Senior Art portfolios
The senior art students in DCW were offered the opportunity to participate in the online Art course provided by Crawford College of Art and design. The online forum was entitled An Introduction to Portfolio Preparation week and ran from Monday, April 19th to Friday, April 23rd. Students could avail of two sessions daily at 10 am until 12 pm or a Wednesday session from 12 pm until 2 pm, depending on their interests. Both transition Year and Fifth-Year students participated in the course. They were advised on how to pursue a career in Arts, introduced to the idea of portfolio creation and generally given an insight into the life of an art student. The preparatory programme provided a platform for developing core skills on producing a creative portfolio suitable for entry into third-level colleges. Drawing, painting, printmaking, graphic design and 3D construction were among the many artistic media presented by specialist Lecturers. All agreed that the course was very beneficial.
Ember Team News
The fifth-year Ember team has been meeting in preparation for Intercultural Day, which will occur on May 21st this year. As part of their weekly meetings on Monday afternoons, the team created a plan for each year group's activities while staying in their hubs. The Embers want to highlight the diversity in DCW by celebrating the many different cultures, ethnicities and traditions within our school. The team hopes it will be a memorable and exciting day for everyone.
Neat Streets Programme
This week 4 bronze became active participants in their Environmental Studies Module. Having studied global concepts during online teaching and learning, they now begin to look at domestic issues such as litter and waste disposal in the school community. DCW has registered with Neat Streets Anti-litter and Waste Programme for Secondary Schools. Students will identify priorities and set specific targets following an investigation of the school environment. Using the litter pickers provided by the Neat Streets Programme, the students first task was to patrol the grounds ensuring they were pristine and litter-free. We look forward to an update citing future projects.
Social Enterprise is a student-led initiative whereby students develop strategies to solve a local social or environmental need. In previous years students have become involved in Meals on Wheels and visited local old peoples homes. Due to Covid, the focus now is on environmental issues as opposed to social. This week 4, Gold enjoyed a leisurely walk to some of the popular locations in the town in an attempt to identify ways in which they could make a positive impact on the environment. Some suggestions included cleaning along the river or the beaches, creating murals or beautifying designated areas with potted plants. Further discussion will occur, and the students will begin to put their plans into action next week.
This year DCW has reaped the rewards from the Transition Year Upcycling module. Students from 4 Bronze and 4 Gold transformed the Grotto area earlier in the school year, which had become completely overgrown and hidden from sight. They completed an epic job restoring it to its original beauty. Next, they painted the sizable storage containers brightening the surrounds of the outdoor lunchtime area. This week it was the turn of 4 Silver to add to the project as they began replicating famous paintings on the picnic benches. The favoured artists were Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Van Gogh and Roderic O'Connor. The Haystacks Series, Starry Night and Sunflowers were among the pictures to be sketched for painting.
Transition-Year Musical Update
Despite the difficulties encountered due to the school closure, the transition-year students remained upbeat, focused and determined that the show must go on! Rehearsals for their show Back to the Eighties were ongoing throughout the lockdown. The musical director Ms Murphy and Ms McIntyre, the choreographer and stage director, would like to commend the students on their commitment and unfailing enthusiasm. However, progress was hampered by the lack of on-stage practice. The lack of in-school practice time and the fact that level 5 restrictions are still in place led the school management team to make the call that the show, 'Back to the Eighties', would be postponed until October. Students remain 100% committed and are determined to put on a show like no other!
First-Year Activity Day
An activity day has been organised for the first-year students to celebrate the end of their challenging first year in secondary school. As we cannot run a whole school sports day, this fun day will allow the students time-out time from the classroom. The fun day will occur on May 18th, beginning at 12.35 pm. Activities will include yoga and meditation, a fun quiz, escape rooms, Zumba and Just Dance. Pizza and treats will also be provided.
First-Year Wellness Walk
Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992. One of the 10 Step Stress Solutions is to 'Get Moving to Combat Stress', which is precisely what the first-years will do on Friday. Together with their mentors and tutors, the students will take a leisurely two-hour walk along the coastline. They will have the opportunity to relax and destress away from the classroom and screens and have catch-up chats with their classmates. The Opal class will have their walk at 9 am, Sapphire at 11 am and Emerald at 1.15 pm.
Due to Covid, first-year students have missed out on the regular extra-curricular activities provided by DCW. The Department has now confirmed that restricted training may resume from April 26th. As a result, we provide a training module that will introduce the students to the core skills of hockey. The training sessions will occur on Wednesday after school from 4.10 pm until 5 pm. If the numbers interested surpass the limited numbers allowed, a second training day will be organised. As always, safety is paramount, and shin guards and gum shields are a must. If any interested students have not already signed up, please give your name to Ms Carthy.
Child Watch Online Safety
Since 2008 Child Watch has dedicated itself to protecting young people online. This year the in house talks have been replaced with virtual forums. On April 26th, all the first to fifth-year students in DCW participated in the online workshops, which focused on personal safety and reputation in equal measure. The presentations were age-appropriate with separate workshops for first-year students only, second and third years, and fourth and fifth years. The workshops were informative and enlightening for many students.
Under the guidance of Ms Maguire, the newly formed instrumental group met online each week during the lockdown and included students from 1st to 5th year. For many students, it was their first time playing music with the school. This week, a live rehearsal took place on the basketball court, with many of the students meeting each other for the first time. It was amazing to experience live music as this has not been possible for the last year.