Covid Challenges Became Opportunities for Presentation Castleisland TY

Waiting for the tide and 2021 in Banna: Included are: Daria Oliwniak, Abigail Martin, Marie Westphal, Ella Walshe and Kelly Anne Nix.
A big day out in Killarney: Included are from left:  Marie Westphal, Julia Collados, Katelyn Curtin, Caoimhe Dairo, Miriam Gocke, Muireann McBride, Eva Baxauli, Megan Brennan, Aisling Shire, Fiona Brosnan, Hanna Herlihy, Kelly Nix, Jessica Herbert, Rebecca Daly, Ella Walshe, Katie Cotter, Emma Buckley, Danielle Moriarty, Tara Enright, Chantelle Broderick, Mia Key, Cara Fleming.
Cara Fleming paddling her own canoe during the Transition Year trip to Cappanalea. 

Transition Year is recognised as an opportunity for second-level students to experience new subject areas, develop new skill sets and participate in exciting educational activities and excursions.

By: Karen O’Connor, Transition Year Co-ordinator

It is a year for students to mature and develop socially, holistically, and personally.

Achieving these goals in the current climate of COVID 19 presented a significant challenge to schools.  However, from adversity comes fantastic opportunity.

Music, Art And Physical Activity

Transition Year students in Presentation Castleisland have excelled in music, art and physical activity in the short four months from September to December 2020. The 27 strong group completed this year’s virtual VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in October, successfully fundraising €400 in the process.

Juliette O’Connell from Breast Cancer Awareness Ireland visited the school on December 8th to provide input on the topic and receive the cheque for this most deserving charity.

Drastic About Plastic

Online workshops formed an important aspect of the Presentation Castleisland Transition Year course this term with ECO-UNESCO’s ‘Drastic About Plastic’, Listowel Writer’s Week event and University of Limerick’s ‘Physics Sophia Project’ most recent additions.

Through their European Studies class, TY students chose to host their own virtual Presentation Castleisland Eurovision Competition.

Visitors’ Immense Contribution

Visiting students from Germany, Norway and Spain have contributed immensely to the Transition Year experience thus far and provided the group with wonderful insight into the musical culture and history of their respective countries.

Six iconic acts took to the virtual stage on Friday December 11th: ABBA; Bucks Fizz; Riverdance; Jedward; Nicole and Amaia and Alfred.

Favourite Acts Voted On

The performances were broadcast to class groups through Zoom, after which classes voted for their favourite act or performance.

An excellent solution to overcome the challenge of audience participation. Drama and debating also featured this term with renowned presenter and author Anthony Garvey guiding Transition Years through the process of speech writing and public speaking.

A workshop in the area of circus and juggling skills provided an opportunity for students to develop their fine and gross motor skills in a fun and dynamic way.

Special Effects Make-Up

Excursions to Cappanalea Adventure Centre, Glanageenty Woods, Torc Mountain and surf school in Banna enabled students to experience sports activities in a safe and controlled outdoor atmosphere. An excellent and engaging workshop with professional make-up artist Andrea Murphy taught TY students the skills necessary to create special effects make-up.

Wounds, burns and other special effects were skillfully created by this talented cohort.

Bodhrán Making Workshop

This workshop and the skills learned will be utilised in future drama performances in the school. Musician Michael Vignoles visited and implemented a full day bodhrán making workshop.

Students learned the skills necessary to create a bodhrán from scratch, the design process involved in decorating their individual bodhrán and progressed to learn how to play the instrument.

An excellent lesson in the value of perseverance, hard work and creative ability.

AWARE – Resilience Programme

AWARE implemented a four-week positive mental health and resilience programme with the class group throughout the month of November.

Students achieved a qualification in hospitality through participation in a detailed food and beverage course with facilitator Fiona Dunne.

This certification will enable students to work in the hospitality sector in the future in a safe, informed, and confident manner.

Importance of Food Labelling

Students learned the importance of food labelling, food safety, allergies and other skills which included the correct setting of a dinner table and use of docket systems.

We look forward to an exciting Transition Year ahead in 2021, with forensic science workshops, debating competitions, First Aid and driver education school all set to feature.

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