The first Microsoft supported Data Centre Academy outside the USA was officially opened in Collinstown Park Community College on Tuesday November 12th. Representatives from Microsoft: Bob Reitinger, Paul Englis, John Hardy and Gary McLoughlin joined with the CEO of DDLETB Paddy Lavelle, representatives of other data centres, contractors, DDLETB staff and the current students of the Academy to celebrate the official opening of the Academy.
The Ceremony was performed by Councillor Trevor Gilligan, Deputy Mayor South Dublin county Council, who congratulated all involved before cutting the ribbon. All of the speakers lauded Microsoft’s contribution and the work of all who had been involved in the set up of the Data Centre Academy. They all wished the current students the best of luck in their learning and internships.
On Tuesday class 1S visited the Fighting Words Creative Writing Workshop in Behan Square Dublin 1. Fighting Words provides free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing and related arts to as many children, young adults and adults with special needs as they can reach. The Fighting Words workshops are delivered mainly by volunteer writing tutors.
The students in 1S worked together to create the beginning of a story that they would then continue alone or in small groups. Everyone had a great time and the highlight was reading out the stories to the group at the end.
On the 6th of November, the TY students went to the Irish National War Memorial Garden and Richmond Barracks. We left the school at 9:30 am and arrived at the Irish National War Memorial Garden at 10:03 am. We first stopped at a big monument commemorating the Irish soldiers that died while fighting in WW1. We then walked around for a while, the view was nice. We then saw another nice monument where other Irish people were remembered. There was a cross decorated with poppies, which I thought was very pretty. After that, we stopped at Spar for our lunch.
After stopping and getting a drink from Spar, we headed to Richmond Barracks. As we arrived at the barracks we greeted with a warm welcome from the staff. We were split into two groups for tours. One group started inside the barracks while the other group went to the Golden Bridge Cemetery.
The group we were in started the tour at the Golden Bridge Cemetery. It was one of the first graveyards to be purchased by Glasnevin. It was opened in 1828 and it was the first multi-denominational cemetery to be opened in Ireland. There were many people buried there including William. T. Cosgrave and young children as young as 3 months! We had a special visitor named Gravy the Cat. She would always be waiting at the next grave before we got there. That was amazing! It was like she could read the tour guide’s mind. We also saw squirrels scuttering through the wet grass. Finally, our tour outside ended and then we headed on inside for some more history.
The tour inside the barracks started inside the gymnasium. We were told that this was where the Irish soldiers were held while they waited to be court-martialed. In the gymnasium, there was a small box room with projectors. We went into it and listened to eyewitness accounts telling us their perspective of the conditions, people being sent to the court-martial and how Irish soldiers were basically “ratting out” other Irish Volunteers. We were then brought into two replica rooms that would’ve been in the barracks when the English were training there. One room was a classroom. It was very big and had benches set in rows of three stretching down to the end of the classroom. There was still a stick that was used for hitting the kids left in the classroom. Even though the classroom was first made in 1929, it was very well kept and had an odd modern vibe. The second room was a court martial’s living quarters. Seeing how little the rooms were and how many books were present makes me think how much technology has changed us.
On Wednesday the 2nd of October, the TY group went on a trip to Dún Laoghaire Harbour. All students who went on this trip where to meet up at the school at 8:20 am. From the school, the students had a short bus ride (only 36 mins).
After arriving at the sailing school (Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School) the TY students had a brief safety demonstration before being brought out to the kayaks.
We were brought out to a man-made island where we got our kayaks and were set out on the water.
The weather was nice as predicted. It always warms up before a storm. A few students capsized from the get-go. Jamie Bui was the most unfortunate as he tipped and lost his glasses. We shall pray they drift ashore soon. From the island, we went around the harbour. There was an inflated obstacle course (sadly we didn’t get to go on it), and we also saw Conor McGreggor’s boat, the prestige 750. On our lap around the harbour, we were lucky enough to see a seal.
While on the kayaking trip the TY students had to do a lap around the harbour down in Dún Laoghaire and after the lap got the option to race to the platoon. Afterwards, we got to swim in the cold but enjoyable water, everyone enjoyed their time there. After swimming around for a while the TY students got on three different boats and were brought back to the harbour school building. After getting changed the TY students got back on the bus for the 36-minute drive home and were dropped off at Liffey Valley for lunch/dinner and then were allowed to do as they please.
Overall it was a good day with lots of fun and we have Ms Kirwin to thank for this trip and our future trips.
On Thursday October 17th our Sixth Year students went on an overnight trip to Tanagh in Co Monaghan along with their teachers Ms Kinsella, Mr O’Malley, Ms Hogan and Ms Kenny.
A Retreat is time spent away from one’s normal life. Our Sixth Year students spent time together in a relaxed friendly environment. To start off the retreat, students enjoyed water activities to help them bond. This was followed by a Reconciliation Prayer Service guided by Ms Kinsella (our school chaplain).
Other activities on our Retreat included a Guided Night Walk in a forest, Meditation and a Trust Walk.
Students worked in groups and listened to each other. The activities helped students to come to a better understanding of themselves, their relationship with others and to reconnect with God. A great day and night was had by all.
Collinstown Park Community College Choir were invited to perform at the Helix, in a concert raising awareness for Mental Health Week on Tuesday 8th October 2019.
The choir sang “You will be found” from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen”, with solo parts sung by Amber Maher (TY), Alex Seery (5th year) and Naomi Tshilos (2nd Year) and their performance was warmly received. The choir has almost 50 members and rehearses every Wednesday lunchtime in HE3. New members are always welcome. We have lots more performances this year, including “Emmanuel concert” and the National Concert Hall.
On the 16/10/19 the TY students walked from Greystones to Bray through the Bray Head Cliff Walk, a 7 km walk around Bray Head that reaches 100m above sea level and takes around 2.5 hours.
When the TY students arrived at Greystones they stopped at the shore to take some group photos and started on the journey. Once they got onto the mountain, the students were surrounded on all sides by beautiful views. Thankfully, the weather was great that day and most people enjoyed the walk for its beautiful views and light incline making it easy to get up the mountain.
Once the students got to Bray they grabbed lunch at some of the local fish and chip shops, which were lovely, and headed back home by bus.
Last week our school celebrated World Mental Health Week. In today’s society our mental health is an important thing to take care of. As the world becomes more complicated, people are becoming more stressed, anxious and depressed. Mental Health Week brings awareness to mental health issues and shows us that we need to look after ourselves and others.
To show our love and raise awareness we had a big sign in the main hall entrance letting people know what week it was. Ms Mc Kenna was the organiser and one of her ideas was to have mirrors displayed in the main hall and First Year block. The mirrors were displayed with positive body image terms. The theme for this week was ‘Do you see what I see?’, this is about how we see ourselves in the mirror. We should all see ourselves positively and it’s important to give ourselves compliments not just others.
During the week there was a really special day, World Mental Health Day, on the 10th October where the school got to join the world in raising awareness. For that day people wore green as it was the colour theme for mental health day.
I got involved by reading out positive affirmations every day to show my love for mental health week. On Friday afternoon the students got to watch a movie (‘Matilda’) and ate sweets to celebrate such a successful and positive week.
Fifth Year student Victory Luke has been named the Emerging Sustainable Energy Champion at the SEAI Energy Awards. This awards banquet is a yearly event where the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland celebrates businesses in Ireland that have made significant changes to their sustainability and energy efficiency.
Companies that were recognised on the day include Musgrave, Abbott Laboratories and many other companies across the country. Victory was awarded the Emerging Sustainable Energy Champion award for her work in Transition Year on the Generation Green Challenge and her campaigning at the International Energy Conference which was held in Dublin during June. Victory’s work was commended by both Minister Richard Bruton and the Chair of the SEAI Julie O’Neill.
Finally, Victory was given the opportunity to address the business and political leaders who were present and urged them to continue to their efforts and to strive to partner more with schools and their local communities.
The current Board of Management held the final meeting of their three year term on Wednesday 16th October. They met regularly over the course of the school year, overseeing the running of the school. The Chairperson of the Board, Mr Brian Fleming, thanked all the members for their service.
The new board will take up their positions at the next meeting.
Present in the picture are: (front row) Ms Margaret Maher, Mr Brian Fleming (Chairperson), Ms Pauline Duffy (Secretary to the Board), (back row) Ms Aileen Friel, Ms Winnie Kirwan, Ms Patricia Lovett.
Absent: Cllr Ken Farrell, Cllr Mick Duff, Cllr Cora McCann, Sr Ann O’Donoghue, Ms Rena Campion, Mr Seán Harpur