SESE – Science, History, Geography

Scoil Mhuire Convent Primary School received the Discovery Primary Science AWARD OF SCIENCE EXCELLENCE in 2005, 2006 and 2008 - 2009 and 2012. Recognised as a school of excellence in Digital Literacy in 2014. 

Light Exhibition: To find out what Sara and Bruna thought of the Light Exhibition in the Arts Centre click here.

Green Schools Scoil Mhuire was the first school in County Roscommon to be awarded the Green Flag. To date the school has been awarded seven green flags. 

SCIENCE WHOLE SCHOOL PLAN (In Scoil Mhuire we run a two year programme in Science, History and Geography. Year 1 of the plan will be done in the years starting September '08, '10, '12, '14 etc. and Year 2 will be done in the years starting September '09, '11, '13, '15 etc.

Vision Statement
A Science programme that aims to help children to work scientifically involves the development of a broad range of skills of enquiry, the cultivation of important attitudes and the acquisition of scientific knowledge and concepts about the biological and physical aspects of the world.
 
General Aims:
The aims of science education are:
·          To develop knowledge and understanding of scientific an technological concepts through the exploration of human, natural and physical aspects of the environment.
·          To encourage the child to explore, develop and apply scientific ideas and concepts through designing and making activities
·          To foster the child’s natural curiosity, so encouraging independent enquiry and creative action
·          To cultivate the appreciation and respect for the diversity of living and non living things, their interdependence and interactions
·          To encourage the child to behave responsibly, to protect, improve and cherish the environment and to become involved in the identification, discussion, resolution and avoidance of environmental problems and so promote sustainable development.
 
Particular Aims:
 
When due account is taken of intrinsic abilities and varying circumstances, the science curriculum should enable the child to
1. Develop an interest in and curiosity about the world through the exploration and study of living and non-living things.
2. Develop a knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas through the study of living things and the environments in which they live, energy and forces, materials and processes of change.
3. Observe, ask questions, discern patterns, hypothesise, plan, experiment, design, make, measure, discuss, analyse and evaluate results and so develop a scientific approach to problem-solving.
4. Understand the application of some basic scientific ideas and concepts in everyday situations.
5. Understand the interdependence of a wide variety of living things and their environments, recognise the importance of conserving habitats and environments and begin to understand that all life now and in the future depends on the sustainable development of the planet.                                                  Investigating Surface Tension
 
CURRICULUM PLANNING
 

 

STRANDS
STRAND UNITS
Living Things
Human Life
Plants and Animals
Energy and Forces
Light
Sound
Heat
Magnetism and Electricity
Forces
Materials
Properties and characteristics of materials
Materials and change
Environmental Awareness and Care
Environmental awareness
Science and the environment
Caring for the environment

 

 
All teachers are familiar with the strands, strand units and content objectives for their class levels. Curriculum objectives are at the core of each Science lesson, and teachers refer to the curriculum objectives in their own planning.
 
Curriculum Objectives will be covered for each class level over two years as outlined in the curriculum. The two year programme drafted by staff in ScoilMhuireConventPrimary School, Roscommon is attached and all teachers follow this programme.
 
Children’s Ideas
 
Teachers elicit at the start of every science lesson what the children know already and use the children’s ideas as a starting point for all scientific activity. Teachers use a number of strategies such as talk and discussion, questioning, listening, problem-solving tasks, drawings, teacher designed tests and tasks, concept mapping etc. to elicit what children know. Children are encouraged to pose their own questions. During scientific activities children are encouraged to discuss, question, listen and problem solve through activities that ‘try out’, challenge, change or replace ideas.
 
Practical Investigations
 
Children use practical investigations to enthuse, motivate and excite the children when learning about Science.  
 
Classroom Management
 
Teachers refer to the curriculum for advice on how best to manage the implementation of Science in their classrooms.
 
Methodologies
 
As outlined on pgs. 20 – 23, 36 – 40, 56 – 60, 78 – 82 Curriculum Statement
·          Using the environment
·          Active learning
·          Guided and discovery learning
·          Free exploration of materials
·          Spiral nature of the curriculum – opportunities to return to earlier learning and to extend and enhance it
·          Learning through language
·          Differentiation
 
Using The Environment
 
The range of habitats and features of the local natural and built environment incorporated into the Science programme are:
 
Bird Table/ Log/ Grass/ Stones in Millennium bed/ Trees in School Environs/Lough Park/ Pond
 
·          Each class undertakes a seasonal study of specific modules relative to the local environment. These are laid out in this plan. Ms. Mitchell co-ordinated the compilation of these studies but ultimately each class teacher is responsible for its execution
·          Children will be exposed to observations of broader global environments, stimulated through the integration of Foreign Nationals in our school/visits to our school by those from varied environments/ exposure to media coverage of diverse elements of general interests
·          Local sites were identified by teachers and allocated to different class levels. Environmental Trails (attached) were designed by teachers for all class levels in December 2005 and co-ordinated by Ms. Frances Mitchell and Ms. Maura Hannon.   
·          Our school is a member of Green Schools’ Project – is fortunate to have access to the support of related external bodies e.g. County Council Environment Office, Heritage Group, Green Owls Conservation Body, Tidy Towns
·          Any visits by external bodies to the school is always undertaken with full knowledge/ consent of the Principal
·          We actively participate in many projects to foster environmental awareness and care; GreenSchools, Recycling, Composting, Energy Efficient Policies
·          We actively model good environmental practice in our selective collection of samples for nature, displays and the code of practice in relation to Waste Management.
 
What is Green Schools?
Green Schools is a Europe-wide project designed to encourage and acknowledge whole school action for the environment – at all scales from local to global. Green Schools is both a programme and an award scheme. The aim of the programme is to move from environmental awareness in the curriculum to environmental action in the school and wider community. The Green Schools Committee is the driving force of the project. It strives to ensure that all the elements of the programme are adopted throughout the school.
Action Plan: The Action Plan is at the core of the entire project. It is linked to the school curriculum work. It must have realistic and achievable goals.
 
GREEN CODE
WE WILL
1. THINK TIDY:
It’s the first step towards stopping spread of litter
 
2. BIN IT:
Binning waste makes a difference to the appearance of our school
 
3. SPEAK OUT:
It is our environment that is being damaged by litter. So – we will comment politely but firmly should we see people being litter louts
 
4. PROMOTE 3 Rs:
We will encourage our family and friends to avail of our local recycling facilities and reuse and repair when possible
 
5. CONSERVE ENERGY:
Switch off lights and appliances when not in use
 
6. GET INVOLVED:
Support our GREEN SCHOOL CAMPAIGN willingly in all its projects
 
7. BE ECO FRIENDLY:
Encourage interest in birds, trees, flowers and earth around us
 
8. COMPLY WITH:
Litter Pollution Act 1997 –
“The basic duty of occupiers of a property is to keep this property, its footpath, and grass margin free of litter”.
 
 
GreenSchool Programme:
Since our school , has an enrolment of just over  400 pupils it is necessary in the interest of Health and Safety to conduct the project along specific lines. Our method will be as follows:
For our meetings we will have 2 representatives from the various classes – 2nd – 6th attend. There will be ongoing liaising with the principal and caretaker. We also have drawn up a specifically graded Green Flag Renewal Programme suitable to each class within the school. This programme covers all aspects of ‘good practice’ to heighten awareness of the importance/ preservation/ enhancement of our school/local environment and global environmental issues.
 
 
 
 
Riding on our basic individual programmes we will highlight specific modules dealing with:
1.        waste/litter eradication
2.       water/turlough
3.       culture heritage
4.       tree/wood study
5.       energy
 
Back to TopHopefully by the end of the year knowledge of the concepts/actions required re those modules will be incorporated into our everyday lives/activities.

 
WASTE MANAGEMENT
 
CLASSROOM BINS (each classroom has 3 bins)
 
1. Household Waste Bin:          * Plastic Wrapping/ Packaging
                                                * Floor Waste
                                                * Unfriendly paint/ paste newsprint
                                                * Aeroboard
                                                * Cling film/ tin foil
 
2. Compost Bin:                    *Pencil Parings
                                                *Fruit Wastage
                                                *Withered Flowers
                                                *Leaves
                                                *Nature table waste
 
3. Recycling Bin:                 *Torn-up paper and glossy magazines
                                                *Clean Newsprint
                                                *Used envelopes
                                                *Small pieces of flattened cardboard
                                                  Recyclable materials. 
 
TERMS AND CONDITIONS WHICH APPLY!
 
*Large cardboard boxes etc. to be flattened/ minimised as compact as possible and placed neatly behind bins in veranda.
*Lunch and break wrappings/containers replaced in lunch box and must be taken home
*All sheets of paper must be torn in halves/quarters, before being put into bins
 
EMPTYING BINS
Compost bins will be emptied by two 5th class girls at 12.55 on Wednesdays and Fridays and they will dispose of waste in the composting bin at the back of the school. Plants watered by two 5th girls at 12.55 on Wednesdays only. No child remains in the school during break time or lunch time from 1.00p.m. onwards as all our pupils need fresh air.
 
Household waste and recycling bins are emptied on Thursday mornings following a rota, by 5th class girls. The girls get black sacks from Ms. Burgoyne and are encouraged to reuse the black bags, if possible.
 
Waste Pickers following a rota, work in pairs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to pick up papers on yard – one student has the pickers and one the black bag, each taking turns.  
 
 
Balance Between Knowledge And Skills
 
Assessment – Looking At Children’s Work (see Assessment Policy)
 
ORGANISATIONAL PLANNING
 
Time-table
 
·          Science is timetabled as an integral part of the SESE time allocation of three hours per week
·          Every three years Scoil Mhuire will take part in the Discover Primary Science Awards of Excellence project. This will involve a Science evening where parents will be invited in to observe and take part in experiments set up and explained by the children.
      Last Science Evening (June 2009).
 
Resources and Equipment
 
Equipment:
Science resources are stored in a press outside the principal’s office. They are arranged on shelves according to the strand unit to which they belong, although some overlap may occur.
 
A list of equipment is affixed to the door of the press, beside the shelf on which that resource may be found. It may occur that some resources would mainly be used by one particular class level and will therefore, remain in that room. They will however, be listed in the equipment press and its location given, in the event of another teacher requiring its use.
 
Access to the press is for teachers only and they are asked to record when they borrow and return the equipment in the copy found in the press.
 
If teachers wish to pre-book the use of equipment this can be done by writing their name and desired date/time of use in the equipment copy.
 
If equipment is damaged or insufficient, teachers area asked to contact Caitríona Duignan with whom responsibility for science equipment lies. All equipment should be returned at the end of term to the press, where it will be checked by C. Duignan.
 
SESE Textbooks:
Junior Infants: Window on the World
1st/2nd Class: Earthlink (Year 2, 2009 - 2010, 2011 - 2012 etc.)
1st/2nd Class: What a Wonderful World- 2nd class book (Year 1, 2008 - 2009, 2010 - 2011etc.)
3rd/4th Class: Earthlink 3 and 4, Windows on the World 3, History Quest 4, Geography Quest 3.
5th/6th Class: Eathlink 5 and 6 (Class copies). History Quest (Class Copies)

 

The curriculum guides teachers’ practice not the textbook. However the textbook is a useful tool for teachers to reinforce their science teaching.

 
 
Safety
 
Safety should permeate all aspects of the teachings of Science and children should be encouraged to observe safety procedures during all tasks.
 
Outdoor Exploration:
Outdoor work should be based in areas that are accessible for children, teachers and helpers and that are safe. Preliminary visits by teachers to the site can be used to identify potential hazards. Adequate supervision should be given to the children at all times. It will be necessary for a number of adults to accompany each class. These adults should be aware of procedures to be adopted in the event of emergencies.
 
Light:
When planning a unit of work on light the teacher will ensure that the children are aware of and adhere to the following safety procedures:
·          Do not look at the sun or very bright beams of light
·          Plastic mirrors should be used and glass mirrors avoided
·          Never look at the sun through lenses
·          Children should be made aware of the dangers of sunburn
 
Electricity:
Work on the topic of electricity and magnetism will provide opportunities for children to learn about the safe use of electricity. It is important that children realise the dangers of mains electricity and become aware of and discuss safety issues associated with use of mains electricity and electrical appliances. Batteries should be used for activities based on electric current. Mains electricity should never be used during science investigations. The children should be aware of the following safety considerations:
·          The dangers of touching the bare metal of a plug or a switch especially when hands are wet
·          The importance of not using electrical appliances without adult supervision
·          The dangers associated with flying kites or using fishing rods near overhead wires
·          The risks attached to playing near electricity sub stations
 
Safety and care of equipment
Work on electricity at all levels will involve the use of batteries. The following safety procedures should be observed:
·          Batteries must not be cut open
·          Batteries should be disposed of in a safe manner and given to Ms. Duignan for recycling purposes.
·         

 

Downloads:

Science overview 2 year programme
Science, History, Geography, Yearly Scheme 3rd/4th Classes

Science, History, Geography Yearly Scheme 5th/6th Classes

Science, History, Geography Yearly Scheme: Junior and Senior Infants, Term 1; Term 2; Term 3 REVISED JUNE 2015

Science, History, Geography  Yearly Scheme  1st – 2nd Class REVISED JUNE 2014

Overview History Geography 3rd 4th 2008
Overview History Geography 5th and 6th 2008

Link to "The Battle of Athlone- 1691" developed by pupils in Cornmaddy N.S. 

Link to "The Battle of Athlone- 1691" radio programme and script

Photos from Science Evening

Investigating Balance

Self inflated balloons!

Examining Chomotography

Balancing Clowns

Match the song to the artist to connect the circuit and light the bulb

Making circuits

Making our own Diver!

How much pressure can one egg take?

Examining starch levels in food

Investigating starch

Learning about Surface Tension

Our own Volcano!

Intergenerational Project - learning from our elders