Nature provides us a place of calm, safety and sanctuary which is so important during these times and our woodland garden is very special to us. Home to native trees such as the hawthorn, oak, chestnut, elder and sycamore plus others such as weeping cherry and birch, it is wonderful outdoor classroom. In the shelter of these trees is a circle with low wooden logs for seating. There are corners for reading quietly, raised beds for mulching and cultivating plants and even bee hives.
We can link every subject on the curriculum to our garden, lots of learning already occurs outside. Having had specific Forest School Training, Siobhán has developed resources for all classes to use. These resources allow us to explore breathing exercises, nature walks and art such as weaving strings and ropes, murals and giant collaborative chalk drawings and clay creatures. See some outdoor learning in action here.
At Canal Way ETNS we have placed a strong emphasis on keeping fit and healthy. To support our work we have been accredited with the Active Schools Award Flag.
This has formed links with programs such as ‘Bizzy Breaks’ from the Irish Heart Foundation. We strive to keep children as active as possible during the school day. We are now city famous for our annual and hilarious costumes. We make activities fun and enjoyable.
Canal Way ensures that all children access the PE curriculum and integrate PE with as many other subject areas as possible.
We encourage active travel to and from school.
There are more details about the initiative here: http://activeschoolflag.ie/
Roots of Empathy
Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom programme which aims to develop a child’s emotional literacy and encourage empathy for others. Research shows that this approach helps children to develop tolerance and acceptance of difference, thus reducing bullying and aggression and increasing pro-social behaviour.
A baby and their parent(s) are at the heart of the programme, who come for nine visits to the class throughout the year. During these visits, students can observe the bond between the baby and parent(s) and identify the emotions of the ‘tiny teacher’ and reflect on their own feelings and relationships.
Deirdre, our Additional Needs Assistant, has been running Roots Of Empathy in the school since 2018. Class teacher, Emily, has been delivering the programme throughout the past six years and is looking forward to many more years learning and being inspired by lessons around the green blanket.
We are committed to helping the environment in Canal Way ETNS. Since opening in September 2013 we registered with the Green Flag program and achieved this accreditation for energy conservation, recycling and we are working towards water conservation.
The whole school are involved in maintaining a litter free yard and recycling.
You can find out more about the initiative here: