SESE

Kilmacrennan NS SESE Policy

-History Policy

-Geography Policy

-Science Policy

 

History Review

 

 2017-2020 Review & Targets; School History Plan

We read our History policy and noted current practice. We feel that we are fortunate to live in a historically rich environment and we will seek to explore this to greater potential during the forthcoming years.

We felt that hosting an in-school ‘History Week’ would give a great impetus to this. We explored ideas such as local tours; inviting local guests speakers; hosting a ‘Museum Day’, whereby children bring in artefacts, photographs etc and the wider community are invited along. We will organise this on a week that suits all teachers as well as parents, and annually thereafter.

Introducing organised Field trips/ historical outings;  Grianán Aileach & Walls of Derry;   Lifford Jail & Beltany Stone Circle; Columban heritage

We feel that we have built up a resource of Donegal and local history and felt that it would be worth exploring the possibility of printing these Donegal specific stories in children’s form, on our website/ under the guise of the ‘We are Writers’ scheme. Possibilities include early Donegal (An Grianán, Beltany Stone Circle), Colmcille and Eunan, Kilmacrennan Abbey and Red Hugh O Donnell.

We will develop SESE trails for each classroom of the school grounds and Kilmacrennan. These will include stopping points at Historical features in the area. We will photograph Historical features and buildings in Kilmacrennan and the surrounding area.

Community Links

Grandparents Day in which the games, stories, pastimes and lives of the grandparents are gathered has been introduced/ has become a community event/ linked with Brigids Day Crossmaking/ Mass/ Cup of tea in the School Hall/ music session/grandparents’ joining in./ annually on February 1st, or closest school date/ up-and-running; Organised annually.

Developing a local history section on our School Website; with immediate effect; ongoing

Interview local older residents/ historians; Linking with visits to the Young at Heart group/ Kilmac Men’s Shed;; to arrange with Communion and Confirmation class groups, sharing experiences/annually/ up-and-running; visiting groups/

Visit to a local building to support our history curriculum e.g. Kilmacrennan Abbey, Donegal Co. Museum (1916 Exhibition; World War One etc); Yes

Visits from local/ national agencies e.g. heritage council etc; linked with Kilmacrennan Abbey Heritage group in May 2017; Classroom talk; art competitions; Abbey models etc Yes

(a) Timeframe
This plan was adopted in May 2017.

 

Scoil Cholmcille, Kilmacrennan
Whole School Plan
History

 Title: Whole School Plan for History
 Introductory Statement and Rationale
(a) Introductory Statement
This plan was created by the principal and staff of Kilmacrennan NS.
(b) Rationale
In keeping with the guidelines laid down, we focussed on this area of planning to ensure that the revised curriculum for History was introduced in our school in a well-planned and organised manner. This plan will benefit teaching and learning within our school, this plan will be made available to all new and existing members of staff.
 Vision and Aims
(a) Vision
Our school’s mission statement states that we aim to promote the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil. The history curriculum provides opportunities for the child to explore, investigate and develop an understanding of life in the past and their interpretation of it. The children’s interpretation of life in the past is a central theme of our history curriculum. Our history curriculum provides opportunities for the child to acquire a broad and balanced understanding of local, national and international history through the study of a range of peoples, events and periods. Kilmacrennan has a rich local heritage. Our pupils enjoy working as historians in the local environment. It is our vision that this interest in local history will be a motivating factor and will develop an interest in national and international History as each child progresses through the school.

It is our vision that history in our school will enable children to understand the present by exploring the past before they look towards the future. We view history as having a distinct but complementary role with geography and science within SESE and as a contributor to the wider child centred curriculum. Pg2/3 TG
(b) Aims
We endorse the aims of Social, Environmental and Scientific Education as outlined on Page 4 of the SESE History Curriculum Statement.
To develop an interest in and curiosity about the past.
To make the child aware of the lives of women, men and children in the past and how people and events had an impact on each other.
To develop an understanding of the concepts of change and continuity.
To provide for the acquisition of concepts and skills associated with sequence, time and chronology, appropriate to the developmental stages of the child.
To allow the child to encounter and use a range of historical evidence systematically and critically.
To provide opportunities for the child to communicate historical findings and interpretations in a variety of ways.
To foster sensitivity to the impact of conservation and change within local and wider environments.
To help the child recognise and examine the influences of the past on the attitudes and behaviour of people today.
To encourage children to recognise how past and present actions, events and materials may become historically significant.

(SESE History Curriculum Statement Page 12)

Short-term Aims:
We have made the following decisions to promote and develop the teaching and learning of history in our school:
We will ensure there are timelines in each class.
We intend to establish an in- house ‘school museum day’ each year. We will take photographs of the artefacts before they are sent home.
We will compile some Documentary Evidence relating to Grandparents Day in which the games, stories, pastimes and lives of the grandparents are gathered.

We will compile SESE trails for each classroom of the school grounds and Kilmacrennan. These will include stopping points at Historical features in the area. We will photograph Historical features and buildings in Kilmacrennan and the surrounding area.
We intend to compile an inventory of History resources and store them in a central location.
We aim to use oral evidence as a methodology and invite parents, grandparents and a local Historian to talk to the children about the History of Kilmacrennan.

Curriculum Planning
1. Strands and Strand Units
Refer to appended grid outlining choices from third to sixth class
Each teacher is familiar with the strands, strand units and content objectives for his/ her relevant class level. We are aware that the infant classes to second class have to cover all strands and strand units and content objectives, from third to sixth class there is a menu curriculum the chosen topics for this year are in the attached appendix. We are aware that we have to carry out two in depth studies each year from third class to sixth class level, one local and one national/international. Certain topics are revisited throughout the school and covered in depth as the children progress; these topics are recorded in the teachers planning. Equal emphasis is given to each strand and strand unit.

2. Skills and Concepts Development
Refer to appended skills development
Each teacher is aware that the curriculum provides for the development of a growing range of historical skills and concepts. Each teacher is aware of the aspects of Working as a Historian that apply at each class level.
Infants (Refer p.18 Curriculum)
Time and Chronology
Using Evidence
Communication
First – Sixth Classes (Refer pg’s 26, 40, 60 Curriculum)
Time and Chronology
Change and Continuity
Cause and Effect
Using Evidence
Empathy
Communication and Synthesis
Depending on the class level the following strategies may be used for developing the skills of Working as an Historian
Sequencing activities
Use of timelines
Examining historical evidence
Communicate findings through a range of media

3. Approaches and Methodologies
We note that there are common approaches and methodologies underpinning all curricular subjects these include:
Active Learning
Collaborative/Co-operative Learning
Talk and Discussion
Problem Solving
Use of the Environment
Skills through content
We are aware of the variety of approaches and methodologies outlined as particularly suited to history and will endeavour to employ as many as we can as appropriate to our individual circumstance.
The range will include:
Story (pgs 65-71, TG)
Personal and family history (pgs 72-75, TG)
Using Artefacts (pgs 81-86, TG)
Drama and role play (pgs 109-113, TG)
Using pictures and photographs (pgs 87-98, TG)
Use of the environment (pgs 99-103, TG)
Oral evidence (pgs 77-80,TG)
Documentary evidence (pgs 104-108, TG)
Use of ICT (pg 114, TG)
We have prioritised pictures and photographs and use of the environment as methodologies throughout the school, we intend to collect artefacts for use in an in – house museum.

4. Linkage and Integration
Linkage:
We acknowledge that linkage and integration are recommended within the SESE curriculum. Teachers will explore possibilities for linkage across the History curriculum and will consider and note such opportunities in their classroom planning.

Integration:
We agree with the statement made on page 9 of the history curriculum that while history makes an important and distinctive contribution to the development of the child, historical education complements the growth of the child’s geographical and scientific learning. With this in mind, we will ensure to explore possibilities to integrate the SESE subjects. Using integrated themes or topics e.g. Our Changing Community will be one way we would hope to achieve this.
We have also integrated strands of the History and Geography curricula –
E.g. When choosing our strand units under the strands Life, society, work and culture in the Past” and “Early People and Ancient Societies” strands we considered the European and non European countries we chose in Geography.
The Great Famine integrates with Famine under Trade and development issues.
Certain classes in Scoil Cholmcille read a class novel of Historical fiction, which integrates with our English curriculum, e.g. Under the Hawthorn Tree, etc.

5. Assessment and Record Keeping
Refer to School Policy on Assessment and Record Keeping
Assessment in History must seek to measure and report the child’s progress and achievements in all aspects of the curriculum. We seek to assess the following:
Progress in children’s knowledge about the past
Children’s ability to use and the development of historical skills
Development of children’s attitudes, interests, critical thinking skills
As a staff we have discussed the purposes of assessment in history and reached a shared understanding of the assessment tools we will use. These will include:
Teacher observation (pages 79, 80 C.S.)
Teacher designed tasks and tests (pages 80, 81 C.S.)
telling and re-telling of events and stories
oral, written and pictorial accounts and descriptions of sites visited or people interviewed
construction of timelines varying from simple episodes in a story, lines to more complex lines of historical periods
work cards or activity sheets
trail booklets which help the child to examine the evidence of the past in the environment or in an exhibition
maps of historical sites
role play or dramatising a conversation or event
speculating on the feelings and emotions of others so as to create a spoken or written account (integration with English)
model making
drawings
Compilation of a book on a particular historical topic or the presentation of project work using information and communication technologies.
Projects completed on historical themes
Interactive, multimedia computer programs which enable children to explore historical topics
Results of the child’s independent historical research
Teacher-designed revision test on a unit of work
Using a range of these learning activities means that assessment is intimately linked to the teaching and learning process and that the child’s progress is assessed in the context of the historical material with which he/ she is familiar

Work samples, portfolios and projects (pages 82, 83 C.S.)
Feedback from pupils and parents.

Teachers use information gained from assessment to inform future classroom planning and teaching. Teachers share this information with parents at parent teacher meetings and informally during the year.

6. Children with Different Needs
All teachers are familiar with the NCCA guidelines for Teachers of Students with General Learning Disabilities and the guidelines for Exceptionally Able Students. These documents inform our Learning Support Policy.
We endeavour to provide for individual difference we strive to make the history curriculum accessible to as many children as possible. In order to do this we will consider:
Using a mixture of whole class teaching, focused group work or paired work, grouping children across the classes.
Choosing more accessible/more demanding pieces of evidence for different children
Using a range of questions spanning from simple recall to the more complex and analytical
Planning for the use of a wide range of communication skills
The exceptional child will be encouraged to undertake additional research and record their findings in a variety of ways.
Content, methods of recording and desired learning outcomes will be differentiated for children with general learning difficulties.
Our four SNAs and support teachers may work with children within the class should the need arise.
We endorse the emphasis this curriculum places on the exploration of personal and family history at all levels and are very conscious of the sensitivities some aspects of these topics may require. In instances where it would be insensitive to explore a child’s own personal and family history we will consider the substitution of the personal and family history of another person, the curriculum allows for this within the strand unit My family or a family of a person known to me.

7. Equality of Participation and Access
Equal opportunity will be given to boys and girls to experience all strands and strand units of the history curriculum and participate in all class activities
Provision for children with physical disabilities will be made so that they can access the history curriculum
Children whose first language is not English will be supported in accessing the history curriculum through support from learning support/resource/language teachers. Our studies will range from local, national and international
History in our school will place equal emphasis on the lives of ordinary people of the past.
At all class levels we include the lives of men, women and children from different social, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
 Organisational Planning

8. Timetable
In keeping with the recommendations in the Primary School Curriculum Introduction (page 70) a minimum of three hours will be allocated to SESE per week, from first class to sixth, and two and a quarter hours with the infant classes.
On occasion, time will be blocked as appropriate. This might occur when:
working on a project
exploring the local environment
devising and undertaking a local trail
Teachers will consider the use of discretionary curriculum time for SESE when appropriate.

9. Resources and ICT
Each teacher will be responsible for their own resources. Teachers have a range of resources and reference materials to supplement the teaching of history in the classroom. One of these resources will be the environment and we have attached an environmental audit outlining areas of possible local study, this may include areas of local historic interest. We have appended a list of resources for local studies including some school projects and published booklets completed by senior classes in
The past that are a valuable resource. In regard to purchasing of resources teachers purchase after consultation within the staff. We have prioritised the collection of artefacts within the school as a short term aim. We have computers, laptops, data projector, digital camera and digital camcorder for use within the school to support the teaching of history.

10. Health and Safety
Please refer to our School’s Health and Safety statement and appended Geography Fieldwork Guidelines. Before use in the classroom artefacts will be examined by the teacher and checked for potential danger i.e. sharp edges. Artefacts with small parts will not be used with infants.

11. Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting
Teachers will use this Whole School Plan to inform long term and short term programmes of work.
Teachers will report on work completed on a Monthly Report template the Cúntas Miosúil, these will inform future classroom planning and review of this plan.

12. Staff Development
Teachers will have access to reference books and materials to further their knowledge and expertise.
Staff are aware of and encouraged to attend history related courses in our local Education Centre. Informal opportunities are given for the sharing of information and expertise from these courses with the rest of the staff. We will liaise with various external agencies e.g. Heritage in School.

13. Parental Involvement
The DES handbook Primary School Curriculum; Your child’s learning, Guidelines for Parents (NCCA); The What, Why and How of children’s learning in primary school, NCCA DVD (2006) have been distributed to parents within the school community.
We will encourage parents to talk with their children about their personal and family history, this will also involve sourcing family photographs, lending artefacts for display in our in- house museum and encouraging children to have an interest in local historic places. Parents and grandparents will be invited to the school to share their historical experiences with the children. Parents may be asked to accompany the children on school trips.
Parents often participate in whole school projects e.g. The Kilmacrennan Abbey Tapestry, which integrated Visual Arts and local history. In the recent past the school has completed school projects on local history e.g. ‘The story of Kilmacrennan Parish’. These booklets have been published and distributed to the parents of the senior classes.

14. Community Links
We have identified a number of individuals, groups and agencies in our local community who may
Be able to support our history programme. The local library in Milford will be a source of historical knowledge for the children i.e. documentary evidence, maps etc. Over the years different classes have done project work on ‘Our Parish and Town lands ‘including model work, St Colmcille, famous local landmarks, Manus a ‘Phice O’Donnell, United Irishman of 1798 etc. The school has entered the Donegal Historical Society’s Schools Competition on several occasions in the recent past.
Ways in which the local community can support the history curriculum are
Interview a local older resident/ historian
Visit to a local building to support our history curriculum e.g. Kilmacrennan Abbey, Donegal Co. Museum
Visits from local/ national agencies e.g. heritage council etc.

15. Places of historic interest
Our local area is of immense historical value, linking in with our history curriculum, we have appended our history environmental audit.
Schools of Kilmacrennan – Robertson School – Church of Ireland hall Pre – 1935 ruin of St Columba’s School
(rear of St Columba’s Chapel)
Scoil Cholmcille 1935 – 2008
Scoil Cholmcille new building 2008
Franciscan Abbey
The Mill House
The Mill Bridge
The Lurgy bridge
Baptismal Font
St Columba’s Church
Birth place of Cardinal Logue
RIC barracks
New Garda station
The Fair Green (market place)
The Racecourse
Birthplace of Colmcille
Glenveagh Eviction Site
Manus a Phice , ‘The Pikeman’ burial plot
Doonwell – Place of crowning of O’Donnell Chieftains

 Success Criteria
We will use the following criteria to assess the success of this plan
Teacher’s preparation is based on this plan.
Procedures outlines in this plan consistently followed throughout the school
Children’s feedback
Teacher feedback
Inspectors’ suggestions/feedback
PCSP personnel feedback
Review our short term aims – in this regard it will be necessary for us to revisit the short term aims that we identified and update accordingly.
We will consider if the plan has promoted the key considerations of the history curriculum
That history is defined as an attempt to reconstruct and interpret the past rather than the past itself
That these is a balance between skills and content
The child has the opportunity to work effectively as a young historian
The curriculum is spiral and developmental in structure
The child engages in studies from local, national and international history
History is integrated across the curriculum from infants to sixth class.

 Implementation
(a) Roles and Responsibilities
All class teachers are responsible for the implementation of the history curriculum in their own classrooms. They will employ a variety of methodologies in doing so and history will receive its full time recommendation as is allocated.

 Review & Targets

We read our History policy and noted current practice. We feel that we are fortunate to live in a historically rich environment and we will seek to explore this to greater potential during the forthcoming years.

We felt that hosting an in-school ‘History Week’ would give a great impetus to this. We explored ideas such as local tours; inviting local guests speakers; hosting a ‘Museum Day’, whereby children bring in artefacts, photographs etc and the wider community are invited along. We will organise this on a week that suits all teachers as well as parents, and annually thereafter.

Introducing organised Field trips/ historical outings;  Grianán Aileach & Walls of Derry;   Lifford Jail & Beltany Stone Circle; Columban heritage

We feel that we have built up a resource of Donegal and local history and felt that it would be worth exploring the possibility of printing these Donegal specific stories in children’s form, on our website/ under the guise of the ‘We are Writers’ scheme. Possibilities include early Donegal (An Grianán, Beltany Stone Circle), Colmcille and Eunan, Kilmacrennan Abbey and Red Hugh O Donnell.

We will develop SESE trails for each classroom of the school grounds and Kilmacrennan. These will include stopping points at Historical features in the area. We will photograph Historical features and buildings in Kilmacrennan and the surrounding area.

Community Links

Grandparents Day in which the games, stories, pastimes and lives of the grandparents are gathered has been introduced/ has become a community event/ linked with Brigids Day Crossmaking/ Mass/ Cup of tea in the School Hall/ music session/grandparents’ joining in.

Linking with visits to the Young at Heart group; Communion and Confirmation class groups, sharing experiences.

Developing a local history section on our School Website

Interview a local older resident/ historian

Visit to a local building to support our history curriculum e.g. Kilmacrennan Abbey, Donegal Co. Museum (1916 Exhibition; World War One etc)

Visits from local/ national agencies e.g. heritage council etc; linked with Kilmacrennan Abbey Heritage group in May 2017; Classroom talk; art competitions; Abbey models etc

(a) Timeframe
This plan was adopted in May 2017.

GEOGRAPHY 

Scoil Cholmcille,
Kilmacrennan,
Geography Plan.

Introductory statement and Rationale

Introductory Statement
As part of our policy renewal schedule, our Geography Plan is due for renewal before Summer of 2018-2019 school year. We invite any submissions or observations in this regard.

Rationale
Geography helps the children to focus on their immediate world around them as well as broadening their horizons to the wider world. It was decided to focus on this.
To benefit teaching and learning in our school
To conform to principles outlined in the primary curriculum
To review the existing plan for geography.

Vision and Aims

Vision
The plan reflects the school’s characteristic spirit (ethos) which encourages all children to respect their environment both immediate and global and to nurture and foster it for future generations.

Aims
We endorse the aims of the Primary School Curriculum for Geography.
To develop knowledge and understanding of local, regional and wider environments and their interrelationships.
To encourage an understanding and appreciation of the variety of natural and human conditions on the Earth.
To develop empathy with people from diverse environments and an understanding of human interdependence.
To develop the ability to use a range of communicative methods, especially those concerned with the development of graphicacy.
To encourage the development of a sense of place and spatial awareness
To encourage the development of caring attitudes and responsible behaviour towards the environment, and involvement in the identification, discussion, resolution and avoidance of environmental problems.
To develop and understanding of appropriate geographical concepts.

This Geography plan will be addressed under the following headings.

Curriculum Planning:

Strands and stand units
Skills development
Children’s ideas
Approaches and methodologies
Linkage and integration
Assessment and record keeping
Children with different needs
Equality of participation and access
Time table
Resources and ICT
Health and safety
Individual teachers’ planning and reporting
Staff development
Parental involvement
Community links

Strands and strand units

Teachers are familiar with the strands/strand units/content objectives for the relevant class level and have organised the units in pairs class groups as per the curriculum.
Infant classes pp 17 – 27
First and second classes pp 29 – 43
Third and Fourth classes pp 45-61
Fifth and sixth classes pp 63-84

There is continuity and progression in the geography programme from class to class.
Checks are made to avoid gaps and undue repetition between classes.
From 3rd to 6th classes, locations are agreed for the strand unit people living and working contrasting part of Ireland
In the strand unit people and other lands, one location in Europe and one location in another part of the world are agreed per year from 3rd to 6th classes.
Opportunities are provided for individual teachers to develop a sense of place for either national or international locations of interest to them.

Skills and concepts development

steps are taken to ensure that there is a balance between skills development and the acquistion of knowledge throughout the programme.
Strategies are used by each class to develop the child’s skills and concepts development under the three headings.
A sense of place and space
Maps, globes and graphical skills
Geographical investigation skills

Children’s ideas

Children’s ideas of place and space are used as a starting point for all geography activities.
We find out what children know already by discussion work and allowing them to bring photos and other memorabilia from home.
Some of the strategies used to find out these ideas are – Talk and discussion; questioning; listening; problem – solving tasks; drawings; teacher designed tasks and tests.

Approaches and methodologies

The key methodologies of the Primary Curriculum used as part of the geography programme are:
Active learning
Problem solving
Developing skills through content
Talk and discussion
Co-operative learning
Use of the environment

Teachers are following the recommended sequence for geography – local, regional, national, European and global and then reflecting it back to their own location
Approaches and methodologies used in learning about the environment include fieldwork, exploratory trails, photographs.
Fieldwork is incorporated into the geography programme as classes go out into the college grounds on a regular basis to examine an aspect of work
Approaches and methodologies used to investigate human environments include fieldwork, surveys, photographs, artefacts, interviews, and environmental audit.
Approaches and methodologies used to investigate natural envrionmetns include, fieldwork, trails, photographs.
Approaches and methodologies used to investigate about other places include artefacts, atlases, globes, interviews, photographs, school twinning.
Mapping skills and mapping concepts are developed as part of the geography programme. Pupils have access to local maps, plans, photographs, internet etc.
Class teachers select maps, globes, and atlases to be used in the school. These are reviewed each year to ensure they are up to date.

Linkage and integration

Linkage
There are opportunities to link one strand with another strand in the geography programme.
Strands are linked using a thematic approach.

Integration
Discovery and discussion activities integrate geography with the other SESE subjects – history and science
Art, Craft, Music, English, Maths, Irish and PE activities are integrated with geography.
This integration is planned and organised by the class teacher
Theme based activities are used to support integration

Assessment and record keeping

Teachers assesses the child’s knowledge and understanding of environment matters, the acquisition of geographical skills and the development of attitutes.
Assessment tools used to gather information about a child’s progress are
Teacher observation
Teacher designed tasks and tests
Work samples and projects

Children with different needs

Teachers support and ensure the participation of children with special needs.
Classes are organised and adapted to include children who may have a physical disabilities i.e. large lens for children seeing difficulties.
Children with exceptional ability/interest in geography are encouraged and supported by use of project work and IT.
Children who were born or have lived in other countries contribute to the geography programme by telling the class about their homeland.

Equality of participation and access

Equal opportunities are given to boys and girls to participate in classes and activities.
Boys and girls have equal opportunities to experience all strands
The SNA is used to assist a child experiencing autism
Children whose first language is not English are helped by other class members and the teacher gives as much assistance as is practicable.

Intercultural
The geography class is used as an opportunity to integrate the culture of all
The geography programme is used in our school celebrates difference as well as promoting cultural awareness

Organisational Planning

Timetable
Time is allocated at each class level for geography for the S.E.S.E allocation as per the guidelines for the Primary School Curriculum.
Time is blocked for SESE according to the topic or theme being covered i.e cross curricular integration
Discretionary curriculum time is used occasionally for SESE

Resources and ICT
An inventory of resources is available for geography. Teachers have reference and resources material appropriate to their class in their classrooms.
Resources are purchased both centrally and by individual teachers as material is needed and requested funding comes from the PTA
Some additional resources or materials are needed. These are on a separate list to be acquired as needed.

ICT
ICT is used in the geography programme, e.g use of digital camera, internet, CD-ROMs, DVD’s/videos, programmes for word processing or data handling.
Some appropriate software is currently available in the schoolE mail can be used to contact other schools i.e QMS, interpretative centres, industries, meteorological agencies, embassies, charities and NGO’s that focus on development work.
There is a code of practice to ensure safe internet usage. Teachers familiarise themselves with material on websites prior to use by the children and there is ongoing monitoring of these sites.

Health and safety

Procedures for Health and Safety issues pertain to activities i.e field-trips, handling equipment etc are in line with the school’s Health and Safety Policy

Individual teachers’ planning and reporting

The whole school plan and the curriculum documents for geography will provide information and guidance to individual teachers for their long and short term planning.
Teachers will plan using the strands and strand units. A thematic approach will be used occasionally.
The Cuntal Mionsuil will serve in reviewing and developing the whole school plan/individual preparation for following years. Copies will be kept in the office.

Staff Development

Teachers have access to reference books, resource materials and websites dealing with geography
School personnel can research new approaches and methodologies. They can arrange for opportunities to try to out resources on a pilot basis and assess whether or not they should be purchased.
There is appropriate geography courses available during the summer and teachers are encouraged to attend.
Teachers are encouraged to share the expertise acquired at these courses.
Time is allocated at staff meetings to discuss aspects of the geography curriculum.
Teachers can avail of internal and/or external expertise to inform and upskill the school community in these areas.

Parental involvement

Parents are encouraged to be involved in supporting the geography plan by helping with homework, projects and sharing their expertise with a class.
Parents can support the child in fostering an interest in local, regional, national and European and global geography by bringing them to sites of interest, reading literature with them and watching special interest programmes on TV.
Special events are held to focus on the school’s SESE curriculum

Community links

Members of organisations/individuals in the community that support the school’s geography programme i.e The Leprosy Mission, Goal, Amnesty International, Trocaire, Mission to Seafarers.
Hampers are given to local charities i.e Junior Infants and Second Class.

Success criteria
This plan will make a difference to the teaching and learning of geography in our school
We will know that the plan has been implemented by
Teachers’ preparation based on this plan
Procedures outlined in this plan consistently followed

We will know that the plan has achieved its aim by
Teacher/parent feedback
Class check lists
Children’s feedback
Inspectors’ suggestions/reports
Second level feedback

The plan has promoted the key considerations when implementing the geography programme
Geography is about developing a sense of space and place
Children’s ideas of place are used as the starting point
Knowledge and skills are equal importance
The primary resource for geography is the environment, starting with the local, then regional national, European and global

Implementation

Roles and Responsibilities

The staff, pupils and the B.O.M of Kilmacrennan National School support the plan.

Time frame

The plan was  implemented in 2009 and reviewed in 2013.

Review

This plan will be reviewed as part of an overall SESE review before the summer of the 2018-19 school year.

Review and Ratification

The Geography Policy was formulated by the principal and staff approved by the Board of Management of Kilmacrennan National School.

This plan will be reviewed in the 2018-19 school year.

 

SCIENCE

Scoil Cholmcille
Kilmacrennan

Whole School Plan for Science

Introductory Statement
The existing approach to science was reviewed and changes necessary to implement the science curriculum were identified. Following feedback at a subsequent staff meeting the following plan was drawn up. All teachers were involved in this process.

Rationale
To benefit teaching and learning in our school.
To provide a coherent approach to the teaching of science across the whole school.
In order to ensure that pupils are given adequate opportunities to develop skills and understanding of concepts as envisaged in the Primary School Curriculum.

Vision
The vision of science in our school is concerned with the development of knowledge and understanding of the biological and physical aspects of the world. We aspire to help pupils reflect critically to make sense of their experiences. We promote learning experiences that foster the pupils’ curiosity and enjoyment so that they will develop a lasting interest in science. Practical activities, focusing on the scientific process, are included as an important part of science lessons.

Aims
The aims of science education are:
To develop knowledge and understanding of scientific and technological concepts through the exploration of human, natural and physical aspects of the environment.
To develop a scientific approach to problem-solving which emphasises understanding and constructive thinking.
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 help the child to appreciate the contribution of science and technology to the social, economic, cultural and other dimensions of society.
To cultivate an 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.
To enable the child to communicate ideas, present work and report findings using a variety of media.

Targets
During the 2013 review, it was agreed by all teachers to include the following as targets to be achieved :
-To hold a Science Dy/ Fair in conjunction with National Science Week. This may involve a visit to a centre of particular interest, displaying science projects in the school or arranging science activities in classrooms. Children will be encouraged to organise an in-house Science Fairs/ display work on school website/ involve parents
That a full inventory of science resources be drawn up and any materials required be identified.
That it be clarified which yearly programme pertains to present school year in conjunction with class band teacher.
That a school folder of science activities from all classes be collated/potential to develop science feedback on the school website/ links to activities for children in the pupil Zone of the School Website.

Content of Plan

Science Curriculum:
The curriculum content is divided in a two-year cycle at each level ensuring that all four strands are covered each year.
Strands: Strand units
Living things Human life
Plants and animals

Energy and forces Light
Sound
Heat
Magnetism and electricity
Forces

Materials Materials and change
Properties and characteristics of materials

Environmental awareness and care Caring for my locality
3rd-6th strand units:
Environmental awareness
Science and the environment
Caring for the environment

Infant classes
Year 1
Strand Living things Energy and forces Materials Environmental
awareness and care
Strand Unit Myself Light Properties
and characteristics of materials Caring for my
locality
Strand Unit Plants and
animals Sound
Strand Unit Heat

Year 2
Strand Living things Energy and forces Environmental
awareness and
care
Strand
Unit Myself Magnetism and
electricity Materials and change Caring for my locality
Strand
Unit Plants and
animals Forces

First and second classes
Year 1
Strand Living things Energy and forces Materials Environmental
awareness and
care
Strand
Unit Myself-
variety and
characteristics
of living things Light Properties and characteristics of materials Caring for my locality
Strand
Unit Plants and
animals-
processes of life Sound
Strand
Unit Heat

Year 2
Strand Living things Energy and forces Materials Environmental
awareness and
care
Strand
Unit Myself-
Human life
processes Magnetism and
electricity Materials and change Caring for my locality
Strand
Unit Plants and animals-
Variety and characteristics of living things Forces

Third and fourth classes
Year 1
Strand Living things Energy and forces Materials Environmental
awareness and
care
Strand
Unit Human life Light Properties and characteristics of materials Environmental awareness
Strand
Unit Plant and animal life – variety and characteristics of living things Sound Science and the environment
Strand
Unit Heat

Year 2
Strand Living things Energy and forces Materials Environmental
awareness and
care
Strand
Unit Human life Magnetism and electricity Materials and change Caring for the environment
Strand
Unit Plant and animal life-processes of life Forces

Fifth and sixth classes
Year 1
Strand Living things Energy and forces Materials Environmental
awareness and
care
Strand
Unit Human life Light Properties and characteristics of materials Environmental awareness
Strand
Unit Plant and animal life – variety and characteristics of living things Sound Science and the environment
Strand
Unit Heat

Year 2
Strand Living things Energy and forces Materials Environmental
awareness and
care
Strand
Unit Human life Magnetism and electricity Materials and change Caring for the environment
Strand
Unit Plant and animal life – processes of life Forces

The concepts and knowledge to be explored by the pupils are outlined in the four content strands and through the study of these areas the scientific and technological skills described in “Working Scientifically” and “Designing and Making” are developed.

Teachers select the topics/lessons from the menu of curriculum objectives for their class ensuring that equal emphasis is given to each strand and that the full range of objectives are covered in a two-year cycle. Thematic approaches are adopted at certain stages of the year. Certain aspects of the science programme are addressed in line with our school’s plan for SPHE.

Children’s Ideas:
All teachers are in agreement that learning in science begins from the pupils’ ideas about how things are, and they change and develop these ideas by testing them in practical investigation. 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:
Teachers adopt an investigative approach or direct the scientific activity to ensure that the pupils are provided with opportunities to use and apply concepts while solving scientific problems. The concept of a fair test is introduced from 3rd class with children encouraged to identify the conditions that make a difference to an experiment. In carrying out practical investigations in science the children will be involved in:
Observing
Asking questions
Predicting
Hypothesising
Investigating and experimenting
Interpreting results
Recording and communicating results

Classroom management
Classroom management methodologies for science education vary from whole-class work, small group-work and individual work on chosen topics or projects.

Key methodologies
Active learning, use of the environment, guided and discovery learning are the methodologies which will be emphasised in science lessons to ensure pupils are involved as much as possible in the lessons. Teachers select appropriate methodologies to accommodate the different learning styles of the children.
Teachers will
Allow children the excitement of finding out for themselves
Enable the children to work on their own problems insofar as possible.
Encourage children to pose their own questions
Both the investigative approach and the teacher-directed approach are employed in science lessons.

Linkage and Integration:
The linkage of the four strands in science is practised, as there are opportunities to develop themes that cover the four strands. The science curriculum can be integrated within SESE, particularly with Geography but also with SPHE, Visual Arts, Mathematics and the Language programme.

Using the Environment:
The school is committed to making full use of its grounds and the habitats of the locality. The immediate environment will be the starting point for environmental education and as the pupils’ knowledge and understanding grow they will learn about other environments in the Irish, European and global context. The grounds at Glenveagh National Park are also a valuable asset to the school in regard to both science and geography lessons. Teachers wishing to bring their classes on scientific trips outside the school grounds must follow the procedures as set out in the school’s policy on school tours.

Balance between Knowledge and Skills:
The teaching of science encourages the development of two types of understanding – the development of scientific knowledge through the four strands and the development of scientific skills. The science skills fall under two headings:
Working scientifically which describes the skills that pupils should develop through their scientific investigations
Designing and making skills which involve the pupils in exploring materials, planning designs and making models that will enable them to apply skills learned to practical situations.

Assessment – Looking at Children’s Work:
Knowledge, skills development and participation levels are assessed by teachers. Teachers select from the following range of assessment approaches:
Teacher observation of knowledge, skills development and participation in activities
Teacher-designed tasks and tests
Work sample, portfolios and projects
Pupils will be encouraged to assess their own work on a continuous basis. Records of progress will be kept by the teacher and discussed with parents during parent-teacher meetings and as part of the end of year report.

Children with Different Needs:
The science programme aims to meet the needs of all children in the school. This will be achieved by teachers varying the pace, content and methodologies to ensure learning for all pupils. Evidence of this differentiated approach will be recorded in teachers’ yearly schemes. The requirements of children with special needs will be taken into consideration when planning class lessons and field trips. The SNA supports particular children or groups as directed by the class teacher. Children of exceptional ability are encouraged to access additional information through the school library, the internet and in conducting independent research projects.

Equality of Participation and Access:
All children are provided with equal access to all aspects of the science curriculum. All boys and girls are provided with equal opportunities to engage in scientific activities. No child is excleded from trips or exhibitions. Opportunities are provided within the science programme to broaden the pupils’ understanding of cultures and environments e.g. fabrics used in warmer countries, colours of clothing, materials used for building homes.

Timetable:
Teachers can decide to allocate time for science on a weekly basis or they can block time over a month or term. This should be indicated in each teacher’s timetable. Teachers should ensure that pupils attending supplementary teaching are included for as much of the science programme as possible.

Safety:
The teacher should be aware of the safety implications of any exploratory or investigative work to be undertaken. Children will be encouraged to follow safety procedures as outlined by the teacher during all tasks. There are many safety issues to consider including:
Plants and animals
Disposable gloves to be worn when investigating hedgerows. Children should never handle unknown or unfamiliar plants, especially fungi. Gloves to be worn also when handling birds or animals. Hand-washing should be encouraged after handling plants and animals.
Electricity
Children should only use low-voltage battery-powered devices. Mains electricity should never be used for electricity and magnetism experiments. If mains-powered equipment is used then it should be connected and operated by the teacher only. Children should be repeatedly warned about the danger of mains electricity.
Equipment
The use of glass apparatus and sharp-edged tool should be avoided except under the direct supervision of the teacher. Use plastic where possible. Thermometers should be handled carefully. If a thermometer breaks and mercury is spilt it should be carefully gathered up by the teacher and buried in a place where the ground will not be disturbed. Spirit thermometers should be used where possible.
Eyes
Children should never use lenses, binoculars or other lenses devices to look directly at the sun or other intense source of light. This includes dark glass and plastic.

Chemicals
Household chemicals should be purchased to meet the requirements of the experiment and any surplus disposed of on completion of experiment. Try to avoid any chemical containing bleach. Use safety goggles where possible. These chemicals will not be stored in the science resource boxes.
Polythene bags
Children should be warned of the dangers of using these bags as they may cause suffocation.
Heat
Under no circumstances should the children themselves handle matches or lighters. If using candles during an experiment, teachers will ensure that they are securely fastened. Lighted candles should never be moved. Care should be taken to avoid situations where children may be tempted to lean across a lighted candle. Long hair should be tied back and loose sleeves secured. Any heating may be done with hot water from a tap or from a kettle held by an adult. Flammable liquids should never be used.
Cleanliness and hygiene
Random sniffing and tasting should be discouraged. The teacher should explain that anything the children are asked to smell or taste has been carefully chosen for that activity. The sharing of spoons or other utensils should not be permitted. Hand-washing should be encouraged before food activities.

Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting:
Teachers will base their yearly and short-term plans on the approaches set out in this whole-school plan or science. Work covered will be outlined in the Monthly Report, which will be submitted to the principal.

Staff Development:
Teachers are made aware of any opportunities for further professional development through participation in courses available in Education Centres, Discover Primary Science, or other venues. Skills and expertise within the school are shared and developed through inputs at staff meetings.

Parental Involvement / Community Links:
Parents are encouraged to support the school’s programme for science. Parents with particular expertise may be invited to address classes. Parents are invited to accompany field outings. They are kept informed of developments through school notices. Local and national experts are invited to contribute to the school’s science programme throughout the year.

Success Criteria
The success of this plan will be measured using the following criteria:
Implementation of revisions in the science curriculum will be evident in teachers’ work.
Continuity of content and methodology will be evident in teachers’ preparation and monthly reports.
Ongoing assessment, formal and informal, will show that pupils are acquiring an understanding of concepts and a proficiency in scientific skills appropriate to their age and ability.

Implementation:
Roles and Responsibilities:
Class teachers are responsible for the implementation of the science programme for their individual classes as specified in this document.

Timeframe
This science policy was formulated at a planning day in May 2010 and revisited in May 2014. It will be reviewed before the summer of the 2018-19 school year as part of an overall SESE Policy review.

  • School Holidays

    • Christmas Holidays
      Closing on Friday 21st December 2018; Re-opening on Monday 7th January 2019.
    • Feb Mid-Term
      Closed on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd February 2019.
    • St Patrick's Day
      Closed on Monday, 18th March 2019.
    • Easter Holidays
      Closing on Friday, 12th April; re-opening on Monday, 29th April.
    • Summer Closing 2019.
      Last day of term is June 21st 2019

      Please note that the above dates are subject to change.  In the event of unforeseen closures, the Board of Management may use the first three days of the Easter Holidays to catch up on missed school days.