Elphin News 2012 – 2013
Transition Year – Induction Trip
Our Transition year opened with an induction trip to Lough Key, Forest Park in Boyle, Co. Roscommon with our transition year coordinators Ms McGovern & Ms Prendergast. The outing began with a walk around the grounds followed by lunch, alfresco. Teams were then chosen for the unique challenge of solving the 47 rooms in the Boda Borg. It contained fun- filled activities, imaginative puzzles and enjoyable tasks but no instructions, so our mission was to solve all the rooms. The team that solved the most rooms won the competition. It was a very enjoyable day full of curiosity, laughter and excitement.
Transition Year – Mini-Company Talk
The Transition Years from Elphin C.C. got a visitor from the Student Enterprise Awards, John Reilly, who talked about different aspects of our mini-company. Firstly, John showed us a video, showing mini-companies from last year’s awards. He then talked to us about how to work in groups and how to get the best out of everyone in the group, and he also showed us different techniques on how to come up with an idea for the mini-company and how to produce that idea. The information John gave us was very helpful and some of us have started working on ideas already.
Transition Year – Junior Cert Results Trip
We went to the Bowling Alley in Carrick-on-Shannon to celebrate getting our Junior Certificate results. It was a long wait but we finally got them, three years of hard work on one piece of paper and everyone in our year did brilliantly. We had three great games of bowling and then to finish a great day we went on to feed our hungry appetites at Supermacs.
By Drew Bell
Leaving Certificate Ecology Field Trip
In late September the Leaving Certificate Biology students from Elphin Community College travelled to St. Johns Wood, Lecarrow, Co. Roscommon to carry their mandatory ecology fieldtrip. The students were accompanied by two staff members from the National Parks and Wildlife Services. The students found the day very informative and enjoyable and would to thank the staff from NPWS and their teachers Ms Fallon and Ms Daly for organising the trip.
Movie Day – LCVP
On the 27th of September the Sixth Year LCVP class organised a fundraiser. This was in aid of Elphin S.O.S. (support to overcome suicide). To raise the money they decided to hold a movie day and charge €2 per person at the event. They firstly carried out a survey to see what films the students would prefer to watch. They decided on The Hunger Games and 21 Jump Street.
As we look back at the event, we are delighted to say it was a great success, raising €194.04. Elphin S.O.S. are delighted for the support. We look forward to meeting a speaker from Elphin S.O.S. who will talk to the school and raise awareness about their organisation.
Transition Year – Mini-Company
As part of our T.Y. Project we held a Tea and Bun Morning in our school on Wednesday 3rd October to raise money for our T.Y bus fund .
The sale was extremely successful as the whole school participated to help us raise funds.
My class has really enjoyed T.Y. so far as we have already done so many activities and we go on work experience every Friday. We are really looking forward to the rest of the year ! T.Y has helped us bond together as most of our activities involve working as a team.
By Shane O’Brien, Rosy Donnelly, Dominik Gnisz
Senior A Boys Volleyball -Round 1
Thursday 18-10-12. First Round matches Elphin played St. Raphael’s Loughrea, St. Brigid’s Loughrea and Fethard Community School.
Team Pic : Back Row L to R:- S. Killoran, G. McDermottroe, R. Larkin, J. Roxby, M. Brennan, F. Lee, C. Brady
Front Row L to R:- S. Ryan, C. Sweeney, D. Brady, F. McDermott, A. Kielty, C. O’Connor.
Transition Year – Debating
The Transition years from Elphin Community College got Eddie Flanagan in to them to talk about public-speaking and debating. Firstly Eddie asked us our names, where we are from and what we want to do in the future. He then discussed to us about public speaking and debating. He explained to us on how to approach the audience, get their attention and to use good tone.
Our first task that he has got us to do is too write a four minute speech on Mental Health so he can see how good we are on peaking and debating and he could make changes. He will be with us for the next few months to work with us, and in November we will be competing with other schools to win. Hope we beat them.
Transition Year – Anti Litter Film Talk
Ceramic Art on Show in the Reading Room
Junior Cert Art Students currently have ceramic work on exhibition in the Reading Room Bookshop in Carrick on Shannon. All of the students work is based on the them of Under the Sea and was completed as a second year project. So if you go into the Reading Room you will find turtles, dolphins, starfish and other nautical scenes nestled amongst the books. All of the students were stunned when they learned that customers in the shop were so taken by the art pieces that they offered to purchase them. “It’s amazing! People just wander around the shop looking for the sea-creatures”, Orlagh Kelly, owner of the bookshop, explained. “The best part is where they are surprised as they come face to face with a turtle. That’s quite a shock if you’re expecting a novel!”
Road Safety Week
The main aim of the shuttle is to provide the general public and other target audiences with the chance to interact with various road safety campaigns and to spread the message about the importance of road safety.
The TY students were trained in on the Tuesday morning and then took turns in working with groups as they came from the school, from Abbeycartron National School and Youthreach in Ballaghadereen. All of the attending students were able to practice their driving skills on car, bicycle and motorbike simulators; testing their hazard perceptions skills, testing their brake reaction time and practicing for the driver theory test.
Most of the students were also lucky enough to sit into the Rollover, where they were able to experience the importance of seatbelt wearing. Students belted in and were then the car is rolled over so that they could experience what it would be like to be in a rollover accident. Safe to say, most came out with a newfound appreciation for the seatbelt.
The Students of Elphin Community College on the 10/9/2012 have experienced what it would be like if they where in a car crash where the car has either fallen on its side or completely flipped on its roof. We were also able to test our Driving skills on a computer car driving simulator game or a motorcycle simulator os also available to test yourself. You can test your reaction time on a computer reaction game or do a real Driving test to see if you qualify for the road. All of this was provided by the R.S.A .
Junior Certificate Ecology Field Trip
In early October the Junior Certificate students from Elphin Community College travelled to Lough Key Forrest Park, Boyle, Co. Roscommon to carry out an ecology field trip. Staff from The National Parks and Wildlife Services accompanied the students. The students thoroughly enjoyed the day and would like to thank their teachers Ms Fallon and Ms Daly for organising the trip. The students would also like to say a special thank you to the staff members from the NPWS.
Junior Cert Art Trip
On Thursday, 8th November, 12 Third Years from Elphin Community College travelled to Dublin as part of their preparation for their Junior Cert Art Projects. The class has decided to focus on the poem with a theme of Underwater Life. To help with this they travelled to Dublin by train and visited the Natural History Museum, where they were able to sketch and investigate fish, mammals and animals with connections to the water and the sea. In the afternoon they were treated to a tour in the National Gallery of Ireland. This tour focused on how Irish and International Artists have rendered rivers, lakes and oceans through the medium of paint throughout history. The students are now looking forward to using their sketches and photographs to inform their work over the coming months.
LCVP – Costume and Film Day
LCVP Leaving Certificate students at Elphin Community College organised a costume and film day on Friday 26th October. Students from each year were charged €2 to wear fancy dress costumes and after lunch the 1st and 2nd years watched a Halloween film (Hocus Pocus). The money raised during the event went to Cancer Care West Charity. This charity is dedicated to supporting those whose lives are affected by cancer. Their aim is to enhance patient care and well being and to provide support to cancer patients and their families during and after their treatment. The students at Elphin Community College were glad to help raise funds for such a good cause.
LCVP – Non Uniform Day
Non uniform Day on Thursday 15th November
Seachtain na Gaeilge
Seachtain na Gaeilge agus La Semaine de Francais will take place in Elphin Community College from 11th to 15th March. Various activities will take place during the week and spoken Irish and French is encouraged. We hope all students will enjoy the week.
ANTI LITTER FILM AWARDS
On Thursday March 21st Marion Parker, Environment Education Officer with Roscommon County Council, visited our school to present certificates and DVDs to winning students in relation to our recent win at the Anti- Litter Film Awards. She also presented a cheque for €300.00 with ZIPiT Tickets for Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle. Students in turn presented Marion with a basket of spring flowers grown in our garden with a bespoke card signed by all the students. We were delighted that she could fit in our school visit into her very busy schedule and thank Roscommon County Council once again for sponsoring this valuable competition.
Elphin CC Horticulture- Spring Diary
Students were busy again this week adding manure to fertilize soil in the Poly-Tunnel at the Day Care Centre in Elphin. With guidance and support from Bill, Tim and Mark from Croghan Organic Garden Centre, preparation was finally complete for planting. Potato drills were dug and lined out, to guide planting of seed potatoes. We are hoping for a bumper harvest later in the year and will update on progress over the coming weeks. It is planned to sow onions, cabbage, carrots and turnips in the near future.
It all adds up!
In line with the current National Draft Plan for Literacy and Numeracy, Elphin Community College has decided to organise a number of activities outside the classroom, to improve students’ critical reading, mathematical and thinking skills. Our aim is to encourage and enhance students’ appreciation of reading – not just in books, but in every day scenarios which involve literacy and numeracy to be interpreted and understood. This in turn will develop problem solving and investigation skills.
In addition to searching through books and magazines, newspapers and our local library or through digital media, students can integrate literacy and numeracy into their lives merely by taking a look around and taking the time to make the connections. According to Gerard Mc Hugh, Dublin West Education Centre, ‘in their own environments, learners will enhance their mathematical literacy by, designing as artists, experimenting as scientists and exploring space and place as historians and geographers. As they experience the relevance, the interconnections and the integrative properties of all knowledge, they will construct their own unique knowledge and will emerge as confident individuals capable of solving the problems of their own situations in creative and critical ways’. The same applies to general literacy associated with all aspects of the use and production of traditional texts and new communications technologies using spoken language, print and multimedia and the implied competence therein (adapted from the Draft National Plan to improve Literacy and Numeracy in schools DES, 2010).
So, with this in mind, a small number of students from 2nd, 3rd and Transition Year, recently visited Carrick-on-Shannon to sharpen their literacy and mathematical skills, in a most enjoyable way. They visited a local café to examine the menu, design suitable options for a number of scenarios posed (problem solving) and work on skills such as computation, estimation, percentages and VAT. Cross curricular links were established with Home Economics, Business Studies and English (Media Studies), which will be further developed over the coming weeks. Visits to a local bookshop, department store and supermarket are planned, with the creation of a ‘Town Trail’ and ‘Crack the Code’ competition. Weekly visits to our local library for First and Second Years are also proposed along with a Transition Year, end of year magazine which will afford students an opportunity to develop their creative, journalistic skills!
First Year Five Week Book Challenge
First year students are currently on week three of their book challenge, in an effort to stimulate and foster a lifelong love of reading, in addition to improving literacy levels. As every school is now actively seeking to raise awareness and standards in this regard, our school feels that having a short term goal at the end of the academic year is a nice way to finish up – with the added bonus of having a visit to a local bookshop and a literacy treasure hunt in prospect for May 21st in Carrick on- Shannon. Each week, the students have been visiting the local library on a Wednesday, to replace their books. They are also required to fill in a lengthy book review, which ties in with the English syllabus, to aid examination of aspects of character analysis and relationships, plot, opening scenes etc. as well as information about the author, evaluation and to give a rating and recommendation. Individual bookmarks have also been designed as part of a competition organised by our local Librarian Rebecca Thompson. We would like to thank her for her encouragement and support since the start of our campaign. She has been a wonderful guide to students in recommending books that suit individual needs. We hope to present students with certificates of achievement at the upcoming end of school awards ceremony.
TY visit to Castlerea Prison
Last Thursday, May 2nd Transition Year students were given the unique opportunity to visit Castlerea Prison thanks to Ms Riona Finn, (Head Teacher, Prison Education Unit), who organised contact with Mr Des Kirwin (Acting Industrial Supervisor over Integrated Sentence Management). Castlerea, is a closed, medium security prison for remand and sentenced adult male prisoners in Connaught. It also takes committals from counties Cavan, Donegal and Longford. The current capacity is 351 places.
The trip was a resounding success due in no small measure to the interest, time and dedication of our guide. Officer Kirwin. He actively engaged with students’ questions in a professional and competent manner, whilst relating to the human side of prison and its detainees. The accounts of the daily routine and types of offences for which a person is detained were fascinating and informative, beyond what any video or written article could achieve. For a number of students nowadays, the experience of such a trip is invaluable. The realisation first hand, of what lies in store for a person who strays from the law, is a wakeup call from the sometimes ‘glamorisation’ of roles as played out on television series or films. In addition to the tour of the entire prison, students were allowed access to the control room and ‘drug dog’ handler with a dog in hand. We cannot speak highly enough of the dedication and professionalism, not to mention the personable manner in which Officer Kirwin and the team behaved towards our students. They were not only impressed, but deeply moved by vast amount of information received. We are all hugely grateful and feel privileged for being afforded the opportunity to experience a trip to Castlerea Prison. Our sincere thanks to Officer Kirwin and all involved.
Elphin CC Horticulture- Spring Diary update:
For the past two weeks, students with members of the Croghan Organic Garden Centre team have been keeping busy in the poly-tunnel of the local Day-care Centre. Despite the slow growing season to date, the weeds have been busily flourishing – so careful clearing is constantly necessary! Apart from this, a new climbing frame for the peas was erected with sowing soon after. An array of other vegetables to include, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, turnips and onions has also been planted in the prepared ground. We are hoping for an improvement in weather conditions to accelerate growth, in compensation for the slow start to the season. Finally, to give a helping hand, the sprinkling irrigation system has been re-activated. Further planting will take place in the coming week so watch out for next update. Our thanks to Bill, Tim and the team for their continued support and help. Meanwhile, in our own school garden, Gary has been helping students prepare the potato drills for planting, together with the sowing of spring onions in the raised beds. The cold frame has been weeded with lettuce plants in mind to plant for next week.
Presentation to Dr. Morkan
Students involved in the school’s Horticulture Programme presented Dr. Morkan with a potted spring bulb collection last week. Following the sowing of a variety of bulbs last October and November, it was decided to make this gesture, as a sign of our continuing appreciation to Dr Morkan for his advice with our school garden and fostering the link with Croghan Organic Garden Centre, as previously mentioned. Flowers grown included blue, pink and white Hyacinths, Grape Hyacinths, Daffodils, Tulips, Crocuses and miniature Irises. Surplus flowers were planted in two containers to brighten up the school entrance, together with more general planting around the building, to enhance the school environment.