The Big Birdwatch
This year the RSPB are holding the Big Schools’ Birdwatch between 29th- 31st of January. Thanks to people taking part in the Big Birdwatch, the RSPB now have over 40 years of data and this has helped increase their understanding of the challenges faced by wildlife. Knowing how many birds are in different areas can help the RSPB spot problems so that they can put different strategies in place to help birds survive and thrive.
As our Eco focus for the year is supporting biodiversity, we have decided to take part in the Big Birdwatch. This is planned to take place next weekend.
In order to prepare for the Big Birdwatch and encourage birds to come to your house, you may like to use some of the resources attached below to help you attract the birds. You will need to provide the birds with a source of food and water. 😊
I put some bird food into a feeder outside my window at home and it has already attracted lots of birds. Have a watch of the video below to see what birds have come to my house. Take some pictures of the things you have done to attract birds and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will upload them to the website for all your friends to see. 😊
I will upload some more information next week to explain how carry out the Birdwatch from the comfort of your own home. 😊
Meet our Eco Team 2019-2020
Primary 7 representatives
Josh Rafferty (Chairperson)
Primary 6 representatives
Luke Murphy (Vice Chairperson)
Primary 5 representatives
Conor Gilroy (Treasurer)
Primary 4 representatives
This week our Eco Team got started by designing the lettering for our Eco Display Board. They reused old newspaper to create the letters! Don't forget to have a look at our new display!
Today the whole school worked together at the one time to create an Eco-Code! IT WAS AMAZING!
Miss Cunningham created a google document and each class went onto the document at the one time. Each class took turns to write a line of the Eco-Code. We could see each class type! We all loved collaborating on this document together.
Have a read of our Eco-Code below!
We recorded a demonstration video so you can practise rapping it. Listen to our Eco Team rap our Eco code and then try rapping it on your own using this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xQFASlG02A
When we have learnt it, we will record the whole school rapping together and we will add some dance moves too! I know we can't wait, so GET PRACTISING!
You will find the demonstration by the Eco Team by clicking on this link. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KRLSyPzfPwLt3Rag5iS4F-bAP33Ud4pQ/view?usp=sharing
During the time we have been off school due to the Corona Virus the P2 pupils had been given the task of creating a bug hotel to create the biodiversity in their gardens. They had to think about the bugs they wanted to see and what those bugs would need to thrive. We had some amazing creations and we even got some visitors too!
Energy Saving Week
Holy Cross Primary school took part in Energy Saving week which took place between Monday 18th to Friday the 19th of November 2019.
The Eco-Team went around all the classes in the school and explained to them the importance of saving energy and how it can help to prevent climate change. They talked to the children about how they can reduce their energy usage both at home and at school. They provided each child with an energy saving record to take home to support them in reducing their energy usage at home.
The Eco-Team would like to say a massive well done to all the boys and girls in Holy Cross Primary school as our results were as follows:
- 21 children unpluged electrical items they were not using
- 23 children turned off the water tap when not using it.
- 23 children turned the thermostat down by 1 degree
- 23 children tried having a shower instead of a bath
- 23 children turned off their lights.
We even received a certificate for all our hard work! Have a look at our certificate below to see how much energy we saved!!
Eco Suggestion Box
Our Eco-Team have created a suggestion box. In this suggestion box you can add any ideas that you have to help keep our school an environmentally place. We would love to hear your ideas!
Reducing our waste
This week our Eco-Team spent some time weighing the waste in bins around the school. The found that although we have recycling bins in the school, sometimes we don't use them correctly. We also found out that most of our waste is made up of crisp packets.
In order to try and reduce our waste and make our recycling more effectively our Eco-Team decided that they would:
- carry our research about what can be recycled and make posters to display around the school,
- go around the classes and explain what can and can't go into the recycling bins,
- hold a paper free day once a term
- research ways of recycling crisp packets.
Keep an eye out on this page to see what the Eco-Team get up to!
Reduce Reuse Recycle
This week the Eco- Team worked in groups to find out what can be recycled and what can't be recycled to ensure that we are dealing with our waste correctly. They made some posters to explain this to all the classes to help us make sure we are using out recycling bin correctly.
Have a look at the pictures below to learn more about recycling correctly! We plan to keep weighing and monitoring the waste in our bins to see if the efforts of our Eco-Team have made a difference.
Paper Free Day at Holy Cross PS
Our Eco-committee have been working hard all year to promote an awareness of the importance of everybody playing a part in looking after our planet and making changes before it's too late. They decided to encourage everyone in the school to stop using paper for one day in order help the environment: the less paper we use, the less trees are chopped down to make it. So to help reduce our waste we planned a paper free day on Friday 21st February 2020.
Going paperless for that one day proved to be very successful and many children said it was the best day in school this year. We recorded our dinner lists on Google drive, we completed written activities on whiteboards, laptops and chromebooks.
Primary 1 enjoyed lots of practical activities during maths using Numicon, show me cards, sorting sets etc. They enjoyed a position and movement activity where the child was blindfold and had to listen to instructions in order to get to the final destination.
Primary 2 practised punctuation with Kung-Fu Panda. When they spotted a mistake in the piece of writing, they used an action to show how they would fix it. A full stop required a hiya and a capital letter required a bow. They loved this active learning approach.
Primary 3 and 4 played mental maths games on Kahoot using the Interactive Whiteboard. They also played Buzz, Find Me, Hide Me, Show Me and Daily 10.
The Primary 5 class enjoyed a challenge where they recorded on whiteboards any words they could make using the letters in the word ‘acknowledgement’.
Primary 6 and 7 worked very hard on the Chromebooks and our new labtops to help them learn their Literacy, Numeracy and WAU.
Terracycle Crisp Recycling
When weighing the waste in our bins, our Eco Team discovered that we threw away a lot of crisp bags. They wanted to see how they could try and reduce this problem. After some research, we discovered a scheme called Terracycle that would allow us to recycle crisp packets. So our Eco-Team decided they would try and implement crisp packet recycling in our school. James McMorrow and Mary Murnion, kindly nominated themselves to collect the crisp packets every day. They also decided to count the number of packets they collected to see how much of a difference they were making. By the end they had collected 419 crisp bags to be recycled. This greatly reduced our waste! Well done to everyone in Holy Cross Primary School!
Monitoring Energy Consumption
To help reduce our energy usage we are going to monitor our energy consumption in the classroom. Each day in your class your Eco-monitors will make sure that you turn off the lights, turn off the taps, turn off the IWB and shut the doors. They will also be monitoring the classroom temperature to make sure that the classrooms are the correct temperature to help prevent us having the heat on when we don't need it. Once a month the Eco monitors will swap classrooms and record the results of each classroom to make sure you are all reducing your energy consumption as much as possible! Keep an eye out in your classroom and make sure you are saving as much energy as possible!
Cash for Clobber
Sometimes when our clothes get too old to wear anymore we just throw them in the bin. This is contributing to our waste and isn't good for the environment. Instead we have a solution! Our school is participating in a clothing recycling programme called Cash for Clobber. The Eco-Team would like to invite you to gather up any unused or unwanted clothes to donate to this scheme. The collection date is Monday the 30th March.
If you would like more information you can read the letter below!
Blythswood Shoebox Appeal
A huge thank you to everyone who donated to our Blythswood Shoebox Appeal! We have collected a fantastic 55 boxes this year. These gifts are really treasured by those who receive them.
This activity helped the children in Holy Cross develop their Global Perspective and gain an understanding of how they can support other people in the world who are less fortunate than them.
P3 and P4 enjoyed a visit to the Kilbroney Centre in Rostrevor as an introduction to their new WAU topic 'Birds, Bugs and Beasts'. They spent the day in the outdoors learning all about wildlife and biodiversity! They learnt how to identify bird calls and they went on a mini-beast safari to see how many creatures we could find.They developed an understanding of how important wildlife is to us and how it is all around us all of the time! Well done P.3 and P.4.
Daily Mile Challenge
We are doing the Daily Mile Challenge again this year! We plan to walk a mile every day. It will make us fitter and healthier and is good for our mind also.
Wildlife around the school
In Primary 4 their WAU topic is Houses, Homes and Habitats. As part of this they explored the habitats around our school. They found lots of minibeasts who live in different places around our school. They worked in groups of 4 to create a tally chart of each of the different minibeasts they found. They then used this information to make a graph. This discussed how all the mini beasts are adapted to live in different environments. They really enjoyed learning about the biodiversity around our school. Keep an eye out and see what you can find too!
Make A Difference Challenge 2019
Congratulations to Primary 5,6 and 7 who made another enormous difference to our local area and won the challenge for the second year running! What a fantastic project this year again!
This year the pupils made a difference by carrying out a beach clean. On behalf of Newry, Mourne & Down District Council, Tara Cunningham presented the children with high viz vests, gloves, litter pickers and bags to help them carry out their Beach Clean. She also talked to them about the importance of keeping the beaches clean and what they can do to help.
Have a look at the pictures to see the amazing difference they made! After the Beach Clean, the children stopped off at the Amenity Site to recycle the items they collected. Sean Bradley was at hand to show the children how to correctly recycle the litter they collected.
Collecting the litter and cleaning the beaches supports the biodiversity of the local beaches as it helps to keep the beaches save for wildlife to live in. It also helps the marine life.
Have a look at our pictures to see how much we collected.
We had a special visit from Ian Campbell who is the founder CEO of Ten Foundations, a charity working in the Philippines with families living in extreme poverty. Their livelihood programme buys sewing machines and teaches women how to sew and make schoolbags from used fabrics and recycled materials.
Ian will visited our school on Thursday 16th May 2019 to tell the story of the families he works with and the school bags.
We will be holding a large stock of various bags in school and if you wish to see them or purchase one please call at the school office. Schoolbags are £20, lunch bags are £10, swim bags are £10 and pencil cases are £5. All proceeds are returned directly to the families involved and Ten Foundations do not pay any salaries and is run by volunteers.
This visit helped to develop the children's understanding of Global Perspective and provide them with the knowledge and understanding that they require to participate as full members of a global society.
The boys and girls from in Holy Cross PS, Atticall had a visit from the NI Water Bus on Wednesday 20th March 2019. They learned how crucial water is in every aspect of our lives. They discovered how our water is supplied and the ways we can help to ensure water is not wasted. We also learnt about the importance of making sure that we only put toilet roll into the toilet and what can happen if we put other things like wipes in our toilets.
Some of the interesting facts we discovered were; we use 150 litres of water a day! We can save water by having a 5-minute shower instead of a bath, and we need to drink between 5 and 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
Holy Cross Primary School has pledged to become a ‘refill’ school and were supplied with drinking bottles to reuse to help us reduce our plastic waste. It was a very educational and fun visit and will help us to ensure we are keeping our school an Eco-friendly place.
Environmental Poster Competition
A huge ‘WELL DONE’ to Tara Keenan who won a prize for her amazing poster which she designed to help us to understand the importance of conservation of water.
Make A Difference Challenge 2018
This year the pupils at Holy Cross Primary School completed the Make A Difference Challenge and Won!!
They started by discussing the different things they could do to make a difference in our local area. After that, they voted to select the specific area they wanted to focus on. They decided that they wanted to focus on tidying their local community and making it a nicer place for everyone to live.
The children worked very hard and carried out a lot of the work independently. They started by doing a survey of the area and what they could do. They decided they would pick up the litter, cut the hedges, fix the benches and plant some flowers. So they got to work. They contacted local businesses and asked for support, they contacted the council and asked for litter pickers, they drew posters and wrote poems to be displayed in the area. They carried out a bun sale to raise money to help them buy plants for the area too! Take a look at the amazing photographs to see what a fantastic job they did!
They worked very hard on this project throughout all of term 3 and through this project they helped to protect the biodiversity of our local community and cleaned the local area by collecting the litter.
Well done to Primary 6 and 7! You definitely made a difference!
Birds Nest in Primary 4
In Primary 4 we have been learning about biodiversity. We have been specifically looking at animal habitats. We decided to make some bird nests using twigs, straw and leaves. We discussed the best materials to use and the materials that would be most environmentally friendly!