Dublin City Council – Local Neighbourhood Awards 2020
Kildare Place School, is the winner in the Schools Category for 2020
This is an annual competition that has been run by the city council for a number of years. Schools were asked to submit some things that there were doing in order to help children continue to appreciate their environment, particularly at this difficult time. We decided to tell them all about our new initiatives here in the school that show how we have managed and adapted for the “different” return to school this year.
During lockdown we were busy developing our outdoor spaces as we are acutely aware that time spent outside is beneficial to all our children particularly during the added stress and restrictions that affect our children. We decided as a school to make the most of a new outdoor space, and with the help of a Creative Schools grant, and our super talented Jacob, we decided to make a new outdoor classroom. It includes a seating and teaching zone, a small wildlife pond with solar fountain, a bug hotel (created using recycled milk cartons and even a new wildflower bed for the D6 Bees! We have also just planted lots of new bulbs to bring smiles to our faces in the spring!
We took our yard playing area and added new playground game stencils to engage the children and to encourage group play. We are aware with so much time spent apart there may have been some shyness within friendship groups. We were also conscious that due to the Covid restrictions we would have to reduce the space that each class had access to, so felt that having some fun activities would help keep our pupils active! These have been hugely successful and it’s amazing how the children have taken an idea and used their imaginations to create new and wonderful play activities.
Our new outdoor classroom had come in to it’s own prior to the lockdown. The days spent designing, digging and building were all worthwhile as the classes were able to take advantage of this new outdoor space.
Just before lockdown we were delighted to welcome RTE to the school to film a short piece for the Six-One News. We were only able to facilitate this as we had our outdoor garden in place!
We have also been encouraging all our children who live locally to walk, cycle or scoot to school for the environment and for their health. This was such a successful initiative that we faced a storage issue. Once again, our amazing caretaker Jacob built scooter specific storage for our bike shed to maximise storage and also to make it easier for the children to access their bikes and scooters. It’s been a great success and lots more pupils are scooting each day now!
Kildare Place School, February 2021.