Transition Times - Coláiste Muire - Christmas 2021

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As we approach the end of a busy first term, I would like to commend all TY students for their efforts and achievements. Your newsletter gives us an insight into your experience of, and engagement with Transition Year in Coláiste Muire. For your continued commitment, positivity, adaptability and volunteerism we thank you! I would like to thank you in particular for turning out in such numbers to act as Tour Guides for our recent Open Day on Saturday 6th November. During a really busy morning, with a variety of routes to navigate under strict schedules, you equipped yourself admirably! Prospective students and their parents couldn’t but be impressed. In Coláiste Muire we strive to offer a TY programme that is challenging, interesting and relevant for our students. On your behalf, I would like to thank the TY teaching time who encourage you, mentor you and give of their free time to accompany you on school outings. Enjoy a well-deserved Christmas break. We look forward to TY 2022! Niamh O’Regan TY Co-ordinator


We are about to approach the end of an extraordinary year. It has been a year like no other in our history. Yet, despite the many challenges that Covid has brought, it has taught us some valuable lessons. We have learned to value in a new way our families, our friends and have had to reevaluate our values. We have come to recognise the enormous value of school and our school community. As Transition Year students, you have been amazing this term. You have engaged fully in all your subjects and organised activities. I have noted your great enthusiasm in all your undertakings.

I wish to thank your Co-ordinator Ms. O’Regan and all your teachers who have developed most creative ways of delivering an excellent programme. You have had great opportunities this term and you have embraced them all fully. I wish you a very Happy Christmas and hope you get time to spend with your families and loved ones over the holidays. I look forward to welcoming you back in 2022. Ms. Jean Pound, Principal

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ReelLIFE Science Winners By Gemma Hannon As part of our physics class we worked as a team to develop an informative and

“Are Aliens Real?” open ended for our audience to answer. In our video we

creative video about a physics topic that interested us. Each student was asked

describe how big the universe really is and the possibility of them existing. Our personal

to work with two or three other students and collaborate ideas. My group

opinion as a group is that there is life out there.

(Aimee McNamara, Laura Hayes and Neila Ryan) developed several ideas, the

ReelLIFE Science Winners Neila Ryan, Gemma Hannon, Aimee McNamara

I have learned a lot from this experience. I learned how to work with others and

hardest part was to pick the developed my teamwork best one. After much debate skills. I learned about the we decided to choose our title importance of creativity. I ‘Are Aliens Real?’ This was a learned how to investigate topic that interested all of us. abstract ideas online. I We started researching our developed my IT skills concept online and we creating visual displays in the decided that a song was the video, using tools such as best way to creatively display iMovie and green screen. our information. We were Video creating and editing extremely lucky to have Neila skills are definitely who is incredibly talented at something I will use in the singing and song writing. She future for other projects. It agreed to sing Vance Joy’s gave me an insight into Riptide and play the piano. physics for senior cycle and We all worked hard at also STEM related careers. changing the lyrics of the Reel Life Science was a song to inform our viewers fantastic opportunity. My about aliens and had so classmates and I are so proud much fun! In the end we of what we achieved. decided to leave the question


Burren Outdoor Education Centre By Susie Hehir

On the 15th of September, our class visited the Burren Outdoor Pursuits centre. We took part in outdoor activities. Firstly we went hill climbing and afterwards went kayaking. The hill climbing was fun because I got to chat with my classmates while walking and to see some scenic views of the sea and landscape. Walking down the hill was tricky because it was slippery and some of the stones were uneven, but overall I really enjoyed the hill climbing. Then we took part in kayaking which was really fun. We each had our own kayak and kayaked all around the sea. We played games on the kayaks such as standing up and walking on the kayaks. Overall I really enjoyed this trip with my class and I would definitely give it five stars!

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STEM Passport for Inclusion By Sinead Fitzgerald We went to the RDI Hub in Killorglin, County Kerry for the STEM Passport for Inclusion Programme. We worked in a team to solve word problems and riddles. We coded a microprocessor, which

ran a sequence of LEDs in specific patterns. We also met a mentor from a scientific field, who told us about her career and life working in STEM.

I learned about computational thinking, which helps in developing efficient solutions to problems. We got to use a new coding platform, which can be used to programme processors. In addition to this, we experienced what a career in STEM might be like. Photos from the STEM Passport for Inclusion Day,

Gaisce By Liz Sanchez I decided to sign up for Gaisce also

develop my leadership and com-

known as the President’s Award.

munication skills as the players

There are three award levels availa- require guidance and demonstrable: bronze, silver and gold. I aim

tion. Volleyball is also a part of my

to receive the bronze award by the

physical recreation challenge area.

end of the school year. In order to

The training improves team work

achieve this award, participants are and mobility skills and allows me required to complete thirteen

to enjoy exercise. Finally, I chose to

weeks of community involvement,

practise knitting to fill the personal

physical recreation and personal

skill section. Making scarves and

skill, with an additional 13 weeks

hats has been fun so far and I really

for one of those areas. An adven-

enjoy being able to make some-

ture journey of two days and one

thing with my own two hands.

night is also a requirement and this Overall, I find that Gaisce has is the activity I look forward to

helped me participate more in my


local community and is great moti-

As part of the community involvement challenge area, I decided to help coach the 2nd year volleyball


team. This has greatly helped me

vation to learn a new craft or improve personal skills. I am certain I will be able to use this experience in the near future.

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TY Enterprise By Maeve Begley As apart of our Transition Year Programme, all the students have the opportunity to take part in the establishment and

development of their own Mini Company. This project runs in conjunction with business classes and give sstudents in teams of 4 or 5 the chance to create a unique product or service to sell to all students and staff, at the Coláiste Muire Christmas Market held in December. Each company is given all the responsibility to successfully plan, manufacture and retail their idea in the hope to make a profit. All the elements of this business are identical to any other enterprise you would see around town. For my mini company, we are producing homemade, eco-friendly candles. We have to purchase the raw materials and mass produce candles to sell to our current customers and hopefully expand our market in

Gaeilge 24 By Áine Moynihan

the coming months We are trying to keep the green attitude in mind.

On Wednesday the 10th of November, TY students participated in Gaeilge24, a day where students are encouraged to speak Irish for 24 hours. In the

There is so much skills to be learned and developed throughout this experience. An example of one of these would be communication and teamwork skills. There has to be a constant sense of connectivity between all members of the group so that the company can function. I’ve developed IT skills through creating Excel documents to record orders, using

morning, we each got a Gaeilge24 t-shirt and ate breakfast together while listening to some students play traditional Irish music. Then we walked to Lee’s Road and participated in activities such as a nature walk, Poc fada and a game of soccer. It was a really fun and challenging experience agus bhí anchraic again. Go raibh míle maith agat do na múinteoirí gaeilge as ucht an lá iontach a eagrú!

Publisher for designing posters, making banners and business cards, and using Word for documenting the company’s journey. I’ve learned about how in a real life workplace everyone has their personal strengths and weaknesses, and you discover how to apply this to your business to maximise

Clare Sports Partnership Athletics Coaching By Sarah Gorman

productivity and enjoyment for all. All these skills will benefit me in the future for any career path you decide upon. Not only is this an educational experience but it is very enjoyable.

It is an opportunity like no other which puts you outside your comfort zone, but if done right is extremely rewarding.

For our PE lesson Lizzy from Clare Sports Partnership came to teach us about athletics. She explained the different areas of athletics; running, jumping and throwing. She set up 4 different stations and demonstrated what to do at each station. They were the vertical jump, the long jump, the weighted ball throw, and the lateral jump.


We then taught this athletics programme to all 1st year classes. We went to different PE classes and set up the stations. We showed the classes how to us the equipment and how to calculate their scores. This experience will help me in the future because I learned how to get more power when I jump for volleyball and I have improved my skills of teaching and giving instructions.

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Law Education for Schools By Caitríona Warner

From the 18th to the 21st of October, TY students took part in a two day Law Programme given by barrister James Fahy. The programme took place in the Dánlann. James took us through family law on the first day and taught us about the different types of courts and cases. On the second day, James Fahy

TY4 Shoebox Appeal By Clodagh Geraghty

taught us about criminal law. He allowed us to take part in a mock negotiation and a mock trial. In the mock trial everyone was given a role to play in the mock court room.

Every winter the school gets involved in the Christmas Shoebox

The law programme allowed me to develop and learn new

Appeal helping Team Hope to send gift-filled shoeboxes to poverty

skills. During the law programme I developed my

-stricken children in Eastern Europe and Africa. The idea of helping

communication and teamwork skills as we were put in teams

children who have never seen Christmases as fortunate as we have is what motivated my TY4 class to try our best when Ms. Hooke

for the mock negotiations. I also developed my listening skills during the course of the law programme, during the mock trial

posed the opportunity to help out to us. Students from all year

I was part of the jury which meant I had to listen to what

groups and teachers kindly dropped in filled boxes and donated

everyone had to say in the trial and make the verdict based on

money. We used the donations on many a venture up the town in search of gifts. We gift-wrapped, filled, and organised boxes in St. Mary’s Hall, with each box being packed according to four categories: something to wear, something to wash with, something to write with, and something to go “wow” at. This system helped us

everything that happened during the trial. The skills that I developed at the law programme will help me in the future in school, group projects, and later in life when working with other people.

to send off a total of over 400 shoeboxes. Generosity is the glue that bonds us to others and my class grew closer as we cooperated and worked together productively as part

CanSat By Sinead Fitzgerald

of a team during this memorable experience. It was a pleasure to work with my classmates and we learned many new skills as we improvised around sticky situations, communicated efficiently with

each other, and made crucial decisions by ourselves. Volunteer work is important because it enables us to help others in a selfless way

CanSat is a European Space Agency competition run by ESERO

Ireland. We are designing a satellite in a can, which we will drop from a height. It will use a parachute to collect data

and makes a difference in the lives of those who really need it. As I

about the atmosphere as it falls. To do this, we have

reflect on my past Christmases, I feel lucky that I was never in a

programmed a processor and created circuits, and will be

situation where I longed for a shoebox, the right to a decent life, or

designing and 3D printing a can and parachute.

an education. As we packed toothbrushes and pencils into each box, I was reminded that mundane everyday items for us are

In doing this, we have learned about programming and how to use a circuit to achieve a task like reading temperature or air

pleasures for someone else.

pressure. I’ve gotten to work in a team to learn something new


and use technology I had never used before.

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Global Citizenship: Ask Before you Buy

Future Leaders By Aimee Barrett Future Leaders is a TY programme that aims to improve leadership skills while learning more about the GAA. We complete different activities – individually and in groups – that develop our knowledge of the GAA as an organisation and improves personal skills such as teamwork and communication. For example, we recently completed our “Performance Analysis” module in Maths class. We got opportunities to go to school matches to take statistics (for example shots taken, kick-outs won, etc) for a project, and this was also beneficial to the sports coaches. We interact with the “Learning GAA” website daily and we have to make an e-portfolio which we update regularly with the activities we do. Later on in the year we will be organising games/ competitions and fun activities with some or all of the year groups in the school. We complete a variety of modules in different classes (for instance “Nutrition” in Home Economics class) which are fun and practical while being educational. We have already done a training session with the exchange students in Coláiste Muire. This required us to use many skills that we had learned about in our Future Leaders class, and it was really enjoyable to be able to teach the students how to play camogie and football. This allowed us to put into action what we had learned in the “Coaching” module of Future leaders. I have already developed numerous skills from this programme. For example, I have a greater knowledge of how to coach kids/students efficiently, I got a glimpse into what it’s like to be a sports journalist through the “Sports Journalism” module, I have developed leadership skills, I have improved my team-working skills and many more. You also don’t need to be a GAA player to be in this class. I know this programme will help me in the future because the personal skills I am developing here are important going forward in my life, for example in my everyday life, in college and more.

By Grace Meaney Lisa Della Chiesa from NCAD spoke to all TY classes to create awareness about fast fashion and it’s consequences. We learned that where you buy your clothes has a bigger impact on the planet than we think. Big online retail shops like “Boohoo” and “Pretty Little Thing” often underpay their workers, use child labour, and use very cheap material that often ends up in land fill. “According to Re dress, 225,000 tonnes of textiles are dumped in Ireland each year.”

I learned that to support sustainable and ethical shopping we should reduce the amount of fast fashion we consume. We then learned alternative ways to shop while being sustainable and ethical for example, up-cycling, donating, charity shopping or using second hand clothing from family or friends. Ultimately using sustainable fashion has no negatives. Learning about this cause and shopping in a more sustainable way will allow us to help people and the planet.

YSI Fast Fashion By Ellen Mannion Every year each TY class participates

environmental impact. Fast fashion

in Young Social Innovators. YSI is a non-profit organisation that empowers young people to use their

has huge ethical and environmental drawbacks and contributes to 20% of water pollution globally. To combat

creativity, talents, innovation, skills and passion to come up with innovative solutions to social

this problem, Ty5 will be collecting clothing donations (in order to promote shopping second-hand),

problems. This year TY5 have chosen Fast Fashion as the problem they would

presenting PowerPoints about fast fashion to classes (to spread information about the issue),

like to get involved with. Fast Fashion conducting a sewing workshop during can be defined as clothing designs that lunchtimes (in an effort to encourage move quickly from the runway to upcycling) and holding a sustainable


stores such as ZARA and H&M, to meet new trends. Fast Fashion operates with focus on low costs and

fashion show. TY5 would hugely appreciate any clothing donations which can be dropped up to room

speed with little to no regard for their 304.

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Music Production

TY Surfing Trip By Cliodhna Quelly

At the start of the year, we went surfing in Lahinch. I have never surfed before, so I was nervous at first. I had such a fun day! The water was cold but we got used to it after a while. We went to Ben’s Surf Clinic, where we worked with an instructor in small groups. We learned the proper technique to stand on the board, as well as important water safety information and signals. I feel like surfing is an activity that I would definitely like to try again I’ve learned how important it is to push your boundaries and try new things. I can’t wait to sign up for


We completed many different activities to widen our knowledge of music and understand what goes into the production of these songs to make the final outcome. Firstly we played songs that we liked and listened more intently for what was happening in the background, e.g if synthesisers were used and played an alien sound etc. We then used the app “BandLab” and tried to make our own beat by recording us saying dog, chicken and cat but we cut out the endings so it sounded like a drum, then making a rhythm using the drum sounds wherever we wanted. We ended in making our own catchy intro like the Netflix sound in groups and tested out some of the resources in Bandlab to make cool sounds. I learned many skills from doing this music production day like being able to focus on the background of songs and understand what is happening there, learning more music vocabulary like to amplify (to increase volume) and acapella (singing without musical accompaniment ). I also learned how to use the app Bandlab to create my own songs or beats as you can choose some sounds that you like and then press the buttons like the “bass” or “fx” whenever you want. This is very beneficial to learn as I have an interest in music so it could help me in the future if I ever wanted to produce it as I now know the basics when making rhythms and beats. It could also help if wanting to choose music for the leaving cert as you might learn 7 more about it or have a new interest in it.

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F1 in Schools: Gasta Racing By Ailbhe Wright The F1 in schools competition is

sponsorship, financing and mercha

a STEM competition held across


Ireland and internationally. As part of this competition, we are

Our Team: Caoimhe O’Dwyer: CEO and Team

required to design, construct and

Manager/ Design Engineer

machine a scaled model Formula 1 Ailbhe Wright: Sponsorship and car to be raced at the regional,

Marketing Manager

and maybe even, at national and

Emily Feehan: Aerodynamics

international finals. We will be and CFD racing in the regional competition Áine Jones: Design Engineer (Munster). We need to create a

Olivia Cosgrove: Merchandising

brand and focus

and Design

on different aspects such as CAD

Maeve Begley: Graphic Designer

and aerodynamics for our car but also advertising,

Instagram: @gastaracing

European Day of Languages By Ailbhe Wright

On Friday the 24th of September, the TY students enjoyed a typical French or German breakfast. The year group met in the marquee first class and were given croissants, pain au chocolats, baguettes with different cheeses, muffins, an option of tea, coffee or orange juice and much more. This was a great opportunity for the TY students to use their French/ German knowledge and converse/speak the language with their friends! A big thank you to the European language teachers for making the day a huge success! 8

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Open Day Tour Guides By Clodagh Geraghty Most of our TY year group volunteered to give tours to the incoming first years and their parents on Saturday November 6th. We were sorted into 11 groups of 6 people. When the sixth classers and their parents entered, they were greeted by us in the GP area. We gave each of them a goodie bag and escorted them to the Dánlann for a talk from Ms. Pound. 4 members from each group went on a tour and we walked them all around our school. We showed them all of the great aspects of Coláiste Muire that are available and the tour ended at the marquee where tea and biscuits were served.

We gained many new skills through being tour guides, such as how to work efficiently under pressure. We manoeuvred our group around the school to each of the designated classrooms within a certain time. We also gained insight into what it is like to be responsible for a large group of people and how to work together alongside others to ensure that the day went smoothly and successfully. I remember attending my open day as an incoming first year, and I hope that all of the students and parents who came enjoyed the day as much as I once did.

Concern Debating By Jessica Brophy The concern debates are a national competition including secondary schools from across the country. It is a very interesting competition because we get to debate about certain political, social, economic and environmental issues

in our society. It is a points based competition, so even if your team loses a debate, you may still get points. We get the opportunity to thoroughly research different topics and then write our debates . In a debate there is the proposing team

Brigit’s Garden

and the opposition. There is also something called rebuttals.

By Grace Meaney

own evidence to prove them incorrect. To put it plainly, it is

This is where we rebut the other teams points by using our “no you’re wrong and this is why”. We had two topics to

Our Geography class went to Brigit’s Garden, Co. Galway to complete their Global Goals challenge as part of our study of Global Citizenship Education. We worked in teams and imagined what it would be like to be a refugee family on a migration from our previous residence to the city in search of jobs. Throughout this journey, we completed many challenges refugees would face for example, boarder crossings, finding resources and travelling under harsh circumstances. Throughout this walk we were asked questions related to the Global Goals which helped us to further understand how we can sustainably develop our world and challenge inequality. On this journey, I acquired a greater understating of the many difficulties a refugee would face on their long journey in hope of safety and security. I 9 many interesting skills such as how to make a also learned shower out of a water bottle and some sticks or how to operate a wind powered water pump.

debate and there were two teams. The first debate was “school strikes are an effective way of getting governments to act on climate change”. Coláiste Muire was the proposer. The debate ended up going to the opposition, but our team still

got a point. Our second debate was “the challenges to ending world hunger are insurmountable “. We were the proposition and ended up winning the debate, and with that we earned our team 3 points. I really enjoyed being a part of debate because we got to use our thoughts and communication skills to debate about

9 topics that are important and prevalent in our society today.

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New Subject in TY

TY Volleyball Coaching

By Ruth Browne

By Orlaith Ní Choileain

Choosing my subjects for leaving cert seemed like a very daunting task last year, however having finished my first block or new subjects in Ty I feel like I already have a better TY of the subjects I am going to choose. My first block of subjects were Technology, Music and Physics and I thoroughly enjoyed trying each one of them, I have now moved onto Art, Philosophy and Biology and I really like them. As well as these blocks of new subjects I’m studying applied maths, Chinese and Japanese which are all new to me and I never would have considered them as an option for Leaving cert but TY has really opened my eyes to all these subjects. I can’t wait to try out new subjects next term. As well as learning information from the various new subjects that TY has introduced me to, I have developed my communication skills and my teamwork skills because a lot of these subjects require group work and discussion with other people on my class. In the future I think I will be happier in my subject choices because I will have experienced them in TY. 10

I have loved returning to volleyball this year and coaching 1st/2nd years. This September, we went back to volleyball training for the first time since the start of lockdown in March 2020. We were all so excited to start playing again. We also started coaching the second years after school on Fridays. Most of the second years had never got a chance to try out volleyball before so we had to teach them from scratch. We did a volleyball coaching course and learned the best way to show them new skills. We’ve all learnt so much from volleyball over the past few years and in TY. It’s taught me responsibility and teamwork skills. Coaching volleyball has taught me so much about leadership skills and has helped build my confidence. Coaching volleyball has taught me lots of lessons that will be useful to me in the future.

Clare TY Camogie By Orna Moynihan

For the first time, a County Clare TY camogie team has been established. Coláiste Muire has twelve players involved. We have had two training sessions at St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla with players from St. Flanann’s, Scariff, Tulla and Killaloe. On December 11th, we travelled to Mallow to partake in a skill workshop and an inter-county blitz. We played three matches. Being part of this team is giving me the opportunity to meet new people, while improving my teamwork and camogie skills.

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Soroptimist Public Speaking By Mya O’Malley

Transition Year Drama Festival - Briery Gap By Isabel Gurure

Each year, TY students have the option of competing in the National Transition Year Drama Festival in association with The Briery Gap. Participation in the drama festival encourages students to develop an appreciation for the arts, while discovering their own individual creative gifts and strengths. We have the opportunity to be adventurous in all aspects of drama and stage performance. Rehearsals are under way for our entry “10 Ways to Survive the End of the World” by Don Zolidis. The preliminary rounds of the competition take place in the Palace Theatre in Fermoy in late January. 11

In the soroptimist public speaking competition competitors had to deliver a speech between four and six minutes on a variety of topics. Some of the topics included Prosperity and Health, People and Human Rights, Peace and Democracy, Planet and the Environment. The topic I chose was Partnership and Empowerment of women. There was a variety of different speeches given and it was so interesting to hear different peoples view points on all these important topics in the world. Two people go through to the regionals which is the next stage of the competition. At this next stage you deliver your speech again and also deliver an impromptu speech for two minutes. I had never competed in a competition like this before but I am happy I did. I am now way more confident talking in front of people. Before this competition I was so nervous if ever giving a presentation in school. Now I am confident in myself and don’t get stressed about it. Overall, the competition was really enjoyable, you meet lots of girls from different schools and there was a lovely atmosphere. Everyone was so supportive. I could not believe that I had won!

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Arracht - Cinema Visit “as Gaeilge”

Drumkit Workshop

By Brigid Duffy

By Brigid Duffy

All TY students went to the Ennis cinema to watch an Irish film called “Arracht”. The movie showed the life of a poor Irish fisherman, Coleman and how the famine effected him and his family. There was a lot of drama but it was very enjoyable. I enjoyed being able to go to the cinema with my friends because I haven’t been to the cinema since before the pandemic. I learned how the famine effected ordinary Irish people. I learned how easy it is to understand Irish vocabulary when there is subtitles there to help! I feel a lot more confident and able to start watching movies and tv shows that are in Irish. I plan on using subtitles in the future to help improve my level of Irish. I was proud of myself that I was able to understand what was going on in the movie!

We participated in a workshop to teach us the basics of learning to play the drums. We learned the different name of the drums like tom-tom, hit frat, bass and snare, as well as the different types of drum sequences. We got to play the drums too! I most enjoyed trying to play the drumming sequences on the actual drum kit. It was really enjoyable to use a proper drum because I had never tried this before! I learned that drummers need to have really good concentrating skills, because both hands are often doing very different things. Participating in this workshop has helped me improve my concentration, and try and keep my attention on two things at once!



Coláiste Clouds

We are selling various types of decorative jars. We will have raffles and games on the day of the Christmas Market!

We are selling LED Cloud Lights. They are available in rainbow or red/green/blue colours. We will be selling them at the Christmas Market for only €8 each! Jiggly Jewellery


We sell necklaces for €3.50 , bracelets and anklets for €2.50 , earrings for €3.00 and a set that is €8 that includes a pair of earrings, necklace and a bracelet or anklet!

Thank you to the editing team of Clodagh Geraghty, Cliodhna Queally, Aimee Barrett and Grace Meaney.