September 6, 2010

Leaving Certs 2010

Congratulations to the Leaving Cert students of 2010 on their wonderful results and who are now embarking on the next stage of their education and heading off in all directions. They had an opportunity recently to meet up as a class, probably for the last time, at their Graduation Ball. All were looking beautiful as they arrived at the school for a presentation of certificates and they danced the night away in the Anner Hotel to the music of Bluemoose.

The Return

It is not quite as exciting for the new Sixth Years and the other classes who returned by degrees last week. The Sixth Year students have already settled well back to work but the newly formed Charities Committee was quick to get into action. They capitalised on Tipperary All Ireland fever and quickly organised a Tipperary T-Shirt day for the victims of the Pakistan floods. Students were very happy to pay a small fine for the privilege of wearing their Tipperary jerseys on Friday last and there was even some tolerance for those who live “over the border” in Kilkenny and some black and amber jerseys were tolerated. They were however well outnumbered and the temptation to charge them more was resisted!

School Council

The Sixth Year members of the new School Council who were elected last May were also swift into action and organised themselves as “Big Sisses” to the new First Years. They also elected the officers for the year. Anna Brennan was elected as Chairperson and she is ably assisted by Mairead Barry and Michelle Bourke as Vice-Chairpersons.

The members of the Council from the other year groups will be elected in the coming week and they will commence work immediately.

School Show

The choice for this year’s school show is the ever popular Sound of Music. The show will be staged from October 16 and it will be all systems go with auditions and practices in the coming weeks.

It is like summer has never been and the cycle begins again!

May 9, 2010

Y.S.I. Showcase

The culmination of all the work, all the effort and all the creativity came together last Wednesday, May 5, in the Croke Park Conference Centre when the two groups of Transition Years presented their Young Social Innovators programmes.

It has been a long process since last September getting these projects together and a lot of hard work went into the projects. “Introducing Me” – a programme on developing self-esteem, made it through the Speakout last March in Cork in the “Making Our World Healthier – Mental Health” section. The challenge of this project was to think of ways of improving self-esteem particularly in young people. They examined habits of Teachers, and engaged themselves in micro-teaching and role play to make their points, and they produced signs for all around the schools of positive messages designed to make people feel good about themselves. This and much, much more, including making their own film, writing their own rap etc. All was presented last week in Croke Park.

The second project qualified from the Cork Speakout in the “Making Our World a Better Place for Young People” section. The project was entitled “Guys and Dolls” and the students took a look at relationships between young people, and as the name of their project suggests, particularly between the guys and the dolls! They too were very innovative in their approach to the subject: carrying out surveys and issuing questionnaires, making a film and “composing” songs for their Speakout.

This was the first year that the T.Y. groups were involved in the Y.S.I. projects and whilst they did not win, it was a great learning experience for them all. Well done to all the students and Ms Slattery and Ms Flanagan, the two teachers who drove the projects, for all the work.

Athletics – South East Munster

Twenty eight athletes travelled to Waterford last week to take part in the South East Munster Individual Athletics Championships and they continued the winning ways of the team season, with girls qualifying for thirteen events at Munster level on Saturday, May 23 in Cork C.I.T.

In the Senior Section, Silvianne Strapp, Nicola Sutton, Lorraine Healy and Ann Marie Hayes won bronze in the Relay, Ann Marie Hayes won gold in the 800 metres, Lorraine Healy and Silvianne Strapp won gold and silver respectively in the Triple Jump. In the 400m Nicola Sutton won the silver medal and Niamh Fitzgibbon took the bronze medal.

In the Intermediate Section, Elaine Fitzgibbon won the bronze medal in the 1500m in a time of 5m.35s. Sarah Healy took the silver medal in the Discus throwing 30.48 metres only 10 cms behind the All Ireland champion in this event.

In the Junior Section, Siobhan Hennessy took the gold in the 1500m walk, a personal best for her.

The Minors did extremely well with Eileen Rafter taking the gold in the 800m in a time of 2m25s and she was followed home in second place by Ciara Cummins in 2m.26s – it does not get much closed than that! Ciara also took silver in the Long Jump and Orla Healy just missed out on a medal, coming fourth. Rachel Hodgins came second in the three kilo Shot Putt, and took the silver medal.

Scifest

This Science Festival is becoming a regular feature now on the calendar of the Science Department and it is hosted by Tipperary Institute. Projects being entered are as follows:

Second Years:

Robin Tobin, Sinead Crone, Amy Jordan“To demonstrate the effects of liquid on tooth erosion”

Molly Ryan, Siobhan O’Toole, Eileen Bourke“Mr Baker, so fresh it’s fungi”

Meghan Perdue, Aoife Barry, Nicole McNamara“The effect of magnetised water on Rapeseed growth”

Niamh McCormack, Niamh Kennedy:- “An investigation into the decomposition rates of different paper samples”

Lauren Moore, Anna Joyce, Carina O’ Brien:- “Healthy Eating v Fad Diets”

First Years:

Rachelle Hogan, Amy Revell, Niamh Butler: “Investigating how much electricity teenage girls use”

Eimear Teehan, Susi Williams, Elizabeth Aleshinloye:- “Can drain water be used to water plants?”

Jenni Kennedy, Sylvia O’Donnell: “Investigating the use of various composts on the growth of Violas”

Laura Booth, Emily Healy:- “Making a Solar panel from recycled materials”

Leah Carroll, Roisin Putti:- “Now you C me, now you don’t”

Green School

The Green School committee has been working very hard on WOW Day which will take place this week. WOW – Walk on Wednesday – is part of their efforts to earn a fourth green flag for the school under the Transport Banner. The school is awash with footprints as all are being encouraged to walk and to lessen their carbon footprint!

April 18, 2010

Minor A – Munster Cup Champions

One would be forgiven for believing that this Minor A team (all under 14) was playing its hockey in a higher section such was the level of skill and ability to score goals that was on display last week in the Munster Final against Bandon Grammar School, Cork. It was an amazing performance from all members of the team and they played so well as a unit and showed no nerves when taking shots on goals, succeeding eight times.

The score line does not reflect the way the game was played and around the middle of the field, Bandon competed very well for the ball but they never really threatened the Ursuline goal. By contrast, when the Ursuline girls got into Bandon’s goal mouth area, they posed serious threats every time and were rewarded with some really well taken goals. Captain Orla Lynch was delighted to accept the cup on behalf of her team and the Minor As now join the Junior A team (under 16) as Munster Cup Champions. The Junior A are Munster Cup and League champions this season – a rare occurrence!

International Athletics

Congratulations to Ciara Cummins and Eileen Rafter, two First Year students who represented Ireland in the 3,500 metre race at under 14 level in Cornwall, competing against the best of England, Scotland and Wales, during the Easter holidays. These two students were chosen as a result of their performance for the school at the All Ireland Athletics Championship in March.

Both girls competed very well and were part of the eight-strong Irish team. Ciara finished second best of the Irish girls and came in twelfth place and Eileen followed in twenty-third place. Both girls made a significant contribution to the Irish team performance.

German Scholarship

Each year, German scholarships are offered to students based on their German results in the Junior Cert examination last June. Four students from the school came in the top one hundred results in the country and these students are then interviewed and a certain amount are offered three week trips to Germany during the summer. Two students, Mary Coman and Deirdre Meehan, went for interview and both students received word last week that they were successful. Congratulations to both of them!

Concern Debate – Quarter Final

“Reaching the last eight in a National competition such as the Concern Debating competition is a huge achievement”. So said the chief adjudicator at the quarter final debate between the Ursuline and Athlone Community School last week.

The motion up for debate was that:

“Tomorrow’s children will inherit a better world”

And the Ursuline team opposed the motion. Anna Brennan, Jane Bugler, Lily Cantillon and Louise Burke argued strongly against the motion and it was a very close affair with the Athlone team getting the nod from the adjudicators by a majority decision.

Bronze Medal for Biology

Well done also to Sixth Year student, Lorraine Healy, who took part in a Biology workshop in DCU during the Easter Holidays and as a result of a quiz-like competition, she was awarded the Bronze Medal. Lorraine may also have the opportunity of making the Irish team which will take part in a similar European Science competition as part of the Biology team. There will also be teams for Physics and Chemistry.

April 12, 2010

Young Social Innovators

What better way to return to school after the Easter break than to receive very good news. So it was for the two Transition Year groups. At 3.00 p.m. on Monday last, the results of the “Speakouts” for the Young Social Innovators 2010 were made available on line.

The two groups had put a lot of work into the preparation of their themes for the Speakout in Cork at the beginning of March and both groups recognised how difficult it would be to be chosen as one of the sixty projects to go forward to the Showcase in Croke Park on May 5 next when there was a total entry of 360 projects.

“Introducing Me” is one of the five projects chosen in the “Making the World Healthier – Mental Health” section and “Guys and Dolls” is one of ten projects in “Making the World a Healthier Place for Young People” section.

Now, the frenzied activity will begin again as both Transition Year groups prepare for the Showcase on May 5. Well done to all concerned and especially to Ms Slattery and Ms Flanagan, the project leaders.

Concern Debate – The Last 8.

“Tomorrow’s Children will inherit a better world” – this is the motion for the quarter final of the Concern Debate which is to be held this week, on Wednesday April 14. Anna Brennan (Captain), Louise Burke, Jane Bugler and Lily Cantillon spent a good deal of their holiday preparing for this and they know they are up against stiff opposition in the form of Athlone Community School who have a very strong pedigree in this competition, having won it most recently in 2008. The girls have to oppose this motion and as they put the finishing touches to their arguments they are conscious of the difficulty of the task ahead. The debate will take place in Birr.

Minor A – Hockey Final

Just as the second term finished with success of the Junior A hockey team winning the Munster Cup, the third term now begins with yet another Munster Final. The Minor A will take on Bandon Grammar School, Cork and have the advantage of the home venue on this occasion. Good luck to them and hopefully it will not be as tense as the Junior A final!

March 21, 2010

Feis Ceoil

It is no mean feat to pack up two orchestras and some eighty students and head for the R.D.S. The instruments alone take up so much room and have to be loaded so carefully.

The Junior Orchestra was first up and they played very well but the winners of the competition were the very young students from Kilkenny. The Senior Orchestra competition had seven entries – the highest in some years. The Ursuline Orchestra came third losing out by two marks to the winners.

Last Eight for Concern Debaters

The Concern Debating team had a very quick turn around from its victory over Birr last week and they headed for Kilbeggan to take on the Mercy School there last Monday. The motion up for debate was that

“The world is ignoring its population time bomb”

Anna Brennan, Mary Moran, Lily Cantillon and Kate Bugler successfully argued their opposition to the motion and they now find themselves in the last eight of the competition.

The quarter finals will take place after Easter, giving the students the opportunity to prepare.

Basketball – Midland Final

Well done to the First Year Basketball team who had a very comprehensive victory over Newbridge last week in the Midland Final. They beat them by 65 – 4 baskets. They will now go into an All Ireland play off competition.

Hockey

Two titles were earned last week. The Senior B team had a 3 – 2 victory over Villiers, Limerick to name them the League Winners this year. Likewise, the Minor B1 team defeated the same opposition to grant them the League title.

Meanwhile, the Junior A and the Junior B teams are preparing and training hard for the two Cup finals this week.

March 14, 2010

Jersey Day

The School Council organised a Jersey Day for the victims of the Haiti disaster last Friday. The students wore all kinds of jerseys, with Tipperary and Munster heading the list. However, a few Kilkenny jerseys were spotted lurking in the shadows! The school was awash with County, Regional, Country colours and the effort raised almost € 600 for the Haiti Disaster Fund.

Last 16 for Concern Debating Team

The Concern Debating team has made it through to the last sixteen teams in the country following the success of its arguments over Birr Community School last Thursday. Anna Brennan (capt), Ruth Heenan, Lily Cantillon and Jane Bugler successfully argued “that the Millennium Development Goals were a lost cause”.

No sooner had this debate been won, when the motion and opponents for the next round were revealed: “the world is ignoring its population time bomb” against the Mercy S.S., Kilbeggan. The Ursuline team will oppose this motion next week so they have not much time to prepare their arguments!

Y.S.I. Speakout

After all the hard work and the weeks of frantic preparation and activity, the Transition Years travelled to Cork last week to present a two minute summary of the project. Both T.Y. groups were involved and each group had its own theme. “Understanding Me” was presented using a rap rhythm to their own lyrics in which they outlined what they had done to raise awareness about self-esteem.

The other group used some popular songs, again with its own words to convey the project about relationships entitled “Guys and Dolls”.

There are in excess of 600 entries in this competition and sixty will be chosen to make a fuller presentation in Croke Park next may.

Chamber Choir

Well done to the Chamber Choir, a dedicated group of choristers, and to Ms Farrell, conductor on coming second in Feis Ceoil last Monday.

The Choir travelled to the R.D.S. to participate in the Secondary Schools’ competition. They sang “God’s Aid” and in contrast a challenging arrangement of “This little light of mine”. Out of the seven choirs participating, the Chamber Choir lost out by one mark for the winning spot, which went to King’s Hospital School.

On Tuesday, the two Orchestras packed up their instruments and headed to Dublin also for the Orchestral competition.

Sport

It was another good week for the hockey teams with the Senior C putting 4 goals past the Presentation in the Cup competition, Junior As winning the League final with a 3-2 victory against Bandon Grammar School, Cork and the Minor As playing a 3-3 draw against the same opposition. The Minor A team followed that draw up the next day with a 2 – 0 win against Crescent in the Cup semi-final.

The two Senior teams A & B were out of luck however with St Angela’s Cork having the victory in the Cup semi-final and Bandon Grammar beating the Senior A in the Plate competition.

The Under 15 B1, Under 15 B2, Junior B1 teams all managed wins in their respective leagues and the Minor B4 drew against Rockwell.

The First Year Basketballers have made it to the Midland final following a comprehensive win over Rochfortbridge by 49 – 18. They will take on newbridge in the Midland final.

The Junior Camogie team lost narrowly to Coachford by 3-5 to 3-3.

March 1, 2010

Munster Athletics

What a day for the athletes last Friday when they participated in the Munster Cross Country Athletics Championship in Cork!

The four teams, Minor, Junior, Intermediate and Senior certainly performed magnificently and they were well rewarded coming away with the best School trophy and winning two of the sections.

The Senior and Minor teams came first and the Junior team came third and as well as securing the trophy on the day, they have also secured qualification for the All Ireland series.

The performances of the day happened in the Minor section when Ciara Cummins and Eileen Rafter came in first and second in a very competitive field. Well done to all the athletes who all made a significant contribution to the success of the day.

Pink Day (click here for photos)

One might have been forgiven for thinking that the Ursuline uniform had undergone a change over last weekend so “uniform” was the approach of students to Pink Day.

In order to raise awareness of Breast Cancer and to raise some money for the Breast Cancer Awareness charity, students were allowed to accessorise in pink last Monday and they paid for the privilege. The results were to say the least quite innovative, though the most popular item seemed to be pink tights! The staff also joined in and accessorised in pink and prepared pink buns with pink cream for the coffee beak. The amount raised is not clear yet, but doubtless it will be a very well received when the final calculations are made.

Public Speaking

The Mental Health Association public speaking team is busy putting the final touches to its speeches in preparation for the Regional Final of that competition this week. Anna Brennan, Caroline O’ Connor and Louise Burke are speaking about how “children have more need of role models than critics” and they take on Glenstal Abbey, the Convent of Mercy, Tralee and the Convent of Mercy, Ennistymon in the University of Limerick.

Transition Year YSI projects

The two Transition Year groups are extremely busy putting the final touches to their Young Social Innovators Project which will be presented in the City Hall, Cork on Wednesday next, March 10. Both groups have now submitted in writing their project and the next step is to present their programmes in a two minute “Speakout”. In this “speakout”, the students have to condense all their ideas and their actions into the two minutes allotted and they are allowed to use music and drama to convey their ideas.

Hockey

It is a busy time for the hockey teams as the final stages of competitions are being reached. The Minor A had a 4-1 victory over Villiers last week in the Cup whilst the Under 15 played out a 2-2 draw in the league. The Minor B1 and Minor B2 teams had 3-0 and 4-0 victories respectively against laurel Hill, Colaiste. The spotlight turns to the Junior A team now as they prepare to take on old adversaries, Mount Mercy in the semi-final of the Cup. The Junior B team is also preparing for its cup match against Villiers.

February 14, 2010

Old Mobile Phones

The Green School Committee has been making preparations to launch a big drive to collect old mobile phones. This project has two dimensions. Firstly, all phones will be donated to the Jack & Jill Foundation and will be enormously helpful to them in the wonderful work they do and secondly if the committee can gather three hundred old phones, the school will receive an Interactive Whiteboard. So from Monday next, February 22, the Green School Committee will be more than delighted to accept any mobile phones that people may have lying about.

All Ireland Basketball Qualifiers

The Cadette Basketball team made the long journey to County Monaghan last Saturday to take part in the All Ireland play offs. Having won the Midland group, the team was well prepared for this encounter. There were four pools of three teams each, so the Ursuline opponents were Newbridge and local team Castleblaney. The first match versus Castleblaney was a tight match but the Ursuline team emerged as winners and they then awaited Newbridge whom they also had to defeat. They had a long wait before taking to the court for the second time and the two teams were drawn as they entered the last quarter when unfortunately one basket more saw Newbridge qualify for the All Ireland.

Log on Learn

The Transition Year students are showing their capabilities as teachers as they take on some older citizens who are anxious to learn their way around the computer, The Computer Room is a–buzz each week as “pupil” and “teacher” interact with each other on this most worthwhile programme.

Concern Debates

Anna Brennan, Louise Burke, Jane Bugler and Lily Cantillon travelled to Portlaoise last week to debate with Newbridge College in the first Concern debate of the knock out section. The team had the task of proposing the motion that

“genetically modified foods are essential in the fight against world hunger”

and in a keenly debated contest, the Ursuline girls won the day and they will now proceed to the next round which will take place in a fortnight’s time.

February 8, 2010

Mini Med

Following the experience of students who participated in Mini-Med in previous years, the number applying for Mini-Med this year exceeded places so eight students were pulled out of the hat for this year’s course. Mini Med takes place in Waterford Regional Hospital and WIT next week during the mid-term break so it is a clear marker that students who apply to do this course are serious about this option as a career. The course, which takes place from Tuesday to Friday, gives the students a taste of many aspects of medical practice and includes six one hour practicals. Students participating are: Hazel Blackmore, Louise Burke, Michelle Burke, Edel Campion, Maeve Herlihy, Mary Moran, Ellen Sweeney and Shannon Toohey.

Sport

It is a very quiet time for sport and the sports fields and courts are almost forlorn as so many students are involved in Mock Junior & Leaving Cert. The Minor B1, B2 and B3 hockey teams had league encounters with Crescent last week and all three teams had very comfortable wins: 5-0, 6-0 and 5-0 respectively.

Transition Years Under Pressure

To say that Transition Year students are under pressure may seem a bit of a paradox but the truth is that they are. Having entered this year’s YSI programme, deadlines are now approaching fast and furiously and yes, the pressure is on!

The Young Social Innovators programme (YSI) is a national programme that is taken up by 183 schools around the country and has an entry of some 380 projects involving six thousand students. The challenge to the young people who participate in YSI is if you believe in something passionately, then you can do something about it. Simply put: Believe in it, Act on it.

There will be two programmes put forward from the two groups. The first dead line to be met is a twelve page report on the project which has to be submitted by February 26 and following this, the students will travel to Cork to make their presentations – the “Speakout”. Based on these two submissions, sixty projects will be chosen for the Showcase on May 5 in Croke Park.

One group’s project is entitled “Guys & Dolls” and looks at the whole area of stereotyping in the area of relationships and the project’s motto is “Don’t paint us all with the one brush”. The second project is called “Introducing…Me” and focuses on the area of self-esteem and how to build it.

 

February 1, 2010

Catholic Schools’ Week

Catholic Schools’ Week, which is taking place nationwide this week, is being marked in the school with various activities organised by the Religious Education Department. The theme for the week “A Light for Every Generation” is beautifully depicted in the hallway as is a newly made St Brigid’s Cross. Prayer services are being conducted with every class and there are also prayers over the Intercom. As the Feast of St Blaise also fell within the week, throats were blessed on Wednesday.

Staff Collection for Haiti

A very fancy and delicious tea/coffee break time last week yielded almost € 1200 for the Haiti appeal fund. Members of Staff, talented in the cake-making department, certainly tempted the palates of all with a lovely spread which was enjoyed by all.

Mental Health Public Speaking

Caroline O’Connor, Anna Brennan and Nicola Sutton have been given a bye into the Regional Final of this public speaking competition and the preparation they had done for the theme “that the blocks of positive mental health are laid in our youth” will stand them in good stead as they now prepare a new topic.

Concern Debating

The Concern Debating team has also received notice of the motion and the opposition for the knock out stages of this debate. The team will propose the motion “that genetically modified food is essential in the fight against world hunger” and the opponents, Newbridge College, will be the guests to the school on Wednesday next, February 10.

Maths Quiz

Three teams of Sixth Year students travelled to Clonmel last Friday night to participate in the Irish Maths Teachers Association Quiz (IMTA). This was the Tipperary section and Libby Ryan, Lorraine Healy, Silvianne Strapp and Tessa O’ Gorman came first and will now go forward and represent Tipperary in the Regional finals which will be held later in the term. Well done also to the other two teams of Ursula Russell, Cara Bergin, Mary Butler, Debbie Fogarty, Anna Brennan, Aine Stakelum and Katie Larkin.

First & Second Year In House Debating

The climax of this keenly contested competition took place last week as the twenty four teams that started out were reduced to two teams of Second Years and two teams of First Year. The event was chaired most efficiently by Second Year student, Orla Lynch, and two Sixth Year students, Dervla Nash and Aoife O’ Sullivan, along with Mrs Quinn, adjudicated the debate.

The motion for both First and Second Years was “that the influence of the media has destroyed traditional values” was keenly argued by both sets of teams. The Second Year team of Emily Binchy, Jane Ryan, Isabella Harold Barry proposed the motion and they won the day against Siofra Adams, Enya Ni Tiomanaide and Anna Crotty.

In the First Year debate, the team opposing the motion won the day: Leah Carroll, Ciara Cummins, Roisin Putti. The proposition team was Katie Cody, Roisin Heenan, and Jenny Ryan.

East Munster Athletics

The Senior, Intermediate, Junior and Minor Cross Country Athletics teams travelled to Dungarvan last Friday having qualified from the Tipperary Section. And once again they were successful and all teams have now qualified for the Munster Final which will take place in C.I.T. on February 26.

The Senior and Minor teams came first, the Junior team, second and the Intermediate team came third. The competition allows for six athletes on each team and then you count the top three finishers from the team. In the Senior Section Mary Prendergast, Ann Marie Hayes and Marita Molony came third, fourth, and seventh respectively and Elaine Fitzgibbon and Ciara Burke also finished very well. The Intermediate team of Fiona McEnery (8th), Shauna Hayden (10th), Shona O’ Flynn (19th) and Cora Doyle (22nd) did enough to secure third place and a spot in the Munster Championships.

The Junior team of Caitriona Hayes, Caroline Murtagh, Eimear Ryan, Heather Casey, Siobhan Hennessy all performed well over the 1500 metres and secured the second place team. The Minor team of Ciara Cummins, Eileen Rafter and Orla Healy came first, second and ninth respectively and they came in first place and are looking very strong to take the Munster title.

Hockey

There were mixed fortunes for the hockey teams as they continued League fixtures or participated in Cup first rounds. The Senior A had a home draw against Scoil Mhuire and in a very tightly contested match, there was little between the teams in the first half with both teams pressing well and defending even better. However, five minutes or so from the end of play, Scoil Mhuire scored what proved to be the winner and the Senior A will now go into the plate competition.

Junior B, Senior B had very convincing wins and scored 14 goals between them against Crescent and Laurel Hill. The Minor A also outplayed its opponents, Bandon, managing to put away ten goals in the process. The Minor B4 team went down by 0 – 3 against Presentation, Thurles.

Basketball

The First & Second Year team started their league fixtures travelling to St Leo’s, Carlow last week. The First Years (two teams) defeated their opponents by 31-29 and 22 – 6 whilst the Second Year team secured a 22-22 draw.