St. Raphaels College Christmas Newsletter 2019

St. Raphaels College Christmas Newsletter 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians, pupils & family members,


As we approach the season of Christmas, I would like to invite you to enjoy our end of term Newsletter.  This is our third edition of the newsletter & I would like to thank all the teachers for their contributions and special thanks to Ms Foxton for compiling and distributing the finished product.

As you will see, it has been a very busy and exciting first term in St. Raphael’s.  We have had great success in all areas of school life from 1st year to Leaving Cert.  From the the great sporting successes in Hurling, Camogie, Basketball, Volleyball and Rugby as well as the many other academic, sporting, scientific and cultural successes we have experienced.

We are truly blessed to have such wonderful pupils and teachers in St. Raphael’s who work together to achieve the best possible results in all areas of school life.  It is wonderful to observe at Christmas time, that the strong, positive and inclusive spirit of St. Raphael’s is alive and well thanks to the hard work and dedication of all members of our school community.

At this time of year we remember all members of our school community who have lost loved ones during 2019.  We remember them all in our Christmas prayers.

Finally may I wish you all a very enjoyable and peaceful Christmas and we look forward to seeing you all again on January 7th.

Nollaig shona agus áthbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh go léir.


Paul Cafferky






St. Raphaels College Christmas Newsletter 2019


Camogie- Ms Healy


Our Junior camogie team are competing in the B championship this year while due to our Senior B Connacht title success last year our Seniors are competing in the A championship this year. Our Junior panel is made up of 28 players, ranging in age from 14-16 years.  The Junior team have played one match to-date against St. Killian’s College, New Inn. St Killian’s defeated us in this first group game and we must play Holy Rosary, Mountbellew to see who will be second in the group.

Our senior panel is made up of 34 players ranging in age from 16-18 years. The senior team have played three games to-date and have been defeated by Presentation College, Athenry and St. Brigid’s College, Loughrea. The team has however defeated Claregalway College and although we still have to play Gort Community School our win over Claregalway means that we will compete in a Senior A Shield Final in January.


Girls Basketball- Ms. Seoighe

The U16 girls basketball team had a very successful season, reaching the quarter finals where they were defeated by Coláiste na Coiribe.  The Galway Minor and Junior Basketball League will begin after the holidays. We wish them all the best in their games.

Art- Ms. Griffin

The leaving cert and 4th year art students art trip  took place in September. This year they went to the Hunt museum to see the Osborne and Lavery exhibition.

We had four winners in the Loughrea Credit Union Art Competition: Isabel Kelly in TY, Emma Malone in TY, Abigail Dolphin in 2nd year and Niamh Mitchell in 3rd year.

1st year hurling- Donnacha Campbell, 1st year

Our 1st year hurlers are well into their preparations for the season, having completed a 6 week strength and conditioning programme. We have also played a number of challenge games against Claregalway, Gort and Bullaun N.S. and St. Cuans. We began our year at the annual blitz day playing 11 aside matches. We have up to 40 players training regularly, and we hope to do well this year.

Juvenile hurling- Kevin Walsh 2nd Year

The juvenile hurlers retain a number of last years panel who won the Connaught A shield competition and reached the 1st year A final. To date, we have played challenges against Gort and Tulla, as well as the annual blitz day in Dangan. Our combined 1st/2nd year panel (for players not on 1st year/ juvenile team) have also begun their championship campaign against Clarin College. The combined team train under Mr. Mullins and Mr. Morris.

Junior Hurling- Darren Shaughnessy

Our St. Raphael’s junior hurlers had a very up and down campaign to say the least. They managed to reach the ‘A’ shield final against Claregalway secondary school who had already beaten our junior hurlers earlier in the year. The juniors, although not winning a game in the group stages came very close to some top schools in Galway such as Presentation College, Athenry, (All Ireland finalists) and Gort Community School. The lads worked hard. They had been asked to be up before the sun had risen in the morning to be present for 8.00 O’Clock training and it was no bother to them. Thanks to Mr. Parr, Mr. Hardiman, and Mr. Mullins who were there every step of the way. The junior team brought home a hard fought and well earned Junior ‘A’ shield Title.

Rang Breandán trip to Temple Street- Ailish Connolly

Our Rang Breandán class knitted a blanket which they delivered to Temple Street Hospital. Tierney Burke and Kerri O’Loughlin presented the hospital with a cheque for 129.00 euro which they had raised from the craft fair. They had a great day out mixing with Westlife celebs and they attended The Christmas Carol in the Gate Theatre.

Díospóireacht- Ms. Seoighe


Ghlac foirne sinsear agus sóisir páirt i gComórtas Ghael-linn arís i mbliana. Bhain na daltaí go léir an-taitneamh as an gcleachtadh.



French Cinema- Ms. Mc Hugh

The Senior 1 and Third year students enjoyed a trip to the Palas Cinema in November where they each saw a full length French Film as part of the Galway International film festival. Students tucked into popcorn and des bonbons and reported being pleasantly surprised by each of the films. Both films offered a good insight into different aspects of French and francophone teenage life. It provided food for thought for classroom discussions and beyond. The third years were able to use the film as material for their classroom based assessment. Students are keen to repeat “la visite au cinéma” again in future years.

German Cinema- Ms Kavanagh

4th German Year Film’Vielmachglas’ in the Palas Cinemas, Galway.

This Senior film which translates to ‘A Jar full of life’, tells the story of a young girl, who after her adventurous brother dies in a car crash, decides to follow his goal which was to travel the world. She goes on that adventure and learns a lot about herself along the way. It was a lovely film and true to life.


2nd Year German Film ‘Dieses bescheuertes Herz’ in the Palas Cinema, Galway

This Junior film which translates to ‘This crazy heart’ is based on a true story. A spoiled thirty year old man, Lenny, is living the fast life. His father, who is a doctor, is fed up with his sons’s attitude and lack of effort.  One of his patients, a 15 year old David, has a serious heart disease. So Lenny’s father enlists him as a bigger brother figure to David, which in turn forms a bond between the two and improves the quality of life for them both.

It was a very funny film and it was lovely to learn at the end that both Lenny and David are still friends to this day.


First and Second Year German Breakfast – Ms Kavanagh
All the pupils brought in some german products like cheese, ham, chocolate, pretzels etc from Aldi or Lidl and we sampled them.

We also got to try out some traditional german baked products like’ Stollen’ and ‘ Lebkuchen’ and ‘Kekse’.  We made some ‘heisses Schokolade’ too.

We appreciate being able to use the home economics kitchen for this day every year.


Soroptomist Girls Public Speaking Competition- Lorna Collins (Fourth Year)

This year I had the opportunity to take part in the Soroptomist Girls Public Speaking Competition. The Soroptomist is a women’s organisation who have a wonderful legacy of working to improve the lives of women and girls, locally and throughout the world. For the soroptomist public speaking, we were offered many different topics such as Human Rights, Education and Environment. I myself chose to speak on the topic of the empowerment of women. Both Mr. Rooney and I put together a speech and I practiced it in the lead up to the night. I am very proud to say I took home first place! . I will be advancing to regionals which take place on the 25th of January. I would like to thank Mr. Rooney for enabling me to participate in the competition.

Christmas Craft Fair – Mr Higgins and Ms. Healy

Our Annual Christmas Craft Fair took place on November 30th, 2019.The event was organised by our own Transition Year students, to enable them to showcase their innovative and creative designs and concepts which they have created as part of the Student Enterprise Programme. The event was also well supported by experienced crafters from near and far who came and showcased and sold their own crafts and wares.

There was a great variety of goods available on the day including Christmas cards and decorations, feature lighting, t-shirts, wooden crafts, candles, hand crafted jewellery, candyfloss and milkshakes, birdhouses, knitted goods, GAA gear, gluten free baking mixes, mulled spices, a wide variety of homemade treats and much more. We even had a pop-up nail bar!

In total over €2,000 was raised on the day. A raffle was held with prizes donated by local shops and businesses with some of the proceeds from the raffle going to the Laura Lynn Foundation. There was a tea and coffee stall in operation on the day and proceeds from this went to Pieta House and the Wren Run and this raised €547.54.

We would like to extend our thanks to all those who supported the event. Without your support the event would not have been such a success. In particular, thanks to our students, staff, all the exhibitors and the many local businesses for their generous donations to the raffle. It was a great day for all in attendance!


Ag Science- Sheena Warde, Senior 1

The ag science students celebrated the arrival of 7 baby chicks on December 2nd! Many thanks to Kirsten Moloney in Leaving Cert for her input. The senior 1 ag science class also had their first farm visit to Ballard Organic Farm in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath where we learned about organic farming, artisan food production and mixed enterprise farming. Further trips will take place to dairy, sheep and cattle farms in 2020.

BTYSTE- Mr. Fogarty

Congratulations to Senior 1 students Eoin Kinsella and Sean Burke, and their teacher Ms. Brenda O Dea who have qualified for the finals of the BTYSTE in the RDS form the 8th-11th of January with their project entitled “Has Fridays for Future made an impact”. We are delighted to have a project qualified for the third year in a row, and the boys are currently working hard on their project. Students from the school will travel to support Eoin and Sean on Thursday 9th January. Special mention must go to Chris Kloppers, Lilian Kennedy, Grace Adediji, Chanelle Dionicio and Roisin Liu who were very unlucky not to qualify having developed very high standard project concepts. We encourage non- exam students to attend our Scifest meetings, which begin in January. Ms. Lawless, Ms. O Dea and Mr. Fogarty co-ordinate these activities.

Science Week- Ms O Donovan

TY’s planted Ash, Alder, Oak and Birch as part of Science week. The trees were donated by Colillte. A small contribution to reduce global warming.

Erasmus trip to Portugal- Ms Taylor


6 second year students took part in the first stage of our Erasmus Programme, ‘Wellbeing and Lifeskills  in the 21st Century’. the students involved were Luca Mc Namara, Paddy Mac Carthaigh, Ella Glynn, Esther Moore, Cara Delaney and Orlath Coyne. Students travelled to the mountain region of Covilha in Portugal for a one week stay with their host families. They had the trip of a lifetime and developed important life skills. Students must be commended on their excellent behaviour, co-operation and dedication to the programme. The Erasmus programme is taking place over two years and the other destinations include Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands.


Cáirde Nua- Ms Healy


Cáirde Nua is a group of 20 Leaving Cert students (4 to every 1st year group) who volunteer their time to help 1st year students make their transition from primary to secondary school. Recognising the importance of peer support is at the heart of the Cáirde Nua Programme. The aims of Cáirde Nua include;

  • Be a friendly welcoming face.
  • Commit up to 20 hours of your free time in the year for your cáirde group.
  • Be a good role model.
  • Show care towards the new 1st
  • Develop a friendship/act as a ‘buddy’ to your group.

Roles and Responsibilities of Cáirde Nua


Help 1st years integrate into the school including showing students to their classrooms, assisting with their timetable, helping to organise their lockers, train them on when and how to use their lockers,

Offer students practical advice what to do if they have to leave school early/come in late, what to do if they don’t do their homework. Help 1st year students get to know each other on the first day through bonding games/activities.



Rota system where Cáirde Nua members will be present when the 1st years are having their break/lunch.



Meet your 1st year group once a term and play games/do activities/just chat with them. This term they are hosting a Christmas Disco for all 1st years.


Peer Mentors- Ms Healy

The Peer Mentors are a group of 12 Leaving Cert students who volunteer their time to help other students from different year groups who may require support during the year or someone to talk to. Recognising the importance of peer support is at the heart of the Peer Mentor Programme. The aims of Peer Mentor include;

  • Be a friendly welcoming face.
  • Commit up to 12-15 hours of your free time in the year for your Peer Mentor programme.
  • Be a good role model.
  • Be a channel of communication for all year groups.
  • Develop friendships with other students.



Roles and Responsibilities of Peer Mentor


  • Help build relationships with students by being available at lunch time once a week.
  • They can also merely offer a safe environment for students to talk, play games or it can also simply be someone/somewhere for a younger student to hang out with.
  • Listen to and provide guidance for students who may require it.
  • Actively contribute to the development of school policy in a wide range of areas such as bullying and the facilitate the annual anti-bullying week in the school yearly.


The Peer Mentors area available every Wednesday. This social meeting helps the peer mentors to provide advice, support, attention and guidance for other students in the school. They provide a range of activities each week including, board games, music sessions, singing and much more. The peer mentor programme provides positive influences for younger students and they serve as role models in the school. They recently hosted our Anti-Bullying/Friendship Week.


Anti-Bullying/Friendship Week- Ms Healy

St Raphael’s Anti-Bullying/Friendship Week took place from 25th-29th December. During this week the mentors organised a variety of activities to make students aware of bullying behaviour and the impact it can have on others. These activities are outlined below. The theme chosen for the week is ‘Respect Yourself, Respect Each Other’.


Day 1- Friendship Day

Activities included 1st year making friendship bracelets, TYs, 4th Years and Leaving Certs getting to know people in their year groups better by asking them questions and all students and teachers received a lollipop.


Day 2-Be Kind to Each Other

On Day 2 the students were encouraged to be kind to each other throughout the day. The 2nd years put Complimentary Post-It’s on each other’s lockers and 3rd Years completed a compliment sheet for everyone in their class.


Day 3 and Day 4- My Promise to You

A huge element of the week was the signing of our anti-bullying policy. All students were brought to the assembly hall and the Peer Mentors facilitated the pledge ceremony. Students learned about the effect bullying has on others and how we all have a role to help eliminate bullying in our school and signed our pledge. We have found that this initiative has significantly reduced bullying in our school over the past number of years.


Day 5- All Different, All Equal

For the final day of our Anti-Bullying/Friendship Week 1st and 2nd year students were lucky to get to see, Mike Sullivan from ‘HumourFit’ performing his Bullying and Cyber-Bullying Drama ‘The Mighty Bully Brady’.


Student Council – Ms Healy


The student council is made up of 28 members from 1st year to leaving cert. These students were elected by their tutor group to act as their representative during the school year. They include, Megan Kielty, Cian Conway, Luka Mitchell, Eoin Kelly and Caoilfhionn Fitzpatrick (1st Year), Caitlin Griffin, Shaun Sweeney, Kevin Walsh, Emily Henehan and Colm Randles (2nd Year), Philip Rogers, Morgan Chalavazis, Moya Connaire and Sarah Cullinane (3rd Year), Alisha Larkin, Mia Sweeney, Hazel Stratford and Tierney Burke (Transition Year), Rhaira Oliviera, Lorna Collins, Celeste O’Reilly, Niall Brogan and Sean Burke (4th Year) and Emily Watkins, Muirin Gaffney, Jack Nutley, Katie Fallon and Ali Moore (Leaving Cert).

The main role of the student council is to promote the interests of the school and the involvement of all students in the affairs of the school. They do this by meeting once a week (Tuesday) at lunch-time to discuss school matters. The members of the student council are also heavily involved in all aspects of school life, including the formation of school policy and most recently the new healthy eating policy.


The first role of the student council this year was to speak to parents at our annual open night held in October. The students informed parents of the role and work done by the student council and what their plans were for the year. To-date this school year the student council have carried out the following initiatives; enforcing healthy eating in the school, in particular in the school canteen, the organisation and issuing of ISIC student ID cards which allow students to get discounts on travel, food and shopping. The organisation of our annual Christmas jumper day and prize giving for the best Christmas jumper in each tutor class. Placing benches in the Link Area to be used by students during break and lunch-time.


Comhairle Na nÓg Local Area Event- Ms Healy


On Wednesday 23rd October six members of our Student Council attended the Comhairle Na nÓg AGM in Claregalway Castle. These included; Rhaira Oliviera, Lorna Collins and Sean Burke (4th Year) and Sean Sweeney, Kevin Walsh and Emily Henehan (2nd Year).

Comharile na nÓg is a forum for young people aged 12-18 years to identify and work on issues of importance to them before working with key local decision-makers in a bid to achieve their desired outcome, impact or change. This year the main focus is on ‘Climate Change. During the day the students participated in workshops on zero waste, fast fashion, food waste and going plastic free. According to students that attended the day was very educational, interesting and beneficial. “We got to discuss problems in our community with other schools and share our ideas.

In the new year the student council plan to focus their attention on some of the following, a reduction of litter and waste in the school by banning all plastic bottles with students only allowed reusable bottles in school and the possibility of new school jackets for senior cycle students.


November Prayer Service- Ms Healy


During the month of  November we remembered and prayed for all the deceased by placing a ‘Tree of Remembrance’ in the Link Area. Students were encouraged to write the names of family members or friends who had died and they were remembered in our prayers daily.


We also held a prayer service in the Assembly Hall for all year groups and it was a nice act of charity for all those gone before us.








Transition Year News – Ms Healy


CASA- The Caring and Sharing Association

As part of the Transition Year Programme we are given the opportunity to volunteer. One of the main aspects of our volunteering is with an organisation called CASA- The Caring and Sharing Association. This is an organisation who works with individuals of all ages who have physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities.


Once a month, on a Sunday afternoon the Transition Year students meet in the Loughrea Hotel and Spa and assist or volunteer with these individuals. These social outing means that members and their families get support from local volunteers and they are given the opportunity to socialise and build friendships in a relaxed atmosphere. The afternoon usually begins with a liturgy or prayer service facilitated by Fr Willie Moran. During this service we aide members to read a prayer in front of the entire gathering. Following the service, we enjoy an afternoon of music and dancing provided by different local musicians and sometimes the CASA members themselves. The members often engage in musical performances and singing songs written by some of their favourite artists. Each social means so much to the members and their families and this is seen through the smiles on each of their faces.


We also thoroughly enjoy working with these individuals and we gain so many skills by doing so, including communication and interpersonal, as well as care and compassion towards those who are less fortunate than us. Initially when taking up our role as volunteers we wanted to help others. However, as the months have passed it is the members who have helped us. They have provided us with wonderful life lessons and friendships. They have such a positive attitude and outlook on life that it is enabling. We are delighted to be given the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of volunteers who give up so much of their free time in order to help others and to make a difference in their lives.


Last weekend we spent from 12pm-1pm Carol singing in Lidl, Oranmore to help raise money for the organisation. We raise €203.40 which will go towards running on of the monthly socials in the New Year. Some of the TYs are also taking part in the CASA Christmas Day swim which takes place in Loughrea Lake at 11am on Christmas morning. Anyone who would like to get involved can pick up a sponsorship card in the Library or turn up on Christmas Day and make a donation.



We as transition year students also volunteer on a weekly basis in St Brendan’s Home. Every Wednesday from 2pm-3pm a group of transition year students visit the day care centre. Here students communicate with the elderly about their lives and their families. We also share our talents as we play music, sing and dance for them. The residents and day care users also get involved and often give a rendition of their favourite song or poem. We love visiting the Home and we learn so much from the residents, they are extremely knowledgeable and always have great stories to tell. We will miss this weekly meeting over Christmas and we really look forward to returning in January.

This year TYs are also volunteering in the local charity shops. Again on a Wednesday afternoon students spend an hour helping the other volunteers in the shops. The work involves sorting through donated items, tidying the shelves, cleaning windows and floors.


Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal

In November all three TY groups volunteered with the Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal in their sorting office in Galway Racecourse. On the first day we brought over 80 shoeboxes which had been collected from students in our school. We arrived at 10am and were greeted by some of the other volunteers. They spent some time informing us about the types of items that should be in each box before dividing us into groups in which each group had a different role.


We were put in groups and given different tasks, removing the money from the boxes, other groups sorted the boxes into boys or girls, we had to make sure the items in the boxes were age appropriate, some boxes had to be re-wrapped, whilst the remaining groups had to refill or add items to boxes to ensure that there was an item in each box from the 4 W’s- something to wash, write, wear and wow.  Therefore, each box requires something to wash, such as soap or a toothbrush, something to write with, such as a copy and pencil, something to wear, such as a hat or scarf and something to wow, such as a toy or a teddy.


It was a wonderful experience and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We got to see the amount of time and effort that goes on behind the scenes to help bring joy to these children at Christmas. We got to meet some wonderful volunteers who spend months volunteering to ensure that all boxes are collected from different schools and business and sorted in time to send them to different regions. Some of the volunteers had visited some of the regions including Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union and Africa in which the shoeboxes are distributed. They informed us that they actually get the opportunity to give the shoeboxes right into the hands of some of the world’s most vulnerable children. This year the boxes from Galway will be going to places such as; Albania, Belarus, Romania, Kenya and Malawi.


They told us stories about what it is like for them to see these children open their boxes many of whom will receive no other gift at Christmas. For some it’s the first gift they’ve ever received. They believe that one of the most important if not the most important item in the box is a teddy. This is because it is something that they can love or care for. We often hear people say that ‘a little goes a long way’ but we really saw that saying in action whilst assisting with the shoeboxes. Even the smallest gift can make life so much more enjoyable for others, especially those who are less fortunate. We also discovered that we should be very grateful for what we have. It really put a smile on our faces knowing that these children will get a Christmas present this year.


COPE Galway Sleep-Out

A Sleep-Out in aid of COPE Galway took place in Loughrea on Friday 4th October. Some of our TY students had a role to play in the fundraising for this event as they took part in an on-street collection on Main Street from 10am-2pm. They helped to raise some much needed funds for such a worthy cause and was an extension of the €2,598.40 which TYs raised in May from the proceeds of their 12-Hour Sleep-In for the organisation.



Transition Year is a huge opportunity for students to become involved in extra-curricular activities and to spend time developing new skills. The Gaisce awards allow students to do this. There are four core values that the awards focus on, these include empowerment, inclusion and equality, respect and excellence. Students who participate in Gaisce are encouraged to live these core values in their everyday lives.


TYs have registered for the Gaisce (President’s Award) Bronze Award and have four key elements that must be fulfilled- community involvement which they are doing through volunteering, personal skill- where students have to develop a new skill, such as playing a musical instrument. Another element is physical recreation which encourages students to become physically stronger and improve their fitness. This can be done through sport, dance etc. The final element is the adventure journey- this involves students planning, preparing and undertaking an adventure journey.


The Gaisce Adventure Journey took place in late September when students visited Delphi Resort in Connemara. To complete this, students are required to partake in kayaking and hiking. On the first day at the resort students partook in a 15km kayaking journey, that evening students made a campfire and sang songs. The following morning it was time to go on the 25km hike in the mountainous areas around the resort. Even though it never stopped raining whilst we were there we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we got to develop our team-building skills and it united us more as a group.


We were delighted that 22 students were awarded their Gaisce Bronze Award this year. We are hoping that that number will increase further amongst this year’s transition year group.



In early October we completed a team-building workshop with a company called ‘Develop Me’. Develop Me specialises in bringing the highest quality experiential learning training into the secondary school classroom. Through experiential learning they focus on two critical areas; project management and understanding effective teamwork.


Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing”. We were asked to work together to come up with a way to approach a particular situation that will lead to a successful outcome.


Our first objective and team-building exercise was ‘The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine’. We were presented with the challenge of planning and launching an expedition to the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine in the Superstition Mountain Range in Arizona. We had limited time and limited resources for this challenge and as a group of four/five we had to decide how to approach it, what route we would take to and from the mine, what objectives we may set and how to make the best use of the resources, information and advice that we had at our disposal. The principles of successful project management that emerged from this task was that we needed to work as a team in order to capture the available gold.


Our second objective and team-building and team performance exercise was ‘Solving the Problem of Tom’s Canyon Ford’. We realised that miners seeking Gold in the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine can often have their efforts hindered by flooding in Tom’s Canyon Ford. Now the decision was made to build a bridge that would eliminate the risk of all extra expeditions. The task set to the teams was to build a bridge that is as efficient as possible so that mining for Gold does not become a problem. In this task it was essential that we trusted one another to get our section of the bridge built correctly in the given time. It was then the task of the whole class to put the bridge together without it collapsing. One of the TY groups completed the task in 34 minutes which is the fastest time seen by the company.


It was a brilliant experience and we really learned the importance of communicating and working together as a team, each having a collective mind-set, as well as a consistent and enthusiastic effort.



Bank of Ireland Money Smarts Programme

Money Smarts is the Bank of Ireland programme designed to ensure that students are confident in their financial literacy and business skills as they approach adulthood. The programme helps to provide young people with access to financial education, practical tools to enable them to learn lifelong skills and make informed financial decisions. Money Smarts comprises of:


School Bank

To date the Transition Years have taken part in interviews to become members of and to run the school bank. This gives other students in the school the opportunity to open and lodge money in a current account in school and saves them from having to go to the bank. With their main aim being to encourage their peers to start saving money early in life. The school bank is open every Wednesday from 1.15pm-1.45pm. The school bank committee comprises of the following students; Alisha Larkin (Branch Manager), Ciara Curley (Sales Manager), Tara Curley (Operations & Audit Manager), Aodhan Brady and Mia Sweeney (Digital Managers).


The programme also includes a Financial Literacy Week and a Start Your Own Business Workshop. The TYs hope to look at planning a Finance Week later in the school year.


Money Smarts Challenge- Bank of Ireland

Twelve TY students participated in the BOI Money Smarts Challenge, Regional Finals in the Clayton Hotel, Galway on Tuesday 5th November with a chance to win €25,000 for our school. The first element of the day was a Financial Wellbeing Session where students were provided with the opportunity to brush up on Financial Wellbeing topics like spending, saving, earning, credit and debt. At the end of the sessions, students had a better understanding of why it’s so important to be smart about money with useful tips and guides for the future.


After lunch the Money Smarts Challenge began which consisted of a high energy quiz which was both challenging and fun. It was made up of eight rounds of money related questions and conundrums which had to be solved over a two-hour period.


The two teams with the highest score from each region will go forward to represent their school in the Grand Final in April 2020. Although our three teams competed very well in the regional finals it wasn’t to be.


Junior Chamber of Commerce

Some TY students are members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce in Loughrea which gives young people the opportunity to become involved in various activities in the community. To date the groups have run a ‘Best Mince Pies’ in Loughrea competition which was won during the Light Up Loughrea Winter Festival by Bridie Clinton in McD’s Café.


Another group of students are planning to look at the history of Loughrea and of the people who live here and hope to create some form of memorabilia from this.



Emergency First Aid

All TYs were trained in emergency first aid in early December. The emergency first aid training helped students gain the necessary skills and knowledge to use and a range of practical basic first aid skills which will enable them to deal competently and confidently with common injuries and illnesses. Students were also trained in the basic techniques of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and the action to take in the event of a person choking.


SVP Food Appeal

Every Christmas the Transition Year students encourage all students to bring in at least one food item and place it in one of the boxes is the Link Area. This year we were delighted to collect seven large boxes of food. A member of the SVP Local Conference will come to the school before Christmas to collect these items and give them to those less fortunate in our locality.