February 2014, No. 40
International Junior Science Olympian
Congratulations to Transition Year Jonah Byrne who was selected as one of six students to represent Ireland at the International Junior Science Olympiad in India. In this article Jonah reports back on his fantastic experience. After doing well in my Maths and Science Junior Cert. exams I was invited to the Irish National Junior Science Olympiad in DCU, where I completed a multiple choice science exam. I was later extremely surprised and delighted to hear my name being called out to be part of the team representing Ireland at the International Junior Science Olympiad. In January 2014, after a weekend of preparation with the rest of the Irish team, we set off to fly to India for the IJSO. We flew into Mumbai and landed at 2am. Even at that time of night the city was extremely busy and from the bus to our hotel we could see the slums at the side of the street. We stayed in Mumbai for two nights and got to see some of the city centre before we went on to Pune, a city east of Mumbai where the competition would be held. We were very happy to hear that we would be staying in a large four star hotel along with the 48 other competing countries. The first test was an extremely challenging multiple choice exam with ten
questions each in biology, chemistry and physics. The test was also negatively marked, so if you got an answer wrong you would lose a quarter of a mark. The theory exam was even more challenging, the questions being of Leaving Cert standard. Finally we had a practical, where the team was split into team A and team B, each with three members. I was on team B and our teamwork led us to beat team A in the practical by a mark. We were in India for a total of twelve days, with roughly two days in between each test. In between each test we were taken on trips around Pune which included a trip to a zoological park and an amazing Indian martial arts show. We also visited a Mahatma Gandhi memorial park where some of his ashes are buried. For the duration of our stay we were guided by a very helpful Indian volunteer. Overall, the trip was a fantastic experience and I learned a lot about Indian culture and enjoyed the food. I was also shocked by some of the living conditions in the slums that I sawâ€”even in Mumbai. [Continued on page 3] 1
Mr Derek Lowry As the Mock examinations begin for Third and Sixth Year they are taking place against the backdrop of the continuing building work. The work on the new building is still ahead of schedule though the very poor weather of recent weeks has caused a small delay. The expectation is still that we should be able to move into the new three storey block in January 2015. The refurbishment of the Sports Centre will begin on the 28th April. The work sanctioned by the Department of Education will involve repairs to the roofs of both the gym and the swimming pool as well as the upgrading of all the internal electrical and heating systems inside. This work should take up to four months and be complete around the beginning of September. When work is complete on the new block, the Red Brick Building (Belfort House) will be closed for refurbishment. This will see existing Health and Safety issues addressed plus the installation of a new lift to make all areas of the building accessible to all students. The D and F area will be demolished in this phase as well. Then in the final phase all the landscaping and external work will be completed, hopefully by the end of August 2015. As we enter the second half of the school year I wish to thank all the studentsâ€™ staff and parents for their continued forbearance of all the challenges faced in moving this project to completion. This is particularly so at the present time with the Mock exams. Because of the need to put desks and chairs into the hall the number of available classrooms is reduced. Therefore students and teachers may have longer distances to travel between classes. I hope that the Third and Sixth Year students will learn a great deal about themselves and the exam process over these two weeks. What is most important is that they learn to manage their time in the exams well, ensure that the correct number of questions is answered and not to panic in the face of a tough paper or question. From this experience they can take all the lessons learnt and put them in practice over the coming months to maximise their performance in June. Following on from the vote of the ASTI on the Haddington Road Agreement the industrial action which impacted on meetings and planning has now ended. As with all workers, both public and private sectors, the last number of years have been very difficult. For teachers this has meant reductions in salary but also more challenging working conditions with increases in class size and reduced access to classroom resources due to smaller budgets. The range of abilities in the classroom has broadened which is a further challenge. Mental health issues can affect a significant number of teenagers the impact of which comes into the classroom. Activities taking place outside the classroom can now impinge on the school in way which did not happen even a few years ago. So for all teachers it is not just about going 2
into a room to deliver a syllabus. It is about interacting with between 150 and 250 individual teenagers over each week. It is about trying to deliver the best for each student. It is about many individual decisions and judgements being made every day. For many it is about all of that as well as coaching a team, organising a play, running a club, producing a newsletter, taking a group on a trip and so much more. At this time a group of students are preparing to visit Germany as part of a EU Comenius project with schools from three other countries. For the teachers involved in organising the trip it is all done outside school time. Why do teachers undertake such projects? Because these activities offer the students involved so many wonderful learning experiences that will broaden their outlook, bring them into contact with other cultures and allow them to develop so many relevant lifeskills. I want to recognise the huge contribution made to school life inside and outside the classroom by the staff in Newpark, both teaching and non-teaching, in these difficult times. As parents and students you may not always appreciate and agree with the judgements and decisions made in each case or issue but you can be assured that every effort is made to act in the best interests of both the individual student and the whole school community.
Ascent from Hell!
Congratulations to Hayley Oâ€™Keeffe, James Macklin, Ciaran Byrne, Morgan Lennon, Daniel Ludgate, Susie French, Conall Quigley, Claire Grant, Ger Cloney, Vicky Meredith, Twila Cooper, Ellen Lawless, Alastair White, Lillian Whooley, Daniel Donnelly, Antonin Lagnant, Sylvestry Odongo, Rachel Steele, Siobhan Costelloe and Dermot Marley
To Hell and Back for Newpark!
On the morning of Sunday the 26th of January, twenty hardy members of the Newpark Staff set out to tackle one of Ireland’s most difficult physical and mental challenges: the notorious Hell and Back. We were to put ourselves through freezing water, neck-deep mud, electric shocks and a sniper alley—all in the name of raising funds for the Newpark Student Support Fund. The weather forecast was appalling, and we had been sharing frightened texts and comments in the days before the event. There was a touch of gallows humour about. Thankfully, the weather was considerate on the day, and we did not have to deal with as much sleet and freezing winds as expected. We met at Kilruddery with a mix of nerves and grim resignation, and some misguided enthusiasm. Our time came for the energetic warm-up, and then the jog down to the starting line. To get to the start, we had to climb over a two metre high wall. The polite reticence with which people approached this obstacle was in contrast to how we ended up pushing, pulling, lifting, catching and climbing on one another to get through the course. Before we took off, we all knelt and pledged to help one another on the course, and to never leave another participant in trouble. I was reminded of great speeches given by generals on the eve of battle. We were off, and through the waist-deep icy waters of the pond. Then on to go over and under some slimy, slippery, muddy obstacles. We were advising one another on how to avoid the deep bits…. If we had known what was ahead, we would have laughed at this. We were soon jogging up the side of the Little Sugar Loaf. As we approached some forestry, the sounds of pained screams floated over the wintery air. Sniper Alley. We were sent scuttling through the trees as a team of snipers with pellet guns peppered our bodies. It really stung on cold wet skin. Then on over the mountain through a cutting wind that chilled your soaking heroes to the bone. The summit was at the four kilometre mark. It felt like we had travelled a lot further. The descent was tricky, and the sleet came in. The next section is a bit of a blur for
me, as my body and brain were starting to shut down with the cold. Two of my kind team mates gave my arm, which was totally numb and quite lifeless, a rub. There was a pit of tyres, logs, ropes, crawling under barbed wire, through straw that had served as stable bedding (complete with the smell), carrying sand bags up and down a steep and muddy hill. Most of us were still together, and cheering, cajoling, supporting and manhandling each other over the obstacles. We descended into a more manicured pastoral landscape, and told each other that the worst was over. It was about to get intense. Through some woods with waist deep mud, then into the suckiest, deepest, least forgiving mud I have ever known: The Swamp. One particular member of our group got so stuck that we had to launch a rescue mission, and re-enter the mire. We managed to free her with the kind of self sacrificing effort that typified the day. We were entirely covered in stinking mud, and set off running to the next insult to our senses and bodies. It was bad. We had to cross a neck deep, bone freezing river… three times. We then had to squeeze each other through a giant mangle made of logs and tyres. Then the final section: crawling through water under electric wires, through a gravelly night-black tunnel, under a long net over tyres and freezing mud, then throwing each other over a big slide, through some more (surprisingly painful) electric shocks, over the ten foot wall and then up the hay bales and down the free-fall drop and over the finish line. We were all cold, exhausted and relieved to have made it. It was not a pleasant way to spend a Sunday morning, but I am very glad I did it. I feel like I know the other participants a bit better now. We have been with each other in circumstances so different
to our working lives that we cannot help but see one another in a new light. Was it a success? Within a few hours of the finish line we were making plans for our next challenge. I’d call that a success. Donations are still welcome. Ciaran Byrne
Emily Cahill Awarded Elite Athletic Scholarship It was a great pleasure to be in UCD’s huge O’Reilly Hall at the formal presentation of their ad astra Academy Scholarships. These important awards are given to an elite group of exceptional students in academic areas, performing arts and sports and Emily (who left Newpark last year) is combining her considerable skills as a soccer player with studying for a degree in Sociology. Woven through the ceremony and presentations were a number of speeches by both university lecturers and scholarship students. Listening to the students in particular was fascinating, their level of ability and attainment is already pretty astonishing and you realise that they have a lot further to go in developing their talents. These are people we’ll hear more about! All the students involved were obviously lucky to have great natural ability, but as they spoke you became aware that this was matched with a real desire and determination to achieve, something which we ordinary folk might remember! Don’t be put off, keep at it—you might not be the best, but you can definitely be the best that you can be!! Philip Hollwey
Lets Dance in Germany
Well done to Rory Kelly 3SFH who placed a very impressive tenth in his age category in the IAAF Celtic Games Cross Country event in Antrim on 4th January. Rory was competing against athletes from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: this is a fantastic achievement on an international stage. Well done Rory!
Coming up after mid-term is the first of the European trips for the Newpark’s Take a chance: Lets Dance project. We decided to take our First and Second Year participants on the first trip to Bearfelden in Germany. We have been practicing our ceilí dance and are bringing the fiddle to play some jigs and reels. It’s been a completely new experience for some and others have done it before so we are all helping each other out. Dancers from all four partner schools (Germany, Italy, Turkey and Ireland) will do a short performance and introduce themselves on our first day. Later in the five day trip we will look at the logo selected by each school for the European Logo competition and choose the overall winner. We will also be doing hiphop workshops with professionals, flashmobs and a trip to Frankfurt has been organised: Bearfelden is a little over an hour from Frankfurt. It’s all very exciting and new and we are looking forward very much to meeting everyone and having fun dancing. We will tell you all about it when we come back! In our next dance phase back at Newpark we will all be doing salsa, tap, hiphop and more and focusing on the dancers from Third to Fifth Year in preparation for the next trip to Turkey. Tchuss—mach’s gut!
East Leinster Schools Cross-Country Congratulations to Rory and Lorcain Kelly who competed in the East Leinster Schools Cross Country competition. Lorcain reports below.
We arrived at Avondale early on Thursday morning after the race being cancelled the previous day due to bad weather. It was cold but bright, and some of the other schools were already there. I was running in the junior boys A race, and Rory was running in the Inter boy’s race. After warming up, I went down to the start line. There were a lot of other boys my age there, and it was tough starting the race as it began on a hill. The course was tough, and there were a lot of puddles and mud. I came twentieth and Rory came fifth. After the race, I was covered from head to foot in mud. It was a very enjoyable experience, and I will definitely do it again next year. Lorcan Kelly 2SO
It is a number of years since Newpark competed in the East Leinsters and it is an incredible achievement that Rory Kelly has qualified for the Leinsters on Wednesday 12th February in Santry Demesne. We wish Rory the very best of luck in that race. 4 Newpark will be cheering all the way!
Fiona Ní Fhaolain
First Year Fun Run One hundred and twenty four First Year students participated in the First Year Aviva Mile challenge on Thursday 6th February 2014 proving that they could complete a mile by walking, jogging and running. We were extremely lucky to have a dry day and minimal waterlogged sections of the course in spite of a very wet week. As with most cross country events there was plenty of mud and good humour on the day. Special congratulations to Misha Vaganov, OisĂn Oâ€™Sullivan, Jake Owen and Finn Larsen (all under six minutes), Bella Gibney and Sara Edris. The full results are posted on the school cross-country notice board. Thank you to all those teachers and Fifth Year volunteers that were involved in running the event and ensuring it all went smoothly. Gormlaith Ormond
Photos by Terry Emerson
Science Matters Tackling the Technology Challenge at W5 that would travel furthest using the wind from the fans. Our car had a different design: two medium wheels at the back and two small front wheels about three inches apart, plus a sail above the two back wheels. It took us a while to agree our final design. All the cars were made from K���NEX and one piece of paper. In testing our car performed excellently and to be honest I thought we would win. When the first race began our car was a metre ahead of the others after a few seconds. I turned my head for a second and when I looked back the other car had over taken and finished just centimetres ahead. The overall winner was a small car made by Zeph Phillips, Conall Clarke and Benedek Teleki. After registration on February 3rd the whole of Second Year set off on buses for Belfast. The bus journey was about two hours. The bus pulled up next to the Odyssey arena and we went in to W5. Even in the W5 lobby there were experiments or demonstrations which we played with while we waited for our guide. There was a big white board with jelly like things we could split by touching the board. There was also a machine filled with smoke which blew a smoke ring when you pressed on it. There was a ball that weighed a couple of hundred kilograms. You could push it easily though because there was water flowing around it. The final experiment was three hot air balloons. I didn’t get to try them though. After lunch we went to the showroom floors. I played the drums using light and used a pulley to pull myself up to the roof. I didn’t spend much time there because we were sent to a higher floor where there were experiments with magnets. They put you in the position of the crane operator in the port of Belfast and you had to stack small metal blocks on to a ship.
When the Technology Challenge was over we walked around the exhibition floors. I created and destroyed a beach using a wave machine, I watched Pearse Lewis read the news and I robbed a safe that was protected by a laser system. After a good day at W5 we left and got back to school just before 5pm.
International Science Olympiad [Continued from page 1]
After this we did the Technology Challenge. We walked into a large room with a few tables, a track and four giant fans. We divided into groups of three or four. I was in a group with Harry Faro, Steven McCabe and Nick Petrov. We had to build a car 6
At the awards ceremony, gold medals were awarded to those in the 90th percentile, silver to those in the 80th and bronze to those in the 60th percentile. The Chinese won the most gold medals. Team Ireland managed to bring home four bronze medals, the results of team B’s practical helped one of its members to achieve a bronze. This was the best result for Ireland in the last few years. Next year the competition will be held in Sri Lanka. Jonah Byrne, Transition Year
BT Young Scientist 2014
Doctor, What’s the Matter? Congratulations to past student Kevin Maguire (Leaving Cert. class of 2010) who has been awarded a doctoral scholarship by the University of Manchester to do a PhD in particle physics. Kevin will be spending at least a year at CERN (the European Nuclear Research Laboratory) in Geneva where he will be using data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Ethan Hamman from 5EG proudly represented Newpark at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition in January. He submitted a project in the Social and Behavioural Science category, a comprehensive statistical analysis of people’s assumptions when identifying whether a person looks male or female, against the sex and age of those who completed the surveys. It was titled ‘Does gender or age influence perception of other people’s gender?’ Numerous students helped with the study by doing the surveys, and along with those completed on the internet, Ethan analysed over six hundred people’s responses, and subsequently analysed tens of thousands of data. Science teacher Claire Grant supported him through the process, and was amongst the may Newpark visitors to the exhibition. Ethan put an enormous amount of work into the project, and really enjoyed the four days in the RDS. We are all very proud of what he achieved. Kim Achari
Kevin will be using data from the LHCb detector on the LHC accelerator at CERN to investigate CP violation in particles that contain a charm quark. Many people have won Nobel prizes over the years for finding CP violation in different particles. CP violation is thought to be the reason why there is lots of matter and not much anti-matter in the universe; it’s a fundamental asymmetry in the physics of the universe. Kevin says his interest in physics started in Fifth Year at Newpark thanks to the influence of his physics teacher Mr Costello. We wish Kevin every success with his doctoral research. Kevin Maguire was Deputy Head Boy 2009-10
Team Maths 2014, a maths table quiz for Leaving Cert higher level students, took place on Friday, 31st January.
Newpark fielded a very strong team, including John Cummins, Simon O’Neill, Andrew Ramsay, Carla Redmond-Fernandez, Beatrice Ritzen, Matthew Sharpe, Niall Sherlock and Vladislav Sirenko. The Newpark team travelled to St. Michael’s College in Ballsbridge to compete against fifty other teams from the greater Dublin area. Taking place the Friday evening before the mocks, the table quiz gave students the opportunity for a fun night out, while at the same time preparing for their exams. Newpark students got off to a blistering start, in joint second place after the first four rounds, only one point behind the leaders! Unfortunately, Team Newpark was unable to keep up this pace, and the leaders pulled ahead in the second half of the competition. Still, Newpark finished very respectably, and an enjoyable night was had by all. Well done to all the Newpark team! Ellen Lawless, Newpark Maths
An End to Marriage Inequality? Last summer four thousand people marched through the streets of Dublin to demand marriage equality for all citizens of Ireland. I was one of them. I (and everyone else who hadn’t made a placard) carried an A4 sheet of cardboard with the word ‘equal’ written on it. By carrying the word ‘equal’ we were trying to illustrate that we live in a country which supposedly treats all citizens equally, but in its marriage laws it does not. There is a referendum scheduled for 2015 to decide whether to allow same-sex marriage. It is possible that in this referendum the people of Ireland will vote against the government, who support marriage equality. If this happens and the proposed legislation is rejected, we would have to ask: What now? I can’t think of a single sensible response to this. We could hold it again a year later like we did with the Lisbon and Nice Treaties—I doubt that the Fine Gael/ Labour government would be keen on this. The other response would be to go on waiting. How long we would have to wait is anyone’s guess. 1993 saw the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the Republic. Compare this with our neighbour, England. The House of Lords passed a bill decriminalising homosexual acts in 1967. Lord Arran, a sponsor of the bill said of it: “Because of the Bill now to be enacted, perhaps a million human beings will be able to live in greater peace. I find this an awesome and marvellous thing”. Awesome and marvellous as it was, it was 26 years until Ireland would do likewise, and only did so after the government was brought before the European Court of Human Rights. We have the hard work of David Norris and Mary Robinson to thank for this. Same-sex marriage is due to become legal in England later this year. Is it going to be 26 years, the year 2040, before Ireland follows suit? It doesn’t have to be 2040; it could be 2015 if the referendum is passed. For this to happen, people need to vote. The turnout for the Seanad referendum was less than 40 percent of the electorate. If you’re 18, please register to vote now. If you’re not, talk to your friends, your siblings, your parents, anyone who can vote and ask them to vote. Opinion polls have shown that the majority of voters are in favour of changing the constitution, the biggest obstacle to this change is low voter turnout. Marriage equality is perhaps the last major step for Ireland in a civil rights movement which began in the 1960s. It may seem insignificant compared to what has already been achieved, but it is a crucial step. As a modern democracy we should strive to ensure that all citizens are treated equally. Any inequality in the law sends the wrong message to the people, and to an extent it legitimises hatred. Only when all citizens have equal rights in every aspect of the law, can we fully tackle social issues relating to sexuality. Colm Higgins, Sixth Year
Letters from Za’atari Facilitated by Unicef Ireland as part of their new initiative It’s About Us, Third Years in Newpark made contact by Skype with young people in the Za’atari camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan. Later that day the Newpark students passed on a plea to Tánaiste Eamonn Gilmore to ask the Irish Government to help Syrian refugees during this time of crisis. The Syrian students sent the following letters to Newpark.
Letter from Mousa (aged 12) Peace be upon you. I’m Mousa. I’m very grateful to you because you care about Syrian children in the camps, and it’s my pleasure to keep in touch with you. I would like to thank the teachers for their concern and following up on what is happening in Syria. Thank you for delivering our message to your government which tried to help Syrian children, and a lot of thanks to Unicef Jordan and Unicef Ireland for giving me this opportunity to let the world listen to the voices of Syrian children. I was not expecting that you would care about us so much. Letter from Hanan (aged 17) Hello Friends, We are very grateful to you friends in Ireland, and I would like to thank you for your kind cooperation and listening to us through Skype, you are a role model of an aware and intellectual generation, who can feel the others’ suffering. I hope we can keep in touch because you have already had your places in our hearts, your concern about our case is a big help for us. Thank you again for your kind feelings, and we wish you a good luck and success. Hanan Za’atari camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan Susie French
Original Irish Poetry from Fifth Year An tEarrach Thoir I love the poetry of Máirtín Ó Direáin. Born on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands in 1910, he left the island at the age of eighteen to find work, and lived most of his life in Dublin. He referred to himself as ‘stoite’, uprooted, from his beloved home where his heart and soul remained throughout his life. Being a ‘culchie’ myself and having spent most of my happiest childhood summers in Kerry, I can empathise with Ó Direáin, while acknowledging the many attractions of Dublin-living. Not so my Fifth Year students whom, I could tell from their faces, just don’t share either my or Ó Direáin’s love of simple country life and customs! They (rightly) pointed out the impracticality of living somewhere with no possibility
An tEarrach Thoir
of employment and of course the lack of nightclubs! The poem ‘An tEarrach Thiar’ (Springtime in the West), which we were studying, recalls the sights and sounds of men digging and saving seaweed, women with their coats ‘hooshed up’ standing in the little pools of water left behind on the beach at low tide, and men coming to shore with currachs full of fish at the end of the day. Naturally, Dublin teenagers have no understanding of these images so I asked them to write a short poem about the sights and sounds of Springtime in the East. I was amazed and delighted by their work— the first time we have ever tried it—and hope to produce a collection of the students’ poetry (with English translations) later in the year. For now, I hope you enjoy the poem below by Eleanor Kellet-Conlon. The decision on which poem should be the first to be printed was a difficult one, given the quality of writing from many students, but I eventually chose Eleanor’s for the way she captured the language and rhythms of the original work by Máirtín Ó Direáin and made it her own. Maith thú, Eleanor…congratulations. Gearóidín O Dwyer
Springtime in the East
Fear ag glanadh duilleoga De ghaothscáth a chairr Sa gciúnas séimh I bhfuacht an lae Deasghnáth San Earrach Thoir
A man clearing leaves from his car’s windshield In the gentle quietness in the cold of the day a common ritual Springtime in the East
Mná ag siopadóireacht I Slad na hAthbhliana Slua cosúil le Slua na croiche Níos mó le hiompar San Earrach Thoir
Women shopping in New Year’s Sales The crowd the size Of a gallows audience More to carry Springtime in the East
Bláthanna sna siopaí Is torthaí úra Ag lonrú I dtaitneamh gréine Lonradh sa fonn San Earrach Thoir
Flowers in the shops And fresh fruit Glistening In the sunshine Sparkling with desire Springtime in the East
Dearmad déanta Ar bhrostú na Nollag Le tamall anuas An domhan ina bheatha Tosach nua San Earrach Thoir
Forgotten The Christmas rush For some time now The world is alive again A fresh start Springtime in the East. 9
A Feast of Short Plays Brainchild of Sixth Year Mark Ball, the onenight-only festival of short plays on Thursday the 9th of January was an absolute tour de force. Mark invited students, past students and teachers to write plays for the event or to become involved as directors or actors. In the end six plays evolved. The actors auditioned just before Christmas and took scripts home to learn lines during the break. Then they had five days with their directors and crews to make the magic happen! And happen it did… As more and more people piled into the theatre it became clear that the house would be packed. There was such a sense of fun and anticipation. The night opened with Jack After Dentist a macabre piece written by Ross Coleman and directed by Esme Galloway, both in Transition Year. I was sitting beside the author who was delighted to hear that I had been warned that my nine year old daughter might never agree to go to the dentist again after seeing this play. It was gleefully black comedy with a sadistic dental duo performing their torture routines to Abba songs! The second play Good for You, Son was written and directed by Fifth Year Max Goldman and Second Year Dylan Burns. This was a pleasantly twisted (in every sense!) tale of attempted patricide in the sitting room. William and Reginald Go To Whitecastle (and have a very pleasant time, thank you very much) was by Derek Byrne and directed by Cian O’Ceallachain, both past students. Derek also acted in this play with Fifth Year Orla Dunne. It was so much fun – with tight focus on the outrageous and hilarious lies, evasions and occasional revelations of this very, very odd couple. Sixth Year John Cummins both wrote and directed Fake ID – a cleverly crafted and entertaining plot of mistaken identities, bluffs and double bluffs, incompetent (but cunning) crooks and a double jobbing policewoman. Archives was a much more contemplative piece, though also very humorous. Written by Colm Higgins and directed by Richard Harvey (both Sixth Years) it featured Fifth Year actors Roisín Sheridan Bryson simultaneously narrating and acting and Aaron Williams as a Man of Few Words but Many Pints. This is one I would love to read as I felt I missed a lot: the text was loaded with quiet digs, allusions and suggestions and it was an interesting, witty exploration of Irish identity and cliché. The Trial of Dr Smoog was written and directed by another Sixth Year, Adam Boland. The characters were fantastically flamboyant, the storyline delightedly absurd, the dialogue fast and very, very funny indeed. I thought I might do myself an injury laughing so much. We even got a rare view of Cathy Devis onstage as the demented patron saint of insane criminals. It was such an enjoyable evening and the 10
audience was blown away by the energy, talent and creativity of all involved. Huge credit must go to Mark Ball for his vision and determination in the initiating, planning and co-ordinating of this event: he is a force to be reckoned with and one to watch for the future. Anna Johnston
A Word from the Producer This being my final year in Newpark, I decided I wanted to give something back to Newpark drama: the thing that brought me the most joy during my time here. I proposed the idea of running two different fundraisers: a short plays festival and an anthology of original plays written by Newpark students. The funds would go towards a desperately needed new theatre. As some of you may or may not know, the theatre isn’t included in the Department of Education’s plans for the new school. It has been an honour to kick-start the much needed fundraising. Rehearsals started a mere five days before the show. It amazed me how quickly all the casts pulled each show together so quickly. The night itself was a huge success. With almost double the expected turnout, we were delighted to say the least. We managed to raise a little over €1000! I’d like to thank everyone who came and/or supported us in any way. Without all the support we wouldn’t have been able to put this on. I’d also like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped behind the scenes: lights, stage hands and front of house, and of course to the wonderful Cathy Devis who is the backbone and driving force of Newpark Drama. Finally a big congratulations to the writers, directors and actors! Without that wide group of talented, dedicated people, none of this would have happened. Mark Ball 6MK
The anthology of Newpark plays will be launched in conjunction with the Junior Plays Festival on the 26th and 27th of March. It will be on sale at the door. Keep an eye out on the school website for alternative methods of purchase. Are you interested in helping fundraise for a new theatre? Are you interested in writing, directing or acting in the next Short Plays Fundraiser event in September? If so, contact Mark (email@example.com). Students, parents, past pupils and staff all welcome!
St Andrew’s One Act Drama Festival This year, Newpark is performing a play about time and telephones, If You’re Glad, I’ll be Frank, by Tom Stoppard. Originally a radio play, it tells the story of Frank Jenkins, an efficient and timely bus driver, who telephones the Speaking Clock to synchronize his watch one day and is shocked to hear the voice of his estranged wife, Gladys, counting down the minutes. What ensues is a rapid race against time and rush hour traffic to find her, even if he must push past grumpy GPO officials and double park the Double Decker outside! The cast is made up eight Fifth Years: April Cleary, Max Goldman, Aaron Williams, Eoin Spencer, Sinead Gallagher, Rachel Kelly O’Brien, Roisin Sheridan-Bryson and Kate Whelan and three Transition Years: Cian Malin, Ross Coleman and Matthew Breen. It will be performed on Thursday the 13th of February at 7.30pm in St. Andrew’s and tickets can be purchased at the door on the night. The actors have been working tirelessly for the past six weeks and are really looking forward to the performance. We would all love to see as much support as possible from the whole school community; it promises to be a great night’s entertainment!
First Year Environment Workshop On Thursday January 23rd all of First Year was given the opportunity to attend an hour long environment workshop presented by Natasha Kalvus and sponsored by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. The topics discussed included water, waste and energy as well as an individual responsibility to the environment. The workshops used multi-media elements as well as active methodologies such as debate. On the whole, the First Years were very engaged. As a result of the workshop 1DON decided to run a cross-curricular project involving maths and geography by carrying out a survey of single use plastic water bottles. 1DON will bring you all their results and recommendations in the next newsletter, so stay tuned. Two videos the students recommend from the workshop are: The Story of Bottled Water http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se12y9hSOM0
Amy Keating and Hayley O’ Keeffe
Newpark Drama presents…
The Junior Plays 2014 Four original plays written and directed by the Fifth Years Starring First and Second Years Wednesday 26th &Thursday 27th March 2014 7.30pm in the Hunter Theatre Tickets will be available in the library at the beginning of March. €10 for Adults €5 for Students
Maths Puzzler Try this! Answer is on the back page of the newsletter, and a worked solution is on the maths notice board, opposite B4. Brian and Ryan are brothers. Three years ago Brian was seven times as old as Ryan. Two years ago he was four times as old. Last year he was three times as old and in two years time he will be twice as old. How old are Brian and Ryan now?
and The Landfill Harmonic Orchestra http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJrSUHK9Luw
Maths News The first school maths competition since Maths Week was held before the Christmas holidays. The competition featured a first year, junior, and senior question. There were many correct responses submitted, but unfortunately only one winner could be chosen in each category. The winners were first year Aaron McGrath 1EL, junior Michael Hall 1EL, and senior Benedek Teleki 2DBT. Congratulations to the winners, and well done to all who participated! Look out for the next maths competition after the midterm break. Ellen Lawless
Deutschmobil Visits Newpark On Wednesday 29th January the German touring bus, the “Deutschmobil”, sponsored by the Goethe Institute, the German Embassy, Audi Ireland and Zurich Insurance, visited the First Year German students. Two teachers from the Goethe Institute engaged all thirty students in fun and group activities based on a Visit to Germany. They played German memory games, “packed” a suitcase and “did” the shopping along with many other interesting activities. Each student was presented with a German badge, as well as German pencils and notepads at the end of the hour long workshop. Many thanks once again to the Goethe Institute who do so much to support and promote German language and culture in schools in Ireland. For more information on
the Deutschmobil and the opportunities that exist for German language speakers see www.germanconnects.ie
First Year Poets
Don’t forget to submit your poems for the annual First Year poetry competition. The poems will form an anthology to be produced later in the year. The deadline for entries has been extended to Friday 28th of February. 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.
Into the foundations of the new school directly under the principal’s office a treasure has been laid... A small tin box containing precious words was given to the building contractor twelve days before Christmas 2013 to be buried.... The stone that the builders have rejected has become the cap stone Psalm 118 vs 22. For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future Jeremiah 29 vs 112. The praying parents of Newpark and the CU students buried this little box containing promises, prayers and blessings for the new school and all who will use it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ 1 Core 3 vs 11. It is sealed in concrete....
To Hell and Back
Here is a sample of what the students thought: “I enjoyed the supermarket activity the most as it was very interactive and we got to speak German” - Dali Gallagher “I learned the most from the suitcase game because there were a lot of words that we use often in English” – Finn Keating McMahon “I enjoyed the jigsaw because it was fun and taught me where the places were” – Ben O’Sullivan “I learned new words from the matching game” – Rhys Farrington “I learned the most from the collage because people were writing down questions about it and I learned a lot from that”- Hannah Philips “I enjoyed the memory game because the words get stuck in your head” – Jack Haskins Deirdre Mackey
CU Students and praying parents
What would you do for Newpark?
Answer to Maths Puzzler Brian is ten and Ryan is four.
Newsletter team: Anna Johnston, Mary Kennedy & Mags Downes Thanks to all our contributors. Please email contributions for the next issue to firstname.lastname@example.org