Transition Years have had a jam-packed week of activities and outings. On Friday, September 11, the students and three teachers headed off on the annual trip to Killaloe Adventure Centre on the shores of Lough Derg. This was a great chance for all the TY classes to get to know each other while engaging in team work activities such as kayaking, canoeing and climbing. They had fun both on land and in the water. Even though the weather was against them they threw themselves into the spirit of the day.
All the groups have been getting to grips with the Irish legal system in a series of Law workshops facilitated by Kate Hedigan of LawEd. The students got to participate in a mock trial learning in an interactive way about the role of the judge, the jury, the solicitors, the barristers, the Gardaí and what the judicial system is like from the perspective of victims and defendants. The workshops were a great success and students now have a heightened awareness of how the legal system works and the many ways it impacts on their lives.
Also in keeping with all things legal the TYs had a road safety demonstration given by MOG. They were reminded of the importance of wearing a seatbelt and listened to how lives are irrevocably changed as a result of road traffic accidents. The workshop certainly gave the students plenty to mull over and stressed to them, as the drivers of the very near future, the importance of keeping the road safe for everyone.
On Thursday, September 17, the TYs crossed the road to the Source Theatre to be entertained by the hilarious Ger Carey of Psycho Spaghetti fame. Ger can clearly remember the trials and tribulations of the teenage years and his satirical approach to the life of the adolescent had them rolling in the aisles. He was particularly illuminating on the strange transformation that occurs when teenage boys find themselves in the company of their female peers. Funnily he also spoke about a similar change occurring in the girls when they are confronted with the males of their species. A very entertaining spoof on the experiences of the stereotypical teenager.
Both Senior teams A and B were in action against Kilkenny College this week in challenge matches. The Senior A’s lost by a goal. The final score was 3 – 2 to the Leinster girls. The Senior Bs won their game beating Kilkenny College 3-1.
The Senior Footballers kicked off the season with a decisive win against the Presentation Secondary School, Clonmel. In this first round championship game Ursulines had the home advantage of Dr. Morris Park. The team rose to the occasion under the captaincy of Leaving Cert. student, Aisling O’Hagan. The students and their coaches, Ms. Callanan and Mr. Kirby, were delighted with the win over their South rivals. The girls played well together and settled into the pace of the game straight away. They will have further games against Presentstion Thurles and Cashel Community school and in the meantime continue to train hard in preparation.
Kenyan Colours Day
On Friday, September 18 the students of UCT helped raise money for the Ursuline missions by having a Kenyan colours day. To celebrate the connection between the Ursuline community in Thurles and their sister community in Kenya the girls could wear accessories in the colours of the Kenyan flag – green, red, black and white. The Leaving Certs are busily preparing a day of fun activities for next Wednesday when they continue their fundraising drive for the Ursuline sisters in Kenya.
The Sixth Year Geography students undertook a long but important journey on September 14. This field trip is an essential part of their Leaving Cert. Geography course worth potentially 20% of their overall result. On Bishop’s Quarter Beach they measured wave height, calculated long shore drift and surveyed the height of sand dunes. After the academics were taken care of it was time to let their hair down with some of the group partaking in ultimate jump rope and some braving the cold Atlantic for a swim.
Next stop was Ailwee Caves. It was dark and echo-y underground as they nervously shuffled through the caves. Heads bent and holding onto the jumper of whoever was in front of them they learned about the history and formation of the cave. It was first discovered in 1944 by a farmer called Jack McGann who had gone looking for his dog, who had disappeared after chasing a rabbit down a hole. He did not tell anyone of his discovery for nearly 30 years. Finally in 1973 he told some cavers, who began to explore the cave and make it accessible. At one point in the tour the guide turned off all the man made lighting. The cave immediately became pitch black, a warning about the ever present dangers to novices and even the more experienced of exploring these underground networks. After this the students continued on further to see the stalactites and stalagmites, along with two underground waterfalls. It was a most enjoyable day with the exhausted but learned group returning back to Thurles at 6.30 pm. Thanks to Ms. Tuohy and Ms. Hedigan who accompanied the students on the trip.
The ever-diligent Green Schools committee is going for flag number six which encompasses the theme of Global Citizenship. They continue to meet every Wednesday with Ms. Carroll and Ms. Coffey to formulate their plan of action. Each class has voted a committee member to represent them on Green Schools as the environment and our protection and preservation of it is an issue of concern to us all. The chairperson of the Green Schools Committee this year is Constance Quinlan, Fifth Year. So we wish her and the rest of her committee members well in their important work and they have all our support.
Most of the Sixth years travelled to Dublin on Thursday, 17th of September with the purpose of finding out more about the options open to them next year. The Irish Times Higher Options conference is one of Ireland’s biggest student events and has become an annual fixture on the Education calendar. Over 170 colleges, universities and institutes of further education take part in this unique expo in the RDS, including many from her UK, Europe and further afield. The students had an opportunity to meet and speak directly with representatives from all the universities and colleges present. There were also representatives from CAO, Qualifax, HEAR and DARE. They listened to talks on courses and careers in a variety of areas including nursing, medicine, the sciences, humanities and the UCAS application process. The feedback from the students was very positive, most of them finding it a beneficial and informative experience. It certainly provided them with lots of information which will hopefully help them in deciding their post Leaving Cert step.