Good Friends Week 2020

Good Friends Week

7th 11th September 2020


After an extra-long, unforeseen school closure, children, parents, teachers and staff are so delighted to be back in school this September. Although many aspects of school life are different, the first few days of school in St. Gabriel’s have gone very smoothly due to the cooperation of the whole school community. Thank you all. Every September we love to focus on a theme for Good Friends Week. This year our theme is ‘Be Respectful’.

Parents deserve huge respect for the way you have made adjustments to how we approach school life. You have shown respect for the new routines that we are all getting used to, especially at morning drop-offs and home-time collections. This all contributes to the safe, secure and happy return to school.

This year, more than ever, to be a good friend to those around us, being respectful is of great importance; respectful of space, respectful of belongings, respectful of ideas and opinions. This week, classes will explore, learn about and practise lots of ways in which we can be respectful. Pupils will be given the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions around the topic of respect in order to promote the wellbeing of all in our school.

Pupils have impressed us so much already by displaying wonderful respect for the new school rules and routines. Although it may be a challenge to stay within their own pods and bubbles, the pupils of St. Gabriel’s are respecting the notion of staying together by keeping apart. Well done boys and girls! You are amazing!

 We will continue to encourage this wonderful display of respect during Good Friends Week and throughout our school year ahead.

Well Done Junior Infants

Hello girls and boys in Junior Infants,

Well done for reaching the end of the school year. I am so proud of you all. You have all been so busy and active during the last few months. I have been amazed to hear about and see all the fantastic things you have been getting up to at home. You have all been keeping safe, remembering to wash your hands and have been behaving so well for your families. I really loved being your teacher. We worked hard and had lots of fun in Junior Infants. I have missed seeing you all in school but I’m already looking forward to seeing you in St. Gabriel’s in September. There are lots of fun times ahead for us when we return to school. Thanks so much to your parents for all your cooperation since September.

I hope you all have a wonderful summer break.

See you all in September,

From Ms. Leonard. x

P.S. Here’s a recording of the song that Junior Infants were due to perform at assembly for you all before the schools closed in March. Perhaps your child can perform for you at home to finish up the school year!   Click here for The Mountain Song. 

Junior Infants Poetry Week 22nd-26th June

Hello parents, girls and boys in Junior Infants,

Well done to you all for taking part so enthusiastically in St. Gabriel’s Art Week. You are all amazing artists. I, along with the other teachers that work with our class, really enjoyed seeing all you created. You’ll find some photos of the wonderful work below. This week in St. Gabriel’s we are celebrating our love of poems and rhymes in Poetry Week.

The best of poems for young children are full of rhythm and rhyme. Our Nursery Rhymes are a fantastic way to start to enjoy poetry. It’s helpful when we read and chant these out loud with expression to hear all the fun sounds in them. The poet Thomas Lynch said that ‘before it is a written or a read thing, poetry is a heard and a said thing.’

Reading and listening to picture books is also a fantastic way to hear where language is used imaginatively, energetically and in a repetitive way that children enjoy. I read recently that picture books are ‘essential in laying important poetic foundations in the child’s world.’ So this week I’m providing a few story suggestions along with nursery rhymes, nonsense rhymes and songs for you to enjoy.

We’re very lucky to have Ms. O’Leary and Ms. O’Loughlin source and create wonderful poetry resources for us to use this week. I have included some of them here and I intend to post lots of them to Seesaw during the week for you to enjoy. This week I want you to have fun listening to lots of fun poems and rhymes. You could also do some of the following:

  • Record yourself saying some of your favourite poems
  • Draw a picture of your favourite poem
  • Create little puppets of the characters from a rhyme and act it out.
  • Create your own poems
  • Come up with a different ending for a rhyme you know.

Best wishes to Bartosz and Luca who celebrate their birthdays this week.

Enjoy St. Gabriel’s Poetry Week,

From Ms. Leonard.

Some Poem Videos for the Week


Nursery Rhymes

  • Create your own Jack and Jill characters. Attach them to lolly sticks and act out the rhyme.


  • Record yourself reciting some nursery rhymes
  • Create an alternative ending for some rhymes

Online Story Selections


Songs to Sing

  • These songs are fun to sing. Children will have the opportunity to play with words as well as hear lots of fun rhymes and rhythms.

Write your own poem

Some extra worksheets for inspiration

Junior Infants – Art Week June 2020

Hello boys and girls in Junior Infants,             

I hope you all enjoyed St. Gabriel’s N.S. Sports Week. I was so delighted to see all the photographs and videos of you all out and about keeping active and taking part in a variety of sports and activities. I am so amazed at how creative you have been in designing wonderful jerseys. I hope you enjoy seeing some of the photographs you shared on Seesaw below.

This week we have St. Gabriel’s N.S. Art Week. We all know we have wonderful artists in our school and want to give you lots of opportunities to get creative this week. Lots of the teachers have worked together this week including Ms. Condron, Ms. Hanlon, Ms. O’Leary and Ms. Fitzpatrick to find activities that you would like. I have included some of their ideas here and I will add some of them to Seesaw during the week. We all really hope you enjoy taking part in all sorts of art this week. Some of the things you could try are drawing, painting and colouring, working with clay or dough, printing, construction, working with fabric and fibre. Whatever you decide to do please take a photograph and share it on Seesaw. I would love to display some of your creations on the school website next week.

 Be creative and enjoy Art Week,

From Ms. Leonard.

Online story

Pablo Picasso Facts

  • Pablo Picasso was born in Spain in 1881 and moved to Paris when he was 23.
  • He was a painter and sculptor.
  • He could draw and paint when he was very young. Even as a child he was better than most adults.
  • He could draw and paint in many different styles.
  • His first word was ‘piz’. It’s short for ‘lapis’, the Spanish word for pencil.

To learn more about Picasso click on the sculpture of a bull’s head below to explore the Tate Gallery’s area especially for children. Can you guess what objects Picasso used to create this sculpture?? He used the saddle and handlebars of a bicycle to create it!


Picasso Art Challenge

Draw your own portrait using some of Picasso’s ideas. Have a look at the video below to give you some ideas. 


Henri Matisse Facts

  • Matisse was born in France in 1869
  • He went to school in Paris studying to become a lawyer.
  • When he was ill with appendicitis his mother bought him some art supplies and he fell in love with painting. He gave up his job to become an artist.
  • He was friends with lots of artists, including Picasso.
  • When he was older he got sick again and found it too difficult to paint. That’s when he began creating collages by cutting out paper.

Learn more about Matisse by clicking on Matisse’s cut-out collage called ‘The Snail’ below. Can you see why he called it ‘The Snail’?

Watch the following short video to see the real cut-out masterpieces on display in the Tate Gallery in London. Wait until you see how big they really are! I was amazed! I’m sure you will be too!

Matisse Art Challenge

Click on the linked image below to learn about Matisse and his wonderful paper cut-outs.

You could even try your own cut-out collage as part of St. Gabriel’s Art Week.

Craft Ideas for Art Week

Click here for Ice Cream Cone Craft Instructions

Click here for Hand Print Sunflowers Craft Instructions

Click here for Sunflower Fork Printing Activity

Click here for Minibeast colour-by-number Activities

Below you will find a range of art activities for you to try out.

Click on each of them to link to a pdf file.

Ms. Hanlon created this wonderful choice board for you to try out.

You now have lots of ideas to keep you busy and creative this week. You might even think of some of your own artistic activities. Keep an eye on Seesaw for some bonus arty suggestions for you to get involved in. Please take photographs of what you create and I can share them here on our school website next week. Have fun!

Junior Infants 3rd June 2020

Hello Boys and girls in Junior Infants,

You have all been working so hard since our school closed its doors so I want you to take the time over the next week or so to do some of your favourite activities. Think about all the activities that I have suggested over the last few weeks. Which activities did you enjoy doing the most – phonics, maths, art, writing, story online, reading? I loved seeing so many of you take part in Flower Power Week! Perhaps you and your family came up with other exciting and fun things to do. Below you’ll find a few reminders of some activities we’ve done along with some links to click on to practise what you’ve learned so far. There are exciting things in store over the next few weeks so keep checking on the website and on Seesaw to hear more. Continue reading