ALL THE NEWS!

LATEST NEWS - EARLY DECEMBER 2020

TIME TO REFLECT

As we come to the end of 2020 and reflect on the 16 months since the school opened, a huge thank you is due to all the staff, students and parents/guardians who have worked together to build this new school community. One of the greatest gifts has been the opportunity to work with an innovative spirit and question every assumption in the educational system – how can the sport in the school and in the community link together better; how can teaching and learning be more enjoyable and meaningful in the classroom; how can we provide a different and forward-thinking curriculum. Our hope and our goal at ETSS Wicklow is to merge the best from the past with the ways of the future. It's a unique opportunity to get a new start and we are looking forward to continuing that journey in 2021. Happy Christmas everyone!  

MEDIA CLUB

June’s Media Club students have been busy working on the publication of their reflections of their first term at Educate Together Secondary School Wicklow and there’s been no shortage of topics to reflect on.  The Media Club students have been very active since September and they have made a great contribution to school life.  Their eye-catching posters promoting various themed weeks have caught everyone’s attention, and we are all looking forward to seeing the interviews and photographs the Media Club has contributed to the Christmas newsletter, which will be out later this month.  A great 2020 for the Media Club; 2021 promises to be even better!   

STUDENT COUNCIL AT ETSS WICKLOW

The ETSSW Student Council, under the guidance of Shauna, is at the heart of the Educate Together ethos with its emphasis on partnership and democracy. The Student Council role in representing the voice of students is greatly valued, and the Council’s contribution to policy development and the Board of Management has been a very important one over the last year. In recent weeks, the Student Council representatives have raised the flags outside of the school for Science Week, promoted lunch time clubs and supported the school’s Covid safety plan. In the words of Student Council President Hannah O Callaghan: ‘The Student Council is great because it gives students a say in decisions that make the school a better place.’   

PEGASUS

Pegasus is a creative short course offered at ETSSW.  As the name suggests, Pegasus invites students to soar above the curriculum to pursue topics of interest to them. Students identify a theme or concept that inspires them and Pegasus teachers Amanda and Vanessa guide them through the planning, designing and, generation process. Students have pursued courses in digital drawing, taught themselves new languages, explored heat convection currents in homes, documented a course in equine fitness, and constructed beautiful pieces of wooden furniture. Communicating, being enterprising, and managing a design project are just some of the skills that students have the opportunity to develop from their engagement with this innovative short course.  

SPEECH& DRAMA

The Speech and Drama students have had a fantastic term under the guidance of teachers Vanessa and Ceire. Students explored the impact of the influencer generation by investigating aspects of the phenomenon on Youtube, and they subsequently learned how to speak effectively on camera.  When it came to public speaking, students demonstrated their excellent oratorial skills on the topic of whether or not teachers had the right to interfere in the lives of young people.  The spooky season of Halloween afforded the Speech and Drama students and teachers the opportunity to delve into the Witches’ Spell from ‘Macbeth’ and Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’.  And now all roads lead to the ETSSW Talent Show in early 2021. The Speech and Drama students are counting down the days!  

ART CLUB

Art Club is a co-curricular activity for students who are interested in any areas of Art, Craft and Design. Members of the Art club are encouraged to express themselves across a wide range of Art practices, such as painting and drawing, textiles, ceramics and much more.  Art Club is an excellent opportunity for students who study Art to broaden their artistic horizons by experiencing practices that they may not always have the chance to do during their timetabled Art class.  Art Club is also a great opportunity for students who do not study Art to express themselves creatively and to enjoy exploring their imagination and inspiring others with their new ideas.  

MATHS CLUB 

Students at John’s Maths Club have recently taken a dive into the fascinating theory of the ‘infinite’ coastline. Known as the ‘Coastline Paradox’, students this month have been discussing the proposition that the Irish coastline is in fact infinite, when measured in smaller and more accurate increments. This discussion has since led us to the fascinating world of fractals in mathematics.  Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales, and this month has seen us examine one of the more famous fractals, Sierpinski’s Triangle!  

ONLINE LEARNING DAY

On Wednesday 11th November, the staff and students of ETSSW swapped the real-life classroom for the online classroom for a day of live lessons. The purpose of the online learning day was to ensure that the staff and students would be prepared in the event of another closure, and everyone agreed that the day was a great success. Although one perceptive student pointed out sadly that for their generation there will never be another snow day thanks to the wonders of technology and online learning! Fingers crossed, schools won’t have to shut again, but if they do, ETSSW will be ready! 

PANCAKE FRIDAY

Pancake Friday was a great success and delicious pancakes were enjoyed by staff and students alike.  Sue and Donal teamed up with a number of students and colleagues who arrived in at 7.45 on Friday morning to help out with the breakfast morning. It was a real team effort and well done to all of the staff and students involved.   

SCIENCE WEEK

Science Week provided students with the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of science related activities and events. During science class, a live chat session with scientists took place where students were invited to ask questions about a wide range of research topics. Students also attended virtual talks & demonstrations including: ‘A walk on the wild side’, ‘Meet the inventors’ & ‘The human guinea pig’. Throughout the week, students participated in art & written competitions based on this year's Science Week theme – 'Choosing our Future'. The week ended with a whole school inter-class competition where the second year Heaney tutor group were crowned champions.   

Science Week Quiz
               Science Week Winner

GAEILGE 24  

Dé ceadaoin, an 17ú la de mhí Samhain, thóg na daltaí in ETSS Chill Mhantáin an dúshlán mór chun Gaeilge a labhairt tríd an lae. 

The students were excellent in their attitude and application throughout 'Speak Irish for a Day' which took place last Wednesday. They also raised some funds for ‘Conradh na Gaeilge’ which does great work for the promotion of the the Irish language.  

Duirt Cody go raibh lae iontach aige agus ag gach duine eile chomh maith agus thug se moladh ar na daltaí agus na múinteoirí. Maith sibh!  

LITERARY AWARENESS WEEK

June, Vanessa and Ceire led Literary Awareness Week last week where reading, writing and literature were celebrated in their many different forms. 

Students enjoyed the Drop Everything and Read initiative, and a different poem was read out every day over the intercom for the whole school to hear. The week’s ‘Word of the Day’ began with the word, ‘stupendous’ which students were encouraged to use. 

The week has to be considered a ‘stupendous’ success after a student was overheard complimenting another student about their ‘stupendous’ book!  

CLUB ROUND UP

BIKE CLUB

The Monday lunchtime Bike Club has been a huge hit with students. The Bike Club offers students who cycle to school the opportunity to practise and develop their bike skills in a fun, controlled and safe environment. The students are coached by Michelle, who as well as being a PE teacher, is also one of Ireland’s top Enduro racers. New members are always welcome.    

LANGUAGE CLUB

ETSSW had its first zoom call to Belgium last Monday during Esther’s lunch time Language Club.  Athénée Royal Orsini Dewerpe Secondary School in Jumet, Belgium and ETSSW teamed up for this exciting event. It was a fantastic exchange experience for everyone involved and marks the beginning of what promises to be a really exciting project. C’ètait super!  

RUNNING CLUB

Amanda’s lunch time Running Club has been very popular with its members who have been training hard since arriving back to school in September. Runners have been training for both long and short distances and are currently working on their pace, technique and overall fitness. While it’s not possible to compete in traditional competitions at this present time, students will be partaking in virtual races in the near future, and the members of the Running Club are also keen to put their training to good use and raise some funds for some worthwhile causes in the run up to Christmas.   

ACTIVE CLUB

Jake’s lunch time Active Club has been a huge hit with students and the Wexford footballer has been busy teaching the students some of the skills he has learned over the years. The focus over the last few weeks has been on the traditional Irish game of handball. The students have learned the rules of the game and are now coaching and refereeing their own games under the watchful eye of their teacher who has yet to be beaten by any student in ETSSW! The Active Club is a great way for students to engage in exercise each day in a safe outdoor environment and new members are always welcome.  

STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

Our Strategic Development Committee continues its work with local and national political representatives to ensure that the DES prioritises the purchase of a permanent site and the completion of a permanent school building for ETSSW. The Strategic Development Committee is very grateful to the political representatives for their generous support and time. Many thanks to Senator Pat Casey, FF; Simon Harris TD, FG; Stephen Donnelly TD, FF; Steven Matthews TD, Green Party; John Brady TD, Sinn Féin; Councillor Paul O’Brien, Labour Party; and Councillor John Snell, Independent. Míle buíochas.   

WICKLOW PEOPLE (WED. 11 NOV. 2020)

                 TIME FOR THE SECOND HALF OF TERM


THE ETSS WICKLOW HALLOWEEN EXPERIENCE 

Students enjoyed a really great Halloween experience at ETSS Wicklow on Friday 23 October. The planning went on for weeks - the question was: 'how can you create a brilliant Halloween party with all the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 Response Plan?' This is exactly where ETSS Wicklow students excel - creativity was needed and a super plan of tricks and treats and interesting competitions and features emerged. 

By the end of the day of the holidays, some were even saying it was the best Halloween party ever! That's pretty amazing! Thanks to everyone who planned this event, set it up on the day and made it such a great afternoon for everyone at the school. 

And very importantly, this report must finish with a special mention for June, our amazing Events Organiser at the school - June motivated and inspired everyone and put a huge amount of work in behind the scenes to make sure the plan was a success - thank you for bringing everyone together for such a special day at ETSS Wicklow!

CONGRATULATIONS EANNA


Congratulations to Eanna on his amazing achievement of being placed third in the National Mathematics Olympiad Competition recently - this is a 32 county competition for all students in Ireland. Eanna proved he is at the top level of Mathematics in his age group in Ireland. 




MATHS WEEK REPORT

We had a really fun and engaging Maths Week in October which was coordinated by our Maths teachers, John Maddock and Alicia Devlin Byrne. Well done to Brian Nolan, Fionn Fallon, Ava Mulhall, Sofia Noonan and Michael Moorehouse who were all winners of our daily Maths puzzles. Our students also took part in the National Maths Olympiad Competition during Maths Week with some very high scoring results - more details below.

ADVENTURE DAYS

Students and staff under the leadership of PE teacher and Adventure Day coordinator, Michelle Muldoon, had two fantastic days in September which were run in conjunction with ‘National Bike Week’ and the ‘European Week of Sport’. We decided to keep things local this year and partnered up with Wicklow Sports Partnership to offer a unique experience to our students who took part in mountain biking, hiking and beach games. Many thanks to Wicklow Sports Partnership, Biking.ie and Sports Room Wicklow for all of their generous support over these two truly memorable days.

YOUNG SCIENTIST

Two first year students, Atilla Diament and Egert Reisma, have been working hard over the last few weeks under the supervision of their Science teacher, Alicia Devlin Byrne, on their Young Scientist project. Their project explores the effect of blue light on students who use iPads and investigates the potential design and development of a case that would have a blue light filter incorporated into it. Well done to the students who spend their Tuesday lunch times with Alicia engaging in research and investigation as part of their Young Scientist Club work.

LUNCHTIME MEDIA CLUB

The ETSSW lunch time Media Cub, led by June, enjoyed working with the Student Council on the design of ads for the various competitions that were held during the Halloween party on the afternoon of Friday 23rd October. The Media Club has also been busy photographing and interviewing students and staff over the past few weeks. These interviews and photographs will be used in an online newsletter that the Media Club are very excited about publishing soon.

LANGUAGE WEEK

The ETSSW Language Week was coordinated by our French and Spanish teacher, Esther Byrne, who grew up in Belgium speaking both French and Spanish at home (and now, as her surname indicates, is very much part of the Wicklow community!). The week was a great success. Students and staff learned to greet each other in different languages including Polish, Hungarian, Latvian and Spanish. Irish, French and Spanish music was played over the speaker system at lunch time, and the week ended with a European languages quiz which was enjoyed by all. C'etait magnifique!

LIVE STREAMING

One of ETSSW’s newest students, Ayah Mohamed, made history on Friday 23rd October when she attended an Irish lesson in ETSSW from the comfort of a library near her home in London!  

Ayah logged on to her live lessons in the morning and her first lesson was taught by her Irish teacher, Jake Firman.  

Speaking about her remote learning experience, Ayah said, I really enjoyed the session on Friday 23rd and I'm really looking forward to live classes at ETSSW in November.’ 

Thanks to all the staff who participated in the livestreaming service during these past two months - a great example of the innovative spirit at ETSS Wicklow. 

HALLOWEEN PARTY

This year’s ETSSW Halloween party was a massive success and probably the spookiest yet! 

It was coordinated by English and Philosophy teacher, June Robbins, who specialises in all things ghoulish and ghostly! Science teacher Alicia played the part of Dr. Frankenstein and used her scientific expertise to perform all kinds of fantastical tricks! 

The overall costume competition winner in first year was won by Georja Coster, and Alicia Corcoran and Garbhán Byrne were joint winners in second year (two years in a row now for Garbhán!). 

The winners of the Halloween Short Story Competition were Zakaria Laasri, Fionn Fallon, Little Rose Shipman, Daniel Monahan and Egert Reisma. Well done to all of our winners and everyone who entered the competition.

STRATEGIC ACCOMMODATION COMMITTEE

Educate Together Secondary School Wicklow’s (ETSSW) Strategic Accommodation Committee has been working with local and national political representatives to ensure that the DES prioritises the purchase of a permanent site and the completion of a permanent school building for ETSS Wicklow.  The Strategic Accommodation Committee is very grateful to the political representatives who linked up with the school in September and October and very much appreciates their generous support and time. So many thanks to Senator Pat Casey, FF; Simon Harris TD, FG; Stephen Donnelly TD, FF; Steven Matthews TD, Green Party; John Brady TD, Sinn Féin; Councillor Paul O’Brien, Labour Party; and Councillor John Snell, Independent. 

Míle buíochas.

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