Eighth Annual Armagh Diocesan Faith Award Ceremony

We are delighted to congratulate two of our fifth year students Hannah Mullen and Jessica Woodlock for taking part in the John Paul II awards for this year. Both girls were presented with their awards at a ceremony held in St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Monday 12th March. This event, celebrated by Archbishop Eamon Martin, took place to rejoice in the gifts and talents of over 250 young people, who were there to receive awards for volunteering in their respective parishes, communities and schools. Young people from all over the Archdiocese received awards, namely the Muiredach Cross Award and the Pope John Paul II Award.

The girls were the only representatives from Dundalk schools to achieve these awards.

The Muiredach Cross Award and the Pope John Paul II Award are prestigious awards focusing on the area of faith development. To receive one is undoubtedly a thing of great achievement for those who were being celebrated on this occasion. There was a great sense of enthusiasm in the Cathedral. Guest speaker at the event was Ms. Katie Ascough, the impeached UCD Student President and pro-life activist. She spoke passionately on the challenges faced by young people in today’s society, as well as standing up for one’s faith in this day and age.

First Years take part in PEXPO

Highly Commended at PEXpo 2018

Five first Year students from St. Louis secondary school, Dundalk attended the PExpo at DCU last week. Sarah Lawrence, Erin Hogan Curtis, Ellie Sullivan, Clara Casey and Nicole Ellis presented their project to judges, teachers and students alike. The girls were highly commended by all who spoke with them and their work was greatly admired.

Their project, in the Wellbeing Category, gave detailed analysis of the work they have been part of since beginning First Year last September. Their project focused on addressing the following question; ‘Do we know how healthy and fit we are and what can we do to improve this?’

To answer this question, all students in first year answered an extensive survey and took part in fitness testing. Results indicated that while the majority of students thought they were fit and healthy, this actually was not the case. A large percentage of the year group took less than the government recommendation of 60 minutes daily physical activity and were of a ‘below average to poor’ level of fitness. Nutritional investigation found similar findings with the majority of first year consuming less than the recommended five-seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but conversely consuming too many high sugar foods, averaging three treats a day such as chocolate bars, crisps and fizzy drinks.

As a result of findings, all first year students undertook a six week programme where students learnt about eating healthily and the benefits of regular exercise. Work was issued for home and involved parents and siblings taking part in daily physical tasks and nutrition challenges. Each week of the six week programme, a different aspect became the focus. Examples included swapping unhealthy treats for healthier alternatives and performing exercises to adverts while watching TV.  The intervention raised awareness and helped with ideas to improve nutrition and encourage regular physical activity among families of first year students connected with the school. Students, parents, siblings and even grandparents were all found to have benefitted from the work with only positive feedback reported.

Other interventions as part of the project saw students counting their steps daily using pedometers and tracking their fitness through two further fitness tests. With greater understanding came greater knowledge and a greater level of awareness on how motivation can affect lifestyle choices. Students became so engaged with the project they participated in a further challenge at school to reduce the number of unhealthy treats they consumed in one week. First year students were encouraged to stop bringing unhealthy food into school and to reduce their consumption of unhealthy treats to a maximum of three in a seven day period. These treats, however, could not be fizzy drinks or chocolate. This challenge was so popular it was extended to the rest of the school and is running in school until the Easter holidays.

In order for the group of five students to establish if their efforts had been successful, all students in first year undertook further fitness testing and answered more questions from several surveys. Results were conclusive with five out of six (83%) first year students more active and consequently fitter. Approximately the same number were also eating healthier with parents noticing improved energy and concentration levels among their daughters.

One of the last interventions the girls introduced as part of the project was to design their own book of positivity. The girls collected words of wisdom and encouraging statements from all girls across first year, compiling them into a small and simple booklet. This booklet was distributed to all first years to keep in their pocket and for them to read when they were feeling sad of having a bad day.

‘Mental Wellbeing is an important issue. Falling out with friends or recovering from an argument can leave a person feeling upset for a while. This scenario is something all teenage girls can relate to and it is hoped by reading a quote from the ‘little book of positivity’, it will help girls in first year to get over their problems quicker and to turn their frown upside down.’ Explained PE Teacher Jenny Spain who oversaw the project from start to finish, she went on to say ‘These mini books of positivity were very popular at the PExpo, and many students and teachers from other schools asked if they could have one for themselves. The five girls created quite a buzz about the room with their ideas and energy and thoroughly deserved the high accolade of comments and positive affirmation received on the day.’

This was the first time St Louis have entered the competition and it was a new experience for everyone involved. The event itself was wonderful and it was inspiring to see the range of ideas and investigations from so many different schools and students. ‘PE has never really got the recognition it deserves as a subject, many parents who had bad experiences from their own lessons, harbour reservations and have passed on negative experiences to their children. Sedentary lifestyles, so many of the Irish population are now leading, thanks to the technological age, over-protection and a convenience led society, has brought about the huge rise in overweight or obese adults and children. Size is not the issue, but the huge medical implications that accompany obesity such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, high blood glucose, respiratory diseases and cancer cannot be ignored. Do we really want children in Ireland to pass through education, ready to start their life as an adult, only to spend the majority of their adult years relying on medicines and daily injections and suffering from life changing medical conditions? Evidence from the World Health Organisation estimates by 2025 Ireland will be the least healthy country in Europe and the most obese nation. Children, for the first time ever, are expected to die younger than the previous generation. Ireland has many things to be proud of, but can Ireland really be proud about this?

As the five students who presented this project show, it doesn’t have to be this way. This project is based on very simple, achievable concepts and evidence from first years and their families have shown through making small lifestyle changes improvements in fitness and health will follow. The concept of the PExpo, now in its fourth year, is fantastic and is helping to highlight so many important and interesting issues associated with Physical Education. The future is looking good for PE with the introduction of Leaving Certificate and Senior Cycle PE into the curriculum. St Louis was chosen as a pilot school and Kate O’Byrne, also a PE teacher at the school is ready to begin inspiring students with this option from September. ‘It’s a very exciting time and parents at the recent second year parent teacher meeting were already expressing an interest in the subject, two years in advance. We have always taken Sport and Health Education seriously as there are only benefits to gain and we were delighted St Louis was selected as one of the 80 schools from 369 who applied to pilot the leaving Certificate. Two years ago we were awarded the first Active Flag for any Secondary School in Louth and our ongoing commitment as a PE department but also the many teachers who give up their time voluntarily for sport teams on a weekly basis is testament to the importance we place on the health of our students.’

The Itinerary for Vienna is here! Travel Insurance details included also.

If your daughter is travelling to Vienna on March 24th you will find details of the trip below. Please print off for your records.

Final Itinerary Vienna – for parents


Insurance Important Information for Parents (School) (1718) (1)

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Subject Choices for Fifth Year 2018-2019

Following on from our very successful talk for parents last night on subject choices for next year’s Fifth Years we are delighted to have the presentation here for you to look at more closely at your leisure.


Subject Choice Powerpoint March 2018


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Poetic Voice 2018

After a highly successful competition last year our Poetic Voice competition returns for a second year. The competition will be held on February 20th next, time to be confirmed, and all are welcome. Last year our winner Laura Maguire spoke eloquently and hauntingly, in both the set piece, ‘After the Titanic’ by Derek Mahon and her own chosen piece, ‘James Connolly’ by Liam Mc Gowan. If you check out our Youtube page you will find her there.



We wish all this year’s contestants the very best of luck and we hope to see some parents there.





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School recognised in National League Tables as we welcome our new First Years

The St. Louis community is delighted with the recent recognition of our combined efforts in the most recent edition of The Sunday Independent League Tables.
The figures demonstrate that 100% of the class of 2017 progressed to Third Level and are blazing trails in their chosen specialisms.

St Louis has always provided a climate for growth of the individual in every sense, and the ethos is embedded in staff’s richly supportive relationships with their students.
We prize student wellbeing and nurture the highest aspirations for each and every individual. Louis girls are self directed, dynamic and well researched on possible career pathways. Our thriving annual Careers Fair has forged links with a wide range of universities offering opportunities for application to both CAO and UCAS and more recently EUNICAS.

Maynooth, DCU and our faithful DkIT proved popular with students. Courses were as diverse as the students themselves with a majority progressing to honours degree courses. We celebrate your dedication and wish you every continued success.

So we welcome your daughters to our Assessment test on Saturday morning and rest assured that your daughter will be nurtured and supported to become a Louis girl, encouraged in the qualities of respect, truth, responsibility, happiness and excellence in a caring and inclusive atmosphere.




Timetables for the mock exams January 29-February 9 2018.

Attached please find the timetables for the mock exams. We wish our students every success in their preparation.

Leaving Certificate Applied Pre Exams (3)

Pre Junior Cert

Pre Leaving Cert

General Information from Bus Eireann for Red Alert Weather Conditions.

The school received the following clarification from Bus Eireann recently. If there is a red alert announced in the local area then Bus Eireann services will not run in that case. Please be aware that this is not an issue at present, but just a message given that the weather may be inclement at this time of year. The school will always issue its own text if the school is closed, but the bus company decides whether or not the bus will run.

Red means STOP

(in affected areas)

Services provided under the School Transport Schemes


(Bus Éireann school buses and Contractors services)

As a precaution against severe weather and in the interest of child safety, Bus Éireann introduced a policy applicable to all school transport services that it provides under the Department of Education and Skills School Transport Schemes – for ALL Met Éireann Status Red weather events.

This means that when a Red alert is issued by Met Éireann for the area in which you live – or an area to which your child/ren are travelling to on a school bus – the services will not operate.

This policy is available on the School Transport section of the Bus Éireann website at www.buseireann.ie.  A Status Red weather warning automatically means all school transport services provided by Bus Éireann under the School Transport Schemes are cancelled – in the affected areas – while the warning is in effect.

Weather warnings are carried on all national and local news bulletins.

          Red means STOP

(in affected areas)

While Bus Éireann may not be providing school transport services because of this new policy, it understands that when any severe weather is forecast it remains for each individual school to decide whether that school should close or not.

Guidance on school closure – provided by the Department of Education and Skills and contained in the Government’s Winter Ready publication – includes specific guidance where there is a Status Red alert relating to strong wind and storm conditions. The Department of Education and Skills guidance to schools in the event of severe weather is available on www.education.ie

Thank you for taking the time to read this information.

Yours sincerely,

Bus Éireann

What you need to know about the English CBA and Assessment Task.

As you are aware your daughters are preparing for their Assessment Task at present. They will also hand in their portfolio pieces for the upcoming CBA (Clasroom Based Assessment) on Friday of this week.

The two tasks are there essentially to allow your daughters to show off their best writing skills, and also to allow them to reflect on the actual art of writing.

Below are a couple of video of video clips which they can watch to help them prepare for the Assessment Task at home.




The students will present their pieces for Classroom Based Assessment to their English teacher on Friday next, December 15th. These will be corrected by their teachers using the Features of Quality set out by the JCT. There will be a meeting in early January of all the Third Year English teachers at which they will discuss and agree on marks awarded to the students.

On Monday next Dec 18th the girls will watch or listen to a stimulus piece which is about the art of writing.

On Tuesday the girls will compelete their Assessment Task in English class. They will sit for forty minutes and reflect on their own experiences of the process of writing. They will bring with them the two chosen pieces of work that will be corrected from the portfolio. These will then be given back to their teacher and will be corrected before early January. Those portfolio pieces do not go to the Dept at any point. They are merely there to help the girls to write fluently about their writing experiences.

The Assessment Task Booklets will be stored in the school until June when they will be included with the girls’ written exam paper in English. They will form part of their final Junior Cycle result from the SEC.

Talk to your daughters about their portfolio pieces. Discuss the process of writing. Talk about what books they have read that have helped to shape their own writing style.


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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