Presentation Castleisland News – February 2019


2nd Year class and the Grandparents involved in Grandparents Day in Presentation Secondary

On Thursday last, the second year students of Presentation Secondary School greeted some of their grandparents and shared a very special afternoon of reminiscing, music, singing and even some home baking.

The girls had carefully planned this event over the past few weeks and were very enthusiastic about giving their grandparents a glimpse into what school life is like for the younger generation.

After a tour of the school and a browse over old photographs and memorabilia, Abigail Martin read an account of the history of Presentation Secondary School over the decades.  This was followed by some toe tapping tunes, played by Joanna Moynihan and Amy O’Sullivan.

‘It was a very enjoyable visit’, said Michael Broderick who coincidentally had built the new wing of the Home Economics room thirty years earlier. The students hope to repeat this visit and make it an annual event.  Grandparents are a treasured, integral part of our lives,  who have’ silver in their hair and gold in their hearts’.

Grand Parents Charlie, Mary and Muireann Mc Bride, and Eileen Brosnan

Grand Parents Joe Martin, Murty McEllistrim, Abigail Martin, Sheila Martin


Presentation  Secondary School Castleisland celebrates Catholic Schools Week  in January every year and this year we found ourselves exploring  the diversity in our communities and the importance of learning from our grandparents. We focused all our work around the idea of acting justly and being merciful and humble.

The students looked at the different ways in which they can be kind to those in need and identified ways in which they can reach out to others. They looked at how they could communicate with other cultures and the older generation, and learn from them.

Grandparents visited the school, prayer services were held and some classes attended mass  during the week. Our international students in the school shared their ideas on mercy and justice and the students made Brigid’s Crosses in school on February 1st to celebrate St. Brigid’s Day. They also taught the international students how to make the crosses – a tradition many students had learned from their grandparents -tying our intergenerational theme and the theme of the diverse community we find ourselves in together.

All in all it was a very successful week with a lot of reflection and learning being enjoyed by all.

Catholic Schools Kasjana Siwak Yvonne Lane

Catholic Schools Eve Weldon Elaine O Donoghue Emma O Regan


Cara Fleming, Cait O Mahony, Ava Flaherty, Fiona Brosnan visit Google HQ in Dublin

Four students from Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland, were among 40 students nationally chosen to visit Google Headquarters in Dublin on the 8th February as part of the School’s Digital Champions Project. This project is organised and run by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment as part of the National Digital Strategy. The programme aims to create an interest in STEM and develop an aptitude for ICT in secondary schools.

“It is a very interesting, innovative programme which enables students to develop their creativity, critical-thinking and communication skills” according to Annette Leen ICT Coordinator.

Ava Flaherty, Cáit O’Mahony, Cara Fleminig and Fiona Brosnan already received training in App-development and Video-editing as part of this project before Christmas. The trip to Google, which included a campus tour and a series of informative workshops on various topics, culminated in individual interviews and career advice for the students. They must now complete their project, creating ICT video tutorials to distribute to the school community in order to enhance IT skills school-wide. Their findings will be presented at a national showcase event in May.


Climate change Laura Daly Siobhan Brosnan

Presentation Castleisland students Laura Daly and Siobhan Brosnan received the exciting news last week that they have been chosen to be Climate Ambassadors for their school and the wider community.

The girls fought off stiff competition from hundreds of applicants from secondary schools nationwide and are two out of forty five students in Ireland to represent their school in An Taisce’s ‘Climate Ambassadors For Schools’ campaign.

Both girls are members of The Green School’s Committee and have shown a keen interest in climate issues like global warming, overuse of plastics, the extinction of vulnerable species such as bees and the impact the environment has had on farming.

Becoming a climate ambassador will give the girls the opportunity and platform to raise awareness about climate change within the school and to do something positive within the community.  They will receive training and workshops from Climate Action Officers of An Taisce which will deal with the causes and effects of climate change as well as its solutions.

Siobhan and Laura have the challenge of carrying out at least four actions within our school and Siobhan has already spoken on Kerry radio on the issue of climate change, after winning an essay competition recently on the topic.  Laura hopes to complete a report about what work they will undertake during their time as Climate Ambassadors and at the end of the year, Climate Heroes will be selected for special awards at a prestigious ceremony in Dublin.

‘We hope to raise awareness about certain issues that cause climate change, especially in relation to overuse of plastics.  By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish and we hope that we can address this problem in our research,’ said Laura Daly of Presentation, Castleisland.



L-R / Back to front; Muireann Mangan, Maire O Connor, Kamile Mazonaite, Ciara Fitzgerald, Gemma Kearney, Andrea O Connor, Aimee O Connor Eibhlis Brosnan, Lizzie Mai Hartnett, Abbie, Blennerhassett, Elaine O Donoghue, Siobhan Brosnan

A group of fifth year students from Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland embarked on an exchange trip to a town called Sevilla La Nueva outside Madrid. on Sunday, February 3rd 2019.

During their stay in Spain, the students will enjoy a truly authentic cultural exchange where they will experience the Spanish education system by attending classes in the Spanish school. They will stay with families, share Spanish meals and learn about Spanish customs along with visiting the famous historic and cultural sites of Madrid.  Presentation Secondary School’s Spanish teacher, Martina Dairo, has accompanied Presentation girls to the Spanish school for the past 3 years and has established a positive relationship with teachers and management of the Spanish school, which is situated just outside Madrid. The Spanish students will then return to Castleisland on Saturday, March 23rd to experience life in Ireland and to enjoy classes in Presentation Secondary School. During the week they will visit local attractions and celebrate and participate in a variety of Irish cultural activities.  A truly worthwhile and educational experience for all involved.



On Monday January 28th, staff from Presentation Castleisland, Muire Gan Smál Castleisland, Scoil Íde, Curranes and Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn, Tralee officially launched their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) digital excellence cluster.

Katherina Broderick (Principal) and Dayna Hurley (Teacher) from Presentation Castleisland welcomed Máire Lynch (Principal, Muire gan Smál), Elizabeth Sweeney (Teacher, Scoil Íde), Olive Sharp (Teacher, Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn) and Claire O’Riordan from Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) for a STEM Digital Excellence cluster training day.

Presentation Secondary School Castleisland has been chosen as a beacon school to demonstrate the innovative use of digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment, through clusters of schools collaborating on a specific STEM project. Significant investment and resources have been deployed to support the purchase of this technology by the Department of Education as a part of Digital School Excellence Fund.

Students of Presentation Castleisland will be trained to become STEM role models for younger female students in primary schools. Presentation students will run workshops with primary school students over three years in all areas of STEM. It is hoped, by engaging in this programme, that students of Presentation Castleisland will aspire to eventually pursuing STEM-related careers having had the opportunity to engage with 3rd level academic centres of excellence such as IT Tralee & UCC. The Department of Education received a large volume of applications; however Presentation Castleisland has been chosen as the only secondary school in Kerry to participate in  the Digital School Excellence programme.

When launching the Digital School Excellence Fund in December 2017, then Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton said, “The School Excellence Fund is designed to ensure that innovation in schools is supported and rewarded. School Excellence Fund- Digital will support clusters of schools to collaborate and work together in really exciting ways on projects related to teaching and learning using digital. Truly transformative change does not come from the centre but from the ground up, schools and teachers working together and sharing good practice.”

The funding recognises excellence and allows the cluster schools to promote areas of STEM among female students. The project aims to develop a more positive attitude to STEM subjects in general amongst females within the cluster at primary and secondary level; to enhance students digital literacy skills, particularly in the area of Maths and Science; to increase the uptake of Chemistry and Physics at senior level in second level; to improve students research, numeracy, problem-solving and teamwork skills; Increase the number of female entrants into STEM courses at 3rd level and to increase the competence and proficiency of teachers in the use of digital technology in their subject areas. Katherina Broderick said, “The Digital School Excellence programme promises to be a very exciting initiative allowing our schools and teachers the opportunity to work together, share good practice while focusing on developing the important skills our students will need to thrive in the future”.



Junk Kouture entry Maria Daly

Maria Daly with Grainne O’Connor and Aisling Kearney