In February 2011 the 3rd Class won an award from Irish Aid for a wonderful project they undertook with the assistance of ESL teacher Bernie Dunne. The glass plaque is on view in the school hallway. It was awarded by the Dept. of Foreign Affairs which funds Irish Aid. The children compiled a booklet outlining The Eight Millennium Development Goals and what we can do. They included their own languages and were very proud of their input.
Co-operation and exchange between European Schools
Eight teachers from our school went to Portugal on a LAPIS visit in February during the mid-
Children and their teachers regularly Skype our friends in Europe keeping one another updated on all events.This is a great way of consolidating very vibrant and positive relationships.
Ms. Natasha Murphy represented our school in Europe recently. This was to promote our application to become involved in the EU sponsored Comenius programme. We hope to receive confirmation of this project soon.
Four teachers recently visited Vienna for planning our project.
We will inform you in due course about events taking place in the school and the work being done by your child for the project.
At present the pupils of Scoil Bhríde are busy learning songs and poems in preparation for the visit of our guest teachers from the other participating countries in March. The name of our project is LAPIS.
In 2010, Ms Renee Moran had the wonderful idea of getting the then Sixth Class to make a photographic record of the old school. Over a two week period, the girls photographed our school buildings and grounds in great detail. For the girls themselves, this was a unique opportunity to heighten their visual awareness and to hone their photographic techniques. As the old building was demolished in order to make way for the current building, this publication is now a valuable reference for historians and architects. It is also a valued record for all those who have known and loved Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní). We are grateful to Sheila Nunan, General Secretary of The Irish National Teachers’ Association, for launching the book for us.
Ar Scáth A Chéile a Mhaireann na Daoine – We all Depend on Each Other
In 2010, Padraig Walshe, president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) was presented with a cheque for €800 by the pupils of Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní).
Having seen news reports of the devastation caused by flooding, especially in areas along the Shannon, the girls decided to hold a cake sale to raise funds to help alleviate distress in the households and farms affected. Padraig Walshe thanked the pupils and said that the fund would go to those most in need.
Following the Tsunami of 2004, many fundraising ventures were organised in Ireland to support victims of the tragedy. One idea involved the organising of groups to raise money to buy basic boats for the local population. These were then shipped to areas devastated by the catastrophe so that people could return to their traditional livelihoods of fishing and tourist-linked activities.
The challenge to contribute to this was taken up by Siobhán Kirwan-Keane, a teacher at Scoil Bhríde Cailíní (Scoil Bhríde is the original national school that was built in 1956 to serve the local community of Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. It now has an enrolment of almost 70% newcomer pupils from more than 40 different cultural and linguistic backgrounds). Inspired by the story of the school’s patron, St. Brigid, Siobhán encouraged her pupils to knit a woollen square and be sponsored for their efforts. Like St. Brigid’s cloak this idea grew to involve mothers and grandmothers connected with the school community, who resurrected their knitting needles to knit their own squares. Their pieces were added to the squares made by the children and all were sewn together to form a garment in the style of St. Brigid’s cloak. This was then raffled to raise the required funding to purchase a boat. This was all successfully done and the boat was purchased, named by the children, and dispatched.
Eight years later, former Irish rugby international Ron McCarten and his wife Edna, both residents of Blanchardstown, holidayed in Sri Lanka. One of their trips took them through still partly ravaged areas in the southwest corner of Sri Lanka to the village of Balapitiya near Kosgoda on the river Madu Ganga. One of the features of their journey involved a sea safari. Imagine their astonishment on being taken to their boat to find it was named St. Brigid’s NS Blanchardstown! Along with several other boats, it continues to provide livelihoods for a considerable number of the inhabitants of this region.
The Irish proverb ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine (we all depend on each other) continues to ring true!