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Monthly Archives: June 2016
The Sponsored Walk – ‘Walk for Water’ – has been postponed due to the weather forecast. The new date proposed is Friday 17th June at 10 am in Kilbroney. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
(All the images below have been modified by students to varying extents)
We started off our “Image Manipulation” topic by taking a closer look at images, especially digital images – how they are created using cameras, scanners and software.
We also considered how they are stored and encoded by doing an experiment on graph paper creating and encoding an image into a string of numbers, swapping this data with a partner and trying to recreate their image and seeing how accurate we were. We experienced some of the common problems faced with computers when we didn’t understand the data format and the resultant image was nothing like the original or when the data got corrupted and even when the decoding instructions were followed precisely the image was lost.
This experiment also let us investigate simple data compression techniques both lossless and lossy (we looked at the relationship between the amount of lossy compression and image quality – and we even got to see what one of our staff members looked like a few decades ago!).
It was a good time to learn about versioning our digital work to make it easier to go back and try different things without starting from scratch.
Then we got logged into our computers and explored our image manipulation program looking at the various tools/effects, experimenting with them on some real images.
We learnt more about how we “…are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14) as we discovered how our eyes have vastly better resolution and design than the most expensive creations of man and our brains can process and categorise this information better than the most powerful computers – even when we were standing on one foot, having a conversation and breathing!
After witnessing how easy it was to change images we discussed some of the moral issues around this and how quick we are to accept what we see as true by looking at some famous examples of modified images – some produced long before computers were commonplace.
Finally, we undertook an assignment to come up with an idea based on pictures given out as Sunday school prizes. We chose our target audience, decided on the verse and theme and you can see some of our work throughout this article.
As an introduction to ‘Using ICT’ we started with Podcasting.
We discussed some of the differences and similarities of this new medium compared to traditional radio broadcasting, how it lowers the barrier to entry to communicate with the whole world.
We looked at how content from our local church was ‘podcasted’ and how ‘subscribing’ allowed new content to be automatically downloaded to your computer or mobile device. Some more investigation allowed us to discover a bit more about how the internet works and where our own files, and the ones we download actually exist.
After learning about some of the technical aspects of producing a podcast we had a little go at our own!
Our podcasts were loosely based on the theme “Poetry Podcast”, an imaginary show in which the presenter simply reads a poem.
We were able to use introductory and background music along with fade and gain controls to produce some actual content.
The most fun was had testing out all the different effects and treatments which could be applied to the audio and comparing the results with each other.
On Thursday 9th June 2016, we held our annual ‘Joint Sports’ Day’ with Portadown Independent Christian School at the Playing Fields in Kilkeel. Pupils participated in individual activities and team games – relay, tug-of-war, etc..
We wish to thank everyone who came to support all of the participants with lots of cheering and encouragement. Also, a big ‘thank you’ to Mrs Watson for organising the special day so efficiently, making it a success!
On Wednesday 8th June 2016, our Primary School had a trip to The Argory, a Neo-classical mansion in Dungannon. We ‘traveled back in time’ to 1847 and everyone – including teachers – had to wear appropriate nineteenth-century clothing.
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 pupils were invited to The Argory as its little master’s – Tommy’s – friends. They met his Nanny, who showed them Tommy’s bedroom and his birthday presents from his father, Lord Bond, who was in Egypt. They helped her sort Tommy’s nineteenth-century toys into his suitcase for a train trip to Cork – including a fake spider!
Then, Tommy’s governess showed us his classroom, schoolwork – based on the 3 Rs – and his coin collection. The pupils made special calling cards, so they could visit The Argory.
The pupils were welcomed to the home by Lady Bond, who received each pupil’s calling card. She gave us a tour of her Reception Room, even allowing one pupil to play her piano, and her husband’s Billiard Room, showing us a scary bear her brother gave her as a gift. Finally, she allowed us a peek at Tommy’s special birthday cake in the dining room and asked us for help in planning his birthday tea.
Meanwhile, Key Stage 2 pupils were potential employees for The Argory. They would be hired as lady maids, house maids, valets or gardeners.
During their application, they met the head lady’s maid, Miss McCall, the housekeeper called Mrs Hill, and the gardener, Phoebe.
Each employee related all the duties required for their jobs. In the garden, the pupils had ‘hands-on’ gardening experience, as they made a paper plant pot, filled it with compost and planted seeds in it.
Floristry Demonstration & Workshop
On Tuesday 3rd May, we had a visit from a florist and past-pupil, Mrs Hannah Gracey from ‘The Daisy Chain‘, Rathfriland. She talked to us about her business – arranging flowers for weddings, etc. and personal gifts – and different types of flowers. She also did floristry demonstrations – making a beautiful bouquet of roses, bows, etc. – and then kindly organised a ‘Floral Cupcake Workshop’, where pupils arranged their own floral cupcakes, using cases, fresh flowers, oases and floral glitter.