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Newsletter November 30th

Transition Year Musical   
On Monday 3rd December all the Transition Year students returned to school after their week of work experience and it was full steam ahead with rehearsals and extra rehearsals in preparation for showtime! This year the production of choice is The Wizard of Oz. Currently, there is great excitement and a few nerves among the students, but all are looking forward to their debut performance. There will be three matinee shows for the local primary schools in the town and surrounding areas and invites will be extended to these schools very shortly. The dates for the matinees are Tuesday 11th, Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th December. There are only two-night time performances scheduled and these take place on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th December at 8pm sharp. We recommend that you purchase your tickets as soon as possible as there is always great demand for the night-time shows. Tickets will be available in the administration office in the school and in Earls Newsagents on the main street. Tickets cost €7 for children and €12 for adults. It promises to be a great night of entertainment suitable for all the family.

Sixth Year Irish Trip
With exams looming, this time of year can be quite stressful for our sixth-year students. With this in mind the Irish Department have organised a trip to U.C.D. for the higher-level students. They are very much looking forward to a day away with their peers with the added benefit of reinforcing important knowledge relating to their Leaving Cert course. On December 7th they will attend a seminar on litríocht in U.C.D. which has been organised by Scoil na Gaeilge. An Gaeilge abú!!

Lego Architecture Club
Are you finding it difficult to find an extra-curricular activity that interests you? Then you possibly need to speak to Ms Mynes and ask about the new ‘Lego Architecture Club’ which she will be setting up as a lunch-time activity every Wednesday following exam week. Interested students will be building structures such as The Great Wall of China, The London Skyline as well as the New York Skyline. Models range in size, some consisting of 2000 pieces while others contain 6000 pieces. If you think you would find this activity therapeutic then direct your inquiries to Ms Mynes.

Christmas Carol Service
One of the highlights of the Dominican calendar is always the Christmas Carol service held in the Dominican Chapel. This year the service will take place on Tuesday 18th December. There is no admission charge, and all are very welcome. The singing is always of the highest standard and this coupled with the beautiful surroundings creates a magical atmosphere and is guaranteed to kick start your Christmas season. Pencil in the date!

Trip to IADT
On November 23rd a group of 4th and 5th year students headed to Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design for their annual Open Day. It proved to be a most worthwhile trip. The students got to experience first hand the wide range of courses on offer, from animation, art, creative music production, photography, applied psychology, creative computing and entrepreneurship but to name a few. There were various talks helping the students to understand the range of careers in the creative industries. Overall, it was a great Open Day with the students getting a real feel for the college.

Christmas Fair
This year Enterprise was a compulsory module for all Transition year students. The end purpose of this module is the production of an item or the provision of a service for profit. The Christmas Fair is the ultimate sales day and the culmination of all their hard work. This fair will take place on December 19th in Fatima Hall. All students and teachers will have the opportunity to attend the fair and it will also be open to the public from 11am to 1pm. Refreshments will be available, so come along for a relaxing cuppa and some last-minute bargains and great stocking fillers. Consequently, three of the mini-companies will be chosen to represent the school in the County Enterprise Competition in March, so the very best of luck to all involved.

Wellbeing CPD
The well-being of all students has always been central to the Dominican Philosophy of Education. With the new Junior Cycle reform, it was recognised that all quality, inclusive and relevant education programmes should include a specific Wellbeing programme on the timetable. The Junior Cycle Wellbeing programme began in 2017 with 300 hours of timetabled learning over the three years of the Junior Cycle. This will extend to 400 hours by 2020. With the development of any new programme comes the need for teacher training in that new area. On November 26th the school was closed to students as two representatives from the JCT Wellbeing programme came to the school to deliver a Wellbeing workshop for all staff members. At the heart of the programme is the idea that students will be provided with the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will enable them to protect and promote their own well-being and that of their peers. The four main areas through which the Wellbeing programme will be delivered are C.S.P.E., P.E., S.P.H.E. and Guidance Education. All other subjects, short courses and units of learning will complement the learning that takes place in these subject areas. It was highlighted that students, parents and teachers all have a role to play in planning a programme that suits the specific needs of the individual school. The workshop centred around the four aspects of well-being; culture, curriculum, policy and planning and relationships and the six indicators of well-being; responsible, aware, connected, resilient, respected and active. The contribution of different classroom management styles and teaching strategies to student well-being was highlighted. It was a very informative and interactive day with lots of practical activities that could be implemented within our classrooms. The Wellbeing presenters were very impressed with the school’s current provision of well-being and asked that they could share some of the schools initiatives with other schools on their training days. A closing thought…’Wellbeing is a lifelong journey’.