Monday 21 October 2019

Schools report: Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, St Kilian’s Community School

Dominican College transition year students Leah Flynn, Ava Vickers and Síofra O’Leary with their Enterprise Award.
Dominican College transition year students Leah Flynn, Ava Vickers and Síofra O’Leary with their Enterprise Award.

Coláiste Chraobh Abhann. Michael Sweetman trip. Two CCA Leaving Cert students, Diarmuid Murphy and Rachael Grant, won the great honour of attending the European Parliament following an essay they wrote on a topical European issue and entering it into the Michael Sweetman Competition last month.

They met 20 other students from Ireland, who were attending the event in the Clayton Hotel, where they had a briefing and stayed overnight, before flying to Germany on the Wednesday to attend the European Parliament in Strasburg.

There they met students from twenty-eight countries, with each representative student presenting a piece about their country to the parliament.

Throughout the day, the students discussed various issues of importance including human rights, internet security, climate change, immigration and other social and political concerns.

Diarmuid was elected to speak in the parliament for his group on their topic Human Rights and Internet Security. In this capacity, he had to coordinate the discussion, get the various views of all present, before presenting the finding to the parliament gathering.

Following their hard work, the next day saw the students spend some downtime with some retail therapy in Strasburg, before flying home on the Friday. Both Diarmuid and Rachael said that they had a wonderful time and learned so much from their experience.

CCA are very proud of this outstanding achievement by Rachael and Diarmuid and hope they continue their political and social endeavours in the future. Thanks to Ms Ward for supporting them with this event.


On Wednesday, March 6, 30 students from CCA travelled to DCU for the annual PExpo competition. Now in its fifth year, the competition has steadily grown from strength to strength.

Students entered a number of categories, including Power of Sport, Nutrition, Psychology in Sport, Games Development and Well Being and promoted their project to the judges throughout the day. Each group had to answer questions based on what their project was about, how they could publicise their project, and how could they would continue to develop their project after the PExpo.

CCA had two winning projects in the competition. 20x20 Women in Sport - Stevie Stokes, Lauren Delamere and Niamh Kelly impressed the judges with their approach to the development of women's sport within the school, culminating in a Ladies Day and a girls v Staff Gaelic match. The girls won the Senior Power of Sport category.

Luke Hackman, Conor Daye, Ben Hunt and Oisín McWatt also developed a project based on manipulation of genes and DNA which gained them first prize in the TY project category.

Congratulations to all involved.

Student enterprise final

Coláiste Chraobh Abhann were announced as the winners of the overall Junior Category in the Wicklow County Enterprise Final of the Student Enterprise Awards last week. The winner, Holly Eager from first year, set up a company producing wonderful hand stitched bags and gifts. She will now go on to represent County Wicklow at the national finals in Croke Park on May 1. CCA had further success in the Junior Section, taking four of the six trophies on offer, as well as four out of the nine awards available in the Senior Section. Another successful year for CCA Entrepreneurs and we wish Holly every success in the national final.

Of Mice and Men

Still not too late to get tickets for the CCA Players' production of 'Of Mice and Men' which is performing for three nights in the Castle Inn Theatre, Newcastle from Wednesday, March 20, to Friday, March 22, at 7.30 p.m.

Tickets cost €5 and are available through the Castle Inn Pub, by contacting Coláiste Charobh Abhann, or to buy at the door on the night.

Seachtain Na Gaeilge

Coláiste Chraobh Abhann celebrated Seachtain na Gaeilge all last week with an extensive week of activities, competitions and musical and theatrical performances taking place.

A TY led Ceilí took place for all the year groups with everyone getting involved in the fun.

There was a lunchtime hurling match that took place, as well as treasure hunts, quizzes, and poster competitions throughout the week, along with seanfhocail an lae.

Míle buíochas to everyone who made Seachtain na Gaeilge such a great week, where our national language and heritage was celebrated with great enthusiasm and passion.

Cross-schools Irish play

Congratulations to Mr Keddy's fourth class students from Newtown Primary, who did a wonderful production of the all Irish play Labhraidh Loingseach last Thursday.

This cross-curricular links programme sees Transition Year students from Coláiste Chraobh Abhann and Newtownmountkennedy Primary School working on this production for months, and all their hard work culminated in this fine performance during Seachtain na Gaeilge.

Parents, staff, students and family members all attended the play and were thoroughly entertained by the wonderful acting from the fourth class students. Thanks to all involved.

Senior Gaeltacht trip

A number of sixth year students attended a very enjoyable weekend trip to the Gaeltacht in Connemara last weekend in preparation for their upcoming Irish Orals.

The students attended classes, participated in various activities and experienced the culture of full immersion in the Irish language.

Thanks to Ms Doran and Mr Ryan for accompanying them on this trip.

Donal Walsh talk

The TY students attended a very moving and inspirational talk given by Fionnbar Walsh, the father of Donal Walsh, who fought a tremendously brave battle against cancer.

Donal kept a video diary of his experiences of going though treatment and Fionnbar told both funny and heart-breaking stories of how Donal lived his life, regardless of the challenges that he faced.

We would like to thank Fionnbar for coming into the school to share the memory of Donal with us.

French theatre workshop

Last week CCA had a visit from an authentic French theatre troupe FTFS (French Theatre For Schools) with their original play 'Les Nouvelles Vedettes'.

TY and fifth years had the opportunity to experience a piece of real French theatre with native actors, song, dance and plenty of audience participation.

Thanks to all involved.

Boys basketball

CCA first years beat Avondale CC on a score line of 28-08 on Monday. The team put in a very strong performance, with some excellent passing from Callum Davis, Luke Davidson and Seán Byrne.

The team now await Balbriggan CC in the knockout stages of the East first year boys schools competition.

Girls football team

Congratulations to the Senior Girls' team who beat Avondale in the B Shield Final to claim the shield last week.

This has been a very successful season for CCA Girls' football and this win caps off their achievements.

Well done to all the team, and especially to Ms Miley and Ms Doyle for all their time spent coaching the girls.


On Tuesday, March 12, the CCA under-14A Boys badminton team travelled to Baldoyle Badminton Centre to represent Wicklow in this year's Leinster Badminton Championships.

The first team CCA met were West Meath, and after the singles both teams were level at 2-2. Going into the doubles, CCA knew they needed to outpoint them to secure a win, and unfortunately CCA came up short, losing our two doubles matches.

Next up were the team that narrowly beat CCA in the Dublin Schools semi-final by 11 points. Again going into the doubles the score was 2-2, with CCA narrowly losing one of the singles 28-30. The same score line in one of the doubles matches gave CCA a 2-4 loss.

The CCA team did have some success in their final game, overcoming their Meath opponents on points in the last game. Knowing they had to win the last game by a certain number of points, the boys soon got a good lead and held onto it, stopping the opposition from scoring and frustrating them.

Heads held high CCA finished the competition in fifth place.

What a season CCA have had. Starting with the 19A Girls reaching the quarter-finals, to the under-14 girls A & B teams reaching their quarter-finals and the under-14 boys A & B reaching their semi-finals in the Dublin Schools League.

A big thank you to John Curran Ms Prendergast and Mr Steele for all their coaching throughout the season. We are already looking forward to what the next season will bring.

St Kilian's Community School

Seachtain na Gaeilge

Tá Seachtain na Gaeilge ar siúl inár scoil an tseachtain seo. Dé Luain, students from Scoil Chualann and St Fergal's joined our first year students in a 'Céilí mór' in the school canteen, which was then followed by a 'Seó tallaine' which involved students and teachers performing Irish songs, music and dance. Our first years also took part in a 'Toraíocht Taisce' during the week, which involved finding clues 'i ngaeilge' to win a prize.

Dé Céadaoin, the whole school will take part in the day 'lá unBéarlable' where students and staff will use their 'cúpla focal' to promote 'ár dteanga' around the school.

Déardaoin, All second years will participate in a Tráth na gCéist in the canteen which will be aided by fourth year students. All year groups took part in 'Comórtas Póstaer' which really brightened up the school walls.

Comghairdeas to all the winners in the various competitions and to all the participants who made the week such a success. Míle Buíochas to the Irish teachers, Ms O'Shea, Ms Fitzpatrick and Mr MacCormaic for such an enjoyable week.

Mental Health Awareness

We at St Kilian's Community School recognise the importance of promoting positive mental health and tackling stigma attached to mental illness. This year, as part of efforts to celebrate inclusivity and diversity, the school's Yellow Flag Committee has successfully planned and implemented our very first Mental Health Awareness Week. St Kilian's has built a valuable week-long initiative, 'Mind Your Mind Week', into the school calendar. The focus of the week was promoting positive mental health and well-being.

Throughout the week we introduced a number of activities and experiences to address the issue of mental health and build strength and resilience among our students. We began the week with a cycle Against Suicide 'School Spin'. Our students clocked up an amazing 409km during a seven-hour period: we cycled from Bray to the Beara Peninsula, Co. Cork.

The week continued with spinning, body pump and strength classes at Shoreline Leisure Centre, 'Social Media and Mental Health' sessions with Zeeko and 'Positive Mental Health' workshops with BeWell Bray. The students also focussed on nutrition and mental health throughout the week with the Transition Year smoothies going down a treat. Students also participated in yoga and meditation classes, mindful colouring and weaving, random acts of kindness and a 'Drop Everything and Read' initiative.

We concluded a fantastic week with St Kilian's 'Weighted Walk'. All students and teachers of the school were invited to write their stress and worries on a rock. 150 students, accompanied by parents and teachers, carried the 450 worry rocks 13,690 steps to Bray Harbour, where they cast all the worries away. We are extremely grateful to everyone who gave their time to make this week such a success and we hope that our efforts have made a lasting impact on our school community.

A great initiative by Ms O'Regan, that really left all of us feeling lighter and brighter by the end of the week. We just loved the smoothies too.

Bray People