Changemaking Activities in Eglish
NS, Term 2 and 3, 2020-2021
terms of empathy and wellbeing, we have been continuing our morning
‘check-in circles in each class. Here,
listening and the child’s voice are also evident as children share their energy
level and a prompt question is used to elicit a conversation contribution from
each child. Children lead this morning
session which involves activities for physical, emotional and spiritual
wellbeing. Empathy and care for the
environment is constantly being fostered, nurtured and shown. Junior and senior infants planted spinach, turnip and carrots in trays
and egg cartons. Middle room planted
potatoes and strawberries and Senior room have planted lettuce leaves and
spinach. On a daily basis students check
the progress and look after these and other flowers etc growing in the
polytunnel and sensory garden. At break
times, students, especially Junior Room students are always eager to help out
Bernie, our SNA planting and weeding and have replanted flowers sown on Earth
Day in September in the Sensory Garden. On a daily basis, students continue to cook up
creative culinary delights in our outdoor mud kitchen.
actively involved in caring for our outdoor space and they frequently initiate
cleaning up the school garden, pick up fallen branches, twigs, leaves etc… and
put them in the outdoor composter. We
continue to make good use of our new outdoor composter which encourages and
fosters a caring spirit in our children to look after mother earth. Middle Room students also creatively planted
fairy gardens with Bernie, using old shoe boxes, germinated lupin seeds and
planted them in pots. Our caretaker also
helped us install 2 new bird boxes
which help us to observe and care for our little garden friends. This has also increased our awareness of the
breeds of birds that visit our school.
The Middle Room and Senior Room students completed their period of’
Fresh Air Club’ sessions in the last 2 terms.
Room students took responsibility for organizing a very successful ‘Easter Egg’
hunt for the other classes and for themselves showing leaderships and teamwork skills. Parents also helped out with sourcing the
Easter Eggs. Student Voice and Leadership
have featured hugely over the last 6 months.
We were delighted and honoured that Senator Eileen Flynn could visit
with us via Zoom in April. Our students
had prepared questions for her and one of our students delivered a speech about
what her culture means to her. Her visit
can be viewed here https://youtu.be/KZbHs9yaIoo We made bookmarks to serve as a constant reminder for students of
Senator Eileen Flynn’s visit and the important, inspiring messages she shared
with us. Student voice, identity and
agency were very much a feature of a collaboration between our school
and our fellow changemaking school, Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla. We collaborated to organize and contribute to
an online panel discussion on ‘Enabling and Empowering Pathways through
Education and Beyond for Irish Travellers’, link here: https://youtu.be/8jtTTtyunVg which we held online on
May 27th. The panelists
comprised past pupils of Scoil Bhríde and Eglish NS and also other inspiring
Irish Travellers and professionals working in the area of Traveller Supports,
all very eager and willing to share their expertise, experience and inspiration
in answering questions posed by students of our schools.
Room students demonstrated leadership by proposing the setting
up of a ‘Creative Committee’ which has now been actualized by them where they
engage students from other classes in dances and other movement activities. They selected representatives from the other
classes to join the committee based on a speech they were given some time to
prepare outlining the reasons why they should be on the committee. They have worked together, considering Covid
19 restrictions in collaborating to plan for activities for the other
classes. The possibilities for this
Committee are boundless right now in terms of creativity and teamwork. Students feel empowered knowing that their
ideas and their voice have value and matter.
had the opportunity to show and share our creativity during the Creative
Schools’ Online Celebration Week in May.
Part of the videos we submitted were used for this and here are some
links https://youtu.be/22bb3_m9zDo and https://youtu.be/4rin8-84XLE.
creativity with wellbeing, we have been dancing every day as a whole school,
including our own ‘coronavirus dance’.
We are discovering more and more benefits to this every day in terms,
most obviously of physical wellbeing but also mental wellbeing,
self-expression, language integration, memory, teaching and learning. Students in our Middle Room and Senior Room
have been doing some yoga indoors and mainly outdoors. Following feedback from students and staff,
we have invested in yoga mats for the school and also bluetooth speakers for
each classroom to ensure that we have easy access to music at all times,
wherever we are, indoors or out.
Room students combined innovation with wellbeing in choosing and carrying out
their ECO EUNESCO Young Environmentalist’s project: ‘How Trees Support our Wellbeing’. Students presented their project as a team
online and were successful in reaching the final of the YEA (Young
Environmentalists Award). It’s been a
great learning experience and students plan to continue to spread the word
about how trees support our wellbeing. A snapshot of our project can be viewed
reinforce on a regular basis the changemaker pillars of Creativity, Empathy,
Leadership and Teamwork, we continue to give our students ‘Changemaker taps’
when and where we observe them using these skills, which is very often. Some students have even suggested giving some
staff members the taps too. Now, that’s