PARENTS’ NEWSLETTER - SUMMER 2016
Dear Parents / Guardians,
With another a school year drawing to a close, I thank you for your support throughout the year. The newsletter gives you a snapshot of events and activities that have taken place in the school since Christmas. I hope you will enjoy reading about them. As another academic year draws to a close, I take this opportunity to congratulate everyone – staff and students alike – for a year of great work, generosity, initiative and enthusiastic involvement in a myriad of activities both co-curricular and extracurricular. The newsletter is a snapshot of life in the school since January. Thank you to one and all for each one’s contribution to the unique spirit of Ursuline College. Thank you too to parents/guardians for your ongoing support of the school. I wish you all happy and safe holidays; I hope you all enjoy the break. BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2016 This January saw 5 entries, from the Ursuline College, consisting of 11 students travelling to the RDS in Dublin to display their projects and compete in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2016. They were accompanied by their physics teacher and mentor, Mr. Anthony Carolan. The first entry consisted of Aoife Kearins who had developed and patented a wearable app device to combat drowsy driving. This was the first type of device worldwide that actually alerted drivers to drowsiness a good 20 minutes before they would fall asleep. The second group was made up of Laura McGuinn, Denise Conlon & Shauna Griffin, who had studied the effects of ultrasonic waves on the human body. They tested the physiological changes in blood pressure, eye dilation & brain wave activity. Thirdly, Tina Ghegici had conducted an in-depth statistical analysis of veganism and the media influence that exists for those who adopt a vegan lifestyle. The fourth group consisted of Katie McGoldrick, Maeve Keaney & Leah Rooney who had investigated the concept of people “walking in circles” when lost. They had measured the angle deviation of those deprived of a frame of reference such as sight to see how well they could keep in a straight line. Finally, the last group, Maeve Rooney, Ella Morrison & Eva Ryan, had invented a new type of burglar alarm for which they also submitted a patent. This used the novel musical instrument “theremin” to detect the presence of anyone loitering or attempting to break into premises. The Theremin would emit high frequency noises to alert and scare burglars away. Between all the groups, two were highly commended
and 2 achieved display awards. All groups impressed the judges and public with their innovative projects. The students had a very enjoyable experience and one in which they will remember for some time. Congratulations to all 5 groups and best of luck in the future with their projects.
Caramelised Apple Cheesecake Congratulations to Clara Roe (1B) who was chosen as the overall Connaught winner for the Keelings School Cookery competition. Clara’s winning recipe was a Caramelised Apple Cheesecake which was selected from 400 entries by RTE chef Catherine Leyden. Clara won a €100 One4All Voucher and a copy of the Keelings ‘Love to Grow Recipes from Your Garden Cookery Book.’ As a result of Clara’s success, the school will receive €500 in cookery equipment.
Vocational preparation for Transition Year As a part of the TY students’ vocational development, they undertook their third work placement during the first week of March. This was further enhanced through workshops from a team of female engineers who presented a “Women in Engineering” workshop. Andrew Davidson also attended the school to give a very interesting and informative presentation on the use of the internet in developing a business. Finally in May, two representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs introduced the students to the life and career of a Diplomat. Youth Connect also visited the school in late May to carry out workshops re rights and responsibilities in the work place. Thanks to all the businesses and visiting speakers for their generosity in providing these opportunities to our students.
Senior Choir Victory in Limerick
On the 12th February, 23 students from the 5th Year Physics, Chemistry and Biology classes set off for London for the biennial science trip accompanied by Mr. Carolan, Ms Gallagher and Ms. Murray. It was an action packed weekend. In three days, visits were made to the Science Museum, London’s famous Dungeon, Chin Chin labs where ice cream is frozen to order using liquid nitrogen, Greenwich Royal Observatory and Planetarium and London’s Tower Bridge. In between the attractions, they also attended Matilda the Musical, visited the markets at Camden Town and took the Harry Potter Tour. Both students and teachers really enjoyed this brief but enjoyable trip and also for many, the introduction to the London underground. A big thank you to Mr. Carolan for making this trip special and worthwhile.
Congratulations to the Senior Choir on their win in Limerick on Friday 4th March. They came first in the three part equal voice competition with a mark of 90. For this they received a lovely plaque. At the close of the choral festival on Sunday night, they were awarded the Joe O' Connor Perpetual Memorial Cup for choir of the year - a very coveted annual award. They were chosen out of all the choirs competing that weekend. Well done girls on such a great achievement. It was a tribute to all your hard work and many rehearsals!! Thank you to Ms McQuillan and to Ms Prendergast for all their hard work with the choir.
Business awards at Maynooth University Six students who achieved an A in Junior Cert Business in 2015 were honoured by Maynooth University on February 26th. These students were Katie McGoldrick, Grainne Moyles, Volga M. Saini, Maeve Rooney, Leah Rooney and Ewelina Chmielak. We congratulate the students and wish them continued success in their studies. 1
Healthy Living and Wellbeing Week Healthy living week (7th March – 11th March) involved the entire staff discussing issues around positive mental health and well-being with students in their class lessons. Student posters were displayed on corridor walls to highlight themes of physical fitness, balance nutrition, mindfulness, resilience and relaxation. Outside speakers were engaged to address students on various issues. Mental Health Ireland gave a talk to 3rd and 6th year students on “5 a day” for mental health. AWARE, in addition to a
wellness coach, gave presentations to 5th years on how to build positive mental health and resilience. The Marie Keating Foundation met 2nd years and focused on how physical and mental wellbeing and substance use can affect cancer risk. Transition Years explored the issue of body image in a talk given by ‘Bodywhys’. The speakers reinforced the importance of self esteem in building a positive body image in oneself. A sports and recreation lecturer from Sligo IT highlighted the importance of physical activity with 1st years. Healthy snacking was promoted by supplying free fruit, dairy products and seed based snacks at lunchtimes, sponsored by Total produce, Aurivo and Good4U. The generosity of these companies has been greatly appreciated. Each morning, a 5th year council member read a “thought for the day” on the intercom. A fundraising event for Pieta House involved 6th years competing against the staff in dodge ball. The staff lost 2-3 after a very promising start! The week concluded with a Céile Mór in the sports hall for all 1st and 2nd years organised by the Irish Department. Student and teacher feedback from all the activities were extremely positive. Well done to all for getting involved and supporting this Healthy living Imitative.
Prize Winners at Wesley Interschool Festival The Senior Choir entered their second competition in a week. They travelled to Wesley College in Dublin where they competed in the three part equal voice competition. They had to perform one song. This is always a very competitive category with 14 choirs all hoping to be placed. The Senior Choir sang very well and were placed third overall. The judge loved the vibrant performance of the girls and particularly remarked on the choir’s tone. Congratulations to all who competed. We are very proud of your achievement.
National Flag Week 2016 5th year students undertook the promotion of the flag in our school during Flag Week. They organised a display stand explaining the history, the symbolism and protocols surrounding our National flag and manned the stand during break and lunchtimes. They promoted their display and the sale of the lapel pins on the school intercom system, encouraging students and staff to purchase pins and wear them with pride at our Proclamation Day Ceremony. On Wednesday 16th March, they promoted the flag in the wider community, selling the lapel pins in busy shopping areas in town. Students were primed to explain the meaning of the flag, the great work of the T.F. Meagher Foundation in promoting and sponsoring Flag Week and the work of the Ursuline Mission Project, our chosen charity. This charity promotes the education of girls and young women in Kenya. We are delighted to have raised € 1,276.73 for this deserving cause and are extremely grateful to the TF Meagher Foundation and their sponsors for making this possible.
Proclamation Day 15th March 2016 The whole school community gathered in the Sports Hall for our commemorative ceremony coordinated by the History Department in co - operation with the Irish, English, Music, Art, Technology and CSPE departments. Ms Ní Laoi acted as our bilingual Master of Ceremonies. Head girl Bronagh Hever and Deputy Head girl Caitlin Connolly welcomed all to the event. Aoife Kearins (5th yr) recited Padraig Pearse’s poem ‘The Mother’ and Karen Morgan and Tara Dallat (5th yr) carried the National flag and the Proclamation in procession. These had been presented at the National Flag Ceremony in Croke Park on March 9th to Tara, Gabrielle McDonagh and Aine O’ Boyle. Grace Hughes (5th yr) led the procession with a lit candle which was symbolically placed beside the flag, the proclamation and a peace lily, and then led us in a short prayer, in memory of all who lost their lives in the rebellion. A minute’s silence followed. Jim Plunkett’s ‘I see his blood upon the rose’ provided a reflective moment. The proclamation of the Irish
Republic was rousingly delivered by Julia Mullaney (4th yr) and Evanne Kilgallon (5th yr) before the modern interpretation prepared by the 6th year History Class was proclaimed by Emily Acheson, Kate Barlett, Eva Martin, Eva Devaney Sarah Rice, Ann Kerins and Etain Sweeney Keogh. Music was provided throughout the ceremony by the Seomra Caidrimh Trad group consisting of Sinead Ni Bhroin, Denise Regan, Emily Acheson, Jennifer Burke, Enya Curley, Katie Kilgallon, and Alice Purcell. They played tunes such as ‘Foggy Dew’, Amhrán Na bhFiann and Oro Sé do Bheatha Bhaile with soloist Sinead Ni Bhroin. The harpists consisting of Ethain Sweeeny Keogh, Elise Brennan and Blaithin Wall played an O’ Corolan melody. Ellen Murphy recited Pearse’s poem ‘Mise Eire and then Sean O’ Riada’s ‘Mise Eire’ was played as images of the rising and its aftermath were projected. Next came the Roll of Honour. Students who had identified family links to the Rising carried the names forward. This was a very moving part of the commemoration. As the ceremony moved towards the conclusion, Mr Cummins made a short presentation on the history and the meaning of our National flag. The culmination of the ceremony came with the raising of the flag by the youngest students in the school, Lucy Morrison and Ella Pattern assisted by Mr Gilmartin before the singing of the national anthem.
Just One Cornetto On the 16th March, 47 students from Transition year and 5th yr along with six teachers set off on a tour of Lake Garda. The first stop was Dublin Airport where some of the students were lucky enough to run into Jedward and Louis Walsh. Their trip brought them to Verona, Venice, Bardolino, Simione, Garda and this year because Gardaland was shut, they went to Parco Natura Viva and Garland Sea life Aquarium. Venice was the first town on the Itinerary. The group travelled to Venice by water bus, a novelty for all and many selfies and photos were taken on board!! It happened to be St. Patrick’s Day so many of the students wore flags, face-painted shamrocks and wore badges. Once there, the students went on a walking tour taking in sights such as Piazza San Marco, Ponte de Rialto, Bridge of Sighs and Doge’s Palace with their Italian guides. Many took a trip on Venice’s famous gondolas. The next day, the girls visited Sirmione, a lovely town on Lake Garda. Many students took a motor boat tour around the lake viewing sights such as famous Rocca Scaligera Castle and the hot springs and tried the famous and enormous gelatos. They then went to the Grande Mela Shopping Centre for some welcome shopping, to the bowling alley for a very competitive game of bowling, and finally to Bordolino another lovely town on the lake for dinner. On the fourth day, the group paid a visit to The Parco Natura Viva, a Safari Park and Zoo in Bussolengo in which stretches over 59 acres. The Park’s predominant activity involves the breeding of wild animal species. First the group observed giraffes, hyenas, zebras and cheetahs from the bus at a safe distance. Then they were allowed to walk and view smaller species and of course visit the dinosaur park which was a novelty! The group then moved on to the aquarium. Finally on the last day, the group visited Milan where they experienced the more cosmopolitan Italian experience. Also there was an opportunity for more shopping. We then departed for Verona where the students saw the famous Roman Arena and then went to visit Juliet’s house and balcony and add to the graffiti wall. The weather was perfect, gelatos divine and delicious pizzas and pastas thoroughly enjoyed. Francesco our driver was very obliging and did his best to master the English language. There were no delays in travelling and nobody wanted to go home but reality beckoned!! Thank you to Ms Murray and al the teachers who travelled with the girls.
St Patrick's Day Parade Winners of the Novelty Cup Congratulations to the 26 first years who were winners of the novelty cup in this year's St Patrick's Day Parade. Their theme was ‘Pop Goes the Music’. A big thank you to Ms. Milne for all her hard work. This beautiful and lively entry added a great sense of humour and colour to the streets of Sligo.
Sligo Feis Ceoil Art Competiton The following students were prize-winners at the Sligo Feis Ceoil Art competition. In the junior category, Aoife Devlin (1st yr) won 1st prize and Cathy Harrison and Sorcha Cunnane (1st yr) won 2nd prize. Fatima Dogan (2nd yr) won 2nd prize. In the senior category, prizes were awarded to Julia Mullaney (TY) who won 1st Prize and Niamh Henry (TY) who won 2nd prize. In 6th year, 1st prize was awarded to Ciara Broujos and 2nd Prize to Aoife McKiernan. Overall winner for 1916 Themed work went to Eva Martin (6th yr) who was judged to have demonstrated an excellent standard in art work in her painting of Constance Markievicz. Well done, girls!
Macalla 1916 Macalla 1916 is an orchestral suite of music composed by Michael Rooney and performed by the Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra. The suite celebrates the centenary of the 1916 Rising. The orchestra consists of 55 traditional and classical musicians, two of whom attend the school - Niamh McKenna (5th yr) and Sarah Waters (4th yr). They are the youngest members of the Folk Orchestra. The NFDI travelled to Britain to perform the Macalla 1916 suite in London's Barbican Theatre on the 4th March. They then completed a nationwide concert tour of Ireland performing in the RDS at the State event for relatives of those who took part in the events of 1916. They then performed at the Wexford Opera House, Cork City Hall, The Millenium Forum Derry and Knocknarea Arena Sligo.
Access Awards Congratulations to the five 3rd year students who received access awards in St Angela’s College in March. They were Kathlyn Gaffney, Charlotte Gibbons, Lauren Donaghy, Austeja Monstivilaite and Malgorzata Gorecka. Keep up the good work!
Sligo Through The Decades Transition year students Bronagh Kennedy, Rhian Sayers, Aishling O Regan and Aoibhinn Buckley took part in a collaborative project organised by Yeats Library IT Sligo documenting 'Sligo Through The Decades since 1916.' This project involved Sligo secondary school students in local history research while giving them a taste of life at third level.
Commemoration Events for Ireland 2016 Competition In this year of commemorations and celebration of the 1916 rising, our students excelled themselves in commemorative competitions. These competitions honoured and paid tribute to the events of the 1916 rising. Congratulations to the following girls who won prizes in the following competitions: In the Sligo Feis Ceoil 1916 Essay Competition, Aoife Kearins 5D and Kate Barlett 6B were winners. In the Callan Tansey Essay Competition, Aoife Kearins 5D won 2nd prize. In the ‘Poem for Ireland Competition' run by the Department of Education and Skills and LGMA Public Libraries Development Section, First Prize went to Emma Shanley 1C and 3rd Prize (Joint) to Hannah Gallagher 1C. Finally, the senior cycle prize winner in the Comonadh 1916 History Project of the Association of Teacher's Education Centres in Ireland was Michaela Crawley (4B). Congratulations to all winners on their great achievements and to their teachers for their encouragement and guidance.
Roinn na Gaeilge Comhghaírdeas l leis na daltaí aghlac páirt sna Feiseanna I rith na casca. Bhuaígh Carrie McDaid agus Eva Delahunt an chéad duais don chomhrá
beirte. Bhuaígh Imogen Hordan duais don chomrá. Tháinig sí sa dara háit.
Feis Shligigh Win Bhuaigh Emily De Bùrca (5ù bliain) an chéad áit sa chormórtas comhrá, faoi 18, I bhFeis Shligigh I rith na Cásca. Comhgairdeas leat, a Emily.
Young Song Writers' Award The Young Song Writer's Competition was held in the Model Sligo on 24th March 2016. There were ten entrants in total, four of whom attend Ursuline College. These were Alice Purcell, Charlotte Kinsella, Bethany McLoughlin and Ethain Sweeney Keogh. All entrants had to be in Transition, 5th or 6th Year. The judges were Gerry Grennan, Tabby Callaghan and Ciaran Quinn. Ethain Sweeeny Keogh was deemed the winner with a song entitled 'Take It Again'. She won an opportunity to record her song professionally during the summer. Well done Ethain on this amazing achievement!
TY Musical ‘Seussical’ The TY musical, Seussical the Musical, took place in the Hawkswell theatre on the 21st and 22nd April. There were 2 evening performance and 2 matinee performances for 1st-3rd year students and pupils from some local national schools. This production was directed and choreographed by Mary Mac Donagh and Steffen Jorgensen, with Niamh Crowley as Musical Director. Seussical is based on the works of Dr. Seuss and weaves together some of his most famous tales and characters from his books, including favorites like “Horton Hears a Who!”, “Horton Hatches the Egg,” and “Miss Gertrude McFuzz. Songs do much of the storytelling in “Seussical,” and the Transition years rose to the challenge superbly. The show received rave reviews from both young and not so young audiences. It was very affirming to see how the girls grew in confidence and artistic ability throughout the performances.
Silver All Ireland medal for School Golf Team Congratulations to the School's Senior Golf team who came 2nd in the All Ireland School's Golf Championship which was held in Milltown Golf Club on Monday 25th April. They beat St Angela’s Ursuline College Waterford, St. Patrick’s Comprehensive Clare and Muckross Park Dublin. An amazing achievement! We are very proud of them.
Darkness into light As part of Transition Year, students explore topics of Social Justice during Religious Education class. 4C Religion class decided to take on the task of organising a cohort of staff, students and parents to take part in the Darkness into Light walk/run to raise money in aid of Pieta House, a suicide and self-harm charity. The class put up posters and made announcements to raise awareness of the event. They held registration during lunch times, and also encouraged people to raise sponsorship for the walk. On the Friday before the event, the class distributed t-shirts to everyone who registered through the school, went through Health and Safety procedures and clarified arrangements for meeting in the morning. A total 120 people registered through the school for the walk. On Saturday 7th of May everyone met outside the Knocknarea Arena at Sligo I.T. for a group photo at 4am. Over 2300 people took part in the event. There was a wonderful sense of community to be felt on the morning and everyone was in high spirits. The following week two representatives from the Sligo committee for the Darkness into Light event came to visit the school and were presented with a cheque for €2108 by members of 4C. Two of the girls spoke about why they had decided to raise funds for Pieta House and the representatives expressed their delight at the amount of money the girls had managed to raise. Well done!
North west Hospice fundraiser As part of a Religious Education class project, 2A carried out a fundraiser for the Northwest Hospice. They baked delicious cakes, buns and cookies and sold them at break and lunch time in Salle. They raised over €130 for the North West Hospice which they then presented to Bernadette, a representative from the Hospice. Bernadette also gave the class an informative and interesting talk on the work of the Hospice and where the funds they raised, will go. She congratulated the class on their hard work and achievement.
School Swimming Team Well done to the school medley relay team consisting of Sarah Melvin, Tara Walsh and Rachel Martin who represented the school at the Connaught championships. Congratulations to Maeve Keaney who came first in the 100m backstroke at the Connaught schools’ championship held in Longford. Maeve was also selected for the Connaught interprovincial team. This competition was held in the National Aquatic centre in Blanchardstown on Sunday 8th May. Though Connaught did not win overall, Maeve achieved 2nd place in the 100 m back stroke. A fantastic achievement! Well done Maeve.
Connaught Schools Cross Country Special congratulations to the Intermediate and Senior cross country teams who qualified for the allIreland cross country championships this year. The senior team consisted of Laura Joyce, Aoife Egan, and Riona Connor. The Intermediate team consisted of Ailbhe Morgan, Eimear Joyce, Sarah Kisby, Sadbh McCarty and Rosin Walsh.
Athletics – Track and Field championships Congratulations to the following students who participated in the Connaught Track and Field championships held in Athlone: Orlaith Delahunt came first in the Senior Walk; Lauren Cadden came first in the 200 and 300m and Holly Davis came first in the discus. They qualified for the All – Ireland track and field championships to be held in Tullamore in June. The following students were all placed in their events and also qualified for Tullamore: Ailbhe Morgan, Kelsey O’ Boyle, Laoise McBrien, Eimear Mc Callion, Emer Osborne, Tara Donoghue and Ariana Torres.
Student Enterprise Awards The Student Enterprise Awards competition is the biggest enterprise competition for students in Ireland. It helps students to grasp real life skills associated with running a real enterprise including working as part of a team, managing production and finances, organizing a sales and marketing campaign and liaising directly with customers, judges and the media. This year, the Sligo County Enterprise Awards were held in at the Sligo Park Hotel. Ursuline College were overall regional winners in the Senior Category. The winning company consisted of Lisa Flynn, Grace Elliott, Leah Rooney and Cliona McGowan. They created a board game entitled ‘Sligo Road Race’. The board game incorporates many known places around Sligo. They represented Sligo in Croke Park on the 20th April in the National Final. Thank you to their teacher Ms. Wesby for her hard work with the group.
St Vincent de Paul Youth Group This group was re - established in Ursuline College this year under the guidance of Ms. Hanahoe. They meet weekly and have run many successful charity events in the school. Since Christmas, they have held a Pancake Party to raise money for local people in need. It was a great success - the queue extended the length of the hall; they almost ran out of batter. They made a total of 130 Euro. They also held a Clothes Appeal, the proceeds of which went to supporting our local SVP shop in Sligo town. The exhibition of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP) school projects took place on Thursday the 28th of April at the Sligo Park Hotel. Members of the 3
Ursuline SVP group attended the exhibition to present their projects. They highlighted the volunteering work they carried out throughout the academic year. Thank you to Ms Hanohoe for her guidance and help throughout the year.
1916 Poetry Winners On Wednesday 11th May, 1st year students Emma Shanley and Hannah Gallagher attended a function in the Major's Parlour City Hall. They were presented with prizes by Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, Rosaleen O' Grady for their 1916 themed poems in the National Poetry Competition organised by the LGMA in association with the Public Libraries. Emma received 1st place in County Sligo and Hannah was joint 3rd. Well done girls.
First Years All Ireland Soccer Winners Our first year soccer team remained undefeated all year. They defeated Claregalway Community School in the Connaught semi-final and played Mercy Westport in the Connaught final. They beat Mercy College Westport 2-1 to win the Connaught title. They then went on to play St Caimin's Commuity School Shannon, the Munster champions in the All Ireland semi-final on Thursday 12th May at the Athlone Football Club grounds. They won this very comfortably. The final score was 6-0. Special mention must go to Helen Monaghan who was awarded the match ball after this game for her hat trick of goals. The All Ireland final was held at the Kingspan Century grounds against Mercy Buncrana. The score was 3-1 and all three goals were scored by striker Helen Monaghan. All first years, and 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th soccer players accompanied the team. The supporters were amazing; their chanting and singing inspired and drove the team. This team will play in Glasgow in September representing their country in an international competition. This is a wonderful achievement and we wish them all the best in their preparation for this event. The cup was presented to team captain Sophie McDonagh and again Helen Monaghan was awarded with the match ball for yet another hat trick of goals.
Prizegiving The award ceremony took place on Friday 20th May in the Sports Hall. The entire student body gathered with Sr. Mairead and teaching staff to celebrate and acknowledge all the hard work and participation of so many students throughout the school in Academia, Sport, Voluntary activities, Social Justice, Leadership, Music, Arts and Culture, Science and technology and Environment enhancement. The special guest at this year’s ceremony was Cathaoirleach Rosaleen O' Grady who is a past pupil of the school. She is a member of Sligo Borough Council and has been appointed Mayor of Sligo twice in her career to date and we were delighted to have her presence with us for the occasion. We congratulate all our recipients. Overall 6th year Student of the Year Award was presented to Etain Sweeney Keogh who received the prestigious Sr. St Paul trophy 2016; 5th year (Joint), Volga Sani and Fiona Kelly, 4th year, Laura McGuinn, 3rd year, Rachel Hanbury, 2nd year, Fatma Dogan and 1st year Maeve Brogan were presented with Student of the Year Awards in their respective years. Special merit awards were awarded to Eva Martin, a very talented art student; Erin Brehany, Niamh Fennelly and Emer McKenna who demonstrated exceptional skill, talent and applicaton in the area of Home Economics; Anna Petsch who is the 2nd foreign student to achieve a bronze Gaisce Award and who immersed herself totally in the life of the school and Bethany Mc Loughlin and Etain Sweeney Keogh who received special merits in Music. Attendance and punctuality are recognised as valued qualities in today’s society and students who are present everyday during the academic year must be commended. Full attendance presentations were made to the following students: Lisa Kelly, Beibhinn Harte, Roisín McIntyre, Shyanne Reynolds, Sarah Kennedy and Amy Kelly, 1st year; Niamh Gowran 2nd
year; Sarah Mulholland, Rebecca Moylan, Aoife McIntyre, Andrea Flynn, Amy Dykes and Emma Christie, 3rdrd year; Isabelle Buick, Emma Gallagher, Shannon Connolly Rachel Connolly, 5thyr and Emily Acheson, Hannah Raftery, Kate Bartlett, Shirley Nicholson, Maria Connolly, Rebecca Friel, Alannagh Moylan, Denise Regan, 6th yr. This year, the title of Sports Star of the Year was awarded to Sarah Keaney who throughout her school life has won Connaught titles in a wide range of disciplines including Soccer Hockey, Gaelic football and Athletics. She has competed in numerous All-Ireland Soccer semi-finals and played a key role in the Gaelic All-Ireland final in 2012. Laura McGuinn was awarded TY Sports Star for her dedication and commitment to school sports throughout the year. The Junior Science Student of the Year Award, sponsored by Stiefiel Laboratories is awarded to the student who has shown excellence in the area of Science and Maths. This year, there were joint winners and these were Amy Dykes and Niamh Fennelly. Transition Year Science and Technology Student of the Year Award is sponsored by Compupac and is awarded to the TY student who has shown excellent performance in the area of science and Maths. This year’s winner was Katie McGoldrick. The fifth year Science and Technology Student of the Year Award is sponsored by Abbotts and recognises the achievements of a 5th year Science and Maths student who has engaged in valuable extracurricular work and research in the realms of science. This year’s winner is Aoife Kearins. The prize of Senior Science Student of the Year is sponsored by Elanco. It is an award that recognises outstanding achievement in the fields of science and maths. The winner was Alissia Hurstsova. There were musical interludes and poetic recitals interspersed throughout the ceremony. These were performed by the Senior Choir, Alice Jo Purcell and Etain Sweeney Keogh, Orla Nolan and Katie Kilgannon. We extend a special thank you to our invited guest Cathaoirleach Rosaleen O' Grady. We are grateful to Rosaline for taking time out from her busy schedule to join us for the ceremony. Sincere thanks to Ms Ni Loideain who coordinated the prize ceremony. She was ably assisted by Ms. O’ Neill,Ms. Lee, Ms Murray and Mr. McIntyre.
under the guidance of Ms. Murray. Power point presentations and speeches were prepared and delivered by many of the students. Students’ work was on display around the Sports Hall. Certificates were presented to all students. Music was provided by Harpists Ceola Mitchell and Shauna Griffin as parents entered the hall and by Grace Feeney, Charlotte Kinsella, Sarah Waters and Megan Corcoran inside the hall. Towards the end of the night, Alice Purcell sang a song she composed herself entitled ‘I’ll be by your side’. Sr. Mairead spoke of the success of Transition year. She congratulated the students on becoming involved in so many activities and on their commitment to seeing their projects through to the end. Sr. Mairead encouraged the students to take the learning from Transition year to 5th year, and thanked all the staff for their energy and hard work throughout the year. She also thanked Mr. McIntyre for his dedication to the Transition Year group. After her words, refreshments were served and parents perused the various displays around the Sports Hall.
Green Council Congratulations to the Green Council and their coordinator Mrs Mullaney who were awarded their fourth Green flag for Sustainable Travel on Wed 22nd May at a ceremony in Claremorris. This is a culmination of two years of work where the Green council conducted travel surveys, a walking audit, contacted the County Council regarding unsafe footpaths and organised green travel days. ”An Taisce” , the awarding body for the Green flag were very impressed at the number of students who car pool to school but it would be beneficial to all if more students could walk or “park and stride” to school. It was established that the main obstacle preventing students from walking to school was the weight of school bags. The Green council informed the Parents Council about “Book splits” which could considerably lighten the load of bags. For more information on book splits, please go to Booksplits.ie. Students are also encouraged to download EBooks of textbooks on their home computers to avoid bringing home unnecessary weight. Many new textbooks have complimentary E books. The Green council has already begun work on the next flag for Bodiversity and is looking forward to next year’s challenges in this area.
School Council Story of Ireland
In November, all TY students attended workshops that were guided by three visiting barristers. During this visit, the girls also had an opportunity to participate in a mock trial. After Easter, the students had an opportunity to see the legal system in action when each class visited the District Court on four consecutive Thursdays. Thanks to the court staff who made these visitations possible.
The student council is an invaluable part of school life. The council liaises between staff and students and holds regular meetings in the Old Technology room. Being a council member is excellent preparation for leadership roles in society. It is an area where students have the opportunity to display responsibility and to play an active role in the life of a school. This term, the council’s annual jumper day raised 810 euro, the proceeds of which were donated to Sligo Cancer Support centre. The Head Girl, Deputy Head Girl, Treasurer and Chairperson made a presentation to the Board of Management, outlining the roles of the council and future plans. They also worked to promote healthy living in the school. Fifth year council members organised Fit Fridays for second year students. The student council also met up with other student councils in Sligo and benefited greatly from sharing experience and ideas. In March, four members from the council went to the Crib, where other student councils from all over Sligo meet to discuss and debate ideas. A very enjoyable and beneficial day was had by all. We would like to thank all council members for their dedication and hard work throughout the year. Thank you to Ms Coyle for her help and guidance throughout the year.
TY Parents Night.
SciFest 2016 - An Eye Opening Success
Transition Years showcased their work at Parents Night which was held in the Sports Hall on Monday 23rd May. The students were given responsibility for organizing the evening and a committee was set up
Five groups from Ursuline College took part in the 9th annual SciFest which was held in the Knocknarea Arena located in Sligo IT on Wednesday 11th May. This year, two entrants
Congratulations to Aoife Kearins 5th year, who, out of thousands of participants, achieved 2nd place in the Hot Press National Story writing competition. The title was the Story of Ireland. She was presented with her prize in the Mansion House in Dublin. You can read her story on the Hot Press website by going in to Hot Press finalists. Well done, Aoife.
CPR Training Deirdre Staunton from the HSE arranged CPR workshops for TY students in May. Deirdre and four of her colleagues attended the school and provided certified training in CPR to 48 students. The girls really enjoyed these workshops.
achieved awards. In the Intermediate Physical Sciences section, Katie McGoldrick, Maeve Keaney, Leah Rooney were placed 2nd with their project entitled Do U DV8, and Aoife Kearins achieved first place in the Senior Physical Sciences/Technology with her project entitled ‘Eye Opener’ – helping drowsy drivers stay safe. This project also earned Aoife the Science Foundation Ireland Best Project Award- first place overall. The Best Project Award winners from SciFest 2016 regional science fairs will participate in a National final competition on the 11th November 2016. This is an amazing achievement and we wish Aoife the best of luck in November.
Young Social Innovators Young Social Innovators (YSI) promotes education for social innovation. They hold Speak Outs, events that give many senior Young Social Innovators an opportunity to advocate and speak out about issues of concern to them. Each school entered comes to a regional Speak Out event and presents their own two minute Speak Out to an audience of peers and local communities. Ursuline College’s Speak Out was held in Derry on the 7th April. There were four groups entered from our school. The main themes chosen were ‘Safety on the internet and Abduction’, ‘Make up and Mercury’ ‘Sugar in food’ and ‘Empowering women’. As a result of their projects, AbbVie Ballytivnan, a Pharmaceutical company in Sligo invited 20 students to a workshop where they met with staff and discussed their projects. This visitation was arranged by YSI who also visited the school at the end of May to provide a workshop entitled, “I am a Social Innovator.”
Gaisce Trips Seventy students from TY and 5th yr took part in the adventure weekend in Lough Allen. This weekend is part of the Gaisce Programme and is essential for students in order to complete their Bronze or Silver Award. The weekend included rowing, camping, night walks, collecting wood, building camp fires, pier jumping and games. The weather was very mixed for some of the groups but they all enjoyed the trip tremendously, learnt some survival skills and even managed to get a good tan!
Graduation Mass Our 6th year Graduation Mass took place on Wednesday 25th May. This event is planned in conjunction with the Leaving Cert students, their Religious and Music teachers and Year Head. It marks the culmination of the students’ career in Ursuline College. The Mass began with a dignified procession of all 6th years carrying a candle which each one placed before the Altar. The girls processed to the strains of ‘Carry your Candle.’ The opening hymn ‘New Beginnings’ sung by the 6th year choir set the tone of celebration for the Mass. Bronagh Hever our Head Girl welcomed everyone to the Mass, before handing over to Fr. Declan. The theme of the Mass was Hope and the prayers, readings and hymns reflected this. 1st and 2nd readings were read by Laura Joyce and Orla Nolan and the responsorial psalm ‘Mo Ghrá Thú’ was sung by Sinead Ni Bhroin. In his homily, Fr Declan mentioned that in difficult or stressful times, we often turn to God to grant us our wishes and we trust Him to do what we consider is the right thing for us. However when He doesn’t seem to do this, we should not disregard or forget Him, as He might have greater plans for us if only we would trust – trust Him and also His spirit at work in us. The Offertory instrumental was played by Sinéad Ní Bhroín, Denise Regan, Enya Curley, Katie Kilgannon and Emily Acheson. During Communion, the choir sang ‘Come to the table’ and ‘Lord, we are not worthy’ with soloist Katie Kilgannon. Our trio of Harpists consisting of Elise Brennan, Etain Sweeney Keogh and Blaithin Wall played a lovely reflective air. The Communion reflection was read by Ellen Murphy followed by a lovely song entitled ‘We won’t stop Dreaming’. This was played and sung by Kate Barlett, Enya Curley, Aoife McKiernan, Rachel Gallagher, Etain Sweeney
Keogh, Heather Murphy, Bethany McLoughlin and Katie Kilgannon. After the Mass, the girls received scrolls with all the names of the 6th years, a bookmark with the words of St Angela, foundress of the Ursulines and a friendship bracelet. The final song was ‘Unwritten’, a very fitting song for the occasion. Sr. Mairead wished the 6th years every success in the forthcoming exams and happiness in the future. Her wish for all the students was that they would be the best they can be wherever life takes time; a deep belief in themselves, a hope that they would ‘give faith a fighting chance’ and a desire that they would build a better world. After the ceremony, Bronagh Hever and Caitlin Connolly brought the class of 2016 on a nostalgic journey of their years at Ursuline College. They finished with words of appreciation to Sr. Mairead, Mrs Waters, 6th Year Head Ms. Milne and the teaching staff. To end the evening, there was a symbolic balloon ceremony held outdoors. This was followed by refreshments for all in the balcony of the Sports Hall where parents had an opportunity to chat and reminisce.
All Ireland Gold Medal Winners: Schools Track and Field Championships Congratulation to Orla Delahunt who came first in the 3000 metre Race walk in the Senior section and Lauren Cadden who came first in the 300 metre run at Intermediate level at the All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships held in Tullamore on June 4th. Super achievements, girls, well done! Youth Ambassador Each year, St Patrick’s University Hospital invites 500 students to take part in a week-long placement for Transition Years entitled, ‘Walk in my shoes’. The programme is hosted by the Adolescent Mental Health team at the hospital. The programme aims to educate young people about mental health
issues and to breakdown the stigma associated with mental illness. All participants will return to their schools as ambassadors for mental wellbeing, and share their new understanding of positive mental health by preparing and giving a presentation to their classmates on their return to school. Aoife Gallagher attended the placement this year and graduated in June from St. Patrick's Mental Health Services ‘Walk In My Shoes Programme’. Aoife also won the ‘Mental Health Matters' caption competition. Congratulations, Aoife!
Parents’ Association The Ursuline College in Sligo enjoys a very active and vibrant Parents’ Association. Throughout this past school year, we met monthly. Our Association aims at all times to support/assist the school with various activities and to act as an advocate for the parents to discuss issues that affect our students. Individual issues are not discussed, as there is a formal protocol in place for dealing with such matters. We are fortunate to have our Principal and Deputy Principal Sr. Mairead O’Regan & Mrs. Ann Waters at our meetings. This enhances our meetings greatly and an excellent working relationship has been established. This last school year saw a new Committee elected. Many new parents came regularly to the meetings. Because many parents were new to the school, the Association did not embark on any major fundraising throughout the year. We used a lot of the meetings to learn about our daughter’s new environment. We were informed about plans for a new school building which will be happening in the next couple of years. With this in mind, we as a Parents’ Association with the full backing of Sr. Mairead and Mrs Waters decided to organise a Fashion Show to be held in October 2016. This will be a major fundraiser for our school and one that the Association is looking
forward to organising. We have set ourselves a high ‘bar’ to achieve and hope to go about it energetically. We plan to meet regularly from the end of August to get this in motion. Preliminary arrangements have been put in place. A new initiative that the Association did during the year was to offer support to the 6th years. It was suggested to give them ‘a treat’ to make their final and most stressful year a bit more relaxing and comfortable. Sr Mairead consulted with their Year Head who met with the 6th years. The girls were delighted with the support offered and they requested some enhancements to their Common Room. The 6th years were most appreciative of the Parents Association’s thoughtfulness. This is something that the Association hopes to carry out annually for our senior students. The Association also part-funded Internet Safety workshops for students. We hope that the school year 2016/2017 will see our Parents’ Association go from strength to strength and we look forward to continued good relations with our school as we work together for the students.
Condolences We were all greatly saddened to hear of the sudden death of past-pupil, Michele Feighney earlier this year. Michelle had been working in Japan since she completed her degree. We extend our deepest sympathy as a school community to her mother Mary. May Michelle’s gentle soul rest in peace. We extend sincere sympathy to staff member Geraldine Cornyn whose mother Mae this year. May she rest in peace. We offer Geraldine and her family the support of our prayers at this time. Tommie Gorman’s sister Paula died recently. Tommie is a member of the Board of Management of Ursuline College. We extend our sincere sympathy to Tommie and his family in their loss. May she rest in peace.
Holidays I hope you all have a happy and refreshing summer break. I encourage students to give sometime this summer to make life a little easier for others – not just at home but also in your local communities and parishes. ‘Ar scáth a cheile a mhaireann na daoine’
With every blessing and good wish, Sr Mairead Principal.
‘Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to pray and to love and to work and to look up at the stars’.