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News from Our Lady's Secondary School, Castleblayney

Our Lady’s Students Enjoy Unique French Experience

At the end of last term, 70 students from Our Lady’s Secondary School, accompanied by their teachers, enjoyed a four day language trip to Paris.

On arrival, the group was met by Patrick, driver of their luxury double-decker coach. The students were then immediately immersed in French culture, as they browsed St Ouen, the world’s largest flea market. Many great bargains were negotiated, en français of course!

The Champs Elysées provided the venue for lunch, before a visit to the Louvre museum. This was followed by a panoramic city tour of Paris, during which the students absorbed the atmosphere and observed all famous landmarks. Joe, the tour guide filled everyone in on the finer details. Following the evening meal, at a Parisian restaurant, the group enjoyed a relaxing cruise on the Bateau Mouche Paris.

Day 2 began with a visit to Père Lachaise cemetery where, among others, students visited the graves of Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde. Ms Tuomey enthused the students with her rendition of “The ballad of Reading Gaol”. A visit to Notre Dame and lunch in the Latin Quarter followed.

After a relaxing déjeuner the group joined the hustle and bustle of the Paris Métro, as they made their way to the beautiful area of Montmartre.

The soaring temperatures of 31°c did not deter the climb to the Basilica of Sacré Coeur. Of course, the artists on Place de Tertre were delighted with the Irish “models” lining up to have their portraits done. After dinner everyone cooled down at Aquaboulevard, Paris’ aquatic pool.

The third day saw the group join Mickey Mouse and Co. in Eurodisney. There were many Peter Pans (notably Ms Murray) but not so many Sleeping Beauties! Dinner in Planet Hollywood concluded an action-packed day.

Back to Paris and the sky was the limit, or should we say the top of the Eiffel Tower, with it’s breath-taking views of Paris.

After that it was back to the hotel, exhausted students and 70 “Sleeping Beauties” finally emerged.

On the last day it was time for some retail therapy. Val d’ Europe international shopping centre provided the venue.

This was followed by a short bus trip to Versailles, where the group visited the splendid Chateau and Gardens of Louis xiv.

All too soon it was time to depart for Beauvais Airport. Students were overwhelmed to receive a parting gift from their French bus driver, Patrick, as he was so impressed by the group.

The students said goodbye to Paris, full of emotion and promising to return. Au revoir Paris, à la prochaine fois!

Celebration aplenty at Our Lady’s

As students’ outstanding results buck the national trends………….

The Principal and staff of Our Lady’s Secondary School, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan were delighted to welcome back the Leaving Cert Class of 2012 to a reception in the school held in September.

Leaving Cert results… college places….debs… there was much to talk about and discuss. In what can best be described as an atmosphere of congratulations and celebration, these young people took time out from their busy college preparations to once again meet their teachers with whom they had worked so closely for the last six years.

The staff, for their part, took the opportunity to offer congratulations to this group of students who had achieved outstanding results, many attaining personal bests.

Principal, Mr Gerard McGuill commented on this year’s excellent Leaving Cert results, “for the 5th year in a row one of our students has attained maximum points which this year was 625 – an outstanding achievement for Fearghal Duffy.

The class of 2012 excelled themselves with 4% of the student body achieving 600 points and over, 16% attaining in excess of 500 points and 46% achieving 400+points, all of which greatly exceed the national average. And once again our excellent grades in Maths and Science leave our students very well equipped to take up courses in a very broad range of spheres where they have many doors and choices open to them.

It is particularly gratifying for the staff and myself when every student, irrespective of ability, reaches their potential and finds their niche.

These results allow them to pursue courses in medicine, pharmacy, maths and computers, engineering, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, finance & accounting, primary school teaching, surveying, Arts, nursing & apprenticeships and puts them up there with the best in the country.

Like their predecessors, this fine group of young people leaves a very strong legacy behind them in their sporting, literary and theatrical pursuits and achievements and have left their mark on the school with their friendly, generous and balanced natures.

Any school in Ireland would be proud of such fine ambassadors and all the staff of the school wishes them well in their chosen courses and career choices. I would also like to mention and thank the hardworking staff of the school whose commitment and dedication never falters.”