The children in our ASD unit have been having a great summer so far! They have visited Airfield Farm, Sea Life in Bray and several playgrounds. They made rice crispy buns to bring home, and enjoyed lots of sensory play and relaxing.
Can you believe it... Our first ever 6th class pupils have graduated from Citywest ETNS, with not one, but two graduation celebrations!
We couldn't be prouder of this fabulous group! Since September 2012, when we opened our doors for the first time, this group of children have been the most senior students in our school. They have always been the ones to whom the rest of the school have looked up to, they have always held a lot of responsibility, they have worked to high expectations and they have been fantastic role models.
The night of the 20th of June marked the first graduation ceremony in the history of our school. It was a brilliant night, which celebrated the journey these children have taken and all of their achievements to date. Families, friends and members of the community gathered for the ceremony, which was full of memories, laughter and special moments.
On the 25th of June, it was the turn of the students and staff in our school to give this group the send-off they deserved. The entire school gathered in the hall to watch their brilliant dance performance, which went down a treat! This was followed by a whole-school guard of honour, lining the corridors, which was the perfect way to see them off for the final time.
Well done to our first 6th class - we will certainly miss you, but cannot wait to see what the future holds!
Last week was a very exciting week here in Citywest ETNS! As we prepared to say goodbye to our first ever 6th class, we held the inaugural Staff vs 6th Class basketball match. The rest of the school were invited to come and watch, cheering for the team of their choice!
The match ended in a well-deserved victory for 6th class... the staff will need to get training before the match next year!
Last Monday was a very exciting day in Citywest ETNS, as we welcomed Senator Lynn Ruane to our school. Lynn is a native of Tallaght and a campaigner on issues of justice and equality. She is a member of Seanad Eireann (the Senate) since 2016 and has worked on various laws, legislation and policies during her time there.
We were delighted that Lynn accepted an invitation to visit our school and to learn a little more about the Educate Together ethos. During her visit, she met with the Student Council and spoke with them about life as a politician. One of the 4 pillars of the Educate Together ethos is that we are a democratic school. The 9 Student Council representatives explained how they were all elected democratically, following an extensive campaign. They also discussed the many election promises which they have followed up on, during their time with the Student Council. Our pupils did us proud, discussing various topics such as voting age, the importance of democracy, education and much more.
Following the meeting with the Student Council, Lynn was invited to visit Martha's 1st class. Here, they showed her some of their recent work, based on the Ethics and the Environment strand of the Learn Together curriculum.
They made a short presentation to Lynn, before she shared some of her recent policy work on the environment.
The next stop was to meet with some of our 5th class pupils, who engaged in an excellent conversation with her - covering topics such as homelessness voting rights, the environment, Brexit and much more.
Finally, Lynn spent some time meeting with three of the parents who are on the campaign group which is aiming to bring a second-level Educate Together school to the area. You can read a little more about that here or check out their Twitter and Facebook pages.
The Learn Together curriculum, which is the Ethical Education curriculum for Educate Together schools, has 4 strands: Moral and Spiritual, Equality and Justice, Belief Systems, Ethics and the Environment. You can read more about this curriculum and the ethos of our school here.
As part of our learning under the Belief Systems strand, pupils are provided with the opportunity to visit various places of worship throughout their time in our school. These visits complement the teaching and learning being done in classrooms, from Junior Infants - 6th class.
In the 2018/19 school year alone, 10 classes visited 6 different places of worship, while another 3 classes welcomed guest speakers to their rooms for an educational talk. Classes visited a Mosque, a Gurdwara, a Buddhism Centre, a Hindu Temple, a Synagogue and a Church, along with welcoming a speaker to learn about Humanism. Each visit provides us with new knowledge and an increased awareness and respect for the beliefs of others.
We all learn together to live together!
Drum roll, please!! For the first time ever, we are so excited to announce that we will be hosting a Showcase Event, to celebrate the work which was produced through the Home Learning Enrichment Programme this year. The showcase event will take place on Thursday 20th June from 1.20pm.
The programme was first introduced to our school in May 2016, and has certainly gone from strength to strength ever since. It generally runs in Term 3 of the school year, with a wide menu of activities suggested for pupils to explore. For the current school year, the programme ran for a duration of six weeks, for all children in 3rd - 6th classes.
Staff in our school have been absolutely blown away by some of the projects which have been presented each week and we cannot wait to show them off!
There are less than 2 weeks to go until the Parents' Association Quiz Night! This annual fundraiser takes place in St. Mary's GAA Club in Saggart, on Saturday the 8th June. All proceeds raised will go towards our new school building.
This is an adults only event - be sure to save the date in your diaries!
In Citywest ETNS, we celebrated Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday the 30th April. April is Autism Awareness month, and it is something we try to celebrate each year. During this time, there are lots of lessons based on autism taught around the school. The aim of these is to help us to learn more about autism and to begin to understand how to support someone who has autism.
If you have forgotten the wonderful work which was done in previous years, check out our celebrations in 2016, where we turned blue for autism and celebrated the opening of our class for children with autism. In 2017, we aimed to help our wider school community understand a little more about autism, while in 2018, we focused on nurturing a home-school link with regards to learning about autism.
This year, the focus was on recognising how each member of our school community is unique and how that is something to be cherished and celebrated. To mark this, all 16 classes in our school were given their very own jigsaw piece. Every child and staff member in our school were given the opportunity to create their own unique, individual design on the jigsaw pieces. When joined together, this formed a beautiful piece of artwork, which you can see above, and in closer detail below.
The resounding message is that we are all unique, we are all different... but we all belong together, here in Citywest!
As part of our whole-school SPHE plan, the Stay Safe programme is currently being taught at all class levels, for a duration of 5 weeks.
The aim of the Stay Safe programme is to teach children personal safety skills. Though story, discussion and various activities, it allows for exploration around how to deal with potentially dangerous or upsetting situations. If you wish to learn more about the programme, you can go to the website here.
As a school community, we focus on one of the core values of the Learn Together curriculum each month. You can read more about these values and the Learn Together curriculum here. Each week, Caitríona reminds us what the value for the month is, and often teaches us how to say it using Sign Language. Children are encouraged to consider what the value means to them and how they can show it in everyday life.
The value for the month of May is Peace. Children are nominated for the Golden Book for contributing to this value - through sharing peaceful interactions with one another, by helping to contribute to a peaceful school environment, by displaying a quiet and respectful manner during teaching and learning time. We also participate in a Mindful Moment at the beginning of assembly, which gives us a moment of peace each Friday morning.