9th Nov. 2012
Dear Parents & Guardians,
We would like to update you on events since September and inform you of forthcoming events.
The year got off to a good start with the opening of our new canteen. This service is particularly beneficial for students who arrive on early busses as they can avail of the breakfast menu. At break-time and lunch-time students have been spoiled for choice over the last 10 weeks with a wide and varied menu available. There has been further upgrading of the facilities in the canteen over Hallowe’enn, so, on-going development of the menu is possible. Needless to say, we need students to support the canteen by purchasing food on-site. The service can only continue if it pays its way.
We hope that our First years have made the transition from Primary to Secondary and have begun to feel at home in St Mary’s. Our tutors and year head have been in regular contact with their classes to deal with any difficulties. If your son is experiencing on-going difficulties, please contact us.
The First years attended Mass in St Mary’s church to mark the opening of the school year. Further religious services are planned during November with other year groups.
We held a very successful Open Night for parents of students in 5th & 6th class in feeder-Primary schools. We would like to thank all students who helped out on the night. Visitors commented on how confident and well-behaved they were. They were a credit to you and to the school.
Election to the Student Council took place in Oct. Sixty eight nominees sought election for thirty one places. The Council is now formed and has had several meetings. Its first task will be to organise our annual non-uniform day for charity. Students who wish to participate must contribute €2. You will be notified by text of the date of this event.
Our Sports Department is busy with a schedule of matches across a wide range of sports. We have fielded a Junior and Senior Rugby team. In soccer we have teams at U19 & U16. Our Gaelic football squad are competing at U14 & U18. The Under 18 team are through to the Louth final of the Lennon Cup. Our athletics team have competed at local events in preparation for the regional events after Christmas. Our Junior Golf team have qualified for the final of the Leinster Cup to be held in Killeen Castle in Nov. The Basketball squad is competing at U19 & U15 and have won five of their six matches. Best of luck to all teams.
The sounds of groups rehearsing at lunchtime reminds us that the St Mary Got Talent Competition has begun with initial heats occurring in the Gym on Wednesdays. This a real showcase for talent in the school as it allows singers, musicians and comedians an opportunity to perform. The final of this competition takes place on Fri 14th December. It will brighten up the dark days of December for us.
This year we have two class groups in Transition Year. As usual, they have a packed programme of activities. Both groups enjoyed a two day trip to Carlingford Outdoor activity centre. At the end of October one class group climbed Croagh Patrick as part of their Faith Development programme. They had a special experience of attending Mass at the summit celebrated by Fr Joe Campbell our chaplain. The expedition was ably led by Mr Daly and the trip included a trip to Knock shrine and the Museum of Country life in Castlebar on the Saturday. Not to be outdone, the second class group visited Armagh. This trip included a trip to both the Catholic and Protestant cathedrals where guided tours were provided. The trip also included a trip to the Planetarium and the Armagh Library.
Transition year students are currently on two weeks work experience. We hope they will gain valuable insights into the world of work from this experience. We would like to thank local businesses and companies for facilitating this process.
The Green School committee is active again this year and is busily planning a campaign to retain our current Green Flag and to gain a second Green (Energy) flag for the school. They meet once a week. This committee is open to all students interested in the environment. Students should contact Ms Kealy if they would like to join.
The school has had two notably successes in October:
• Daniel McMahon and Cormac Kierans, two Transition Year students, took First and Second prize in the local Photographic Competition for Transition Year students in Drogheda.
• The Golf team: Darren Heeney, Luke Heeney and Peter Reilly are all-Ireland Pitch and Putt champions. The lads lifted the trophy at the national final in Kilcullen on 26th Oct.
Congratulations to all involved.
• We would like to remind parents that the closing date for applications for First years for 2013/14 is Thurs 20th Dec. Any applications received after that date will be placed on a waiting list. Please see our full Admissions Policy on our website www.stmaryds.ie
• Parent Teacher meeting for Third Years on Wed 14th Nov & for Second Years on Tue 11th Dec. Please make every effort to attend. This is an important opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with his teachers. School will end at 3.35pm to facilitate the set-up of the centre.
• Parents Council Table Quiz for St Mary’s students and friends will be held on Tue Nov 27th
• Our Study Skills Programme for 1st, 3rd & 6th years commences with a 2.5 hour session for Sixth years on Fri 23rd Nov. & for Third years on 3rd Dec. Class as normal for the rest of the day. The full cost is €10 per head. The cost to students is €5. (The school pays the other €5 per head). The programme, provided by Student Enrichment Services, is tailored to meet the needs of each year group. We feel that this is a very valuable learning opportunity and we would strongly urge your son to avail of it as it will help him to gain focus and a strategy for study. We have booked 120 places for sixth years. These will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. In Third and First year all students must complete the programme. We hope to organise a talk for parents on study skills in January. First years will have their programme in January.
• Our Awards Night for Junior Cert and Leaving Cert takes place on Dec 7th at 8.00pm. These awards are made on the basis of grades awarded to individual students in the State exams 2012. About 30 awards are given to both Junior Certs and Leaving Certs. Students who will receive awards will be notified in the coming weeks.
• Christmas exams will commence on Tue 18th Dec. All students should begin a revision programme in preparation for these exams. Weekends provided a very useful time to do some serious study.
• School Jackets: We have a range of sizes available. Jackets cost €45 or €55 (depending on VAT ). Could you please check that your son’s name is written on his jacket. This makes it possible to return it, should it be found.
• School library: The school library is up and running. It opens most days at lunch time and is available for teachers to use with class groups. We are still building our stock of books. If you would like to donate any books which you think would be suitable we would be happy to have them. Book Amnesty: Sometimes, over the past couple of years, students may have borrowed books but forgotten to return them. All our library books are stamped. We would ask that you do a check to see if there are any St Mary’s library books on your shelves which haven’t been returned. We would be delighted to have them back.
• Finally, we would like to congratulate our colleague Mr Joe Murphy who has published his second novel which is entitled Dead Dogs.
Jim Brady, Principal Dolores Mullins, Deputy Principal