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Newsletter Dec. 14th

First Year CSPE Fundraising   
Currently in CSPE classes, the first years are completing a unit on responsibilities. To link this in with the local community as is the aim of CSPE, the girls have come up with different ideas on how they can help those most vulnerable at this time of year. They have chosen the homeless and the elderly as their target groups. Some of the artistic students are making Christmas cards, some are putting together shoe boxes while other students are baking cakes for sale. A large Fair trade hamper has also been placed in the staff-room for the teachers to contribute. The students will also sell raffle tickets to the student body starting this Friday. The money raised from the raffle will be donated to both target groups. In addition to the shoe boxes, presents will be bought and given, together with the Christmas cards, to elderly people living alone. Some of the money will be donated to Meals on Wheels. We would like to acknowledge the efforts of the first years and congratulate them on their efforts to help those less fortunate.

Big congratulations to the U19 basketball team who won the semi-final of the Co. Wicklow League on Friday 7th December. They had a great team performance resulting in a convincing win over St. Killian’s Community School in Bray. Well done to Emma Coffey, the top scorer on the day with a total of 24 points. Unfortunately, Emma will be unavailable to play in the final and she will be missed. For the final the girls will travel to the Oblate Hall in Inchicore and we wish them the very best of luck. Should they win the final they will qualify through to the All-Ireland quarter-final which would be a fantastic achievement.

Junior Gaelic Semi-Final
A sluggish start and some wayward finishing in the first half cost the Junior GAA team dearly as they lost their semi-final against Blessington by 5-9 to 2-9. However, facing a three-goal deficit at half time the girls put in a tremendous second half performance, full of grit and determination. Faye Larkin, Nadia Laassri and Julie Phelan were outstanding in defence under heavy pressure. Jennifer Madden and Aoife Caffrey kept the scoreboard ticking over with some excellent scores. Congratulations to the team for progressing so far in the competition and hopefully they can go all the way next year. A huge thanks to Mr Martin, Mr Doyle and Mr Cronin for taking over the management of all the different Gaelic teams in the school.

Sixth Year Irish Trip
Chuaigh grúpa daltaí ón séú bliain go UCD Dé hAoine seo caite le freastal ar Sheimineár Lae dírithe ar Ghaeilge na hArdteistiméarachta. D’fhreastal said ar léachtaí iontach spéisiúl ar chúrsaí próis agus filíochta chomh maith le ceann an-chabheach ar ‘Conas aiste mhaith a scríobh. Bhí an-lá go deo acu agus mhothaigh gach éinne go raibh sé thar is a bheith fiúntach.

Lip Sync
All students in Transition Year complete an Enterprise module. The aim of this module is to produce a product for sale or provide a service for profit. The majority of students have been busy producing items for sale at the Christmas Fair, but one particular group have chosen to provide a service, this being the production of a show entitled ‘Lip Synch’. The girls in question are Lauren Vickers, Jessica Bolger, Alannah Langrell and Aimee Byrne. All students and staff were invited to participate and become contestants on their show. The idea is that individuals or groups of students or staff would choose a song to perform on stage showcasing their miming and dancing skills. There were whispers of a staff group performing a song from The Spice Girls…. but will they brave the stage? This eagerly awaited event takes place on December 20th and we wish all the contestants the very best of luck. Students will pay a fee to watch the show and the girls are donating a percentage of the takings to the school to help cover the costs of running the school musical.

Prefect Table Quiz
Student well-being is paramount and social bonding activities are an important part of school life in Dominican College. One such activity is currently being planned by the school prefects and sixth year students. On December 21st, the last day of term, the prefects will join their classes to run a fun festive table quiz. A total of fifteen table quizzes will run concurrently. This will be a great way to end a long term and we thank all the sixth-year students for organising the event.

Transition Year Volunteering
Volunteering is an important part of the Transition Year programme. Becoming a volunteer for ‘Horse Riding for the Disabled Ireland’ is one initiative on offer to the students. Leah Duffy from 4th year tells of her personal experience. Over the last couple of months, a group of students from Dominican College have been volunteering at a local horse-riding stables in Ballinteskin Farm. Students with special needs from St Catherine’s visit the stables every Tuesday and we go to assist them during their lessons. The children from St Catherine’s play fun games, learn all about the horses and how to ride. We help with the games and lead the children around the arena during their lessons. It is a very rewarding experience especially when you see the enjoyment they get from the sessions and knowing that you are helping them in a small way. I would recommend this experience to all future transition year students.

The Wizard of Oz
After months of preparation and hard work the curtain has closed for the final time and the Transition Year students have made their way back to the classroom with mixed emotions. They are a little sad that there will be no more performances but are still on a high from the fantastic reception that they received from all the audiences, both young and old. The younger audiences were made up of students from Holy Rosary School, St Pats, Barndarrig National School, Gaelscoil Chill Mhantain, Nuns Cross National School and Gorey Educate Together. Reports back from the various schools were very complementary as was the feedback from the night-time audiences. Robert and Rebecca Mason Pietsch from Nuns Cross National School gave their feedback on the show. Rebecca reported ‘’Well for starters the play was interesting and was like the story. Dorothy was well picked. But don’t worry I thought all the actresses were great. My class really liked the musical especially Amelia, Hannah and Harriet. Robert told us ‘’There was a lion that was afraid. I saw lots of singing and dancing. The Wizard of Oz does not have any magic. I liked the dog best. I was scared of the lion jumping and my heart jumped too’’.The Transition Year students are to be commended for their professionalism and dedication throughout the months of rehearsals. Well done in particular to our lead ladies Sorcha Higgins who played Dorothy, Sophie Porter who played The Lion, Hollie Goulding who played The Tin Man and Enya Donohoe who played The Scarecrow. The fantastic show was the result of much hard work not only by the girls themselves but by a very dedicated backstage team. The school management would like to express their thanks to the following people. Firstly, a huge thanks must be given to the producer and choreographer Ann McIntyre. We thank her for her expertise, commitment and unwavering patience with the girls. Next, we thank the musical director Mr Philip O’Neill for the long hours spent perfecting the solos and group songs. As always, the standard was extremely high. We thank Ms Ellen Horan and her team of students for the fabulous set designs which brought the show to life. We thank Mr Declan Cronin and his ‘team in black’ for the smooth change of sets throughout the shows. Thanks to all the staff for their assistance at the front of house and supervision back stage. Finally, the show would not go on without the presence of one other important individual, Mr Thady O’Brien. Thady always works quietly in the background after hours, constructing the sets and props and making any necessary alterations to the stage. We thank him for his commitment to the school as we benefit hugely from his great love of musicals.