The children in first and second class worked very hard on their part in this project. They were very enthusiastic and learned a lot through their many activities. They initially explored the features of a typical castle and the reasons for many of those; a drawbridge, circular stairs, windows – types and style, thick stone walls etc. The discussed why these different features were important and in particular the castles were means of protection for families. They discussed castles in the locality and expanded this to the entire parish. They discovered many new castles they were not aware of.
They did an art activity where they drew castles while specifically focusing on certain features of the castles as well as the symmetry of castles. They then moved onto 3D constructions of castles using spaghetti and marshmallows, they discovered many important factors for making solid constructions, particularly around creating good foundations. They continued with this discovery learning style with construction of castles using lego and also playing cards.
They went on a trip to Bunratty Castle to explore much of what they had learned first hand. They researched and documented through photographs the style and position of the castle features, particularly the windows and doors. This information would be useful for the older classes when creating their version of the castle. They looked at all the interior areas of the castle and got a great insight into castle life many years ago.
They studied the Battle of Dysert Castle between De Clare and the Irish. This was a famous Irish victory and the children were fascinated by this piece of history.