Mary

Christmas Shoe-Box Appeal

We would like to thank all of the parents and children who took part in this year’s Christmas Shoe-Box Appeal. The children had great fun filling the boxes and wrapping them, before placing them under our tree for collection. The Christmas Shoe-Box Appeal is for a great cause and children around the globe will have some very special gifts to open this year, so we’re delighted to be a part of that. Wishing all of our parents, children, and staff a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

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Big Weekend Ahead for the Early Learning Schools’ Team

Earlier this summer, we were delighted to host the Nationwide team as they filmed in each of our three Early Learning Schools. We wanted to let you know that the programme will air this Friday, 4th September, so make sure to tune into RTE One at 7pm and see if you can spot a few familiar faces!

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Also this weekend, Glen Outdoor School, Barrack, Glenswilly is hosting a Family Fundraising Open Day on Sunday, 6th September, from 4-6pm. It’s a great chance for parents and children to view and explore our outdoor setting as well as having lots of fun.

Children of all ages will be entertained with face-painting and outdoor arts and crafts. Activities include the chance for children to make their own musical instrument from nature, as well as potting a plant to bring home. While there will be lots of free activities on the day, we’re also hoping to raise funds for the Ray of Sunshine charity through a delicious barbecue.

Sally is among 23 volunteers in the county who will travel to Mombasa, Kenya in early 2016 to help build schools for children, as part of the Ray of Sunshine charity.

All are welcome and we hope to see you there! Make sure to spread the word and bring your friends…

 

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Summer Camp Fun In All Sorts of Weather

A lack of sunshine didn’t dampen our fun this summer and we really enjoyed hosting a series of week long summer camps throughout June, July and August. Each of the summer camps had a different theme combining the magic of the outdoors with science experiments, natural arts and crafts, drama and music, water fun, baking and getting fit. The children had a ball. Check out the pictures below…

 

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Early Learning Schools’ Summer Camps

Our summer camps are in full swing and the children are having a ball. And with weather like today our outdoor schools are the perfect place to be. We still have some availability for later in the summer so give us a call to book your children’s place today….

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Three Early Childhood Ireland Awards For Glen Outdoor School

We really enjoyed our night at the Early Childhood Ireland ‘Play on the Brain Conference’ in Dublin last weekend. It was great to meet so many other childcare professionals around Ireland and it was lovely to catch up with old friends.

 

We were thrilled that the Glen Outdoor School won two learning stories’ awards, as well as an overall award on the night. It really was the icing on the cake.

 

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The conference was also very useful in terms of discussing key issues affecting our profession including commercial rates and VAT, ECCE issues, inspection processes, support for children with additional needs, as well as issues around recognising the childcare sector as a profession with appropriate pay and conditions.

 

Congratulations to all our staff and to the parents and children who support us. We couldn’t do it without everyone’s help and it really is a great team effort.

 

Thumbs up from everybody at Glen Outdoor School.

Early Childhood Ireland Awards at Croke Park Conference Centre

We’re very excited about the upcoming Early Childhood Ireland ‘Play on the Brain’ conference which is being held this weekend, Friday 17th and Saturday 18th April at the Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin. The two day event will involve over 40 inspirational early years’ practitioners and practices from around the country and will recognise the positive impact they have on children and families. The awards will be presented by Nóirín Hayes, visiting Professor at the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin and our very own Glen Outdoor School team will receive two ‘Learning Stories’ awards. We are also in the running to receive an ‘Overall’ award at the conference.

ECI-LogoThe first award is in recognition of The Glen Outdoor School “Enormous Turnip” activity. The activity takes places in autumn, the same time as harvest season and the children re-enacted The Enormous Turnip story so they could harvest their own pumpkin. The children put so much effort into it and they had to pull and transport the pumpkin. Parents often ask, how will we do all this and we reply, the Glenswilly way….

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The second award, which has been shortlisted for the overall award, is in recognition of “Our Christmas Play”. The children gathered their ideas of what they’d like their Christmas play to look like and then went around and gathered up all natural, outdoor materials to create their stage and setting. It was truly wonderful to watch children use their imagination and create something brilliant from the materials that surrounded them. They’re hoping to have something very special for next year too.

 

Early Childhood Ireland represents over 3,500 childcare professional members who support over 100,000 children and their families through preschool, afterschool and full day-care provision nationwide. We’re honoured to be recognised in this way and we look forward to a great night on Friday. For more information on the awards and Early Childhood Ireland contact Carmel Doyle 087 247 3537.

Tree Planting in Letterkenny’s Cathedral Quarter

We were delighted to join members of Letterkenny’s Cathedral Quarter committee in Sentry Hill last week for a tree planting ceremony. The tree was part of our entry into the White Winter Garden Competition in the Church Lane last December. We donated it to the committee as a symbol of the re-growth and regeneration currently taking place in Letterkenny’s Cathedral Quarter.

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Committee members Donnan Harvey and Mary Hegarty were present at the replanting of the Green Beech tree. The Cathedral Quarter originally began as the Save the Church Lane campaign. Since its formation last year, the project has gathered significant momentum in its efforts to regenerate the historical Church Lane. The long term goal is to create a hidden treasure in the heart of Letterkenny for locals and tourists to enjoy.

 

With Paddy’s Day fast approaching, there will be a series of outdoor concerts in Letterkenny’s Cathedral Quarter on Saint Patrick’s Day, this Tuesday, 17th March 2015. Parade spectators will be kept entertained by a variety of traditional music and dance performances on Letterkenny’s Church Lane. The Cathedral Quarter committee will also be participating in the Letterkenny St. Patrick’s Day Parade. There promises to be lots of colour and a great atmosphere and organisers are hoping for a large turnout to celebrate our national holiday.  

For more information log onto www.facebook.com/SaveTheChurchLane.

Parent Information Evenings

We’re hosting a series of information evenings for parents on the benefits of outdoor play in childhood. It’s a great opportunity to find out more about our schools and there’s no obligation to register. Come along, have a chat and get answers to any questions you might have. You can also meet some of our parents who’d be happy to tell you why outdoor schooling is right for their children. Here are the details (double click on the image to enlarge it) and please feel free to spread the word….

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And here’s an article on our schools from The Letterkenny Post…

 

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The Benefits of Outdoor Winter Play

We have so few snow days in Ireland, so when they come along, it’s wonderful to make the most of them. Our children had great fun playing in the snow these past few days but aside from great fun, there are very real benefits to outdoor winter play….

Pure Fresh Air

The viruses that cause flu and colds are more common in the winter months. More often than not, these viruses circulate indoors, in closed environments. Snow is exhilarating, as is the pure fresh air we breathe on days like today.

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Strengthen Immune System

Playing outside is brilliant for children’s immune systems. There are numerous studies linking outdoor activity to additional health benefits.

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Stimulate the Imagination

Making a snowman is brilliant fun for children (not to mention adults!). It allows them to express themselves in play, creatively and freely, without being bound by pre-set limitations. The children’s creativity and imagination was unlimited as they worked and shaped the snow. And they were delighted to see their hard work transform the snow into their very own snowman. 

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Physical Exercise

Snow days provide so many great opportunities for outdoor fun and adventure. Playing in the snow provides children with unrestricted space and endless opportunities to stimulate their play, learning and physical development.

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Fun Memories

Wrapping up warm to play with friends and family in the snow gives children memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Building snowmen and making snow angels are great fun, even more so because children appreciate that these days don’t come along too often. 

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone. Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015. We had a lovely festive break and are looking forward to the start of a brand new year. Before Christmas, we were delighted to win best group entry in The Cathedral Quarter’s ‘White Winter Christmas Garden’ which was unveiled on the Church Lane in Letterkenny. The initiative invited schools in the town to design and create Christmas window boxes for the Cathedral Quarter and here’s our winning entry…

 

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And here is our 2015 calendar, which is going down a treat….

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