Climate change is very prevalent in today’s society. You can see the effects of climate change in Ireland. February of last year it was snowing heavily from the 22nd of February till the 5th of March. The government put out a red warning, for people to be cautious when going outside. Another example is in the summer of last year, Ireland had an extremely hot summer where there was a hosepipe ban because our water reservoirs were dangerously low.
The future impact of global warming in Ireland is expected to show up in the rising of sea levels, more intense storms, with an increased level and magnitude in river and coastal floodings; so it’s a good thing our school has taken on this initiative.
All this week, some TY students from the green schools were chosen to participate in a programme with SSE Airtricity and Microsoft. The programme is called ‘ Generation Green 5 Day Energy Challenge’. The reason Microsoft and SSE Airtricity teamed up and proposed this challenge to our school was to encourage teenagers to take care of our environment.
The TY students were given blue jumpers that have the Microsoft and SSE Airtricity Logo on them; these are the Energy 5 Day Challenge leaders. Each day the TY’s explain to the first and fourth years the tips and tricks of the day and how they could win the great prizes. The topics were recycling, saving water, saving energy around the house, saving energy involving technology and how much energy is put into food production. These tips, tricks and topics will be on posters hung up all over the school.
First years and Fourth years got a chance to win a Microsoft Surface and runner-up winners get a Wireless speaker. Entries can be in whatever form they want, video, poster, collage etc. To be in with a chance to win first and fourth-year students submitted their entries that included the different ways that you can help the environment. Either through recycling, saving water or saving energy.
We hope all the first and fourth years enjoyed this competition, and also continue to save the environment in the future!
Last year Microsoft began to work with Collinstown Park Community College. One of the things they decided to do was to sponsor an award programme for all students. It was put in place to, overall, motivate the students to do well in school. It spans a three-week period. There are two stages to this programme:
The first stage of the programme is an award if your attendance, punctuality and behaviour is good and you complete your homework and wear your uniform. If all the criteria is reached you receive a €10 Liffey Valley voucher.
The second stage is to write about why you are a good citizen. Topics that could be mentioned are that you recycle, help the elderly, volunteer at charities, etc. After a few weeks the winners of the second award are decided. Only a few winners from each year are picked and the award is a €100 voucher for Liffey Valley.
At the end of the year all the winners from the first and second stages go on a trip of their choice. The trip lasts for the entire day and everybody enjoys it. It’s definitely worth participating in this award because all you have to do is come to school and do what you usually do everyday, which is learning.
On the 9th of March on a very early Saturday, some of the Third Year students and a few of the TYs went to see the Manchester City v Watford football match. We took a coach at the early hour of 6:30. The bus ride lasted for thirty minutes to Dublin Port but there was no shortage of excitement and buzz from the students.
The journey was scenic and sailing on the ‘Ulysses’ was almost nothing short of gorgeous. There were perfect ocean views from anywhere on the deck. The shop was filled with almost everything you could need to entertain yourself for the next two hours from Dublin Port to Holyhead. It was right underneath the James Joyce Balcony Lounge; a beautiful elevated space on the ship’s deck for passengers to relax away from the bustling atmosphere of the passengers below. The cafe became our favourite place, however, and it was the first place we went to as soon as we boarded. The sea ride was a bit bumpy, but we amused ourselves with cards and the fantastic views before we finally reached Hollyhead.
On the bus, we made our way to shop in ‘The Trafford Centre’. It was huge! Putting it in perspective, Liffey Valley could fit into it three times. After making sure we were all present, we were freely let out to roam the giant maze that was the centre. Nevertheless, I cannot say it was the highlight of the day. I think the best part of the whole trip was, of course, the main attraction: The Manchester City v Watford match.
Driving up to the stadium was probably the shortest ride the whole trip the way I remember it. I think I recall Mr Dowling warning us not to chant or sing opposition fan songs? The mad screaming and chanting of supporters on the cold walk towards the massive stadium brought to mind the infamous crazed football culture the English have. They really do love their football.
The body count of people was massive. The walk into the stadium was the hardest. Men, women and children, mostly clad in blue scarves, hats or shirts were eagerly awaiting to get inside; but it was nothing compared to when I was handed my ticket. Stepping outside onto the stadium steps I took in my first real-life football experience. The energy displayed from both sides, from the giant that is Man City’s supporters to the much smaller but hopeful and encouraging Watford, was exuberant.
Football doesn’t interest me; I’m much more of a rugby fan, but the match never let me stay in my seat for too long. Things were slightly neck and neck in the first half, admittedly slow. However, Man City came back strong when Raheem Sterling, number seven, scored all three of the winning goals for his team. It was exciting to watch and in the end, it was a 3-1 win.
There was a vivacious mood amongst us, as we trekked the long stretch back to the bus to make it to the hotel. It was clear that many of us would not be retiring early, much to the dismay of our teacher (even though they did warn us to be in bed early). We were happy to get on the bus and get to the hotel. The bus was lively with jokes and chats as we drove to our destination for the night. We were served dinner and ate well before spending the rest of the time playing cards and talking amongst ourselves. We had an early start. We had to be up early for the Manchester United Stadium Tour; the last stretch of our trip.
We woke up as early as 7.15 in the morning, so, you can imagine my delight when Mr Dowling came pounding at my door to get myself up and ready. We dressed quickly, packed our things and filed ourselves one final time onto the coach. The tour came with a complimentary lanyard with the tour ticket, and we were greeted and guided by a very charming tour guide named Charlie.
It was interesting to learn about the history of Manchester United, from the humble union of a few countrymen finding entertainment from kicking a ball of pigskin around; to the massive scarlet stadium I stood in. I can’t remember many facts, but I do think back to the pure amazement I felt about how very invested people were in this sport – a crazed football fan culture. It boasted of a fortified sense of pride in not only the sport and its achievements, but its history and a lineage of fine managers and players.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a complete tour if we didn’t take a trip to the merchandise store. Filled with all the Manchester United merchandise you could ever dream of, I observed some very strange ones too. For example, they were selling a Manchester United version of Monopoly and signature Manchester United coffee beans; why not?
We boarded the coach, some with plenty of goodies to take home now. Once we had endured the ‘two and a half hour’ ride to Hollyhead, boarded the ship and survived three more gruelling, nauseating hours on the ship, it was official – the trip was over.
In conclusion, it was loads of fun. It was my first real-life football match, I got some nice snapshots on my disposable camera (which I hope to make a collage of once the pictures have been printed) and it gave me an opportunity to get to know a little bit more about some of the people in my year.
I hope many of the Third Years who went enjoyed themselves. I would also like to give a massive thank you to Mr Dowling, Ms McVeigh, Mr Lanigan, Mr Higgins and Mr Forbes for giving up their weekend to come along with us. I hope they enjoyed their time too!
On the 5th of March, Collinstown Park Transition Year students participated in a charity wheelchair basketball tournament. They trained for weeks over break and even over class time. Taking home a trophy was the only thing on their minds. Their movement, communication and teamwork improved significantly over this time. The tournament was put in place to raise awareness for the Irish Wheelchair Association. Collinstown Park Community College single-handedly raised over €1000 for charity.
The tournament took place in Gormanstown College, Co. Meath. Upon arrival, everyone was nervous to see whether or not the other teams had trained. The entire team also had never used a wheelchair designed for sports up until this point.
Each team had to play four matches to have a chance at qualifying for the semi-finals. The rules were quite similar to normal basketball rules so those who already played basketball had an advantage over those who didn’t. Of course, it would never be easy. At any given time, two girls had to be playing on each team and most importantly, you couldn’t use your legs at all.
Collinstown’s first match ended well with them winning 8-2, but unfortunately, their second match was a different story. In their second match, they were completely outplayed, which ended with them losing 9-8 after an accidental foul was called. After that performance, Collinstown decided that they needed to change the way they played and after a short break they had decided on their plan of action. There was a day and night difference between the next match and the match beforehand. Collinstown had a great performance and ended up winning the match. This was much needed for them as their confidence went up. Going into the fourth match, they used this confidence to completely dominate their opponents. They ended up winning 22-0, which luckily, qualified them for the semi-finals.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. Collinstown’s first match in the semi-finals started off slow and in the end, their communication fell apart. They lost 11-9. Although they were knocked out, they would never forget the experience. I applaud the effort they put into trying to win for not only themselves but for the school.
Kyria Tembe, Anthony Emmett, Rokas Galinauskas, Hannah Corcoran, Mckayla Costigan, Billy Walsh, Nathalia Dunne, Abbey Brennan, Dylan Downey, Amy Emmett, Jamie Courtney, Adam Tiernan, Victory Luke, Amie Russell, Emmanuel Bankole, Alex Seery, Conor Nolan and Eoighan Barry.
On the 6th of March TY students went to Dublin Zoo. We got the bus at 9:30 and got there at 10:00. We were allowed look around the zoo on our own until 11:15 and then we had to go to the centre where we were given different tasks to do.
The tasks we were given were about the environment and recycling. The girl who was talking to us was called Fiona, she was really nice. She gave us packages and we had to find different symbols such as RSPO. She gave us out envelops with pictures in them that we had to arrange from the worst to best for the environment. Some of the pictures we got were of deforestation, cows, plastic bottles, camping and pollution. She also gave us pictures that we had to arrange showing the process that our phones go through in order to get to our hands. We all enjoyed this talk and the activities and learning about the effects we have on the world.
After that we were given a tour around the zoo. She told us about the orangutans and their habitat. She told us that when they show their teeth that means that they are afraid or are about to be aggressive. To keep their habitat the same as it would be in the wild they make the orangutans solve puzzles to get their food, this helps to keep their physical and mental health up.
Next we were allowed go for food in the Meerkat restaurant where we could buy food or eat the packed lunch if brought. While you were eating you could watch the meerkats. We left the zoo at 2:00 and arrived home on the bus at 2:30. All round, the TY students thought this experience was very good and educational.
Transition Year students enjoyed a sight and taste sensation today at Butlers chocolate factory. They then decorated their very own Valentine hearts. There was lots of chocolate and fun had by everyone in attendance.
On the 5th of November Transition Year students visited the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland. Students came to school at the normal time, we left on the bus at around half nine excited for the day ahead!
First on the agenda was the National Gallery. Once we arrived at the Gallery’s lobby, a tour guide came and began giving us a tour of the gallery. She brought us to the courtyard where we were shown a sculpture and a massive painting on one of the walls of the courtyard. Next we saw Caravaggio’s most famous painting, ‘The Taking of Christ’, she told us the history of the painting and of Caravaggio himself. We were then shown a few more paintings and a sculpture in the gallery. We learned a lot about the history of some art pieces in the gallery.
The National Museum of Ireland is located only a short walk from the Gallery. Inside there are two floors for visitors to explore. This time we were not accompanied by a tour guide, we were free to explore on our own. We split into two groups, one stayed downstairs while the other went upstairs. We saw different types of sea creatures, birds, insects and large mammals. Everyone was surprised at how large and realistic looking some of the animals are. We even saw a massive basking shark and the evolution of the human skeleton!
After we were finished looking around the museum we had some free time to get food. Most people went to the food court in Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre. We had a lot of time to spend looking around Grafton Street and in the Centre. Students and teachers all met up at around two o clock to get the bus home. Everyone was tired from our fun day out!
If anyone is interested in going to the National Gallery of Art or the National Museum of Ireland, entry is free to both places and they promise an interesting day out.
When I grow up, I want to follow in my father’s footsteps and drive a truck. The Transition Year Work Experience programme in Collinstown Park has given me the opportunity to sample what life would be like in the career I, at this moment, have chosen.
My older brother is already working as a truck driver, he started driving four years ago. My dad is in this career much longer, he followed in his father’s footsteps by driving trucks. It is a career that has been going through the family for about four generations now so I wouldn’t want to be the only one who doesn’t drive trucks.
The other reason I want to follow this tradition is because I want to have a stable income and to have a good life when I’m older. With the stable income I want to have a nice house and a nice car as well. With this type of job you have the option to go abroad and get paid for doing it. When he is doing a foreign job my father collects the truck in Swords and drives to Dublin Port. From there he goes to Calais and then south west if heading for Spain and Portugal. He takes the road for Amsterdam and Holland if heading for northern Europe, by taking those roads you can drive up to Sweden and Norway too. If he is delivering in Norway he will more than likely be out for more than two weeks and if he’s going to Spain he will be gone for about a week.
All of this appeals to me, I like going on journeys. I like visiting new places, eating new foods and tasting new cultures. In 2013, when I was eleven, my father took me on a trip with him to southern Spain. This journey made me want to follow in his footsteps.
This is why I chose truck deliveries for my Work Experience. I do work experience once a week for about nine hours every Wednesday. I work with my brother, this usually involves collecting a truck and delivery from Grange Castle at four o’clock in the morning. We then head in the direction of Galway and deliver goods such as fridge foods to Spar, Mace and Value Centre. It takes us about an hour and a half to two hours to get there, then it takes us about three hours to drive around Galway and deliver all the goods. The place we deliver most to is around Ballinasloe which is a big town on the eastern side of Galway.
I would recommend people choosing a Work Experience that excites them and they are interested in doing in the future. This Transition Year option has really cemented the fact that this is a career that excites me and I will pursue when I finish school.
We, the Transition Year students of Collinstown Community College have a lot going on to keep us busy. This year we’ve gone on a whole range of trips and different programmes. Just last week there was a trip to Donadea Forest and this week a visit to The Laughter Lounge. There are a whole range of different programmes to get involved in such as Gaisce (The President’s Award), Press, Inklinks and Jigsaw. This brings us to Tenderfoot.
So what is Tenderfoot, and is it any different to the other programmes? Well yes and no.
Just like all the other programmes Transition Year students will do this year – Tenderfoot opens up a large channel to communicate and work with other pupils from different schools. It is a big commitment (just like the other programmes) and it is about taking us out of our comfort zone (just as many trips and workshops this year have proven to do so). However, at its core, it’s something entirely different.
Tenderfoot is a theatre programme aimed at Transition Year students located at The Civic Theatre in Tallaght. In my group there were about fifty different students from schools around Tallaght and Clondalkin. Eighteen of us are writers (including me) and the rest are broken up into Actors, Lighting and Sound Crew, Stage Management, Costume Design and Camera Crew.
An introduction to the programme comes by way of Veronica Coburn, the programme director – an award winning writer (World Gold Medal) and a playwright herself (Irish Playwrights Guild). I remember the first interaction we all had with her and it was hilarious. It was quite funny to see all of us, now seniors, jump up and mime actions like we were in First Year again. Even those who had no real interest in taking part in Tenderfoot came away with wide grins and smiles. Then the application forms were handed out and, hesitantly, I applied for a place in writing. Thankfully I did, because I would’ve been missing out on a great opportunity to make friends, grow and learn the inner workings of theatre.
Every morning we have to arrive at The Civic Theatre at 10.00 am. We then do a session broken into two parts up until 4 pm. This includes having talks with our mentors. Speaking of mentors, it definitely consists of people who know their stuff. Davey Kelleher has worked as a freelance director and producer across London and Dublin and is an associate director of Quite Nice Theatre. Gavin Kostick has won a number of awards himself (Irish Times Theatre, The Stewart Parker Trust). He is also the Literary Officer of Fishamble Theatre Company and works with new writers to produce fresh new work; and this is only naming a few!
On the first day all fifty of us gathered in the theatre and talked about the plays and how it would work. The plan is that the student writer will be working with the writers, Gavin, Davey and Veronica from October up until November. Four or five plays may be chosen for production, and then TY students from the different schools partaking in the programme will be invited to come and watch the finished plays.
I think the great thing about Tenderfoot is that no one is left behind. Oh, you’re not an actor – that’s fine! You could be a writer and maybe explore costume design. You might not be good at any of those things either, that’s still ok – you could take part behind the scenes too. Stage Management, Sound and Lights. There’s something for everyone to try!
Being a part of Tenderfoot means being part of a non-judgemental atmosphere. Every morning we partake in different exercises that leave us all looking very funny and that’s ok, we can have a laugh together.
There’s a very important message though, that Tenderfoot really drives home: Teamwork. The exercises we do and games we play- are all in an effort to build our teamwork. “Theatre is all about teamwork. It needs to work as a unit to be successful.” The lights, the sound, the actors and the writers – everyone, from crew to cast all have to put in the same amount of work to pull off a successful play.
This quote is not only true to Tenderfoot but also to what is yet to come in the future. It is a perfect fit for the Transition Year module because of that.
I’ve learned so many new things about theatre and playwriting, I’ve also made some great new friends and I’m still not done yet. The plays are soon to be picked and I have no doubt that it will be a big event!
A workshop on the Leaving Cert Irish oral was held last Friday in the library. It was run by a performance group called Caith Amach É. Fifth and Sixth Year students thoroughly enjoyed the performance and even got involved themselves. It wasn’t all fun however as students also had to use what they learned in the show and practise their own oral Irish. Students found the workshop really beneficial and Fifth Years are looking forward to taking part again next year.
Thanks to Ms Clarke and Ms Lawless for organising the event.