Powerstown Educate Together National School opened on the first of September 2011. As a new school, we had 22 Junior Infant pupils starting their first year of school. Katie Flynn was the Junior Infant teacher, supported by our English as an Additional Language Teacher, Lorraine Cullivan and myself, Helena Regan as principal. Sharon Carr joined the staff in October as a Special Needs Assistant. Rósin Smith became our part time learning support teacher in December 2011.
Powerstown ETNS school continues to develop at a rapid pace and we will be tripling in size in September 2012, with over 60 pupils.
Due to this, the Department of Education have sanctioned our move to the 2 storey school building, on the Powerstown Road. This building will comfortably cater for 8 mainstream classes, and six support teachers. The Department of Education have also sanctioned our PERMANENT building, which will go to construction in 2014/2015 school year. We hope to move into our brand new, permanent building in September 2015.
In Powerstown ETNS we provide a broad and balanced, child centred curriculum.We place an emphasis on learning for life in a respectful, diverse environment, that promotes parental involvement. As an Irish National School we are fully funded by the Department of Education and teach all 11 curriculum subjects: Gaeilge (Irish), English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Music, Drama, Visual Arts, Social Personal & Health Education (SPHE) & Physcial Educaion (PE). We also teach an ethics programme called Learn Together.
Each classroom in Powerstown ETNS has an interactive projector, visualiser, digital camera and desktop. There are also 3 desktops for children’s use in every classroom , with age appropriate educational software e.g. clicker.
There are numerous positive impacts of the use of technology in the classroom. These include; gains in children’s sense of positive identity ; increased enjoyment, engagement and motivation; and positive impacts on behaviour; as well as greater collaboration and participation in lessons by pupils . Technology also has the potential to help teachers to bring aspects of their outside world into the classroom, and thereby create more authentic contexts for situated learning , and to create more immersive and engaging learning environments.
With great assistance from our parents, we started our School Garden in Febraury 2012. Parents kindly donated flowers and compost to help start our garden. Staff, children and parents worked together to establish a gardening club. We planted flowers, vegetables & fruits. We decorated flowerpots and created our own garden insects out of clay. It was a huge undertaking this year with much time and effort and donations required to make the garden a success. We continue to monitor and care for the garden on a weekly basis. We are truely looking forward to our harvest festival in September!
Extra Curricular Activities:
After School Clubs
Throughout the school year, staff run a variety of after school clubs for the children to participate in. Activities in the past have included Arts and Crafts, Drama, Music, Sports, Dance, Yoga & Meditation & Cookery. These clubs have been a great success this year. Ratio for after school clubs is 12:1 – ie 12 pupils for every adult. Therefore places fill very quickly.
Two coaches from the Football Association of Ireland come into the school weekly to help develop the children’s soccer skills. Children partake in a variety of skill development exercises and drills. They aslo enjoy weekly blitzs to put their skills into action on the pitch.
James Costelloe is our GAA coach. He comes into the school weekly to help us develop our Gaelic Football and Hurling Skills. James organises our yard with lots of drills to help us develop our GAA skills such as dribbling, soloing & passing the ball.
All children are encouraged to become actively involved in school life. Not only through academic, arts and sporting activities but also through representation on numerous committees. We have established a Green Schools Committee & a Student Council.
Parental Involvement in Powerstown ETNS plays a fundamental role in our success. Parents are the primary educators of the children in our care.
Parents partake in numerous parent & child workshops during the year. These activities include Maths for Fun, Science for Fun, Shared Reading, Quilt Making & Write a Book Project.
Parent classes are provided in the school. This year we hosted English classes, Irish classes, Cookery Classes and Arts and Crafts classes.
We have a very active Parent Teacher Association in the school.
We have 2 parent nominees on the Board of Management.
Parents actively assist in our events e.g. Winter Craft Fair, Open Day, Multicultural Week, Food Fair.
Parents volunteer there talents with us through out the year. e.g. Art projects, music projects, dance workshops. They also share their skills such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters etc.