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Christmas Newsletter

School reopened in August with an influx of 57 new first years, one new second year and two new entrants to Transition Year. As of now all students seem to have settled well and are beginning to get familiar with the ways of the school. They have become very aware of their teachers expectations in terms of standards of work and how available they are very quickly. Our Fifth Year mentoring team have assisted the newcomers, and we are very thankful to them for their help.


The enrolment process has begun once again. The closing date for applications was December 17th. We have application forms from 46 boys for next year’s first year intake. We would like to welcome two new students to our second year. They will begin in January.

We also welcomed circa thirty young ladies from Scoil Mhuire to our fifth year Agricultural Science, Physics and Business classes (Business for the first time)


We have had a strange year in terms of staffing. As many are aware our deputy principal is out on leave at the moment. He is very capably replaced by Ms. Barry. Ms. Gleeson retired from the school soon after the mid-term break to take up the position of deputy principal in Callan CBS. We all wish her well in her new position and are very thankful to her for the commitment she has given to the Mon for over fifteen years. We have teachers out on maternity leave, parental leave, job share and also received an additional allocation due to increased enrolment. The net result is that we welcomed five new teachers to the school.

Following the success of the school in placing the teacher recognised as the best teacher on student teacher placement from UL last year we continue our links with the colleges in training new teachers. We are very lucky this year. The teachers that are assisting these new teachers have been extremely impresses with them, and the boys have developed excellent relationships with them.


In terms of curricular development, we have been working on some aspects of our provision. We have Art in all classes in the Junior Cycle and in Transition Year. Students can study Art in Scoil Mhuire for Leaving Certificate. This year we made LCVP compulsory for fifth year. We have also been extremely to be in a position to offer Russian language/culture classes at a basic level. We have introduced Choir and Drama into first year as part of our wellbeing provision.


From the beginning of next year all students are required to study 133 hours of wellbeing related courses each year in the Junior Cycle. This is a large amount of time and resource commitment as the school year contains 800 hours for the students. There will be implications in the subjects offered and the general running of the school. The wellbeing working group had its initial meeting during the term to examine some of these implications. The working group is made up of students, parents and teachers.


The planning we put in place last year has resulted in some excellent additions and developments to the school environment as has the employment of our new caretaker. The new astro turf has been completed, we have transformed one of the classrooms into and indoor gymnasium facility, all the leaks in the roof have been repaired, our lockers have been repaired and some have been relocated and there have been extensive improvements to the toilets and the changing rooms.


We hope to continue to develop our facilities over the next few years. With this in mind we have applied to the DES for emergency funding to replace our water tanks, heating system and to provide universal access toilets. We have also applied for Summer Works funding for the provision of toilets for the girls that attend the school. Mr Fahey is in the process of organising a golf classic in May to raise funds to build a new computer room. We also hope to install toilets for the girls that attend classes in ERSS.



A short account of some of what has being going on in the school since August follows:

English Inspection:

We welcomed Kevin O’Donovan, the chief inspector for English to the school in late November. Inspections are very busy times for schools especially for the teachers in the department and school management. The process was very informative, affirming and rewarding for all. It was with great pride we received feedback commending what we are doing. There were also pieces of advice given that should assist us in providing even better standards of leaner experience in English classes. The inspection report will be published on the DES website soon after the Christmas break.

Green Schools:


The green schools team have put in Trojan efforts to make the school a better place. They have overseen the introduction of reusable bottles, started a recycling campaign, tidied up, become involved in the world wide campaign for climate action led by Greta Thunberg and are also involved in our efforts to reduce energy consumption. The environment has become a very important focus for us all in the last few years. It is great to see some of our young men taking a leadership role in the local community to right the wrongs and educate people on the issue. You may have noticed the creative Graffiti around the school. This has been done by the Transition Year Art classes.


On September 20th, our Green school committee took part in the Fridays for Future strike alongside many other schools around the country. A reporter from Tipp FM interviewed some of our students who spoke passionately for change. Our committee is making small but positive changes to our school. Watch this space!


Amber Flag:

We received our Amber Flag from our efforts in promoting positive mental health last year in September of this year. This is something in which we are very proud of, our students and staff work tirelessly on this. Again, we are working on future projects in 2020. These initiatives are a central part of our whole school wellbeing programme. Students and staff continue to be involved in the “Walk from Darkness into light” in an attempt to raise awareness and funds for the work Pieta House. We have invited Pieta House to the school to run a resilience programme with second years. This will hopefully commence in the new academic year.


LGBT:

We were invited to attend an ERST conference in relation to these issues. The initiative has just started and we hope to have staff and students involved in making our school and the local community a better place for all members of society.


Student of the Week:

We have continued the student of the week programme this year. This initiative is aimed at recognising students for positive contributions to the school day. Students are nominated by teachers or fellow students for these contributions. Students have been nominated for good manners, being grateful, sport, academic achievement, helpfulness, leadership, work ethic and being good guys among other things. Thanks to the student council for their continued sponsorship of the initiative.


Every day Counts:

This year we have been working closely with Tusla in an effort to increase school attendance. In the month of November we had a challenge to get 100% attendance. There was 44% of students with full attendance during the period. Can you do something about your attendance or your sons’ attendance? Every missing day has a negative impact on educational and development all outcomes. We had a creative writing and Art competition associated with the event. The winners were Marc Clifford and Thomas Regan.


Social Justice and Advocacy Group:

Once again our group have been very active since September. Strong ties have been maintained with our Young SVP and Green schools. This has led to the three groups expanding in size and the amount of work they are getting through. As well as being part of initiatives and events with the Young SVP group we’ve had some others. On the 8th of November, our Social Justice & Advocacy Ambassadors, alongside Mr. Walsh and Miss Murray, organised an event in Waterford’s Mount Sion Edmund Rice Heritage Centre for some Edmund Rice primary and secondary schools in the area.


We had the privilege of hosting The Ambassador of Ireland to the USA - Daniel Mulhall. Ambassador Mulhall spoke inspiringly to all students and answered any questions they had for him. Our school gave a presentation on all the positive work and initiatives we have undertaken and our plan for the year ahead. There were twenty schools invited with a turnout of 12.


Our work is three pronged for the current year. At a local level we are attempting to eliminate single use plastic bottles from school. At national level we are keen to focus awareness and our efforts on people living in direct provision, especially those with links to our schools. Internationally, we are working on raising awareness to the 22 million girls globally who get no access to education each year.


We are looking forward to continuing on with our work focusing on; our climate/environmental project, our local projects and on some international projects - to advocate for and help empower those without a voice. We are very grateful to the Christian Brothers who kindly gave us a tour of the centre and told us a little more about the life of Blessed Edmund Rice.


From this day, the Social Justice and Advocacy ambassadors were asked to give a presentation about their group and all the work they have been involved in at the ERST annual student council conference in Croke Park on December 5th. Luke, Laurence and Aidan gave a fantastic account of everything the group has been involved in, from when the group was set up in September 2018 right up to the plans in place for this school year.

Miss Murray (Social Justice Liaison teacher) connected with other schools on both days, which has led to the groups calendar of events expanding over the coming months. Learning from these other schools and working alongside Young SVP, the group aims to continue with the three strands of the ERST Social Justice Plan. The main focus of 2020 for the group will be to work towards forming stronger bonds with those living in direct provisions in the area.


The members of our group have been in discussion about a trip to the United Nations in Geneva where they will be able to watch Advocacy in action at first hand with Edmund Rice International. We hope to be invited as part of a delegation with a group from CBS Middleton.


Ethos:

On the 8th of October we celebrated our annual whole school mass in St. Nicholas’ church, organised by Miss Murray and celebrated by our school Chaplin Fr. Patrick Cahill. Congratulations to all students on the beautiful opening of the school year mass. In particular to the students who participated in the mass service by bringing up symbols reflecting our school community and all those who took part in the liturgy.


One of the highlights of the mass was the magnificent music and song. Our First year school choir, led by Mrs. Kirwan and Miss Murray, did a tremendous job on their debut performance, as did our reliable musicians, who worked extremely hard with the choir since September. It’s always great to see the whole school community and the wider community come together.


Mr. Noel Casey, again this year, has a group of reliable 5th year students who read at mass in St. Nicholas’ once a week. So far this year, outside of our whole school mass, 1st and 2nd year students has had the opportunity to participate and attend mass on separate occasions. Second years marked the month of the holy souls by taking part in the parish mass, they brought the names of our deceased loved one’s from our school’s remembrance tree and placed them at the altar. All remaining year groups will get the opportunity to attend the parish mass during 2020 to mark events on both the liturgical and school calendars.


It is also lovely to see the Christmas and Advent symbols in the school. A visitor to the school commented that he had been in many schools over the past few weeks and we were the only school to have a crib.


Any student wishing to attend Mass on January 6th (A Holy Day of Obligation) please come with written consent form your parent on the Monday we return to school.

We are a Catholic school so many of our efforts in school are aimed at this tradition. We have many students from other religions and no religion. These are included in our overall Ethos which is aimed at providing a safe and happy environment for all students where we have a non-judgemental atmosphere that respects each individual for who they are.


Sport:

As a small school we hope to involve everyone in sport that wants to be involved. To this end most of our first years have represented the school in some sport at this stage.

This year, for the first time, we had teams representing the school in cross country running. They competed in the Tipperary Championships and came home with a bag full of medals. Teams have progressed to the East Munster competition. Again this space needs to be watched.


Thanks to sponsorship from Outfield Sports and the student’s council we were able to upgrade our basketball court. With this upgrade the students of Transition Year have started training and we hope to have a school team entered in competition in the new year.

These new sports, or any extracurricular activities would not be possible without the commitment of the teachers. Thanks to all involved. Before we field teams in these new sports we will need to have kit for them. If anyone out there would like to sponsor our basketball kit or running vest for the school, please contact the office at 051 640522 or on info@erss.ie.


Some of our students this year have played for their counties in football, soccer and hurling. More have represented their provinces and country in many different sports. These students must be commended for their natural abilities and their commitment to their chosen sports.


Senior football match report

On Friday 06/12/19 our senior football team was out in the Tipperary Senior B Championship semi-final against Chair Community College. Despite our panel being depleted by injury and illness the team put on a solid performance to secure a merited win.

Cahir led by 1 – 5 to o – 1 at half time with the aid of a very strong wind. Mark O ‘Meara (0 – 2) was our sole scorer with a fine effort form play. The lads were confident they could overturn the deficit, having decided to play against the wind.

They started the half confident they could redress the balance. Jamie Holloway (0 – 7) led the charge. He scored 5 quick points in succession, three from play. Séan Daly’s (0 – 3) introduction boosted our fire power. He immediately scores two well taken points to level the score, following upon excellent work by Jack O’Connell.

Playing with renewed confidence and composure, we went on to close out the game in the final quarter. The forwards combined well to add to the score sheet. Séan O’Meara (1 – 1) scored a peach of a goal. Noel Obilor worked tirelessly throughout. Mark O’Meara led the team admirably, up to his usual standard of drive and discipline. Tom Brett, Leon Kennedy and Evan Foley were also on the score sheet with a point a piece. James Daly, Séan Power, Glen Power and Eimhin Hanrahan excelled in defence. We await the winners of the Roscrea v Ballingarry semi-final in a match to be played early in the new year.


Hurling Report:

Our senior hurlers are preparing for a Munster Quarter Final after the Christmas break. The boys had tough matches against St Caimins Shannon, Kinsale Community School and St Anne's Community School to reach this stage. The panel have been training hard since September and will be looking to build on their recent form.

On October 2nd, our U-16.5 hurling team travelled to Cappamore to play against a strong Ennistymon team in the Corn an Dara Uí Dhonabháin. We showed resilience and determination, coming back time and time again to draw level with the opponents. This led to extra time and again the teams could not be separated. It went down to a penalty shootout in which we lost by the narrowest of margins. Despite the result, the boys showed great skill and spirit during an entertaining match. The score line AET; Ennistymon 0-24, ERSS Carrick-on-Suir 3-15. Ennistymon went onto the final of this competition.

Our U15 hurlers also performed in a blitz in November. The boys beat Ballingarry, Cahir, Roscrea and Killenaule but narrowly lost to a strong Clonmel Highschool team. There were some promising performances shown for this young team - the future is bright for hurling in ERSS.


Schools Soccer

A good start to the season for our schools soccer teams. Our Senior squad have qualified for the last 16 of the Munster Senior A Cup, where they will play Kinsale C.S. on Tuesday January 7th. Their season started well with a 4-0 win over St. Declan's of Kilmacthomas, goals coming from Dylan Wall (2), Sean Daly and Tim Treacy. This was followed with a hard fought away win over Abbey C.C. of Ferrybank, goals from Dylan Wall (2) and Sean Daly on the day.

Senior players Dylan Casey and Sean Daly were both selected to represent Munster in the FAI Schools Interprovincial tournament in Dublin in November.

Our Under 17 Junior team were narrowly beaten 3-2 by Mt. Sion in horrendous conditions in November. Francis Roche and an OG with our goals on this occasion.

Our Under 15 Minor Team have qualified for the Munster Minor Trophy semi-finals where they will travel to Charleville in the New Year. The squad had impressive wins over Waterpark, 8-0, in the first round, with goals from Adam Walsh (3), Killian Power (2), Josh Hegarty, Aaron O'Halloran and David Comerford. This was followed by a comfortable 4-2 win over St. Anne's of Killaloe, with goals from Killian Power (2), Eoin Hogan and Josh Hegarty.

Our First Year team played Waterpark in their opening group game of the Munster First Year A Cup in Waterford recently and recorded an impressive victory, winning 6-1 on the day. Goals from Killian Power (3), Cormac Cummins, Conor Diffily and Ben Burns. The boys can now look forward to playing Tramore in their final group game after Christmas before the knock out stages in February.


Professional Visit for School Year 2019/2020 By French Language Assistant:

Monsieur Mercier, from Paris has joined the M.F.L. Department for the current school year. He is working alongside Ms. Barry & Ms. Moylan in the classroom & is helping all students studying French to improve and perfect their linguistic skills. 5th & 6th Year students can avail of additional help with phonetics & pronunciation at lunchtime, Monday – Thursday with Monsieur Mercier also.


Transition Year 2019/2020:

Transition Year students have been actively involved in the local community with visits to the Day Care Centre, Greenhill Nursing Home and St. Brigid’s Hospital each week. They are also helping out with Meals and Wheels this year.

Many T.Y students have taken part in a Community Garden Project in Carrick-on-Suir Library each Thursday morning as well as helping out with an Intergenerational Art Mosaic Project each Tuesday morning.

Transition Year students are competing in the Tipperary Enterprise Competition, our school winners will go forward & compete with other schools later in the year.

Three teams represented our school in the Tipperary Bank of Ireland Money Smart Challenge Competition, one of our teams, having won the Tipperary qualifier will now go forward to the National Final and will be in with a chance of winning 25,000 euro for our school.

A new addition to the Transition Year timetable this year is the “Architects in Schools” module. Architects in Schools is devised and delivered by the IAF and co-funded by the Arts Council, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The programme is delivered in 30 schools around the country annually.

The process for the selection of students for next year’s Transition Year will commence shortly.


Science Week 2019

During Science Week, we welcomed many 5th & 6th class primary school pupils from the local area to our school to attend a Science Show with the infamous Dr.Ken. This show "How to save the planet in 45 minutes" was hosted by the Science Department here in our school in conjunction with Calmast, W.I.T., Science Ireland & Stem Engagement, W.I.T.

Over the course of the morning, we welcomed 150 pupils to this event


International Students:

During the first term, 2 students from Tenerife joined Transition Year. The boys immersed themselves in all aspects of the year and took part in various activities/projects/workshops. Their presence added to Transition Year for both students and teachers. We would hope this is the beginning of a relationship between us and their organisation, as we really enjoyed having the boys with us. They enhanced our understanding of another culture. They brought the rain with them, unfortunately they didn’t bring it away when they departed in mid-December.


Young SVP/Social Justice Programme;

Our Young SVP organisation has 40 members approx. this year & actively works with members of the Social Justice organisation in the school. To date our members have participated in workshops based on themes including poverty and the cost of living in Ireland, facilitated by Ms. Ivana Kolic.

To increase awareness about direct provision in Ireland, our members invited past pupil. Mr. Rehan Ali (contributor to a collection of texts called “Correspondences”) to speak to them about his experience of life in Ireland in direct provision. Rehan had recently appeared on the Late Show giving an account of his life and the challenges of direct provision. He took the afternoon off from his studies in UCC to share his experiences with us.

Our annual Christmas Food Appeal run by Young SVP was a great success in the school again this year, with vast amounts of food being donated over the last number of weeks. Our 1st Year choir sang Christmas Carols at Supervalu, Carrick-on-Suir and raised 935 euro. Some of the money raised by our carol singers, was used to buy vouchers for local butchers and shops for our food appeal. The Student Council also made a very generous donation of 100 euro. The remaining money will be used by ERSS Young SVP during the year to support many initiatives /projects that members will be involved in.

We hope to have a carol singing event at Supervalu each year. We would like to thank Supervalu for facilitating this event and the generosity of their shoppers for the success of this event. It was lovely to hear some of the local people comment on how lovely it was to hear the boys singing. One man (a past pupil on “The Mon.”) was overheard telling one of the boys that he was caught singing, when in school and got a reprimand for it. Times and education has changed for the better.


School Tours:

Students are busily saving for the annual school tours to Manchester and Europe. The Transition Year tour is to Barcelona again this year. There will be two large groups visiting both venues.

On November 29th, a group of our students travelled to the Irish Independent Park to see Munster take on Edinburgh in the Guinness Pro 14 Championship. Mr. Walsh, Ms. Hickey, Ms. Moylan and our French assistant, Mr. Mercier accompanied the students. Two incoming 6th Class pupils also came along for the experience. Mr. Walsh provides food in school before we set out on the journey to Cork. Unfortunately, Munster lost by two points but our boys thoroughly enjoyed their trip away.

On the 17th of December, Ms. Moylan, Ms. Hickey and Ms. Pearse went to Kilkenny Activity Centre with our TYs to partake in Paintballing and Bubble Soccer. The students loved their time there, even in cold conditions. It was a great team building exercise for all to celebrate the end of term. It is lovely to see the welcome our school receives where ever we go. Staff in Kilkenny complimented our boys on their manners and behaviour, having remembered them from last year. They deserve great credit, as do their parents and families for this. We look forward to more activities in 2020.


Finally:

The Board of Management and the staff would like to wish you a happy Christmas in the hope that you will have a prosperous, happy and safe new year.

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Contact Us

Tel: 051- 640522

Email:  info@erss.ie

Address

Mount St. Nicholas

Carrick-on-Suir

Co. Tipperary

E32 P039