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Ratheniska National School

Partnering Children on their Developmental Journey

The Honest Truth Blog#11


In T.S.I., Roisin, Chloe and I [Lily] read a book called The Honest Truth. We are in Fourth Class.

This book is about a little boy called Mark and his dog Beau. Mark has a big dream to climb a huge mountain called Mt. Rainer, but the only thing holding him back is his family, friends and the fact that he has cancer. He is so fed up of the doctors, the medicine and all the help that he runs away to the mountain to die.

We would recommend this book to 11-13 year olds and for people who like exciting but sad books.

We like T.S.I because in a big group you don’t have much time to code or ask questions but in T.S.I you have all the time you need to do that. We also like T.S.I because it is fun to work with your friends and you get to pick books that you want to read. The thing we enjoy most about T.S.I is the reading and the thing we would change is less paper work and more reading.

T.S.I helps with our vocabulary, literacy and our reading skills. Our vocabulary sheets help us to know better words that we can use when we are writing instead of using boring plain words. Our readings skills help us speak better so we are not stuttering over are words.

We would recommend T.S.I because it is very helpful and is really fun.

Roisin Chloe Lee


A Day in Lullymore


On Friday 20th May, 1st and 2nd Classes went on a trip to Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park. We wandered along the boardwalk, saw the Stone Age settlement, visited the Fairy Village and learned about Early Christians. We visited the pet farm, took a trip on the road train, played crazy golf, and had great fun in the Funky Forest indoor and outdoor play area. Click on the image below to see a sample of the fun we had!


First Holy Communion 2016


The sun shone on the 28 boys and girls from 2nd Class as they received their First Holy Communion on Saturday, May 14th. The Church of the Holy Cross was packed to capacity to witness the children taking part in the ceremony on their special day.

First Communion 2016

First Communion 2016


Juniors and Seniors on Tour!


Junior and Senior Infants had an action packed  day out at the playground in Rathdowney last week. We sat in the sand, slid down the slides and zoomed down the zipwires. We had great fun!

First Holy Communion Festivities


In conjunction with parents from 1st and 3rd Classes, The Parents’ Association organised a get together in the hall after the recent First Holy Communion ceremony. Mams, Dads, Grannies, Grandads and many more thronged into the hall to chat over a cup of tea while the First Communicants relaxed after their ceremony. Thank you to all who contributed and helped out to make this a lovely day for all.First Communion Party

5th Class T.S.I. Trained and ready to go! Blog #10


Another 5th Class group to give T.S.I a go are Derinn, Adam and Devin. They really enjoyed getting stuck into T.S.I this year and read no less than three books during this cycle – “Who’s a Big Bully Then?” and “Wartman” which were both written by the great Michael Morpurgo, and they also read Mad Iris which was written by Jeremy Strong.

Adam said he enjoyed learning more vocabulary which helped improve his reading but his favourite part was making connections and then being able to talk about them with the book. Derinn loved reading for the other members of her group. She also loved helping out when people got stuck on a word in the book. Devin also enjoyed being part of a group and reading aloud.

And what was the group’s favourite book out of the three? The winner is…..Mad Iris! Adam thought this was by far the funniest one. He liked that it was not as serious as the other books. Derinn enjoyed the main character – the ostrich! Her favourite part was when things started to go very wrong in the book and instead of the ostrich burying it’s head in the sand it buried it in someone’s jumper. They all agreed it was a super read!

Roll on the next T.S.I Cycle.

5th Class

5th Class

“There’s a boy in the girls’ bathroom”! Blog 9


Hello my name is Conor.C and I am in a T.S.I. group with Isabel and Matthew. This is our first time doing T.S.I and we really enjoyed it. T.S.I was really fun and improved our confidence and our comprehension. We like being in groups because your group help you when you’re stuck on words. The book we were reading is called “There’s a boy in the girls’ bathroom” by Louis Sachar. Personally we think this is a bad name for the book. The book is about a boy called Bradley who is a bully, he tells lies and picks fights with girls and only one person likes him and her name is Carla. We like this book because it makes you think differently about bullies because it shows you what’s going on in their heads. It shows you that not all bullies are actually that bad. It teaches us that there is no such thing as bad people but just bad behaviour. My favourite character is Bradley Chalkers because of the way he turns from having bad behaviour at the start of the book and ends up with good behaviour at the end. I would rate this book 9\10 because I like this book and its funny but I’ve read better books.

Hi my name is Isabel I really enjoyed T.S.I it was my first year doing it .It helped me with my confidence for reading out loud. I would give this book 10\10 because it was really good and it made me think differently about bullies because it shows that bullies might look tough and hurt people but on the inside they can be really lonely and a nice person. My favourite character is Bradley because I kind of feel sorry for him and because he changes from having bad behaviour to having good behaviour.

Hi I’m Matthew and I thought it was really fun.  I think it really helped build our confidence. It also improves reading skills. My favourite character from the book is Carla because she is nice and gets people to think for themselves. I rate this book 8/10 because it’s not that funny also I like other authors and books more.

We really enjoyed T.S.I. We hope that if you are going to do it you will enjoy T.S.I as much as we did. That’s us signing off. Bye!

5th Class

5th Class

“Brock” – Blog #8 21-12-2015


New book choices get rave reviews!

Over the past few weeks me( Meadbh), Bobo and Kevin, have been reading a very interesting book called Brock.   When we read we compare our life to the characters in the book. The introduction of the book caught our attention straight away. Nicky was the main character of our book. He has a hard life because his brother has special needs and Nicky has trouble controlling him.  His dad is in trouble with the guards and his mother left when he was at a young age.  They are living in fear of their dad going to jail. They were accidentally involved in the death of an innocent animal and the boy’s lives change forever.

We enjoyed T.S.I because when we are judging a character in a book it is better with friends to help you understand the character more. The coding this year isn’t too hard or too easy. This book taught us to look at other peoples lives and not to take anything for granted. When our teacher recommended this book to us we were immediately drawn it. This book is a page turner, when the teacher calls time up we never want to stop. We recommended this book to ages between 11 and 14. You should definitely go read this book.

6th Class

6th Class T.S.I Warriors

Farewell to the Ratheniska’s T.S.I Pioneers Blog #7 17-06-2015


Hey guys,

This is Lale, Tom.C and Inez and we’re here to tell you about our journey through T.S.I. It all started in 5th class when Ms. Love came into the classroom and little did we know how easy and fun reading could actually be! This was the time when we first started learning T.S.I. We got to choose our own books so that was a good start and everybody liked their novel. The books from the first cycle were different as this year we got a wider range of material including books such as There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom, Holes, Ratburger, The Wildflower Girl, Flight of the Doves and Faraway Home. This wasn’t the only good thing this year though because we moved up a level, the paper work was cut down a lot and the main aim was discussion of the text which we all agree was way better than writing. This year was more enjoyable than last year because we were more familiar with the cycle and all our feedback was taken into consideration.

So a quick reminder of what T.S.I. is – T.S.I. is basically another form of learning how to read and understand a text. You start off in a group usually of three. We use some strategies like Coding, Predictions, Visualisations, Determining Importance, Connections and comprehension. Although this looks like a lot of work it is actually easier than normal English. In Lale’s opinion it is another more detailed way to read and take in text naturally. Tom adds “It improves your independent work as well as group work”. Inez thinks T.S.I. helps us to learn from each other and also it reminds everyone to read more often.

The challenges of T.S.I are small but have a big impact if you don’t address them. The first term of T.S.I was the hardest as we were just getting familiar with the cycle and we were assigned more paper work. However last year after T.S.I was finished the feedback we gave was all taken into consideration and was addressed well. Because of this we predict that T.S.I will become a main subject on the curriculum for schools and we have no doubt that T.S.I. will become popular.

When advising newbies, we would suggest to always remember to use your pencil to code and highlight the reading strategies you are using, work as a team but most off all have fun doing T.S.I !!!

The benefits of T.S.I are that you are taking in a lot more text and you are improving all your reading skills and strategies. We think that even if you are just filling in your vocabulary sheet you are actually  improving there and then because you do it so frequently and consistently you don’t notice yourself even doing it. Everyone has improved their reading skills and we hope that T.S.I will continue so other students can further their reading skills just as we have done

~ Lale, Tom and Inez

T.S.I Pioneers

T.S.I Pioneers

Blog #6 – TSI Tips – 17-06-2015


Fifth Class are coming near to the end of their second T.S.I cycle. Here Colin, Briony and Mae discuss their T.S.I experience this year:

“T.S.I is very important for all children at different levels as it covers reading and important strategies which help you understand the text more,” according to Colin. “It helps you learn many skills such as solving new words, dictionary work and how to communicate as a group.” Colin continues “there are many great things about T.S.I but what stands out for me is that instead of reading out to the whole class, which can be daunting, you’re able to read to your small group. This helps shy children feel more comfortable and encourages them to put some enthusiasm into their voice. This is a key factor as it makes reading more enjoyable for everyone.” Briony chips in “Another great thing about T.S.I is the books. To me they are much better than extracts from our English textbook”.

Discussing the challenges of T.S.I Mae says “the biggest challenge is when the paperwork – vocabulary sheets and question sheets, pile up. This can sometimes cause frustration and reading time can be affected although I can’t take anything away from T.S.I as it is very good overall”.

When quizzed about their favourite author, the children are brimming with enthusiasm. Louis Sachar, author of “Holes” and “There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom”, gets a huge thumbs up according to Briony he is “an incredible author”. Another author loved by the gang is David Walliams with Mr.Stink being his stand out novel. Colin raves “it is wickedly funny but also a touching story. I would recommend this story to children of all ages as it is an enjoyable read for everyone.” However Mae points out that the novel “Wildflower Girl” by Marita Conlon was by far the groups’ favourite. “Wildflower Girl” is the story of Peggy who travels to America to begin a new life after the famine. “We loved this book because the author is trying to communicate that life is worth taking risks and if you are offered an opportunity grab it with all your heart. It’s a very interesting story where Peggy shows great character.”

“If we were to give advice to a new class starting T.S.I”, Briony offers, “We would suggest keeping your T.S.I cycle sheet out at all times to guide you through the steps.” Colin adds, “This keeps you on track and helps you get used to when the worksheets need to be completed, when clouds of wonder and vocab sheets need to be discussed. Also make sure to speak up so everyone in your group can hear you read.”

To sum up Briony smiles”We can’t wait to get stuck in next year. We’re excited about the new books we’ll read and getting the chance to work in different groups with new people. T.S.I was fantastic this year…Bring on next year!”

T.S.I Fifth Class

T.S.I Fifth Class