Dalkey School Project/Forest Friday

Session 7

This week we had to inspect the trees for loose branches on our way up to base camp after hurricane Ophelia on Monday. The children noticed lots more small branches and twigs on the ground and some fallen trees.

We spent this session preparing for our parents session next week which will have a halloween theme. During the week in school they looked at a slide show of work they made in the forest two years ago to inspire them with ideas today.

The children practiced story telling. They recapped from memory the story they were told during session 4 – The Apple Star Story and between them built up the full story. They will each be able to tell their parent this story next week.


The group chose ‘Moth and Bat’ game to play with parents. They tried it out with different sounds and three and four moths.IMG_2297 copy

The parents are going to have a great session next week as the children have planned exciting Halloween ideas. The had some basic materials to try out their ideas; clay, string, paper, charcoal and wire.

Below – Making Sparklers.

Below – Making a Bonfire and a game they have called- Jump the Bonfire.

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Below – Making costumes with nature.

Below – Scary Tree Masks

Below Spiders and Webs

Below – Ghosts

Below – Bodies rising from the earth.

IMG_2318 copySixth class enjoyed rock climbing so much last week that we had our lunch up at the rocks and they had some free play time to explore or sit.





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Dalkey School/Forest Friday

Session 6

Theme – Wandering and MappingIMG_4110

We began with a new game to use our senses and build up trust.

Bat and Moth

  • Form the group in a circle and ask for a volunteer to be the bat and another to be the moth
  • The rest of the group become the cave wall
  • Get the bat and moth each to make up a call for themselves – keep the sounds simple
  • The bat has to catch the moth, using sound rather than sight. Every time the bat calls, the moth must reply immediately.
  • The players forming the cave wall must also make the sound back to the bat, if he/she calls while close to the wall

During the sessions the children have been asking to explore parts of Killiney hill that they haven’t been to, so today are theme was wandering.

The idea is that the children get to  follow their curiosity.  The children chose and agreed on when and where and how to wander.



They used the compass throughout their wandering to orientate themselves.

They worked out which way the wind was coming from. Oliver decided it must be from Spain as he faced the South and felt warm wind on his face.

Map making

The children were asked-

‘To make a map what information do we need?

Perceive the landscape from a bird’s eye view.

Discuss what is permanent in the landscape and what is temporary.

Mark in N.S.E.and W. Mark in big permanent features of Killiney Hill.

Come up with your own names for different places as you do when walking to base camp.”

Children wandered and chose when to stop and where. They stopped regularly to map along the way.

Fourth Class


The children stopped regularly to inspect new things along the way.

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Sixth Class

The children chose to visit Eagle Rock.They took turns leading in groups of 2 and 3. It was very exciting and exhilarating as the rock is up a very steep track and there were gasps of amazement and appreciation of the view.

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IMG_4159Sit Spot

The children were grateful to have a quiet time to finish their maps and rest in the sun.

Reflection circle:

I am grateful for

Going wandering about the hill

I noticed it was really warm

The wind came from the south


I am grateful for

When someone would lead somewhere

You would find something good at that spot


I am grateful

That we were good at staying together

I liked making maps

And leaving base camp


I am grateful for

Going to the eagle

I noticed the cliffs


I am grateful for

the beautiful weather

That we all worked together


I am grateful for

Daragh showing us the eagle eye

Ollie showing everyone the way down


I am grateful for

permission to go right to the top

and the nice views


I am grateful for

The group coming together

Patience showing me where to put my feet


I am grateful

we have been a really good group.


Mr. Doohan’s Group


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Holy Family N.S – Week 3 – Visit to Aideen Barry Exhibition at DLR LexIcon

This week Ms.Comyn’s Senior Infants and Mr.Barry’s 5th and 6th Class came to visit Aideen Barry’s exhibition Slice, Vast, Deep at Muncipal Gallery, DLR Lexicon. I had spoken a little bit about the artist last week and some of the themes and ideas in her work. We had talked about how she is interested in the library as a world full of books and each book containing another world, the idea of the otherworld and being transported to another world, dream worlds or worlds of imagination through portals.

With Senior Infants we had talked about and explored the ideas of big and small/ micro and macro that are in the exhibition. We talked about how the work is made how Aideen Barry is a multi-media artist, this means she works with different materials and technology which you would not think an artist would use. Senior Infants really enjoyed the moving projections on the drawings and how the animations interacted with the drawings. So much so that when we were in the Project Room doing our own drawings Evan thought it would be good to see his drawing animated so we tried out projecting Aideen’s animations onto our drawings to see how they interacted with our drawings.

5th and 6th Class were also interested in the projections on the drawings and how portals into the uncanny moving body parts under the drawing of the mountain. Leyton remembered how it was like the drawings we had done the first week using graphite and creating holes and portals in our drawings into the otherworld. After looking at the exhibition 5th and 6th Class created their own pop up buildings and mini cities and some worked on concertina books.

Very enjoyable morning with the two class groups at the Lexicon!

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5th/ 6th Class – Holy Family N.S – Week 2 – Perspective Drawings

Following on from last weeks expressive drawings from imagination we had begun drawing imaginary worlds. To follow on with this and looking at drawing scale drawings I thought it might be a good idea to give some help and skills on drawing in perspective so the group can create their imaginary worlds. Also it was a beautiful day and the class were quite restless so I thought it would be a good idea to take a breather and take in some perspective in our surrounding environment.

So we worked on some basic one point perspective drawings with road disappearing onto the horizon and line of trees decreasing in size following line of perspective. The class worked well on these drawings although a few struggled with getting the trees to stand up by having them perpendicular to the bottom of the paper or parallel to the sides. We repeated this a number of times to try and get the drawings working. We then used these skills out in the field beside the school – finding the line of the horizon, vanishing point and drawing in lines of perspective. The session was a little frenetic as this is a big class group and there is a big mix of personality in the two class groups.

We finished by getting the class group to stand in perspective and use their shadows to emphasis the line of perspective.

And then we had a chat about our visit to Aideen Barry’s exhibition at Muncipal Gallery, dlr LexIcon next week.


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Senior Infants – Holy Family N.S – Week 2: Smaller and Smaller and Inside Out

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We began by recapping on last week’s session and to further our explorations on ideas of small we began thinking of words for small – so we had

Small, Little, Baby, Mini, Tiny, Teeny, Tinchy, Winchy, and Wintzy!

Then everyone got a magnifying glass to look more closely at the sycamore seeds we had collected last week. When we moved the magnifying glass back and forward we could see lines, patterns and textures on the small seeds. We made some drawings of the seeds putting in details. 

We then moved on to looking at some apples – looking at them with the magnifying glass we could see spots, and dots and lines and stripes of colour. We began drawings of the outside of the apple. We then cut the apples in different ways to reveal the inside of the apple. What different colours, patterns, shapes and textures there were inside. Then we found some seeds inside so we decided to try and cut the seeds in half and see what was inside them. With the help of our magnifying glass we could see white spongy lines inside the seeds. We did some more drawings of the tiny seeds. To finish we used the colour pencils to make colour samples – using one colour on top of the other to get different tones of the reds, yellows and greens of the apples.

After breaks we looked at some close up images of different animal skins – we all got a little bit confused between the giraffes, cheetah, leopard and jaguar skins! (Claire will have to do some animal skin homework!)


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Dalkey School Project/ Forest Friday

Session 5

The children were shown a slide show yesterday in school on Land Art, the Spiral Jetta by Robert Smithson, work by Andy Goldsworthy and Land Art they made two years ago on Forest Friday. The slide show then introduced them to the mobiles of Alexander Calder. Mobile c.1932 by Alexander Calder 1898-1976

Today we discussed the work they saw in the slide show and how they might make a mobile from objects in the forest. On our way up to the base camp we took new routes and gathered things for their mobile sculptures.

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During free play time one child made a piece of Land Art.

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Story:  Anxious leaf

Once upon a time a little leaf was heard to sigh and cry, as leaves often do when a gentle wind is about. And the twig said, “What is the matter, little leaf?” And the leaf said, “The wind just told me that one day it would pull me off and throw me down to die on the ground!”

The twig told it to the branch on which it grew, and the branch told it to the tree. And when the tree heard it, it rustled all over, and sent back word to the leaf, “Do not be afraid. Hold on tightly, and you shall not go till you want to.”

And so the leaf stopped sighing, but went on nestling and singing. Every time the tree shook itself and stirred up all its leaves, the branches shook themselves, and the little twig shook itself, and the little leaf danced up and down merrily, as if nothing could ever pull it off. And so it grew all summer long, till October.

And when the bright days of autumn came the little leaf saw all the leaves around becoming very beautiful. Some were yellow and some scarlet, and some striped with both colours. Then it asked the tree what it meant. And the tree said, “All these leaves are getting ready to fly away, and they have put on these beautiful colours because of joy.”

Then the little leaf began to want to go, too, and grew very beautiful in thinking of it, and when it was very gay in colour it saw that the branches of the tree had no bright colour in them, and so the leaf said, “O branches! why are you lead-colour and we golden?”

“We must keep on our work-clothes, for our life is not done – but your clothes are for holiday, because your tasks are over,” said the branches.

Just then a little puff of wind came, and the leaf let go, without thinking of it, and the wind took it up and turned it over and over, and whirled it like a spark of fire in the air, and then it dropped gently down under the edge of the fence, among hundreds of leaves, and fell into a dream, and it never woke up to tell what it dreamed about.


They children were asked to create a piece of land art/mobile inspired from the slide show and to have

–          Something hanging

–          Uses a knot

–          Has some symmetry

The had a look at the tools and materials available to them. String, scissors, wire, pliers and a palm drill.

They noticed that some acorns were beginning to sprout.

Even with a broken arm, beautiful work was made.

Miriam’s group composed a lovely poem together at the end of their session.

I am grateful for

rustling above me, a squirrel

a wind like an earthquake

autumn time, the pretty leaves

looking up, trees swaying in the wind

looking down, smooth leaves, crunchy leaves

branches hanging like a waterfall

how peaceful it was

I heard the wind in the leaves and sticks

I heard the birds whistling

woodlouse crawling on the ground

a dog barking

magpies flying, blue and white and black.

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5th/ 6th Class, Holy Family N.S – Week 1: Going to the Otherworld……

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This year 5th and 6th Class have been amalgamated into one big class of 28 students with Mr.Barry as their class teacher. As I have been with both of these class groups since they were in Senior Infants we began today by having We Remember Creativity in the Classroom! Project we have worked on over the last number of years!

We are going to be visiting artist Aideen Barry‘s exhibition Slice, Vast, Deep at the Municipal Gallery, dlr LexIcon in a couple of weeks. Aideen is inspired by books, the world of imagination and other worlds within books and how in a library there world of imagination can be opened up by the thousands of books in the library! We talked about some of our favourite books and the worlds of imagination within.

So then we closed our eyes and imagined ourselves out as sea….drifting out to the horizon, up and down on the gentle waves, sun shining down as we drift across the sea. Then the wind begins to pick up….the clouds begin to gather….the sun disappears behind the gathering clouds….the rain begins…..the mists gather….So using some graphite the class began to recreate this experience through using a various marks to create expressive drawings of the storm and the gathering mists.

As the clouds begin to break we can see a light…..something has appeared beyond the mist…..like going through a portal.

Using putty rubbers we created spaces like holes in the drawing and using gel pens we drew in the otherworlds we were beginning to see beyond…..


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