Congratulations to Mr. Stephen Ryan (coach) and Joanna O'Sullivan (3A1) who were part of the Irish ITF Taekwon-Do Team who returned from the Taekwon-Do World Cup, which was held in Budapest last week, with 15 Gold, 13 Silver and 26 Bronze medals. The event was attended by 60 countries and 1,852 competitors. Ireland finished in 2nd place in the overall country classification, just behind Argentina and beating Russia and Poland into 3rd and 4th respectively. Joanna O'Sullivan, who is part of Mr. Ryan's Taekwon-Do club in Quin, earned a Bronze medal in the -55kg sparring division following several intense bouts. Mr Ryan had 9 of his direct students from the local Quin club taking part and between them they returned with 13 medals. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate both Mr Ryan and Joanna on their amazing achievements.
Bright and early on Monday morning, the current LCVP Leaving Certificate class had a very welcome visitor. Mr. Sean Torpey, of Torpey Hurleys came to talk to the class about his own experience of running a business and the interesting pathway home to Belvoir, Sixmilebridge. Sean went from studying in Letterfrack, onto a British University, through the Formula One apparel department of Puma, the footwear section of Adidas and back to the company his father started in Sixmilebridge, during the 1980s. We were grateful to Sean, who himself was an LCVP student in one of the first LCVP classes in St. Joseph's, for sharing his history with us.
Our students were familiar with the high quality products produced by Torpey Hurleys and Sean explained clearly the driving forces behind the Torpey's business. He highlighted the family's focus of producing a quality product, in a sustainable way, being ever mindful of the fact that this business is embedded in its own community. Students were interested to hear of the risks and challenges which have faced this business along with the goals and ideas which have allowed this business to grow and to continue to provide employment in Sixmilebridge. Sean gave a very interesting presentation, which gave students a practical insight into enterprise in action in our locality. He highlighted the importance of good market research and a detailed business plan. He reminded students that their best teacher is their last mistake and encouraged students not to be afraid to consider running their own businesses.
Picture below Sean and his father demonstrating their famous hurleys
Michael Fitzgerald and Grace McMahon are both TY students in St. Joseph's. They, along with all of their classmates, have been kept up to date with the myriad of competitions open to TY students. Transition year students, from the school, have entered art competitions, poetry competitions and essay writing competitions along with the Gaisce Project, John Paul 2 Awards, Young Entrepreneur Competition and the Young Scientist competitons.
Last night, the first of what we hope will be a number of successes was announced. Michael and Grace both wrote essays on 'Why the EU is Important to me'. They both approached the topic from different perspectives and secured two of only ten coveted places on offer to visit Mr. Sean Kelly, MEP in the European Parliament in December. Their essays showed an outward looking, future focused approach to the EU and show that these two students are keenly aware and proud of their Irish heritage and the impact of the EU on their lives now and in the future. Michael and Grace will travel to Brussels on the 8th of December with the group of ten Irish students who have been invited to tour Brussels and the European Parliament. The two students are excited at the prospect of the trip and the whole school is very proud of their achievement.
Welcome back to our new academic year 2016-2017 and may I wish everyone a very successful year in our brand new building which will be ours to use for the next 25 years. Keep it well. Congratulations to our Leaving Certs who did an excellent exam and are well equipped to meet whatever challenge lies ahead in 3rd level or their chosen field. Bethan Godber topped our results table along with Marie Vaughan. Bethan viewed her scripts and saw that she had gotten 100% in Maths. That was an outstanding score. We wish her well in her study of medicine in Cambridge. Marie is studying Law at UCC.
The four students who won the TOMAR Scholarships on foot of their results were Marie Vaughan, Anna Carroll, Laura Halpin and Niamh Mc Mahon. Congratulations to all! €2,500 is a nice sum to offset college expenses and we are very grateful to Dr Tom and Mrs Marie Cavanagh and family for their very generous sponsorship over the past six years. A first this year for the school, was that Gavin O’Brien won a Naughton Foundation Scholarship worth €20,000 for his studies in a Science related 3rd Level course. The school also got a cheque for €1,000 from the Naughton Foundation for encouraging him. We are delighted with Gavin’s success and hope that future students in the school will compete for this scholarship also.
Overall, we were very happy with our Leaving Cert results. Twenty per cent got over 500 points and 40% got over 400 points. Of our LCA students, 50% achieved Merit grade and 50 % achieved a Distinction. Well Done all of you!
We would like to welcome our new 1st Years, who have settled in well already.
We welcome our new teachers, Ms Ciara Mc Mahon, Ms Mairead O’Brien, Ms Martina Walsh, Mr. Donal Conheady, and Mr John Hennessy and wish you all of the best for 2016-2017.
Our Junior Cert results were also very good this year. We are delighted that Ethan Delaney has been asked to join the Irish Science Olympiad on the basis of his excellent results in the Junior Cert Science and Maths papers. We have had four students chosen in the past four years. This year is a special one in that we have recently had our Official Opening ceremony. More anon. We are really enjoying our new surroundings, the new art work selected by the Per Cent for Art committee headed by Ms Mary Moran. It is the first year that we have our own playing pitch for home games and we hope to enjoy it to the full.
Le gach dea ghuí,
Early on the morning of the 26th of September, a bus full of sleepy TY students embarked on their journey to Achill Island. We did not know quite what was ahead of us but we were looking forward to this out of school experience. After a very long bus ride, we finally arrived at Colaiste Acla. Straight away we were divided by gender into two houses where we were given a place to sleep and much needed food. We quickly settled in before we were whisked away and split into two groups to try our different activities.
One group had a pleasant surfing experience. For some of us - getting up on the surf board was a challenge but with the support of our friends we soon improved. The other group had an unexpected meeting as they plunged into the water while cliff jumping. They were greeted by a swarm of jelly fish. Luckily the jelly fish were not of the Portuguese Man of War variety. Most students handled the situation well, despite the odd sting here or there. Thank goodness for the wetsuits which protected us. One or two may or may not have screamed hysterically – but that was all part of the fun. After a great dinner (where luckily seconds were on offer) we attended our first Ceili where we danced and had great crack.
On the next day the groups swapped activities. The surfers, of the previous day, headed with trepidation for the jelly fish invested waters at the cliff face. Overnight through the retelling of the cliff jumping escapade the jellyfish had grown in the imaginations of students and they were simply enormous. They survived and in the afternoon we all completed team building exercises. After another fun filled day, we went to the second Ceili where we participated in games with another school. The last day was a great end to a wonderful experience. One group splashed around in a hole full of mud and took on an array of obstacles in a bog. The other group went on a scenic river gorge walk, wading through a river and sliding down waterfalls, the activity ended with each participation being renamed with river names such as lightening rod and Spartacus.
Overall Achill was an amazing experience which we would all love to have again. We had great fun and had the opportunity to get to know people we hadn’t really known well before, but a little advice for future TYs - don’t burn the toast!!!!
It was a day of great celebration when Minister for education Richard Bruton came to our school last week for the offical opening. It was a great time to see all the people that had worked so hard and spent so much time in getting the school to where it is today from work that had started on getting a new school over twenty years ago.
The History Archive Competition for First Year Classes 20015-16 was judged in school today by Mr Colm Madden, History Dept., Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. This was the second year of the competition run by the History Department in St Joseph's. First years keep a scrapbook for their first year in school documenting four different areas of history: World News, National news, Local News and My News. This is done on a weekly basis. The standard of entries was very high. This year's winners pictured below with Colm are Leagh Hunt (3rd Prize), Aoife Brassil (First Prize) and Aoife Halpin (2nd Prize). Well done to all participants.
A great day was had last Friday 16-9-2016 on the school playing field. It was National Fitness day and a number of activities held including Tug of War and a crossbar challenge. Teachers took on students in both challenges. While students won the cross bar challenge, the teachers were comprehensive winners when it came to the Tug of War challenge. Leaving cert Tug of War team included: Jordon Cassells, Adam Nelson, Dan Landers, Callum Noonan and James Dooley.
Teachers taking part: Mr Vaughan, Mr Kelly, Mr Fahy, Ms Casey and Mr Malone.