Welcome to our submission for the SFI Discover Primary Science and Maths award for 2017. This year we are applying for the Plaque of STEM Excellence, an award which is given to schools that carry out extensive work in science, technology, engineering and maths, all of which are very important in Knockskeagh National School. Our Award Number is C077.
A huge amount of work has gone into this, well done to all the pupils and teachers who took part. For the first year, we are using our school website to submit our application and to link back to our activities that have taken place during the year.
Step 1: Science
For this step, we carried out six hands-on Science investigations under the four different strands in classes throughout the school. We also tried to include Maths in these investigations where possible, linking in with Step 4.
Strands: Living Things. Materials. Environmental Care and Awareness
Strand Units: Plants and Animals. Properties and characteristics of materials. Caring for my locality
Class: Junior Infants
Activity: Designed a Martian and Martian landscape during space week.
Starter Questions: What does a martian and martian landscape look like? What would be the best materials to use to make a martian landscape?
Prediction: Then, we used our imagination to sketch our Martians
Conducting the investigation: We made our martians and martian landscapes using clay, beads, wool, pasta, egg cartons, glitter and paint.
Interpreting the Results: We had great fun using our martians during our Maths class for early number work, sorting and classifying. Also, we compared our Martian Landscapes to actual images of Mars.
Maths involved in our activity: Early Mathematical activities - sorting and classifying.
- Investigation 2
Strands: Energy and Forces
Strand Units: Forces
Class: Senior Infants
Activity: Which objects will sink or float?
Starter Questions: Which objects will sink or float? Do all heavy/big objects sink? Do metal/wooden/plastic objects float?
Prediction: Firstly, we all predicted which objects would float or sink and recorded in our recording sheet.
Conducting the investigation: We sorted and grouped the various objects into two groups ‘Floaters’ and ‘Sinkers’. We sorted objects into ‘heavy’ and ‘light’ objects. We investigated by placing the objects into containers filled with water. Then, we observed how the objects floated.
Interpreting the Results: We recorded on our recording sheet which objects were ‘Floaters’ or ‘Sinkers’.
Maths involved in our activity: Weight – sorting objects into heavy and light. Data - sorting, classifying and recording objects into groups. Capacity – we measured the water in each container to ensure a fair test.
- Investigation 3
Strand Units: Properties and characteristics of materials
Class: 1st Class
Activity: “Which ball is the bounciest?” experiment.
Starter Questions: Which Ball is the bounciest? Which ball would you use to play tennis or ping pong? Does anybody watch tennis on TV? Why do they change balls regularly?
Prediction: Firstly, we all predicted which ball would bounce the best and recorded our answer.
Conducting the investigation: Then, we discussed how we could conduct a fair test to see if our guesses would be correct. We agreed that dropping the balls from the same height onto the same surface would be the best option. The bounces were recorded and measured as ‘low’, ‘medium’ and ‘high’.
Interpreting the results: We recorded our results, and we compared these lengths with our predictions. Then, we compared our results with other groups. We had great fun using connectors to make 3D bar charts of our findings.
Maths involved in our activity: (i) Number: Comparing and Ordering (ii) Measures: Length (standard or non-standard) (iii) Data: Represent data (e.g. 3D bar charts for different balls on same surface)
Strands:Living Things, Materials, Environmental Care and Awareness:
Strand Units:Plants and Animals. Properties and characteristics of materials. Environmental awareness
Activity:We conducted an experiment to investigate why Mars is red
Starter Questions:Does the amount of water/sand/ steel wool make a difference to how red the sand (Mars) becomes?
Prediction:We predicted that the water would make the steel wool wet and therefore create a rusty colour.
Conducting the Investigation:We drew how rusty the mixture became in our science copies.
Interpreting the Results:We had great fun comparing the rusting results each day for each group..
Maths involved in our activity:Capacity – each group measured the water accurately. Weight –each group measured the sand and steel wool used in their investigation. Time – we compared the rusting results each day over a month.
Strands:Energy and Forces, Materials
Strand Units:Chemical Energy, Heat, Materials and Change
Class:5th and 6th Class
Activity:Designed and made lava lamps
Starter Questions:Can you name some of different kinds of energy? Where do we get energy from? How do you get energy from food? Do you think oil and water mix? What happens to tablets when you put them in water?
Skills:Predicting, experimenting, observing, analysing.
Conducting the Investigation:We calculated a quarter of the capacity of our bottles and put his amount of water in the bottle. We calculated two-thirds of the bottle, measured out this amount of vegetable oil in the measuring jug and added it to water in the bottle. We waited until the oil and water separated. We added food colouring to the mixture to colour the water. We broke an Alka Seltzer into three pieces and dropped one of them into the mixture. We observed the alka-seltzer reacting with the water, producing carbon dioxide which tries to escape from the top.
Interpreting the Results:We observed and described the colours and shapes of the reaction. We noticed different effects with different shaped bottles.
Maths involved in our activity:Number: ordering, operation, fractions. Measures: capacity
- Investigation 6
Strands: Living Things
Strand Units: Human Life
Class: 5th and 6th Class
Activity: Exercise Your Heart
Starter Questions: Where is Your Heart? What does it do? How would we measure our heart rate? Do you notice anything about your heart rate after exercise? Or when frightened?
Prediction: Then, we precicted our pulse rate prior to our investigation. We predicted both before and after exercise.
Conducting the investigation:We took our own pulse. Firstly, we counted the number of beats in 30 seconds and doubled this to get the number of beats per minute. We recorded our results. Then we exercised for about 5 minutes and recorded our pulse using the same method. Finally we rested for a few minutes and then took our pulse again and recorded it.
Interpreting the Results: We analysed the results, worked out the class average and designed a graph of our findings. All our heart rates increased after exercise.
Maths involved in our activity: Number -Operations , Data - representing and interpreting data
- Our 5th and 6th Class visited the Lifetime Lab in Cork City during the year.
Step 2: Technology (ICT)
In the second step, we had to ensure that technology was used by our pupils.
- Irish Computer Society Scratch Programme
Our 5th and 6th class pupils entered the Irish Computer Society Scratch programme again this year, here’s a picture of this years submissions.
- Using technology to record and analyse data
Our 5th and 6th class pupils recorded daily temperatures for a period of 15 weeks during the course of the year. They collected and analysed data on an excel spreadsheet. Here is an example of a completed spreadsheet and some of our 5th and 6th class pupils taking the temperature readings:
- Using computers, laptops and IPads for classwork
Throughout all class levels in the school, pupils have used laptops and tablets to access a range of information on Maths, Science, Engineering and various other applications. Here is a few pictures of our 2nd class and 5th/6th class engaging in their weekly computer classes;
As you can see from our submission this year, we have continued to implement technology in our day-to-day teaching and learning, with Maths and Science at the forefront of this.
Step 3: Engineering
For the third step of our application for the DPSM Plaque of STEM Excellence, we took part in Engineering Week in the school.
- Design and Make Activities
During Engineers' Week, every class level in the school engaged in design and make activities. We chose the theme of ‘Land, Air and Sea’ to focus on what Engineers develop in these areas of our environment.
Junior Infants designed their own transport vehicles:
Senior Infants completed two activities during Engineer's Week
(1) "The Construction Challenge" which involved building different structures in our environment using all kinds of shapes. They designed and created their structures using only cocktails sticks and marshmallows.
(2) They designed their own boats
2nd Class designed parachutes.
3rd and 4th Class completed two activities
(1) They made various paper shaped bridges and tested each bridges ability to hold coins
(2) Investigated how friction can affect cars ability to move on various surfaces
- Hosted an Engineers' Week Event in 2017 "Our Bridge Building Event" which included a visit from a Structural Engineer
We hosted an Engineers Week event this year in our school. Firstly, our 5th and 6th class pupils received a presentation from a Structural Engineer on the various types of bridges in existence today. This was followed by our 5th and 6th class pupils competing in groups to design and build the most efficient bridge. Each group was provided with only lollipop sticks and glue during this task. After making our bridges, each bridge was tested to establish its failure load. This meant each bridge had weights applied to it to establish the mass it could hold. Then, we had to calculate each bridges Efficiency Score using the following formula (Mass Held divided by Mass of Bridge). You can see some pictures of our event on the following link: (Note: the following link contains a number of pages of pictures)
Our local newspaper, The Southern Star, published an article on our Bridge Building Event during Engineers' Week. Check out the article here:
Step 4: Maths
- Developed a Maths Trail around the school
Our 5th and 6th class pupils engaged in a Maths Trail around the school. Check out the pictures here:
- Used Maths Skills and knowledge as part of science
As you can see from our Science investigations in Step One and throughout our application, we incorporated Maths as part of science.
Step 5: STEM Showcase
We had a Mad Scientist Day where children from 5th and 6th class were encouraged to research their own experiments and showcase them for the younger classes in our school. Here are some pictures:
During Engineers Week, each group presented their bridges to other classes explaining the reasons for the design.
Our local newspaper, The Southern Star, published an article highlighting some of our showcases during Engineers' Week. Check out the article here:
We hoped you enjoyed reading our submission!
We recently celebrated active week in our school.
Have a look at our new Active Flag tab for more details!
Thanks to Frank Beechinor in 6th Class who sent in some amazing drone footage of our school!
We celebrated Science Week here in Knockskeagh National School from Monday 13th to Friday 17th of November. Each class carried out various activities throughout the week. On Friday, everyone dressed up as a mad scientist, with some crazy hairdos on show! 4th class showed the infants a selection of experiments, while 5th and 6th did a science show for the rest of the school.
Knockskeagh Surf Lifesaving members celebrate the All-Ireland Senior Nipper Trophy. Cork Surf Lifesaving also won the overall Masters' Beach and Indoor All Ireland award for 2017. Congratulations to everyone involved!
There were some very unusual characters around our school on Friday the 27th of October!!! Everyone was encouraged to dress up in a Halloween costume made from recycled materials. Great fun was had by all. See the gallery for more pictures.
All classes celebrated space week from the 2nd to the 6th of October. All classes carried out a selection of experiments and projects based on the theme of space. There was great excitement on Wednesday when the space dome came to visit our school.
Fourth Class recently went to Castlefreke woods and the Red Strand for a nature trail walk. Have a look in the 4th class folder on the gallery page for more pictures.
Take a look at the gallery page for a selection of photographs- including some from our Aladdin show in Rossmore Hall!!
We celebrated Daffodil Day in our school on March 31st, with fundraisers including a cake sale and a monster raffle. Both staff and students dressed in yellow and green (daffodil colours!).
A total of 1,685 euro was raised. Many thanks to all who contributed and got involved.
Skip-Hop Skipping Workshop
Maths Week 2016
SCHOOL CALENDAR 2017/2018
School Opens Tuesday, 29th August
Halloween Mid-Term: Closing Friday, 27th October
Re-opening Monday, 6th November
Christmas Holidays: Closing Friday, 22nd December
Re-opening Monday, 8th January
Spring Mid- Term: Closed Thursday 15th & Friday 16th February
St. Patrick's Weekend :Closed Monday,19th March
Easter Holidays: Closed Friday, 23rd March
Re-opening Monday, 9th April
Closed Friday 4th May & Bank Holiday Monday, 7th May
Closed Bank Holiday Monday, 4th June
Summer Holidays: Friday, 22nd June
Principal Mr. Johnnie Walsh Deputy Principal Mrs. Anne Beechinor Teacher Mrs. Eileen O' Donovan Teacher Mr. David Horgan Teacher Ms. Niamh Mc Mahon Teacher Ms. Karen RussellTeacher Ms. Sinead O'Neill Teacher Mr. Aidan McCarthy Teacher Ms. Emer Lehane Teacher Ms. Ruth Burke Teacher Ms. Claire O'Regan Teacher Mr. Denis Murphy Teacher Ms. Charmaine Brosnan Teacher Mr. Conor O'Callaghan Teacher Mr. Patrick O'Meara Teacher Ms. Deirdre Canty SNA Ms. Fiona O'Regan SNA Ms. Sharon Collins SNA Mrs. Mairead Walsh SNA Ms. Grainne Warren SNA Mrs. Mary Dullea SNA Mrs. Mairéad McCarthy SNA Ms. Louise Lordan Assistant Ms. Brenda Hubbard Secretary Ms. Helen O'Hea
A Brief History
We are very proud to belong to the Knockskeagh NS community. In the absence of shops, village churches, etc., Knockskeagh NS is the hub of the surrounding community. It includes the children, parents, Board of management, Staff and the wider community. A sense of place and belonging is palpable. In the case of many families, generations have been educated here since 1882.
View Larger Map
Welcome to Knockskeagh N. S.
We are involved in a huge range of activities and initiatives here, including some of the following:
We are very lucky here in Knockskeagh N.S. to have been awarded a Digital Schools of Distinction Award- one of only 150 schools in the country to have been given this prestigious award!
We also have the following flags awarded to us!
Blue Star Award
2 Active Flags
3 Green Flags
Junior Entrepreneur Award 2015
Primary Discover Science and Maths Award
Digital Schools of Distinction award
Please see our display of photos on our Gallery page!!
Knockskeagh National school caters for all childrens different interests.
Fun Activities in our school include the following
Drama and School Play
School Space information wall
St Patricks Day Parade
Active Flag week
Comenius project with 5 other European Schools
And loads more!!!
Go to our Gallery page for a taste of some of the events during our busy year.