Presentation Secondary School Castleisland News – October 2020

Transition Year Religion Programme

The Elphin Diocese and Jesuit Secondary Schools in Ireland have partnered together to come up with the initiative, with Veritas agreeing to publish the programme and pilot it in a number of schools in Ireland. Presentation Secondary School Castleisland have been chosen as the school in Co. Kerry to pilot the new transition year programme for Religious Education.

The students will be developing their work completed in Junior Cycle while also honouring the tradition of Jesus. It is a very interesting and engaging programme for the students drawing on their own experiences.

Students will participate in class with interactive PowerPoints and workbooks which have been provided to the school. Students will engage in various aspects of religion in film, music and poetry. There are many prayerful reflections also included in the modules. This programme allows the transition year students to have time to focus on their own personal faith development journey before continuing on into Senior Cycle. Presentation Castleisland offers examination Religious Education for both Junior and Leaving Certificate and this programme will ensure a solid foundation for Transition year students which will be of benefit to their further study in preparation for Leaving Certificate.


Presentation Secondary Castleisland-A Leading light in Digital Excellence

In these challenging times schools would be forgiven for slowing down the introduction of new subjects to their curricula. Not so for Presentation, Castleisland!  Building on their excellent foundations of promoting STEM to their students, they have continued in their quest for digital excellence by introducing Leaving Certificate Computer Science as an optional subject at Senior cycle. This innovation is very progressive as they are one of only four schools in Kerry to offer the subject. The course is structured to enable students of all abilities to embrace the subject and succeed in every aspect of the course. In a world where every career choice increasingly requires digital literacy, it is more essential than ever that students develop an understanding of Computer Science. It develops a variety of desirable skills in students including problem solving and organisational skills as well as computational and critical thinking. Leading this innovative initaitve in the school are Ms. Annette Leen and Mr. Pierce Dargan.

In other digital news at the school, Transition Year students Fiona Brosnan and Joanna Moynihan have been selected as this year’s Webwise Youth Panelists to replace the outgoing panelists Cáit o Mahony and Ava Flaherty. Every year Webwise recruit proactive teenagers from all over Ireland to be a part of their Webwise Youth Panel. The panel is made up of 30 students, who want to stand up and speak out about online safety issues through the Youth Panel. These views are heard at a national and European level, so that young people can have a real say on the issues that affect them. We are very proud our students will be represented again at a national level.


Presentation Castleisland is a Pioneering School for Digital Technologies and STEM

Presentation Secondary School Castleisland is currently in its third and final year of a programme which is aimed to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to young female students using digital technologies.

Presentation Secondary School is the only secondary school in Kerry to be chosen by the Department of Education to be a pilot school for the Digital Schools Excellence Fund. Significant investment has been given to the school to purchase digital technologies and STEM equipment which are being used to run a number of projects with a cluster of primary schools in the Kerry area.

Students have been trained to become STEM role models for younger primary school students. In the past two years, students visited the primary schools in our cluster and delivered STEM workshops using iPads and STEM equipment. Last year, our students hosted an Engineering and STEM showcase day.

This year, more students will be trained to become STEM role models, and we plan to deliver workshops virtually using our iPads, laptops, and STEM equipment. These workshops will include forensics, coding, robotics, virtual reality, engineering and electronics. Now, more than ever, digital technology is at the forefront of education, and here in Presentation Castleisland, our students are trailblazing the way for the younger female students in our area.

The Robotics club in Presentation Castleisland affords students the opportunity to build their own robot and learn how to control it with a coding program. In so doing the students develop their critical thinking, problem solving, engineering, mechanical, design and communication skills. In addition, the students can test their robot against other schools during the Vex Robotics competitions.

Students at Presentation Castleisland are taking part in BT Young Scientist, Scifest and iWISH this year. BT Young Scientist and IWISH are being held virtually  and students will be able to fully engage due to the significant investment we have made in digital technologies.

Providing these wonderful opportunities to our students helps our vision to increase the number of female students undertaking STEM related careers when they move on to 3rd level education.