St Declan's College

TY Times Christmas Newsletter 2019

Our trip to Causey Farm

On Friday the 6th of September, the 2019/2020 Transition Year group took part in their first trip, to Causey Farm in county Meath. The entire group got to take part in multiple activities, like baking bread, milking cows, chasing hens, Irish dancing and finally, jumping into a bog!

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We departed from the Navan Road early on Friday morning. We got onto our coach after tutor class and began to make our way to Meath. We were joined by Ms O’Reilly, 4B tutor Ms Byrne, and 4C tutor Mr O’Connor. Upon arriving the years were sorted into two separate groups, and each given an instructor from the farm. Each instructor brought their group to a small kitchen to bake bread. When we got to the kitchen, our instructor brought us through the baking step by step, so we could all eat our own-made delicious bread when we got home.

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After the baking, we were given a tour of the farm. We got to interact with all of the animals. Some of the activities the students took part in included chasing hens, and milking a cow. We got to pet Gloria the pig, the main pig at the farm.

As Halloween was coming up, our instructors gave us a sneak preview of the sets for “Farmophobia”,a Halloween event held annually at the farm. Later on in the day, we got to take part in a small sample of Farmophobia.

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The teachers and students got involved in a Ceili, a traditional Irish dance. We all practiced for a while to music beforehand, then we all got really involved. It was a great laugh.

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The main event of the day was jumping into the bog. We all piled into the back of a truck, and sat on bales of hay.

After a brief and bumpy trip down a country road, we arrived at the bog. We had to remove our shoes and socks before making a massive leap into the bog. As everyone jumped in, many laughs and struggles to get out of the bog were had! Our clothes were destroyed, but we were all in good spirits before going back to the farm to clean up, get some food and head home for a well-earned rest! It was a great first trip for the Transition Years, and great fun for everyone involved.

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Yoga Retreat

In the second week of September the Transition Year Students of Saint Declan’s participated in a Yoga Retreat with a Woman named Clodagh who is a Yoga instructor. The class began after Tutorial and proceeded for the whole day. The Students done Mindfulness tasks, Yoga positions and Mindful drawing. Some Mindful tasks include simple things such as Preparing a Snack or making a cup of tea. Mindfulness is ‘Intentionally living with awareness in the Present moment’, the students found this very enjoyable and relaxing. Next Clodagh demonstrated the Yoga positions that were to be held for 20-30 seconds, the students found this tricky at times but rewarding when completed. Lastly, the Students did Mindful drawing task in which they drew a picture of their choice while Relaxing music played in the back. The students had a Great day!

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Holocaust Education

Trust Ireland provides schools with yellow crocus Bulbs to plant in autumn in memory of one and a Half million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust and thousands of other children who were victim of Nazi atrocities. The yellow flowers recall the yellow star of David that the Jewish were forced to wear under Nazi rule. The Crocus blooms at the end of January or beginning of February, around the time of international Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January).

The Crocus project is a tangible way to introduce young people to the subject of the Holocaust and to raise awareness about the dangerous of racism. The students involvement in planting the bulbs and watching the flowers grow encourages ongoing learning about the importance of acceptance and respect for all people.

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Music Workshop

On the 1st of October 4 Osborne took part in a percussion instrument Mobile music workshop. A man called Mark came in to teach us the basics of using percussion instruments. At the beginning of the class he did a little performance on a big drum that made a particular sound, he later explained that the drum he was using made that sound because it had a snare on it. After that we then split into groups and each group played different instruments like drums, shakers etc, before he let us start banging and shaking the instruments like wild animals he showed us how to use them properly and in sync. We then began to play using different rhythms. We used different sentences to play our rhythms such as on the drums they played according to the number of syllables in the word’s pepperoni pizza, banging the drum for each syllable {pep-per-oni piz-za}. The class then progressed into longer more difficult rhythm. At the end of the class we played a final musical piece all together competently without help from Mark.

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Hospitality Course

On Thursday the 24th of October the Transition Year Students took part in a day-long hospitality course. The Lady who came in to talk to them was called Fiona Dunne. She specialises in the training of new waiters and waitresses. She talked to us about her experience working in the hospitality sector and worked her way up through many restaurants and hotels. The class then began with a lesson on how to correctly set a table. Fiona walked the students through many different table settings and how to take orders for a large group of people. After this she talked the students through interview techniques and how to present their C.V’s. By the end of the day the students were each given and certificate, proving their participation in the Hospitality Course.

Chocolate Factory Trip

On the 5th of November the TY year group went on a trip to “The Chocolate Warehouse” in Walkinstown. The factory is owned by the Caffrey family who are most well known for their “Caffrey’s Chocolate Snowballs” which I’m sure most of the year group had heard of before.

The aim of the trip was to show us how the business was run and through this to get ideas to apply to our mini companies which we will be working on all year round. We were given a small tour of the factory, a talk on the history of the company and a video showing the process of how chocolate is made. Our guide also spoke about the future of the company with issues such as Brexit.

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We ended the day with some decoration of chocolate that we got to bring home and a quiz on what we had learned from the speech and video, it was tough call but in the end everyone left with a certificate from “The Chocolate Warehouse”

Politics and Society Dáil Trip

On the 14th of November 2019, we had the privilege of going on a class trip to Dáil Eireann as part of our Politics and Society module with Mr Rickard. We were kindly invited by Cavan-Monaghan TD Niamh Smyth, who is a relative of fellow TY student Darragh O’ Brien.

We travelled to and from the Dáil on the school bus courtesy of Shay. On arrival we were greeted by local TD Jack Chambers as well as TD Niamh Smyth, and even got to take a class photo with them.

After we had been welcomed we went to the viewing gallery and got to view a live debate between past pupil and current Minister of Finance, Paschal Donohue and Deputy Pearse Doherty.

Afterwards we received a tour of the rest of the Dáil and the Seanad and had a brief talk with Paschal himself.

It was a great day out and I look forward to our next trip.

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Aladdin

Today was a good day. Today was the day we went to watch Aladdin in the Gaiety Theatre. It was such a good experience.

We met together at 10 o’clock in front of the Gaiety Theatre. For most of us it was our first time being in a theatre. We were given our ticket and were allocated to our seats. It took around 30 minutes for everyone in the theatre to settle down. The place was quite big.

The acting was quite good but it was too musical. The orchestra was very talented and everything was so precise.

At the end of the play we were allowed to go home. We really enjoyed the play.

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Challenge cup

We started our challenge cup campaign with a soccer match against the deaf school from the inspire fitness centre.

We had some extraordinary performances from our team.

We left the school at 1:05 and arrived at the inspire astro turf pitches at 1:15. We got togged out and began the warm up for our opening game of the academy cup.

The match began at 1:30 and throughout the early exchanges and St Declan’s got ahead, we were well in control and after the first half interval the score was 9-3 to St Declan’s thanks to goals from Ben O'Hara and Liam Burke.

At the beginning of the second half we made a couple of changes and the substitutes really made a difference and helping the team to assert their dominance throughout the game. With late goals from Aaron Duff and Ionut Buftea the team left with the dominant victory on the day. With the opposing school fighting back they never gave up and the final score was 19-12 to St Declan’s.

Team players: Elliott Murtagh, Jamie Carrick, Ben Nolan, Aaron Duff, Liam Burke, Ionut Buftea, Conor McDonnell, Daniel Olawaye, Ben O'Hara, Daniel Kenny, Killian Flanagan. Coach: Mr Reid

The next sport we play is basketball and after being cancelled on Wednesday the 11th of December, it should be on the Wednesday the 18th of December or after Christmas.

Hopefully we can keep the winning streak home and bring the challenge cup back to St Declan’s.

TY Respect Christmas Quiz

On the 4th of December, St Declans and St Dominics had a Christmas quiz in the library of St Declans. We got split into groups of six per table. It was very fun and it was a good chance to make new friends. The atmosphere in the room was great and the room was alive with laughter and fun times. Killian Flanagan and Callum Poole were reading out the answers and questions which made it more entertaining. When Killian and Callum read out what team was in last the room burst into laughter. Overall it was a great experience and I would like to do it again.

Street Law

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On the 9th of December the TY group were taken to the Library to do a Street Law programme with two adults from Northern Ireland who studied law and were going to spend a few hours teaching us about crime and the process of undergoing an investigation of a crime scene. The first thing we did was an introduction to a crime that took place in the 80s which we were told the nature of the crime and who was involved, we were then shown our first piece of evidence and we then split into groups and had to work together to solve the crime. Different pieces of evidence were around the rooms located on tables that was accessible to everyone but you decided what was important and what was not. We were asked throughout our time what our theories and thoughts were and finally at the end we got the final result of who was the suspect, we also learned that the actual case was wrong and they put the wrong person away, which we were told that it is important to focus on all evidence not the most stand out pieces. The programme was a fun experience involving everyone providing an insight in what actually takes place in an investigation and the law.

Language Connect

On Friday the 6th of December, the Transition Years, accompanied by Ms Byrne, Mr Burke and Ms Dempsey went on a trip to the Convention Centre for the 2019 ThinkLanguages Connect event. We all took the train from Broombridge into town. Upon arrival at the Convention Centre, all 3,000 students in attendance were greeted by the Experience Japan Taiko Drum Group. They performed a great drumming piece before we were entertained by guest speakers. The guest speakers talked about the advantages of having multiple languages for careers. We were joined by Hector Ó hEochagáin who discussed his experiences with Spanish and Irish. He told all of us how having multiple languages helped him get a job with TG4. He took a group selfie of all 3,000 students before we went off to take part in the workshops and stands. Some of the workshops up for students to choose included Russian, Japanese, Korean and Taekwondo. There was over 90 stands were also available for students to visit so they could talk with people from different companies, universities and state agencies. These gave students a good idea on how multiple languages could help them in later life. It was an exciting and fascinating experience, and was enjoyed by everybody involved!

Poetry Slam

On the 13th of December, the Transition years attended a poetry slam course. The first thing that we did was, he told us a story and we had to write what we would do to a person in the story. We wrote a poem and uploaded it to a website named inspireland.ie. We saw an animation video about bullying and mental depression. He was a very energetic person who was very helpful and treated us like adults. He talked to us as we would talk to our friends which made it more comfortable and open to all.

29 May 2020
Summer holidays
01 Jun 2020
Public holiday
03 Jun 2020
State examinations 2020 - Postponed date tba
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