A word from Maeve

A word from Maeve

On this, my first official week as Principal of Rathfarnham Educate Together National School, I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Maeve Mc Carthy and I have been working in education for more than 30 years. From 1988 to 2018, I was a member of staff of St. Pius X Girls’ National School in Terenure where I worked as both a class teacher and Special Education Teacher. During that time, I was seconded to the European School Culham in Oxfordshire for fifteen years, five of which were spent as Head of Primary. Earlier in my career, I also worked in Bhutan and Tanzania.

I was delighted to be appointed as Principal of RETNS this year. I strongly subscribe to the Educate Together values of child-centredness, democracy, equality and co-education and am very impressed with what I have learned so far about how these values are lived in RETNS. It is clear to me that the children of RETNS were very fortunate to have a dedicated and inspirational principal in Mary Carron who worked with a highly committed staff. I would like to thank Mary and all my colleagues who have helped me so much to begin to get to know our school and its culture.

 I look forward to taking on the role of principal this year, to working with my colleagues to ensure that each of your children has a happy experience in our school and achieves his or her potential as a learner.

For any parents who, like me, are new-comers to the school, I encourage you to become involved as much as possible in school life as ours is a school genuinely founded on partnership. Like all your children, I have much to learn this year and I look forward to getting to know you and your children and listening to your views too.

Best wishes to you and your children for a happy and successful school year.

Le dea-ghuí,

Maeve Mc Carthy

RETNS Community Garden beginning to take shape

RETNS Community Garden beginning to take shape

Some more great work done on Friday.


Almost ready for planting!

Thanks to all the wonderful parents, children and staff who have “dug in”, we are really beginning to see our new community garden take shape. There was great work done by Niamh, Sean, Paul, Betty and Mia at the weekend. 4 beds have the second level and all have at least one layer of mypex. Most of the bag of hardcore has been spread out. The remaining beds have their planks beside them ready to be finished. Marley Park will give us some topsoil so hopefully we can plant some veggies soon!. 

We still need lots of help, no skills needed just enthusiasm and willingness to help. Give your name to your class rep to be passed on to the gardening group whatsapp. This co-ordinates when work is happening. Anne Bradley 


3rd Class March 2018

3rd Class March 2018

The History and Geography of Peru

With a view to learning about a non-European country for SESE, Third Class have been focusing on Peru recently.  They have learned about the location, mountains, rainforests, deserts, animals, birds, food and crops and much more.  They were particularly lucky as they were able to hear all about the country from a native Peruvian.  Diego’s mum, Betty, visited the class on Wednesday March 21st and gave an amazing talk on Peru with a wonderful presentation on the IWB.  She even brought in models of authentic indigenous costumes and samples of garments made with soft Alpaca wool.  The children asked lots of questions!  Sincere thanks to Betty for being so generous with her time and for sharing her knowledge. 


Different Families, Same Love

As part of the Learn Together programme Third Class have also been working recently on the theme of Different Families, Same Love.  This is part of an initiative supported by the INTO to promote pluralism, tolerance and inclusiveness.  The class has explored the theme using posters and other  resources which highlight the vast range of different types of families.   The children then wrote acrostic poems inspired by their discussions around the topic. 



Construction has been the focus of art in Third Class over the last couple of weeks.  First the children made pictures or stick art using lollipop sticks.  The second week we went a stage further and began making 3D stick figures.  Children then dressed and decorated their characters.  They had lots of fun and also learned some tricks to ensure their figures stuck well and balanced properly. 


Performance of Dance Art

Along with all classes from Fourth Class down, Third Class watched a performance of child-focused dance/drama on Wednesday, March 21.  They were fascinated by the movement, dance and acting skills of the two performers.  The theme of the piece was child’s play, so it really caught the attention of the audience and got the thumbs up from Third Class.


Comhrá as Gaeilge/Tráth na gCeist/Céilí

To mark Seachtain na Gaeilge Third Class joined with Junior Infants to enjoy a céilí.  They danced Ionsaí na hInse (the Siege of Ennis) and then moved on to some free-style dancing to pop music “as Gaeilge”.  They even fitted in an Irish version of the Macarena! A Tráth na gCeist was held for Third and Fourth Class.  Ten joint teams were put together to compete against one another.  Questions were wide-ranging and tested their general knowledge as well as their Gaeilge.  The top two teams won a “duais beag”. To further inspire conversational Irish in the classroom, Third Class now has a display of children’s photographs and useful everyday Irish expressions.  They are well worth coming to see! Children also brought in musical instruments and treated the senior classes to a bit of a session! Well done all the performers but especially Max from 3rd class who played us a wonderful piece on the guitar. 

Arcade Day

The ICT Committee organised a great Arcade Day to fundraise for new tablets etc.  Third Class really enjoyed the session where they had a ten minute slot per group on laptops, tablets and Table Tennis and Pool.  Lots of fun was had by all.  Many thanks to the ICT Committee for organising this event. 




Eric Dempsey Ornithologist visits RETNS

Eric Dempsey Ornithologist visits RETNS

Eric Dempsey on behalf of Heritage in Schools came to our school on Wednesday 15th March. He is an ornithologist which means he studies and protects birds. He had many feathers and wings from different birds. We learned a lot about birds. 

We conducted an experiment where we all put our hands up behind our ears and Eric got a whole barn owls wing and he flapped it but we could hear no noise. Then he got out a single swan feather and flapped it and it was very loud compared to the barn owl. There’s little hairs on the back of the owls wing to decrease wind resistance and this helps to reduce noise. He told us how to distinguish between a left wing feather and a right wing feather on a swan. They are different shapes. The tail feathers of a peacock and a finch on the male spreads out and whichever bird had the most colourful tail spread would attract the best mate. This also worked to protect the male bird’s territory.

Swallows: Once a year they make a journey that is 10,000km to summer in South Africa while it is winter in Ireland and then they come back to Ireland via the Sahara Desert. They stop in the middle of the rain forest to eat bugs, drink water to prepare themselves for the journey across the Sahara. It takes five days and nights to cross the desert and they don’t stop to rest. The swallows in your area always come back to where they were born. Not all of them survive.

All of third class found Eric very interesting and they listened attentively. Eric gave us a gift. Once a year, spend five seconds to look at your first swallow in spring and think about the incredible journey that little bird who weighs the same as ½ bag of crisps with the brain the size of a pea has undertaken to get back to Ireland.

By Connie & Alex