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December 2013, No 39

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The review of an ex-sceptic! I was first introduced to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream during Third Year in order to prepare for this year’s production. At that point in time I thought nothing of it. But after my Transition Year English teacher, showed me the Kevin Kline film version, I began to appreciate it for what it was. To quote the response I had to write: “I hate this play. I would rather watch Benedick and Beatrice of Much Ado About Nothing than sit through this piece of fairy excrement.” So, it was with reluctance (and wanting to avoid the wrath of Ms Devis) that I went on Friday to watch the play. How wrong I was! Not only is our production of The Dream the best production of the play I’ve seen (by a long shot) but I deem it to be the best Shakespeare production ever! Better than when I saw Othello in the cinema a few months back. Everything from the acting, to the costumes and set design was fantastic. The acting was superb. Lysander (Niall Sherlock) and Demetrius (Louis Furney) were

hilarious in their exploits to win the hand of Helena (Anna McCarthy). One of the more humorous moments in the play was when Lysander tried to get to Helena, who was fighting off Demetrius. Helena ducked out of the way at the last second, resulting in the two men almost kissing. Also, the cat fight between Helena and Hermia (Molly McAllister) was a sight to behold. John Cummins played a commanding and somewhat sadistic Oberon, Natalie Pullen was a fiery Titania and Chloe Smith was delightfully energetic as Oberon’s servant Puck. But by far the highlight of the evening were the mechanicals, led by Mark Ball as Nick Bottom. I saw the performance with the girl mechanicals who defied the limitations of the role. I thought it was hilarious when all the Mechanicals crowded round Bottom like a teen heart-throb and when they all tried to act ‘manly’ by clearing their throats. continued on page 12 1


As we approach the end of the first term I want to reflect on a number of areas of school life. Firstly the school building project is making excellent progress. The foundations are now laid and the floors for the rooms in block A are in place. The completion of the main block is on schedule for Christmas 2014. The builders have minimised disruption to the day to day running of the school. Behind the scenes a great amount of unseen work is being done to ensure that the new school will meet the needs of the students. This involves committees of parents and teachers who are working on various aspects of the room and ICT requirements. Thanks to all those who are giving so selflessly of their time. The temporary accommodation is working very well in meeting the main teaching and learning requirements of the school. There have been a number of issues brought to our attention by students and parents. Chief among these was the lack of a canteen facility. Due to the space restrictions it was not possible to put any sort of facility into the temporary school. It was agreed to put together a small committee made up of a student, teacher, parents and Deputy Principal to look at the options available. A number of businesses put proposals forward which were examined by the committee. In the end it was agreed that a month’s trial would be offered to a local company to provide a range of food which would be available outside the entrance to the temporary school. There was also no facility to access drinking water within the temporary school. Following representations from numerous students and parents the water fountain which had gone into storage has now been installed in the corridor of the temporary school. It turned out to be to be a slow process, but students can see the benefit of making their views known on issues which are important to them. While it is possible now for students to get some food on campus, the lack of a canteen has brought into focus the issue of where students can go to eat their food. Lunch rooms are provided for the different year groups and staff assigned to supervise a number of these rooms during the week but it is not possible to supervise all the rooms at lunchtime. Therefore we have to rely on the students to ensure they are left in a clean state for the classes coming in. This is not always the case and valuable time is lost in the next class cleaning up. We want to work with the Student Council on ways to encourage students to take on more personal responsibility for their environment. Personal and social responsibilities are closely interwoven. Our environment, whether local, community or global, is something which we all have an interest in maintaining as best we can. Surveys show a great interest and concern among young people about the future of the planet. Yet at times their actions at a local level can show little concern for either 2

Mr Derek Lowry

the school or community environment. Much of this is down to thoughtlessness. It is important to raise students’ awareness of these issues both at a local and global level. Therefore it is very encouraging to see that Kim Achari and Karen Lynch are putting together a Green School committee. The aim of the committee is to work towards achieving the first Green Flag award for the school. With the new school underway this is a very opportune time for such an initiative. I encourage interested students, staff and parents to get involved. Transition Year have now completed Module 1. Having signed the one hundred and forty reports it was very heartening to read of the high levels of participation in so many different areas. Students have had access to such a wide range of activities including surfing, rock climbing, bowling, Japanese, Chinese, Thinking, Salsa, and First Aid. The programme has great variety and depth. For full benefit from the year regular attendance is vitally important. Missing the odd day here and there has a very corrosive impact on learning. It can also set a pattern and habit that can be difficult to break later. We strongly urge parents/ guardians to ensure that their daughters and sons keep a very regular pattern throughout their time in school as this will set a good habit for both college and work. This month form teachers in Transition Year met with the parents/guardians and as ever this was a very positive interaction and exchange of information. While this has been a more difficult term due to the on-going industrial relations issues, I do want to pay tribute to all the staff for their hard work over this term both in the classroom and outside of it. Despite any issues around the temporary accommodation and the cramped campus staff have continued to put the needs of students at the forefront of the work. All of the various sports and other extra-curricular activities have gone ahead as you can see from this newsletter. This dedication culminated in two very special events. For four nights at the end of November Newpark Drama put on a production of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. There have over the years been many great evenings of theatre in the Hunter Theatre. This production brought that fantastic history to new heights. Every single aspect of the production was a tour de force. The music, the production values in set design and costume and the acting were all of the highest quality. The team of Cathy Devis, Anna Johnston, Amy Keating, Dee Mulrooney, Avril Crampton, Hayley O’Keefe and Josh Johnston together with all the students produced an unforgettable night’s entertainment. The time, effort and energy given by all in a voluntary capacity is remarkable. The benefits and learning experiences for all the students are immeasurable and shows us the depth of talent and capacity for hard work that so many students have. Continued on page 3


Make Newpark Green! In the last few years at Newpark, when our new building was delayed, lost behind reams of red tape, engagement with the environment where we all worked and learnt plunged to an all time low. It was very hard to find the desire to take care of a building that was a quite ‘worn’. But now in our bright and airy portocabins, with the foundations of our new space climbing upwards, positive feelings are surfacing. The desire to take care of our space can easily be nurtured. Not only can we make for a cleaner and greener campus, but this is an opportunity for administering a huge injection of pride into our school. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be a core contributor to lifting us all to a state of pride, not just for our school building, but for everything that is the Newpark Community? We think Green Schools is a great way to achieve this aim. We want everyone in the school Community to get on board and do their bit for Green Schools but what we also need are strong and dedicated leaders. We need people with vision, who have the ideas but who also have the drive to see these ideas through to fruition. We are seeking out this core group who will form the Green Schools Committee. It must represent all years and various interests (i.e. reps from drama, sports, student council etc.). Those joining the core group will be well rewarded! There will be days out to learn more about helping our environment. Fundraising will be necessary and big decisions will need to be made—such as how to spend money saved (on waste and energy bills) to enhance student life at Newpark. Yes, Mr Lowry has said that we can choose how to reinvest the money we save, so that we can make even more improvements to our school. Joining the Green Schools Committee is voluntary. Four teachers, one parent and Bob Ryan are already committed to making this work. Soon we hope to approach the architect with a Green audit of the new building and make appropriate suggestions as to what changes could be made, perhaps via waterrecycling, or wiring for solar panels and we will report on this soon. The committee however should be mostly student-led—the Chair, PR leader and Secretary should all be positions on the committee held by students. If you think you have the enthusiasm and commitment it takes, please give your name to Ms Achari, Ms Harris, Ms Lynch or Ms O’Dwyer, or email ka@newparkschool.ie . We absolutely look forward to welcoming you on board. Kim Achari

1 DON wish you a very Good and Green Christmas. Our top tips: Let your Christmas do GOOD….  Buy Christmas cards in aid of a charity  Choose a Christmas tree in aid of St. Vincent de Paul (available from Blackrock College)…and when it’s all over don’t forget to recycle it!  Burn an Amnesty candle if you can (available from the Amnesty shop, Fleet Street, Dublin 2 or www.amnesty.ie)  Buy ONE Fairtrade product (tea/coffee/chocolate/ cake ingredients) and help lift small farmers in the developing world out of poverty  Give the Gift of Education by sponsoring a book for a student in Tanzania in the name of someone you love (you will receive a gift certificate and the person’s name will be inscribed on the book by Ms O’Dwyer when visiting the school in June) Or  Log on to www.nsfood.org and support Ms Dempsey’s charity, the Ndiini School Food Programme which encourages children in Kenya to attend school by providing free lunches.  Choose a life-changing gift from Amnesty, Bóthar, Concern, Oxfam, Self Help Africa, Trócaire or UNICEF on-line Let your Christmas be GREEN….  Buy cards and wrapping paper made from recycled paper or be imaginative and create your own (especially if you have younger children in the family)  Buy LED Christmas lights if you need new ones  Look out for Irish foods and gifts…using locallyproduced goods will cut down on the pollution of air-miles and help create jobs  Recycle any unwanted gifts local by bringing them to your local charity shop or selling them on-line Continued from page 2

The involvement of the Ms French’s Third Year CSPE in the piloting and subsequent launch of the UNICEF Resource pack for schools led to another very special event. The unique Skype conversation between the Newpark students and those in the refugee camp in Syria was moving and significant for all involved. It gave the students a real perspective on the reality of teenagers living in very difficult circumstances where access to education is very limited. Later they had the opportunity to deliver a message to the Tánaiste on behalf of the Syrian students. The students spoke extremely well—with clarity and purpose. I thank Ms French for her role in making the event happen so efficiently and all those involved from the school, UNICEF and the media. Finally I wish all students, staff and parents/ guardians a safe and happy Christmas holiday and a great 2014.

Mr Derek Lowry

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All Black Coach guides Newpark Girls to Victory

During our last module a big group of Transition Year girls took up tag rugby for our Leisure and Recreation option. Mr Adams and Mere, a New Zealand female rugby player were our coaches. After a few weeks our ability to play the game had progressed to such an extent that we changed from tag rugby to full contact rugby. Our first challenge came then we took part in a 7-a-side rugby tournament in Railway Union Rugby Club. We competed against three other schools Muckross Park, Mac Daire’s and St Louis and the tournament took place on the last day of school before the Halloween break so it was a great way to end our first module.

Our first match of the tournament was against Muckross Park. We were all very nervous but we managed to draw with them. We won the next two matches and we were awarded a place in the Junior Final for our efforts. In the final we played St Louis again and it was a really intense match. We all played exceptionally well and achieved a much deserved win after all our hard work. We were all very delighted and really proud of ourselves. Hopefully there will be more opportunities for us to play matches throughout the year. Many thanks to Mr Adams and Mere for training us and well done to all the girls that played! Ciara Grogan Transition Year

Basketball Teams bounce into Qualifying Rounds Well done to all the players and coaches involved in Newpark basketball this season. A number of teams have qualified for the next section of their leagues. The senior boys and girls have qualified for the (South Dublin Basketball League) SDBL quarter finals while the under 16 girls team has qualified for the SDBL semi final. They will 4

play Rosemont on the 17th of December. Best of luck to all involved. First and Second Year leagues will start in January. These teams have been training away all year and have shown great potential. All our teams have shown huge commitment this season which is great to see. We wish you all a lovely Christmas and all the best in the new year. Siobhan Costelloe


Senior Boys take Newpark to All Irelands On Wednesday the 23rd of October the Senior Boys’ hockey team played in the first day of the All-Ireland Championships. At the start of the season, our goal was to qualify for the tournament so for us, qualification was as much of a victory as any other. Our first match was against the favourites and hosts of the tournament, St. Andrew’s. Even still we went into the match hoping to cause an upset and we truly felt that we could do so. Unfortunately our opposition were as good as we expected and more. We had good support from family, friends and the Senior Girls’ hockey team who cheered us on throughout but unfortunately the match ended up in a 5-0 loss. The effort of the whole team could not have been questioned, but it wasn’t our day. The next morning we rallied again to come back from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 with another game to come in the afternoon. In our last game of the tournament that afternoon we narrowly lost out 1-0 in a match that we should have won. On Thursday

evening there was a dinner for all the teams where speeches and such took place. There was a great buzz as all sixteen teams sat together in the one room; this for me was one of the highlights of the tournament. On the Friday we only had a friendly because we were out of the tournament but some of us stayed on and watched Andrew’s win the title in front of their home crowd. For me and some of my fellow Sixth Years (Jonny McCormack, John Cummins, Jack Walsh) it was our third All-Irelands and for others their first experience of the tournament. I can safely say that this will be one the best memories of school hockey that anyone on the team will ever have. Before 2010 (my first experience of the All-Irelands) no Newpark team had even qualified in fifteen years. To go from that to qualifying three times in the last four years clearly shows that Newpark Hockey is on the rise: we all hope that it continues to do so long into the future. Andrew Ramsay, Sixth Year

Newpark Players win for Leinster at U18 Interpros Congratulations to Andrew Ramsay and Jonny McCormack of Sixth Year who both competed for Leinster in the U18 Interprovincials. Newpark was very proud to be represented by these two fine hockey players and delighted that Jonny McCormack was appointed Vice-Captain of the Leinster team.

importantly however Ulster lost to Munster which meant that in the final match Ulster would have to beat us by at least four goals or else we would take the top prize. Unfortunately we lost 3-1 to Ulster so, with mixed emotions, we won the trophy. Obviously it doesn’t feel as sweet winning a tournament while losing the final match, but still, in the end everyone was delighted. After a long and arduous process of trials and training which began in May, we had done what we set out to do: win the Interpros. Andrew Ramsay, Sixth Year

Newpark Deal for Hockey Gear On the morning of the 22nd November the Leinster U16s and U18s departed from Mount Temple school to Mossely Hockey Club in Newtownabbey, Belfast for the Interpros. On the bus on the way up everybody was in good form in anticipation of the first match against Ulster. On Friday evening (after waiting for four hours in the hotel) we were informed that the match had been postponed because the pitch was frozen. Everyone was disappointed but we had to stay positive for the next morning. In the morning we played Munster first and won 3-0. It was good to get our first match out of the way but our game against Ulster would be very influential. That tense match ended 1-1 so the tournament was still wide open. The next morning we played Munster again, winning 5-2. Very

In the run up to Christmas we have teamed up with ED Sports Hockey shop to offer Newpark Comprehensive School a 15% discount on all hockey sticks, Astro shoes and bags. This offer runs from now until 20th December. This offer can be redeemed instore (reference: Newpark) or online at www.edsports.ie/hockey - use the coupon code Newpark when paying. We hope this will help defray the cost of hockey equipment this Christmas. Carl Breaden, Newpark Hockey

ED Sports Shop Locations & Opening Hours 1)Pembroke Wanderers HC, Serpentine Avenue, Ballsbridge, D4. Open Mon to Fri 3pm till 7pm, Sat 10am till 5pm, Sun 10am till 1pm. Tel 01 6677300 2)Three Rock Rovers HC, Grange Road, Rathfarnham, D16. Open Sat 10am till 4pm or Sun 10am till 1pm. 5


A Cracking Start for Newpark Cross Country Season Well done to all the runners that competed and represented Newpark in the annual Community and Comprehensive schools cross country race on Thursday 14th November. Participating students included senior students Herbie Hudson Fowler who ran in the 3,300 metres and came in 21st place, Rory Kelly who came second in the 2000m (and 340 extra unaccounted metres!), Lorcan Kelly (6th place) and Ewan Ramsay (23rd place) in the 1500m. First Years Oisín O’Sullivan, Patrick Gilceava, Emily Grubsch and Sadbh O’Loan all ran in the 1100m. Special congratulations go to medal winners Rory Kelly (pictured below) for his silver and Sadbh O’Loan (pictured right) for her bronze. All races have had over sixty students competing so we are pleased to see all Newpark runners putting in great effort and performances. This is a great start for Newpark’s Athletics season 2013-14.

busy compared to other races but it was freezing. My race went well; it was 1.2km which is quite short. I started off first but steadied into third and that was my place in the end. I was very happy with the result. Sadhbh O’Loan

Cross Country Training takes place on alternate Tuesday mornings at 8.00am and Thursdays 1.15pm. Meet at the Astroturf pitch. Next race-meet: East Leinsters in Rathdrum on the 5 th February.

Gormlaith Ormond, Athletics Co-ordinator

Minor Girls’ Hockey— Undefeated into the New Year

Newpark Athletes report from the Meet On an overcast Thursday of last month I went to the Phoenix Park for a cross country race. I had never done it before so I was nervous. We walked around the track and discussed tactics. I never knew there was so much tactics to discuss in cross country. We lined up for the 1100 metres race and then we were gone … well actually not me, as I was tripped up at the start line! I was a while behind the leader by the time I caught up but there was nothing I could do about it. Then I got a stitch halfway through and just had to run through it. With a quarter left in the race I increased my pace, passing about ten people. I got to the finish 31st out of around 70 runners. Afterwards my stomach was so sore from running with the stitch! After everyone had run, we had hot chocolate and other hot drinks brought by one of the parents - which was really nice. All in all I really enjoyed it and will do it again. Oisín O’Sullivan

We got the Newpark school bus down to the Phoenix Park. The course was at The Papal Cross (which my granddad built!) It was a flat course and wasn’t very 6

The minor A girls’ hockey team has had an undefeated season so far. We have enjoyed success against Santa Sabina (3 -1), Loreto Bray (1-0), Our Ladies Terenure (1-0), Sion Hill (4-1) and Loreto Foxrock(4-0) while we drew (1-1) with Cluny and (2-2) with the East Glendalough Junior Team. Our B Team, also remains undefeated this season which is great because we have a few players, such as Sasha and Emma, who have taken up the game for the first time. Our team motto this year is Cooperate, Contribute, Compete—it says this on our hockey hoodies and we aim to fulfil this motto by training hard twice a week, communicating well with each other on and off the pitch and really focusing during a match. We are a very committed team with all 24 players contributing a wide variety of skills and we all get on great with each other. It’s been a fun year so far. Our leading goal scorer is Martha Lynch—this includes two hat tricks. Well done also to Martha and Polly who have been selected for the Leinster U16 Training Academy. This year we are singing at the school’s annual carol service proving that as a team we can rise to any challenge! We will be joined by our Transition Year mentors and some of the Second Year boys’ hockey team. We hope everyone comes to support us! Our singing will be led by Alanna and Aaron. Of course, all of this would not have been possible if it wasn’t for our coach, Ms Downes. We thank her immensely for all the time and effort she has put in over the last few months. We are determined to win a lot more matches after Christmas and ultimately win the league! Carmel Mueller, Polly Paul and Grace Banks (2CQY)


Reflections on Nelson Mandela How could we let this newsletter go without a thought for the late and great Nelson Mandela? I was not one of the lucky ones…lucky enough to have met the man in person so I have no personal stories to relate, and I feel that there is no need for a biography of his life which most of us already know, and if not, will have had access to through the saturation coverage of his life and death in recent days. Nonetheless, I would like to mention a few of the things about the man which left an indelible impression upon me… The way he learned Afrikaans, the language of his oppressor, so that he could befriend his guards in the prison on Robben Island. These guards were known to be the hardest racists, but Mandela set about learning their language and history to that he could understand their hidden fears and befriend them. With alarm, the authorities noticed the guards softening and they were regularly replaced! According to Mandela “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language that goes to his heart.” The courage he had to stand up for what he believed in although he stood, relatively speaking, alone….most of the world had tolerated and acquiesced with the abhorrent apartheid regime in South Africa for almost 50 years before it eventually ended in 1994. It is difficult to be the lone voice, the one marching out of tune…when standing up against injustice at home or abroad. Would that we all had a little more Mandela courage. His eternal optimism…he had an unshakable belief that one day apartheid would be beaten, so much so that he jokingly referred to his prison guards as his ‘Guard of Honour’, which, of course they did one day become! How he never lost his sense of humour, clearly evident on meeting the Spice Girls (for our younger readers, these were the biggest girl band in the world at the time!). Asked how he felt to meet the band, the 79-year old Mandela responded “I don’t want to be emotional but this is one of the greatest moments of my life”. Many of the journalists were taken aback at this response from a man who had spent 27 years in prison until they noticed the twinkle in his eye! His dance moves!! By the time you read this, Nelson Mandela, Madiba, will be resting in the small, hilltop graveyard of his native village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape. The long walk to freedom is over. There is a saying in human rights education that whenever you think one person cannot make a difference in the world all you need do is whisper the name ‘Nelson Mandela’. I believe that there is a little bit of Nelson Mandela in all of us. He saw it in other people…that good part that wants to stand up against injustice but is scared or doesn’t know what to do, thinks we are not

good enough, not intelligent enough, will appear stupid or will achieve nothing. We are so lucky that we lived in a time with a man who could see that little bit of humanity in everyone. He listened with respect to the opinions, desires and fears of his enemies, but reached out and touched the goodness that was within them and brought them with him to create a new South Africa and give a conscience to the world. Ar Dheis Dé Go Raibh A Anam…May He Rest In Peace. Gearóidín O’Dwyer

Madiba Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a courageous, forgiving, compassionate, wise and inspirational man whose conviction and beliefs led him to spend most of his long life fighting for basic human rights for all South Africans. Because of this he spent twenty seven years in prison. Newpark has a strong link to South Africa, having schooled the children of the late Kadar Asmal

(Mandela’s friend, Education Minister and antiapartheid activist) children and in the last seven years we have had two school tours to South Africa in 2006 (Rugby and Hockey) and 2008 (Township rehabilitation project). During these tours the students got a strong sense of the inequality in South Africa and were inspired to do fundraising for various organisations in the country. I have always been impressed with Newpark students who are willing to help others and make a difference to other people’s lives. Madiba made a difference to millions of people. Newpark students could do too. “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela I will never forget the day Mandela was released from prison; it was a beautiful sunny February day in South Africa. I was on a school camp and when we heard it on the radio, it was absolutely incredible. From that point everything changed: multiracial schooling, democratic election, equal rights for everyone. There was such a sense of hope. Sadly things haven’t changed for all South Africans since then. It is slowly changing but the legacy of Apartheid will be around for a long time. However the legacy of this great man will be around for eternity. There will never be a leader quite like him again. Cathy Devis

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UNICEF help Newpark and Zhatari Forge Links

On Thursday 21st November, our CSPE class made a Skype video call to the world’s second largest refugee camp, in Zhatari, Jordan, which hosts around 140,000 refugees. This was the first time this has happened worldwide, and was part of a series of UNICEF workshops we have been piloting. We talked to two teenage Syrian refugees called Hanan and Mousa, who had fled the ongoing conflict in Syria. We learnt a lot about how their lives have been affected by war. Although Mousa and Hanan are living in tragic circumstances, they both seemed positive and it was clear their main goal was to rebuild Syria. They were telling us that they enjoyed going to school as it passed the time. They said, “We would rather go to school than to go on vacation”, which came as a surprise to some of us! Even though their lives are very different from ours, we found that there were similarities between us, for instance, both Mousa and Hanan enjoy a variety of sports: Mousa supports Real Madrid and enjoys playing football while Hanan enjoys running. Their final message to us was to appreciate everything that we have, and that they hope that our country doesn’t have to go through what theirs unfortunately did - a message we found inspirational. They were so nice and caring despite their past and present situation. They also asked us to ask our government whether Ireland would host Syrian refugees. Later that day, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, visited our school to launch the It’s About Us programme, the series of workshops designed by Unicef to help in the study of CSPE, which our class has been piloting. After watching the launch video for the programme, three members of the class read speeches they had prepared for the Tánaiste, and they asked about Syrian refugees finding sanctuary in Ireland. After this, the Tánaiste described the work being done to help the refugees from Syria. He explained that talks were taking place about hosting Syrian refugees in Ireland, an idea that 8

will hopefully become a reality and change the lives of many people. Later that evening, we were on the RTÉ SixOne News which helped us achieve our goal of publicising the Syrian conflict and the effect it has on the Syrian people. We are e-mailing Hanan and Mousa to let them know that we kept our promise, and we hope to continue our new friendship. Rory Kelly, Paul Heywood Jones, Amy Eiffe, Jani O'Connell and Killian Needham Doyle, on behalf of 3SFH

You can find more images and details about the Skype link-up and the launch online: http://www.rte.ie/news/player/2013/1121/20477249 -children-in-refugee-camp-in-jordan-take-part-ingroundbreaking-conversation-with-dublin-students/ #page=18 https://twitter.com/unicefireland https://twitter.com/unicefjordan

International Junior Science Olympiad Jonah Byrne, one of our Transition Year students has travelled to Pune in India for the 2013 International Junior Science Olympiad. It is a huge achievement for Jonah and a fantastic opportunity. Jonah is one of a team of only six Irish students who qualified to compete on the Irish team. Their team will join two hundred students from 41 other countries in a series of science tests that they will perform individually and as a team at this international science event. Competition will be tough as the questions are based on a course that is more detailed than the Leaving Certificate biology, chemistry and physics courses.


A Home Is Too Much To Lose Diary of a Homeless Person

As part of their CSPE course, 1DON were studying the topic of homelessness. We looked at the loss of dignity which a homeless person suffers and the many, complex reasons why people end up on the streets. As part of the exercise the students were asked to take on the role of a homeless person and write a diary entry for a day in their life. Overall, the responses were some of the best I have ever read on this topic, with the students displaying an understanding of the complexity of homelessness and a genuine empathy for those less fortunate than ourselves. As always, when faced with a large number of excellent pieces of writing, choosing which to publish was very difficult, as many deserved this honour. However, in the end it was Declan’s line in the passage below about envying Angela which really struck a chord with me as it is a common response from homeless people and I think he really captures the despair of homelessness. Congratulations, Declan. Gearóidin O’Dwyer

At night I can hear is the whistle of the wind but can’t enjoy it as I’m freezing cold and can’t feel my feet. My only company now are the rats gnawing at my hands but I don’t have the strength to shoo them away. It doesn’t matter anyway because I’ve lost most of the feeling in my arms and can only move them when I need to. That’s what needles will do to you, I guess. It’s my fault that I’m here: … when you start gambling you don’t think of the consequences. Then, as I got deeper into debt I lost my house and everything I owned…and then I lost my wife, Angela. It was her mind…she wasn’t right living in the streets….she couldn’t handle the pain anymore so she jumped. They found her in the Liffey a day later. I didn’t go over, I just watched from afar. I think a tiny bit of me envied her. I still hear her voice calling me. That’s when I turned to heroin. It made the pain go away but it ruined my skin and now I have big black marks on my arms. It’s night now, and I’m cold…so cold. I can’t move my legs and I’m starting to shiver uncontrollably. I feel my fingers stiffen. I can tell it’s the cold taking over…and I think of Angela as death engulfs me. Declan Franks 1DON

Small Change Makes a Big Difference Group 6, 2nd Year CSPE class would like to thank all students, parents and staff who contributed their loose change to their collection for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In total over €700 was raised and sent directly by our caretaker, Paul Ampeloquio, to people on the ground in the Philippines who are helping others to restart their lives. The collection raised much more money than expected....it looks like a certain supermarket is correct “Every little helps.” Thank you.

Amnesty Champions Freedom On Friday December 6th Newpark’s (student run) Amnesty International group went from class to class during lunchtime collecting signatures for a petition calling on Vladimir Putin (the Russian president) to remove new homophobic laws passed in Russia. These laws deny Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people of their rights, such as freedom of expression and the right to protest. One law Amnesty is focusing on is the AntiPropaganda among Minors Law which means it is illegal to tell people under 18 about homosexuality. Gay people are frequently discriminated against and attacked in Russia. So we decided we would take part in Amnesty’s campaign and it was a huge success. We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped, and signed the petitions. We got 645 signatures! That’s fantastic. Also thanks to Mr Lowry, Mr Cookman, Ms O’Dwyer and Ms Brennan for helping us with the organisation necessary. This whole action was completely organised by the students, which is what we want to see! It’s too easy these days to sit back and ‘tut tut’ about how bad everything is and pretend like we have no influence. The truth is we do have influence and teenagers and young people have been at the forefront of human right movements throughout history. So it’s important for us to realise we can change things. For example, some twenty years ago it was illegal to be gay in Ireland and the idea of same-sex marriage wouldn’t have even been considered. Next year there will be a referendum held here on same-sex marriage. So change does happen— and we need to remember that. We meet in G1 at lunchtime most Thursdays. Keep an eye on the notices for updates on meetings. All Welcome. Méabh Hennelly 5CG

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Newpark Dream: Shakespeare comes to life at the Hunter Theatre This has been the most hilarious production that I have ever worked on. From start to finish it has been full of laughter which appeared to be contagious as the audience laughed too! It has been a joyous and wonderful production and this was because everyone was so committed, focussed and enthusiastic from the very first audition on the 4th of September 2013. It really was an ensemble piece not just onstage but also behind the scenes on the amazing art work, costume and sets and in the orchestra pit as well. There are so many people to thank for making this such a fantastic production: my co-directors Anna Johnston and Amy Keating; the musical directors Josh Johnston and Hayley O’Keeffe; the production design team led by Avril Crampton and Dee Mulrooney; Laura Martin for selling the sell-out tickets; the amazing stage manager John Brennan … and the list goes on.

Thank you to the incredible audiences for supporting the play and to the brilliant Newpark students who performed, who created, who lit, who played and made this a truly magical experience for all involved. Cathy Devis

The Art

design. We were told the theme was traditional Victorian/steam punk … when we had figured out what that was we started. Several crates of random but useful items were moves from the art room to the theatre’s yellow room, which got very cluttered very quickly! It was really enjoyable working as a class with Ms Mulrooney and Avril Crampton to get the costumes done. By half term break we had nearly all the costumes almost finished. Then I (together with a few other students) was invited to work in the theatre for my work experience to finish all the costumes and set. I accepted of course (who wouldn’t?) and got to spend a very enjoyable week dying fabric, collecting leaves, sewing skirts and making curtains. My main task for the week was to stick leaves onto long pieces of green fabric that eventually became the forest curtains. First leaves had to be collected in the rain and sprayed with a lovely, toxic lacquer. Then they were stuck on with very hot glue. My co-workers (Esme Galloway, Kirsty Nolan and Amelia Blay) and I got burned several times! Also while Amelia and Esme made the skirts, Kirsty and I had to clean out the two back rooms, which was a lot harder than it sounds! At the end of the week we had lots done but there was still tons for the group of students who came in the next week. We discovered on Friday we had accidentally stuffed Puck’s trousers in a cushion and Oberon’s trousers were barely started! It was an excellent work experience as I learned a lot about working in a theatre and got to see my work on stage! It was really great to be part of the costumes department for the play. I got a chance to do stuff like working backstage in a theatre that I had never done before. It was a big group effort which was really nice to be a part of—with the Transition Year Art class and some Fifth Years all doing their bit. A big thank you has to go to Avril and Ms Mulrooney for letting us all be a part of the production process. Claire Mullen 4AMCC

The Music

Around the same time the actors began rehearsing their parts for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Transition Year Art class began designing, making and finding the costumes and set. We were split into little teams and each given a character or two to

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As part of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there was a small orchestra playing music to create atmosphere during the play. There were seven musicians playing each night, nestled into a small space below the stage. The music was composed by Josh Johnston and Ms O’Keefe, and the musicians were all from Third and Fourth Year. It created a wonderful atmosphere while the play was being performed. There was distinctly different music for each of the different groups of characters, and a strange, magical sound for the fairies in the forest.


I played the clarinet in the orchestra and I really enjoyed it. I was amazed at how quickly the music came together and fitted with the acting on stage.

acted as girls pretending to be men … some of whom have to act as girls in the play for the Duke! Any mention of ‘men’ in the script was really taken advantage of with many stereotyped girly screams followed by the manly grunt and flex. My favourite were the floppy fake moustaches that kept falling off. Each group presented its own challenges throughout but the result of each was hilarious. They always kept me on my toes as my performance differed with each group. I really enjoyed working with the two different groups of very talented and funny people. Mark Ball 6MK

Ready for a Fight?!

A big thank you to Josh and Ms O’Keefe for composing and directing the lovely music. Cian Malin, Transition Year

The Mechanicals I was very excited and pleased to hear when Ms Devis and Ms Johnston had come up with the ingenious idea of having two sets of mechanicals: a group of boys and a group of girls. The groups alternated for each performance. I had the pleasure of working with both groups.

The Mechanicals are a group of working ‘men’ (not always in our case!) in Athens. The Mechanicals serve as the clowns in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. The Mechanical’s storyline is based around Peter Quince’s (Olivia Drennan/Colm Higgins) play. Peter Quince has written a play to be performed for the Duke of Athens “on his wedding day at night”. Quince has gathered all the working men he knows to be part of this play. The Boys (Colm Higgins, Sam Cheesemore, Max Goldman, Fiachra Kennedy and Aaron Williams) presented a very precise choreographed version. They all moved and reacted as a group, making them look all the more stupid. The Girls (Olivia Drennan, Kristin Nyquist, Marie-Chantal Hamrock, Eva Comerford and Aoife Jungmann) presented quite a different version: they

Being involved in A Midsummer Night’s Dream was such a great and brilliant experience. Back in September, reading the script for the first time was daunting but working with the language turned out to be much easier than I thought. For anyone who saw it, I think it’s safe to say we did some pretty crazy scenes including the fight sequences between the four lovers: myself, Anna McCarthy, Niall Sherlock and Louis Furney. Once we had learned our lines the main part of the scene was the physicality which eventually included slaps, hairpulls and lifts!

We had Stav, a professional stage combat choreographer come in to make the scene more exciting and energetic. He showed us the techniques for the different slaps and hairpulls and helped us to choreograph how the scene would go. It was great to get an outside perspective on this. He then showed us the lifts (which we then had to practice every day for obvious reasons) and helped us to make them look real but be safe! The whole scene was so much fun to do and the lifts and slaps really made it look so much better and kept it exciting. It was so much fun: it was really hard not to laugh as we were doing it. Stav was a great help and all four of us really enjoyed his input and performing that scene in general. Molly McAllister (aka Hermia), Fifth Year

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Away with the Fairies! A few days after the auditions for “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream”, I didn’t think I had gotten a part as I had not received a call-back, but when I rushed towards the drama notice board with the cast list on it, I was SO HAPPY when I saw my name with the word “Fairy” next to it. At the first rehearsal, I was given the part of Moth; I knew it was quite a small part but I didn’t mind. Soon I realised that Moth only had to say two words, whilst the other fairies got four or five (I know, big difference), but I was soon to find that Moth was a really fun character to play. After a few weeks of rehearsals, the tables turned for Moth. Instead of just being a small fairy with two words, “hail” and “and I” (oh! three actually), we started playing around with the character and having lots of fun. The amount of lines I had didn’t change, but we added in lots of new actions, facial expressions and movement. In the play, Moth was one of the five fairies; she was the only fairy that Bottom (donkey/man) completely ignored. In the end, Moth was quite a funny character. Doing this play was an AMAZING experience, I enjoyed it so much. Katie Killarney, First Year

Stage Management

I have worked as stage manager in Newpark for two years with the productions of The Phantom of the Opera, the Junior plays 2013 and, most recently, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. People have this idea in their heads that being a stage manager is about keeping the actors quiet and letting them know when they need to go onto the stage and it partly is—but there is also so much more to it. I was first asked to do this job by Ms Glancy for The Phantom of the Opera. It was the first time I had ever done stage management and (as I was told afterwards!) it was a very hard musical to try and learn on because of the amount involved. When I first started Phantom I was given a script of the musical from start to finish and I then had to co-ordinate with the directors, the lighting crew and the musicians about when things were going to happen. There is a part of Phantom when Carlotta is singing ‘Think Of Me’ and a sand bag has to be thrown onto the stage to frighten them—they think it is the Phantom ghost. To make this happen I had to try and figure out the right place for the bag to be thrown from, work out a time in the scene it should happen and a way the bag could be thrown safely and yet look like it was about to hit the actors! (In the end we threw it from the opera box made by Mr Quigley and timed it with a line from the song.) That’s just a quick look at all the things and time you have to put in to every single bit of a play or musical. I would really like to thank Ms Glancy, Ms Johnston and Ms Devis for getting me into all of this in the first place. Ms Johnston helped me learn the ropes about how to design a stage, how things should 12

be positioned on a stage to give the audience the best view, how to keep control of situations when they arise and how to manage people. I did the junior plays with Ms Devis after Phantom and doing stage management for a second time (though on a much smaller scale) gave me the idea that I might like to do it in college. Ms Devis helped me with communicating with people and put the idea of stage management as a career in my head. On A Midsummer Night’s Dream Ms Keating showed me how to manage the stress levels and to figure out how to best coordinate people. And lastly to Becky Johnston and her family who are always helping out with the productions in the school from making waffles for the cast and crew to helping with costumes: thank you. Newpark is a great school for drama; the students and teachers have good relationships and the teachers are very dedicated and helpful. I’m glad I got the chance to go here and be a part of all of these things. John Brennan, Sixth Year

Reviewing the Dream continued from page 1

All in all the acting was sublime. The orchestra, led by Ms O'Keeffe, played excellently and I particularly enjoyed the jazz playing during the interval. The staging was beautiful and the costumes (made by Ms Avril Crampton and team) really added to a Victorian interpretation of the play. I really enjoyed this production of The Dream. I thought it was a fantastic achievement on the part of all involved. The play still is a piece of ‘fairy excrement’ but it was handled better than I could ever dream of! Ross Coleman 4TC

Thanks for all the Fun! We went to A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Saturday and thought it quite remarkable. The acting, the timing, the humour were all first rate as were the costumes and the very simple but highly effective set. We have seen the play at least three times in the open air theatre at Regent’s Park in London performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company and we both agreed we had never laughed so much as on Saturday. A wonderful achievement for all concerned. It is a great thing to help create such energy and enthusiasm in a school—so well done to all the teachers and outside helpers who gave their time and creativity to the project. James Howley


Let them eat Cake! As part of our CSPE Junior Cert course, we have to do an action project. Our class chose to raise money for the DSPCA by holding a bake sale. Everyone in the class baked and we held the sale on the 22nd of November. There was a great turnout and all the cakes were

The semi-final was on the 22nd of November, which didn’t give me long to learn two different poems. The set poem was ‘Antarctica’, by Derek Mahon and I chose ‘My Family, When I’m Angry’, by Jo Slade. I was really nervous as the competition day came. Since everyone went in alphabetical order, I was near the end. Each student goes up and recites the set poem for their category and then there is a short break. After the break, the competition starts again with the chosen poems. When it was my turn, I went up and stood on the small stage and recited my poems. I didn’t make any mistakes - except in the second poem when I messed up a little bit at the end, but I kept going. There were 60 contestants and 23 in my category, but only sixteen in total got through. Unfortunately I was not one of them. I was sad not to have got through but I enjoyed the experience. Thanks to Ms Keating for giving me the opportunity to take part in the competition. Lucy Richards-Smyrk 3RS

sold out within fifteen minutes! It was a great day and everyone in the class took part. €137.30 was raised for the great cause. We want to thank everyone who helped, bought or baked on the day, and we intend to visit the DSPCA after Christmas to present them with their money. Thanks everyone. Elvira Guiomard and Ruán Ó Conluain 3RS

Poetry Aloud 2013

The Poetry Aloud competition is an annual poetry recitation competition, held in the National Library of Ireland each October. It is a national event for the whole island of Ireland and representatives from Newpark have enjoyed much success in the competition over the past few years. Lucy Richards-Smyrk (3RS) managed to get through to the semi-final this year, which is a fantastic achievement, congratulations! Here, she describes her experience of the competition.

Over the past two months, I have been competing in an All-Ireland poetry competition called Poetry Aloud. For the first heat, I had to learn two poems off by heart. The prescribed poem for my category (Intermediate) was ‘Poisoned’, by John Ennis and I chose ‘In the Bakery’, by Gerard Smyth as my second poem. The heat took place in the National Library of Ireland. Four of us from Newpark took part: myself and three boys from First Year, Ethan Warnock, Louis Toole and Sam Penny. There were about 30 other participating students at this heat. It was a long day but I was happy with my poems and was really happy (and shocked!) when I got through to the semi-final. Sadly, I was the only Newpark student to get through to the next round this time.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles to Test You! Tired of charades?

Half of the Monopoly pieces missing? Don’t despair…here are some lateral thinking puzzles to test you after your Christmas dinner. If you don’t have a son/daughter who has already done the Transition Year module on Lateral Thinking (and can put you out of your misery if you’re stuck) see the solutions on the back page! Enjoy! Some ‘warm-up’ Quizzles Can you make out the phrases in the following quizzles? Look at where the words are placed in the box, how the letters are arranged in relation to each other, and whether some words are hidden in other words. Quizzle 1 has been done for you GROUND RAILWAY

Answer: Underground railway Quizzle 2 It’s UU

Quizzle 3 FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR CONCLUSION

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From the Dawn till the Dusk Fifth Year art students have been collaborating with musician Glenn Brady and visual artist Richie Heffernan since September. The results were curated by Richie in an exhibition/musical event last Wednesday in the Mercantile Venue, Dame Street. The event was a great success with the students having the opportunity to take their art out of the art room and have it shared among a new community. The exhibition

Fresh Film Festival On Wednesday the 4th of December, Mr Byne’s Transition Year Film Making class went to the Irish Film Institute for the Fresh Film Festival. We got to watch films made by people of different ages and from all around the country. After the screening some of the film-makers told us about the process from first idea to finished product. One of my favourites was a film called Brainstorming. It was about a guy thinking of ideas about how to make a film and included little snippets of film cutting back to the guy in his room crumpling up another piece of paper. The two film-makers behind this call themselves Ham and Cheese and have uploaded their films onto Youtube. It was really interesting for us to see the films made by other Transition Years and to see if we can bring our own to the same standard. We got to ask questions and interact with the film-makers. We are hoping to submit our own films (currently in progress) in January for next year’s festival. Juliette McBain, Transition Year

The Next Drama Project?

featured an eclectic range of artwork created in response to songs that Glenn had written about youth, adolescence and growing up in the suburbs - themes that students related very well to. Working with outside artists creates a dynamic that no doubt enhances students experience and creative expression. Well done to all involved. Dee Mulrooney, Art Department

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Sixth Year student Mark Ball has been deeply immersed in Newpark Drama during his time here. During the summer he came up with two proposals with a dual purpose. Both are intended to celebrate Drama in Newpark and kickstart a process that many feel is long overdue: a long-term plan to create a better performance space . The Hunter Theatre has been well used and much loved over the years. It is essentially a large prefab built after much enthusiastic fund-raising in the 1980s … and it is feeling its age badly now. Sadly, refurbishment of the Hunter Theatre is not part of the re-building plans of the Department of Education. Soon we will looking for enthusiastic and dynamic friends of Newpark to help us come up with a vision for the new theatre space and a way to make it happen. In the meantime, come along on Thursday the 9th of January at 8.30 to celebrate Newpark drama and dramatists with a night of crazy collaborations and the launch of an anthology of plays written and produced by Newpark students over the years. The anthology contains original Junior plays and Transition Year plays painstakingly collected and arranged by Mark and his team. We hope it will be an opportunity to welcome back the writers, directors , cast and audiences of many of these plays. Many thanks to parent Derek Kennedy for his advice, support and design input. The onstage drama consists of four short plays devised by Newpark writers and rehearsed in the space of a week. Who knows what madness may emerge!? Come along and find out!


Take a Chance: Let’s dance! Newpark is up and running with our latest Comenius project. This time it is a dance based project involving schools from across Europe. The team has been assembled and the dance sessions have begun. Thirty students from 1st to 6th year have applied to take part in the project. The logo design is progressing in the art classes and some interesting interpretations are emerging.

Moving with the grove and going with the flow! The students have started the dancing for the Comenius project with all kinds of experienced dancers (ballet, hiphop, salsa, Irish) and dancers who are just discovering that they are dancers. Our weekly dance sessions will take place in A3 on Mondays after school. We have begun with basic salsa steps of the Cuban Rueda and we plan to do our basic Irish steps starting with Ionsaí na hInse (Siege of Ennis) and Ballaí Luimní (Walls of Limerick). From there we will merge all kinds of dances and moves. Each dancer is picking their favourite music to dance to and a flash mob move so we can build up a bank of these.to work with We also intend to get experts in to do workshops with us. Conny, our European project leader has asked us to have our logo and dances ready for our visit to Germany. We will be doing all kinds of dance workshops there. She has a special guest coming from Berlin to do a hip-hop workshop—I hear he is great. Looking forward to Mondays after school in A3. Fiona Ní Fhaolainn, Dance Co-ordinator

Meanwhile the German coordinating school has given us the dates of the first meeting. It will be held in Beerfalden, Germany from 24th to 28th February. That’s the first week back after the spring mid-term break. Originally the first meeting was to be held in Portugal but because the Portuguese school has not yet been approved to take part the schedule of meetings has had to be changed. One of the activities that will take place at the first meeting is the Logo competition. The winning logo from each school will be brought to Germany and an overall winner will be decided there. This logo will then be used on all the documents, the project website and on T-shirts. The programme for the week is as follows: Mon 24 February arrival Tue 25 February Morning: Welcome. Presentation on stage with dances from each country. Logo competition. Afternoon: Dance workshops (Zumba, ballet, Line dance, video-clip-dance). Wed 26 February Morning: hip-hop workshop with Kenny from Berlin for all. Afternoon: excursion to Heidelberg. Thu 27 February Morning: excursion to Frankfurt. Afternoon: party—dance session. Fri 28 February. departure John O’Neill, Project Coordinator

Going Nutty for the Ballet! Dancers Jorinde Coffey (6th year) and Darerca Lockhart Keogh (4th year) successfully auditioned for the world famous ballet 'The Nutcracker' and are delighted to have been chosen to take part in this Christmas production with the Monica Loughman Russian Ballet company. The two students have been rehearsing intensively every week, working their pointe shoes into the ground and have spent many hours completing their p a i n f u l s t r e t c h e s . Performances will held in Wexford (13th), Drogheda (14th), Killarney (15th) and also in the Convention Center, Dublin (21st-22nd). Tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster. This is a show not to be missed and one that all t h e f a m i l y c a n e n j o y . Best of luck on tour girls! 15


4AK Gartan Highlights November 2013 “My favourite part of Gartan was the curry dinner and the night time.” Seb King-Hall “Dressing Fionn up as a girl.” Sophie Faro “Chilling in the rooms at night.” Luke Nolan “Getting to live with my form for the week!” Olivia Drennan “The Night-Line.” Kevin Waddell “My favourite part of Gartan was after our activities, we would all go back to someone’s room and have the Craic!” Satchal Madden “When Darren ate spoon salt.” ? Who Said That? “When everyone wore my clothes.” Fionn Hogan “The Night-Line and ‘Spit’ (card games) and the chilling in the evenings.” Katie Lowry “Rock-climbing and chilling.” Ryan Kelly “Fave part of Gartan: Socialising…” Isaac Tomkin-Clarke “Solange and playing ‘Spit’ ‘til midnight.” Amelia Blay (aka “Solange”)

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No and Me No and Me by Delphine de Vigan is set in Paris. The main character Lou Bertignic is a lonely fourteen year old. No is a homeless nineteen year old. Lou loves going down to the Metro and watching all the emotions as her own home is very emotionless. Her mother never speaks or just asks the same questions over and over. Meanwhile her father secretly cries in the bathroom. Lou feels very isolated. One day No goes over to Lou in the Metro and they start to talk. Lou is meant to be doing a project on homeless women and asks No if she can interview her. No obliges and that’s when a great friendship begins. I loved every bit of this book and I never wanted to put it down. Every page keeps you occupied. Lucy Murphy 1SH

Gone Gone by Michael Curtis is set in a small American town near the coast. Basically all of the people over the age of fifteen go missing: they disappear from plain sight and are just “gone”. All the kids are left to fend for themselves. Luckily some very nice kids help with the nursery where all the babies and toddlers are. Two of the main characters are Sam and Lana. Sam is sort of chosen to help everyone because of his courageous actions in the past. Two years previously the driver of the school bus had a heart attack while driving and Sam took his place; he steered the bus to the side of the road and tended to the driver. Lana is from Las Vegas. After her parents caught her with a bottle of vodka, she was sent to live at her granddad’s house in the desert. When her granddad disappears she and her dog Patrick have to fend for themselves. This is a really, really, really great book. I like that it is part of a series too. Moya Bracken 1SH

How about a book for Christmas?

Newpark’s Book in the Bag initiative is going well and now includes all students in First, Second and Transition Year. Many Transition Year students report back that the scheme has allowed them time to rediscover the enjoyment of independent reading, which in many cases, had been lost in busy schedules. The atmosphere in the Book in the Bag classes is very peaceful, engaged and positive with students immersed in a wide range of books of their own choice as you can see from the sample above from 1SH.

Life at the Shallow End Life at the Shallow End by Helen Bailey is the first book in a series all about Electra Brown and her troubles in life. She discovers that her parents are separating, her little brother is becoming a shoplifter and that boy at school doesn’t even know she exists … and yet still finds time to worry about the spot on her chin. Electra deals with her troubles by thinking of other things, like whether green eyeliner clashes or compliments blue eyes, but this only causes her to blow up later on, proving it’s better to deal with one’s problems when they come. Electra is a hilariously shallow character who tells a wonderful story of how life can suddenly go sideways. I would recommend this book and the whole series for 12 to 14 year old girls. Claire Mullen, Transition Year

Milo and the Restart Button Milo and the Restart Button by Alan Silberberg is a very enjoyable book. The characters are easy to relate to, fun to read about and the plot is pretty good. The book is about a young boy called Milo. He has been moving around since the death of his mother, but he thinks his latest school is different because he has finally felt love and that is for a girl called Summer Goldman. He also makes new friends like Hilary Alpert and Marshall Hinkler. The book is fun with dark elements put into it. An example of that is the death of Milo’s mother. As you read on you find more about Milo’s mother and what she was like. You also see how he was affected by her death - as was anyone close to her such as his dad and sister. Another very interesting plot point is the fog. This fog has clouded much of Milo’s last few years because they were near the time of his mother’s death. As a result if he tries to seek out his memories of these times the fog will block them. Milo’s character is also developed through his relationship with Summer Goldman. Overall: interesting plot, great characters and a very good insight into how people can be affected by tragedies such as losing a parent. Sean O’Grady, Transition Year

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Creative History Projects— History never looked so delicious! Second Year history always provides plenty of inspiration for students and this year’s Second Years have really risen to the challenge of bringing history to live and even making it edible! Great talent and effort were shown by Ms O’Keefe’s (2SO) and Ms Downes’ (2CQY) history classes this year when they were asked to interpret a project on the History of Exploration and Discovery in the early modern period. Cakes were baked, mapping the routes of Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan by Jess Doran, Taylor Coyle, Finn Rankin, Oliver Flitcroft, Ewan Ramsay (2SO), an exploration snake and ladder game was invented by Aaron McDonald (2CQY), an illuminated globe was

DELF Exams-European section About 70 students from the European section are currently preparing the DELF exams. The DELF is a diplome which stands for Diplome d'Etudes en Langue Francaise and is delivered by the Ministry of Education in France. It is recognised worldwide and allows students to have their level in French acknowledged wherever they are. It is a huge bonus within the European Union and beyond in terms of career opportunities. It is set against the Cadre Europeen Commun de référence, which is a linguistic benchmarking in all languages and is derived from the European Council. The diploma is made up of four exams, each assessing the four basic linguistic competences: aural, reading, written and oral. It's challenging for Transition and Fifth Year students who are taking the levels A2 and B1. But it’s a good practice and preparation for the Leaving Certificate. For the first time this year, Second Year students are going to sit the A1 exams which is a welcome development. The exams will take place in the Alliance Francaise on the 22nd and 23rd of January. Good luck to all students et joyeux noel! Daisy Berteloot

Paris lessons Here are my top ten tips for Paris… The people who worked in the train station wear different uniforms and consequently have different rules – be prepared to miscommunicate! Just because it worked in the last station doesn’t mean it will work again. Le metro – I love it! Be aware, constant travel on the metro will make you land sick! Le metro is clean but strangely smelly – I grew up on a farm so that doesn’t bother me much. The French love bureaucracy so have your paperwork in order.

created from papiermache by Matt Rankin (2CQY), while Conor Murphy (2SO) sculpted his very own caravel. Detailed presentations were prepared by everyone in both classes so well done to everyone for their excellent efforts to keep history alive in the classroom. 18

If you’re late for a tour beware no excuses are accepted (i.e. the nearest train station is closed and the group had walk an extra kilometre) you’ll be scolded severely. North Africans selling gold coloured Eiffel Tours are good humoured but not to be entertained. Scam artists, which have become plentiful in recent times, are to be met with a very forceful ‘non’ French people are most helpful when you’re stuck at a metro turn stile or when you keep turning your map over (because you don’t know which end is up) and you’re clearly lost. Members of the public don’t give reliable directions, your iPhone is more reliable. Useful phrases include ‘On y va!’ (let’s go), ‘Allez pee pee’ (bathroom break) and of course ‘ Oh Daisy??’ Mary Kennedy


Not Goodbye Paris, More Au Revoir Arriving in Beauvais airport our group (17 students and two teachers) departed for our accommodation Hotel Bagnolet Campanile on the outskirts of Paris for three nights. Leaving

our bags we immediately headed for the city via metro. We got to see loads of sites via the metro - Ms Berteloot and Ms Kennedy were always there ready to shout ‘vite! vite!’ when the train arrived in the station. On the first day we got to see the Mona Lisa (La Joconde) at the Louvre and other great artwork even the building, a glass pyramid, is a work of art. That night we got to see Paris from the Seine on the

famous Bateaux Mouches. One of the group decided to keep shouting ‘Je t’aime’ at the passersby on the numerous bridges until she got the response ‘Moi, aussi!’ which did come eventually. On the second day, we arrived at Versailles Palace after a long train trip. There were many opulent rooms, gold roofs and gates. We took the ‘petit train’ on a tour of the gardens. It was a beautiful place! That evening we climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to a view of the Champs Elysée and the Eiffel Tour which sparkled with light effects. On a

short walk down the Champs Elysée we stopped to watch two street dancers, one of whom performed the impressive trick of sliding along the footpath on his head (he was wearing a crash helmet) and other dancer tried to persuade Ms Berteloot to dance! The catchphrase of the trip became ‘Ca va pas la tête?’ Aaron McLaughlin, Fifth Year

After a delicious breakfast and a few metros we found ourselves at Pére Lachaise Cemetery, the resting place of many iconic figures such as Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison – who are these people I hear you ask, well Oscar Wilde is obvious the other two are singers of some sorts. We were given the task of finding as many well-known people as possible (we had to bring back photos of the graves) and then let loose. It didn’t go particularly well for my group but others seem to get enjoyment out of it.

Our next stop was Sacré Coeur which was very picturesque; we wandered around the souvenir shops and tried to avoid the numerous scams being foisted upon the unsuspecting tourists. Later that day we visited the Pompidou Centre, a modern art museum - some seemed too tired to appreciate the various exhibits but I loved it. I deeply appreciated the depth and simplicity of modern art on display. While resting on a chair, Ms Berteloot informed me that I was sitting on an exhibit at which I jumped up in shock but it turned out to be just a chair - in my defence it did look like some of the chairs I’d seen in the museum. After dinner we went to see a movie which was all in French - no-one understood it but we got the jist. The next day we were all a little depressed about it being our last day. After two metro trains we arrived at Notre Dame, a big cathedral with very interesting architecture. Our last historical site was the Notre Crypt which is based around archaeological excavations of Paris. Our last stop was St Lazare for shopping and then it was back to the hotel to collect the bags and take the train to Charles de Gaulle. We boarded the plane very sad to bid Paris farewell. We all had a ball and learned a bit of French, even Charlie who does German. And I fell in love with Caroline! Cian MacGearailt, Fifth Year

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PTA News Like everyone else the PTA Committee is gearing up for Christmas and looking forward to a few well-earned weeks off. The Winter Raffle is underway with a whole host of spectacular prizes to be won. Tickets went home in schoolbags of all the Junior Cycle (1st-3rd year) and are available to all students from the Front Office and Lost Property. Even easier is the option of buying online through the School website, so don’t miss out on the chance of winning one of our great prizes! Thanks to all the parents who donated prizes and also to everyone who has supported the raffle. The money we raise each year helps the PTA with vital things such as maintaining and taxing the school minibus, funding supplies for the nurses and supporting Student council initiatives such as the reinstalling of water fountains in the temporary premises. The draw for the Raffle will take place at the mince pie reception hosted by the PTA following the Carol service on Wed 18th December. Winners will be notified by phone if not present. A First Year Parents social evening was held in the ‘Redbrick’ on Wednesday 4th December. There was a great turnout, with about fifty parents enjoying refreshments and chat. It was felt by all to be a great way to meet the parents of your child’s friends (colour coded name badges helping people to gravitate to the appropriate form groups!). It was so successful that plans are afoot to host another evening, perhaps a BBQ, in the summer term. The PTA was instrumental in facilitating the presence of a catering company, Lunchbox, which provides healthy, onsite lunch options for the students and staff. There seems to be a very positive response from the students (despite the queues!) so we hope this arrangement will continue in the New Year. The PTA committee would like to take the opportunity to wish all Newpark students, parents, staff and indeed, all friends of Newpark, a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2014. Becky Johnston, PTA

Calling all First Year Poets The First Years have plenty of artistic endeavours to keep them occupied during the next few months. Many are involved in the Comenius Dance Project and large numbers auditioned for the Junior Plays. This year there will be four Junior Plays directed by partnerships of Fifth Year directors and writers. The First Year music class have also been busy rehearsing for the Carol Service and many First Year visual artists are keen members of the weekly Comics Club. Now it is time for the writers to step forward. We have an annual poetry competition in Newaprk and all First Years are invited to take part. The poems will form an anthology to be produced later in the year. The deadline for entries is Friday 31st of January. You can submit entries to your English teacher. The poems can be ones written for school or for your autobiography or they can be completely independent of schoolwork. So get writing: results will be announced at the Junior plays on the 26th and 27th of March.

Christmas Jokes Q. Why did they let the turkey join the band?

A. Because he had the drum sticks. Q. What do you when if you cross an apple with a Christmas tree? A. A pineapple. Q. What did the big candle say to the little candle? A. I’m going out tonight. Q. Why wasn’t the turkey hungry at Christmas time? A. He was stuffed! Q. Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve? A. Because it soots him.

Dates for your diary …  

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School re-opens on January 6th, 2014 Mock exams for Junior Cert and Leaving Cert classes will take place from February 3rd to February 14th, 2014 Transition Years will be on their activity weeks on from February 3rd to 14th, 2014 The mid-term break is February 17th to February 21st, 2014

Newsletter team: Anna Johnston, Mary Kennedy & Mags Downes Thanks to all our contributors. Please email contributions for the next issue to newsletter@newparkschool.ie

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Newpark Newsletter December 2013