For the months of September and October (weather permitting) we intend to do a daily “Morning Mile” (morning 1.5 kilometre just doesn’t have the same ring to it!).
There’s no messing with gear or anything like that, just high-viz vests and off we go for a brisk morning walk. The fresh air and exercise is the perfect way to wake up our brains and bodies and gets us off the best possible start to our busy day.
We welcome any company (as long as you can keep up!).
Our school is situated in such a beautiful place! Just outside our school gate is a lovely, quiet road which hosts a plethora of wild flowers. These flowers are currently enjoying their moment in the sun before the deciduous trees overhead develop their canopy.
Our task this morning was to find wildflowers and write a detailed description in our copies which we would then use to help us identify the flowers upon our return to the classroom.
We took note of the petals, describing their colour, shape and size and the number of petals. We also examined the stems and foliage. We found a huge variety with many shades of yellow, pink, purple and white.
When we returned to class, we used iPads, Chromebooks and laptops to identify all of our discoveries.
So far, we have identified
Opposite leaved golden saxifrage
Common dog violet
We also found the foliage of the wood anemone but there’s no sign of their flowers just yet!
We returned to school this week with an extra hour of daylight, a bit of warmth in the air and a definite feeling that spring had finally sprung! So we were especially delighted to receive our “Sow & Grow” kit from Innocent Ireland and GIY.
The pack contained a bag of organic compost, a bunch of paper cups and 3 packets of organic seeds including spinach, peas and cress.
We immediately got busy, with a big majority of the children choosing peas and only two opting for cress!
We’ll monitor the progress of our seeds over the coming days and weeks and post results here.
Which will be first to break ground? Peas, spinach or cress? Stay tuned!
We had a very interesting morning today as we were joined by Ciara, Cillian, Jade, Nicole & Rebecca who are all Transition Year students in St Louis Community School in Kiltimagh.
They delivered a lovely lesson on communication skills which went down very well with 4th, 5th & 6 classes. They will return for another 3 lessons, covering important topics such as bullying and Internet safety.
Meanwhile, this coin showed up in our school shop:
No, it’s not €2, look closely!
We were totally at a loss as to its origins so we took to Twitter:
Can anyone help us identify this coin? It showed up in our school today pretending to be €2!!! Same size and weight pic.twitter.com/OAeD2tXgJE
Business moguls beware, the pupils of Craggagh NS are feeling bullish and are poised to launch a new business in the coming weeks!
We have broken out into 5 groups and are currently working on separate ideas.
The 5 ideas at research stage right now are:
In a couple of weeks, our groups will enter our “Dragons’ Den” to pitch their ideas. The best idea will then be adopted by the whole class as our “Big Idea” and the business will begin in earnest.
We have spent the last few weeks studying famous entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs of Apple and Ingvar Kamprad of Ikea, local entrepreneurs like Shane Gilmartin in Kiltimagh or Mary Flanagan in Balla. We also looked at some case studies for other schools’ projects.
Today, we’re researching costs of supplies, how much of an investment we may need, how or where we might sell our products and what jobs, tasks and skills will be required.
From 1947 to 1957 the Bureau of Military History recorded over 1,700 witness statements from veterans of the 1913-1921 era. One of these witnesses was Senator Seán T Ruane, who was appointed principal of our school, Craggagh NS in 1914. Our play is based on his statement.
The Kiltimagh Young Mens’ Society (KYMS) was established in 1903 as a drama club and is still active to this day. However, as with many organisations at that time, KYMS was infiltrated by members of the Irish Volunteers and used as a cover for their operations. KYMS produced a number of plays mostly dealing with the 1798 period, e.g. “The Rebel Chief” and “The West’s Awake” and is credited with doing much to stir local militant nationalism. Our protagonist, the young principal teacher Seán T, was president of this society, KYMS, which became known locally as “Keep Your Mouth Shut”.
Seán T’s militant leanings brought him into direct conflict with his school manager, Fr Denis O’Hara, himself a considerable force in his own right. Our play focuses initially on their complex relationship. Fr O’Hara although staunch parliamentarian and Redmondite, was a nationalist at heart especially after being attacked in his home by the “Black and Tans”.
Our play goes on to explore the activities of local men and women during and after Easter 1916, such as the acquisition of 14 rifles at a hold up in Balla (using only a brass tap!) and house raids in Kiltimagh. We also meet a very interesting young lady, Miss Gavin, a Post Office Assistant, who loses her job due to her sympathies with the leaders of the 1916 Rising.
The events in our drama happened right here in Craggagh, Kiltimagh and Balla and were played out by local people. Ordinary people in an extraordinary time.
The medal on the left above (green, orange and black ribbon) is the Truce Commemoration Medal awarded to veterans still alive on June 11, 1971 which was the Jubilee of the 1921 truce.
The medal on the right is the Service (1917 – 21) Medal. This medal was awarded in two classes:
(a) Medal with bar to persons who are in possession of a military service certificate entitling them to a pension under the Military Service Pensions Acts in respect of active service in the period subsequent to 1916 and prior to 11 July 1921 and to those persons not in possession of a certificate who satisfy the Minister for Defence that had they applied for a pension, their service was such as would have merited the award of a pension.
(b) Medal without bar to persons who were members of Óglaigh na hÉireann (Irish Republican Army), Fianna Éireann, Cumann na mBan or the Irish Citizen Army for the three months ending on 11 July 1921.
During the early 1970s when DeValera was president, he invited veterans to apply for these medals and pensions, by listing their activities and referencing their contemporaries as proof.
Many thousands were awarded medals and pensions during this time. Below is the account of Dan Moran from Derryvohey, Craggagh (Mr Charlton’s grandfather) who was also awarded his medals in 1971.
This was an amazing time in Irish history and our area is no exception. There’s loads to explore and we’ll publish what we find here.
If you have anything relating to this period of history, especially if it relates to our locality, please get in touch. We love local history, especially if we can use primary sources.
We’d love oral stories, written records, photographs, medals, membership books, oath cards etc.