SESE

23-November-17
SESE

Social, Environmental and Scientific Education Curriculum Policy.

The school is aware of the relevance of activities related to History, Geography and Science in developing functional skills for daily living and in enhancing awareness of, and participation in social and cultural aspects of community life. To this end the SESE curriculum links in to all the other curricular areas.

While we do make use of lots of resources in the classrooms and indeed in the school grounds, we put a large emphasis in bringing the students out into the wider environment to support their learning in this area of the curriculum.

We encourage a hands-on approach as far as possible and make full use of our school mini-bus to take the students out into their locality.

We encourage all our students to become aware of their social responsibilities to the best of their abilities and we like them to experience first-hand as many different cultural experiences as possible.

We take part in many projects and competitions as possible across the full curriculum.

Over the years we have won many competitions such as

  • “Meet the spuds” a national competition open to all national schools where we grew our own potatoes and did a project. We won 2k.
  • “Design your own School Playground “where the students designed their playground in a national competition and we won 25k towards our own playground.
  • “Student Theatre Awards” where we got third place overall in a national competition open to schools all over Ireland.

Every year some senior students visit the “Young Science Exhibition “in the RDS and it would be our ambition to enter the competition some year in the future.

History

Pupils learn to develop their sense of time as it relates to immediate and more distant events in their lives and in the lives of their families.

While not every student will eventually be able to read the clock we hope that through the use of visual schedules our students will develop a sense of time especially a “first and then” schedule and a” daily schedule “to ground them in their day or week .This is also linked with work on life and growth in Science and SPHE.

We make use of our wonderful glasshouse facility to grow plants and flowers.

Stories from History and Mythology are used as a basis for work in areas such as Drama Art and Language.

Visitors such as Grandparents and other elderly people from the local community are invited into the school to talk about their lives as children.

The senior students are hoping to undertake a big project on the history of our school building over the coming months. We hope to invite our land-lady Mrs Dowling to come and talk to us on her life when she actually lived in the school and raised her family here.

The teachers make many trips to museums and art galleries over the year.

Favourite places are

  • The Natural History Museum
  • The National Museum of Ireland
  • The Zoological Museum in Trinity College
  • The Botanic Gardens
  • The ARK
  • All Art Galleries in Dublin
  • Science Museums (Including the British Science Museum in London )
  • The Planetarium in Armagh.

Geography

Activities in Geography range from spatial awareness in the classroom and the school environment to the development of familiarity with locations in our locality and beyond.

Maps are available in every classroom.

Tim our Travelling Bear.

We have a School Teddy bear called Tim who travels the world with staff and friends of the school. These travellers then take photographs of Tim in all sorts of locations across the globe and send them back to the students who can then locate the on maps and learn where Tim is in relation to our school.

To date Tim has visited Japan, Thailand, North America,China,Tibet,Nepal and most excitingly Mount Everest as well as some countries in Europe.

Tracking his progress is a great learning module for our students.

We also make great use of sporting events such as the World Cup to learn about countries and capital cities and flags.

The GAA provide us with a great opportunity to learn the counties of Ireland.

Tracking, discussing and recording the daily weather and work on topics such as homes, where people live, transport, and people who help us are other commonly used classroom approaches.

Use of the school mini-bus provides a valuable context for learning.

Each class has a camera and use of video recorders to record their outings.

Science

All classes incorporate well established use of our glasshouse in the school grounds to grow plants both to eat and to use for visual displays and as presents for mothers at Christmas and Mother’s Day

We would love to develop a” Physic Garden” eventually in our new school where we can examine growing plants that are used to heal parts of our bodies, and grow plants that contribute to our wellbeing.

Our Principal was inspired by a Physic Garden she visited in Cowbridge in Wales and we may look at designing this garden next year when we take an in-depth look at Science.

A sensory garden would be another project we would like to undertake in the future. We have already visited a sensory garden in the Botanic Gardens in Dublin for inspiration and ideas.

As we live close to the coast here in Skerries we are constantly visiting the sea-side beaches locally to examine first-hand the flora and fauna by the sea.

These local areas are a valuable resource for exploration and hands-on learning activities.

Our school grounds are also used as a valuable learning resource as we are lucky to live right beside a working farm and can follow the progress of the farmer’s plants from seeds to harvesting their final produce.

We also have live animals in our vicinity such as horses and foals and chickens and pheasants as well as rabbits and hares.

Many of our students have visited our neighbouring farm up the road to collect eggs from under the chickens.

All of this nature on our door-step allows for hands-on learning and gives opportunities for direct sensory exploration, observation, simple recording and discussion.

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Contact
St. Michael's House
Special National School,
Hacketstown,
Skerries,
Co. Dublin,
Ireland

01 849 0976



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