July – August 2020

We start back at school on Wednesday 26th August, we will be using a one way system. one entrance in and one exit out. Social distancing will be adhered to. While seated at desks we will be using safety division screens on the tables to ensure that people keep germs to themselves.

There are many points around the school to sanitize. please do not enter the office without sanitizing. Please do not use the photocopier without sanitizing.

All staff will be advised  to wear a visor or a mask while in the school building unless they have communicated to the principal a reason for not wearing them. they will be required to sanitise their hands regularly especially upon entering the building. Gloves are not recommended unless needed or for treating someone.

Pupils are not (at the moment) required to wear masks in the school, but may do so if they wish and feel more secure/happier doing so (as long as they are worn properly). Any pupil who wishes to wear a mask must have regular breaks through out the day free from wearing the mask.  pupils are required to sanitise their hands upon entry to the school.

Pupils will only bring the essentials to school. no extra toys in the bag etc. we would encourage that a completely separate pencil case is kept at home for homework and the school pencil case is left in school.

School lunches should be as child friendly as possible and easy to use/open etc. Staff will wash their own cups and plates, and maintain the “m distance from each other during lunch breaks and free time.

Only essential visitors/workers are permitted to enter the school building but they need to contact the school the day before to book an appointment. They should ring the bell and wait for the secretary to open the entrance door.  They should mask up and sanitize their hands upon entry.  All visitors/workers will be asked to give name and telephone number to the secretary of the school for tracing purposes. all visitors/staff/pupils are asked to please remain at the door of the office and sanitize and wait for the secretary to attend to you.

We are ensuring that all procedures are being put in place to prioritize that the health and hygiene of the school is maintained to the highest of standards,


Please do NOT come to the school if 

  • If you have a cough a fever, a high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, breathlessness, flu like symptoms, a change in taste/smell in the last 14 days
  • If you have been diagnosed with a confirmed/suspect case of Covid 19 within the last 14 days
  • If you are a close contact of a person who is a confirmed/suspected case of Covid 19 within the last 14 days


May – June 2020

From Easter to the end of the school year in June, we has daily classes with our pupils via Zoom, Whatsapp, Face time etc. We were able to see all the pupils, chat to them, hear then read and do normal class work with each other.  You don’t need  a white board to do the Maths, just lots of A5 pieces of paper, sharpie pens and calculators. we made it fun but educational.

We had a weekly routine, doing Maths and English and all the other subjects. Every fortnight we sent detailed plans and worksheets home to the parents so they and the pupils knew exactly what was coming up in the classes.

Lots of preparation was completed behind the scenes on school notes, preparation work, preparing Art, researching topics, creating online games, communicating with parents via email, correcting homework sent in on photographs so you can talk through the corrections … Whats app was great for sending homework from the parents to the teachers so they could see it and correct it, or talk through the corrections in the next class.

We set work on platforms like Kahoots and Study ladder. The educational quizzes gave the pupils competition against each other.

We got some fantastic Art produced by the pupils during this period of time, cartoon drawings, designing houses etc.

We set homework and we got homework back, the pupils were very diligent. We did a lot of communication via emails, informing parents daily after the Zoom classes regarding the next meeting and homework set that day.

As the days and weeks progressed, many educational websites started to produce mini projects for schools which we weren’t aware of before, and we incorporated them into our SPHE.

We had a quiz Zoom for all the pupils at the end of May and an End of Year assembly Zoom in June for all the staff and pupils.

This period of lockdown worked well for us and our school,  we kept contact with our pupils,  we had daily interaction, we had routine and we were able to check the well being of our pupils, for some it was there own form of contact outside of the immediate family.

Most of all we are proud of the pupils, the commitment and diligence they showed during this time is commendable. Well Done!

April Blog 2020

Here are some more ideas for playtime activities, loads of Easter activities and some other fun activities for both inside and out. If you are new to us, please check out the March Blog for 70 more activities.  Also some of these activities may need adult help.

Websites to check out for daily online activities

  • RTE : RTE Home School Hub
  • YouTube : PE with Joe
  • YouTube : Oti Mabuse and Marius Lepure dance class (Shrek, Jungle Book, Aladdin, Mary Poppins etc)
  • Gonoodle
  • Reading : David Walliams reads daily at 11am, the reading stays up online for 24 hours  https://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/


Make Chocolate Cornflakes Nests

(melt chocolate, add in cornflakes, then put spoonfuls into paper bun cases. make a nest shape and add your eggs. Leave to cool and set)


Make an Easter Tree

(glass bowl, stones, branch, decorate with coloured paper and ribbon. decorate with hand-blown, hand decorated eggs or shop bought eggs)

eggs on tree


More Easter Egg Craft


Easter Card Ideas


Egg Carton Craft


Easter Garlands and Window Craft

easter rabbits and carrots hanging


Easter Mobile


Chicken Mobile


More Easter Craft

(1) Easter String Rabbit and Carrot, (2) Easter Wool Sheep and (3) Clothes Peg Chick



Easter Bird’s House Card

easter bird house


Easter Rabbit Bingo

rabbit dice shake and roll

Easter Easter Boxes


Easter Craft for younger Children


Easter Thumb Print Art


Draw and Cut out your own Rabbit and Chicks

Rabbits Craft


Easter Rabbits with Chocolate


Paper Plate Art


PomPom Art


Easter Toilet Roll Art

toilet roll tree


Easter Printing


Design an Easter Egg


Easter Weaving


Easter Mosaic


Easter Craft : Elmer the Elephant


Design and Colour in an Easter Mandala


Write Happy Easter in Artist Writing and Colour in


Sock Toys


Play Limbo

doing the limbo


Make a Card house


Make some Stone Art


Do some Finger Knitting

finger knitting


Do a Self Drawing / or take a selfie on your phone and draw that

drawing selfie

Mirror Draw with a friend, one draws half the picture and the other finishes the picture

reflection drawing


Set up an Obstacle course do it with a football or a bicycle


Make a real Bird House


Make a bird feeder


Games out of Recyclable Items (boxes, bottles etc)

blow ball


Make an Airplane Game


Shadow Drawing


Match Game of stone shapes

match the stones





March 2020 School Closure Activities

Things to do when we are stuck at home protecting ourselves and others from this Covid-19

We have many of these games, items in our houses, we have many toys, gifts unopened, jigsaw not made, games up in the attic… now is the time to get them out. here are 68 ideas for all the family can do. 


  1. “Letter Hunt”or “I Spy” : choose a letter from the alphabet and find something in the room beginning with that letter.

i spy

  1. “Spot the Difference” : Someone goes out of the room and 1 item is moved or changed in the room and the person comes in and tries to spot what has change/been moved.

spot the difference

  1. Play “Yes/No” : One person is the questioner. They ask each person a question and the answer must be yes/no each time, anyone who answers differently is out. Play the game till all are out

yes no game

  1. Sausages : One person is the questioner. They ask each person a question and the answer must be sausages, everyone else sits waiting their turn, if they laugh at the answer sausages then they are out. Play the game till everyone are out.


  1. No Thumbs Challenge” : Without using your thumbs try doing some every day tasks

no thumbs challenge

  1. Play olden Games : “Pick up Sticks” or ”Marbles” or “jacks” or “Tiddlywinks”


7. Play “Dominoes” or “Jenga” you can play the game or stack them up in line and knock the first one down to hit off all the rest one by one.

  1. Play “Boules”


  1. Play “Hangman” or “Pictionary”
  1. Play “Charades”


  1. Play “Scrabble” or “Boggle” or “Connect 4”


  1. Play “20 Questions”

20 questions

  1. Play “Twister”



  1. Play “Game of Life” or Cluedo”


  1. Play “Monopoly” or “Scrabble”
  1. Play “Ludo” or “Snakes and Ladders”
  1. Design and make up your own game of “Quoits”
  1. “Hopscotch” (draw your own hopscotch with activities on each number)


  1. Play “Beetle Drive”

beetle drive

  1. Learn a new card trick


  1. Play “Go Fish” / “Old Maid”

go fish card game

  1. Play “Patience” or “Whist”


  1. Do some origami


  1. Have a family wellie tossing competition
  1. Balloon volleyball (in a safe place)

balloon volleyball

  1. Draw a family tree

family tree

  1. Play conkers

conkers game

  1. Make different paper airplanes and have a competition to see whose can fly the furthest
  1. Make a scavenger hunt

scavenger hunt

  1. Coin flipping game called “Penny Pitching”, make your own penny pitching tray from a cereal box

penny tossing

  1. Learn yo-yo tricks

yoyo tricks

  1. Make a “Cat’s Cradle” out of string, you can also do a ladder, a star, the Eiffel Tower etc
  1. Do individual skipping, find out lots of jump rope activities for individuals and in pairs
  1. Do “French Skipping” or “Chinese Skipping”
  1. Construction toys like “Lego” or “Mecano”
  1. Make a jigsaw


  1. Make a puppet sock.
  1. Make wool pompoms
  1. Learn how to do the shuffle on Youtube.  (Find an appropriate video).

shuffle dance

  1. Design (on paper) a set of sports/leisure clothes: tracksuit, shirt, shorts, socks etc.

sports wear

  1. Make a miniature garden on a biscuit/sweet tin lid
  1. Copy a famous painting/drawing
  1. Make a bird’s nest from mud and twigs, dry it out for a couple of weeks and then put it up in a tree

birds nest

  1. Do a Zumba routine from Youtube (appropriate for your age group)


  1. Mirror Moves : two people standing opposite each other, they take turns mirroring moves the other makes

46.  Do a sudoko puzzle in a newspaper or magazine

suduko puzzle

47.  What craft can you make with a cereal box, a house, a marble run, a mask etc.

48. Do some quilling

49. Check presents you got from Christmas that you didn’t open, read, play with etc. and play with them now


50. Do some art pictures with buttons

51. Write a letter to someone who wont be expecting a letter, you will make they smile when they open it

writing a letter

52. Make jewellery out of pasta

pasta jewellery

53. Make hairclips: out of metal clips beads, quilling, material etc.

54. horse shoe throwing (under guidance only)

55. look in your garden and try and identify the birds you see there

bird poster

56. learn a craft like knitting or crochet

57. Do some weaving, length ways or circular

58. Make a dream catcher

59. Make up a “Bingo” game for your family with items in the kitchen cupboard named in the boxes.


60. Set a family competition, to see who can do the most Keepy Uppies with a football

keepy uppy

61. write your name in Ogham writing

oghan writing

62. Set up your own family mini gym in the house

gym hoops

63. Do some baking


64. Make cards for elderly neighbours, giving the family telephone, so if they are feeling lonely or need something from the shops they can ring you.  Your family can then assist, by doing the shopping and leaving it at the door for them or giving a friendly ring to check they are ok.

need anything

65. Do a still life/portrait drawing

66. Do some coin rubbings/ bark rubbings

67. Go online and view some of the many virtual museums

68. Get out the “Loom Bands” or threads to make friendship bracelets

February/Early March 2020

Valentine’s Day

We made little booklets of notelets for Mums and Grannies. The pupils had these drawings from an earlier activity. The notelets look really professional.

4th class finished sewing hearts for Valentine’s Day. Don’t they look beautiful?


Cards back from Australia

We were delighted to receive postcards and a calendar back from Australia, from one of the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie.


Italian food

We have been looking as Italy as part of our Geography and Map Work classes, we looked at videos of Venice and Pompeii.

We got on Google earth and looked at the old historical buildings in Rome and the rivers and plazas of Venice.

We made tomato bruschettas. We used tomatoes and basil leaves onto of grilled sourdough Italian bread, rubbed with garlic.


Wedding Dress Night

Some of our parents, past pupils, present pupils and staff were involved in the Wedding Dress Fashion Show at St. Peter’s Church in Bandon. Look how smart two of our pupils were!



The 6th class students made pancakes for Shrove Tuesday and they also made lovely buns a few days later.



Ash Wednesday Assembly

Rev Cliff Jeffers gave the school a lovely meaningful Ash Wednesday assembly. He told us the story of Jesus in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. He had a folding bag of sand to represent the desert.


Visit to the Theatre

The pupils ended the first half of the term with a trip to Cork Opera House to see “Under the Hawthorn Tree”. It’s based on the book by Marita Conlon-McKenna, about three siblings surviving a journey to find relatives during the Potato Famine.



The pupils have spent a month in Art class constructing minature 3D bedrooms, this includes a lot of sewing, making furniture, curtains etc.

Here is one bedroom; the others will be put up when finished.


Kick boxing

We are very happy to start our Kick Boxing/Self Defence classes again this year, we have got a senior world champion giving the classes. These lessons also include the theory, health, physical and the mental side of looking after our bodies.


Birthday card

One of our pupils made this card for a member of her family, we are very impressed in the work that went into the card.


Apple Tart

We recently made a tasty Apple tart for lunch. It had shortcrust pastry on the base and puff pastry on the top, absolutely yummy!


School Closure

Under direction of the Department of Education our school closed on Thursday 12th March until further notice. Pupils will receive book work, reading and online work.

The Blog for March 2020 will be set aside for ideas/activities for pupils at home.

January 2020

Tadhg’s Birthday

Happy Birthday Tadhg! What a lovely, cool cake you had for your birthday.


Australia and their Bush Fires

We made the Australian bushfires our focus as we started our new school term. We learnt about Australia in general and that helped us to learn about the concentration of fires especially in New South Wales and Kangaroo Island.

We made cards and wrote letters to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and to two koala hospitals situated in New South Wales, one in Port Stephens and the other in Port Macquarie. We have followed the recovery of one little Koala called “Flash” who was badly burnt and is now recovering well but a bit of a journey to go still.

We coloured and labelled our own maps of Australia which we brought home so we could show our families where the fires are located



Here is some sewing that was finished in 4th class



Our RE lesson involved looking up readings, typing out the readings and colouring a picture. They looked very well when they were finished.

  • Psalm 8 v.3 when I look up at the sky, which you have made, at the moon and the stars, which you set in their place
  • Psalm 104 v.16 – 18 : The cedars of Lebanon get plenty of rain…. There the birds build their nests……… the wild goats live in the high mountains and the rock badgers hide in the cliffs.


Thank You

The Board of Management of Desertserges National School had a lovely “Thank You” meal and presentation for Graham Garland, who served as chairperson on the board for 3 terms. Those present were Marjorie his wife who has also done a lot for the school, outgoing and incoming board of management members and present members of staff.  Thank you again Graham and Marjorie.

The pupils each gave a personal drawing to Graham which are displayed in this photo frame collection.


December 2019


The pupils wrote a poem based on  “Twas the Night before Christmas”

The pupils based their poems on topics like “Twas the night of the new Puppy”, “Twas the night before the calving”, “Twas the night before the holiday” etc. They composed their poems, then typed their poems. We enlarged the poems to A3, washed the poem with cold tea and backed them. They looked very effective.


Twas the night before Calving

By Tadhg 

Twas the night before calving and all-round the house

Not a creature was sleeping not even a mouse,  

When out on the yard there arose such a clatter

I sprang for the shed to see, what was the matter.  

Away to the window I flew like a flash

Tore open the door and out I did dash,

When what to my wondering eyes should appear?

 but a miniature cow and her calf very near. 

With a little baby calf so lively and quick

I laughed at it, as it jumped over the stick. 

More rapid than eagles my father he came

and he whistled and shouted and called him by name

 Now Mum! Now Dad! Now Malachy! Now Tadhg!

Now dash away! Dash away, Dash away all!



Mince Pies

We made yummy mince pies on the first Friday of December. They had a crumble top and a pastry bottom.  We had extra crumble and made a small apple crumble with apples from our grounds. It was devoured.

mince pies pic


Reindeer Craft

We made mini pompom reindeer with pipe cleaners and googly eyes. Very cute little guys.


Sewing Wall Hanging

We finished our sewing wall hangings. The pupils first sewed two rectangles together using the tacking stitch and then the back stitch. Then we sewed the felt letters on the front of the wall hanging. Each pupil put their names on the material. Their sewing was so small and neat, and the finished craft looked very professional.


Nordic Wall Hanging

These very eye catching wall hangings were based on Scandinavian craft. We used dried oranges, bark pieces, cones, cinnamon sticks and star of anise. The pupils also made newspaper Christmas shapes. All these items were hung off a stick with string (at varying lengths). It taught the pupils a new skill and the smell of the anise was very warming. 


Decorating our Christmas Stockings

we looked at pictures of different types of Christmas stockings and designed our own. they are really original and colourful. 


Silent Night

The pupils were learning how to play Silent Night on a piano app on the ipads.

Christmas Card

We made lovely Christmas cards which the pupils took home to give to parents or friends. Christmas is a great time to move away from the normal school routine and learn new skills in sewing in crafts and cooking.


Christmas Advertisements

We had a fun English lesson where we looked at a number of Christmas advertisements which are presently on the television. Our lesson consisted of looking at an advertisement, giving our thoughts and opinion on it, the idea/mood/feeling it is portraying and is it doing a good job? We loved the Hafod Hardware Christmas one, the Dogs Trust and the John Lewis one.

Advent Wreath

As part of our RE curriculum, we were learning about the different coloured candles on the Advent wreath and what they stand for and when you light them, we learnt that Advent comes from the Latin word Advetus, meaning arrival or coming, it is a chance for us to slow down and prepare for Jesus’s birth at Christmas. It is a time of quiet reflection. The colour purple which is represented by three candles on the wreath symbolises sorry, reflection and preparation. The other two candles are pink and white, the white one is lit on Christmas day representing celebration.

christmas wreath candles


School Carol Service

We had a beautiful service. We had past parents, grandparents and pupils taking part in the readings along side present staff and pupils. our organist, our lay preacher and our members of the church taking the collection were all past members of Desertserges. We even had a grandson and grandmother taking part in the readings. It was described as a Desertserges reunion.  Thanks to all who took part.

carol service pic


Visit to the Cinema

We decided to end our school year with a trip to the cinema and enjoy a new film just out. We got the bus down and back and the kids enjoyed getting goodies from the shop.


Cooking brunch

On our last day we had a nice relaxing morning cooking brunch for everyone, opening the post box, distributing the Christmas cards, and enjoying the food.

merry little christmas brunch

 We coloured our own place mats and laminated them to make the meal more personal and festive.

Happy Christmas

We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year. We restart school on Monday 6th January.

happy christmas logo

November 2019

Science Morning

We visited Bandon Grammar for a Science morning. We visited the labs and saw eyes and lungs and liver. We learnt about germs in the nurse’s sick bay and we enjoyed lying back and seeing the stars and the planets in the inflatable planetarium. We finished the morning with a trip to the shop for ice cream.  


Remembrance Day

We discussed the book we had finished “The Poppy Field” by Michael Morpurgo, we learnt about animals in World War 1 and the animal poppy, we saw the Sainsbury Christmas advert from 2014, which showed the Christmas Day truce. We read the story in our English reader “My Story – The Trenches”. We have also been reading about World War 1 in our History book.

sainsbury advert 2014


When We Were Warriors

This is our new class novel. It is by Emma Carroll, who wrote “Letters from the Lighthouse”, which we read last year. This novel is made up of three follow up stories of previous novels. Our teacher emailed Emma Carroll and she emailed us back. It was great to see a personal message from a writer they admire.

When-We-Were-Warriors pic

emma carroll pic


Toro Toro

This is another class reader of another group of children. This is a Michael Morpurgo book about a grandfather telling his grandson a story about when he was young. Antonio (the grandfather as a young boy) liked a young calf called Paco who had lost its mother. Antonio did not want his bull to go to the bullring so he takes him to a safe place.



Boy Giant

This is the second novel for a group of pupils in the school, it is Michael Morpurgo’s latest book. War has forced a boy called Omar and his mother to leave Afghanistan. The travel across the sea to Europe, their boat sinks and Omar finds himself alone with no hope of rescue.

boy giant



The pupils have started sewing a wall hanging which will have their names sewn on it. this will continue on into December. 

Please see the finished product in the December blog.

Thank You Graham

We would like to say a big thank you to Graham Garland who served as chairperson on our Board of Management for three terms. We would like to wish him the best on his new ventures.

Blog : October 2019

Ireland v Russia World Rugby Cup Match

We watched the Ireland v Russia rugby match (Ireland won 35-0) in school on Thursday, during the time we covered the whiteboard with facts pertaining to the Irish team players, their ages, the teams they played for, their weight etc. the pupils had to research the players info on the iPad and put it up on the board.

It was very interesting to compare ages, and find out who was the oldest and the youngest. How many players representing each province were over in Japan. And who was the heaviest and the lightest player in the Irish team.

Art : Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is also known as the Iron Lady. It weighs about 10,000tonnes. It is a wrought-iron lattice tower designed by Gustave Eiffel. Some pupils constructed their own Eiffel Tower on paper.


Novel : Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

We read this novel as it linked into our project on Japan, it gave the pupils an insight into World War 2 and the horrific long lasting effects of the dropping of the Nuclear Bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is a sad but inspirational story of strength, resilience and bravery.


This month we have made Shepherd’s Pie, with mince, onions, carrots, peas and potatoes. Each pupil had a job to do and we devoured our Shepherd’s Pie for lunch afterwards. it was yummy!

We also made Apple slices with apples from the school grounds. We stewed apple and let it cool. We made a sponge mixture from sugar, butter, flour, eggs and butter. Then we got a large rectangular tin and put shortcrust pastry down as a base. After that we spooned on the stewed apple, then we spooned on the sponge mixture. We put it in the oven for about 50 mins and allowed it to cool before eating it.

Art Origami

We made a big poster about the novel Sadako and the Thousand Cranes and spent an afternoon making origami paper cranes just like Sadako did.

Birthday Celebrations

Happy Birthday to both Gabrielle and Dia, who celebrated their birthdays in October

Rugby Jigsaw Ball

As part of our Rugby World Cup project we put together a rugby jigsaw from a template. It had information about the first Rugby World Cup in 1987 won by New Zealand and the history behind the Webb Ellis Cup (named after William Webb Ellis, the cup is also known as “Bill).


The pupils decorated their own masks, you can see they are very individual and very striking and terrifying. They used paint, string, wool to design their masks.  Well done! They are fantastic.

Novel : Toro! Toro!

Some pupils are reading Toro! Toro! by Michael Morpurgo set in the Spanish Civil War. It is the story of a young boy growing up in Andalucia in Spain on a farm, rearing bulls specifically for the bull fighting ring. This book was illustrated by Michael Foreman.

History : Ancient China

In History we have been learning all about Ancient China and the ruling Dynasties.  We have read about the Silk Road, The Great Wall of China, the silkworms making silk and the Terracotta Army. We have been cutting out our own terracotta army.

Sports Weekend

A week ago there was a great weekend for National and international world Records. We learnt about Coco Gauff a 15 year old winning a major tennis tournament and Eliud Kipchoge for running the marathon in under 2 hours. Then we looked at Rhys Mcclenaghan, an Irish competitor who won bronze on the pommel horse in the World Championships. We also learnt about Simone Bikes winning her 25th world medal at the World Championships

Novel : Poppy Field

Other pupils are reading Poppy Field by Michael Morpurgo. The story is about a little boy called Martens Merkel, who lived beside a poppy field and the great stories told to him by his grandfather about the poem “In Flanders Fields” and the history of the poppy. The book is beautifully illustrated by Michael Foreman.


Halloween Baking

We made meringues in school today, they were so light and chewy! We learnt how to use a piping bag (more difficult than it looks) to make meringue shapes. Tadhg and Dia did a great job of whipping the cream. Then we made s sandwich of two meringues placing cream in the middle and adding the final touch of grated chocolate.