Archive for 1st & 2nd Room

Cookery Demonstration

A huge thank you to the Parents’ Association for organising and funding a very interesting and worthwhile cookery demonstration. The children had great fun taking part. They made delicious, healthy brown bread and salmon fish fingers. Thank you also to Pauric  and Irene from the Forge restaurant for providing a very engaging and interactive cookery demonstration for the children. (More photos to follow!)

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Procedures and Planting

First and second class have been working on procedural writing and oral language for the past few weeks and today they took to planting a variety of seeds in the outdoor classroom. They had written the procedure for this activity earlier in the week but today they had the chance to put it into action. Have a look at some of the pictures below.

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World Book Day

Our World Book Day dress up was a great success with lots of colourful and creative outfits on show! Well done to all the pupils and parents for putting such great effort into all the outfits! We presented prizes on the day to pupils in each classroom! However, you are ALL winners for having fun and taking part!!!


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Thank you to the Parents’ Association for their generous donation to Billis

The Board of Management, Staff and pupils of Billis NS would like to sincerely thank the Parents’ Association, and of course all the parents who supported their fund raising efforts, for their generous donation of two exciting pieces of equipment for the pupils in Billis NS: BeeBots and Lego WeDo.

Both of these pieces of equipment introduce children to coding and programming, initially at a basic level but their skills can be built upon over time.

Bee-Bots are exciting little robots designed for use by younger children. These colorful, easy-to-operate, and friendly little robots are a perfect tool for teaching counting, sequencing, estimation, problem-solving, and just having fun!

Sturdy construction and colorful design entice children to put the Bee-Bots through their paces. Directional keys are used to enter up to 40 commands which send Bee-Bot forward, back, left, and right. Pressing the green GO button starts Bee-Bot on its way. Bee-Bot blinks and beeps at the conclusion of each command to allow children to follow Bee-Bot through the program they have entered and then confirms its completion with lights and sound. Children want to use Bee-Bot over and over and are inspired to enter ever more creative and complex command sequences.  Bee-Bot moves in 6″ steps and 90 degree turns. Compact size and durable materials make Bee-Bots child- and classroom-friendly and boosts enthusiasm for experimentation and learning wherever it is used.

Lego WeDo

Lego WeDo 2.0 strengthens students’ understanding of the eight science and engineering practices, including asking questions and solving problems, modeling, prototyping, investigating, analyzing and interpreting data, computational thinking, creating evidence based arguments, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

It develops students’ competencies through hands-on projects covering key science topics such as physical-, life-, earth- and space sciences, engineering and technology. Improve problem solving, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and integrate the use of relevant digital tools to improve computational thinking skills.

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Credit Union Poster Competition Winners

Congratulations to all our Credit Union Poster competition winners. The prize giving was on Friday 8th December. Even though there can only be a few winners everyone who took part is a winner. The judges must have had a very hard time choosing as all the pupils put a lot of work and effort into their poster. Well done to everyone.

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Snowy Day

The children in first and second class created a winter wonderland through a window in art today. They did a rough sketch with a pencil and finished off their picture with pastels. As you can see they we’re all very proud of their work. Let’s hope we don’t see weather like this for a while though!

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Maths Stations

First and second class participated in a maths station activity on Friday. The stations focused on various different strands of the maths curriculum and proved very popular with all the children. The stations will operate every Friday with a special focus on games this week to coincide with Maths Week 2017.


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Maths Puzzles to keep you entertained while at home

This is Maths Week.  There are lots of ideas on the following website to keep you busy while school is closed! Enjoy!

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Learning new vocabulary

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are targeting vocabulary development as part of our literacy plan this year.  This is as a result of identified weaknesses in the standardised test scores in this area in June 2016 and also as part of the implementation of the new primary language curriculum.

Perhaps the greatest tools we can give children for succeeding, not only in their education but more generally in life, is a large, rich vocabulary and the skills for using those words.  In addition to this a large vocabulary is more specifically predictive and reflective of high levels of reading achievement.

Poor vocabulary affects the children’s comprehension of what they read.  Writing a word into a copybook, looking up its meaning, finding words with similar meaning or putting the words into sentences will not ensure that the word becomes part of their vocabulary.  In order to do this, children need to use the new vocabulary that they are learning on numerous occasions and hear the words used regularly in everyday conversation. 

Another way of improving your child’s vocabulary is to read to them regularly. Once a child is able to read we have a tendency to stop reading to them as we want them to practice their own reading.  However, the books that children can read for themselves are, of necessity, simpler than those that you would read to them.  Therefore they are not necessarily coming across new or challenging vocabulary in their own reading.  This is why it is so important that we do not stop reading to our children, even when they can read for themselves.  This is especially true for children who are finding reading a bit challenging or who are reluctant readers.

By reading to them, you are helping them in many ways: 1) You are modelling good reading to them. (It is important, especially for boys, to have both male and female role models if at all possible) 2) You are developing their interest in reading. 3) You are motivating them to want to read themselves as they see that you consider reading important.  4) You are improving their comprehension as they can focus on the story rather than trying to decode words. 5) You are improving their vocabulary as you are exposing them to vocabulary that they will not otherwise come across. (You need to discuss, even briefly, the meanings of new words while reading for this to be most effective)

Vocabulary Homework:

As part of their homework each night, pupils from 3rd to 6th class have to use the words they have written in their vocabulary copybooks and pupils from Junior Infants to 2nd class have to use the 2 words in their Homework diary by bringing them into the conversation at home and at school over the course of the week,  in as many different ways and as many times as possible.  It is only through using the words that they will actually become part of your child’s vocabulary. It would be a good idea to place these words in a visible place (such as on the fridge) so that everyone in the family will use them in their conversation.

Thank you, in anticipation of your cooperation,

K Devine

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Infants-2nd class had a brilliant school tour on Friday 26th May to GR8 entertainment, Castleblayney, followed by a picnic and leisurely stroll around Erica’s Fairy Forest on the way home. A big thank you to Edna Smith and Ann Lundie for helping on the day!

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