News from Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna

The following news snippets and photos were kindly shared by Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare. 

Mary Immaculate students advance to finals of ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2014

A group of eleven transition year students from Mary Immaculate Secondary School have made it to the finals of the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2014.

The team were first selected for the ECO DENS, one of which was held in Claregalway. Here they presented their project to a panel of judges. The judging involved a presentation to the judges followed by questioning from the judges. From the 4 ECO Dens held throughout the country 70 projects are chosen to exhibit at the Showcase and Awards Ceremony, which will take place in the Round Room inside The Mansion House, Dawson St., Dublin 2 on Tuesday the 20th of May 2014.

In a statement ECO-UNESCO said that “the judges were so impressed this year by the quality and range of projects and want to express their congratulations on all your amazing work.”

The Lisdoonvarna project set out:

  • To develop a comprehensive programme for primary schools on the following topics:
  1. Litter/Littering
  2. Groundwater and Groundwater Pollution
  • To be trained to deliver our programmes to primary school classes.
  • To make primary school students aware of the issue of Litter/Littering and Groundwater Pollution.
  • To design two board games that tests the knowledge of primary school students on these particular subjects.

Pictured above are some of the team members at the ECO-DEN.

They are now looking forward to exhibiting their project in Dublin. They are grateful for the assistance they have got in developing this resource from Dr. Eamon Doyle, Sonja O’Brien and a number of primary teachers.

Pictured above are students from Mary Immaculate with Dr. Eamon Doyle.

Pictured above are students working with Sonja O’Brien.

Comenius visit to Holland - EASTER 2014

The final stage of this year’s Comenius Project took place in the city of Hoorn in the Netherlands from the 8th to the 12th of April. Ten students of Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna travelled to Tabor College in Holland to complete this European Schools project.

The accompanying teachers were Maggie Garrihy and Shane Slattery and the project is coordinated by Mr. John Sims. The visitors where hosted by Dutch families for the duration of their stay. The group had the benefit of home cooking and hospitality which provided a unique opportunity to sample local culture and places of interest.

Co-operating with both Italian and Dutch schools proved very fruitful. The students worked on developing a tourist trail which can be used as a smart phone or tablet computer APP. It is targeted at teenagers who come to visit the North Clare area.

By providing information and recommendations on the most interesting and fun places to visit, students devise “fun things to see and do” for people of their own age group.

The project entitled “RICH IN CREATIVITY, POOR IN RESOURCES” marked the culmination of yet another successful Comenius Project. The students who travelled to Holland were: Suchadar White, Ashley Garrihy, Deirdre and Stephen O’Connell, Rowan Johnson, Barry Fitzgerald, Ciarán Johnston, Charlie Morahan, Austin Moloney and Crebhan Hughes.

TY Wheelchair Basketball Programme

This programme was run in Mary Immaculate Secondary School on Thursday 10th April 2014. 13 students participated in the workshop which was run by Mr. Paul Ryan who is the IWA Sports Munster Development Officer.

Wheelchair basketball is a fantastic sport from an inclusive point of view. It develops players with a wide range of physical disabilities to take part in this fast competitive game with their friends using custom built sports specific chairs.

Why get involved?
1. This is a fun and inclusive sport, and TY students learn first-hand that their peers with a disability can also take part in and benefit from playing team sports.
2. The programme immerses students in a disability sport and provides an authentic inclusion experience.
3. There is also an opportunity for TY teams to play “Mainstream” Junior Wheelchair Basketball teams around Munster.

How the program works:

Day 1: School Introduction (Thursday 10th April)
IWA Sports Munster Development Officer Paul Ryan, bring sportschairs for TY participants to play in their school sportshall. Morning session: introducing the game, skills & drills.
Afternoon session: blitz matches played- select schools team to represent at county final blitz.

Day 2: County Final (Tuesday 6th May – not confirmed yet)
School teams play each other, and one team qualifies to represent their county at the TY Munster Wheelchair Basketball Final.

Day 3: Munster Final.
All County Champion teams play a blitz format to arrive at the eventual Munster Champions.

Mary Immaculate students shine in literary competitions

Congratulations and well done to Róisín O’ Donoghue (2nd Yr.) and Jane O’Loughlin (1st Yr.) who respectively received 3rd place and highly commended in the Junior Section of the Clare Champion Short Story Competition.

Both girls were part of a strong entry submission from students of Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna. All students worked extremely hard, each coming up with very original ideas and then editing, honing and polishing their efforts to perfection. Due to the high level of entry from schools all over Clare not everyone could be placed. However, in terms of effort and participation everyone was a winner and as a school we are extremely proud of their achievements.

Róisín who received 3rd place used the bad storms of last winter as a source of inspiration. She wrote a beautifully descriptive story told from three different perspectives, all ultimately combining to provide a happy ending.

Jane used WWII as a basis for a poignant and sweet love story between an Irish country girl and a German pilot who crash landed in a field close to her father’s farm.

Both stories not only reflect ability but also are proof of hard work, commitment, great qualities in students so young. This can only auger well for the future.

Further congratulations are extended to Neasa McCormack and Ava Flanagan from Transition Year, who were shortlisted for a Poetry Slam Regional Competition held in the Black Box, Galway on April 8th. Both put on strong performances with Neasa being one of three successful competitors.

Neasa wrote and performed a poem called “Seasons” which was up against very strong competition from schools in Clare, Limerick, Galway and Mayo.

Her poem and performance commanded huge applause on the day. Neasa now goes forward to an All-Ireland Final in the RTE studios in Dublin, where she will be recorded as part of a radio programme.

If successful she will win a trip to Philadelphia. We wish her all the very best. She is a worthy winner and well deserves our praise for her ability and hard work.