Dr. Aisling Butler Memorial Bursary
Sarah Jane Carroll is this years recipient of the Dr. Aisling Butler Memorial. Sarah Jane was welcomed back to the school on Wednesday, 13th September to receive the bursary from Evelyn and John Butler. The Butlers established the bursary in memory of their daughter Aisling, a past pupil of the Ursuline Convent, who died tragically when the Air France passenger plane she was travelling in crashed on route from Brazil to Paris. Sarah Jane, who attended the ceremony with her parents, brother and sister, thanked the Butlers for their generosity and said she would always bring her Ursuline experience with her, wherever she goes.
Junior Cert Results
Congratulations to all our current TY’s and Fifth Years who got their Junior Cert Results on Wednesday. There were whoops of joy and smiles of pure delight as students received their Junior Certificates, the culmination of their three years of Junior Cycle study. These were the first Ursulines to sit the new format Junior Cycle in English and the students and teachers were very pleased with how they performed.
Isobel Quirk, Fifth Year, did exceptionally well in the Junior Cert, being one of only four students in the country to achieve 12A’s. Isobel was featured in the national newspapers with her proud parents Jennifer and Michael and was also interviewed on local radio. She was genuinely bowled over by how well she’d done and thanked all her teachers.
Students and staff gathered in the Sr. Ursula Memorial Hall on Wednesday morning for the opening of the year assembly. Proceedings began with a prayer said by the joint vice-chairs of the Student Council, Katie Taylor and Michaela Kerwick. Then the principal, Ms. Butler, welcomed all the new first years and reminded them that the whole school were available and willing to help them settle in. She congratulated the class of 2017 on their Leaving Cert results and wished them all the best in their future studies and careers. She told the students that the chosen theme for this year was ‘Family’ in keeping with Pope Francis’s visit to Dublin in 2018 for the World Meeting of Families. The new Vice Principals, Ms. Slattery and Ms. Gleeson also addressed the student body, both expressing the hope that they would work harmoniously with the girls in the months ahead. Caoimhe Fitzpatrick, the Chair of the Green Schools Committee, reminded the students that the school was proudly going for their 8th Green Flag and so must be vigilant to live the motto of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. She urged her peers not to become complacent about environmental issues and wittingly chided that ‘the earth without trees was like a pizza without cheese.’ The final address was from Sixth Year student, Janeanne Fitzgerald, the new Chairperson of the Student Council. She told the students that the Council would be organising activities in the coming year around the theme of Family. She spoke about how school has all the characteristics of a family, love, care and support in difficult times, like an anchor in rough waters.
High Achievers and Excellence Awards
Well done to Ursuline students who received High Achievers Awards in their RIAM exams and Excellence Awards in LSMD exams. The RIAM High Achievers were Constance Quinlan, Ruth Everard, Katie Taylor, Esha Hourigan Clancy, Megan Long, Nicola Scott, Vivienne O’Keeffe and Louise Broe. The LSMD Excellence awards were attained by Aoife Kavanagh and Laura Jane Hickey.
Internet Safety Talk
On the same day a new survey revealed that 22% of children are in contact with strangers online the Ursuline Secondary School had Galway based internet safety expert Jeremy Pagden in to talk to both Junior and Senior Cycle students about keeping themselves safe online. He discussed the dangers of social media and gave them practical ways to protect themselves on the World Wide Web. Students were shocked to discover how easy it is for someone to hack into their cell phone or how sinister predators operate on the unregulated and unrestricted internet. Jeremy also spoke to parents on Thursday night about what they can do keep their children safe on social media. It was a most revealing and practical talk for both students, parents and teachers.
Around a hundred Sixth Years headed off to the RDS for Higher Options on Thursday, 14th September in the company of Ms. Golden, the Career Guidance teacher. The students got to meet representatives from all the colleges and universities in Ireland and learn more about the various courses on offer and course requirements. There were also stands with information on various UK and European third level institutions. Students got the chance to attend lectures outlining careers in science and nursing and there was also a very informative talk on filling out CAO applications. Attending Higher Options is a long established tradition in the Ursuline and students always get very practical information regarding the courses they are interested in. Thanks to Ms. Golden and Ms. Short for attending the conference with the Leaving Certs.
Fifth and Sixth Year Retreats
Thanks to Conor, Peter and Linda from the Mustard Seed who facilitated retreats with Fifth Years and Sixth Years recently. Both groups got a chance to bond and also to reflect on themselves and what is important to them. The day revolved around fun games, discussion, meditation and generally getting an opportunity to fuel the spiritual aspect of their lives. Best wishes to Linda who has been coming to the school for the last five years as part of the retreat team as she embarks on a new chapter in her life as a librarian.