Tuesday, April 06, 2021

By Stephanie Bergin

DURING this recent lockdown and closure of schools, the pupils of Scoil Mhuire Senior School in Newbridge while engaging in remote learning , enjoyed an action packed few weeks in the lead up to Seachtain na Gaeilge.

This event is always keenly anticipated every year and this year was no exception.

This was an ideal opportunity to explore and celebrate our unique, Irish heritage .The children were enabled to learn about , our traditions, our legends and folklore, our historical events relayed through the medium of poetry and song.

They were afforded an opportunity to listen to our renowned Irish traditional music and song while enjoying some Irish dancing and learning some new steps. The main focus of Seachtain na Gaeilge is to celebrate our Irish language in a fun way; while highlighting our pride in our native language and recalling the words of Pádraig Pearse ‘ Tír gan teanga , tír gan anam’; a country without its language is a country without a soul .The children were encouraged to use their ‘ Cúpla Focail’ and share and enjoy this experience with their families while learning from home.

Each week the children explored different aspects of our Irish culture .In keeping with the school’s promotion of our Gaelic games, the children engaged in activities which informed them about the history of the GAA and the headquarters Croke Park.

Our children were treated to online coaching of football skills under the guidance of the former Kildare footballer Johnny Doyle and Declan O’ Toole.; an initiative of the Leinster and Kildare GAA Development . Some of the children were introduced to Gaelic Football skills while others honed and developed their skills. Ná laga Dia sibh!

Our myths and legends were integrated into our literacy programme in conjunction with some free writing activities based on several Sean Fhocail. The children were also encouraged to create some artistic responses to many well- known sean fhocail .We had the pleasure of going on virtual tours to guide us through some renowned Irish landmarks such as Áras an Uachtarán , The Cliffs of Moher, The Giant’s Causeway , Cork City Gaol, to mention but a few. Nach álainn an tír atá againn.

While it was not possible to enjoy our usual ceilí at school this year, the children enjoyed watching videos of Riverdance, and listened to some traditional Irish music courtesy of Máiread O’ Carroll who played some lively tunes on the fiddle while Catherine Berkley and Jimmy Berkley entertained us with a selection of reels on live videos. Bhaineamar go léir sult as.

Tráth na gCeist is always an exciting event during Seachtain na Gaeilge in Scoil Mhuire but this year this activity was organised on zoom in each class, the children and staff in Scoil Mhuire adjusting to the present unprecedented situation in our schools.

Artwork was also conducted through the medium of Irish as the children enjoyed Stiúideo Lucy ar Cúla 4. As usual, TG4 was very supportive in their promotion of Seachtain na Gaeilge .with their variety of ‘Cartún’ as Gaeilge. The children watched the first ‘ Scannán as Gaeilge’on Netflix ! ‘Rith Spúinse Rith’.

Singing some of our favourite Irish songs is always an integral part of the enjoyment of Seachtain na Gaeilge and we had songs go leor including ‘ Péigin Leitir Mhóir’ , ‘ Beidh Aonach Amárach’,’ Óró Sé do Bheatha Bhaile and ‘ Téir Abhaile’.

The final activity in preparation for Seachtain na Gaeilge featured a poster competition exploring what it means to be Irish or ‘ Is Éireannach mé’. The children produced very colourful artwork and their posters conveyed very interesting and original ideas. Parents and children alike participated in this activity and thoroughly enjoyed it. Maith sibhse!

The Sixth Class were provided with recipes and instructions on how to bake some traditional Irish fare such as Irish Soda Bread , thus providing them with an opportunity to practise their baking skills and appreciate our traditional Irish culinary delights.

Seachtain na Gaeilge would not be complete without the customary ‘Lá Glas’ where the children and staff dress in green!. Each class enjoyed running their green mile on our return to school on Monday prior to St Patrick’s Day as they sported forty shades of green ! It brought great joy, colour and cheer to the school community in Scoil Mhuire. What fun as Gaeilge!

Táimidme i Scoil Mhuire an bhródúil as ár gcultúr agus ár dtraidisiún Gaelach agus cé go raibh srianta curtha ar an gceiliúradh do Sheachtain na Gaeilge I mbliana deineadh go leor oibre sa bhaile chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar ár gcultúr Gaelach ag canadh, ag damhsa, ag éisteacht le ceol agus ag insint scéalta.

Bhí atmasféar fíor ghaelach ar Seesaw. Bhain na leanaí an sásamh as agus bhí muintir an tí go léir ag obair le chéile ag baint taitneamh as.

Is fíor gur ar scáth a chéile a mhairimid agus is I dteannta a chéile is treise sinn. Míle Buíochas le gach duine a thug tacaíocht dúinn i rith an ama seo.

Bí ag caint, bí ag spraoi. Is leatsa í an Ghaeilge. Maith Sibhse!

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