing a proper remembrance  for his family in the school in due course.

Arts Week 2017

Arts Week ( Nov 20th to 24th)  Special Edition Parent Newsletter Thursday November 16th

It’s  Arts Week 2017 !

The aim of our Arts Week is to provide the children with a highly stimulating  and experiential week of Drama, Visual Art and Music. It is hoped that the children will develop a love of the Arts and find their own artisitic talents and preferences.  Each child in the school will experience  four Arts Weeks over their career in our school.     Here’s some highlights of the  week:

  • The Junior Infants, Senior infants , and  1st will experience music-making workshops with guest-experts Musicmakers, will have Drama workshops with Derval,  will have Arts  Carousel with their own team of teachers, will have Samba Dancing  lessons, will experience the magic of Black and White movies and   a visiting Puppet Theatre performance
  • 1st and 2nd will learn about the classical and  and traditional instrument the Violin/Fiddle, 1st will have music making workshops with  Musicmakers, lessons on ‘looking and responding  to’ famous art works, drama workshops with Orlagh,  carousel of activities with their own teaching team,  Smaba dancing lessons,  workshops with  the .Mobile Music School, the magic of black and white movies and  a visiting Puppet Theatre performance, and illustration workshops.
  • 3rd will have an Introduction to Fiddle/violin, Sewing Craft  workshops with Kerry, Drumming lessons with WassaWassa, a trip to the  Droichead Theatre in Drogheda to see a play and  the magic of black and white movies
  • 4th will have Caustic lessons (an online/ICT  music programme),  Junk Kouture workshop, carousels with their own teaching team, a session on Musical theatre,  drumming workshops with WassaWassa. Workshops with the Mobile Musical School, a visit to the Hugh Lane Art Gallery in Dublin.  The magic of black and white movies, and a visit to the Abbey Theatre in Dublin for a play
  • 5th class will have drama workshops with the internationally renowned actor Don Wycherley, Clay workshops, Hip Hop Dancing lessons, carousels with their own teaching team, drumming workshops with WassaWassa,  a Junk Couture session and a visit to the Droichead theatre in Drogheda , and the magic of black and white movies
  • 6th class will have theatre workshops with the internationally renowned actor Don Wycherley,  Acrylics painting workshop with Leon, HipHop dancing lessons, Clay workshops with James, carousels with their own teaching team, drumming workshop with WassaWassa, creative writing in the genre of magic realism with Rachel and Jackie , a visit  to the IMMA Gallery in Dublin,  a visit to the Hugh Lane gallery in dublin and  a visit to the Abbey Theatre to see a play.
  • The Student Council will also be presenting their Human Rights Defenders project  at an educational conference of Student Councils in Malahide. The Student Council will also be leading a ‘painting of the day’ each day in the school.
  • All classes will be studying the work of one individual artist over the week
  • And, finally… see overleaf for our customary Arts Week Family Quiz  for all the family to enjoy!!!!!


Parent Newsletter Wednesday November 8th

Parent Newsletter  Wednesday  November 8th

1 Human Rights Month

A very big thank you to all our parents and children who actively engaged with Human Rights Month. As the Month developed a very special  atmosphere developed in the school around issues and knowledge of Human Rights Month. This was especially evident  on the last couple of days of the Month  where the children’s engagement with  Self-Expression Day ( and video-booth) and the Human Rights Factor Peer-concert was exemplary.  The ‘learning’ about Human Rights and Children’s Rights will continue over this month and, indeed, onwards through the year.  Thank you.

2 Your Rights story?

Have you a short rights-story that you might like to have published in our forthcoming book Writing Our Rights.  It would be great if a parent might  script a few paragraphs about  anything…… perhaps, your thoughts on Human Rights Month, or any aspect of it? …. perhaps a rights-story from your own life or childhood?  …… perhaps a piece of fiction around the issue of Rights?   Please do consider doing this , it would be lovely to have parents’ voices in this publication.

3 Talk for parents on the value of  Languages / Bilingualism

We have a guest speaker, Francesca from an orgainsation called Mother Tongues,  who will talk to parents this Friday ( 10th) from 9.00 to 9.45 on issues of  raising children in bilingual homes, the value of home languages and the challenges of  learning English as an additional first language . The PA will host a drop-in coffee stop in the staffroom from 8.40  for those who might  like to pop up immediately after  school starts.  Please do come along if you can.

4 Arts Week

Our bi-annual Arts Week ( every second year Arts Week and STEM week alternate) takes place in the school from Monday November 20th to Friday November 24th.  This is a week packed with stimulating and  inspiring  teaching, learning , educational-visits, workshops in the fields of  visual-art, music, drama, poetry and literature.  A more detailed special-edition Newsletter will be sent home nearer the time… and an Arts Week Family Quiz too!

5 Dogs

A reminder to all parents that no dogs are allowed on the school campus  or premises ( except guide-dogs) no matter how friendly , cuddly, loyal , harmless, gorgeous they are.


Human Rights Month 2017 in Balbriggan Educate Together NS


Special Edition Newsletter:

Human  Rights Month in Balbriggan Educate Together NS : October 2017

Human Rights Month is an important  month of teaching and learning in our Educate Together school. This year the theme is Children’s Rights and,  in keeping with their age, the children will learn about: What are Rights? What responsibilities come with Rights? What are the Children’s Rights specifically?  How can I exercise my Rights? How can I  help in enhancing other people’s enjoyment of their Rights?  What are the Children’s Rights issues in our school?, in Babriggan? In Ireland? Internationally? Here’s some of the highlights that the children will experience over the month:

  • All classes will follow a core-text which teaches them about Human Rights, generally, and Children’s Rights specifically: Junior infants. , Senior Infants  and 1st class  learn from  the text The Right Start,  2nd and 3rd continue their knowledge of Rights with ‘Lif-Off’ and 4th, 5th and 6th learn from the text  ‘Me, You and Everyone’. These classes are done as part of the school’s teaching of SPHE, English, Drama, Ethics and  Visual Arts
  • All classes Junior Infants to 6th will learn a Rights Anthem for peer-audience concerts The Human Rights Factor  at the end of the month, some of these songs will also  be reprised   for the parent-audience Winter Concerts in December.
  • The school will publish , in proper book form, ( for sale in due course) an Anthology of the Children’s Writing conducted over the month on the theme of Children’s Rights  ( we are looking for a sponsor for this,  would your business/company be interested in  associating themselves this very noble venture? Plenty of media attention guaranteed!!!!!!)
  • The children  from 2nd to 6th will  undertake to put themselves forward for election to the school’s Student Council, by presenting manifestos to their class and voting in peer-elections.
  • Selected classes will learn about the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and participate in the international World’s Largest Lesson on October 17th
  • The Student Council, in front of the audience of the  whole set of children in the school,  will interview  and award  the BETNS Human Rights  Hero award and status to two persons in our community who work hard to  enhance the Rights of others. This year’s recipieents  will be Edel Campbell  ( North Dublin Outreach; the right to a home) and Assumpta Hickey ( Balbriggan Children’s  Library; the Right to an Education )
  • Irish Aid, Trocaire, The Office of the Children’s Ombudsman and Goal will do workshops with various classes on issues of children’s rights,  justice, climate-change and sustainable development
  • Our 3rd classes , as is customary, will visit a Traveller’s Site, as part of their work on the right to a home
  • All children will learn about about lesser known international Human Rights Defenders   Leymah Gbonwee ( Liberia), Daisy Bates ( USA) and Kailash Setyarthi ( India) and will  vote for one of these  in an referendum conducted by the Student Council for our BETNS 2017  Human Rights Defender
  • Friday October 27th is our Self-Expression Day, wehre the children are encouraged to dress up, or perhaps make and wear a badge, that says something about their identity ( interests/hobbies?, languages? Religous or non-religous identity? Ethnic identity? Parental/Family nationality? ) Parents, please encourage your children about this day, and it’d be wonderful to see our many various and rich identities celebrated on the day!!!! We will also have a video-booth ( along the lines of a wedding video-booth) where the children may  speak about their identity for the camera/recording?
  • And , for the family , see overleaf for a Human Rights Month  Family Quiz , with a family ticket to a cinema of your choice as a prize


Human Rights Month  Family Quiz

Child’s   Name         _____________________

Please fill in your child’s name ,  your answers to each question, complete the tie-breaker, and send the page back in to your child’s class teacher on or before Friday October  20th ( 9.00am) to be in with a chance of winning  a family voucher for a cinema of your choice.

  • What year was the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified by the Irish Government ( hint; this is its 25th Anniversary)   ______________________
  • Only one country in the world has not signed up to this internationally respected protection of   children? What country?   ___________________________________
  • Which former Irish President went on to become the United  Nations  Human Rights Commissioner? ________________________________________________________
  • On which birthday does an Irish child offcially become an adult? ________________
  • Which international Human Rights agency has as a motto: “it is better to light a candle  than to curse the darkness” ?  ___________________________________
  • In which city in the USA did Rosa Parks refuse to give up her seat on the bus  to a white-man?   ________________________________________________________
  • 7 Which famous Italian educationalist  said ‘early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society?”  _________________________________________
  • What activity, and a children’s right in itself, did the famous psychologist  Jean Piaget describe as  ‘the work of childhhod’?  _________________________________
  • Finish the sentence: Focus ireland is an advocacy and charitable organisation who help individuals and families  who have become ______________________________
  • On  Friday 27th of October in our school , the children are encouraged to dress up or wear a  home-made badge  that signifies  any aspect of their identity (  interests, languages, cultural background, religion or non-religous  life-philosophy, personality,  parental nationality, ethnic identity etc). In our school we call this       _____________–_________________Day



Don’t forget……..

Tie breaker:   How many children are there  in our school ? ___________________________