VIVE LA FRANCE!
During the October mid term break, teachers and students went to Paris on a combined educational, cultural and social visit. Visits to the Musee D'Ersay, Versailles, La Tour Eiffel, La Vilette and of course Euro Disney. A great time was had by all.
For us the students, Disneyland would have been the highlight of our days spent in France. We thoroughly enjoyed the day spent in Disneyland which proved to be not long enough. Space mountain with its 360 degree loops and sudden drops was loved by all, apart from the teachers who stuck to keeping their feet on the grounnd!
INTO THE PAST
November saw the Art and History Departments visit the National Museum located in Kildare Street. Forty two students and teachers were first shown a video recapping the exquisite art of Ireland dating back to the Stone Age. There were many interesting exhibits including Viking,Stone Age and Bronze and Ancient Egypt exhibits. A trip to the National History Museum would be a nice way to spend an afternoon with the family.
NATIONAL CONCERT HALL
Third year students music students travelled to the National Concert Hall for a lunchtime concert. The concert was performed by the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gearoid Grant. A lot of the music is on this years Junior Certificate exam. Part of the progamme consisted of a selection of Film Music by John Williams(Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark). Anybody wanting to go to the lunchtime concerts can contact the National Concert Hall for details.
SHAKESPEARE LIVES !!
Sixth year English students visited the Tivoli Theatre in November to see Othello which is part of the Leaving Certificate Programme. The girls enjoyed a lively production.
GENETICS STUDY LEAVES THE CLASSROOM
Transition year students recently visited Dublin Zoo as part of their biology programme. They attended a lecture and then worked their way around the zoo while completing genetics worksheets. An enjoyable day was had by all.
The Debating Society is currently running a school debating league at lunchtime on Thursday in room 30. New members are welcome. The first round will be completed by Christmas and finals will be in January. The Smurfit Group has kindly sponsored the competition. Two fifth year students Bernie Johnston and Sharon Henvey took part in the first round of the Leinster School Debating Competition organised by the E.S.B. Both girls spoke brilliantly and Bernie was selected to go forward to round two.
In early December, Roisin Duffy, Veronica Costello and Suzanne Kavanagh will take part in a National Public Speaking Project organised by the Mental Health Association of Ireland. Good luck to all three.
READATHON FOR MS
Everyone is a winner when it comes to the Readathon as the reading experience in itself is of enormous benefit to the students and there was a very lively buzz around the library for the past five weeks. Quite a few girls read 25 and 26 books.
Four hundred pounds was raised by 44 students who participated in this years MS Readathon. The money will be used to help MS sufferers a very worthwhile cause.
HOME SCHOOL LIAISON NEWS
The following classes for parents are in progress:
Drugs, Flower Arranging, Home Design,Computers, Crafts, Art
The Christmas party for parents who have attended classes will take place on Wednesday 10th December at 11.00 a.m. in the Parents room.
Your Parents' Committee is very active on your behalf at the moment. Members are currently working with teachers on policy statements on home/school/liaison and relationship and sexuality education. Your views on these matters are invited in writing to Mrs. Patricia Ruane, Chairperson, Parents' Association, Mercy College, Coolock. A School Plan will be a requirement of the new Education Bill due to be published in December. Parents' views will be sought on all policy matters for the School Plan. If you would like to become more actively involved in these and other activities organised by the Parents' Committee new members would be welcome.
The 3rd year term of office of the present Board of Management expires this school year. An election will take place next May for two parent representatives for the next three years.
MEETING WITH PARENTS OF 2ND YEARS
All 2nd year parents were invited to attend a joint Pastoral Care/Home School Liaison meeting on Monday 24th November. In the course of the evening parents had an opportunity to hear about the Pastoral Care System in the school and the content of the Social, Personal and Health Education Programme covered by the students. During the evening parents were invited to share any questions or concerns which have arisen for them over the last year. Together with the facilitators the Year Head and Form Teachers were delighted to be able to address these concerns and questions. Lively discussion ensued and a pleasant evening was had by all. We would like to thank the parents and teachers who attended as well as the Transition Year students who prepared and served the welcome cup of tea.
Study skill seminars for third years were also given during the year
STUDY SKILLS - ADVICE
-encourage them to do their best
-provide suitable place and time for study
-make sure students eat well and get enough rest and exercise
-listen to learnt material
LEAVING CERT AND JUNIOR CERT EXAMINATION FEES
The Minister for Education and Science Mr. Michael Martin announced on Monday 24th November that these fees are abolished for pupils who hold or whose parents hold medical cards. This comes as a complete surprise to the schools as no notice was given and no information has yet been received from the Department of Education. This is excellent news for the people concerned but difficult for those who do not hold medical cards as the fees have increased now to £45 and £48 for the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate respectively for those who still have to pay. Refunds by cheque to parents will be made to anyone who now finds that they do not have to pay. Receipts for fees paid will facilitate refunds. Medical cards must be brought to school as evidence of exemption.
Last June's Leaving and Junior Certificate examination results were spectacular as usual. Congratulations to all of the girls and their parents who supported them so faithfully. Practically all of our Leaving Certificate pupils achieved their first preference course in Colleges.
TRAFFIC OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL
Traffic outside the school is chaotic often at peak hours. Local residents sometimes feel imprisoned by traffic at these times. The safety of pupils and residents is a concern also. At a meeting between Dublin Corporation Engineers and An Garda Siochana it was agreed that zigzag yellow lines will be provided outside the school to prevent parking in the immediate vicinity. In the meantime we would very much appreciate a concerted effort to avoid parking too near the school when collecting or dropping off your daughters. Many thanks for your co- operation.
CHANGES TO CALENDAR
A school calendar for the year listing school closures, parent/teacher meetings, examination dates and staff meetings, was supplied to each pupil in September. If you ever have a doubt about a school closure whether for a day or part of a day please check by phoning the school office (8480888).
Please note the following amendments: Christmas Examinations begin on 16th December (not 17th) at 11.15 a.m. preceeded by a staff meeting at 9.00 a.m. Examinations finish on Monday 22nd December followed by a Carol Service when we break for Christmas.
The Second Year Parent/Teacher meeting is on Thursday 15th January 1.00-3.00 p.m. and not Thursday 2nd February as stated on some calendars. Christmas reports for 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th years will be distributed at the parent/teacher meeting and progress discussed with each teacher. We look forward to meeting all parents at this very important meeting. Christmas reports for first and fourth year pupils will be posted as their parent/teacher meetings are later in the year. Extra copies of the school calendar may be obtained in the school office on request.
TEACHER IN-SERVICE ON 9TH DECEMBER 1997
The Department of Education has agreed that pupils should remain at home on 9th December to facilitate this in-service day for teachers. A School Plan will be a requirement in the new Education Bill to be published before Christmas.
Peter Cronin and Katie O'Sullivan from "Mustard Seed" were back with us this year for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year Retreats. Each form group spent a full day on Retreat and the students seem to have got a lot from the experience. Fr. Jimmy - our new Chaplain joined us for a celebration of Mass with each year group. The students had put a lot of time and effort into the preparation for these masses and they were truly wonderful celebrations.
Some of the students comments about the Retreats were;
"It was a great day"
"I loved the meditation"
"Peter and Katie were great"
"I got to know the people in my class a lot better"
"Could we have two days next year?"
We would like to thank the team, Fr. Jimmy, the Board of Management (who subsidised the cost of this years Retreats) and the 4th year students (who made the tea).
Basketball Programme: The basketball season has started well for the Cadette and Senior basketball teams. The Cadets have won matches against Ballinteer, Coláiste Iosacháin, Loreto Green and lost just once to Mt. Temple. The Seniors have beaten Beaufort, Mt. Temple, Ballinteer and lost to Coláiste Iosacháin. Both teams stand with 3 wins out of 4 with games versus Swords to come. Two wins are a must for us to qualify for the semi-finals.
The Junior team (2nd years) are in training at the moment but are going well in their club league. Our first years are also in training at the moment but we could do with more players.
Any 1st years interested in playing should call to the gym on Tuesday or Thursday at 3.45 p.m.
Hockey is alive and well in Mercy College, Coolock. Presently we are involved in the Leinster League at senior and junior level. Our senior team are tying with Mounnt Anville in their section. The juniors have drawn one match and lost one. After Christmas the first year teams will start their competitions. Hockey training is on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We would like to see more 2nd years involved in hockey. Good luck to all the teams in the Northside league after Christmas. New Members are always welcome.
Athletics training is on Tuesday at 12.30. We would like to see more girls on Tuesdays in order to enter a team for Santry in May '98. Room 35 also train for Special Olympics at that time. Please contact Donna Caul or Lorraine.
Students and teachers will be singing carols in aid of the National Rehab. in Omni Park on Saturday 13th December between 12 noon and 3.00 p.m. Please come along and give your support.
1ST YEAR TALENT CONTEST
Runners Up: Group "Abba" - Niamh Ruane R.7 and Orla Dunne R.6 who sang "Waterloo"
Winners: Group "Eternal" - Lorraine Shields R.8, Ciara Staunton R.8 and Siobhan Kavanagh
R.7 who sang "Oh! Baby I".
The contest was organised by Jane Last, Caroline Lambe and 6th year prefects and judged by 6th year prefects. Many thanks to all.
Happy Christmas from all at Mercy College, Coolock and a blessed and peaceful New Year.
Maura Mooney (Mrs) Principal.