News

Visit to the Traffic Information and Control Centre

Visit to the Traffic Information and Control Centre

“On 12 October 2018 we visited the Traffic Information and Control Centre in Belfast.  

An Creagán

An Creagán
An Creagán
An Creagán
An Creagán

An Creagán is a very notable place for our community, being the perfect host to many home education meets.  

 

One of our members recently penned a description of just what they get up to there on their Facebook page, The Ash & The Keys; 

 

“A typical HomeSchool meet up...

 

Foraging crowberries, cranberries, blackberries and some left over blueberries for porridge made over the fire.

 

Toasted marshmallows, Soda bread making and collecting conkers for that fantastic game...... loads of fun had!” 

STEM workshops at w5

STEM workshops at w5
STEM workshops at w5
STEM workshops at w5
STEM workshops at w5
STEM workshops at w5
STEM workshops at w5

Some of our almost teens and teens have been reaping the benefits from the pairing of a regular STEM programme in w5 and a great organiser who we feel privileged to have in our home education group! 

The organiser lays out the how the STEM workshops operate below; 

“Building on links already established through HEDNI, we took the opportunity to explore more workshops specific to children aged 10 years and over. These included:

Generation Station – exploring energy (what it is and where it comes from); building wind turbines to race vehicles; and working together in teams.

RNLI Donaghadee Lifeboat Station

RNLI Donaghadee Lifeboat Station
RNLI Donaghadee Lifeboat Station
RNLI Donaghadee Lifeboat Station
RNLI Donaghadee Lifeboat Station

“ Today we attended the RNLI event at Donaghadee Lifeboat station and were welcomed by our guide, a retired local GP who had been a crew member himself for many years as the doctor onboard.

He had prepared a very interesting presentation which included a little about the history of the charity and this station.  We learnt that the Donaghadee Lifeboat station was built in 1910 and is home to one of the most modern lifeboats from the Trent class which cost 1.3m to build and travels top speed of 25 knots, which is equivalent to 28m/hr. He also explained that all crew members have to undergo very intense training which currently takes place at the lifeboat college in Poole in Dorset.  

Following our presentation, he took us on a guided tour of the pier to see the lifeboat, currently in operation and then to see an older lifeboat no longer in operation which they hope may sometime get restored in the future. All in all, it was a lovely morning, the sun was shining and we all learnt a little more about the RNLI life charity and the people behind it.”

Forest School

Forest School

Our young people have been enjoying forest school sessions with their families. The organiser has very kindly gave us a preview of their regular sessions. 

“The Bushcraft forest school is a session out in the mountain fresh air that has many benefits for children of all ages. 

Once at the car park there is an unpaved path that leads to the forest with a small shallow river that runs along side it.

Creative writing - telling stories

Creative writing - telling stories

Some of our members recently started to get together for creative writing and story telling sessions. 

The organiser has has detailed their sessions together below! 

A very exciting opportunity for our young people to find new ways to express themselves. 

“We recently had another great Telling Stories – Creative ‘Writing’ and Storytelling session. Our theme was characterisation and also a little bit about the process of ‘show, don’t tell’ – which is part of the theme for our next session.

Rockpooling

Rockpooling
Rockpooling
Rockpooling

This week, eight home educating families went rockpooling with staff from the Seascope Marine Research Centre.

We were the only people on the beach, and had fun combing the rock pools for creatures.

 

Among the group’s finds were plenty of crabs and sea snails, some starfish and the odd ‘butter fish’.

 The weather held out, and we had a great time exploring, sharing and learning together until the tide returned.

 

We are looking forward to partnering with the Seascope Marine Research Centre again in future.

One of our young explorers remarked that “I loved to pick the wee crabs with my net!”

Gortin Glen Forest Park

Gortin Glen Forest Park
Gortin Glen Forest Park
Gortin Glen Forest Park
Gortin Glen Forest Park
Gortin Glen Forest Park

We met with other home educating  families for a walk and picnic at Gortin Glen Forest Park.

The park has a number of different routes that you can choose from, each with a different distance and difficulty level. 

We chose to walk the River Walk which turned out to be quite steep in places and included bridges and stairs to cross the River.

We had a great time eating blackberries and finding pinecones that were eaten by squirrels. (Some of us had even been lucky enough to see some red squirrels when driving into the car park.)

After our walk we went for a picnic at the car park while the kids played.

It definitely is a place we would all like to go to again.

Currently parking is free but during the summer season it would cost £4 to park a car there.

There are public toilets which are open all year round.

Mourne Hiking

Mourne Hiking
Mourne Hiking
Mourne Hiking
Mourne Hiking
Mourne Hiking

On Wednesday 26th September, home educating families had an adventure in the heart of the Mourne Mountains. It was to be led by Paul but he decided to have his own adventure!!!

   Conrad came to the rescue and led us up Trassey Track, eventually leading to the steep rocky climb to Hare's Gap. In all, 500 feet elevation and over 4 miles hiking.

   Conrad, a frequent mountain walker, pointed out landmarks such as, Slieve Meelmore, Slieve Bearnagh (mainly covered in cloud), Luke's Mountain, Slievenaglogh and the Brandy Pad. We also learnt why and when the 22 mile Mourne Wall was built.

   Two hours after starting off we arrived at our stunning location, Hare's Gap, a most beautiful and tranquil spot where we had our lunch. The kids added their stones to the "We made it" stone mound, leaving their mark and having found their second wind began to explore the exciting terrain.

   On our descent we saw a farmer and his three sheep dogs expertly separating his "red" sheep from a flock of "green" sheep and herding them further up the mountain side. We found golden mushrooms and a furry caterpillar!

   A fantastic day was had by all and much applause for all the kids, especially the 5 year old one!!

   Roll on the next trek.

Dippy at the Ulster Museum

Dippy at the Ulster Museum
Dippy at the Ulster Museum

Two large groups of home educating families managed to be some of the very first people to privately see Dippy the Diplodocus Dinosaur when he arrived in Belfast yesterday as part of his road trip across the U.K. 

Dippy is road tripping from London around the U.K. for the first time since 1905. 

The 292 bone Skeleton cast is an impressive 21.3 meters long, arriving in 32 crates and taking a week to meticulously assemble. 

A stunning site that must be seen, that was enjoyed by all. 

The Ulster museum itself is impressive in it’s own right and families really enjoyed making the most of their trip by covering the museum floors. 

 

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