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Embedding the New Junior Cycle in our School

St Louis Secondary school Dundalk recently held an information evening for parents on the changes involved in assessment and reporting in the new Junior Cycle including the role of Wellbeing. Parents/Guardians of 1st, 2nd and 3rd were invited to attend to receive clarification around the changes and how exactly it will affect their daughters depending on their stage in the ongoing process.

The event was hosted by the school’s parents’ committee who arrange an annual talk for parents based on issues raised at their monthly meetings. The relevance of Junior Cycle reform as an issue for parents was underlined by the large number of families represented and their engagement on the night, asking questions about the vision underpinning the new curriculum and how they can actively support their daughters.

The new Junior Cycle has been up and running since September 2014 when the first cohort of 1St Year started on the new English subject specification. In June 2017 these students sat the new Junior Cycle Final Assessment in English heralding the beginning of the new and end of the old in state examinations for Junior Cycle students. These students will be the first to receive the new Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement later this year which will also report on examples of other learning experiences students have been involved with throughout their three years of Junior Cycle. Since then other subjects have come on board and these include Business and Science for current 2nd Years and Art, Irish, Modern Foreign Languages (to include French, Spanish, German and Italian) for current 1st years. The process continues until 2022 when all subject specifications in the new Junior Cycle will finally replace the old Junior Certificate.  Wellbeing has also been introduced as a compulsory component for Junior Cycle students from this year also. Students also do Classroom Based Assessments in all subjects in Junior Cycle which are school based and which will in time replace traditional end of term assessments, the results of which will also appear on The Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement

 

Ms Gilmore, Acting Deputy Principal and Ms Dolan, Acting Principal outlined the planned changes, the motivation for change and how positive encouragement from parents across the country could make the change more effective. They explained how formative assessment would point out to students exactly what they needed to do to improve rather than just reporting a grade or level without effective feedback. They linked the relevance of this style of learning to the key skills required in the 21st Century and to third level study, demonstrating how new methods of imparting knowledge and skill would be excellent preparation for work and life-long learning.  Inclusive education was also explored and the central role of developing high levels of wellbeing in all students under the knowledge that: ” happy students learn better”

To further the concept of Wellbeing, an area with a lot of emphasis in the new Junior Cycle, Parents were given specific feedback from data gathered by Ms J Spain of the PE Dept. around levels of activity and nutrition among our students. A whole school survey at the start of the year enabled important data to be collected about students’ well-being including what they are eating and how often they are participating in the recommended 60 mins of physical activity every day. Ms Spain outlined the role parents play in promoting activities and supporting students to make healthy food and treat choices. Parents in the audience suggested closer links with local sporting clubs and organisations and agreed that exercising with their daughters would be a great way to promote healthy living and keep the lines of communication open during teenage years.

There was a wonderful sense of community and partnership with all the adults present taking ownership of the work to be done to support and nurture the students on their journey through Junior Cycle and beyond.

With this level of teamwork and support, the girls in St Louis can achieve the highest possible levels of happiness and academic success.

Click on the link below for a copy of the presentation given on the night.

Junior Cycle Parents Presentation St Louis Dundalk

 

 

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TY English Project Work

As part of their English classes in Ty the 4O class did a self led research project on an author of their choosing.

Today we are presenting one of those pieces for you to enjoy.

Here is a presentation by Anne Seredina on Shakespeare.

 

Shakespeare

           Anne Seredina

 

 

Index:

Shakespeare’s Life…………………………………………………………………………………………………

Early Life……………………………………..

Education……………….…………….……..

Family Life……….…………………………..

‘The Lost Years’……………………………..

Early 1590s……………..……………….…..

The Globe Theatre……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Shakespeare’s Death……………………………………………………………………………………………….

Influences on Shakespeare’s Writing…………………………………………………………………….

Shakespeare’s Work……………..…….

Shakespeare’s Influence Today……

Historical Context……….…….….……..

Shakespeare’s Influences……………..

Shakespeare’s Most Famous Work…………………………………………………………………………….

Shakespeare’s Poetry………………………………………………………………….…………………….…….

 

 

 

 

 

Early Life

William Shakespeare is believed to have been born on April 23rd, 1564( and was baptized on April 26h o that year)  in Stratford-upon- Avon, Warwickshire to parents John and Mary Shakespeare . He grew up with brothers Gilbert, Richard, and Richmond and sisters Anne and Joan.

 

Education

Shakespeare went to King Edward VI School and due to the fact that his father was a bailiff he is said to have received free tuition. Other than this information, we do not have any more records of Shakespeare’s education. Many actually believe that Shakespeare didn’t exist (due to the lack of evidence of his school life) .

 

 

Family Life

On November 28th, 1582,  William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in Worcester, Canterbury Province. Anne Hathaway was from a small village called Shottery, just one mile away from Stratford. She grew up on her father’s farm (which is now a major tourist attraction). When her father died, he left her a sum of money under the name ‘Agnes’, leading historians to believe that Anne prefered to be called Agnes.

When Shakespeare and Hathaway got married he was 18 and she was 26. It is believed that Shakespeare was forced into this marriage because Hathaway’s family found out that he was involved with another woman, while at the same time Hathaway was already pregnant with their daughter Susanna ( born in May 1583). Later, in 1585, twins Hamnet and Judith were born. Hamnet later died at the age of 11 of unknown causes.

 

‘The Lost Years’

This is a period of seven years after the birth of the twins in 1585, when no records of Shakespeare’s life were taken. Historians believe that he was working as an assistant schoolmaster in Lancashire.

 

Early 1590s

Shakespeare moved to London in ‘51 to become an actor. During these years, records show that Shakespeare was a managing partner in an acting company in London called Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Following the crowning of King James I in 1603, the company name was changed to the King’s Men.  Records show that the company was highly successful.

 

 

Globe Theatre

This was the theatre that Shakespeare built with the help of the King’s Men company in 1599. The first production that was put on in the Globe Theater was the play ‘Henry V’.  It was made of timber and during a performance of Henry VII a theatrical canon was misfired, setting the timber beams on fire. The theatre was burned down by a fire on June 29th 1613 but a replacement was built on the same site about a year later. A white flag on top of the roof signaled that there would be a play on that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shakespeare’s Death

William Shakespeare is believed to have died on his 52nd birthday ( April 25th, 1616). In the diary of John Ward (the Vicar of the Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare was buried) it says that ‘’Shakespeare, Drayton and Ben Johnson had a merry meeting and it seems drank too hard, for Shakespeare died of a fever there contracted’’.

In Shakespeare’s will, most of his possessions were left to his eldest daughter, Susanne. His wife, Anne,  was entitled to a third of his estate but instead he left her the ‘second-best-bed’. Historians say that this refers to the ‘marital bed’ (the bed that belongs to the master and mistress of the house).

 Shakespeare’s will:

Shakespeare’s Works

Comedies:

  • All’s Well that Ends Well
  • As You Like It
  • Comedy of Errors
  • Measure of Measure
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Taming of the Shrew
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Twelfth Night
  • Merchant of Venice

 

Tragedies:

  • Julius Caesar
  • Hamlet
  • Macbeth
  • Othello
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • King Lear

 

Histories:

  • King Henry V
  • King John
  • Richard II
  • Richard III

Shakespeare’s Influence on Language

Shakespeare had an enormous vocabulary, it is estimated at somewhere between 17,000 and 34,000 words when the average person has around 15,000 words in their vocabulary!

 

Shakespeare had a massive influence on  the English language. Here are some phrases that may be part of your everyday language that Shakespeare invented :

  • I couldn’t sleep a wink.
  • As dead as a doornail.
  • Tower of strength.
  • They hoodwinked us.
  • We’d better lie low for a while.
  • As constant as the Northern Star.
  • It’s all Greek to me.

 

Here are just a few words that he invented:

  • Accommodation
  • Assassination
  • Dexterously
  • Dislocate
  • Obscene
  • Gloomy
  • Hurry
  • Lonely

 

Shakespeare lived in the Elizabethan era (named after Queen Elizabeth who ruled England from 1558- 1603)

 

 

 Queen Elizabeth

During this era, people appreciated poetry and theater was seen as a lower class form of entertainment most of the time.

 

Shakespeare’s Influences

From about 1560- 1603 hundreds of women were burned and executed because they were accused of witchcraft. They believed that witches could make you have visions when they looked at you, they had a lack of fear and were believed to have invited demons to possess their bodies. Shakespeare’s audience were Christian people who were all fascinated by the idea of witchcraft, so Shakespeare played this to his strengths and often included magic and witches in his plays. This was so the audience would be more interested in the plays.

 

An illustration where a ‘witch’ is being burned at the steak:

 


Shakespeare’s Most Famous Work

Romeo and Juliet

Set in Verona, Italy, two families, the Montagues and Capulets,  are in a seemingly endless feud with each other. A feast at the Capulet mansion brings Romeo and Juliet together by chance. This plays follows the romance and tragedy that happens afterwards.

 

Macbeth

Once loyal to king Duncan, Macbeth hears a prophecy that he will become king. Overcome by greed and encouraged by his wife, he kills the King and takes the throne. The play follows Macbeth’s rise to the throne and his actions to stay in power.

 

The Tempest

Prospero ( once Duke of Milan but overthrown by his brother Antonio) has been stranded on an island with his daughter, Miranda, for twelve years. A boat passing by holds Prospero’s brother, Antonio, so Prospero cast a spell and causes a storm to shipwreck Antonio and everyone else on the boat. The play follows Prospero’s plans to regain his title as the Duke of Milan.

 

The Merchant of Venice

Bassanio wants to travel to belmont in order to woo Portia. His friend Antonio, who is a wealthy merchant, asks jewish moneylender Shylock to give Bassanio a loan because all of Bassanio’s wealth is invested in ships that are out at sea. Shylock agrees to give him the loan,  but if Bassanio forfeits the loan he has to give Shylock a pound of his own flesh. The play follows the events after the agreement.

 

Hamlet

Hamlet returns home from college to find that his father has died and that his mother has already remarried… his uncle. A ghost tells Hamlet that his father was murdered by his uncle , Claudius. The play follows Hamlet’s journey to discovering who his father’s murderer is.

 

 

 

Shakespeare’s Poetry

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. Almost all of them are love poems.

A Shakespearean sonnet consists of:

Three quatrains (four-line stanzas) and an ending couplet (two-line stanza). The metre is Iambic Pentameter and the rhyming scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.

Shakespeare’s sonnets from 1- 126 are addressed to a beautiful young man. Sonnets 127- 154 are addressed to a ‘dark lady’. Shakespeare reveals that she is unfaithful and evil, but that he is too invested in her that he cannot leave her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Learning a Language at St Louis

Last year we were lucky enough to have two language assistants in our school for the whole year. Cindy, A french Assistant, and Ana, a Spanish Assistant wanted to share their thoughts about learning a language in St Louis before they left.

Check out the video attached to see what they had to say about learning a modern language in Ireland, and more specifically in St Louis today.

 

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It’s Science Week! Celebrate with St Louis

It’s Science Week and here in St Louis we are doing lots of interesting scientific things to celebrate.
Last week the Big Bear Planetarium visited the school and we got to see information about the Google Lunar X Challenge.
Today there was a Science quiz at lunchtime
On Thursday we hope to launch our own rockets and there may even be a Science Treasure hunt!
Every day there is a Science Question – today’s one was to name the most famous NASA telescope – which is of course – the Hubble Telescope.
Below are some interesting links to whet your scientific appetite!
You Tube
The Science behind the perfect brownie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIonKbKM-tE
The Science behind chocolate chip cookies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCzVqaFMlIw
The Science behind macarons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP7cW1BlC_s
For those of you who prefer to read check out ‘The Martian’ by Andy Weir, which has been made into a film starring Matt Damon.
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St Louis Annual Careers Fair 2017

The closing dates for college applications will be upon our sixth years before they know it so here is some timely information for all.
St Louis is unique in offering such a wonderful opportunity to their students, thanks to the dedicated team in our Guidance Dept.

St Louis Annual Careers Fair is taking place on Monday 13th November from 1.30 – 5.00.
We are delighted to welcome the following education providers:

Dublin Business School
Dublin City University ( DCU)
DIT
BIMM
Griffith College Dublin
Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
NCAD
Trinity College Dublin
UCD
NUI Galway
University of Limerick
St Pat’s Pontifical Maynooth
Maynooth University
St Angela’s Sligo
Waterford IT
University of Ulster
Southern Regional College Newry
O Fiaich PLC
DIFE
Cavan Institute
Monaghan Institute
SOLAS
National Learning Network

An Garda Siochana
Dundalk Youth Centre

The fair is running until five.

Talks from universities will run in a nearby classroom as follows:

UCD @2.o clock.
NUI Galway @2.30
DCU@3.00
and NUI Maynooth @3.30

Brief information sessions from Southern Regional College Newry, Drogheda College of Further Education and O Fiaich College will run from 3.40 at 20 minutes per talk in the same venue.

Parents are welcome to join their daughters on the day.

work experience

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Maths Week 2017

It is Maths Week. You will find a myriad of references to Maths and how it impacts our lives everyday in the media this week.

Here is a selection of useful and interesting websites to keep you informed and interested. In class this week students will be given a Maths question every day and teachers will use puzzles and brainteasers to highlight the fun that Maths can be! Check out the Facebook page each day too and see if you can solve the problems there.

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/embed/p05jvt9b/41614470

https://illuminations.nctm.org/BrainTeasers.aspx?id=4992

http://www.mathsweek.ie/2017/puzzles

http://www.thejournal.ie/maths-week-puzzle-3645548-Oct2017/

 

 

 

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Advice from the Far Side

Abigail

Our posts on Facebook from high scoring past pupils are proving very popular.

Here is Abigail Ibilola’s advice for all those in the Senior Cycle. Abigail has gone to study Law and Business in Maynooth. It’s an epic – but worth reading to the very end – students have foud her words very helpful.

“Entering 6th year without a doubt I felt terrified and anxious in equal measure. However, I was determined to succeed and achieve my set goals.

The vast majority of my study involved pen and paper. I found that using past exam questions as a guide for my study really helped me across the board in all of my subjects. I would read my notes and then I’d try to do a whole question. If I didn’t know the answer, I would leave it blank and move on. I’d look at the marking scheme and then I’d come back to the same question and try it again later. If you focus solely on learning the course, your exam technique will suffer. When it came closer to the exam, I’d sit down and try to do a question under exam conditions: within the time limits and so on. The LC isn’t just about what you know, it’s also about how you approach an exam.

When it came to actual study hours, I studied for about an hour after I did my homework every day of the week and about 5-6 hours on Saturdays and Sundays with small breaks in between. I always took full advantage of my weekends. I would get up early in the morning and do about 2 hours of study before I had my breakfast. I would then take an hour or so to wind down by watching my favourite TV shows on Netflix (Netflix is a requirement, especially if you watch Riverdale).

Studying has never been fun to begin with, and forcing yourself through a study marathon will only make it worse. If you leave yourself a heap of work to do at the end of the year, it will seem too overwhelming. DO NOT let yourself fall into this dangerous place. Take action NOW while you still can. Start by starting, even if it’s with the smallest possible thing. Running away from your work will only make you feel deflated. This is emotionally more draining than having to go through the frustration of studying in the first place. Think of yourself as a plane on a runway: you may start slowly but eventually you will take flight and reach your destination.

While it’s important to make time for leisurely activities, it’s also important that you don’t overdo it. The leaving cert, while it may not feel like it, is only 9 months of your life. You will have plenty of time to yourself when it’s all over so spend your time wisely. I’m not saying don’t go out at all, just remember that you have to make some sacrifices.

Another vital piece of advice: Research your courses. No matter what deadline you have around the corner whether it be orals or projects, you should be aware of every single module you will have to do in the courses that you put on on your CAO. Attend as many open days as possible and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Read as many prospectuses as you can. If you’re in 6th year and you don’t have a box, shelf or drawer chock-full of prospectuses and flyers from universities, there’s something wrong with you. After all, there’s no point in working so hard to get the points if you end up studying a course that you absolutely hate!

Finally, I’d like to close by saying that you need to have a purpose. The fear of failure will not keep you going neither will the desire to keep your parents or whoever happy. You have to want to do well for yourself. My personal motivation was to leave my final exam and truly believe that I had done my best and that I had nothing more to give. That way no matter what happened on results day, I would have no regrets. Your future is in your hands. In order to succeed, you just have to be willing to work hard.”

Thank you to Abigail for taking the time to send us her message. We wish her every success in the future.

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Leaving Cert High Achievers – Eimer Magee

succesful female

As we look forward to meeting a new group of eager young girls tomorrow who are wondering whether St Louis Dundalk is the place for them, we are going to catch up with our Class of 2017. In the next week or so we will post some words of advice from our high achievers. They will share their experiences and offer an insight into how to attain the highest of points at Leaving Cert.
First up is Eimer Magee, daughter of Frank and Jean, who is now studying Science in UCD. This is her story.
“The journey that led to the Leaving Cert was daunting but one I was eager to travel. In Fifth Year I really figured out what worked for me and what didn’t. I tried to stay on top of my homework, class tests and exams. People had spoken about studying before school so I tried that but I swiftly learned that I valued my sleep too highly!
My style is to write notes out repetitively as well as answers for exam questions which I would file away for later use – I looked over these in the run up to exams and it was a relief to already have them answered. I would highly recommend keeping your bedroom and study environment different. When I went into my study I was in the homework and study mindset, and when I went into my bedroom I could relax.
In Sixth Year I really knuckled down as I knew what I wanted to achieve. I got a lift home most evenings and as soon as I got in the door I’d change out of my uniform and go into the study. At first I did homework and then studied but I realised it was more effective to study first and then do homework. I’d tackle the difficult tasks first so I couldn’t put them off.
If your mind gets fuzzy and you stop retaining information go outside and get some fresh air. I rekindled my interest in basketball throughout 6th year and went for more walks than I can count. After this I always felt fresher, ready to work again. I usually stopped around 9 or 9.30.
On Fridays I tried to get my homework out of the way so I could free up time at the weekends for study and down time. My final words; it’s a marathon not a sprint. Learn things as you come across them in class and then you will just have to ‘top up’ study these and refresh them. Cramming is not the answer!student shot

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Girls celebrate Junior Cert Success.

The students in St Louis celebrated their Junior Cert results on Wednesday last with their teachers and classmates.

The girls were very pleased with results, with lots of them attaining the highest marks in Maths, Science and the Arts, as well as in Business.
Fionnghuala Drumgoole was delighted with her results, as was her mother Orla, who teaches in the school. “I am so delighted that she did so well. In every subject her teachers encouraged and mentored her so she was able to give of her best, without feeling under pressure to “perform”.” Fionnghuala was particularly pleased with her As in Science and Maths. “I wasn’t sure about the Maths after Paper 1, but Paper 2 went really well. I got my A in Music too which made me very happy as that is what I hope to pursue when I leave school.”
Caoimhe Bellew who was one of the lucky 1% to get a Distinction in English this year under the New Junior Cycle Specification was thrilled with her result. “I really wanted that one. Ms Dolan pushed us to really analyse our writing and write concisely. It paid off. I can’t believe I am one of the lucky ones to attain the Distinction.”
Catherine Carolan and Eva Carrie were very pleased with their results too. Catherine was very pleased with her A in Business in particular. “I plan to go on to study Business in the future so I am glad that this result makes this a viable option.” Eva Carrie was happy with her A in History especially since numbers getting the A in that subject were down this year. ” I love History and I was worried when I heard that there were fewer As countrywide but thrilled when I opened my results to see that was one of my As.”
Michelle Dolan congratulated all the girls on their success. “As we lose the old Junior Cert subjects and the Junior Cycle takes over, the emphasis will be less on the result and more on the journey. I am delighted for the girls today. Every girl who worked hard should be proud of her results today. We  strive to ensure every girl achieves her potential and more, and their results today bear that out.”
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St Louis girls celebrate their Leaving Cert results

While others were waiting at home anxiously for the 9.00 start to get their results many of the Louis girls had been in and were already gone at that stage. The school traditionally opens at 8.15 to give the girls their results.  “It was an early start but it was worth it – the girls are anxious to get the results as early as possible so we try to accommodate them,”  said Michelle Dolan, Principal. “We are so proud of our students. They worked hard and their diligence has paid off in their excellent results today. We ensure the girls do as well as they can, and often they achieve more than they thought possible. We look forward to seeing how they progress from here.”

The school places a particular emphasis on STEM subjects and the girls did Higher Level Maths, Technology, Chemistry and Physics. Many of the girls scored H1s in these subjects.  A significant number of students also scored well over 500 points and the girls were very happy with their results in general.

The Sixth Year Leaving Cert Applied results were also excellent this year. Of the 12 girls who sat this alternative exam, 7 achieved a Merit with all others getting a Distinction. LCA Co-ordinator Janet Kelly was delighted with the results. “The LCA is an excellent alternative for a small group of girls each year. It is wonderful to see such excellent results. The girls often progress to College via a PLC from this course, and with so many getting the Distinction this year, it will be an option for many of them.”

Although the new system of points in the general Leaving Cert was confusing for the students at first they soon got used to it and were able to work out their points with the help of Guidance Counsellor Dara Mee.  Twins Gillian and Rachel Browne were delighted with their results. They called in very early and then called back later to meet Chloe Twibill, Head Girl, who collected her results with her mother Aileen. “We are delighted with Chloe’s results and cannot thank the school enough for all they did for Chloe. We are so grateful to all the staff – every one of them did an amazing job.”