On the 13th of January 2020, Leaving Cert students went to see the production of Hamlet in the Lime Tree Theatre performed by “Cyclone Rep”. It was a great production and we found it very helpful for revising the play. I had forgotten about a few things that happened in the play so I found this very good to recap it all.
During the production the actors frequently stopped in between scenes and asked questions to get the audience thinking about certain aspects of the play, such as whether Hamlet was actually mad or if it was all just an ‘antic disposition’. I found this really useful. I also liked how they stopped in between and engaged with the audience, allowing us to ask them questions and get their opinions on the various aspects of the play. By doing this we got to hear a few different perspectives which I can now include when writing about Hamlet.
Overall I enjoyed the play and I think it was worth going to see as I had forgotten a lot of the play and it went back over it all. I would definitely recommend going to see a “Cyclone Rep” production to all Leaving Cert students as I think it would be very beneficial and useful for the exam.
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It’s Your Choice!
Viktorija Belasika (Student Council)
On the 22nd of January 2020, Leaving Certificate students from St. Caimin’s Community School attended the ‘It’s you Choice’ presentation part of the Soteria Operation in Glór. This was presented by members of An Garda Síochána as well as Patrick O’Connor and Brian Hogan, who shared their stories and experiences.
Session 1- It’s Your Choice!
The first presentation was on the topic of drugs and addiction and how it affects your mental health and your whole life. It started with Garda Margaret Leahy talking to us about a day in the life of a guard and how you can never predict what will happen to you on that day. One day you might be put on paperwork duty and the next you are investigating a fatal accident. She told us a story of a young man who she encountered on a call who was trying to commit suicide and was very adamant about it - but they managed to get him help. We were very happy to hear that the young man was alive and that he was in fact the next speaker, Patrick O’Connor. He told us about his battle with a gambling addiction, drug addiction and struggle with mental health. These things led him to try and commit suicide, but fortunately he has turned his life around.
Session 2 – Say NO!
This talk was led by Detective Inspector Kieran Ruane, who spoke and showed us a video on internet safety and internet extortion. This is part of a campaign against sexual coercion and extortion of children. Their plan is to help educate people on the dangers of the internet and that you are always in charge of your own information and privacy so say NO!
Session 3 - Use your brain not your fist
Sergeant Kelvin Courtney talked to us about assaults and the consequences they cause for you and other people. He told us the story about a young man who was part of an unprovoked assault which led to him dying because he hit his head on a curb during a night out. The young men that assaulted him did not go out to kill someone, but because of this random fatal assault they are now charged with manslaughter which has affected their whole lives, from jobs to travel to family.
Session 4 - Reaction is always your choice!
The final take was given by Brian Hogan, who told us his story about how an unprovoked assault led to him needing to be resuscitated, have part of his skull taken out and be put into a come because of a brain hematoma. This was acquired from one punch from a stranger. Three months later, when he woke up, he found out that he had lost his vision and mobility as well.
Ennis Garda Station = 065 – 6848100
Pieta House = 1800 247 247
Samaritans 24-hour helpline = 116 123
This experience was very enlightening and interesting as it talked about topics not regularly talked about or brought up. I would definitely recommend students and teachers to attend talks like this because they are very informative and much more effective than just a PowerPoint presentation. You get to listen to people who have actually gone through these struggles and experiences. Through their stories we learn, listen and feel more. An Garda Síochána are organising a project that would bring these topics and talks to schools and I believe as a senior student who has been to this presentation, that this project should be brought in – not only to our school but also every school. I believe many students would benefit from this experience.
Eye on the Prize - A reflection on the 2019/20 Boys U19 Soccer
Since the start of the 2019/20 school year, so far, our U19 season has been filled with positives. We have played 5 matches, remaining undefeated, drawing only once and winning the other four. This is mainly due to our change in attitude and comradery on, and off the field in comparison to previous years.
Before we played any matches, our coaches Mr O’Halloran and Mr Nolan brought in a past pupil Andy Russell, who has experience coaching women at League of Ireland level. He sat down with us before a ball was kicked to discuss our aims and goals, but more importantly the strengths and weaknesses of the team and showed us how to improve them. This included slideshows and handouts of how to play as a team and what it means to play for one. We as players also input our ideas during these sessions, and it was great to see coaches and teammates coming together to try and make improvements to our team.
On previous occasions, we struggled to see games out to the end, and this showed at the start of the season following a shaky 3-2 victory over Newport after going up 3-0, and a 3-3 draw with Newcastle West after being the better of the two sides for the majority of the game.
We have since had a 5-0 win against Pallaskenry and 7-1 win over Intermediate college Killorglin, but the one that stood out most to us was our 4-2 win over competition contenders, St. Clements College. We got a red card in that match, and to see out the game away from home, against such strong opposition shows how far we have come as a team, not only with our skillset, but also with our mindset, and how far we can go before the end of the year.
SVP Reaches Out!
On the 19th of November 2019 our S.V.P group went to Mary Immaculate Church, near the airport, and we served all of the elderly tea, coffee, buns, biscuits, brownies and apple tart.
I was the 1 out of 4 first years that went to the coffee morning. It was my first time and I really enjoyed it because it’s good to serve the community and it’s also a very generous deed.
So at nine o' clock we went to the church in Shannon. It was during mass time, so we spent nearly all of mass preparing the church entrance for the elderly people to come in. This took us about 30 minutes, but we were very pleased with our display in the end.
When the mass was over, nearly everyone came to our stands where we served hot drinks, buns, brownies, apple tart and biscuits. The elderly people really liked what we did, and they thanked us at the end. They were delighted with all the goodies but also the chats they had with all of us. This made me feel extra happy for serving all these people and I hope I can do it again.
After the coffee morning was over, we cleaned up the church and we went back to school and back to class. I felt very happy and proud of myself that I got to help the community through helping old people and it’s very kind to help the elderly, I hope I can do it again in the future.
Viktorija Belasika and Aoife Deegan (Student Council)
Members of the student council attended a workshop facilitated by GOSHH on the 15th of November 2019.
GOSHH stands for Gender, Orientation, Sexual Health and HIV. They are based in Limerick city and work in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary. They focus on the promotion of equality and wellbeing for all, with a positive and respectful approach to sexual orientation and gender diversity.
The workshop explored orientation and meanings e.g. gay, lesbian, bi, etc. Participants took part in walking debates to delve into beliefs and attitudes e.g. if they agree or disagree that two boys holding hands in Shannon feel safe and you can always tell who is gay.
The workshop also involved watching a video on Drag Queen, Panti Bliss (a gay rights activist) which explored oppression, being embarrassed about ‘gayness’, being beaten and imprisoned in different counties and Homophobia.
The workshop was very informative and has given a lot of food for thought for the student council in supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community in St. Caimin’s Community School.
Fiachra McInerney (Student Council)
Our school’s Student Council received an invitation from Lorna Walsh, on behalf of Le Chéile, a voluntary organisation focused with implementing Restorative Justice in schools. But what exactly is Restorative Justice?
Le Chéile is focused with mentoring young children and teenagers to use their words respectfully to solve conflict that may occur between peers and even adults to build a positive relationship and resolve any difficulties should they arrive.
We did some ice-breaker activities, circle time and learned a step by step programme to deal with conflict effectively while remaining empathetic and respectful.
The talk was attended by Fiachra McInerney (LC2), Viktorija Belasika (LC2), Jakub Markievickz (LC2) Rob Hanton (TY) and accompanied by Mr. O’Beirne. Those of us in attendance were also given booklets and information packs to share with all members of the student council as being respectful to other’s opinions and being able to voice your opinion in a safe environment is a vital part of being involved in the Student Council.
A Whole New World
By Maddy Horan (1st year)
On our first day of school everyone arrived feeling both nervous and excited. We were all eager to make new friends and meet people from different places. We were split into classes of thirty, each class had a few of the transition year students (TYs) amongst them, acting as mentors. It was a great relief to have students attending the school to whom we could ask all our questions. We were taken on a tour of the school by the TYs and some of us began to figure out where everything is.
To help us make friends and to help with the transition into secondary school, we all went surfing in Lahinch. This was organised for the third week of September. No one was disappointed when we got to miss out on a full day of school, and we were allowed wear our own clothes which everyone was very happy about. We were divided into two groups so when the one group was surfing, the other could play hurling, soccer, rugby, and hang out on the beach. It was a great way to relax and spend time with my new friends and I would highly recommend the trip to any first years coming in next year.
Overall, Caimin’s has been great so far and we have been given many opportunities to do great things. Personally, I think the teachers and older students have been very nice and very patient considering how annoying we can be. The only thing I can suggest for first years next year is don’t be nervous just relax and you should get on well.
Goodbye Junior Cert
By Oisin Breen (LC1)
The Junior Cert for me was a great experience, in all aspects. Throughout the three years, I learned a lot about all the subjects I did and a bit of common sense and more manners! All the teachers are very nice to everyone, as long as you give them the respect they deserve for having to put up with us. They gave us all the help we needed to prepare for our exams and some even stayed back after school to help students. This was above and beyond the call of duty.
In Caimin’s there are a lot of activities to get a break from the constant work and to have a bit of fun. Some of those activities are the drama club, sport and all the trips we go on. There are also days where first years can go into the sports hall at lunch to play soccer or badminton. There is so much to get involved in and one of the most beneficial things to get involved in is the SVP. All involved help organise collections to give support to those in need. Sport is good in Caimin’s especially in soccer for girls and boys.
The Junior Cert has prepared me for the Leaving Cert by giving me some experience in exams and studying. I am in TY so I can't yet fully see the difference between junior cert and leaving cert, but I have heard from a few of my friends that it is a change but not in too much of a bad way. This is down to the good foundation we have from our first three year!
So I think that the junior cert has been very good and a bit of craic! If I was to give any advice to someone it would be: the exams seem a lot scarier before you do them but they are actually grand, as long as you do a bit of work for them.