St Mary’s NS are delighted to announce that we have received the SFI Curious Minds Platinum Award for 2022-2023. This is the highest award available to a primary school in Ireland. This is a testament to the hard work put in by the children and staff over the last nine months. We must give a special mention to Mrs Riordan and Ms Gloster who co-ordinated the application but this really was a TEAM effort. Everyone in the school had an involvement in the project and we received extremely positive feedback from the awarding body.
“Congratulations and well done to all in St Mary’s National School. You have been busy this year working on an exciting range of STEM activities. You have achieved the SFI Curious Minds Platinum Award. This is the highest level of STEM award and it is clear from your impressive submission that it is well deserved. Each section shows images and videos of learners actively engaged in discovering the joys of Science. It is obvious that each class was involved in age appropriate learning from the Happy Saplings Programme with the juniors to the designing of an earthquake resistant school by senior classes. The Maths club is a great initiative with learners using trundle wheels, doing suduko and measuring the heights of learners. I didn’t know that a hound dog has a height of 76cm. The range of activities is amazing with string telephones, lava lamps, fan powered cars, bird feeders, and sun dials all adding to the buzz of discovery in the school. The showcase was very exciting with budding scientists sharing and communicating their work to their peers, teachers and parents. Brilliant video with great music which made me smile!
Collaboration is an essential aspect of STEM and your desired outcomes for the Platinum Award was to foster collaboration within the learners and indeed the teachers. The reflections from the learners showed that you embraced and fostered team work, taking turns, being patient and working together. Learners showed a respect and appreciation for this skill and saw the benefits of it. Teachers also expressed how working collaboratively gave them more confidence and promoted stronger relationships. They gained from sharing resources and will continue this into the future. Parents are more aware of what is happening in STEM in school and are aware of their role in encouraging participation in STEM.
The enthusiasm and motivation of the whole school community in STEM is tangible and there is great potential for future scientists in the school. Keep up the great work!”
We are already planning for 2023/2024 and can’t wait to apply for the Platinum award. We have upgraded our STEM equipment this year with a significant investment of €7,000. We were delighted to receive €4,000 in funding from our local Credit Union, Unity Credit Union on Athlunkard Street. These partnerships epitomises the importance of strong community links, something which we pride ourselves on in St Mary’s NS.