Food Glorious Food – Lunch boxes, Oliver & other Notes

The term is whizzing by and we at Hedley are gearing up for the Halloween Spooktacular that is our annual Witches Walk, this year we are meeting at the “big steps” just inside the side gate of Merrion Square at 11.30am on Friday October 28th.  It’s a lovely high note on which to begin our half day to the first midterm of the academic year.

Last year we encountered a lost Witch in the park and with the aid of our brave and clever pupils we found all the ingredients for her spell! She thanked us for our kindness by casting a “sweet spell” which we all enjoyed! 🙂

Bats, Newts and a box of Frogs, thats some lunch list Ms Witch!

I am looking forward to all the cute and cool costumes the children come to school in. On the morning of the Witches Walk we will have face painting and some fun party games to get everyone in  spirit! 🙂

Parents are reminded that our midterm break begins after the Witches Walk; so all children are to bring a small snack and no lunch on the day.  The air can be nippy this time of year so costume wearers should remember warm undergarments, tights or a wizardly cloak to keep away the chill on our hunt!

On the topic of keeping in good health, a note about our “Healthy Hearty Lunch Policy”. As you are aware we encourage fruit and veg, fresh milk or plain water and balanced protein and carbohydrate lunches and snacks only.  We offer food heating for those who prefer their child to enjoy a hot lunch, but sometimes a cold choice of colorful food groups are more appetizing to a young child.

We all want to give our children a balanced and enticing lunch but sometimes inspiration can be hard, when you are tired, under time pressure and perhaps stuck in a rut. I found this great website with lunch box ideas that are sure to get even the pickiest eaters bitten by the “bento box” bug.

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I’ve included a couple of my favorites, but go check out Wendolina’s blog for yourself!

Here is  her_Lunch_Box_Idea_List Save it and print it out, then pin it to the fridge. This takes the pain out of packed lunches  just make sure you have 2 from the carbs, 1  from the protein, 2 fruit, 2 veg and a little bit of dairy, to keep those bones strong. Scrumptious snack time awaits!

Our last food related note is another of the annual Hedley Park events, The Big Breakfast Together. It takes place on the morning of Thursday, 18th November. There will be lots of healthy breakfast fare, and some special treats to share so make sure you pencil it in. It’s a lovely morning and all the family are welcome to come spend some time together in Hedley with us all.

I’m sure by now all you parents are aware of our drama selection for The Christmas Show. Last year it was a “Pirates Life for Me” with Peter Pan but this year, “You can Consider Yourself One of Us!” as we are all living the life of Oliver! in the West End adaptation of Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist.

Please Sir, Can I have some more?

It will be a “Fine Life”  watching Fagins gang, “Picking a Pocket or Two” and I for one will “Do Anything” to be there, in the Pavillion Theatre on the day itself. The Dress Rehearsal is planned for Wednesday 7th December (All children from Junior Infants upwards must attend the theatre) there will be school as normal for the preschool children. The Grand Performance will be Thursday 15th December, all staff and pupils will be required to meet at the theatre that day as the school building will be closed. I know this won’t be the last you’ll hear of our grand performance, but it’s time now to mark those days on the planner to make sure you miss nothing of the action!

Hedley's Beanies mean Warm Ears!

Finally don’t forget, as the weather turns crisper we should wrap up warm for our daily park outings. Last years popular beanie hats are back again, and keep those ears toasty warm. Our school scarf, and the warm wool winter overcoat  along with an extra pair of thick socks in our Wellington boots keep jack frost at bay as we hunt for acorns and horse chestnuts!

Warmest Wishes from the Staff and Students at Hedley Park.

PS. On Monday of this week we passed 9,000 views of the blog, so I want to say a quick thank you to you all. In a little over 12months of posting thats a really great stat for viewership, so thanks  again for reading our blog and passing it on to friends and family. I personally love sharing the work of our young learners and its wonderful to know people are enjoying reading it! Thank You!

Big School News: The day the Taoiseach popped in for tea! (or a snug)

Enda seated at his special An Taoiseach Table.

It’s been an eventful season of dignitary spotting thus far for Hedley Park students, from waving at Queen Elizabeth II, and waiting for President Obama. This week was without doubt the highlight with an event that had the big school engulfed in excitement.

Our Taoiseach Enda Kenny had arranged to come to see the children of Hedley Park. Being so close to the school Mr Kenny walked from the Department office on the sunny Wednesday morning flanked by his advisor and bodyguard (the bodyguard caused lots of excitement among the waiting students)

Eagerly awaiting An Taoiseach

Greeted by Aoibh (whose birthday it was that day) and Felix, An Taoiseach was warmly welcomed by the children and parents. We had prepared well for the occasion and decorated Senior Infants classroom with the flags of Ireland and Co Mayo, just so Enda would feel at home.

Enda dons his Hedley Park Badge

We had also made a Hedley Park “Badge of Honour” which was presented to him by Elsa and Tristan, Mr Kenny was delighted with the gift and told us he’d hang it in his office.

Commemorative page signed by Enda Kenny

He also gave us something to mark the occasion and signed our 20th Anniversary guest book. The children afterwards took the time to immortalize the day with their drawings of our honourable guest for the book.

We are not sure if An Taoiseach expected the mini “press conference” we had prepared, but the children of Hedley Park are used to public speaking and took the opportunity with both hands. Questions ranged from “When will you cut interest rates?” (from Norah in Junior Infants – all her own research no doubt) to “What is your favourite chocolate bar?” (from Michael in Senior Infants)

Raise your hand if you have a question.

Two of my favourite questions were “Have you ever been to India, and would you visit my grandparents if you go”? (from Amlan in Junior Infants) and “Have you ever been to Lego Camp?” (from Cian in the nursery) Its thought that two bookings have already been made by the Department of the Taoiseach on these recommendations.

Phoebe with the Taoiseach

The children of Junior Infants provided a very entertaining musical interlude, which was much enjoyed by all, students, parents, teachers and of course the venerable guest. Having detained Enda from his important government business long enough he said goodbye with a flurry of handshakes (big and small) and a special An Taoiseach Snug from Richard.

A Richard Snug!

We are sure we made a lasting impression and I know we will all remember the day we had An Taoiseach to visit.

Here’s a little gallery of the best of the day, and a sample of the children’s commemorative drawings.

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Everyone smiled at our crocodiles!

Our gala performance of Peter Pan was memorable for many reasons. Waking up on December 21st to find a winter wonderland outside our windows we knew this was going to be a day to remember.  We had all worked very hard to ensure the 20th anniversary performance of the Hedley Park Christmas play would be one to talk about, and it seemed even mother nature was doing her best to help it stand out!

The Darling Nursery

Teachers arriving early at the theatre were treated to a surprise snowball fight from three of our cute cast members, Phoebe, Scarlett & Jules.  All morning as our parents brought our stars to dress rehearsal the soft falling snow provided a magical backdrop. However nothing proved more magical than seeing all our little ones on stage relishing the performance.

Cutest Crocodiles lie in wait for Captain Hook!

Of course, as all our parents will know we had spent weeks prior to the big day rehearsing with Ashley and our drama teacher Esther, practising our lines and songs, learning stages cues and generally enjoying the show.

Lost Boys in training!

 

 

I’m not sure anyone will forget “Following the Leader” and “Never Smile at a Crocodile” as we sung it at snack, lunch, playtime, and I can imagine even in our sleep!

Jnr. Stage Designers in action!

The big school cast members helped to create the props. Designing and painting each item. Some students even brought in items from home to make the stage perfect in every scene!

Ladies that Louis Vuitton

 

 

 

We had our usual day long pre show rehearsal in the week before the play. It’s a tiring day and some of our older students knew to pace themselves and reserve energy. Finding our Ashley’s beautiful LV scarf they settled themselves to watch their friends on stage wrapped in their new blanket.  These ladies know how to relax in style.

Indian Braves and Lost Boys.

Pirate SnuggMonster!

The day itself whizzed by, the calm air backstage belied all the work put in by staff and students alike. As usual our little stage stars rose to the occasion wowing the audience with their performances. Well behaved, full of fun and not in the least bit fazed by being on stage.  Every year under the guidance of our directress Ashley and our Drama & Music teachers, the children blossom into their roles and it is a joy to see.

The finale of our version of Peter Pan saw all the cast on stage for the (home-made) 20th Anniversary Birthday Cake. And accompanied by our staff we sang a wonderful rendition of Dionne Warrick’s Motown classic “That’s What Friends Are For”

Lovely Lost Boy and Girls!

For those who  want to relive the play, the snow and the beautiful slide show of backstage photos, DVD’s can still be arranged just contact the school when collecting or leaving your child in.  I’ll leave you with a few more enchanting photos of our stars! We cant wait to find out what we’ll be doing for the 21st Hedley Park Play!

Super Cute Crocodile

Peter Pan and Tinkerbell

 

All the cast staff on stage.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to share with your family and friends that couldn’t make the show on the day.

 

Lots of love,

Staff & Pupils of Hedley Park Nursery & Prep  School.

 

Hedley Park Blog: 2010 in review

As you may know 2010 was Hedley Park’s 20th Anniversary Year, and as such we thought we’d start a few new traditions to carry us through the next 20!

The blog was one of the new ideas and we are so glad that it became as popular as it did. Daily I am delighted at how many visitors we get and the response of parents and students, past & present to what we are doing and how we are documenting that. So a big thank you from our blog mistress as your enthusiasm via comments and visits makes this such a worthwhile endeavour.

Crunchy numbers

Featured imageHere are a few statistical infobites that WordPress captured regarding the visitors to our blog!

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2010. That’s about 5 and half  747 jets of our blog visitors!

In 2010, there were 16 new posts, not bad considering we began in September! That works out at a post a week, over the 4 months Sept-Dec. There were 152 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 150mb. That’s about 9 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was September 20th with 94 views. The most popular post that day was The Pink Tower and The Post Office.

Where did they come from?

Our visitors are from all over the world, USA, UK, Saudi and India, all of which reflects the international heritage of our student body. But of course the biggest visitor group come from all over Ireland. This is so encouraging to us and we love to see all your friends, and family visiting. Let them know we’d love to read any comments they may have, or just if they’d like to say hi. 🙂

The top referring sites to the blog in 2010 were

  1. facebook.com
  2. hedleyparkmontessorischool.com
  3. twitter.com
  4. google.com

So thank you for sharing our links and passing our blog to your family and friends.

Some visitors came from online searches,  the most popular terms were

  • hedley park
  • montessori class blog,
  • top montessori school dublin
  • role play in montessori
  • art & craft montessori class.

Top Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The Pink Tower and The Post Office September 2010
1 comment

2

First Week Back. September 2010
6 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

3

Big School News: Junior Infants September 2010
8 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

4

Hedley’s Haunting Halloween! (Part 1) November 2010
2 comments

5

Big School News: 1st-6th Class Update September 2010
1 Like on WordPress.com,

So now we are back in the swing of the New Year we hope to keep informing, entertaining and enlightening you to the work of your children in our care throughout 2011.

Come back soon for a quick recap on December…. and all the new work we have been doing in January! 🙂

A HUGE thank you from all the staff and students of Hedley Park! 🙂

Big School News: So, Sewing & Sowing

With the countdown to the holiday season kicking off we wanted to share some of our fall term work with you.

Our big school senior class children have been busy bees and are proud as anything to show you their handicraft and nature work.

In celebration of National Birch Day some of the senior class participated in a photo shoot to highlight the event. They loved seeing the photographer in action, learning about composition and lighting and of course, admiring the end result; beautiful photos! One of the shots was even used in the free daily MetroHerald. Dont worry if you missed your copy, you can download it here: Birchday (08-10-10).

Birchday Photo's

 

Many of the shots are proudly displayed in their class to commemorate the fun morning and all they discovered.

 

 

Resulting from this outing the students decided to plant their own birch seeds, and with regular watering they are growing nicely.

Watering the seeds

Sprouting Birch

We’ve even seen the first sprouting from Marcella’s birch seed. With a little more love they will be ready to go home in the spring and grow tall in our families gardens.

Sunny morning in the park.

 

On another nature walk the students created some birch bark rubbings, investigating the patterns and contrasts in shading.

Rough & Smooth Boards?

This inspired them to make a very impressive full-scale birch bark trunk. Using crayons and silver paint.

 

We are sure you will agree it is very handsome.

Silver Birch

 

 

 

 

The core aspect of a Montessori community being that the activities of the community are child led. A Montessori teacher observes the talents and interests of the students, then provides inspiration, materials and projects for the children to explore and learn. In Hedley Park we are in a unique position have been with the majority of our students from the age of two. This gives us a deep understanding of each child in our care.  As a community led by the children’s interests the composition of the class members can really change the direction of the work. It became clear from the all female composition of this years class that some more traditionally gender specific projects would be well received and so the girls began a needlecraft project.

Sewing Satchels

Needle Craft Dolls

Sewing drawstring satchels, with a variety of stitching patterns and buttons to personalise their own work. The students also created needlework jars and have begun working on dolls.

Needle Craft Jars

Needlework is proving to be very popular, combining the talents of the colour and fashion sensitive students with the more technical design and mathematical minded.

Of course high on the agenda right now are the rehearsals for our 20th Anniversary Christmas Show, this year we are doing Peter Pan. So check back soon for more information on this, and perhaps we’ll treat you to some rehearsal photos! 🙂

Thanks for reading.

The staff and students of the Big School!