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December 2011, No 29

Rocking on at Newpark I am, you’ll understand, a very old person, so old indeed that I have no young memories of Queen, memories at all indeed; I don’t know if she was a woman, a man, or a group — or what she was. So I approached the show with some trepidation, worried it might be deafeningly loud, perhaps not quite my cup of tea…. But I worried much too soon. I looked at the programme, and counted over two hundred names of those involved in it, and those who made it happen — that’s a fifth of the whole school community, and I’ve no doubt there were many more helpers and encouragers whose names didn’t make it into the programme. It was six weeks mayhem in the school no doubt; and no doubt there was some disruption to the strict learning programme of the school. But I am certain that the learning experiences at the school were deeply intensified for everyone involved. I went at see it twice, Thursday and Saturday, and each time I joined in the frenzy of excitement and delight which overcame everyone in the cast, the orchestra — and the audience. I loved particularly the Ga Ga girls at the start of the second half, and couldn’t resist saying to my neighbour, a teacher, ‘That’s exactly what Newpark is dedicated towards not producing’. Those young performers were just great, and were clearly enjoying the whole thing mightily as they did it.

And so it was up through the cast list, an amazing array of talent and commitment: I just loved them all. And then the ones who made it happen: the music, the acting, the choreography and direction, the settings, building them and making them work, and the technical back-up. It was tour de force, and a whole school experience. I still don’t know who Queen was or were. But I did recognize many of the songs as the show flashed through, and sang along with the best of them. And I look forward to Bohemian Rhapsody with my family on Christmas night with a new awareness. Micheal Johnston, Chairperson Board of Management Thanks to Anna Moran 5DM, Ciaran Byrne & Bobby Ryan for photos on and off stage


Mr Derek Lowry As the first term comes an end I would like to acknowledge the contribution of school staff to so many important aspects of school life. Firstly, on November 24th and 25th there was a subject inspection of Physics and Science in the school. The oral feedback at the end was extremely positive. It was especially heartening to hear the Inspector speak of the very positive engagement by all students and the positive learning atmosphere. He commended the staff involved on their commitment to their work and their use of varied teaching methodologies. Many thanks to all the science teachers involved. This affirmation of their work is very much deserved and comes as no surprise. Secondly, the meetings for parents/guardians and teachers in 2nd and 6th year took place in November and there was a high turnout of parents/ guardians. This is an invaluable opportunity for students, parents and teachers to exchange practical information on student progress. While every effort is made to stick to the time schedule, inevitably with such large numbers involved there can be delays. I thank both teachers and parents/guardians for their patience and commitment to ensuring that as many appointments as possible were met. Thirdly, I wish to recognise the significance of the fact that our intake into Newpark each year is very diverse academically, culturally and socially. This presents challenges for all teachers and I want to acknowledge the huge efforts made to differentiate teaching to meet the different learning needs of so many students. Without the commitment of so many staff little of what you read about in this newsletter would happen. Educational trips and cross-curricular activities enrich the experience of school for so many students. They broaden learning and take it out of the narrow confines of the classroom and the syllabus. Many students have access to a Special Needs Assistant. This resource enables many of them to access a quality of education which would not be possible without that provision. This year access to SNAs has been subject to significant cutback. This has impacted on the workload but our SNAs have continued to provide a very caring and professional service for an increasing number of students and for that we are very grateful. Due to the government’s moratorium on filling posts our administrative staff has been reduced too. While the administrative workload has remained constant the numbers working in the area has reduced significantly. Obviously this puts extra strain on the office staff especially in dealing with queries during the school day. Despite this the staff continue to provide a very effective and friendly service. In recognition of the loss of personnel the school management are looking at ways of streamlining our 2 administrative practices to reduce the overall

demands on the school office. In the New Year we hope to communicate to parents through email and text. The cost of a text is 7c at present, but it is a very effective means of communication and allied to the email should reduce overall costs quite significantly. The necessity to reduce costs has been underlined in the recent budget by the further reduction by 2% of the DES capitation grant. This follows on from a 5% reduction last year. In view of this it is very important for the school to try and maximise the voluntary contribution from parents/ guardians. I thank all those who have paid the voluntary contribution this year. At the same time we are very aware of the circumstances of many families in these difficult times. Up to the present time approximately 115 contributions have been received for 2nd to 6th year. Therefore any contributions—no matter how much—from parents/guardians are greatly appreciated at any time. We have had a fantastic term for musical, dramatic and artistic productions. In November we were treated to a double-bill of drama: comedy from Sixth Years presenting The 15 Minute Hamlet and Newpark Theatre Company’s fine production of A Doll’s House. These were followed by the Queen musical Newpark will Rock You which took the school by storm last week. Newpark student artists completed their street art project with a most impressive public presentation at Dublin Contemporary. Oisín Lyons has just won the Senior Prize in the Poetry Aloud national competition. Another group of artists and writers is collaborating with Fighting Words on their exciting graphic publication. My congratulations and heartfelt thanks to all involved. It is clear that the Arts continues to flourish within the school! At the last Board meeting a representative group of the Arts committee presented a draft Arts policy. This impressive document lays out the vision, aims and objectives for the Arts within the school. It is particularly encouraging that this committee involves staff, students, parents and past students, all of whom have a great interest and passion for this vitally important part of school life. We look forward to more progress over the coming months. We have been well represented in sports too with three Leinster hockey players (Stefan Gallagher, Andrew Ramsay and Johnny McCormack) on the winning U16 and U18 Interpro teams. Junior swimmers Leo Kurevlev and Jeff Fahy competed in Hungary in the EU Swimming Invitationals. Our Senior Boys’ basketball team put in superb performances to reach the East League Final and qualify for the All Irelands. Congratulations to all. At the end of this busy term, I wish all staff, students and parents/guardians a very happy and enjoyable Christmas holiday. I look forward to seeing everyone in the New Year.

Twelve Days with the Caretakers Hello Newpark, if anybody is dreaming of a white Christmas—could you please refrain? The office staff were not pleased last year when we put them out to shovel the snow while the caretakers ‘manned’ the office. Due to floor damage last year, sleigh rides in the A corridor won’t go ahead and, while I think of it, I don’t think the parents who donated the seven swans last year intended them for pulling sleighs. On a lighter note, we were finallyable to safely (and of course humanely) capture the two beautiful turtle doves that kept all in the library busy holding umbrellas up while they studied. As far as we can confirm the library ceiling is now their home, although I’m not sure the six geese already up there will be amused. A set of five golden rings has been handed into the front office and the owner can collect them at break time. A9 will continue to out of use for the foreseeable future and we would like to thank the eight maids-a-milking for agreeing to supply fresh milk to Newpark free of charge. However, the management are a little concerned about the all-night parties since they have invited ten lords a leaping to join them. The neighbours have already written to the board about the noise from the eleven pipers who wander the car-park at night creating an ear piercing screech. For the season that is in it—the school is pleased to announce that a famous dance group will be performing in the Mall during break time. All nine dancers will be accompanied by twelve drummers. Speculation is running high that these lovely ladies will be joined by nine of the ten lords in A9. It should be a memorable time—providing the seven swans don’t get out of the cleaners’ room. You may have noticed that the class change bell sounds a little different lately—this is of course due to our Newpark energy saving policy. Four calling birds have recently been housed in the principal’s office. We were going to use a partridge instead of the four calling birds but Mr Lowry didn’t think there would be room for the pear tree. Well, breakfast is ready so I’m off to have my fresh scrambled eggs from our three French hens and then I have to take the seven swans for a bit of exercise. I told the sports centre I would be bringing some birds with me for a quick paddle. Finally if all students absolutely insist on returning after the Christmas hols could they please do it quietly as we will be still recovering from partying with the eight maids in A9 over Christmas. Happy Christmas from all the Caretakers.

Mopark makes its mark! On the first of November, ten fearless men sacrificed their pride and their upper lip to grow some dodgy facial hair in aid of ‘Movember’, a month long fundraising and awareness campaign in aid of the fight against men’s cancer.

Led by their courageous leader Mr McKenna (or Chairman Mo), Mr Adams, Mr Breaden, Mr Byrne, Mr Lennon, Mr O’Neill, Mr Power, Mr Quigley, James Macklin and Simon Lowry were part of team Mopark. Within days, hair growth on the lip was in full swing (some quicker than others) and the donations started to pour in. A competitive element helped spur team members on to out fundraise each other and this led to Mopark being ranked second out of 450 teams with ten or less team members nationally. This is a huge achievement and more importantly we have raised €4,322 at the time of writing, in only 30 days! Check out for more on this fundraising campaign and its extremely worthwhile cause.

Cakes for a cause On the 25th of October, 3SO did a bake sale in aid of the DSPCA. We brought in home-baking and some shops were kind enough to give us baked goods. Even with only two year-groups in due to the floods, we made €205. On the 10th of November, we visited the DSPCA Rathfarnam to make our donation. We were given a very interesting talk about the hard work they do there. They get around 300 calls a day and in 2010 rescued over 1400 animals. It takes two million euro per year to run the animal rescue services and only a very small percentage of this comes from the government. After the talk we got to look around at the cats and dogs hoping for a home. It was a very enjoyable and interesting day and everyone had fun. Sinead Gallagher 3SO


Basketball—taking it to the top It’s been a great season for Newpark Boys’ basketball. Both the Under 16 and Under 19 teams won their league sectionals and progressed through to the Basketball Ireland semi-finals on 6th December in Oblate Hall, Inchicore. The U16s qualified confidently, defeating Adamstown in the quarter-finals 46-34. Excellent defence kept Adamstown shooting from outside and aggressive rebounding meant we controlled the ball and the tempo of the game. The U19s qualified through one of the most dramatic games of my five year coaching career: Newpark vs. Sallynoggin Holy Child. Newpark took an early lead and kept it until the last minutes of the last quarter when the ball was turned over and it seemed we had lost by one point as the final whistle sounded. However, the official score-sheet declared the game a draw pushing us into overtime. Foul trouble meant that we were down to four players vs. five and yet we managed to take the lead by a point and keep possession with only 18 seconds left. Unfortunately, we lost the ball. Sallynoggin drove to the basket, but missed their easy lay-up only to grab the ball and


hit a three-pointer as the final whistle blew. We had lost by two points! I gathered the lads in—disappointed but proud—only to get a phone call from the league manager informing me that due to a complex series of point differences Newpark were now in fact league champions! We had beaten De La Salle by three points, De La Salle had beaten Sallynoggin by three points but Sallynoggin had only beaten Newpark by two points. What a roller coaster of emotions! I am extremely proud of the heart and determination shown by both the U16 and U19 boys teams this year. Matt Kingsley, Coach

Later... The U19 Boys’ team beat Lucan in the semi-finals to progress to the finals of the East Schoolboys’ Basketball League. Newpark took an early lead in the first quarter of the semi-final and never looked back, beating Lucan 42-28. And breaking news! Newpark went down fighting 50-60 in a tough final against St. Vincent’s on 12th December but have qualified for the All Ireland playoffs in the new year. We wish he very best of luck to this dynamic and determined team.

Newpark Hockey Trio for Leinster Squads U-18 and U-16 trials based on their performances during the tournament. Congratulations again lads and best of luck in the Irish trials. Interprovincial Hockey Results U18 Leinster 2-3 Ulster Leinster 9-1 Munster Leinster 1-1 Ulster Leinster 9-2 Munster Munster 0-3 Ulster Ulster 0-1 Munster

Congratulations to Stefan Gallagher in Sixth Year, Andrew Ramsay and Johnny McCormack in Transition Year who were all selected for Leinster to take part in the 2011 Interprovincials held in St. Andrew’s College. Stefan represented the Leinster U18s in goal and helped the side wrestle the title back from Ulster who have dominated the U18s for the last number of years. Andrew and Johnny played for the U16s who successfully retained their title from last year. To have three Interprovincial representatives from Newpark is an exceptional feat and shows that Newpark hockey is going from strength to strength. All three players have also been put forward for Irish

U16 Leinster Leinster Leinster Leinster Munster Ulster

1-0 6-0 0-2 4-1 2-3 6-3

Ulster Munster Ulster Munster Ulster Munster

Newpark Boys’ Hockey Results Newpark Junior A 4-0 St. Andrew’s B Newpark Minors 4-1 St. Andrew’s B Newpark Junior A 2-5 Dundalk Newpark First Years 4-1 Dundalk Newpark Minors 0-5 Wesley Newpark Junior B 1–2 Wesley

At the Interpros—wearing the blue with pride On the 18th of November the Interpros began in St Andrew’s school. Johnny McCormack, Stefan Gallagher and I were all very honoured to be representing our province in the tournament. The Leinster squad selection process takes seven months so there is huge pressure to perform when you finally get there. There was great excitement in the week leading up to the competition and the whole squad was nervy but eager. Johnny and I were playing for the Under 16 team and Stefan was on the Under 18s. All the teams stayed in a hotel for the weekend which was great fun. For all our matches Leinster had great support which gave us the drive to keep going. The U16s kicked things off. It was an amazing feeling for us walking onto the pitch for the first time as Leinster players. All the hard work and training had come down to this so the adrenaline was really pumping. In our first match we were delighted to beat Ulster 1-0 . Then our U18s drew with Ulster in a really exciting match. After an early start the next day the team went for a run to get the stiffness out of our legs. We made our way to St Andrew’s. We beat Munster 6-0 which set us up really well for the competition. 5

The U18s also had a resounding 9-1 victory over Munster. Both Leinster teams were doing well but our next games against Ulster were the most important in the competition. Munster were not as strong as Leinster or Ulster so these matches would be crucial for the overall outcome. Both Leinster teams were beaten which meant that the last day would be extremely exciting. In the U18s, Ulster were in the driving seat as they had more points, while Leinster U16s were drawing with Ulster on points but had the edge in goal difference. A massive upset for Ulster then occurred when Munster beat them. This gave an unexpected opening for Leinster. By the afternoon both Leinster sides knew that if they beat Munster again they would win the Interpros: a fantastic position to be in. Both teams won comfortably to give Leinster the double. We were over the moon—all the hard work had paid off! The trophies were given to the captains and we were all presented with medals from the Irish Hockey Association and the Leinster Branch—a really proud moment and something to remember it by. This amazing experience was such a highlight in our hockey Andrew Ramsay 4CR careers to date.

Cross Country at the Park On the 17th November 2011 we went to the Phoenix Park to compete in the annual cross-country event run by the Community and Comprehensive Schools Sports and Cultural Association (CCSSCA). It was a great fun-filled day! There were students there from all over the Dublin area. Sixteen Newpark students took part and everyone did really well. It was a rainy day but no one minded (much). We would like to thank Ms Ormond and Ms Brennan for all their help and encouragement. Aisling Grogan & Kate Guilfoyle 1JB/CH

Congratulation to the all the cross-country team. First Year Girls: M. McDonnell, E. Guiomard, O. Beirne, A. Grogan , J. Binley, K. Guilfoyle & D. Casey. Boys: R. Kelly & T. Harkin Second Year Girls: C. Grogan, K. Somers & M. Fitzgerald Boys: H. Fowler Hudson & J. Sherlock Third Year Boys: S. Oliveira, L. Comerford, L. Riddell & C. McGerralt

Along with a few friends in Third Year I decided to compete in the cross-country event. When we finally arrived at Phoenix Park (after getting lost countless times) we were greeted by cold, damp weather which put us down a bit but our cheerful banter on how we were all going to win brought our spirits up. We examined the circuit (really just a big field) and even checked out the portaloos (I thought they were pretty snazzy actually). The weather only got colder. We were given jobs: to keep track of where the Newpark First and Second Years placed and to make sure that they knew where they were going. Finally our race time arrived and it started to rain - now we were slightly nervous. The race was two kilometres distance and we were racing against 17 different school - a total of 75 competitors. I enjoyed it; the race was much longer then I had anticipated but I’ll definitely do it again next year. I’d recommend it to others too. Luan Riddell, 3JCY


Rugby on Tour

On the 27th of October, Newpark Second Year Rugby went on their trip to France. We met at the school at 8:45am and got a bus to the airport. We departed Dublin airport and arrived in Bilbao, Spain. We then got a bus from the airport to the hotel we were staying in Biarritz, France. We stayed in the hotel for three full days. We did activities like canoeing, high-wire and football. On the Saturday, we played a rugby match against a local club. In a close contest we were unlucky to lose but it was a great experience all the same. After the match, we went to a Top 14 match (the top French rugby division) where Bayonne took on Perpignan. It was a good match which Bayonne won. On Sunday, we trained in the morning and did more activities. Monday was our last day and we made our w a y t o Carcassonne for our flight home. We are all delighted to have had the experience and a big thanks to Mr Adams and Mr Byrne. Tarik Carrigy 2EL

The basketball season started off on a high this year for the under 16 Girls’ team. Their first game was a fantastic win against Mount Anville 51 – 10. Next they played Holy Child Killiney and Loreto Dalkey but lost both games by a narrow margin. The girls now face Cluny at the start of December. The team consists of a group of hard-working, determined and skilful Third Year players and our super captain Lauren Downes (Transition Year). This group of girls are a credit to the school. Their attendance and commitment at training are outstanding and their positive and fun attitude to the game is inspiring. Well done girls on a great start and best of luck with the remainder of the season. Siobhan Costello, coach

Winner at Poetry Aloud

Congratulations to Oisín Lyons of Fifth Year who won the Senior category of the Poetry Aloud competition in the National Library on Friday the 9th of December. This was Oisín’s second year in a row qualifying for the national final and he recited his two poems wonderfully. Oisín won a signed book of poetry, €300 for himself and a shelf of books for the school library worth €200. Oisín was competing with thirty other students from around the country. The judges for the final this year were Joseph Woods (Director of Poetry Ireland and poet), Theo Dorgan (poet, author and broadcaster) and Kate O’Toole, (actress on film, stage and TV including Dancing at Lughnasa and The Tudors). The standard of the competition was extremely high and the whole school community is very proud that Oisín represented Newpark so well. It is a fantastic achievement! Well done! Amy Keating

Pyjama Day fund raiser

Fighting Words at Newpark A creative group of students from First to Sixth Year have begun the process of devising their own graphic novel with the help of Phil, Matthew and Alex from Fighting Words. They have been working for two hours each Wednesday after school, and have been to a series of Saturday morning sessions at Fighting Words in the city centre. At the Saturday workshop on the 10th December, the students had to pitch their individual ideas. All the artists have designed their main characters and outlined their story in thumbnail sketches. The publication will be a collection of short graphic stories and the collaborators have come up with an ingenious way to link the stories. We can’t tell you though—you have to figure it out for yourselves when you see the book! The format, size and number of panels for each story have also been agreed. Now that a way forward has been agreed, the creation of the pages can begin. Each artist has a set of marked out pages to begin pencilling out their original artwork. There is amazing diversity both in the storylines and the artwork. Some are working alone, others have paired up for writer/artist collaboration. In one story a futuristic investigator travels to the moon, another is a photo-story based around armwrestling gangs, one features an ancient octopus personifying death and another is written entirely in verse. Many of the students involved have been honing their comic book skills for a number of years, but some are new to this art form. All of the participants are already showing distinctive and exciting ideas and styles and all involved are really excited about the directions that this project is taking. We are working towards publication and launch this coming May. Ciaran Byrne

Third Year Legal Eagles! On 21st October our CSPE class visited the Criminal Courts of Justice with Mr Breaden and Mr McKenna. We went to a courtroom and learned about the Irish legal system. Then we held a mock trial in which we were all given roles to play. Mr McKenna was accused of murder! In the end he was

European Section students are pictured above in their pyjamas for the highly successful event organised by Ms O’Dwyer’s CSPE class to raise funds for books for a primary school in Moshi, Tanzania. Over 300 students put on their best jammies and onesies and raised €645. Look out for a further ‘Dedicate a Book’ campaign for this cause in the New Year.

cleared of all charges. Later we were split into two groups to watch real trials. One was a drug-related case and the other was about a robbery. We then all saw a murder trial, but unfortunately we couldn’t stay until the end. The whole day was really interesting and we learned a lot. Christine O’Neill and Alicia Reid 3JCY


Science Week

Science Week at Newpark was an exploding success. Fire-balls in the chemistry lab vied with bananas frozen on the spot. Dead, dissected and blown up animals were complemented by live and fearsome creatures in the biology lab.

Many thanks to our two guest speakers. Dr Emmanuel Reynaud gave an enchanting lecture on creatures of the deepest depths of the oceans around the world (Tara Oceans Project) and a past-student of Newpark, Mr. Dara O’Farrell, enlightened our budding physicists on all things ultra-small in Neutrinos and Modern Physics. Well done to all the Third Year and Senior Cycle students for getting involved in the science quiz events: start researching now for next year’s challenge! Pictured below are this year’s senior winners: Cameron McBain, Tommy Cullen, Fergal Howley and Sam Dhaz.

First Year Biology Trips The recent First Year biology trips were a wonderful success. Students explored Dublin Zoo with its new gorilla enclosure where they were most fortunate to see a baby gorilla being breastfed by its mother. First Years also visited the Botanic Gardens where students were particularly excited about the meat eating plants! Joan Hannon

BT Young Scientist

Don't forget the Young Scientist Expo is being held this year from Thursday the 12th of January to Saturday the 14th at the RDS. Newpark has two teams entering this year so go along and support them. 8

Joan Hannon

The BT Young Scientist was a big hit in Newpark this year with many students interested in taking part in Ireland’s major science competition. Two Newpark entries were selected: a group project by Fifth Years and one individual project. The projects are going along well and there has only been one explosion - well, that’s science I suppose! Good luck to Maggie, Madison, Sian and Anna who will be showing their projects to the judges in early January! Anna Porter 1SFH

French meets Science and Art

Last year, Newpark had the pleasure of meeting Dr RichardEmmanuel Eastes, a French researcher from Paris, specialist in organometallic electrochemistry. Dr Eastes came to present his association Les Atomes Crochus ( whose aim is to make sciences more accessible to teachers, students and the general public through shows, fairy-tales, workshops, conferences, clowns and much more. This year, his actor colleagues came to Ireland, both to the French school ( and Newpark to share their passion for sciences with our students during Science week. On Tuesday 15th November, First Year European Section students had the opportunity to go to the French primary school in Foxrock with Ms Tessier and Ms Berteloot to attend a fairytale performance, together with French students. The fairytale was presented by French actors and was about the topic of sustainable development. It was a great opportunity for students to be in contact with the language and with native speakers. On Wednesday 16th November, Fifth Year European Section students, as well as several mainstream students, attended a workshop entitled “La Chimie dans nos assiettes” (Chemistry in our food). Students were encouraged to participate in the various activities and take part in the discussion afterwards. The idea was to understand the link between food and chemistry and the innovations and dangers in relation to it.

On Tuesday 25th October, we had the pleasure of welcoming again Emmanuel Reynaud, a French Marine Biologist from UCD who gave a lecture last year to Fifth Year ES students on oceans. This year, he came back with a French artist colleague François Pouthas and together they shared their knowledge on Science and Art with Mr Byrne and Ms Tessier. Transition Year European Section students from Ms Tessier’s class and Mr Byrne’s art class are working on a cross-curricular project which involves Art, Science and French. Students take part in a contest (called 2000 mètres sous les mers) organised by the French association Les Atomes Crochus. In pairs they must write a description in French and artistically represent a marine animal. The winners will have the opportunity to go to Paris to receive their prize. On Tuesday 29th November, Transition Year European Section students from Ms Tessier’s class and Mr Byrne’s art class went to UCD. They were also accompanied by Vanessa, our French assistant and Ms Hannan. Students were shown the Science labs and different rooms researchers use to analyse or grow plants and study marine animals. The visit was organised by Emmanuel Reynaud and its aim was to give students information about marine life for their cross-curricular project. Laetitia Tessier

Second Year Scientists at W5 Belfast On the 21st of November all of Second Year went to W5 in Belfast. The journey took two hours and the students were split into four coaches. We were all quite tired when we arrived, but it didn’t quench our thirst for learning! When we had gathered in groups around our tour guides we went up the musical stairs. We got to a floor with a lot of fun, science-y activities. In one of these we got polystyrene bats and placed them over coloured lights, everywhere you placed a bat you heard a different musical note. Up one floor we had lunch and swapped tour guides. Our group was taken into a classroom to play games and learn about germs! The other group went off to make model cars. Afterwards we were reunited with all the other groups. We all had a play on the different activities. There was a pulley system that enabled you to lift your own body weight by

sitting on a seat and pulling on a rope. Also there was a contraption that had one rope that was hung low and another on the opposite side hung high. The idea was that there would be one person on each side and you would both pull like a ‘tug of war’. The rope that was hung high was easier to pull due to the laws of Physics—therefore the person who chose wisely always won… Our science teachers then gave us a chance to buy things in the gift shop before we headed home. On our return it was cold and dark and our poor parents were waiting patiently for us. Many thanks to the teachers for organising the trip and bringing us all to Belfast.. It was a fun and educational day! Lily Cowap and Alice Pyper 2HH


Making a Musical Rock So much has gone into We Will Rock You it is unreal. We have had rehearsals every day, at lunch and after school and all day at the weekends because we wanted you to have as good a show as possible. As Ms Glancy said “the leads get better each and every time they sing their songs. The chink of light has turned into a pane of glass and in the performance they will have produced full bay windows”. Yes Ms Glancy. Bay windows. Apart from the singers and actors, the band have been rehearsing long hours playing Queen so often they probably dream about it by now. Avril Crampton and Isla Hoe have seriously impressed in the costume department – they are fantastic. The National Performing Arts School (NPAS) have been a great help too with choreography and other support. One of our longest days was a Saturday from 10 am to 7.30 for a run through at Newpark followed by dance rehearsals in an NPAS mirrored dance studio to see how our moves were shaping up. John The Rock O’Neill has done brilliant work with the stage, the set, and generally fixing all the eleventh hour technical difficulties that emerged. Aoife Rooney, a past pupil, has been running hair and make-up workshops with students to prepare the team needed to create the Gaga Girls, Yuppies and Bohemians. Mr Quigley led the stage crew learning their moves in the frighteningly short time between the set going up and the show going on! Everything is coming together, and we’re all exhausted, but it doesn’t matter. We have Ms O’Keefe, Ms Keating and Ms Glancy to thank for keeping us going and making it such a great experience. People coming to see the show don’t necessarily see all the work put in behind the scenes or recognise the “offstage stars” – but they should. Cast, crew, directors, people who bought tickets or became Friends of the show ... and Mr Lowry, Mr Cookman and the teachers who let us out to rehearse. Also a huge


Rock You Moments

- The entire thing was just fantastic – I’ll always remember it. - Pale people being tanned for once in their lives. - The band finally saying their lines together at the show. - When the Killer Queen video didn’t work and Charles saved it. - Chasing Ms O’Keefe and Ms Keating around the theatre. - At our very first rehearsal thinking it was awful fun. - “Yes, you already said that, madam,” What a save! - Conor Ryan and his fake tan. - “Where is Strawberry Lane?” - Walking to the show on Saturday singing the Mango song while crossing the road. - Backstage! - Everything that didn’t happen when Ms Keating wasn’t the lead in Westside Story! - Niall Sherlock’s epic dance moves. - When everyone’s backstage dancing on the benches to One Vision. - When my wig fell off taking the bows (I did have pins in it!!) - When everyone whipped out their air guitars and the whole right side of the stage started shaking. - The first time we got the Magnifico-o-o-o-o part of BoRhap right! - “Madam?” - All the alternate versions to the Mango song. - When we have no rehearsals but still show up. - Staying in at lunch in the rehearsal room cos we don’t know what else to do any more! - Ishdawunweebinwayenforr: thedreema! - The bants with the cast. - Best fun ever. Cast and Crew, Saturday 10th December 2011


Drama This has been a very exciting term for Newpark Drama. The Sixth Years produced a hilarious performance of The Fifteen Minute Hamlet and huge congratulations to the Newpark Theatre Company on their production of A Doll’s House. Taking on Ibsen is a challenge and they certainly rose to it. A huge amount of people were involved in making both productions happen and I would like to thank everyone for their help and support especially Ciaran Byrne and Brien Vahey and their TY art class for the truly magnificent set. There have also been make-up workshops, theatre excursions and for four lucky students, a Shakespeare workshop with The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Junior plays and the one act festival at St. Andrew’s are next up. Auditions are being held this week for Ionescu’s The Bald Prima Donna. Fourteen Fifth Years are vying for the opportunity to direct the Junior plays: each would-be directing team had to find (or write) a suitable play and make their pitch. In the final week of term First and Second Years have the chance to audition for the Junior plays in front of the newly appointed directors. Auditions will take place in the Hunter Theatre after school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Sign up with Ms Devis if you Cathy Devis are interested.

Shakespeare Workshop On the 18th of November a small group of students were invited to take part in a Shakespeare workshop run by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA). The workshop took place in the Fitzpatrick Hotel in Dublin. The three leaders introduced themselves and showed a video about LAMDA. After some warm-up exercises we talked about Shakespeare and learnt more about the rhythm and emphasis of words in iambic pentameter. We worked in smaller groups using “scripts” focusing on rhyme and word choice. The teachers were really passionate about Shakespeare and knew his plays so well. It was very enjoyable and made us even more aware of the impact Shakespeare has on theatre to this Rachel Cooney & Robyn Maguire 6MK day. Rachel & Robyn in Shakespearean action!


A Doll’s House

I was chatting with a few people in the audience after watching this play. “When was that written?” one asked. “In the 1940s, I think?” came the tentative reply. “Must have been pretty provocative at the time.” “Yes indeed. Hey! Ms Johnston, when was that play written?” “1879.” “What!” I’ve just checked Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge, some of it accurate) and it seems she’s right. It’s hard to believe that A Doll’s House was written over 132 years ago. Domestic debt, loan-sharks, unrequited love, blackmail, bankers’ reputations—it could have been written last month. And even the central theme—a woman looking for the space to find herself in a dysfunctional marriage—well, there are still classes for that in Newpark Night School. The cast of past and p r e s e n t pupils, led by Roisín Nolan as Nora and C i a r a n Wilson as Torvald, and a b l y supported by Jennifer Jones as Mrs Linde, David McGee as Krogstad and Carl Coyle as Dr Rank, were utterly convincing. And in the magnificent setting, designed and created by Brian Vahy, working with Ciaran Byrne and his Transition Year art class, it was hard not to feel like we were spying on a real life drama. Another two hours of my life well spent in the Hunter Theatre! Ferdia Marnell (Newpark pupil, 1982-87)

Hamlet in fifteen minutes??!!

“I certainly found being in a dress to be both a deeply harrowing and altogether unforgettable experience. I have never been so comfortable with myself.” Denis Stranjak (Ophelia) Tom Stoppard’s ‘Hamlet in Fifteen Minutes’ was chosen as an opening act to Newpark Theatre Company’s performance of Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’. This frantic, drastically abridged adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic play proved to be a surprising amount of hard work for our small but determined group of seven Sixth Year actors. Under the shrewd direction of Ms Devis, our interpretation of Stoppard’s script took shape over many weeks of rehearsals. The play actually contains two performances of ‘Hamlet’: a thirteen-minute version containing all the key scenes and dramatic points, followed by an encore which rushes through the entire story in just two minutes. Our three performances (including a third, “Back by popular demand”) manifested themselves as a wild whirlwind of revenge, betrayal, deliberate overacting and slapstick humour which was described by one patron as “pure Python”. In true Shakespearean fashion, the play contained several cases of crossdressing (see quote above) which seemed to both confuse and delight audience members. I personally found doing the play to be unexpectedly helpful with my Leaving Cert English studies, as it helped to clarify certain points about the play and get a good bank of useful quotes embedded in my brain. Do it, England. Drama Photos by Anna Moran 5DM

Tommy Cullen 6MK

That’s a task, Hamlet in fifteen minutes! If this was a homework exercise it would be at the top end of very difficult. Tom Stoppard did a tremendous job at distilling Hamlet down to its essence and the Sixth Year players did a wonderful job of bringing it to life. From costumes to the delivery the cast excelled in every way, my concentration did not wane for a single second of this highly entertaining performance. The instantaneous character changes and quick alterations in costume kept the audience on the edge of their seats. Another highlight was the excellent physical comedy which is not usually associated with Shakespearean pieces—never were sudden collapses to the floor or holding a striking pose so entertaining. Its high entertainment value was reaffirmed the following week as students flocked to catch this performance Mary Kennedy again—true praise indeed.

Nights at the Theatre Our TY Drama class has had three theatre trips this term. Juno and the Paycock at the Abbey was fantastic. Set in a tenement during the lockout, it follows the demise of a family as they go from rags to riches and back again. It was a fascinating glimpse into life during a turbulent and troubled time and we thoroughly enjoyed the production. With Alvin Sputnik, Deep Sea Exporer at the Project, we had no clue what to expect. The stage was empty except for a white cloth circle in the middle which was used for projections and also glowed eerily under the lights. There was just one actor—a man in a diving suit—but the show used a combination of puppets, lights, animation and music to tell the story of a man who travels under the sea to save the one he loves. It was a heartwarming, funny and experimentsl play which showed how much one man can do on stage. Our Christmas trip was to The Government Inspector. The play was set in Russia, but incorporated a huge amount of Irish slang and had us in stitches the whole way through. A perfect way for our drama class to celebrate together. Niall Sherlock, Fiachra Kennedy & Louis Furney, TY Drama


We’ll always have Paris ... This was one of the best school trips that I have been on. The first day was a bit rough because we had to be up at three in the morning to catch the 7.30 flight. We more or less passed security without any problems (apart from me) but then everything went smoothly. After our hotel check-in and a quick stop for food we headed for the Eiffel tower. Even from a distance it was amazing, but to get a real feel for its size you have to be directly underneath it. It is just breathtaking. Next stop was the Louvre. We had good craic outside taking pictures of the pyramid trying to make it look a lot smaller than it is. On the guided tour we enjoyed the works of art—especially the Mona Lisa. It is true what they say: no matter where you stand in the room the Mona Lisa looks at you. That night we went to the Tour Montparnasse which is the tallest skyscraper in Paris. For me that was just magical— being able to see out over the whole of Paris at night when it’s all lit up was just breathtaking. The next day we started off at the Arab National Institute learning about the history and traditions. Next stop was Versailles, it was just jawdropping to learn how much time and effort went into making it what it is. Next at The Rex we learned about film and the history of this important Parisian 14 cinema. We even got put into

our own film! Then we watched a film there called Bienvenue à bord—an enjoyable comedy set on board a cruise ship. On the last day the reality of our return to Ireland had set in. We got up to watch the rugby World Cup final in the hotel lobby; you can imagine how that was at the final whistle! We ended our trip with a little shopping at les Halles. After that it was nearly time to collect our stuff and head to the airport. It was a very memorable trip which will definitely stay with me. I recommend it to anyone if the trip is being offered again—or just go on a holiday to Paris. It is really one of those magical places you have to visit at least once in your life. Many thanks to everyone that made it the trip it Sean Boyle 5LT was. Fin octobre, 22 élèves de 5ème et 6ème année sont allés à paris pour un voyage d’histoire et de français. Sans doute, c’était une expérience très agréable et instructive pour tous les participants. Ce voyage nous a permis de gouter à plusieurs aspects de la culture française (comme la langue et la cuisine) dans le contexte d’une des villes plus impressionnantes, belles et historiques du monde. Nous avons visité [Paris trip continued on next page]


A Train for Europe A group of six Fifth Year engineering students travelled to Croatia with Mr John O’Neill from 13th – 20th of November. We were based in the Four Points Hotel in Zagreb and we also visited our host school, Tehni!ka Skola TESLA.

From the 14th of November to the 18th of November, the Transition Year form group 4SCO went to Gartan Outdoor Adventure Centre in Donegal with Ms Costello and Ms Clarke. During the course of the week we did kayaking, orienteering, mountain biking, a scavenger hunt, the Nightline and an obstacle course. The last two were my favourite activities. For the Nightline we were all blindfolded and had to go for a walk through the forest holding onto each other and then a rope. We helped each other by communicating about bumps and rocks in the ground. This activity was scary at times but was still very enjoyable. The obstacle course was even better. We had to get through a series of obstacles racing against another team. The team with the best time won. This was much harder than it sounds because we had to run through waist deep muck. As you can see from the photos, by the end of the course we were covered from head to toe in muck, including the teachers! In the evenings we had a lot of time to relax with our friends and just watch DVDs. At the end of the trip we were absolutely exhausted!! We all had a great time and got to know people we didn’t really know before. After Gartan our form has become much closer: we would all really love to go back to Gartan Mark Ball 4SCO for one more week!

We had a busy programme of events which included a warm-up session and meal on the Monday, a visit from the Croatian President on Tuesday, a trip to the Rijeka Shipyard and the famous Plitvice Lakes on Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday we worked on the details of the train design and relaxed on Saturday with a guided tour of Zagreb. Later that day we visited the Museum of Evolution in Krapina, one of the most important Neanderthal sites. On Sunday it was time to say goodbye to the pupils and teachers we had met from the 23 other schools around Europe. We left Zagreb with a temperature of

[Paris trip continued from previous page]

beaucoup de principales attractions touristiques de Paris comme la tour Eiffel et le palais de Versailles. Personnellement, mon aspect préféré (sauf battre Denis aux échecs) a été notre visite au musée du Louvre. A mon avis, tout le monde a apprécié cette expérience. De plus, c’était pour nous une excellente opportunité d’améliorer notre niveau de Français car nous avons été encouragés à parler français le plus possible. Globalement, c’était un voyage fantastique et tous les élèves sont très reconnaissants à madame Berteloot et madame Kennedy de l’avoir organisé pour nous. Alex Redmond, 6th Year European Section

minus five degrees and freezing fog but we also left a beautiful country with its charming people and fascinating culture. We won’t miss the cold and fog but we will miss the Kuna, the free trams, the roasted chestnuts, the coffee, the markets and the friends we made. Our next trip is to Portugal in March. You can follow the project on: 15

Transition Year get down to business Transition Year Mini Company class have been very busy this term. With the help of Junior Achievement Ireland, they have set up their official businesses and hope to start trading in the new year. That is apart from the super enthusiasts Tomorrow, consisting of Nathan Huggins, Conor Ryan and Picabia Lahart who have already launched their product—a wonderful cookbook for teenagers.

Although there are many other touch gloves around, none of them compare to Handi! Handi has the quality that you look for in a glove which no other gloves provide, as well as being able to use it on touch devices. It is also being sold at the best price!

Email - (Leung Ho Yau)


Available to text 24/7...

Tel: 0871823307— Leung

Each group has been set various tasks from week one and their ideas are soon to become a reality. In the current climate it is refreshing to see enterprise so alive in and beyond the classroom. Much needed start-up capital was needed to fund these ventures and rather than sit back and wait for a handout, some of these budding Entrepreneurs set about fundraising for themselves with bake-sales, tuck shops and selling candy-canes in aid of raw materials for their finished goods. Each of the six companies will now compete at a regional level to see if they can convince the investors in CIMA to ‘Buy their idea’. The winning prize is a fully paid trip to Bucharest. In addition to this they have the privilege of bringing their very own stalls to a Trade Fair in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre at the end of January. Maybe you could pop by and show your support? I’m looking forward to seeing all these brilliant companies come to Rachel Steele life in 2012.

'Our aim is to sell all of our recipe books and to accumulate a substantial profit. We want the public to perceive our product in being a fresh approach to easy and quick cooking, that will change students opinion on cooking. We believe that our outlook on homemade food should be shared and appreciated by our customers, as it will enhance their daily life'

To purchase our book please contact Ms.Steele or Conor Ryan 4CD

By Nathan, Conor and Picabia

You can get our mini-cookbook for just €3!

By Tomorrow

Tulip Designs Hand!made!! Jewellery!made!by!students.! Made!by:!Eric!Jordan,!Laura! McCullagh,!Kelly!Burke,!Emma! Alden!and!Inga!Gilham.!

Email:!!! 16

Game Design Workshop

Inside Mountjoy

The Ernest Adams Games Design workshop takes place every year in DIT Kevin Street. It is run by two DIT lecturers and a veteran of the video games industry, Ernest Adams. It is aimed at second level students from Transition Year and Senior Cycle. This year I attended the workshop which took place on the 12th of November from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Over 600 students took part. As people entered the hall, they were assigned to different sections called Divisions. Each Division was identified by a different colour T-shirt. The very first thing that happened was Bryan Duggan (a DIT lecturer) gave a short talk about the college and about himself. Then Ernest Adams gave us a lecture about the fundamental principles of video game design. Following the lecture each Division was given a different idea for a computer game. The divisions split up into teams of five and each team had to develop a plan for a game based on the assigned idea. Every person in the team had to take on a different role as Lead Designer, Art Director, Level Designer, Core-Mechanics Designer or User Interface Designer with specific jobs to do in relation to the game. After working for a while on our own we had a working lunch. Our game was called News Mayhem - you had to race through a city to reach a news story and then report on it. For the last hour of the workshop each team came together and produced a poster for their plan. Each Lead Designer had to present their team’s plan to all the other teams in the division. After these presentations each division voted on the best game from their teams. Then the winning team from each division had to go on stage and present the game to Ernest, Hugh and Bryan who decided which they thought was the best overall. This year they chose News Mayhem so my group was delighted. I really enjoyed this workshop: it was interesting to find out how the video games industry works and to learn about the design and development process. I strongly recommend this workshop to anyone interested in webgame design. Details of this annual event can be found on

The TY lecture given by John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy Prison for twenty-six years, was honestly fantastic. I thought John was a really brilliant character—and not the person I would have expected to have held that post. He was understanding, aware and extremely liberal. For instance, he began by explaining that the common perception of prison is incorrect: it is not as simple as goodies and baddies, right and wrong. In Ireland on any given day there are about 4,700 people in prison. Inmates haves committed a wide variety of crimes ranging from having an invalid bus-ticket to crimes on the other end of the spectrum such as murder. 97% of the prison population is made up of men while only 3% are women. A criminal record is a serious thing—it can be used against you in many unjust cases—and it is easy to acquire. Lonergan talked about the brutal circle of criminality and explained how dangerous prison can be. The worst offense in prisoners’ eyes is to “grass” which means to report abuse or bullying by other prisoners. The second worst is to owe money. Prisoners punish offenders by cutting them from mouth to ear with a razor blade. John Lonergan had some strong opinions on prison legislation too. He wants the reintroduction of the 1877 act that demanded that prisoners had their own cells. It is clear that this is an extremely difficult area of work and it goes without saying that so too is the vicious, repetitious circle of criminality. This was an excellent and valuable lecture.

Eric Jordan 4CR

An Idirbhliain. – Taithi Oibre Seo cuntais ó chuid de na daltaí ón Idirbhliain seachtain ag déanamh taithí oibre.

Bhí mé ag obair le Airtricity in Áth an Ghainimh ar feadh seachtaine. Thosaigh mé ar a deich a chlog gach maidin. Thaitin an obair go mór liom – gach rud! Thaitin an sos liom ar maidin – bhí caife agus caint ar a deich a chlog. Bhí an lá fada go leor. D’fhág mé an oifig ar a trí a chlog. Bhí na daoine an-deas. Bhí mé ag éisteacht le custaiméirí ar an bhfón, ag lorg eolais Eoin Jennings 4CB uathu.

Conor Ryan 4CD

Bhí mé ag obair san ospidéal sa Charraig Dhubh ar feadh seachtaine. Chuaigh mé ann sa charr le mo Dhaid gach maidin. Thosaigh mé ar a naoi a chlog. Thaitin an obair go mór liom – gach rud! Bhí mé ag clóscríobh, ag fotachóipeáil agus ag comhdaigh san Emma Henderson 4LR oifig. Bhí mé ag obair i siopa spóirt, Gilmour Sports, i mBaile Uí Ogáin. Thaitin an obair go mór liom. Tá an-suim agam sa haca agus is siopa haca go speisialta é an siopa seo. Bhí mé ag cabhrú leis na custaiméirí – ag díol agus ag eagrú an stoc. Bhí an obair an-suimiúil. Kevin Mellott 4LR

Bhí mé ag obair i Sealife i mBré. Thosaigh mé ar a hocht a chlog agus chríochnaigh mé ar a cúig a chlog. Bhí an obair leadránach ach is maith liom éisc coimhthíoch! Arthur Doyle 4LR Chuaigh mé go dtí Catalonia, sa Spáinn. Bhí mé ag obair i ngarrán olóige. Fuair mé eitilt go Reus in aice le Barcelona agus thiománamar go dtí teach an úinéara – mé féin agus mo Dhaid. An lá dár gcionn chuamar go dtí an garrán agus bhuaileamar le Dominic. Thosaigh mé ag obair ar a leath tar éis a hocht. Bhí an obair tuirsiúil ach áit suaimhneach, síochánta a bhí ann. Shane Lyster 4LR

TY Gaeilge AMCC


Echange Newpark-Bellevue

From the 7 t h to 14 t h November, European Section Second Year students welcomed their French penpals as part of a European Section school exchange which takes place every year. The French students took part in various activities including visiting Dublinia and House Number 29 on Merrion Square and a day on the Causey Farm in County Meath. French and Irish students learnt Irish dancing, baked brown bread, milked a cow, and played in a bog. The Newpark students are very excited about going to France next March!

attraper mais certaines personnes n’y sont pas arrivées Anda Lakab ES 2 et ils sont tombés sur le sol.

Laetitia Tessier & Aedin McCarthy

“Jeudi 10 novembre. La section européenne e t l e u r s correspondants français sont allés à une ferme qui s’appelle Causey Farm. A la ferme, ils ont appris à faire du pain complet, ils ont dansé une danse irlandaise, ils sont allés dans la tourbe et ont pu traire une vache. Ça a été une journée formidable et inoubliable. Tout le monde a adoré cette sortie. Le samedi, nous avons amenés nos correspondants faire les boutiques puis nous avons fait une petite fête chez Katie. Nous avons regardé XFactor et après nous sommes allées se balader dans le lotissement. Le dimanche nous sommes allés à Powerscourt waterfall puis au cinéma. Nous avons vu Tower Heist. On a eu un week-end super et nos correspondants vont vraiment nous manquer! Sophie Phelan, Nickie Kopik & Hannah Drumm ES 2

Le matin, nous avons pris l’autocar jusqu’à la ferme et quand nous sommes arrivés nous avons été divisés en deux groupes. Apres cela nous avons fait du pain avec nos correspondants. C’était amusant parce que quand nous avons dû mettre les œufs dans le mélange, l’enseignante les a jetés sur nous et nous avons dû les 18

hâte d’aller en France!

Jeudi, nous sommes allés à la Causey Farm. Nous sommes allés dans une tourbière, c’était très chouette. Pendant la semaine, nous avons sympathisé avec les élèves français. Le 12 novembre, nous sommes allées au musée de cire. On a pris beaucoup de photos et on s’est bien amusées. C’était une semaine très chouette et nous avons

Marie-Chantal Hamrock & Alice Pyper ES 2

DELF Exams Transition and Fifth Year students from the European Section are currently preparing for the DELF exams. DELF stands for Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française and is delivered by the Ministry for Education in France. The diploma is recognised worldwide and allows students to have their level in French acknowledged wherever they are. This is a huge bonus within the European Union and beyond in terms of career opportunities. It is set against the Cadre Européen Commun de Référence, which is a European Council linguistic benchmarking system in all languages. Students take four DELF exams assessing the four basic linguistic competencies: aural, reading, written and oral. In Transition Year, students do the A2 level and in Fifth Year the B1. The content of the exams is very relevant to the Leaving Certificate especially the oral and aural components. The exams will take place in the Alliance Française on Wednesday 25th of January. Alors bon courage, bonne chance à tous les élèves et un très joyeux noël à tous. Daisy Berteloot

Castro in a Mini-skirt – Bernadette Devlin On Wednesday November 23rd, the two Leaving Cert History classes visited the Irish Film Institute to see the documentary film Bernadette – Notes on a Political Journey. Bernadette Devlin McAlliskey is a key personality on the Leaving Cert course Northern Ireland Politics and Society 19451993 and the film provided a useful insight into the personal motivations of Devlin during this period. Despite having a relatively short political career, Devlin had a lasting effect. She became the youngest person to be elected as a MP to Westminster and made an outstanding maiden speech to the House. She was nonetheless caustic in her assessment of that establishment. Her most famous moment in the House was when she crossed the floor to strike the Home Secretary Reginald Maulding after his comments regarding the events of Bloody Sunday. The film is a mixture of archive footage and interviews with Devlin between 2002 and 2010. A unique view was given into Bernadette’s early life as she describes her parents, family background and what it was like to grow up in a house full of women. Despite playing a pivotal role in the volatile history of Northern Ireland, the film showed Devlin to be a politician committed to her constituents and social justice. The only bitterness in Devlin today - is not her treatment at the hands of the Northern Ireland or British governments or the shock of having been shot eight times during a failed assassination attempt - is the way her family and especially her daughter Róisin has been treated by the British authorities. The film is an exceptional record of one woman’s part in Irish history and is a must for history students, those interested in history and everyone else generally.

More buns please!

Sixth Year LCA held a pie eating competition on Thursday 1st December in aid of the Laura Lynn foundation. We got great support from the school and raised over €150 in one lunch-break Mr Byrne won the teachers’ contest eating all ten buns and the cream in record time. Lucas Harkin from First Year won the student contest! The crowd was buzzing along to the music while Isaac and Ciara chanted on Ciara Moffat 6HG the teachers to eat more! In this Newpark first in the Hunter Theatre, the LCA Enterprise class ran the first (of hopefully many) Pie-eating contests for teachers no less! The event was well-advertised with a poster campaign but it was a little disappointing to discover it would not be cream pies on the menu for the contestants but instead namby-pamby cup-cakes! However, the LCA organisers were not letting the contestants off easily. The buns came covered in an inch of whipped cream and multicoloured sprinkles. The ten participants – Ms Meredith, Ms Steele, Ms French, Ms Costello, Mr Breaden, Mr Byrne, Mr McKenna and SNA James Macklin. The rules required them to keep their hands behind the backs during the event. The ladies were unwilling to apply themselves with the unabashed gusto displayed by the likes of Byrne and McKenna. The amount of cream on their faces showed a deep commitment to competition, a love of confectionary and moisturising benefits for the face of whipped cream. After what seemed like a few brief moments (seven minutes – well time flies when you can hardly breathe for laughing) it was all over – Mr Ciaran ‘Destroyer of Planets’ Byrne had downed the last bun. While most of the teachers looked relieved, Mr McKenna left the stage in a proper WWF huff. A second competition was organised for the enthused audience members – a sizeable fifth year and two little first years. This one was a David and Goliath battle and Goliath would have won if he wasn’t laughing (and occasionally choking) so much. When First Year Lucas downed that last bun he brought the house down. More buns? Yes please! 19

Newpark PTA As always the first term has flown by and it is hard to believe it is Christmas. The PTA have been active again this term with monthly Wednesday meetings. Many thanks to the parents who responded to our earlier request for more committee members. Getting involved in the PTA is a great way to contribute to your child’s education. Our next meeting is on Weds. 18th January. Raffle and Carol Service The main fundraiser this term for the PTA is the Christmas Raffle. The draw will take place on Wednesday 21st December after the Carol Service in St Philip & St James’ Church on Cross Avenue, Booterstown. The Carol Service is a Newpark tradition, and is followed by refreshments, mince pies and the raffle in the church hall. There are lots of raffle prizes including a Clarins Hamper, an abseiling voucher (which will be a big hit with the students), lots of wine and home-made Christmas cakes. Please support this event—if you can’t come along, please ensure you have bought lots of tickets. Special Educational Needs/Twice Gifted Children Parents Group The PTA will be setting up a ‘Parent to Parent’ group for parents of students with special educational needs and/or twice gifted children. The objective of the group is for parents to pick up tips and suggestions from others, perhaps parents of those further along the secondary school cycle. Of course every child has unique individual needs but this group could discuss shared needs and experiences such as: how to access laptops for students; how to get waivers for spelling and grammar in exams; Centres for talented youth; subject choices in Senior Cycle—what subjects might suit best. After Christmas we will email parents inviting those interested to a meeting. You can email your contact details and any suggested topics to the PTA.

students to go and have a look if they have lost something! We will run a lost property sale close to mid-term break next term. Talks for Parents The PTA organised two talks in November for First and Second Year parents. The First Years was a ‘meet and greet’ evening, to get to know fellow parents in your student’s year group. The Second Year parents’ talk was on ‘Positive Parenting’ by Sheila O’Malley, a family relationship counsellor/advisor. Both were very well attended and worthwhile. We are planning on running a talk for the parents of Third Years after Christmas. School Musical- We will Rock You On behalf of the parents, the PTA would like to thank all the teachers, staff and other volunteers for the fantastic production of We will Rock you. We know there were lots and lots of extra-curricular hours spent preparing the students. Congratulations to all involved on a fantastic production. First Aid Course We mentioned in the last newsletter that we would be running a First Aid course soon. This is a four hour First Aid Course at a very reduced price of €50, covering sprains/ fractures/bleeding/shock etc. The proceeds will go to the school. There will be an mail on this after Christmas. Parents’ Survey Thanks to all parents who responded to the PTA survey. We will be following up on the large number of responses from parents who offered to help and suggestions in various areas. As always, if you want to contact your PTA, please email us on or drop a note into the PTA post box at the front office. Happy Christmas to all.

Lost Property The Lost Property Office has a large number of items at present ranging from textbooks to clothes and even keys (both house and locker keys). Nearly all of these are unnamed. It is well worth calling into the Lost Property Office even for five minutes on Tuesdays after School, Thursdays at lunchtime and Fridays from 8.30 before School. Please remind Newsletter compiled by Anna Johnston Thanks to all our contributors this month. Please email contributions for the next issue to


Newpark Newsletter December 2011  
Newpark Newsletter December 2011