First Year Meeting
On Monday night, the parents of the new First Years came to the school to meet with the their Tutors and Year Head. It was a chance to discuss how the newest members of the school community have settled in during the past few weeks. There is a huge transition from Primary to Secondary School so it is important that the students and their parents are supported in this change. The feeling from the meeting was that, in general, the First Years seem happy and have coped well with their new surroundings, new subjects and new teachers. The only real queries on the night were around the replacement Junior Certificate and it was pointed out that, as yet, a lot of questions remain unanswered from the Department, mostly around the issue of assessment. The feeling among both parents and teachers was that there is a lot of merit in the existing Junior Cycle Programme and that sitting a state examination at this stage is vital preparation for the Leaving Certificate. The meeting was followed by tea, a bit of mingling and an informal chat between teachers and parents. Such evenings are important and a recognition of the essential role of parents as partners in the education process who work with teachers to unlock the full potential of their children.
Opening of the Year Mass
On Wednesday afternoon, the Mass to mark the beginning of the school year was celebrated in the Cathedral by Fr. Tom Lanigan Ryan. At the start of the Mass the chairperson of the student council, Alexandra White, welcomed everyone and introduced the theme for the Mass and year ahead. The students have been asked this year to reflect on the idea that ordinary life is always exceptional. The theme is a quotation from a journalist Jonathan Gornall whose attempt to row across the Atlantic ended in failure and near death. In an article written in the aftermath of his spectacular rescue he said:
“there is no such thing as ordinary life; it’s just a life lived well. It means being a decent person, being there for people who need you as much as you need them.”
In acknowledgement of the importance of unsung heroes the students listened to stories of not very famous people who have done great service to humanity. These were Jim Stynes who worked with troubled teenagers in Australia; Malala Yousafzai who survived being gunned down by the Taliban for defying their ban on the education girls; Stuart Crang a ten year old boy who, on his own, rowed half a mile out to sea to save a drowning couple; Rio Hogarty a Dublin woman who fostered 140 children; Andrew Parker who saved people in the Zeebrugge Ferry tragedy and Miep Geis who helped to hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazi’s for over two years. Photographs of each of these ordinary yet incredible people were placed on the altar as a reminder that greatness exists each in of us. The music and artwork as always added greatly to the occasion of the mass.
Tipp V Kilkenny All Ireland Replay
We wish the Tipperary hurlers every success in the All Ireland Replay. Let’s hope this game will live up to the intensity, skill and nail-biting excitement of the previous encounter. There is always a fair bit of jocularity between Tipp fans and Kilkenny fans in the school among both the teachers and the staff. Kilkenny mascots are paraded around the school at the owners risk. A black and amber teddy bear was kidnapped and subjected to unspeakable cruelty! All joking aside we wish all those travelling to the match on Saturday evening an enjoyable time and safe journey home. Up Tipp.
The lead roles in this year’s musical have been chosen. The singing and acting standards of students who auditioned this year were outstanding. Students who put themselves forward were brave and deserve to take a bow for giving it a go even if they were unsuccessful on this occasion. Rehearsals are now in progress for all students involved. Good luck to everyone in the show.
The Sixth Years are busily preparing for their annual themed approach to collecting funds for the Ursuline Mission in Kenya. With a new school in the pipeline for Kenya, every euro raised during the event will be put to great use in the building of the school. The theme for the activities being organized by the Sixth Years is “At the Movies”.
Teams have been chosen in the various sports and the month’s training in September will now be tested as the Basketball, Hockey and Camogie players all enter real competition this week. First up are Senior & Cadette Basketballers who head for Portarlington to take them on in the Midland League.