On the 6th of May we went on an excursion into town. We followed a history trail and received a tour of Leinster House.
We saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christchurch, The Bank of Ireland (which used to be where the parliament sat before the Act of Union), Trinity College and the GPO.
Cllr. Ronan Mc Mahon kindly organised the tour of Leinster House for us. We sat in the visitors’ gallery of the Dáil chambers and got to see where the government and the opposition sit. We also saw the elegantly decorated room where the Seanad sit. This room has Waterford crystal chandeliers and used to be a ballroom. The doors, the ceiling and the fire place, are original features from the 18th century.
We saw the paintings of some of the former Taoisigh of our country and the original proclamation. We also saw a tapestry which was presented to the Irish people by JFK when he visited in June 1963.
Before we left, we got to meet Lucinda Creighton and presented her with our book of essays “If I was a Minister for a day”. She was very impressed with our ideas and said that she would take some of them on board.
On Tuesday the 14th of April, we went on a trip to Kilmainham Gaol. We had been studying Irish history and it was great to see it come to life.
We got on the double-decker bus at half nine and off we went! On arrival we were met by our guide Ann. She brought us into the chapel where Joseph Plunkett married Grace Gifford hours before he was executed. She showed us the door which lead to the gallows where people were hanged in public. We watched a short video about children who had been imprisoned there for robbing food during The Great Famine.
After this we saw the cells where the leaders from the 1916 Rising were imprisoned. We also saw where Charles Stewart Parnell “resided”. His cell was fancier because he was wealthy. Parnell was a man of his word and we learnt that he was allowed to go to France for a funeral because they trusted him to return.
Finally we went to the stone breaker’s yard where the leaders and those who signed the Proclamation were executed in 1916. Padraig Pearse and his brother Willie were among the men who were shot.
In the museum we saw pictures and uniforms from the Rising. We also saw Grace Gifford’s ring with the love letter Joseph Plunkett sent her. After our tour we walked up to IMMA and had a picnic in the gardens. It was very interesting and a great experience, not to mention a lot of fun.
What an exciting and eventful Active Week! Every morning began with the daily “Wake Up, Shake Up” designed to wake up our sleepy heads and energise us and throughout the day Ms Marron put the Cha Cha Slide over the intercom. During Active Week, the girls participated in yoga, hip-hop and Bollywood dancing workshops. Each class also enjoyed Walk a Mile with a Smile around our local area. Thank you to the Pius Pacers who helped. 6th class organised playground games, dancing flashmobs and on Wednesday (under the guidance of Ms. Goddard) they wowed us with a spectacular gymnastics display. Commiserations to the staff who were pipped at the post by 6th class in the obstacle course. Maybe next year! Well done to Ms Gallagher and Ms Smith’s 5th class girls who came up with a dance for “Up-Town Funk”. It is fantastic to see the whole school get together to get active. Let’s keep those activity levels up!
The first ever Student Council election took place during Anti-Bullying Week last November. Students who wished to put themselves forward for the election wrote a manifesto about why their classmates should vote for them and how they would make a good Student Council member. Two members from every class from 2nd up to 6th were elected in a secret ballot. Student Council members are very important to St. Pius X GNS, because as well as acting as class representatives, they are also excellent ambassadors for our school.
The two 5th classes in St. Pius X G.N.S. participated in a fascinating Marine Explorers Project and spent an exciting month taking care of nine creatures in an aquarium and doing lots of other activities relating to that incredible marine world that most of us know very little about.
On Thursday the 5th February 2015, girls from 5th and 6th classes represented our School at the Leinster Schools Orienteering League in Bushy Park. The girls chosen had won their class competitions.
We walked down with Ms Goddard. The weather was lovely and mild. There were 350 students taking part. Our school wore red bibs.
Every person got an SI card. This contained a chip which was used to record our times. We had to follow a map and clues around the course. We had to register our SI card at every checkpoint. The course was approximately 1.5km. Every team followed the same course, but we all had different starting times. It was definitely an advantage that we knew our way around the park.
We really enjoyed the day and came in second overall. Rachel and Sinead from 6th came first in the beginner section. Next year we hope to enter three competitions.
Bhí Seachtain na Gaeilge againn ar 9ú – 13ú Márta 2015. Rinne na páistí an-iarracht an Ghaeilge a labhairt ar scoil agus sa bhaile freisin. Bhain said alán úsáid as na frásaí cainte a d'fhoghlaim said sa rang Gaeilge i rith na bliana.. Bhí lá na Gaeilge againn ar an Aoine. Ghleas gach duine in éadaí glasa. Bhí ceolchoirm, céilí agus tráth na gceist againn. Bhí an-spórt agus craic ag gach duine.
"Labhair Gaeilge Linn"
Grandparents’ Day has become a much-anticipated annual event and once again on 30th January children and grandparents gathered to celebrate Catholic Schools Week in prayer and song.
Our Golden Jubilee celebrations kicked off on Friday 13th February. Firstly, His Grace, Bishop Eamonn Walsh unveiled a commemorative stone in the school yard.
This was followed by a mass in St. Pius X Church at 11:30am. Our school choirs wowed our school community past and present. The celebrations ended with a reception in the school hall.
The Jubilee Committee made up of staff members from the Girls' school, Boys' School and Parents' Association have been working hard planning the various celebrations and events for the forthcoming year. There are lots of exciting events scheduled throughout 2015.
We were delighted to welcome our past school community back for the day where stories of old were swapped with stories of new.
Our pupils were busy decorating the halls with Jubilee bunting galore. The school looked amazing and the excitement was palpable.
We had a visit from award winning Irish author Benji Bennett on world book day. Benji has written a series of beautiful children’s books. He entertained the girls with his stories and some music and of course the girls had lots of interesting questions for him.
We also had a fun quiz for the girls on the day. The quiz involved trying to identify the teacher from a photo where the teachers face was covered by a book. There were some hilarious muddle-ups and some teachers were amazed at how easily they could be identified by their hairline!!!
Congratulations to all the boys and girls who represented our school with distinction at the Leinster minor swimming championships on Saturday the 10th of January.
We entered twenty six swimmers who competed in events that ranged from 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle and not to mention the 4x50m medley and freestyle relay! Templeogue swimming club kindly provided their facilities for training. The championships where organised into three sessions starting with our youngest swimmers first at 8 o'clock in the morning. Our oldest finished at 6 o'clock that evening.
The Girls' team performed really well with Elsa winning silver in the 50m Back crawl and Ellen securing a Bronze in the same event. St.Pius X girls' relay teams set personal bests across the board, and overall a lot of new skills were learned through this great opportunity. Girls Team: Ellen (capt) Hannah, Emma, Rachel, Alex, Elsa, Niamh, Lorna, Anna, Saffron, Ellen, Kate, Emily, Aishling and Alannah
A big thank you to Miriam Spollen and Shannon Ward who without their help we would not have the St. Pius X swimming T-shirts. Thank you also to all the parents who helped with the organisation and support during the year.
On Sunday February 8th, the All-Ireland Minor Swimming Championships are being held in the National Aquatic Centre. Elsa, Niamh, Ellen and alex are representing our school in the Under 12s medley and freestyle races. Best of luck girls, Ms Goddard and the rest of the school are rooting for you!
By Grace-Anne, Sinéad, Maria and Daisy.
On the 11th of December we visited Intel in Leixlip to present our project 'Test Teasers'. We arrived at 9:00 am and we had one hour to set up our display. During this time we had a chance to look at the other projects. At 10:00 am the judges came around. They asked lots of questions and were very friendly. Other people who work at Intel came to look at all the projects as well. After the presentation of the projects, we were given lunch and saw a science show. The science show was about how things move and the man (Terry) did many different experiments. One of the best experiments was the hovercraft. The hovercraft was made out of a plank of wood with a hole cut at the bottom for a leaf blower to fit inside. A chair was also on the plank of wood. A boy sat on the chair, turned on the leaf blower and it worked! After the science show, the awards ceremony began. The winning projects were very good and had many interactive experiments. At the end of the day we were tired and received a cool calculator ruler each for participating. We had a great day!
Science Week in St. Pius X G.N.S. was a very exciting and busy week for the girls. The theme this year was "The Power of Science". Throughout the week some of the younger classes were delighted as the older girls helped them with Science experiments based on the power of magnetism and electricity.
The week of October 12th saw a whole school involvement in Maths Week 2014. Each class undertook fun and exciting games. The culmination of Maths week was on Thursday when every student estimated how many students and adults it would take to circle the perimeter of the main school building. This was a great success and two students, both correctly predicted 524 people. There were a lot of estimates that were very close to that from other girls. Well done everyone. Some 6th class students undertook a Have you got Maths Eyes (http://www.haveyougotmathseyes.com/) project. Their work is now displayed throughout the school for all to see that maths really is all around us. The purpose of Have You Got Maths Eyes is to enable students to change their perspective on everyday objects and see them from a mathematical angle (excuse the pun!). The benefits of this are numerous and it brings the left side analytical side of the brain and the right side creative side of the brain working together.
Lots of classes partook in a maths trail either around the school ground or in Bushy Park; the girls used their map reading skills for this. Maths Week also saw the introduction of Mathletics (www.mathletics.eu) and the students who signed up for the offer were given their passwords and usernames. Over 100,000 students across Europe are using this programme as a fun and interactive way to get the most out of the mathematical curriculum.
On the 22nd and 23rd September 2014 , Declan Holmes paid his annual visit to Pius X G.N.S. The theme this year was weather and Declan delivered a fun, educational show involving lots of the girls. They discovered all about the Science of weather in an exciting, entertaining way. There were lots of "oohs and aahs" as Declan carried out amazing experiment after experiment to demonstrate how different aspects of weather occur. One of the favourites was when Declan explained about gravity and turned a full bottle of water with a ping pong ball over his head and nothing came out! Another was when he cut a tea bag, emptied out the tea leaves, set it on fire and it floated into the air as it turned into ashes! The girls loved testing out the wind and thunder machines. They were taught the "lightning crouch" - the body position to stay safe during lightning. The show was action packed!
On Friday 19th September 2014, the two 5th classes took a 15 bus to visit the Little Museum of Dublin on St. Stephen's Green. The Little Museum houses paraphernalia from each decade of the 20th Century. Mark O'Neill welcomed us and invited us to one of the main rooms where we relaxed in a living room atmosphere and he recounted many interesting and funny stories about the history of Dublin in the 1900s including the 1916 rising, the Civil War in Ireland and the Peace Treaty. We loved the story about the opposing parties in the 1916 holding up a white flag in peace so that they could feed the ducks in Stephen's Green Park! There was a U2 room with regalia from their years as the world's most famous rock band. We sat in the psychedelic-coloured car! There were so many awards, guitars and photos of the band throughout their amazingly successful, global career. Mark took us to another room which was full of so many items which helped us relive times in the early decades of the 1900s – an old cash register, ice-cream bin, gas mask, a bench with bullet holes, a tram bench where you could flip the seat when you reached the end of the line and much, much more. There were photographs of the Taoisigh throughout the decades and, of course, many famous Irish artists and playwrights. We took turns on an old wooden rocking horse. Finally we visited the Irish Times room and an old desk with lots of stamps. We all got the opportunity to test them out. There was an artist at work in this room painting a cartoon around the walls. During our visit a photographer took photos of us. We were very proud as we opened the Irish Times a few days later and there we were!!! Thanks to Mark O'Neill for his time and the opportunity to learn so much about Dublin throughout the decades of the 20th Century! As the weather was so gorgeous, we finished off our trip with a picnic in the beautiful Iveagh Gardens.
On 24th September 2014, we had some very special visitors to our school. Dermot (dad of Aisling in 5th class), Jimmy and Ciaran visited the school with their 5 dogs - Rosie, Scruffy, Charlie, Conan and Dodger. These dogs are highly trained sniffer dogs and work with their handlers in Mountjoy Jail and Wheatfield Prison. Rosie (labrador) is a sniffer dog and sniffs out drugs on people. Scruffy (collie/spaniel) and Charlie (labrador) are also sniffer dogs but sniff out drugs, bombs, SIM cards and mobile phones in buildings but not on people. Conan (Belgian malinois) and Dodger ( Belgian malinois) are attack dogs. The handlers demonstrated the work they and their dogs carry out. It was incredible to watch the dogs in action and see how excited they were once they had the job done and had the reward of playing with a tennis ball! We saw what an amazing, trusting relationship the dogs have with their handlers. See the school website for some fantastic pictures especially those of the dogs receiving their personalised thank you cards and a very reluctant Scruffy really not wanting to part with his tennis ball!!!Thank you so much to Dermot, Jimmy, Ciaran and their dogs Rosie, Scruffy, Charlie, Conan and Dodger for taking time to come and visit our school.
All of the children from First and Third classes participated in the Write-A-Book project this year. This is a national project and participating in it certainly proved to be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience for the pupils. The winners from each class were invited to an awards ceremony in Dublin West Education Centre and everyone who participated received a certificate in recognition of their efforts.
We recently held our Active School Week from April 7th – 11th and were awarded the Active Schools flag, of which we are very proud. The week was full of activity from beginning to end. We had our opening ceremony, a spectacular gymnastics display, ‘Wake up, Shake Up’, dancing, yoga, yard games, obstacle relay, céilí, ‘Walk a Mile with a Smile’ and our closing ceremony. A film was made by the Department of Education and Skills which was shown in Farmleigh House to launch the national Active Schools Week in May. Well done to Ms. Fitzgerald and everyone involved for making the week such a success.
On Tuesday May 22nd 2013 we travelled to Croke Park with Ms. Nagle and Ms. Kidney to collect the Green Schools flag. For the past year the school has been working very hard to get our flag. The school has reduced the amount of waste and litter and held a Green Day to raise awareness. Before attending the conference, in which we would receive our flag, we took some photos. At half ten we went into the conference hall. We were awarded our first Green flag. This is a fabulous achievement and we are very proud of our new Green Schools flag and our certificate.
By Phoebe and Katie