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Newsletter Sept. 17th

First Year Bonding Day   
On Friday September 10th Ms Gaffney and the first-year tutors, Ms Tyrell, Ms Martin and Ms Walsh accompanied eighty-eighty first-year students to Pirates Cove in Courtown for their bonding day. The theme for the day was making new friendships. Groups which included students who attended different primary schools were carefully chosen and rotated between activities such as mini-golf, bowling and beach walks. Thankfully, the weather held and the students enjoyed a picnic lunch with delicious ice-creams provided by Ms Gaffney. For some this was the highlight of the day! Everyone had a brilliant, relaxed day and both staff and students got to know each other a little better.

Fifth Year Retreat
On September 9th and 10th all the fifth-year students participated in a day retreat with An Tobar Nua. An Tobar Nua are a multi-denomination group made up of Catholic and other Christians working together to help young people become aware of the value of a faith based life. The fifth-year students spent the day playing team building games, taking part in quizzes and listening to the retreat leaders’ inspiring stories. The focus for the retreat leaders was to encourage students to reach their potential. It was a thought-provoking day with a good mix of bonding exercises and time for introspective thinking. Thank you to Enya and Mike for making the days so enjoyable and fun! By Saraid Dolan.

Sporting Role Models
Congratulations to sixth-year students Leah Murphy and Jennifer Madden on their selection this year for the Leinster Rugby Interprovincial Series. Ladies rugby in Leinster is hugely competitive so to have two students selected for this level of competition is an amazing achievement. Approximately 140 girls attended the trials in Kildare. This was whittled down to a squad of 46. This squad trained together for a month after which the final 30 were selected for the Interprovincial series. The girls are extremely dedicated to their sport and trained throughout the summer months travelling to Kildare three times a week to train during the month of August. Leinster won the series convincingly. Leah, despite suffering a concussion and unable to train for the three weeks prior to the Munster game was still named in the match day squad and was reported by her coaches to have had an important impact on the second half of the game. Saturday September 11th was a memorable day for the students as they were presented with their All Ireland medals. All at DCW would like to acknowledge their outstanding achievements and thank them for being such inspiring role models for the younger students.

DCW Bake-Off
After a year’s absence the Home Economics department is delighted to announce the return of the DCW Bake-Off. As usual two competitions will be held. Junior students will showcase their talents in the kitchen on October 7th while the seniors will compete on October 8th. The brief for all students is to design, bake and decorate a single tier cake with the theme of ‘Dreams’. Application forms are available from the H.E. teachers and the deadline for submission is Thursday September 23rd. There is always such a high standard of entries and we look forward to viewing this year’s creations.

Parent Meetings
In September, the management and the year heads meet with all the parents to discuss issues relevant to their daughter's year group. These meetings are usually held in Fatima Hall and are a great way for everybody to clarify any uncertainties and discuss the term ahead. Over the last week these meetings took place through the online forum. The information evening for the parents of first-year students took place on Tuesday 14th while the fifth and sixth-year meetings went ahead on Thursday 16th. The final meeting for the parents of the second and third-year students took place on Tuesday 21st. We want to thank all the parents who embraced the technology and hope the online sessions were just as informative and interactive as the face to face meetings.
Thank you again to the parents who returned to the online forum for the Parents Association AGM on Monday September 20th. Your constant support is appreciated.

Library Links
The local library is a treasure trove of historical data and records so the History Department were very excited when Catherine Wright from the library contacted the school to discuss the development of a school-based programme with DCW. As part of this initiative students will visit the library archives to view records pertaining to significant historical events such as the famine. For example the actual records of the Rathdrum Workhouse operating during the famine time and the minute books of the governors of Rathdrum are some of the items that the students will see. Also, over time the school will link with the library for resource material for project work. It will be a fantastic way to bring history to life for our students and we are very grateful to the library for this opportunity.

Extra-Curricular Activities
Extra-curricular activities are now up and running in DCW. Hockey has commenced for all students. Senior students train on a Tuesday with junior students training on a Thursday. Choir started back last week but is restricted to students from third to sixth year due to limited space in the music room. Their first performance will be at the school mass on Monday September 27th in St Patrick’s Church. Athletic training began on Monday 20th for all students. The County Cross Country Relays will be the first competitive event to take place. The basketball coaches are currently planning their training days and sessions will resume next week.

Sixth Year Geography Trip
On Wednesday September 15th Ms Kelly accompanied her sixth-year geography class to the Educational Centre in Kippure Estate. This centre is Ireland’s top provider of Leaving Cert Geography field trips and specifically facilitates the Geographical Investigation, a compulsory element of the syllabus. Kitted out in their wellies and waders the students had fun measuring river velocity and gradient, calculating discharge, and investigating the sinuosity of the river. The students loved the practical nature of the course which brought their text book learning to life.

Transition Year Posters
Transition year religion classes are working hard on designing information posters to highlight the Christian history of our school. Each class was given a different saint: St Therese, St Joseph and St Dominic. These saints lend their names to different corridors around the school and the students have been busy researching and designing posters to provide information on who these saints are and why they are associated with our school. They hope to have these finished within the coming weeks and they will be professionally printed and hung in the corridors.