Author Archives: skea40

Las Fallas

2013_0226_1245The Modern Languages Department decided to study Las Fallas for their Added Value Unit in S3 and contacted me for LRC involvement following the success of the pinatas with S1. Las Fallas is a Valencian fire festival in honour of St Joseph.

And so, Cardinal Newman Does Las Fallas was born.

Naturally we had to seek permission to build a bonfire for the traditional destruction of the Ninot, or model. After the Headteacher had picked herself up off the floor and told us we were mad, she tentatively agreed.

We arranged a visit from the Community Fire Safety Officer, who explained the Health and Safety aspects of our idea and assisted with planning.

2013_0226_1244Game On!

In Valencia, they burn well known and political characters, so after considering various local dignitaries we agreed that a mythological character would be more appropriate. And so we’ve built a 9′ tall Devil from papier mache and chicken wire!


Pupils from the Technical Department created the body, and created a passeo or palanquin for participants to carry.

To add a Scottish flavour we’ve booked a pipe band to play along with our own musicians.

Meanwhile, the pupils are studying the fire festival of Las Fallas in their Spanish classes. Each pupil has been asked to write an essay in Spanish about the festival, and the most interesting contributors (six male, six female)will be invited to participate in the event itself.

Watch this space!

Categories: Arts and Crafts, Creativity, Events, Interdisciplinary Learning, Languages, Literacy, RE / Religious and Moral Education, Technologies | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Christmas pinatas

The life of a school librarian is never dull, but some days stick in your mind, like the day I was asked to dress a skeleton for the Day of the Dead.

They were pleased with the result and the event, which included a mariachi band, was a great success. The PT Modern Languages and I then wondered what we could develop as a rich task for S1.

The result? The Cardinal Newman Christmas Pinata Competition! (also known as 200 1st years, a blindfold and baseball bat).

Following extensive research, we purchased nine large balloons, glue, lots of tissue paper, and millions of nice things for the contents.

The making of the pinatas turned into a whole school obsession. The Art Department and LRC turned into papier mache factories and any passing person was welcome to stick layers of paper on the balloons.

By 1st December, we had nine huge papier mache balloons just waiting for decoration. Enter the S5 Int I Spanish class! The LRC became awash with glitter, tissue paper and assorted shiny bits as the S5s competed to create the most complicated pinatas.  They took a real pride in their work (even becoming rather possessive).

Back in Spanish, the S1s were studying pinatas in Mexico and learning a poem in Spanish called ‘Dale, Dale, Dale’ which you recite while attempting to ‘break’ the pinata.

On the day, the tallest 6th year boy was responsible for hanging the pinatas in the LRC and manoevering them out of harms way as frustrated S1s atempted to destroy it.

The 1st years came along by class, with one pinata per class. With Spnaish music playing the background, pupils were called out one at a time to have a go. Unfortunately, the pinatas were rock hard and despite the best efforts of S1, resisted all attempts to fulfill their purpose in life.

Ultimately, they were done in with a baseball bat from PE, wielded by the S6 pupil to allow the pupils to claim their prizes.

Fortunately, the pupils then went on to enjoy their ceilidh, and did not have to go to their next classes full of Spanish glee.

Categories: Arts and Crafts, Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, Expressive Arts, Languages | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Crafts at Cardinal Newman

The Craft Club at Cardinal Newman is always extra busy leading up to the Christmas Fayre, as our wee decorations is a highlight of the event.

Included in the images above are our Rockin’ Robin plates, felt gingerbread man and robin from the Busy Bees Sewing Club, glittery Christmas trees, and wreaths made from paper plates, tissue paper leaves, gems and bows. The sun catchers were purchased blank from a hobby shop, then decorated and sold on for school funds.

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Pumpkin heads and sparkly ghosts

The Craft Club at Cardinal Newman meets Friday lunchtimes in the Library.

We try to match the activities with the time of year, such as these pumpkin heads made from paper plates, and sparkly ghosts: made the Library look funky a well as brightening a scary books display.

The Craft Club is open to all year groups, and provides a relaxing peaceful time for pupils from across the school to get to know easch other.

We also encourage the pupils to suggest their own activities – the next event will no doubt be Christmassy.

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