Transition Year Students Participate in the Final of the Soroptomist Public Speaking Competition
Well done to our Transition Year students for their incredible speeches in the regional final of the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition recently. Their speeches delved into topics such as female empowerment, global food extremes and environmental issues. The standard of speeches was exceptional and the girls did themselves and the school proud! Well done too to Ms. Crotty and Ms. Prendergast for supporting the girls in their preparation for the competition.
Ard Scoil na nDéise Students Organise Quiz in Aid of Pieta House
At the end of October, four Transition Year students organised a quiz for the first and second years to raise money for Pieta House. The quiz was inspired by their Feel Good Week which lasted from the 20th to the 27th of October. It was a lot of work and it definitely wouldn’t have been possible without Ms. Gleeson, who was very helpful in the preparation for the quiz. The girls spent a lot of time putting together posters, teams and questions in the weeks before the quiz. It came to the day and, unfortunately, some of the girls who were involved in planning the quiz couldn’t be there. The other girls spent the morning busily collecting money and hanging up team lists before they set up the twenty seven tables in the hall. Many other students got involved in the correction of answers and scoring. The event was a great success and Niamh and Shania had a great time calling out the questions and hopefully the first and second years really enjoyed it too. It was hard work but it was definitely worth it to raise money for such an important charity. In total we raised €165 and we are proud to be able to support Pieta House in this way.
Written by Alanah Donnelly, Transition Year
Ard Scoil na nDéise teams compete in First and Second Year Camogie Blitz
On Thursday, December sixth, the First and Second Year camogie players from Árd Scoil na nDéise travelled up to the WIT Sports Campus in Carriganore for a camogie blitz. There were also teams there from Blackwater Community School and Our Lady of Mercy, Waterford.
For four weeks before the blitz, Calum Lyons came down and trained the Ard Scoil students who were going to be taking part. He also trained the other two schools before the blitz so there was a level playing field going into the blitz! We had three teams taking part in the blitz, all of which were very strong teams. They each played three matches before reaching the semi-final stages. Everyone got to play in a semi final between two divisions, A and B. Árd Scoil 1 reached the A final and Árd Scoil 3 reached the B final. Unfortunately, Árd Scoil 2 were narrowly defeated in their semi. Both finals were great games to watch with all teams showing great skills. Their hard work paid off as both of the Árd Scoil teams that reached finals came out on top!
We must also give a special mention to Eve Dwyer in Second Year who received a special award for most improved player from the Árd Scoil over the course of the programme.
A great day was had by all. Thank you to Ms. Kiely and Ms. Prendergast and the four Transition Year Students who coached, refereed and helped out during the day. Well done to all the girls involved!
Written by Niamh Fennell, Míde Delaney, Laura Cosgrave & Gillian Whelan.
Christmas Concert at Ard Scoil na nDéise
On Friday, December 21st, we had our annual Ard Scoil Christmas Concert. This is a great opportunity for staff and students alike to showcase their many talents! It is always an exciting event with a truly festive theme as the Christmas holidays approach. This year we were thrilled to have numerous acts from every year group so our line up was comprehensive and varied. We literally had everything from rapping, to singing, to dancing, to synchronised swimming………………. something to appeal to everyone! We had whole classes performing singing and dancing routines as well as smaller groups of students and solo performances. It made us so proud to see the girls up on the stage performing confidently in front of their peers. We would like to say a special thank you to Ms. Crotty and Ms. Prendergast for organising the concert ably assisted by their excellent Transition Year committees. It was a great end to what has been a busy term and we are already looking forward to next year’s Christmas concert!!
Fundraising for Dungarvan Lions Club
Well done to the staff and students of Ard Scoil na nDéise who raised €500 for Dungarvan Lions Club this year through holding the annual Christmas Jumper Day organised by our Fifth Year mentors, the Cairde Girls.
Credit Union Art Competition
We are delighted to have had two winners at Chapter level in the Credit Union Art Competition this year! Congratulations to Mary Bradfield, Third Year, who was the winner in the age 14 to 17 years category and to Kayla McCarey, Sixth Year, who was the winner in the age 18 and over category. They were presented with their awards in Raheen House Hotel in Clonmel in early December. Both girls have now progressed to the National Finals of this prestigious competition. We are so proud of their achievements and we would like to wish them well in the next stage of the competition. We would also like to say a special thank you to Ms. Foley for supporting and encouraging the girls as they strive to develop their artistic talents.
Christmas Craft Fair in Ard Scoil na nDéise
Well done to all of the students who took part in our two craft fairs before the Christmas holidays.
On Tuesday, 11th December our Junior Business students held a craft fair in the Junior Building where they sold an impressive array of products ranging from Christmas Logs to jewellery, to doggie treats! Judging by the satisfied looks on their faces on the day, it was a successful first attempt at entrepreneurship as the craft fair ended with empty stalls and pockets full of hard earned profits. We are sure they learned a lot from the experience and we look forward to seeing what fabulous ideas they will come up with next time!
On Wednesday, 12th December it was the turn of our Transition Year students to hold their craft fair in the Senior Building and this time the whole school was invited to attend. Again there was an impressive array of products on display ranging from beauty hampers, to school survival kits, to baked goods and lucky dips!! It was so impressive to see the wide range of creative ideas that the Transition Year students had come up with and it was clear that some of them had put a lot of effort into identifying their niche markets. Footfall at the craft fair was high and the girls were snowed under with orders for their products. We are sure that they will be kept very busy filling these orders but the experience will stand to them as they enter enterprise competitions later in the year. On the day all visitors to the craft fair were given an opportunity to vote on their favourite stall. The overall winner was Kate Heffernan for her clever bandanas for dogs, creatively named Dogdanas! Well done Kate!!! Thank you to Ms. Foley, Ms. Gleeson, and Ms Cleary for all of their work with the girls.
Ard Scoil na n Déise Student to Represent Ireland at the IWAS World Games in the United Arab Emirates
Congratulations to Aislinn O’Regan, Transition Year, who has been selected to represent Ireland in the International Wheelchair and Amputees Sports Federation World Games in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in February. This year’s World Games will welcome athletes from age fourteen years and up including former Paralympic athletes and champions. Twelve athletes will represent Ireland and Aislinn is the youngest member of the Irish team again this year. Aislinn will compete in the shot put and discus field events. This is a well deserved opportunity for Aislinn who is currently training three or four times a week in Dungarvan, Cork, and Wexford. We hope that she will thoroughly enjoy the experience and will also get to spend some time taking in the sights in the United Arab Emirates!
Transition Year Students Take to the Ice!
On Wednesday, January 16th our Transition Year students went to Cork to try their hand at ice skating. It was the first time that many of the girls had tried this activity and thankfully they all managed to get the hang of it to some degree. We are pleased to report that there were no broken bones, although we hear that there are plenty of bruises!!! Ice skating was a lovely start to 2019 and a trip to Mahon Point to check out the shops rounded the day off nicely! Thank you to Mr. Barry for organising the trip and to Ms. Scully and Ms. Cleary for accompanying the girls.
Amber Flag Presentation
On Friday Jan 25th, at our whole-school assembly, Olive Ruane from Pieta House in Waterford came to present us with our Amber Flag based on all of our efforts to promote mental wellbeing during the 2017- 2018 academic year. The Pieta House Amber Flag initiative recognises the individual efforts of primary and secondary schools, companies, and groups to create healthy, inclusive environments that support mental wellbeing. To be awarded the Pieta House Amber Flag, applicant groups must host a mental health awareness event, a fundraiser, and a mental health initiative. The programme encourages teamwork and student contributions and works with school guidance counsellors to include a peer-support element. The Amber Flag is in its fifth year, and over 450 flags have been awarded to date. We are very proud to have been awarded our Amber Flag. We would like to say a special thank you to our Guidance Counsellor, Ms. Gleeson who introduced the idea of the Amber Flag to our school and has been the anchor teacher throughout the application process. We look forward to continuing our focus on positive mental health and wellbeing in Ard Scoil na nDéise.
Minding Me Week
January can be a hard month. The Christmas holidays are over. The days are still short and the nights are long. School is busy with coursework to be completed and, for some students, pre exams are on the horizon. Bad weather can keep us cooped up inside when we would love to be outdoors. Sometimes this time of year can take a toll on our wellbeing and our mental health. With that in mind, a dedicated group of staff and students got together to organise ‘Minding Me Week’ to help us all to beat those January blues. Ms. K. Gleeson and Ms. O’Shea worked very hard with our Transition Year committees to put together a programme of activities and guest speakers that would appeal to a wide variety of tastes and interests. A special word of thanks has to go to Ms. O’Shea for her super support of the Transition Year committees throughout the week. Some of the Minding Me Week committees have written reports on how they contributed to promoting positive mental health in Ard Scoil na nDéise.
Non Uniform Day to raise funds for Pieta House
For Minding Me Week 2019, our group was in charge of organising a non uniform day in aid of Pieta House. We stuck up posters around the school with the slogan ‘On Tuesdays We Wear Pink’- each student brought in €2 and in total we raised €530 for Pieta House. We were very proud to present this money to Olive Ruane from Pieta House in Waterford who attended a whole-school assembly on Friday to speak to the school about the important work of Pieta House.
Our group was also in charge of putting post-its on each students locker with positive message for each student to start off our week in a positive frame of mind. All of our group stayed in after school on Friday to stick up the positive quotes on every locker so it would be there for each student on the Monday morning. Everyone was delighted with the surprise!
Spreading positivity throughout the school using the intercom to boost morale
Our group was about sharing a happy song or quote with the school community through the intercom every day. Each morning we announced the activities that would be taking place that day to inform all the students and teachers. We decided it would be best to play a motivational, happy song every morning to help get the school off to a good start and to wake everybody up. Some of the songs included ‘Happy’, ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ and ‘Sunflower’. The songs lifted the atmosphere in school every morning creating positive and happy vibes all around. In the afternoon we announced a quote of the day. All these quotes were based on the theme of mental health, happiness and positivity.
Focus on Healthy Eating and Healthy Choices
Eating healthily has a huge impact on our wellbeing whether it is physical or mental. Our job as a group was to organise food related activities for minding me week. Having put our heads together and brainstormed ideas for the week, we decided to run a daily quiz, a recipe competition and a guest speaker to talk to us about eating healthily.
Every day we put up a new quiz question in relation to food and being healthy in the foyers of the two buildings. Students could submit their answers and the correct answers would be put into a draw and the winner would be announced via the intercom and would receive their prize at break time.
We decided it would be a good idea to organise a healthy recipe competition to encourage students to cook and eat healthily. We designed and hung posters around the school advertising this event. Students handed up their recipes and were judged. The winners were presented with prizes at the end of the week.
Guest speaker Rob from Blásta Wholefoods came to the school on Thursday and talked to various year groups about the importance of healthy eating and how we can achieve it. He answered any queries we had about the topic at the end of the talk. Everyone walked away from the talk having learned something new. We even got a healthy alternative to Nutella!
Promoting Physical Activity
The Minding Me Week PE group was in charge of all physical activities throughout the week. Throughout the week, we took over as the teachers and we showed the classes a variety of games that they could play such as team building activities where they would all learn how to use their senses and work together. As PE classes are a double we had one class focused on Mental health so we laid out a yoga mat for each student and they followed a tutorial on YouTube about yoga for anxiety and meditation. Then for the second class we would play Just Dance so they would get some exercise in and help their mental health. This activity was also available to the students on Tuesday, 22nd at lunchtime where they got to bring a bit of fun to their lunch. As the topic of mental health becomes more and more prevalent in today’s society, an increasing amount of research surrounding the positive effects of dance on mental health has emerged. It was obvious that dance had a positive impact on all the students after they took part in Just Dance as everyone was in a really good mood.
We had various guest speakers during the week. Liam Doocey ran workshops with all of our students. His workshops were entitled ‘It is all about you’ and focused on mental health, self-esteem, resilience, and developing good habits. On a similar note Stephen Dargan ran workshops entitled ‘Beat the Blues’ again focusing on strategies to promote positive mental health and resilience.
Blast from the past fashion show
We began by gathering fourteen outfits from ‘back in the day’ from various members of staff. Then we had a photo shoot of all the outfits in order to put photos of the outfits on display around the school. Next we needed to get a song from every teacher who brought in an outfit to make a playlist and a slideshow. On Friday we held a fashion show for the whole school where we announced which teacher owned which outfit and announced the winners of our competition. The fashion show was a great end to a really fun-filled week in the Ard Scoil.