Congratulations Koen!

Clontuskert would like to congratulate Koen Timmers from Belgium who has been shortlisted for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize today.
Listen to Bill Gates announce the shortlist:

Koen devised two of the recent projects Clontuskert students have participated in; and
He also set up and coordinates the Kakhuma Refugee program that Mrs. Murray and Ms. Scott are signed up to. This program see teachers globally teach refugees in Kakhuma in Kenya via Skype. Here you can find out more about Koen’s work:

Comhghairdeas Koen! Well deserved and we we wish you the best in the final in Dubai. You are an inspiration to so many teachers and students across the world.

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Visit from Fursey Whyte

Today Fursey Whyte, a parent in Clontuskert, came to talk to us about his job and what he does. He told us that in 1945 Whyte’s concrete was founded by Fursey White (Senior) his dad. Now Fursey Whyte has taken over. LTD stands for limited and that means company. In 1988 they brought the Galway team and the Liam McCarthy in their truck to Galway.
We asked questions like. “Is your job dangerous? ” and “Do you need special training?” Fursey said, “Yes, like nearly all jobs it is dangerous and you do need special training when you are working with machinery.” He said the longest journey he went on for work was to Dublin. It is expensive to run the company and Fursey works very hard. He starts work sometimes at 5 am and finishes and 12 pm. Blocks are made from cement and sand. He told us that he has 60 machines and 7 people work there.

Thanks so much to Fursey for visiting us as part of Health Promoting Schools. We learnt so much from you.

Furesy also brought presents for the teachers and students. The teachers are delighted with the mugs from Ecocem Next Generation Cement and the students will be able to use their new pens from Quinn Building Products with their Surfaces.

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Assembly 9-2-2018

Today at Assembly 5th and 6th class told us all about their adventures last Saturday at the FLL Finals in Galway.
Two students from 2nd Class updated us on their work for FIRST LEGO League Junior.
We discussed Safer Internet Day on February 6th and shared tips with the Junior Room about what we learned.

Congratulations to our Students and Writers of the Week. Here you can see them with Ms. McEvoy.

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Skype in the Classroom with Jennifer Nolan of OPS

Today we took part in Skype in the Classroom with Jennifer Nolan of the Ocean Preservation Society in Maine, USA.

We learnt so much about sea turtles, sharks and why it is so important to preserve marine life for the future. We told Jennifer about our work in the Climate Action Project and we will send her some questions that we are working on tomorrow. Jennifer was very gracious and took our call at 8.15am, her time, 1.15pm our time.

Student Report:
Today we are skyping Jennifer Nolan in Maine. She is a member of the OPS (Oceanic Preservation Society.)
Jennifer is telling us about what she and her team do. She has been working with pupils telling them about what she does for five years.

Here is a sea turtle.

Sharks have been swimming in our seas for 4 million years, long before dinosaurs.

This is the most endangered turtle that there is.?

A quarter a million sharks are killed every day!
This is a baby leather back. This can grow to be one of the biggest turtles. ?

Turtles can hear but their ears are under their skin!
The OPS count the eggs and the nests and record what kind of turtles that are on the beach.
Turtles can live to be 80 or 100 years old!
Some positive updates:
Scientists have developed edible rings that are around cans so turtles can eat them instead of getting caught in it. In fishing nets there is something that can help turtles out of the nets.
Scientists are making lots of things edible that are normally thrown in the bin or water so you can eat them instead of putting it in the bin. Jennifer has everything in her house powered by solar panels.

What needs to change:
Oil spills can kill many animals but people go out and bring in animals and clean them down. Currently, we kill an estimated 4,600 turtles every year due to fishing — they are wrapped in the nets or hooked on bait lines set for fish. However, a new report shows that this represents a 90% reduction of sea turtles caught since 1990. So, are 4,600 deaths good news?

Threats from Marine Debris: The Problem: Over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean. Currently, it is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world.

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Congratulations Write a Book Winners and Highly Commended

Congratulations to Clontuskert’s Write a Book Winners and Highly Commended students. The Winners in each class group will be invited to the Galmont Hotel (Radisson Blu) in Galway for the presentation on Tuesday March 20th 2018 to celebrate their win and be presented with their awards.

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FIRST LEGO League 2018

Congratulations to 5th and 6th class who represented Clontuskert so well at FLL today and to Mrs Murray who was awarded Mentor of the Year. Thanks also to Mr. Foran and all of the parents who drove and supported the students.

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Assembly 2-02-2018

Today was a busy Assembly with Mr. Foran. We spoke about Catholic Schools Week, Grandparents’ Day and the visit from Jason Flynn and Davy Glennon with the Liam McCarthy Cup.
6th class told everyone about their recent visits to Garbally and Ard Scoil Mhuire and the FLL team updated us on tomorrow’s event.

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Visit from Galway Players

Today was an extra special day when Jason Flynn and Davy Glennon visited Clontuskert accompanied by not one but four cups won by Galway teams in 2017. They brought the Liam McCarthy Cup, (All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship) Bob O’ Keefe Cup, (Leinster Senior Hurling Championship) The Irish Press Cup, (All Ireland Minor Hurling Championship) and the Dr. Croke Cup. (National Hurling League)

Thanks to Emmet Goode, Chairperson of Kiltormer GAA who accompanied the players. They spoke to a large crowd of children and families who were delighted to hear their nuggets of wisdom and tips for future players in Clontuskert. The students had many questions for Jason and Davy which they were very gracious in answering. Who knows how many County Players they have inspired today? We wish them the best of luck for 2018. Beir bua libh agus leis an foireann go léir!

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Grandparents’ Day

Today we had the pleasure of welcoming our grandparents and parents to Clontuskert for one of the most special days of the year; Grandparents’ Day.
The day began with a mass celebrated by Fr. Kilkenny in the school hall. We had some beautiful singing and readings from the students with Ms. Scott accompanying on guitar.
Afterwards 6th class helped serve refreshments to everyone while the rest of the school had their lunch. Next our visitors came to the Senior Room where we all gathered to share songs, poetry and presentations about our work in the school. We interviewed our grandparents about their school days and how they differed from ours. It was a wonderful day. Go raibh míle maith agaibh do gach éinne. Bhí ard-ám againn.

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Galway Spikeball Finals 2018

Thanks to Mr. Foran for the report.

On Friday, 26th January a team from the school took part in the Galway finals for Spikeball. We had a mixed team and there were eleven other teams in our competition broken into three groups of four. The top two teams from each group would compete in a playoff for the two places available to represent Galway in the Regional Finals.

The boys and girls from 5th and 6th class had practised hard for the day and were looking forward to playing. We arrived at 9.45 for the explanation of the rules for the day. The competition started at 10:00 for the all-girls teams but we would not be playing until 11:30. This gave us a chance to warm up, practise and watch other teams playing. There was huge excitement in the hall with all the other children and their teachers. While we were waiting we had something to eat and drink to make sure we were full of energy when our turn came. Finally, our chance to play came.

Our first game was against one of the teams from Gaelscoil Riada. It was a very tough game and we played well. However, we were nervous and that affected how we played. Gaelscoil Riada deservedly won the game and we were quite disappointed. We had twenty minutes to wait before we played again, and we used the time to remind ourselves of the practice we had put in and what we had learned. Even though we were disappointed with the first game we all encouraged each other.

The positive mood showed in our second game against Briarhill National School. We really hit the ground running, hitting some very good points, encouraging each other and enjoying the match. We won the game by 16 points to 11.

To progress to the qualifier round we needed to win our last game. If we did, we would go through. If Briarhill managed to beat the Gaelscoil team in the match before ours, we even had the chance to win our group. Briarhill led until very near the end but lost by two points. The best we could do now was second place in our group, though that would be enough to go through. First, we had to win.

From the first ball Clontuskert dominated the game against another team from Gaelscoil Riada. We built up a good early lead with excellent serving and a great selection of shots to win points. We had to try and score as many points as possible in case points difference would be important. One of the points of the game came when we set up one of our players

but instead of hitting the ball hard over the net he just tipped it and it dropped to the ground. They hadn’t expected that! Clontuskert won the game by 22 points to 12 and were through to the quarter final.

In the quarter final we came up against Fohenagh National School which was lead my Mr. O’Riordan, a former teacher here in Clontuskert. Now it was a straight knockout competition. When the game started Clontuskert raced into a lead which we never gave up. We scored 24 points to Fohenagh’s 7 and with each point we were more and more confident. When the whistle sounded for the end of the match we shook hands and waited to find out who we would play in the last match of the day.

Gaelscoil Riabhach were our opponents and they had been very successful in last year’s competition. However, by this stage our confidence was good. We had played well since our first match and continued to encourage each other even if things did not go to plan.

Once again, we started well and went two or three points up. The other team were tough opponents and managed to catch up. We then went point for point before they took the lead. They managed to add on some more points and it would have been easy to give up. However, after all we had done that wasn’t going to happen. We fought back to reduce their lead and got a run of points together. They always managed to get a point here and there to maintain their lead before they eventually got to 21 points to win the match against our 16 points.

It was obvious that we were disappointed, but we congratulated the other team and wished them well in the next round. They will be tough opponents for any team they play. After talking about the game, we felt better. We had been disappointed following our first game but had worked hard as a team to do so well in the other games.

We will continue to practice Spikeball because there will be another competition next year. We will take our experience and practice again and hopefully we will go even further.

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