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You better THINK!

IMAG2174

Wonderful to see these up in my kids school.
It’s a good quick guideline.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Third of pupils got no sex education | Irish Examiner

Third of pupils got no sex education | Irish Examiner.

This needs to change.
One of the infuriating things about it is that there is a comprehensive sex & sexuality education program which was developed to tackle this, but due to it clashing with the christian ethos of the overwhelming majority of school in the country it has not been rolled out by them or distributed to parents via the schools.

Those resources can be found here.
http://www.crisispregnancy.ie/publication/sex-education-resources/

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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School code of conduct amended to include ‘cyberbulling’.

We got a note home to day stating that the school’s code of conduct has been amended.
It’s a brave move, not sure how it will be implemented but it’s certainly drawing a line.

Online privacy and code of behavior.

Circulating, publishing or distributing (including on the internet) material associated with school activities including but not limited to material in relation to staff and students were such circulation undermines, humiliates or causes damage to another person is considered a serious breach of school discipline and may result in disciplinary action. As part of such disciplinary action the Board of Management reserves the right to suspend or expel a student or students where it considers the actions to warrant such sanctions.

That is the amendments and then letter goes on further to state.

At this point the Board of Management have ratified it and now staff parents and pupils have been informed that rull will come into effect immediately and will included in our official school Journal when the next set are ordered.

I think it does read to be heavy handed but having heard of some of the incidents which have inspired this, including the Photoshopping of pupils and students I can understand it.

While part of me is thinking of the rights of teenagers, rights come with responsibilities and in my experience the majority of parents don’t know how to teach their child to be responsible online and what is and is not acceptable. The best way to teach kids how to behave is to model that behavior and if parents aren’t doing that online, other people are, and often those other people are their peers and that can be problematic.

Having read the letter, again I am glad neither of my kids have a Facebook account, and long may that last.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Inspiring quotes needed.

Start of the new year and with it comes the two homework journals.These days they are very swish compared to what I had secondary school. The school my brats attend have opted for the 4Schools.ie’s student journal.
Which their site http://www.4schools.ie/student-journal states

The 4Schools.ie’s student journal is a learning focused journal which can be tailored to reflect the unique culture and ethos of your school.

Our standard A5 student journal includes:

A choice of hardback or spiral binding
A choice of five attractive full colour cover designs with your school name and crest overprinted in black
Either 8 or 16 pages of your customised content printed in one colour
A choice of two learning modules
A full colour weekly diary featuring facts, quotes and think-links
16 pages of notes for communication between parent/guardian and school.

It really is a kick ass resource, with inserts on the school rules, parental contact sheet, log tables, maps, info about college courses, all the school polices laid out in it so that they are easily accessible by parent and students. The homework journal which a parent has to sign off once a week is a good way of keeping track for parents, teachers and students. Just above the space for a note from a teacher or parent and the sign off it as an inspirational quotation.

journal

I was flicking through them with my daughter, her first thought was cool and then we noticed a pattern.
Can you spot it?

Thomas Edison, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Fredrick Nietzsche, Henry Ford,
Mathatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Ralp Waldo Emerson, Aristotle, Plato,
Solon, Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald, William Shakespear, Edwin H Cahplin,
Oliver Goldsmith, Jonathon Swift, Henry B Adams, Jermy Collier, Napoleon Bonapart,
Arthur C Clarke, Alber Einstein, Aristotle Onassis, Brian Tracy, Brack Obama,
Franklin D Roosevelt, Napoleon Hill, Alber Camus, Lawrence Peter, Francis Bacon,
French Proverb.

She spotted it before I did. There are 41 term weeks so that is 41 quotes and 1 of them is attributed to a french proverb but the remaining 40 are all men. They range from Plato to Obama, over 2,300 years and not one woman included.

So yes I will be sending a note to the school and to the provider of the journals but we decided we would write in quotations by women along side the quotations by men, I might also send them to the school and provider.

So we are asking for help in compiling a list of suitable quotations, we have a few already, but we need more.

Quotations:


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.”
Rosa Parks

“A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back – but they are gone.
We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.”
Marian Wright Edelman

“Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.”
Iris Murdoch

So please share with us your favorite inspiring quotes by women.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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There is no yes or no.

When helping my parents clear out their attic, we found many things, one of the was a series of interviews they did with the 5 of us over the years. It was was a list of questions which were part of a parenting course when they had taken part of and had gone on to train and give in various primary schools in the area.

Reading them was like a time capsule and looking back on what our likes were at ages 7 10 and 13 and how we’d changed. My daughter wanted to read over mine and had more then enough fun teasing me about some of the answers. One of which to the question what do you want to be when you grow up my 10 year old self had answered with Polyglot, yes I was all manner of precocious having had a reading age a good few year beyond my actual age.

So I had to explain to my now 11 year old what a polyglot was. Two languages is bilingual, three is trilingual and hyperpolyglot is six or more so polyglot is four/five languages. She asked me why I stopped, that I already had three, English, Irish and Germany that I only needed one more, but it would have to be a real one and not Klingon, and yes smartarsery does run in the family.

That converstaion stuck with me and the notions wouldn’t go away, but there was no way I could take on a brand new language with out brushing up on Irish and German.
She didn’t forget either, so when a notice came home from the school about Irish classes for parents on Wednesday morning she pressed me about it, so I signed up.

This morning I found myself in portacabin classroom which is the parent’s room, with 8 other mothers. Five of use who had been through the Irish school system all having done at between 11 and 13 years of being taught Irish as a subject and four who had not. The other ladies first languages were Filipino, Latvian, Polish and Croatian. Some of them also had a smattering of Russian, our tutor giving the class also spoke Russian so it was interesting class with many cross references.

It started with the very basics of greeting someone. You’d think that would be pretty standard and not controversial right? Not a hope. When Irish was standardised into the modern form taught in school it was done so with a certain bias.
So hello became “Dia duit”, which translate directly to “God be with you”, tricky, is your god is not my god or if you have no god. Then there is the response and children are all taught to reply saying “Dia is Muire duit” “God and Mary with you”, yup Mary mother of Jesus, and if your into out doing the person you can end up with “Dia is Muire is Padrig duit” God, Mary and St Patrick be with you.

The Irish parents didn’t blink an eye at this, but the others questioned it, which reminded me of one of my grandmother’s neighbours, she used to greet him “Dia duit” but he’d always replied “Maidin maith” as he was not a catholic. So thankfully the tutor was happy to deviate from her lesson plan to include “Maidin maith” “Good morning”, “Trathnóna maith” Good afternoon and “Oiche mhaith” Good night.

Which lead into a discussion on gender and Irish nouns. As “Maidin maith” is cos the morning is deemed masculine and it’s “Oiche Mhaith” as the night is feminine. I can’t really recall ever in an Irish class with gendered nouns. Sure it was done in German class but not in 13 years of Irish.

This spun the discussion off into the different sounds of words, and the use of the fada and the tutor had some wonderful examples. That Seán is a name and sean means old. The fada putting the emphasis on that part of the word and changing the vowel sound. So that it can change the word entirely, briste means trousers and bristé means broken, so you end up with “Ta mo briste bristé” my trousers are broken.

And then it was back to the greetings and how are you “Conas atá tú?” and the replies and every answer echos back the question asked, for there is no, yes or no in Irish. There is “sea agus ní hea” but that translates as it is and it’s not.
Which mean we have an echo language that we echo back the words spoken to us so that there’d be hopefully less misunderstanding and not doing that, to not give a full reply would have been considerer ill mannered.

There is no yes or no, but there is a maybe, this I do remember and it was often used by my grandparents, b’fheidir, maybe or more correctly translated as possibly.
So “Is feidir linn” does not mean Yes we can, it translates directly as it is possible for us.

Which is what started this for me, it’s still possible for me to be what I wanted at ten, even with it being a little over two and half decades from when that was an aspiration. When we think in absolutes we can close our selves off to possibilities.
Hopefully this basic class will start to brush away the cobwebs and I can try think more as gaeilge, is feidir liom.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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bibles, mass and school continued…

I had two scheduled meeting in the school today, one was with my child’s tutor and SNA
the other was with the head mistress re the bible and a few other things which have cropped up re having a non christian child in thier school.

The first one went well and as I was walking away told my son that I would see him at lunch time as the school has a half day on Wednesdays and and his tutor said ‘Well after mass, as the school as a mass on.” “Excuse me” was my reaction “Oh yes, did he not tell you the whole school is going to Mass at 12:40 for the remember in November the parish priest was in to talk about it yesterday and the kids gave up names for the list of those gone.”

I looked at her and looked at my son and asked him if he wanted to go and that he didn’t have to if he didn’t want to but if he did as his classmates were going I was ok with it. He said he didn’t want to and I then asked the Teacher did he need a note and she said no as it’s out side of school hours…..WTF.

Out side of school hours but the students are being told to go, expected to go told the mass is for them and that they are going directly when school ends.

I told her that my son is not part of the parish, is not christian and that he doesn’t have to attend any masses what so ever. I am raging.

As for the other meeting it was cancelled, grrrr they tried to fob me off with the home school illsason teacher who barely had 5 mins, didn’t know what the meeting was about and when I asked for a copy of the schools policy about non christian children wasn’t sure if they had done and then couldn’t think of were to look for it.

I have a new appointment again on friday morning.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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The Gideon international, thier books and schools.

We all know that the Gideon are a group who put bibles in every place they can squeeze one in. apprently they have managed 1.5 billion in hotels, hospitals prisons army and now schools here in Ireland.

The young lad who is in 1st year came home with a pocket edition of the new testament and proverbs and psalms, they came into the community school gave them out and he was instructed by the teacher to take one and to put his name on it and to keep it in his bag and the class was told to read a bit from it every day.

This book is not on the book list it is not part of the curriculum, but this evangelical organisation was allowed in the school and it’s literature was pressed on every child. The book has a special index in the front which points to passages to help with life’s problems, christian virtue and character.

I am staggered they were allowed in the school and it was given out and that my son who is not christian (and the teachers are aware of that) was instructed to take one and put his name on it.

Am I the only one who thinks this is well out of order?

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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School homework has ‘no real benefit’.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1008/education.htm

School homework has ‘no real benefit’
Friday, 8 October 2010 15:58

There is little evidence to suggest that school homework in its current form has any real benefit, according to a primary school principals’ group.

In a submission paper to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Curriculum Reform, The Irish Primary Principals Network says the role of homework in the education system ‘requires serious research and analysis.’

IPPN says that principals and teachers have serious concerns about the impact of homework.

The Network has highlighted nine areas of concern in its submission paper to the committee.

It says ‘effective teaching in the classroom, which differentiates both children’s learning styles and learning abilities far outweighs any value of homework.’

‘Homework can often be the source of a huge amount of stress between parents and children,’ says IPPN Director Sean Cottrell.

Pointing to the fact that quality time can be scarce among families on weekday evenings, Mr Cottrell said it this time can often be spoiled by homework.

The majority of stress and strife around school in this house over the last 6 years has been homework. Not that it’s too hard but the resistance to doing it has lead to rows and tears. I do think that it can be good in terms of letting parents know what the kids are doing and how they are doing but there has to be a better way, esp when it only becomes an exercise in undermining a child’s confidence.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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New school, new term, new learning curve.

Spent the morning in meeting in the school, Secured permission for my eldest to read “novels” at the back of religion class must get Ghandi Rand Vedic texts prose Edda for him :D

Had a bit of a show down with the Vice head who is in her sixties when I asked for my name to noted on the contact file as I was getting phone calls asking for Mrs X and letters addressed as Mr & Mrs X. “Oh we just assume that as his name is X that…” I pointed out how wrong the assumption was and that the majority of children born the last 10 years are to parents who are not married and she then said but it’s just easier, so I pointed out that even the primary school uses “parents/guardians of X” on all the letters and she was confused as to why and I pointed out that one of the new intake who was in my son’s class in primary had his mother die in the last 6 months and another girl is an orphan being raised by her grandparents.

Why a decade into the 21st Century am I having to point these thing out ?

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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CAO first offers.

It’s been intresting watching the traffic graphs for the cao site

http://www.hea.net/mrtg/cao4.html

We have come a long way from trying to read the tiny number by an orange street light having gone into town for the earliest edition.

So many young adults will be on tender hooks to today convinced that to have the life they dream of or to have any hope of it they need to get into the right college and into the right courses. Life is never that simple and there are many paths up the mountain.

I often worry that the points system and the CAO entry system leads to hot housing and that an education should be aiming at making a person well rounded rather then tasking them to just preform well in a set of exams spaced over two weeks.

As mishmash as the america direct applications system seems to be there is an inclusion of extra curricular activities, be it sports or arts or community work into the process.

As freaky as the thought is that it has been 18 years from when I stood under that street lamp and that kids which were only and not yet born are looking at the offers today, is the fact I will be trying to deal with my son no doubt pressing f5 like a loon in 5/6 years time.

At least he will have parents who have been through the system, I didn’t which made it even more daunting. And 18 years ago I didn’t get any of the course which I wanted and looking back this was a good thing as I was 17 and 2 months old and I knew better when I applied two years later and got exactly what I wanted.

I was blessed that I ended up working in DCU as a member of staff and in the evening took on City and Guilds courses in electronics and went on then to apply for electronic courses which would mean I would have to live away from home during the week but could come home at weekends.

So not getting my first preferences was a blessing. Hopefully those who don’t get their today will know it is not the end of the world but just a different adventure.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2010 in ireland

 

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