Two of our senior cycle students, Teresa Ryan 6th Year and Charlotte Mason 5th Year were recently selected to participate in a weekend organised by Trocaire which centred on the one of today’s most pressing environmental issues, climate change. They travelled to Maynooth, Co. Kildare on Friday 14th of November. They joined 30 other students from all over Ireland and after some quick introductions a treasure hunt was organised. The students had to answer questions on the environment and climate change to find all of the clues. They also learned about the causes of climate change from many guest speakers who told of their experience of living and working in regions affected by climate change. Finally on the Friday they had a workshop with the Barefeet Theatre Company from Zambia. The participants got involved in music, song, dancing, games and fun activities.
On Saturday the students were faced with more serious work when they engaged in a simulation. They were each given characters. They had to take on the role of a person who was a refugee. It was a chance for them to get an insight into the harsh reality of being forced out of your home and your homeland. This particular activity made the girls empathetic to the plight of refugees living in camps such as the Hagadera camp in Kenya for people’s fleeing Somalia or the Urfa camp in Turkey for Syrian refugees.
The director of Trocaire, Eamonn Meehan, spoke to the Green Schools representatives about his recent experiences working in Sierra Leone which has been plagued by the Ebola virus. He spoke to them about how Trocaire are responding to this crisis. They also heard from Tania, a climate change activist from Nicaragua. Nicaragua has registered 44 extreme weather events in the last 20 years and is ranked third in the world for vulnerability to climate change behind Honduras and Myanmar. Both Teresa and Charlotte returned to school after the weekend with a heightened awareness of the difficulties faced by those who live in the worlds most vulnerable nations. The weekend imbued them with a greater sense of justice, stewardship and a firm commitment to keep working to improve the environment as members of the Green Schools committee.
Munster Irish Dancing Championship
Well done to all our students who competed in the Irish Dancing Munster Championship which was held last weekend in Kilarney. We had several students competing and are delighted that some of them have qualified for the World Championships. Participating in the under 12 age category were Eimear Bourke and Ciara Gleeson. Well done to Eimear who qualified for the Worlds in this age group. Kayleigh Fogarty and Sarah Jane Gilmartin were competing in the under 13 group and well done to Sarah Jane who came 3rd overall and qualified for the Worlds also.
Alannah O’Donoghue Showjumping
Well done to our first year student Alannah O’Donoghue who was the winner of the U 14 showjumping competition held in Ryans Equestrian Centre in Thurles last weekend. This win means Alannah and her pony ‘Millie’ have qualified for the All Ireland showjumping to be held in Cavan. Best wishes to Alannah and of course ‘Millie’ as they proceed to the next stage of competition.
Congratulations to our colleagues in the CBS on their brilliant production of Grease. This energetic and enjoyable musical has been thoroughly enjoyed by all those who attended. Well done to all our girls who were involved in lead roles and in the chorus and thanks to the production team for the opportunity for so many of our TY’s to be involved.
Debating and Public Speaking
The finals of our own 2nd Year debating competition took place this week. Following really brilliant preliminary rounds the finalists on Wednesday 3rd of December were Erika Carroll, Stephanie Kelly and Gemma O’Dwyer. This team were opposing the motion that ‘Empty headed celebrities are the new Gods.’ The motion was proposed by Mary Kate Barrett, Lisa Fanning and Lauren Cloonan Fennelly. There were great displays of wit and wisdom on both sides however there can only be one winner. The motion was not carried so victory on this occasion went to the opposing team. All involved in this final debate performed to a marvellous standard and captains Mary Kate and Gemma were superb. The wining team were presented with with their trophies by Ms. Butler.
The first year debating is also drawing to a close. The next round is on Wednesday at lunchtime. The students on the proposing team are Aisling Maher, Siobhán Green and Aoife Dempsey. Those opposing the motion are Alecia Quinlan, Ciara Gleeson and Sarah Jane Gilmartin. The final is then due to take place on Tuesday, 16th at 4 pm. The first year individual competition will be the week after the Christmas holidays. The topic students will be speaking on is ‘The important things in life are free.’ The date form this competition is Tuesday, January 5th giving those potential orators plenty of time to prepare their speeches.
We had forty five students who participated last week in the County Schools Cross country Athletics held at the Dr. Crokes grounds in Thurles. We had many students competing at all levels. Our teams won in all age groups – minor, junior, intermediate and senior. Also congratulations to our three individual winners. Rachel Butler, first year, won the minor race, 2nd year Claire Rafter who was the Junior winner and Ciara Cummins, Leaving Cert, who came first in the Senior category. In the intermediate race the UCT teams came in 1st, 2nd and 3rd position. In the minor race we were 1st and 4th and in the junior category our teams were 1st and 3rd. The Ursuline Secondary School also got the title of Best Girls School in Tipperary athletics for the 10th year in a row and were presented with a plague in honour of our achievements in the past decade. Congratulations to all our students on doing so well and to the dedicated teachers Jim McDonnell and Mary O’Sullivan for all they do to promote athletics in the school not least of all putting the runners through their paces during weekly training sessions.
Ursuline X Factor 2014
The Ursuline X Factor continued again this week with acts performing during lunchtime on Wednesday. This week we were treated to Emma Phelan’s rendition of the mega Disney hit ‘Let It Go’. The TY’s from Room 29 did the Cha Cha slide dance. Ms. Corbetts class Room 4 sang their version of the Band Aid 30 song ‘Do they know it’s Christmas Time.?’ The final act on the day was a trio of 6th years, Niamh Walsh on the boom box, Leah Murphy on guitar and Martha Kirwan who performed a mash up of various songs. To finish off the 5th years kept everyone entertained with games and a Christmas sing song. Well done to all those involved in performing and organising this fun filled event.
The Senior ‘B’ team played Laurel Hill Colaiste but lost by 2 goals – UCT -0 Laurel Hill – 2.
The 1st Year blue team beat Laurel Hill by 3 goals to nil. UCT – 3 Laurel Hill – 0.
The 1st Year orange team also had success against Laurel Hill winning by 2 goals. UCT – 2 Laurel Hill – 0.
The Senior ‘A’ team beat St. Angela’s in a cup match winning by 4 goals. The result was UCT 4 St. Angela’s 0.
In the Senior ‘A’ League UCT scored 9 goals to Ashton’s 2 thereby winning convincingly.
The Junior ‘A’s also played Ashton this week and they came through in their game beating Ashton on a scoreline UCT – 4 – Ashton – 0.
In the Senior ‘B’ League we won by a goal against Villiers. The final score was UCT – 3 – Ashton -2.
Also playing against Villiers were our First Year Red and Yellow teams. The Red team beat Villiers by 3 goals. UCT – 3 – Villiers -0. The Yellow team finished on a goalless draw.