G’day Mates… Crikey! It’s January!!!

This month our theme is “Australia” . As usual we have the VIP table but we have four other names to match our theme they are : The Platypus group, The Kangaroo group , The Koala group and The Shark group.

The Platypus Group
The Shark Group
The Kangaroo Group
The Koala Group

We are learning all about the history of Australia and the aboriginal people. We are also doing Australian art , learning an Australian song and creating an Australian project using the school laptops. We have bamboo, some trees and other decorations all around our classroom to make it look like we are “Down Under” (Australia).

It’s feeling a little ‘jungle-like’in here!
Our door

Class News:

Every week for homework we have to research and create a news piece, which we then present to our class on Friday morning. There have been some excellent, imaginative presentations including television screens made from cardboard boxes, a microphone made from silver paper and toilet-roll holders and dioramas too!!!

Bottle Cap Mural:

To help the environment,we have decided to create another piece of artwork by recycling plastic bottle caps. This year our mural will be of the school name and logo. It will be on display next to the one last year’s fifth class made when it is finished. If you have any plastic bottle caps at home or work, we would appreciate if you could kindly bring them in to us. Thank you.

We are halfway there!! We aim to be finished by the end of the month! Wait until you see the finished masterpiece!

G.A.A and football is back!

Our school G.A.A training will begin again on Mondays and Thursdays with Mr Higgins and Ms Mulvaney. A five aside soccer tournament and mini-sevens matches will also happening in the coming weeks.

The Student Independent

As of this week Scoil Mhure agus Iosaf have our very own school news paper.This news paper will be called the student independent and will be available to read on the school website. There is a newspaper committee, with approximately 30 members from fifth and sixth class. Some of the features will include a sports section, a comic and joke section, as well as a science and technology section.

In February, our teacher Ms Hickey, will be going on maternity leave. We will have a new teacher joining us in fifth class. This teacher is … a surprise! You will have to come back to our blog in February to find out 🙂

Slan, Grazie, Dziekuje!

Homeless Appeal in 5th Class

During December we were learning all about homelessness in SPHE and decided we wanted to do something to help those less fortunate in our community.

As a class we decided to create some hampers of food, clothing and other bits and bobs. Some of us also decided to make our own shoe-boxes for men, women and children.

Shoe boxes and hampers ready to be gifted to the local homeless shelters in Sligo. Just in time for Christmas!

We had been collecting items in our classroom for the month and are so grateful to all of our family and friends that have kindly donated to this cause.

Thank you to everyone who kindly donated!

Ms Hickey dropped the hampers and boxes to the local homeless shelters in Sligo, Maryville and Shalomar, on the Friday afternoon before Christmas.

Jesus is the reason for the season!y

We would like to thank everyone who kindly donated to or homeless appeal.

You are very kind!


For the month of December, we have really enjoyed getting into the Christmas spirit. To help contain our excitement we counted down the sleeps to Christmas with an advent calendar and a daily Christmas Countdown. Each morning one person in our class was chosen at random and got to open a door of our advent calendar. There was a different shaped eraser behind each door, they were all really cool!!!

Our table group names were changed to festive names. We had ‘The Presents’, ‘The Stars’, ‘The Candy Canes’ and ‘The Christmas Trees’. The VIP table did not change name but they had their very own Christmas tree on their table!

The Candy Cane Group
The Star Group
The Christmas Tree Group
The Gift Group
The VIP Christmas Tree 🙂

To add a bit of Christmas spirit to our class we decided to decorate our door like a Christmas tree. We each made green and brown paper chains, and some presents and with the help of Ms Hickey we created a lovely display…what do you think?

Our Christmas door

Our classroom was also decorated with lots of different lights, Christmas swags, baubles, bows, wreaths and a Christmas tree.

We hope you had a lovely Christmas and are looking forward to seeing what Scoil Mhuire agus Iosaf have in store for 2019!

Science Club Week 4

12th December 2018

On Wednesday we had our final Scoil Mhuire agus Iosaf Science Club of 2018!

Ms Hickey would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who attended the SMAI Science Club over the past four weeks. There has been a terrific turnout and it is great to see such a keen interest in science within the school!!!

As well as learning about our scientist, element, animal and constellation of the week we also explored the signs of the zodiac. We made note of each of the 12 signs and found out what our own sign was!!!

Science Club Week 4:

Scientist of the Week: Marie Curie (pioneer work in radiation. Won two Nobel Prizes!)

Element of the Week: Curium (Discovered in 1944, named after Marie and Pierre Curie)

Animal of the Week: Kakapo (did you know they are a critically endangered species of parrot native to New Zealand)

Constellation of the Week: Libra (zodiac sign for the dates September 23- October 23)

Our experiment of the week this week was…The Naked Egg Experiment!! Our aim was to remove the hard shell from a raw egg!! Messy you would think but we had a plan!! 

1.We began by collecting empty, clean jam jars with lids.

2.We very carefully placed a raw egg into the jar and then filled the jar with vinegar (make sure the egg is totally covered).

Egg submerged in vinegar

3.You immediately notice bubbles coming off the egg shell. This is because the acid (acetic acid) from the vinegar is dissolving the egg shell which is made of calcium carbonate. Those bubbles are actually bubbles of carbon dioxide! They are formed during a chemical reaction between the acid, the calcium carbonate and the water from the vinegar.

Bubbles of carbon dioxide on the egg shell show that the acid is dissolving the calcium carbonate (shell)

4.The eggs are left at the bottom of Ms Hickey’s room in the vinegar solution for one week. 

5.Next Wednesday we will check the eggs, remove and wash them of the vinegar and investigate the texture of the naked egg. 

The naked egg should be elastic and quite bouncy. We should also be able to see the yolk sac inside the membrane!!

We will post some photos and show you the results…

Stay tuned for more…

Science Club Week 3 05/12/2018

Science Club Week 3

Scientist of the Week: Galileo Galilei

Animal of the Week: The Flying Squid

Element of the Week: Neon

Constellation of the Week: Aquila

Last week at science club we were working as engineers, experimenting with uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows to create the tallest, most stable structure we could.

We learned that it is easy to create a tall structure with one piece of spaghetti and marshmallows however,to make it stand upright unassisted was tricky. After some time testing different methods and ideas we concluded that it is necessary to have supports within our buildings. Diagonal supports gave our tall structures the reinforcement they needed. Check out the photos below to see some of our creations!

Check this structure out…created by the boys from 4th and 5th class!
Spaghetti and marshmallow bridge!
Our diagonal supports really helped our structure to be nice and sturdy!

Our Visit to Markree Castle

On Monday 26/11/2018 fifth and sixth class went on a trip to visit Markree Castle .We arrived there at 10:50am.

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Markree Castle


We entered Markree Castle and waited at the reception where we met our tour guide Les. He informed that the Cooper family owned the castle for over 400 years! He showed us the stained glass window at the top of the main staircase that displayed the Coopers family tree.

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A beautiful stained glass window on the grand staircase in Markree Castle. It is displaying The Cooper Family Tree.

He told us several stories about Markree Castle. The first room we went into was the main living room and it had large marble columns in it. Secondly we visited the chapel (church) it was floored with Ethiopian oak wood. It is the only Ethiopian wooden floor in Ireland!

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Ethiopian oak wooden floors in the chapel.


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Beautiful church pews in the chapel. These have a very interesting story associated with Napoleon himself!!

We then visited the men’s lounge room were Les told us about a time when a young child crumbled cookies into an expensive carpet. The bride was worrying about how much it would cost to get it cleaned. However, Les told her that it didn’t matter because they paid a lot of money for their wedding and it was their house for the weekend.

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We then visited the dining room, it was huge! It was very fancy and had several chandeliers. The original dining room that came with the hotel was smaller but the Corscadden family built an extension and moved the kitchen, making the dining room bigger.

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The dining room

He then told us of the ghost haunting Markree Castle named Pippa. The story is that a young child died after falling down the stairs of Markree Castle. We don’t know the name of the child when she was alive, but Les’ wife named her Pippa. Pippa is very mischievous and often plays tricks on people, like locking them in their room and causing them to drop trays and items. One Christmas before leaving for Cavan, the owners bought Pippa a Christmas present. This stopped her causing trouble. An American couple who came to Ireland especially to get married in Markree Castle brought with them presents for Pippa. Their wedding went of without a hitch!

We went to Johnny  cash room which is number 28. Johnny  cash and his wife June stayed there for Halloween in 1990. We also saw a room that the floor and roof matched.

We went to a with a huge billiards table with old fashioned  balls that were approximately 250 years old.

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Les showing us the old billiard balls. Imagine they are approximately 250 years old!!!

We went down to the basement it had two bars and a disco floor. There was an Irish flag hanging in the Grand Hall that is more expensive than what it cost to renovate Markree Castle itself. It is from the Easter Rising in 1916 Where it flew from Boland’s Mill in Dublin.

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There is a story of a two year old girl who was staying in the castle. One night she woke up her mum up as she was talking. Her Mum  came over to her and asked who she was speaking to. The little girl pointed to the corner and said “My friend”. There was nobody there!!! Was it Pippa???

We also got to visit the boathouse and the large gardens. We thoroughly enjoyed our day and would highly recommend visiting if you ever get the opportunity.

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Exploring the grounds of Markree Castle

We would like to say a massive thanks you to Les, the staff and the Corscadden family for having us. We had a fantastic time!


Science Club Week 2

Week 2 of “Scoil Mhuire agus Iosaf’s Science Club” was a lemony success!!

Here is what we got up to under the watchful eye of Ms Hickey this week…

Science Club Week 2


Scientist of the Week: Erasmus Reinhold; calculated the first set of planetary tables “Tabulae Prutenicae”

Element of the Week: Osmium; a metal used in fountain pens and phonograph needles

Animal of the Week: Viperfish/ Fangfish; found in all deep oceans from depths of 250-5,000ft. Has a photophore and fangs, used to attract and impale prey.

Constellation of the Week: Lakota; Also known as The Hand Constellation. Named after a native american chief who had his arm torn off as a punishment by the gods.

Experiment of the Week: To explore oxidisation; 


For our experiment this week we wanted to experiment how heat can cause organic materials to oxidise (change colour due to loss of an electron).

Procedure: We mixed some freshly squeezed lemon juice with water and used a cotton bud to write a message with the mixture onto white paper. We chose to write secret messages to our friends. These messages were left to dry. At home we placed our hidden messages up to (but not touching) a lamp/lightbulb. The heat from the light source caused the hidden lemon juice/water mixture to oxidise and turn brown, revealing our messages. Some people chose to draw pictures to their friends instead of writing messages. Other people did both 🙂

 Until next week… 🙂 

Science Club Week 1

Last week saw our first “Scoil Mhuire agus Iosaf Science Club” of this term.

There was a great turn out with over 30 budding scientists in attendance on Wednesday afternoon.

Each week we learn about each of the three main branches of science; Physics, Chemistry and Biology, as well as conducting our own experiment.

Week 1:

Science Week 1

Scientist of the Week: Friedrich Miescher; who was the original founder of DNA in 1869, although he named it ‘nuclein’.

Element of the Week: Copernicium; a very radio-active element named after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus

Animal of the Week: Warty Frog-fish; related to the angler-fish, it looks like it has warts all over its body. It does not swim as it does not have a swim bladder but it has adapted its pectoral (side) fins to use like legs!

Constellation of the Week: Aries; named after the ram with the golden fleece in Greek mythology

Experiment of the Week: Extracting DNA from a kiwi fruit


Our procedure:

Crushing the kiwi flesh

Scooping out the kiwi flesh

<<Step 1:  We scooped the flesh of a kiwi into a zip-lock bag  and made sure there was no air in the bag.


>Step 2: The kiwi flesh was smashed into a green, seedy mush.



Our buffer solution

<<Step 3: A buffer solution was made by adding some salt and washing up liquid  to half a cup of water. We had to dissolve the salt in the solution but we had to be careful to stir this very, very slowly as we did not want bubbles to form.


Buffer solution and kiwi flesh

>>Step 4: Half of the buffer solution was added to the kiwi flesh in the zip-lock bag. This was mixed thoroughly.





Filtering the mixture

<<Step 5: We left the zip-lock bag rest for 10 minutes. Then we filtered the liquid from the solids using a

coffee filter and a jar.



Carefully adding the methylated spirits

>>Step 6: This part must be carried out by an adult! Ms Hickey poured a small amount of methylated spirits down the side of the jar into the filtered solution

<<Step 7: The solution was then stirred carefully. A purple layer formed on top of a the green liquid.



Result:The alcohol from the methylated spirits dehydrates the DNA making it clump together and visible to us. You can see it in the bottom two photographs.


The DNA we extracted from kiwi fruit!



As Archimedes once famously said “Eureka!!!”

Until next time Science Clubbers 🙂


CPR Workshop with Clodagh Callaghan

On Wednesday afternoon, fifth and sixth class were very lucky to receive an overview on CPR, instructed by Clodagh Callaghan.

Clodagh brought with her two mannequins and a defibrillator machine.

We learned what to do if we come across an unconscious casualty or if someone near us collapses and stops breathing.

Firstly we remember the 3 C’s:

Check for response

Call for help

Chest compression


It is useful to sing the song ‘Nelly the elephant’ in your head as you administer the compressions. It is very important to keep the pace consistent and push down strong with straight arms, shoulders over your interlocked fingers.


We were also instructed how to use the defibrillator machine and to listen very carefully to the instructions given by it.

We are all so grateful to Clodagh Callaghan for taking the time to visit us and share these important life skills with us all. Thank you very much Clodagh!

We all feel much more confident now and would know what to do in case of emergency.