Author Archives: Mr. Gaffney

Week 8 update

Hello all!

We have just come to the end of another successful week of learning here in the Year 4/5/6 Dublin class.

We have moved on to geometry in maths with all the children taking to this change with ease.

We began the week by recapping our knowledge on polygons while at the same time exploring deeper into the properties of shapes.



We later moved on to finding missing angles using our knowledge of the properties of a straight line, angles around a point and triangles. This then took us onto using

protractors to measure and draw angles. By the end of the week, the children were showing real proficiency using this important maths tool.



In English, we have begun a new topic on writing narratives using suspense. After practicing their reading comprehension skills, the children got to flex their creative writing muscles by creating their own stories inspired by the tale of King Midas. I am looking forward to hearing the finished products being told next week.

Following on from our exploration of photographs as sources of historical information, we have moved on to another important primary source: interviews.

As a class, we conducted an interview with Ms. Esther and Mr. Kim on what changes they have seen in Ulsan and South Korea. This proved to be very insightful for the children.


Further to our work on settlements in IPC, we went on a tour of our school building to investigate what materials are used in modern constructions. We plan to design and construct our

own architectural models of eco-dwellings so we used this tour as an opportunity to gather potential construction materials from nature.


These were then categorised by the children and stored for later use.

We ended our week by practicing for our assembly and Monday before taking part in a very enjoyable HFS fitness session.


Have a great weekend!




Week 7 update

We had a short but busy week  here at HFS with plenty of learning and discovery taking place.

In maths, we got to grips with fractions. The class took to this very well and by the end of the week everyone was comparing fractions, adding fractions, subtracting fractions and finding equivalent fractions with ease.



In English, we learned how to use the passive voice which we later put to use in our non-chronological reports. The children also got an opportunity to develop their word processing and design skills as they typed up their reports.


In IPC, we continued our new topic, ‘Building a Village’. We learned about why settlements were created in certain locations and we compared different sized settlements with each other.

We also took on the role of historians, using primary sources to explore the history of Ulsan.


In P.E, we started our unit on fielding games beginning with cricket while in music we moved from our work on rhythm to composing our own music using only our hands as instruments.


Finally, we were sad in Year 4/5/6 this week to see our classmate and friend, Dhanya, leave the school. We wish Dhanya a safe trip home and all the best in her new school. You will be greatly missed.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Welcome back!

I hope you all enjoyed the break over Chuseok. In year 4/5/6, the children dived straight back into their learning.

It was great to see the children share the research on the human body they completed over the break. Well done again and thanks for the wonderful presentations.

In maths this week, we worked on various number puzzles such as magic squares and arithmagons. These puzzles proved to be a challenge to the children’s mental maths and calculation skills.




In English, we revised the features of non-chronological reports while developing our ability to read for comprehension.

In music, we continued our study of rhythm by playing some clapping games.


Finally, we have started a new topic in IPC, ‘Building a Village’. We will be looking at settlements and why they have developed where they have. This topic will focus on geography, history,

science and technology. We began with a knowledge harvest to see what the children know already.


Have a great weekend and stay out of the weather!


Week 4 update

Greetings from Year 4/5/6 Dublin class!

The class kicked off the week with a fantastic assembly. We got all of HFS moving and thinking about

how to stay healthy.The children did a great job sharing their learning with both the younger and older classes.

Well done everyone!







In IPC, we continued our exploration of the human body and how it works.


The children made model lungs to better understand how and why we breathe.


We also got hands on with bones and teeth to discover their function.

Finally, we traced the flow of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood through the heart and around the body.


In maths, we worked on mental maths skills, multiplying decimals, finding the remainder as a decimal when dividing and Roman numerals.

Our week ended with our super enjoyable Chuseok celebration.  We had a great time presenting, wrestling and dancing!



Have a great holiday everyone!



Week 3 update

Hello from Year 4/5/6!

This week we got off to an exciting start with a trip to the Ulju Mountain Film Festival! Surrounded by the scenic views of the Yeongnam Alps, the

children outdid themselves by fearlessly ascending ropes and trees!




We also found time to watch an international film before experiencing the summit of Mount Everest using virtual reality. It was a truly memorable day.

Back in class, we continued our investigations of the human body. The class learned more about how light travels by studying the phenomenon of refraction.



We then carried out a reaction test before reflecting on what responsibilities we have to elderly people in our society.


We spent time this week preparing for our assembly in which we will share what we have learned with the rest of the school.


The children demonstrated not only their IT skills but also their wonderful teamwork skills as they collaborated on creating a presentation for the assembly.

In maths this week, we learned about the importance of order of operations through a lesson on BODMAS. We also applied the calculation skills we brushed up on last week to solving word


In English, we learned about the correct use of apostrophes and how to use relative clauses. We also worked on the skill of note taking which we are now applying to our research on Chuseok.

As we drew near to end of the week, we continued our focus on rhythm in music with some games involving beat and tempo.


That’s all for this week, have a great weekend!



Week 2 update

We have just come to the end of another top week of learning in  the Year 4/5/6 Dublin class.

This week was one filled with scientific investigations as we learned more about how humans work, our current  IPC topic.

Following on from last week’s hearing test, we became more acquainted with the inner workings of the human ear.

20180904_141654 (2)

We recorded our findings with some detailed diagrams, an important scientific skill.

20180906_122413 (1)

We next focused our attention on the eye, beginning by testing under what conditions the eye can see best.

20180904_145702 (1)

20180904_150001 (1)

This lead us on to learn more about light in a series of investigations.

20180905_114349 (1)

20180907_145425(0) (1)

In maths, we worked on the key calculation skills while in English, we looked at how expanded sentences can enhance our writing.


Have a great weekend!




Week 1 update

We have got off to a great start in Year 4/5/6 Dublin with a week full of fun and learning.

We started the week with some activities to build teamwork skills. The children took to this naturally and they were soon working together like a well-oiled machine.


We also took some time to reflect on what we what to achieve this year. Our work now forms part of a display to remind us of our learning goals.

20180827_111835 (1)

In maths, we worked on consolidating our knowledge of place value. The children ordered, compared and expanded various numbers. We also conducted an investigation, ‘Can taller children jump further?’


In English, we learned about the features of non-chronological reports in preparation for creating our own reports. In grammar, we studied word class focusing on nouns and adjectives.

The class were introduced to our IPC topic, ‘How Humans Work’.  To begin, the children learned how to take their pulse. We then investigated to see if our heart rate would increase after doing some exercise. The children quickly got to grips with the skill of taking a pulse. They were also able to record their results in a table before providing a convincing analysis.


The children next moved on to another important health checkup: a hearing test. They learned how to describe different sounds and how sound travels before conducting their own version of a hearing test.



Have a great weekend everyone!



Welcome to the Year 4/5/6 class page for the year 2018/2019! I am very pleased to be joining the HFS community and I am looking forward to updating this page with examples of the fun activities, projects and learning planned for this year.

To begin, I will introduce myself a little. I am from a small town on the west coast of Ireland. I completed my undergraduate degree in History and Politics at University College Dublin before completing my PGCE at the University of East London. I taught in London for a number of years before moving to Korea. Prior to this, I taught in Spain and India.

In my free time, I enjoy taking part in outdoor pursuits; these have varied from cycling and kayaking to the exploration of caves: speleology. I am also passionate about traditional crafts. My main focus is woodwork but I have also tried my hand at blacksmithing, basket making and origami. I have a keen interest in nature and environmental issues. I have volunteered on many eco-projects and I have enjoyed growing my own vegetables in the past.

I am looking forward to getting to know everyone in the HFS community. My door is always open so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.