The annual 1st Year P.E. trip to Slievenamon usually takes place in May. The purpose of this trip is to promote physical activity in an alternative setting. This trip also promotes team work and communication skills amongst the students which is particularly important for first years. It is an enjoyable and worthwhile trip for all.
Senior Cycle Geography students take part in a Geographical Investigation in Tramore, County Waterford as part of their Leaving Certificate course. They participate in a wide range of activities and record their results. This allows students to apply their theoretical knowledge and experience Geography first hand. This investigation is worth 20% of the Geography Leaving Certificate grade.
Senior Cycle Home Economics students have the option of participating in a fun educational trip to Italy. The trip is co-ordinated by the Home Economics teachers while working with the travel company Saffron. The trip includes direct flights from Dublin to Rome, accommodation is in a 4 star hotel overlooking the Amalfi coast, luxury coach travel and all meals included.
Students get hands on practical experience of Italian recipes and culture at a cookery school. A selection of guided tours are planned to include; a coffee factory, a honey farm, a local bakery, a gelateria and mozzarella farm. These offer demonstrations and tasting sessions.
Other activities include a half day guided tour of Pompeii, a boat trip along the Amalfi coast and shopping in Sorrento.
Encounter is a weekend residential retreat which is optional for all 5th year students. There are two Encounter weekends in the school year, usually one in November and one in February. Encounter is a student led experience, which began when the international community of Edmund Rice Brothers at Mount Sion Monastery, Waterford, decided to lay a foundation for a weekend Encounter retreat programme. The first Encounter was held in 2006 in the Grace Dieu Retreat Centre.
However, at its core, Encounter is an opportunity for the students to share what life is like for them, with each other, in a safe and supportive environment. Students look, in particular, at their relationships, with themselves, their family and friends and with God.
Students are encouraged to examine their lives and be as honest as they can be, with themselves and the other girls, in small and large groups and through various activities.
The students are accompanied by seven adult leaders, usually teachers from our school. One teacher who has gone on Encounter numerous times, wrote about why she thought the weekend was beneficial.
‘The whole weekend, from beginning to end was one of the most worthwhile experiences I have ever encountered. Experiencing this weekend with the students as an adult leader, I couldn’t help feeling how lucky these girls were to be getting such a valuable insight into their own lives at such a young age. It allows them to stop and just be quiet. Students come away from the weekend with a fresh perspective of their fellow peers and a new level of respect and support for each other’.
Students who went on Encounter had the following to say.
‘I truly learned the value of family – a priceless gift. I never had a strong faith but Encounter opened my eyes to how blessed I am. I truly believe I grasped the concept of Encounter Let Go, Let God’.
‘Hearing other people in my group, I realise I am not alone, that others go through similar struggles. I learned not to judge people’.
The programme has gone from strength to strength and hopefully it will continue to nourish and support students in the years to come.
Transition Year students have the option of participating in a fun séjour linquistique to Bayonne, as part of an exchange programme, which is a wonderful opportunity for the students to improve their français and immerse themselves in la culture française.