World Book Day with Junior Infants and Second Class

Junior Infants and Second Class celebrated World Book Day on Thursday 7th March by doing some ‘Buddy Reading’. They each found a buddy from the opposite class and second class pupils read some books to their buddy from Junior Infants.

Both classes loved getting to know their new friends and asked each other lots of questions to get to know each other better.

They had ‘THE BEST DAY’ celebrating World Book Day with their new buddy! 🙂


Welcome to our School!

The children in ‘Le Chéile’ were delighted to welcome two new fabulous friends to their class this school year. You are both very welcome and we hope you have fun and make lots of new friends here at Castlelyons National School.

Junior Infants AISTEAR and School Tour

The Farm

The children in Junior Infants learned about the theme of the farm during the Month of March. They enjoyed learning about farm animals and their babies, animal homes and farm produce. They helped their teacher, Miss Corcoran, to set up mini farms around the classroom for AISTEAR role play.



Interviewing a local farmer

Local Farmer, Timmy McCarthy kindly visited the class to talk to the junior infants about his job. They asked him lot of interesting questions about farming and animals. He brought in some cattle feed, ear tags, pictures of his farm, silage and a milk bucket for calves. They really enjoyed his visit and we now have a lot of aspiring farmers in our class.


Making homemade butter

The infants were so excited when Miss Corcoran told them that they were going to make butter using methods from long ago. They sequenced the steps involved in making butter in small groups. Then they began the process. First they poured cream into a glass jar and added a dice to help speed up the process. They took turns to shake the cream in the jar until it turned into butter. They rinsed off the buttermilk and added salt for taste. The next method was the old-fashioned paddle churn. Cream was added to the paddle churn and children took turns to turn the handle until the cream turned to butter. This method was quicker and much easier. The buttermilk was rinsed off and salt was added again for taste. The children’s favourite part of the process was tasting their homemade butter on fresh bread. Many agreed that it was the best butter they had ever tasted!


The Vet

Juniors learned about the job of a vet and some vocabulary associated with the vet surgery such as stethoscope, thermometer, medicine, injection etc. A veterinary surgery was set up in our classroom. Children got into role as vets, veterinary nurses, receptionists and local people bringing their animals to the vet. They learned about making an appointment, waiting in the waiting room and buying medicine for their pet’s aftercare.


Interviewing a vet

We were very lucky to get a visit from local vet, Edward Myers and his gorgeous dog, Sandy. The children asked Ed questions about being a vet. He explained to the children how to care for a pet and showed them how he checks Sandy’s heart, ears and teeth. Some children got a turn to use the stethoscope on Sandy and others got to walk her around the room on her lead. All children had great fun petting Sandy and didn’t want her to leave.


The Home

Our final AISTEAR theme of the year was ‘The Home’. Children enjoyed getting into role as mammies, daddies and kids at the home role play area. They were looking after babies, cooking dinner, folding clothes and hoovering and sweeping the house. I hope they are as helpful with chores in their own homes. Children also built mini homes out of magnet shapes and NEXUS connector blocks. They were so proud of their creations.

The children decided that they needed a car for the family of the home to get from place to place. They were so excited to paint the pop up cardboard Volvo car that was donated to the school earlier in the year by the McCarthys.

It is so big now that it has been painted and assembled, that it won’t fit out the door! There goes teacher’s plan of raffling it off!  Children loved getting inside the car and pretending they were driving it during AISTEAR role play. Take a look at the photos to see the fun that was had!



School Tour

Junior Infants went on their school tour to Leahy’s Open Farm on Friday 9th June. They had a fun-filled day incorporating a variety of activities. They saw and fed many animals on the farm, had a spin on the mini-tractors, went down the super scary ‘Big Drop Slide’, climbed to the top of the climbing frame, set up camp in the enchanted forest, made a wish in the leprechaun tunnel and explored both indoor play areas.


Junior Infants learn about the Fire Station

Throughout the month of February, children in Junior Infants learned all about the fire station as part of their ‘Aistear-learning through play’ theme.

During Aistear time, children learned about the fire station at 3 different stations: ‘Role Play Station’, ‘Small World Station’ and ‘Creative Station’. Children got into role as fire fighters and used vocabulary associated with the fire station when playing at the various stations.
They then visited Fermoy Fire Station where they got a guided tour of the station by local fire fighters. The children prepared questions to interview the firefighters about their job. They were shown uniforms and equipment in the station and got the chance to explore both fire trucks. Each child had a turn spraying the hose and got a fire safety pack to take home.
Take a look at some of our Aistear photographs below to see the great fun that the children had learning about the fire station.

Junior Infants really enjoyed our recent history lesson when they compared clothes from the past with modern clothes. Children brought in clothes from parents, grandparents and even great grandparents to show off to their peers. They also brought in a favourite item of clothing that they wear now to compare with the style of clothes worn long ago. Junior Infants were great at sorting the clothes into two sets ‘old’ and ‘new’. They really have an eye for detail. Some of their reasons for identifying clothes as ‘old’ were; dull, boring, black and dirty. Some reasons for identifying clothes as new/modern were; glittery, bright, colourful, nice designs and clean. Take a look at the pictures below to see our lesson in action.

Aistear in Junior Infants and Le Chéile

The Supermarket


Junior Infants and Le Chéile began ‘Aistear- learning through play’ in October with the theme of ‘The Supermarket’. This theme was very relevant to the children’s lives and so they could all make real life connections throughout their learning. The children learned a new range of vocabulary throughout the month to help them with Aistear, including; receipt, cheque, cash register, conveyor belt, aisle etc. The children took on the role of customers, shopkeepers, deli workers, butchers, bakers and shop floor assistants at the Role Play Station. They made fridges, freezers, store rooms, tills etc. at the ‘Junk Art’ and ‘Construction’ stations. They also developed their sorting skills by sorting various foods into their correct categories i.e. fruit, vegetables, poultry, grain and dairy.


The children got the chance at the end of this theme to put all that they had learned into practice when we went to the local supermarket. Each child brought €2 and got to choose and buy their own item, completely independently at the till. They absolutely loved this and were very proud of themselves for being so responsible.


You can see some of our AISTEAR photographs below.

The Post Office


Throughout the month of November, the children explored the theme of the ‘Post Office’. They learned about the job of a postal worker and began to understand more about how the postal system works. The children enjoyed writing letters to each other and ‘buying’ stamps for their letters at the Post Office in our role play area. This theme helped the children to develop their writing skills, sorting skills and conversational skills. Children enjoyed taking turns at being the postal worker and delivered letters to Mr. de Róiste and to our secretary, Carmel.

The children were very excited when the local postman popped in for a visit during AISTEAR one morning. They asked him many questions about his job and discovered that he sometimes delivers up to 400 letters a day! They also found out that he needs to get up very early in the morning to start his day and that his job can be very tiring at times. He prefers it in the summer months when the weather is sunny and bright.


Take a look at some of our AISTEAR photographs below to truly understand how much the children enjoyed this theme.

Santa’s Workshop


In December, the children’s excitement for Christmas was heightened when our AISTEAR theme was ‘Santa’s Workshop’. This followed nicely from our theme of ‘The Post Office’ as the children were writing letters to Santa and making lists. They used the class post box to ‘send’ their letters to Santa. During the Aistear stations, the children took on the role of Santa’s elves, making toys in Santa’s Workshop. They also visited Santa’s Grotto where they cooked meals with Mrs. Claus and got to tell Santa their Christmas lists. They helped Santa by sorting toys into the correct sacks for the boys and girls on the nice list.


As you can imagine, this theme really brought Christmas spirit alive in our classrooms.


The Arctic!


Back in January, Junior Infants and Le Chéile learned all about the Arctic during English, geography, science, drama and art lessons.  They also spent the month of January ‘learning through play’ at our AISTEAR stations which were based on the theme – ‘The Arctic Hotel’.


Children from Junior Infants and Le Chéile were very lucky to get a visit from Dona, a native Inuit woman, from Canada. Dona came to visit the children to speak about life as an Inuit long ago and life as an Inuit now. She also answered the children’s questions about the Arctic regions and about Inuit life.

The children impressed her with their questions and knowledge about food, clothing, animals, transport and schooling in the Arctic.

Dona brought in stone sculptures from her native country of a polar bear and an inukshuk and told the children some facts about each of them.

She read the children a modern fairytale inspired by Canadian Inuit legend called ‘Hide and Sneak’. The story touched on some traditional Inuit folklore and values about the Inukshuk and Ijiraqq . The book really engaged the children and captured their imagination.


The children loved learning about the Arctic and enjoyed interviewing Dona to find out even more information. Take a look at our photos below!

The Fire Station


Throughout the month of February, children in Junior Infants and Le Chéile learned all about the fire station as part of their ‘Aistear-learing through play’ theme.

During this  Aistear time, children learned about the fire station at  four different stations: ‘Role Play Station’, ‘Small World Station’, Sand and Water Station’ and ‘Creative Station’. Children got into role as fire fighters and used vocabulary associated with the fire station when playing at the various stations. They really enjoyed this theme, and it didn’t end there!

Junior Infants paid a visit to the Fermoy fire station where they were given a guided tour of the station by the local fire fighters. The children prepared questions in advance to interview the firefighters about their job.

They really enjoyed their trip.


Take a look at some of our Aistear photographs below to see the great fun that the children had learning about the fire station.

The Farm

Our theme for the month of April was ‘The Farm’. Children learned about the job of a farmer during history, geography and science lessons. They also developed their understanding about the farm during our AISTEAR lessons and oral language lessons that took place throughout the month. At the art station, children created farm animal masks. During the small world and role play areas, children got into role as farmers and animals at the farm. Children also began to problem solve to fix things in the farm that were broken and began to build new stables and barns to house new calves etc. that were ‘born’ during the role play session. The children developed a keen interest in this theme and are now very much looking forward to our upcoming school tour where we will be visiting ‘Leahy’s Open Farm’.

Take a look at some of our ‘Farm’ pictures below to see what the children got up to during Aistear.

IMG_3391 IMG_2144 IMG_3065 IMG_3335 IMG_3348 IMG_3357 IMG_3372 IMG_3380 IMG_3383 IMG_3391


The Vet

Our AISTEAR theme for the month of May is ‘The Vet’. This theme followed nicely from last month’s ‘The Farm’ as the children were greatly interested in the animals and looking after them. During AISTEAR the children learned about the role of the Vet and the importance of a Vet for animals. They learned all about the equipment that a Vet uses and loved learning the names for some of these, i.e. Stethoscope, thermometer, syringe etc. The children took on the role of the Vet, the receptionist, the assistant Vet and the clients who brought their pets to the ‘Pet Surgery’. They further developed their vocabulary and sorting skills during ‘small world station’ and ‘sensory station’.

On 11th May 2016, the children received a visit from a local Vet and parent of one of the children, Edward Myers. The children prepared questions in advance of the visit and were excited to find out more about the Vet. Ed very kindly brought his golden retriever ‘Sandy’ with him, which was a great hit with the children. They adored petting Sandy and really enjoyed watching his eyes, ears and heart being checked by the Vet. They developed their knowledge of the Vet by asking their questions and they were given some tips on how to look after their own pets.

See our pictures below to understand why many of the children called this day ‘The Best Day Ever’.


Keep an eye out for our next theme which will begin in June!

Autumn Art

The pupils of Castlelyons have been embracing Autumn over the past number of weeks. All the classes have used a variety of art materials to create beautiful autumnal masterpieces.

This post showcases the works of our artists in junior infants, senior infants, Rang 1 and Rang 2.

“Every child is an artist” Pablo Picasso

image4 (3)Junior Infants and Le Cheile

Junior Infants and Le Cheile have been very busy. Junior infants created beautiful Autumn trees, the pupils used a variety of paints to reflect the change of season. The trees are proudly displayed around the classroom. Le Cheile made squirrels complete with orange, red and yellow painted tails. Hedgehogs can be found hiding in the back of the Junior Infant classroom, they are very special hedgehogs because the hedgehogs have gold glitter spikes.

image1 (12) Senior Infants 

Senior Infants created a fantastic Autumn display in the classroom. Pupils painted white plates with the colours that inspire them during this season. The plates are a great representation of the Autumn colours that surround the school. Pupils brought in leaves and other items to present below the display,bringing some of the outdoors into the senior infant classroom.

image3 (3) Rang 1

Rang 1 used warm autumn paints to create autumn print art. The pupils first sponge painted a large white sheet in either yellow, red or orange. Next, using materials such as bottle tops, the pupils dipped the materials in black paint and used a print method to create different vehicles.

image5 (2) Rang 2

Rang 2  too inspiration from the works of Pablo Picasso. The pupils created line drawings from the world around them. The pupils focused on autumn scenes, which feature pumpkins and autumn dancing autumn leaves falling from trees.