November 14, 2019

Open Evening
The Ursuline annual Open Evening took place last Tuesday, 12 November. The school was delighted with the huge turn out, with over three hundred prospective students and their parents coming through the doors between 4.30 – 6.30 pm. The stars of the night were the present First Years who gave tours telling of their first-term experiences in UCT. They were charming, competent and articulate and many parents were delighted to hear first hand how these youngest members of the School Community had settled into Secondary School. Overall the response to the School was really positive. There were displays and presentations throughout the building and grounds encapsulating all the many, diverse extra curricular activities the Ursuline has to offer. The Music Department showcased Chamber Choir, and Senior Orchestra whilst there were individual musical performances on piano, flute, saxophone, cello and an outstanding duet by two First Years, Ròisín and Mairead, who delighted with both classical and trad pieces. The Science Labs are always a big attraction on the tour and this year they were an even bigger draw with a periodic table cake decorated by Ms Hogan and the TY’s to mark the 150 Anniversary of the table of elements. There was hockey, badminton and basketball displays in the Sports Hall and a fun obstacle course for the Primary School students to have a go at. The Home Economics Department had tasty sausage rolls and scones and students were busy baking and sewing craftwork projects. There were a few historical characters floating around the History Room and games in the Business Room and Languages area. Thanks to all who came to visit us on the night and particularly thanks to our own students and staff who stayed late to give a hand. As always it was a night full of enthusiasm and fun.

University of Limerick Scholarships
The Ursuline wishes to congratulate Gemma O’Dwyer and Laurna Ryan who received Entrance Scholarships from the University of Limerick. Both students did exceptionally well in their Leaving Cert and both are studying Law and Accounting in UL. That brings to six the total number of bursaries awarded to students from the Class of 2019.

Gael Linn Debating
Congratulations to the Junior Gael Linn Debating team who are through to the next round after an unanimous win last week. They beat Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise and St Leo’s in Carlow. Kate Ryan, Lauren Mullally and Gráinne O’Donnell spoke for three minutes each opposing the motion ‘School Days are the Best Days of our Lives’. The bus full of supporters who travelled with them provided great morale, cheering the trio on every step of the way. Their next debate is scheduled to be before Christmas so best wishes to them and their teacher Ms Barry as they prepare for it.

Charities Committee
The Charities Committee have been hard at work both before and after the mid-term break preparing Christmas Shoeboxes for Team Hope. It is such a worthwhile endeavour as the gifts will be shipped to children in war torn and poverty stricken communities across the globe. This is the only present these children will receive and the box always includes essential items for washing, wearing and writing. A fantastic accomplishment by the Charities Committee who gave up lunch times to collect and sort the boxes. Thanks to all students who went to the effort of bringing in a gift and Ms Egan and Ms Stakelum who spearhead the Committee.

Green Schools
Swap Shop, now in its third year, has become an important aspect of the Green School Calendar and a really exciting event for the whole student body to look forward to. This year the focus was entirely on fashion. Students brought in clothes and accessories that they no longer loved to be token traded for other fashion items that caught their eye. There was a huge response with hundreds of tops, skirts, shorts, dresses and jewellery pieces collected in the last few weeks. There was a great buzz on the trading floor on Thursday, 14 November at lunchtime when students got to feast their eyes on the fashion and bag themselves a bargain.

Second Year Retreat
The Second Years had their annual retreat facilitated by An Tobar Nua on Friday, 8 November. This team have been coming to the school for the last number of years and have proved to be very popular with the students. There were ice-breaker games to start off the day and the students and retreat team leaders spoke about the experience of growing up. They discussed the meaning life and Second Years were each given a piece of ‘treasure’ to keep as a reminder that life should always be treasured. The girls also got an opportunity to ask questions about God and Religion which were then addressed by the Retreat Team.

Maths Modeling Workshop
On Tuesday, 12 November, the TY classes had a MACSI, Maths Modeling workshop with lecturers and post graduate Maths students from UL. The Ursuline students have made a start on their modeling projects which requires them to come up with mathematical formulas that can then be applied to real life problems and situations. Some of their innovative ideas include models to quantify popularity, movie success, the spread of disease and the melting of the polar ice caps. The team from UL, overseeing MCCSI, were impressed with the TY’s ideas and their progress so far.

Sixth Year Trip to Hamlet
Leaving Certificate English students accompanied their teachers to see Hamlet on Wednesday, 13 November. The classic Shakespearean tragedy about the Prince of Denmark was performed by the Gaiety School of Acting and staged at the Firkin Crane Theatre in Cork. The play was followed by a workshop that helped students to connect further with the themes, issues and characters. It also aimed at getting them to think critically about the work and the performance in preparation for answering exam questions. Also well done to Mollie Lloyd who won the Hamlet in emojis competition.

Playboy of the Western World
Thirty-eight students, both Higher and Ordinary Level, studying the Playboy of the Western World for Leaving Cert English were treated to a performance of this iconic JM Synge play in Kilkenny on Thursday, 14 November. The play was produced by the Barnstorm Theatre Group and the cast included two members of the Thurles Drama Group Paula and Lorna. The play was really enjoyable and added greatly to the students understanding of the text.

The Junior ‘2’ footballers played Borrisokane on Friday, 8 November in the Munster Junior Football Championship. With the Junior ‘1’ team already through to a Munster 1/4 final there was eagerness on the part of both the players and coaches for the Junior 2’s to qualify and they duly obliged. Ursuline were very unlucky to lose full forward Michelle Flanagan in the warm up due to injury but the team got off to a great start nonetheless when Michelle Dwan scored a goal within the opening minute of the match. Clodagh Fanning, Michelle Dwan and Danielle Ryan all pointed within the next five minutes. Chloe Byrne, joint captain for the day with Robyn Fanning, raised the green flag midway through the half and this was soon followed by another goal by Clodagh Fanning who impressed at centre forward. Niamh Shanahan finished off a great half by scoring 1-1. Borrisokane in the opening half hit a few wides and despite great effort on their part they only managed a point on the scoreboard by halftime. This was due in part to the pressure of the backs with Kate Carr, Lia Malocca, Paula Quirke, Holly Fitzgerald and Alisha Kearney. Half time score was Ursuline 4-1 Borrisokane 0-1. Clodagh Fanning got Ursuline underway in the second half with a well-taken point before Robyn Fanning hit the top corner of the net from twenty five yards out. Borrisokane then hit a real purple patch scoring five unanswered goals. Chloe Byrne led by example and got Ursuline back on track with a great individual point. Borrisokane kept the pressure on Ursuline by scoring a further two goals. With all to play for Paula Quirke got forward for Ursuline and scored a goal to keep Ursuline in front. Borrisokane struck another goal with a few minutes remaining but Ursuline responded with a point from Michelle Dwan and Chloe Byrne with a goal from a free kick. The team now await their Munster 1/4 Final clash to be played in the next two weeks.

Ursuline Senior Footballers travelled to Limerick on Thursday, 7 November to play Abbeyfeale in a Munster Senior Football group game. With the aid of a slight breeze Abbeyfeale were out in front at half time 6-6 to 1-1. This left UCT with a massive uphill battle in the second half. Despite a solid performance they could not make up the deficit and fell short with a final score line of 6-9 to 3-9. With a win against Doon and a draw against Glanmire Ursuline finish the group in second place. Next game against Ard Scoil Na Deise, Dungarvan will be a playoff for a Munster 1/4 place. Best of luck to the team in this crucial decider.

Written By Nora Tuohy