2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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Preserving our Traditions and Folklore in Ireland

In 1937 a major project was undertaken in Irish primary schools to preserve the folklore and traditions throughout the country. Pupils from 5th and 6th classes (aged 11-14) were asked to collect the traditional cures, prayers, proverbs, curses and local history from their parents and grandparents. This was then written in special copybooks in school and transferred to the National Archives in Dublin for preservation. Over 5,000 pupils took part in the project and a vast collection of folklore was preserved for future generations. In 2010 the Irish National television station R.T.E. decided to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the folklore commission with a series of programmes called Ó Bhéal go Béal. (From Mouth to Mouth) In the third programme four people were interviewed who had taken part in the project in 1937-38 when they were in primary school. Now in their eighties, these four people were shown the manuscripts which they had carefully written down 72 years previously. One of the people interviewed was Criostóir Ó Tuama, who was principal of our school in Newmarket from 1953 to 1988. Mr Ó Tuama had collected the folklore from his grandmother who was 96 at the time. Mr. Ó Tuama is a native Irish speaker from Ballyvourney in West Cork and his description of the prayers and sayings of his grandmother was recalled with great clarity. The programme was beautifully made and the four people interviewed provided a wonderful description of their schooldays and the rural Ireland of the 1930’s.

You can watch the programme here:

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Hallowe’en in Newmarket

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Today was the last day of school before the Hallowe’en mid term break. There were some wonderful costumes and scary characters floating around the school. 4th 5th and 6th class wrote and performed their Hallowe’n plays. We had a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed the day. Did you celebrate Hallowe’en in your schools?

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Ireland June 13-16 2011 – The popular bouncy castle

The popular bouncy castle on June 14. Photos by Anna K. Hellevang.

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A fantastic trip to Ireland

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The trip to Ireland was a great experience. We, Birgitte Shan Qi and Maren think it is a nice way of learning English languages.

The trip started on Monday 13th of June. We travelled from Åkra to Flesland in Bergen by car. Then we took a plane from Flesland to Copenhagen and further to Dublin. In Dublin a taxi was waiting for us. The taxi took us to a hotel. The host families came to the hotel and drove us back to their homes. I and Maren stayed with Hannah O’Connor. Their house was beautiful. It seemed like a Norwegian castle.

Celebration at school

On Tuesday 14th of June we went to the school. We stayed at the school for some hours, and then we travelled to Kilkenny castle. The castle was around 800 years old. On the back of the castle was a big fountain. Inside the castle you were not allowed to take photos.

On the evening it was a party on the school. It was because they opened a new classroom at the school. And they also hoisted the green flag St. Brendan´s School had earned after hard work on environmental planning. This was also the last gathering in connection of the Comenius project. School kids from each of the three schools planted a flower each and they unveiled a plate in the park to remember the project. It was also a big and a small bouncy castle at the school, and all the kids had a blast.

Birgitte Shan Qi Farestveit and Maren Bauge Vika, Åkra school, Norway

Photos by Anna Kirsten Hellevang

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Ireland – Water sports activities

The group of Norwegians, English and Irish pupils had a blast on June 15 doing water sports activities all afternoon.

Mikal and Heidi here: We are going to tell you about Wednesday the 15 June when we were in Waterford. First we got wetsuits, buoyancy and helmets. Then we went into the canoes and learned how to paddle. We tried to stand in the canoes and then someone fell off. Then we paddled into a beach and had a paddle boat relay. Then everybody went on a speedboat after turns. When the first group were in the speedboat, the others played a game called sandy beach. It was to look most sandy. The three who was most sandy choose a person that they could dig down in the sand. And of course they choose me (Heidi) because I was not so sandy. Everybody went for a swim to get off the sand, but did not get everything off. Then we paddled into the center. We thought it was an amazing experience.

By Heidi Øvstebø Kvame and Mikal Øvstebø from Åkra, Norway       

Here are some of the photos from the canoeing, paddle boat and speed boat activities. Photos by Tom Duggan

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Comenius Poem

Another year has come and gone,
As with the memories, more happy than sad.
It’s hard to believe,
Four trips we have made,
Each one as exciting as the next.
Now, on the first day of June,
We are all eagerly awaiting the fifth.
To Ireland they shall come,
And stay with us here.

The Comenius Project has been a huge success,
How could it not be,
With all the fun we’ve had?!
Now, down to business,
There is a question I have to answer.
What is it to be a European?
Well, for me, the answer is simple,
It’s to live in or be born in Europe.
Alas, there is another matter for me to settle.
What is it to be a good European?
I’ve gotten to the hard bit,
This might take a while,
So I ask you for your patience.
A good European is a debatable deal.
But since you’ve asked of my opinion,
I shall give you the knowledge.
For me, a good European is any Euro citizen
Who gives respect.
Either to fellow Euro citizens or countries.
But the main thing that divides good from bad is helpfulness.
A citizen who helps fellow Europeans in need
A citizen who helps fellow European countries in need.
But, though there are few,
They still exist.
This is what I am talking about.
Citizens who help anyone in need,
Citizens who help any country in need
For me are good Europeans.
There you go,
My opinion you have.
On the Comenius Project,
The question they ask.

Mairéad Barron
6th Class

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