Presentation Thurles News – December 2020

Past Pupil Úna Healy visits our school

It was so lovely to see past pupil, Úna Healy, visit her Alma Mater recently. Úna shared many memories of her time in Presentation Thurles. It was no surprise to hear that Music was her favourite subject, but she also loved Home Economics. Úna remembers songwriting from 2nd Year and she had her own original pieces for her Leaving Cert Music exam. Thank you Úna, for encouraging our budding musicians to follow their dreams.

Positive Aging Week: Padre Pio Nursing Home’s Bake-Off!

TY students, Aoibh Carroll and Orla Kruse, presented their bake-off entries to Deirdre Moore of Padre Pio Nursing Home in Holycross recently. To celebrate Positive Ageing Week and the older person in our lives, the girls chatted with their Grandmothers about recipes in their childhood and the happy memories they evoked. Well done to both Aoibh and Orla on their fabulous entries.


Climate Action

During October, Climate Action Week was held in our school. This was organised by our Green Schools Committee under the guidance of their co-ordinator, Ms Hackett. Through different activities, students learned about what they can do to reduce the effects of climate change. Our 1st Years had a Climate Action poster competition. Meanwhile 2nd and 3rd Years had many discussions in their Geography classes linking to the theme of the week: climate change. TY students saw a screening of 2040, while 5th & 6th Years watched a screening of the National Geographic documentary, ‘Before the Flood’. Thank you to our diligent committee and Ms Hackett for all of your efforts in widening our perspectives on this critically important theme.


Climate Ambassador – National Outstanding Achievement Award

Congratulations to our 6th Year student, Aisling Maloney, who has won the National Climate Ambassadors’ Outstanding Achievement Award. Aisling’s Climate Ambassador journey began last January when she was selected as one of 124 people across the country to receive her initial training in the Climate Ambassador programme. This is an initiative to train and support people taking action on climate change. It is supported by An Taisce and the Department of Communication, Climate Action and the Environment. The role of a Climate Ambassador is to present new information on climate change to the public and to work with communities on climate actions, to raise awareness and to reduce the effects of climate change while making communities more sustainable. Aisling attended the first virtual network gathering of Climate Ambassadors on March 19th. During lockdown, she attended various webinars about topics such as permaculture, community gardens, Earth Day, sustainable businesses, climate change and the arts, climate pledges, climate strikes, green campuses, sustainable fashion and wellbeing.

Aisling’s interest in environmental issues began when she joined our Green Schools committee as a proactive 1st Year student. In fact, Aisling has been a dedicated and long-serving member of our Green Schools team over the years and presently is the committee’s secretary. This year, she recorded a video for the Climate Ambassadors’ social media pages, highlighting the actions that our school have taken to promote climate action. She also became a member of the Junior Board as the Glocal representative for Climate Action. The ‘Glocal’ project is run by Youth Work Ireland Tipperary and it aims to connect young people with local and global influences as well as those of their communities.

In the first week of December, Aisling had the honour of attending a webinar as a panellist for a conversation with climate justice leader and former president, Mary Robinson. On the night of the virtual awards ceremony, Aisling was announced as the national Outstanding Achievement winner. It is such a remarkable achievement for Aisling, one that rewards her passion, diligence and work ethic both within our school’s community and beyond.

We are very proud of our outstanding Climate Ambassador: Aisling Maloney.

Safer Internet Day Ambassador

Recently our TY student, Mina Kloss, took part in a webwise Safer Internet Day (SID) zoom call. Mina was offered a place as a SID ambassador with Webwise Ireland. Well done, Mina!



Well done to all of the 1st Years and 2nd Years who participated in our In-house Monday Basketball League during the month of October. The winning team pictured here include: (from L – R) Eimear Duggan, Eva Butler, Elana McGrath, Aoife Shelly, Leanna Coppinger, Ella Moloney, Eimear Sheridan and Niamh Craddock. Congratulations to Martina Creedon (1st Year), who won the Shoot-Out competition.

The senior In-house Tuesday Basketball League was won by Beatrice Yamba, Caitlin Shelly, Kate Cavanagh and Aisling O’Sullivan. Congratulations too to Kate Cavanagh who won the Senior Shoot-Out competition.



Congratulations to our two 3rd Year students, Anastasia Costigan and Faith Kennedy Ryan, who won the Short Story/Poetry competition that was conducted during Wellbeing Week last week. The girls each wrote a piece on ‘Celebrating Positive Experiences’. The well-deserved prize winners were presented with vouchers from our local bookshop in Thurles, The Bookworm. Well done to all students who submitted entries.

Our school hosted a wellness morning for all 5th Years and 6th Years in October. Included in this wellness morning were several workshops on coping with anxiety, meditation, mindfulness, study skills and an open forum to voice any concerns that the students may have or that may be burdening them. The girls really appreciated and enjoyed their morning.


Study Skills for 3rd Years

All 3rd Year students participated in a study skills session in their base class groups in the library before midterm break. Effective study is a vital component of any revision task. Developing a study technique that is most suited to each learner is an important skill for any student to identify and to have, particularly in an exam year. Many thanks to Ms Y. O’Sullivan for all of her guidance and support.


Academic Scholarships – Helen Aherne and Ava Hickey

Congratulations to our recently graduated 6th Year students, Helen Aherne and Ava Hickey, on being awarded highly prestigious scholarships for academic excellence in their respective universities. Helen, who is studying Engineering in UCD, was awarded the Naughton Scholarship Award in the mathematical, science and engineering fields. Ava, who is studying a BSC in P.E. and Biology in DCU, was awarded a DCU Academic Entrance scholarship. We are incredibly proud both girls and wish them every success in their future studies.


Internet Safety Talk for 1st Years

After midterm break, two of our local community An Garda Síochána members visited our school and gave an Internet Safety talk to all of our 1st Year students. The girls learned about the importance of security when working online and the risk factors that are involved when engaging in social media platforms. Many thanks to the two Gardaí and to Ms Prendergast for organising this event.

Survival in Glencarra Woods

Our TY & LCA students embarked on a mystery trip recently. The girls were whisked off to Glencarra Woods, in Cahir, for a day of adventure and fun. Survival skills in the wild was the theme of the day! The girls were challenged with four tasks: building a shelter (using only natural woodland materials); fire lighting; cooking using their fire; and finally a team-building task. Not only was the day aimed at having fun and taking part in survival and camping activities, its main purpose was to create a stronger bond between all of the girls in each class. The girls thoroughly enjoyed their ‘survival day’ especially their tasty ‘smores’! A big ‘Thank You’ to Ms Glascott and Ms Moroney for organising this and to Ms. Hackett and Ms King for travelling with the girls.

The Heart of our Town: Local Entrepreneurs Visit

We were delighted to welcome local business owners Louise O’Connell (The Runner Bean), Caroline Nesbitt (Designedly) and Seamus Hanafin (Hanafin’s Furniture) in to our school during the second week of November. They spoke to our TYs about ‘The Heart of our Town’ campaign, which promotes local businesses in Thurles. In these challenging times, it is important to shop local and to support our local entrepreneurs. Thank you to Louise, Caroline and Seamus for giving their time and sharing their passion with our girls.


Irish Debating

This year three of our students (pictured here: Kathleen Doyle, Mary Ellen Moloney and Edel Daly) have entered the ‘Comórtas Óráide an Phiarsaigh’ debating competition, which is an event organised by Gael Linn. The competition will run a little differently this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Instead of travelling to a venue and engaging in a traditional debate, the girls will be required to record a four minute video of themselves speaking about a specific topic. Every Monday after school, the girls meet to research their topics and practise their debating skills in preparation for the competition. Many thanks to their mentor, Mr Hallissey for his support.


Junior Debating Club

Our 1st Year Debating Club meets every Monday after school to discuss and argue various important topics, some of which include: animal cruelty, civil rights, education, technology and politics. The girls learn how to research, write, and present their opinions on various topics, in order to build their confidence as public speakers and to be more informed on the world around them. Although they are only just after taking the first steps into debating, all of the girls have shown plenty of potential. Club members are: Orla Whitehead, Sarah Broderick, Cara Delaney, Aisling Kirwin, Sarah Dempsey, Emily Gleeson-Kelly, Ella Henley, Aoife Marshall and Amelia Tracey. New members are always welcome. Thanks to Ms Moroney for co-ordinating this for the girls.


Presentation Thurles student qualifies for Equestrian Inter-schools Ireland Finals

Huge congratulations to our 3rd Year student, Katie Healy, who qualified for the finals of the 90 cm in the Equestrian Inter-schools Ireland show jumping competition. Well done, Katie, we are very proud of you.


Literacy Week 2020

Our annual Literacy Week took place from Monday 9th to Friday 13th November.  Our school’s Literacy Committee organised a series of events, activities and competitions to promote and further reiterate the importance of literacy in our school, some of which are outlined here: Literacy Bingo for 1st Years; Spelling Bee competition for 2nd & 3rd Years; DEAR (Drop Everything And Read); Word of the Day; Lyrics Board in Music classes; TY Letters and Poems for Padre Pio Nursing Home; 1st Year Sign Language lessons with TYs; TY Film Review competition; Virtual Author talks with 5th & 6th Year classes; and a Poster competition. Thank you to our conscientious literacy committee for organising such a diverse range of activities and to our TY helpers who facilitated the events for the junior year groups.


Agallamh le hIarscoláire agus Scríobhnóir, Áine Ní Ghlinn – Literacy Week 2020

Ba phribhléid as cuimse dúinn nuair a ghlac Áine Ní Ghlinn, an File Laureate – agus iarscoláire d’ár scoilse – páirt in agallamh ar Zoom lenár n-iníonacha léinn sinsearacha an tseachtain seo caite mar chuid de ghníomhachtaí Sheactain na Litearthachta. Thagair Áine go páirtiúil dá tréimhse i Meánscoil na Toirbhirte anseo agus thug sainchomhairle dár scoláirí sinsearacha faoina léann amach anseo. Míle buíochas d’Áine agus d’ár Roinn Gaolainne anseo as ucht an agallaimh shuntasaigh seo a eagrú.


Science Week 2020

We also had our annual Science Week in the second week of November. There was a slightly different focus to it this year with most events going virtual and online due to Covid-19 restrictions. Activities included: STEM career talks for senior students; Fermentation, Soil and Sustainable Farming virtual events for senior Biology and Agricultural Science students; ISTA Biodiversity competition for TYs; Queen’s University STEM Photo competition for TYs; Egg Drop Challenge and Dr Seuss’ Oobleck for TYs; Research project on Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine; Science Quizzes for 2nd & 3rd Years; 1st Year Science Article competition; and 1st Year virtual activity – Let’s Draw Saturn. Last but not least, the ‘Fire in Hand Challenge’ for our bravest 1st Years!!! Many thanks to our Science department for organising all the activities.


ReelLIFE Science Competition

Two groups of TY students submitted entries into this year’s ReelLIFE Science video competition. This is a nationwide competition that involves students creating a short video/animation about a scientific topic that interests them. Méabh Ryan, Ciara Ryan, Gráinne Condon and Caoimhe McGrath created a video about heart transplants while Aisling O’Sullivan, Micaela Treacy, Elaine O’Connell and Molly Stapleton created an animation to explain cancer. Well done to all girls involved and their teacher, Ms O. O’Brien.


Science Week STEM Photography Competition

Congratulations to TY students Ellen Bracken, Aoibh Carroll, Ciara O’Sullivan and Niamh O’Sullivan who have been shortlisted in the National STEM Photography competition, which has been organised by Queen’s University in Belfast. The girls entered the competition as part of our Science Week activities. Ellen’s photo shows a chiselled benchmark in stone carved by Ordnance Survey men in the 19th century. Aoibh’s photo depicts the difference between a home-laid free range egg and a purchased free range egg; Ciara’s photo highlights the ‘Maths of Music’; while Niamh’s photo demonstrates a Moiré pattern in action. The next stage of this competition will take place at Easter. Well done to the three girls and good luck in the next round.


SciFest National Finals

Huge congratulations to Edel Daly (5th Year), who reached the National SciFest Competition Final with her project on ‘Sports Performance Grip’. Edel has developed a sports grip that specifically moulds to the player’s hand. Her project was evaluated by the judges in November via a Zoom interview. Her project will be submitted for the BTYSTE this January. Well done to Edel and her teacher, Ms Moloney.


BT Young Scientist Exhibition

We want to wish the very best of luck to our students who were successful with their BTYSTE entries and who will be working hard over Christmas to put the finishing touches to their projects. Edel Daly (5th Year), an individual entry and fresh from the National SciFest competition, will complete her project on developing a sports grip. While Julie Butler and Niamh O’Sullivan (TY) have entered their project “That’s a Moiré” into the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences category. The girls are investigating Moiré patterns and how they are used. Beir bua agus beannacht, a chailíní!


Numeracy Week 2020

Our annual Numeracy Week took place from Monday 7th to Friday 11th December.  Our school’s Numeracy Committee, ably assisted by their diligent group of TY helpers, organised a series of fun events, activities and competitions to promote and further reiterate the importance of numeracy in our school and in our lives. Each year group had at least one ‘Numeracy Moment’, with junior classes having two. These numeracy moments included: Colour by Numbers; Crack the Code; Brain Teasers; Sudoku challenges; Dingbats; and Kahoot quizzes. TY students engaged in a numeracy Orienteering challenge and they also watched a numeracy-based programme. A numeracy club was set up by the TY team where they made games available every day at lunchtime for each year group to enjoy. Competitions included: Puzzle of the Day; Guess the number of sweets in the jar; and Guess the Person – a daily clue was given each morning over the intercom. Well done to our TY Numeracy Team comprising of Aisling O’Sullivan, Aoibh Carroll, Bronagh McGonagle, Hannah Walker, Hazel White and Micaela Treacy and to their teachers Mrs. Corbett, Ms Moloney and Ms Kerrane.


Presentation Day Prayer Service: A Beautiful Tribute to our Presentation Sisters

November 21st is always a special and significant day in Presentation Thurles. It is a time when we reflect upon and show gratitude to our Presentation Sisters for their enormous contribution to our local community over the last two hundred years. This year, we celebrated with a virtual prayer service for our school’s students and staff during which we fondly remembered and paid tribute to our Presentation Sisters. We pray that God will keep them safe and well. Many thanks to our RE department for organising this beautiful service and to the following TY students who were involved in delivering it: Ellen Bracken, Julie Butler, Bronagh McGonagle and Cleo Mina Ronayne.


In November: We Remember

This past month of November, a reverent and poignant space was created in our front foyer, where students and staff alike could write and drop off the names of loved ones who are sadly no longer with us. November is the month when we remember the holy souls who have passed on to their eternal reward. We continue to pray for the holy souls linked to our students and staff. A big thank you to the following TY students who created and maintained this special space and delivered a prayer service over the intercom: Aoibh Carroll, Grace Cussen, Éilís Ryan and Lauren Gilmartin.


1st Year Religion Projects

First Year students had the opportunity to showcase their creativity, research and presentation skills by demonstrating the history of the Five Major World Religions. Each student chose a theme within their chosen religion and did fantastic work producing posters, scrolls and artwork. Congratulations to the class on all of their hard work and thanks to Mr Dunphy for his support.


Feast of the Immaculate Conception

A warm welcome was shown to our school chaplain, Fr Vincent Stapleton, when he visited our school on Wednesday, December 8th to deliver a short virtual prayer service over the intercom to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. Fr Vincent helped the students relate to the Immaculate Conception through a story of his own. This was followed by a reading from the Bible and a short prayer. Many thanks to Fr Vincent and our R.E. team for organising this event.


Decorate your Christmas with Joy: Pres Thurles TY students design Christmas Wreaths

Under the guidance of Ms P. Stapleton, all TY students embraced the festive spirit here in Pres Thurles by participating in a Christmas wreath-making workshop. The girls brought in their own greenery and were provided with a circular frame and some oasis from Stapleton’s Garden Centre to create and decorate Christmas wreaths for their own homes. The girls really enjoyed the workshop and created some beautiful wreaths for their families. A big ‘Thank You’ to Ms Stapleton and to Ms Glascott for organising this event.


Christmas Jumper Day: St Vincent de Paul Fundraiser

Our Student Council organised their annual fundraiser for the local St Vincent de Paul Society in Thurles by hosting a Christmas jumper day. Every student and staff member adorned their festive-themed jumpers for a whole school day and contributed  €2 each for the local charity. Well done to all members of our Student Council and to their mentor, Ms Harrington.


TY Needle Felting

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Pres Thurles! Our TY students created beautiful decorations for our Christmas tree through the art of needle felting. These now adorn our Christmas tree beside our crib in the front foyer.


Christmas Classrooms

All students have been encouraged to get into the Christmas spirit here in Pres Thurles by decorating their own classrooms. Each tutor group are responsible for decorating their room any way they wish. The competition for ‘Best Decorated Classroom’ is heating up with homemade hanging decorations, fairy lights, flashing light globes, mini Christmas trees, tinsel, window decorations to the fore, and even a classroom door disguised as a wrapped present featured in a 3rd Year room.  Safe, happy and fun vibes are truly in the air!


Christmas Concert is going Virtual!

A highlight of December each year is always our annual Christmas Talent concert. This is usually held in our assembly hall for the whole school on the last day of term. This year, unfortunately, we have to stage the event a little differently – we are going to host a virtual show. All types of variety acts are wanted. Any students (and teachers) who are interested in entering are asked to email a video of their performance (maximum of 3 minutes) to by December 16th at the latest.

A virtual carol service will also take place in the lead up to Christmas with performances from our Pres Singers choir and our school orchestra, trad and ukulele groups. This will be streamed live to the classrooms via Teams.


Beannachtaí na Nollag

The students, staff and management teams of Presentation Secondary School, Thurles would like to wish everyone at CEIST a very ‘Happy Christmas’. Thank you for all of your support.