10 General Classrooms each with an interactive whiteboard.
2 Special Tuition Rooms
1 Computer Room with 11 computers
1 Art Room
1 P.E Room
A large PE Hall
Cushinstown NS has as part of its school community a special classroom for pupils with autism. This is our Sunroom. This classroom is designed so that each child has their own working area and also a group work table for school work, social skills, play and lunch.
The Sunroom consists of one classroom which can cater for up to six children. This class has one class teacher and two Special Needs Assistants. Our Sunroom aims to offer an autism specific learning environment within a mainstream school. This type of educational setting facilitates optimum inclusion as part of the school community with access to mainstream activities as appropriate.
Within the sunroom there is also a sensory room. The multi-sensory room consists of a bubble tube, specialized mood lighting, mirrors, a weighted blanket and a variety of textiles and mood music. This room can be used to stimulate a child or help a child self-regulate. The Sun room also has a wide selection of O.T. equipment. Children access this equipment daily in our spacious and bright assembly/PE hall.
In the sunroom children enjoy such facilities as cooking and baking, the use of sensory boxes and equipment to develop fine and gross motor skills.
Pupils and staff in the sunroom have access to iPads on a daily
basis. Apps are used by staff and pupils to reinforce curriculum objectives. Pupils also enjoy the iPads for unstructured play and social interaction when sharing and they are a popular choice as a reward after completion of school work.
Our school library is a library where students and staff have access to a variety of resources. All books are colour coded to enable each child to select the appropriate reading level with the guidance of the class teacher.
Aims of the library:
1. To support the curriculum and the individual pupil’s work
2. To promote reading for pleasure and information
3. To ensure that pupils participate in information-gathering programs for class-based projects. This will enable them to become independent, resourceful and successful learners and researchers.
Library Resources and Services:
Books for loan – fiction and information including a selection covering topics of general school-related interest.
Desktop PCs with internet access, education software and word processing facilities.
Photocopying & printing service
For Teachers & Staff:
Curriculum Support information to ensure that the library has relevant materials for all subjects.
Every class in Cushinstown School has an Interactive White Board and a projector combining the simplicity of a blackboard/whiteboard with the power of a computer while engaging students with vivid images, video and audio. With this technology, anything that
can be seen or done on a computer screen can be projected on to the Interactive Whiteboard bringing every classroom to life and capturing the imagination of any type of learner.
iPads: The appeal of using iPads in school is obvious and students find them easier to use than traditional computers. Children are eager to embrace new technology and many can troubleshoot and resolve computer issues faster than adults. Our school is very fortunate to
have one full class set of iPads, which are rotated between the classes on a weekly basis.
Each iPad has a class specific folder which has relevant Apps for literacy and numeracy which can be easily accessed by the student, delivering content and material for all areas of learning. Besides traditional board games and toys, iPads are popular with students for
Golden time reward at the end of the week.
Our Assembly / PE Hall
Assembly Hall: Used for PE if it is raining. Also used for extra curricular activities such as modern dance and drama. Class masses are sometimes celebrated here during the year. Occasionally we
have guest speakers in the school; they also make use of the hall when addressing large numbers together. This year we have introduced weekly assembly which is split into two sessions: one for
juniors and the other for senior classes. Assembly gives the classes a chance to gather together in a positive way and appreciate their most recent achievements be they individual or whole class achievements. During this time classes perform songs/dances/poems etc for each other. Awards and certificates are presented acknowledging children’s efforts both academic and non-academic:good reading award, good writing award, kindest friend award, sports awards and star of the week are just some examples of the awards given. This type of assembly reaffirms good behaviour and promotes a truly positive environment for both staff and pupils.
Art has traditionally been an important part of early childhood education. Making art and enjoying the art of others is very important to the development of the whole child. Each class has art time every week which covers all the curriculum requirements from simple
sketching and painting to more complex tasks involving mixed media and 3D modelling.
Classes also participate in art competitions both locally and nationwide.
Occupational Therapy (O.T.) Equipment
Many different techniques and equipment can be used as part of occupational therapy depending on the difficulties being experienced. An occupational therapist advises our staff on different games and activities aimed at improving day to day activities that some children may be having difficulty with. Sometimes the occupational therapist may suggest the use of specialised equipment. Cushinstown School has a variety of O.T. equipment, some of which you may be familiar with already: trampoline, physio balls etc. and some more specialised equipment such as the Noodle Roller. Activities are aimed at improving your child’s co- ordination, balance, hand strength, fine & gross motor skills, posture, and social skills to name but a few.
Our Willow Tunnel
The Willow Tunnel was very kindly planted by Sally Lavery. A very popular addition to our grass area, it is exclusively for younger pupils where they can run and play freely together. This is a great source of fun for pupils in Junior and Senior infants, assisting in imaginative play and developing social skills. Kids love to play here during lunch breaks and Golden time.
It is no secret that physical activity is necessary for our wellbeing. Children are continuously developing physically and emotionally so they are especially affected by the benefits of activity and conversely, the negative effects of inactivity. Physical education programs in schools directly benefit students’ physical health. In Cushinstown every class from Junior Infants to Sixth class participates in P.E. classes on a weekly basis. We recognise the importance of regular activity and offer a range of activities that contribute positively not only to fitness but also towards concentration and academic performance. We are very lucky at Cushinstown, boasting a large pitch area for all field sports such as GAA, soccer and athletics and grass areas for free play. We also have a full size basketball court and a separate basket for perfecting practice shots, these are enjoyed and used freely by all during lunch breaks. Our P.E. press is fully stocked to support all P.E. activities and of course our very popular end of
year sports day too! Here is just a sample of some of the equipment available: hurleys, footballs, soccer balls, basket balls, bats for rounders, hula hoops, skipping ropes, parachutes and beanbags.
During wet weather we can still facilitate our P.E. programme in our Assembly Hall, here we can focus on improving skills required for outdoor games. The hall is also used for our very popular Dance classes and for Gymnastics. We get fantastic use from our modern and stylish gymnastics mats, providing a safe surface for all during indoor activities.