News from Coláiste Muire, Ennis, Co. Clare

European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations

Our TY1 class attended the launch by President Michael D. Higgins of the 2012 Active Ageing and Solidarity Between Generations held on the 10th February in Dublin Castle. They had the opportunity to talk about their work to date on their YSI project entitled “Positive Ageing: It’s not the years in the life it’s the life in the years”.

Some of the innovative ideas that are being carried out by students include reduced prices in the businesses around Ennis, a monthly grave cleaning service, the provision of high visibility jackets and a paired walking initiative.

They are also busy providing one to one computer training for older people through the Log On Learn initiative on Monday mornings.

This programme has been so successful that it has been extended for a further six weeks to accommodate the demand.

Students are also providing entertainment for the elderly in the local Community Centre.

A reduced price deal for pensioners dubbed “New Year, New Price” has brought about the creation of a loyalty card, produced by the school, which is available to anyone over the age of 65.

TY1 class took part in the SpeakOut for our region in the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway on March 8th.

All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO)

Six fourth year students have qualified for the national finals of the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO), to be held in DCU on 20th March.

Computational linguistics is the science of understanding language using logic and computer algorithms. It is pervasive in our lives – examples include Apple’s Siri voice recognition system and the Google Translate machine translation engine.

The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad aims to introduce students to this field – in which Ireland excels – and to encourage them to pursue careers at the intersection of language, linguistics and computing.

Good luck to Siobhan Coughlan, Alannah Redington, Aideen Kelly, Mo Turner, Aoife Dwyer and Alanna Wurm.

“IT Is Not Just For Geeks” 

As part of Engineers Week Dell facilitated this workshop looking at Careers in Technology for both TY classes.

  • Topics covered included
  • An introduction to Dell
  • Planning your career
  • Why is IT a good choice?
  • What kind of careers can you have in IT?
  • Personal traits that can help you succeed
  • What gets in the way of success?
  • What makes the best leaders?

Think Outside the Cardboard Box

Transition Year 2 class are focusing on Homelessness for their YSI project . Their goals are

  • Create awareness of homelessness as an issue in their community.
  • Raise funds for the Simon Community as well as other local groups working with people who become homeless and rely on services such as Clare Haven Refuge Centre in Ennis and Merchant’s Quay in Limerick.
  • Challenge people’s perception of the homeless community.

To date the class have raised over €2000 for homeless charities. They have taken a very innovative approach to fundraising including “Cash for Clobber” and a Sleepover in school. Other events planned include a Talent Show and participating in the Great Limerick Run. TY 2 took part in the SpeakOut for our region in the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway on March 8th.

Junk Kouture Recycled Fashion Competition 2012

Junk Kouture, in association with ERP the European Recycling Platform, have launched the ERP Junk Kouture Recycled Fashion Competition 2012.

The competition sets the challenge to budding fashion designers among the nation’s secondary school students inviting them to rework trash and other already used materials and craft them into remarkable high-end couture fashion for both men or women.

Well done to Caoimhe McCabe, 2nd year student who has qualified for the Regional Final in Limerick on 1st April. The theme of her costume is “Winter Garden”.

Songschool Workshops

This workshop offered students a first hand insight into life as a professional songwriter / musician and an overview of song writing and the music business.

Students wrote, performed and recorded their own songs during this two day workshop on the 6th and 7th March. All songs were recorded on CD.

Student Enterprise Awards – Clare County Enterprise Board

Transition Year 2 students showcased the following products at the county final in the West County Hotel on 8th March.

  • BEATZ (Personalised CDs)
  • Inky Pinky (Nail Varnish Pen)
  • Boom Bags (IPOD Pocket)
  • Box It (Novelty Gift Boxes)

Inky Pinky won the overall prize and have qualified for the National Final while Beatz won the Best Business Plan category.

GAA Foundation Level Coaching Course

Fourteen 4th year students are currently involved in this 8 week Camogie Coaching Course.

Transition Year Girls Spikeball Leaders Programme 2011/12

Coláiste Muire was selected again to participate in this programme.

VAI (Volleyball Association of Ireland) delivered a 6 hour TY Leadership course to TY students in January on how to introduce Spikeball to primary schools in the local community.

TY students in Coláiste Muire linked up with Crusheen NS, Ennis NS and Gaelscoil Mhichil Chiosog to organise and coach a class for 6 weeks.

TY students received instruction on coaching, refereeing and the administration of the programme by the VAI.

They are to be certified as VIA/ISC SpikeBall leaders on completion of the course.

TY students have scheduled a SpikeBall Blitz for Monday 12th March to mark the completion of the training sessions.