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February 2012 No. 30

Glowing Praise for Young Scientist

From 10-14 January the BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition took place in the RDS. Newpark had two entries this year. Fifth Years Madison Porter, Maggie Gevers and Sian Demery presented a project on testing saliva for hormone levels. First Year Anna Porter had an individual project on ‘Glowing chemicals’ and came first in her category (Junior Individual—Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences).

The BT Young Scientist was great fun; we came in and met up with friends. Each morning contestants got a judging card and waited for their judge to come. I was very nervous showing the judges my project. My first judge was Tony Scott, one of the founders of the Young Scientist, who was really nice. On Thursday I had two judges. I wasn’t too sure how well these had gone but they both left a good comment in my report book. In the afternoons you mostly talk to the public about your project. I met two TDs at my stand: Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Eamonn Gilmore.

My project was about whether the rate of a chemical reaction is affected by temperature. I used glow sticks to support my theory because there is a chemical reaction that makes them glow. The hardest part was probably writing up—especially the conclusion as it was the last part and so it was the farthest away from my experiments. I decided to do this project because I knew nothing about Glow Sticks but they sounded like a very interesting topic! There were great things on for the participating students and for the public: Robot Wars (which included the Daleks), Circus of Science and Amoeba to Zebra. There were also interesting stands by companies like Intel, who sponsor the Young Scientist (in return for what is basically a giant ad...). There was also a primary schools’ section with different projects exhibited each day. I met loads of students but hardly any other First Years. I saw some other really good projects including one on the Fibonacci Sequence by a Second Year in my category. We made friends with each other and she told me about her project. She came second in our category—for the second time in a row! All the projects were very good but some of them got more publicity than others. I think that anyone who is willing to do the work for the Young Scientist, should give it a go. It is an amazing experience with a practical application to life—and it looks great on your CV!! Doing an individual project gives you freedom to make decisions without having to ask other people but it definitely means more work too. It was a great week and well worth having to catch up with the work I had missed! Anna Porter 1SFH

[Read about the Fifth Years’ Young Scientist project and upcoming Sci-Fest on page 10]

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This week Junior and Leaving Certificate students are receiving their Mock results. These exams give students a practical run-through of the layout and timing of the exams and allow them to gauge their strengths and weaknesses in each subject. So much can be learnt both from the process and the results. Students can miscalculate their timing for each question leaving too little time for an important final question or fail to read instructions carefully and leave out a section of a paper. The consequences are reflected in the Mock grade but the learning experience means the same mistakes will hopefully not be repeated in June. Regardless of whether an individual student has done well or poorly, the Mock results should not be judged as an end in themselves. They are part of a work in progress and all students should aim to improve on their results between now and June. Appropriate subject levels should be considered carefully in the light of Mock results and in consultation with subject teachers. For Junior Certificate students the final decisions must be made very soon—before the end of March. At Leaving Certificate it is important that the student is aware of the differences in content and layout of papers at each level and to avoid very late changes of mind. All students should give serious thought to these issues in the coming month. Parents/guardians should also talk to their daughter/son about the results and look at any ways in which they can help provide support over the remaining months up. I would like to thank the Third and Sixth Years for their excellent behaviour in the various exam centres and also the excellent timekeeping each day which allowed the exams to begin promptly. Also my thanks go to Barbara Eustace for the very efficient organisation of the exams and supervision. This major task was completed with the minimum of fuss and great professionalism. All the staff involved helped ensure that the exams ran smoothly. At present the school is considering the possibility of making a bid to purchase the Cemex (Readymix) site which is adjacent to the school. While the site has been on sale for a period of time the estate agent has changed very recently and the asking price for the site has been substantially reduced. In light of this, the Board has been in contact with the Department of Education and Skills to explore the possibility of the site becoming part of the school grounds and developed in a way that benefits the school population and the local community. The school also has been in contact with local politicians on this issue. As the situation develops we will keep you informed through the website and the newsletter. As many of you will be aware, in the recent budget the Government made an adjustment to the allocation of teaching resources. Guidance hours 2

Mr Derek Lowry

have been incorporated into the general teaching hours rather than being an additional allocation. The impact of this will be very serious in terms of the choices that must be made for the coming school year. The school management, in consultation with the staff and Board of Management, will be considering the options— some of which will unavoidably impact on the quality of provision to all students. Before Mid-Term, the Transition Year students were busy on activity weeks. With Arts Week, In Dublin, Gartan and Job Placement taking place, the positive feedback from so many outside teachers, organisers and employers was very encouraging to hear. The trips to Gartan were very successful and the students’ involvement in the activities and their behaviour has been excellent. It is through their involvement in these activities that so many practical and lifelong skills are learnt. Thank you again to Marie Fitzpatrick and the form teachers for their delivery of such a varied programme. This newsletter celebrates a range of achievements both individual and collective. The Graphic Stories and felt-art projects show the great benefits of collaborations with visiting artists. We have had fantastic support and input from Fighting Words and Creative Engagement. Well done also to BT Young Scientists Anna Porter, Sian Demery, Madison Porter and Manon Gevers. The Senior Boys basketball team made Newpark history by reaching the All Ireland Finals with the top teams in the country. Both Leo Kurevlev and Cormac Comerford are competing and succeeding in their sports (swimming and skiing) at national and international levels—my congratulations to both. This week a team led by Joan Hannon have put together events to celebrate and explore positive mental health. Please get involved in the many different activities taking place and make an active contribution to a positive Newpark environment.

Second Year Go Karting

On December 8th 2011, the First and Second Year metalwork classes went Go Karting at Kylemore Karting. First we watched a safety briefing and then we headed onto the track. We went out in groups of four for three practice laps. Then we each got to race in four out of the thirty-four heats before the three finals. Herbie Hudson won the A final, Megan Fitzgerald won the B final and Eoghan Cunningham won the C final. Winners and runners up were awarded certificates. We arrived back at the school (via Burger King) at three thirty. Thanks for taking us Karting! Amy Kelly & Holly Seymour 2VM


Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

We want YOU to be happy! What better way to achieve a state of cheerfulness than to participate in some of the fun-filled activities going on between the 27th of February and the 2nd of March right here in Newpark! From a Fancy Dress Fun-Run on Wednesday afternoon (feel free to jog, amble, dash, saunter, or trot!), jigsaw building in A5 at break-time, to lunchtime concerts, Pilates, Tai Chi and Indian Head Massage—there’ll be something for everyone to enjoy! This week is all about raising awareness regarding good mental health. Everyone has their ups and downs, but good mental health means having the skills and support networks to deal with them. Newpark is a great community to be a part of and during this week, we hope everyone makes the effort to come out, have some fun and learn some new things too! Check out the posters around school and Bobby’s Big Screen in A Corridor to find out what activities are lined up. Get involved and get happy! “Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fighting Words will publish a magazine of new writing with The Irish Times later this year. A link to last year’s supplement is available at http:// irishtimes.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx if you are subscribed to The Irish Times. We are looking for submissions from 13-19 year olds for this year’s supplement. The magazine will go out with The Irish Times. There will be no fee paid for work published. The newspaper has a very wide circulation, so it is a great opportunity to have a piece of work published. Submission Guidelines We are looking for short pieces of fiction on any theme. Word Count: maximum 1, 500 words Format: please use Times New Roman, font size 12, double spaced, for submissions. Include: your name, age, contact details and word count. Please note: only a limited number of pieces will be published. These will be selected from all the work submitted. The magazine will be predominantly short fiction, but monologues, scripts, poems are also welcome, as are extracts from longer pieces. They will all be considered. Deadline: please submit work by Thursday 1st March, 5.00 pm. Submissions should be emailed to orla@fightingwords.ie

1 –16 Márta 2012

Tá Seachtain na Gaeilge ag teacht! Bígí réidh agus caith do shúil ar na himeachtaí a bheidh ar siúil i rith Seachtain na Gaeilge i mbliana. Beidh nuashonrú curtha suas ar Bhord na Gaeilge go luath.

Cuardaigh Seachtain an Gaeilge ar Facebook agus bí i dteagmháil le Gaeilgeoirí eile.

Scoláireachtaí ar fáil i mbliana!! Ar mhaith leat dul go dtí an Ghaeltacht an samhradh seo? Beidh trí scoláireachtaí ar fail. Eolas breise óna múinteoirí Gaeilge. 3


First Year Boys

Newpark has got off to an exciting start in the South Dublin Basketball League with two very thrilling games. In the first match the boys defeated St.Conleth’s by one point in a very closely contested encounter. Tom Brophy sealed a well deserved victory for the team with a basket in the last 20 seconds! Unfortunately, our team were subjected to the same fate against Holy Child. The boys just missed out on a second win with a one point lead earned in the final minute this time going to Sallynoggin. The team are looking forward to proving their worth in the many exhilarating challenges still to be played!

Senior Boys

Congratulations to the Senior Boys Basketball team who advanced to the All-Ireland Finals. This is quite an achievement and one that few basketball programmes get to experience. To have made it to this stage meant Newpark was one of the top 16 schools in the country this year. On Sunday the 5th of February the team, led by Sixth Years Dean Rowe, Michael Scholz, Marco Forte & Rudy Godfrey travelled to the All Ireland Finals in Cork to play games against Coláiste Chríost Rí, Comeragh College and Presentation College Athenry— all in one day! The team with the best record would progress to the semi-finals. Newpark got off to a slow start in their first match against Presentation Athenry. With 1:30 left in the game we trailed by four points. A three-pointer by Transition Year John Soriano left us a point down. One possession later John was fouled and sent to the freethrow line where he made both of his free-throws giving Newpark the eventual win 26-25. Our second match pitted us against Comeragh College from Tipperary. Newpark was by far the more dominant side, easily winning the game 50-11. The last match of the day saw Newpark play Coláiste Chroist Rí from Cork. Both sides were unbeaten in their previous two matches so the winner would take all and progress to the semi-finals. In the first quarter the game was close with neither side looking the clear winner. Then in the second quarter, the Coláiste Chroist Rí point guard caught fire, hitting six three-pointers in less than four minutes. We adjusted our defence to stop him (he only scored two points after that, thanks to the hard work of Dean Rowe) but Newpark was never able to recover and ended up losing 29-50. Even though we would have loved to win and progress, we are extremely proud. Newpark is currently ranked 5th nationally! Well done to all. 4

Matthew Kingsley, coach

Ger Cloney, Coach

Senior Girls

As our final year in school is nearing its end, so is our final basketball season. Many of us have been playing since First Year and others have joined along the way. The Sixth Years were more determined than ever to do well and make our last season unforgettable. Our season began quite early. We were told that we would only have four league matches because there were so many teams. For the first time ever, three of those games would be within three weeks. This was overwhelming, especially for Sixth Years struggling to balance studying with basketball! Unfortunately, those three early matches passed without a win. We weren’t too distraught because we knew we had one more match left. The day of our last match I’ll never forget. Our final match was against Cabinteely Community School. We had an unexpected and happy surprise when we arrived to see our favorite referee since First Year! We fought our way through a tough, aggressive game until the final whistle blew and we had won. Just as we were about to celebrate, the Cabinteely coach questioned the time keeping and suggested that we play for three more minutes. With some supportive words from our coach, the final five stepped onto the court for the last time. Three minutes later, the win was definite. We were all so happy—there were even a few tears if I remember correctly (you know who you are!) That final match was the perfect way to end the season—even a pulled calf muscle in the extra three minutes couldn’t stop the excitement. I’m sure the team, Ms Steele and especially the Sixth Years will never forget it. I would like to thank all of the teachers who coached us since First Year and especially Ms Steele for her hard work and dedication to our team. It’s very much appreciated. Michelle Barry 6SH/PH


The Vinnie Murray Cup

Our journey began during the cold Christmas holidays with some training sessions to burn off all the Christmas dinner. With our opening round against Gorey CS scheduled for early January, training was focussed and progress quick. In Ballycorus for our last training session, wind and rain were battering us. Each player was desperate to earn a starting position. Wednesday, 12th January—the day finally arrived. After spending what felt like an eternity in school we piled into the bus to make our way to Greystones Rugby Club. An intense warm-up session and then back into the changing rooms where our new jerseys awaited us. After a team huddle to get the blood pumping, we made our way out as a blue unit to give everything we had for Newpark. The first half created many chances for both sides but neither were finishing their opportunities. The only try came from centre Ronan Sherlock who powered through Gorey’s defence to run half the pitch for it. With a testing wind in his face, captain Fergal Howley slotted the conversion between the posts. When the half time whistle went it was 9-7 in favour of Gorey. After a talking-to from ‘Lennie’ at half time and the wind now at our backs, we upped our game. Our forwards were bringing the physicality to Gorey and Fergal was pinning them back with kicks down the field. After a great bit of build-up play, Aaron Campbell crossed over in the corner giving us our second try. Gorey didn’t give up though and with three minutes left on the watch it was 15-17 in Gorey’s favour. But then Brendan Clarke carried the ball into contact and the Gorey forwards, desperately trying to get the ball, gave away a penalty. Howley stepped up, 30 metres out, straight in front of the posts. A great strike and it sailed through, giving Newpark a 18-17 lead. Newpark were awarded a scrum when time ran out for Gorey and Eoghan McDonnell had had enough. He booted the ball into touch. Referee’s whistle blew and it was a win for Newpark! Then onto St. Andrew’s for the quarter finals! Railway Union on 18th January, just a week after beating Gorey and another week of intense training. The stage was set with the traditional rivalry between Newpark and Andrew’s. Nerves were high but everyone wanted to win. The match kicked off and the first half needed a lot of defence on the Newpark side who were playing into the wind again. The highlight of the first half for us was a top class ankle tap from captain Fergal which sent the Andrew’s full back straight to the ground. Half time and no points to show for Newpark and with Oisín Baugh substituted with a back injury, things were getting tougher. But we kept our heads up and put everything into our second half performance. Our first try was

close when Kieran Quinn nearly made it in the corner but was tackled into touch. In the end it was the boot of Fergal that got us three points but the opposition put away a couple of tries in the last 15 minutes and it finished 21-3 to Andrew’s. Now our focus changes to the League final against De La Salle, Churchtown after mid-term. Having drawn 27-27 before Christmas, it should be an exciting match but we want it more! Watch out for the date of the match and come and support us!

Stephen Young 4CB

Senior Girls

The Senior Girls are approaching the end of their season and for many players six years of commitment to hockey in the school is drawing to an end. The season got off to a great start with an impressive win in their first league match against Loreto St. Stephen’s Green. They completed the group stage with another great win and are now through to the quarter finals of the Senior I league. This is a great achievement and well deserved for a squad who approach all games with a positive attitude and strong team spirit. We were unfortunate to be drawn against Loreto Beaufort in the first round of the Senior Cup and St. Andrew’s in the first round of the Senior Plate, two teams who play in the premier division. The girls played right to the end of both matches and even with such strong opposition they demonstrated great skill and a ‘never say die’ attitude! And we must not forget that Juliet C. did secure a goal! Vicky Meredith, coach

Skiing for Ireland

Congratulations to Cormac Comerford 3MT who has been selected for the Irish Schools Squad for the World Schools Ski Championship. This championship takes place in the Aosta Valley/Gressoney in Italy from the 5th-12th of March. Six boys and five girls have been selected for the Irish Alpine skiing teams. The squad was announced on World Snow Day. Cormac has already been racing in Italy and Switzerland this year. We wish Cormac and the Irish Squad all the best for the Championship. You can follow their progress on www.snowsports.ie

Medal at Swimming Nationals

Leo Kurevlev 2HH has been making waves in the pool recently. He put in an outstanding performance at the Leinster Senior Schools Championship coming first in his age-group in the 100metre breast-stroke. Leo qualified for the Irish Schools Senior Championships which took place on the 11th and 12th of February. We are proud to report that Leo won a bronze medal in the 100 metre Breast-stroke. Congratulations to Leo and best of luck with upcoming swim events in Ireland and abroad. 5


Artists at work

The Identity Exhibition

Our latest Creative Engagement project is well under way with Second Year art students and Joanne Kidney, professional artist and felt maker. The students are involved in an en vogue creative process that has resulted in each one making a felt picture and vessel based on an oceanic theme. The project will culminate in an exhibition towards the end of April in the Grainstore. Watch this space. Dee

Dept.

Mulrooney,

Art

[Photos by Joanna Kidney]

Fifth Year Ross O’Sullivan is planning an ambitious art exhibition for September in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Concourse. This exhibition is centred on the theme of ‘National Identity’. My aim is to give emerging student artists from schools and colleges in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown borough a chance to exhibit their high quality work on the same stage as well known Irish artists. The exhibition will be held in Dun Laoghaire for approximately a week and will be open for public viewing. At this stage I invite any artists with an interest in this exhibition and the theme to submit works using any media to the Art Department in Newpark. Please make sure your name and contact details are included and clearly indicate that it is intended for The Identity Exhibition. I would like to thank everyone involved so far and welcome any offers of help or works submitted.

Ross O'Sullivan 5DM

Four Transition Year students are taking up new roles as curators of the teen events in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Writer’s Festival. The students are working with writer and festival organiser Sarah Webb to find interesting writers and event formats that would appeal to young people. They will be involved in all stage of the planning of these events which will take place during the festival in September 2012. Which writers would you like to see or hear? Email your suggestions to newsletter@newparkschool.ie

Writers Wanted!

DLRCC-Writer in-Residence Chris Binchy will be holding a two hour writers’ workshop to 10-12 Transition Year students in April. See Ms Johnston if you are interested in a place. There will be a short meeting in F3 lunchtime on Monday 27th February.

Junior English

Visiting speakers

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Speakers from Bodywhys, Mental Health Ireland and Stress Biofeedback will be visiting Newpark to talk to SPHE and Lifeskills classes during Positive Mental Health Week.

Last year’s First Year Poetry Competition was a huge success and English teachers are looking forward to receiving entries for 2012. Budding poets are invited to submit poems on any subject and in any form or style to their English teacher. A selection of poems will be published in a First Year Poetry Anthology later in the year. Second Year students have been invited to submit entries to a Second Year Short Story Writing Competition and to participate in interclass debating. Rachel Cullen, Newpark English


Graphic Novel Project Fighting Words is a creative writing centre established by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love. Since January 2009 the centre has been offering free story writing workshops for primary school students in the mornings, second level students in the afternoons and adults in the evenings. Outside school time, there are courses for children and young people during holidays and at weekends. We cater for all forms of creative writing, including fiction, playwriting, feature journalism, scriptwriting/filming, poetry, songwriting, documentary, memoir and graphic novel. All programmes at Fighting Words are free of charge and everyone is welcome. The tutoring is provided by teams of trained volunteers. In addition to our schools’ programmes, there are a number of ways in which teenagers can become involved in our programmes.

Write Club Wednesday and Saturday afternoons at Fighting Words are set aside for Write Club. Write Club is a time and space for 13-18 year olds to come and work on their own pieces of writing. As a Write Club member, you will have the opportunity to talk to our volunteer tutors and other writers about your work. You can use this space to work on different types of writing: short stories, film scripts, comedy, poetry etc—whatever interests you.

Summer Camps Fighting Words runs four-day summer camps throughout July and August. The camps cover creative writing in all its forms, from comic books to songwriting, from filmmaking to short fiction. All camps are run by experienced professionals in their given field and supported by trained Fighting Words volunteers. Camps are aimed at one of three age groups: 7-9 years, 10-13 years, 14-17 years. As with all Fighting Words programmes, our summer camps are free of charge. Bookings for summer camps open in April/ May. Notification of our summer camps is via the website, our Facebook/Twitter feed and our parent mailing list. TY Work Experience We take Transition Year students on work experience or community action placements. If you would like further information, please see the Fighting Words website: www.fightingwords.ie You can contact us by email at info@fightingwords.ie

Fighting Words, Behan Square, Russell Street, Dublin 1 Tel: 01-8944576 Orla Leehane, Education Co-ordinator, Fighting Words

This year Fighting Words has been working with a group of eleven students from First to Sixth Year. They are producing a series of graphic stories for an anthology which will be published and launched in May. Every Wednesday afternoon volunteer writers, artists and photographers from Fighting Words come to Newpark to work with students and teachers. The work is looking superb now as the deadline approaches for completion of all drawings for printing. Best of luck to all for the final stages of the project. Photos by Anna Moran 5DM

Inside Write Club

I first went to Fighting Words as part of a film-making course and I now attend Write Club every week. It gives young writers the opportunity to write in a positive atmosphere with authors, screenwriters and journalists galore always offering a helping hand. A social aspect becomes inherently important, as it would when bringing together young people with similar interests. I would definitely recommend Write Club to anyone with an interest in writing as you get encouragement and sometimes the chance to write reviews and short stories for the Irish Times or other publications. Why, just last year my friends and I attended a short filmmaking course and all three of our films were short-listed for the Charlie Chaplin Film Festival in the category ‘Charlie Chaplins of the Future’—so yes, I would definitely recommend Fighting Words. Aoife O'Ceallachain 6MK 7


Drama After all the excitement of the fantastic We Will Rock You, the Drama department is busy again leading up to the St. Andrew’s One Act Festival and of course the Junior plays. The TY Drama class has also been very active joining up with the film class learning new skills and collaborating to make very exciting short films.

Junior Plays

This year I was inundated with Fifth Years wanting to direct the First and Second Years. With seven pairs making their pitch, it was difficult to narrow it down. We managed to compromise and make a few alterations and we now have five plays on the go. The organisation and access to rehearsal space has been tricky but everyone is working very hard and I’ve been very impressed so far. These plays will be on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th of March. Tickets cost €10 for adults and €5 for students and will be available in the library in early March. Cathy Devis, Newpark Drama

In The Weirdest Holiday Pete and May just wanted a nice holiday in the mountains, far away, secluded and peaceful, right? Wrong. They have never had so many strange and somewhat annoying people in their house at once! Madison Porter, Katie Jess & Deborah O’Brien Backshift is the sordid tale of two young thieves, a bright young woman paying her way through college, and a very patient cobra. A daring heist, a passionately awkward romance, one motherload of truckers, and the heart-warming sweetness of a thousand doughnuts. Diolmhain Ingram Roche & Derek Byrne

Junior plays: directors & actors

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Head Games, an original play by Oisín Lyons is directed by Isla Hoe, Oisín Lyons and Charles Marchant. It follows Jason and his annoying imaginary friend,. When Jason falls in love with Lily, his friend’s advice goes against his better nature. He refuses to give in at first, but he may not have a choice... Charles Marchant 5DM

Joanna Byford, Grace Mason and Azra Sabic are directing a play called Umlaut FM. It was written by Sixth Years Laura Boland and Aoife O’Ceallachain. The storyline revolves around a boy called Edward, whose Mother hires a radio station to operate in his room, with intentions of persuading him to get a job and move out. Edward is confused as a bunch of presenters with crazy personalities have invaded his life. There are also three psychics who speak in rhyme and commentate on his life. The play has a variety of humorous roles. We are confident that our amazing cast will do the script justice. Make sure you see the play, I guarantee you’ll have a laugh! Azra Sabic

The Cursed Sock is a humorous play set at Hallowe’en. John hosts a party and invites his somewhat odd neighbours, Bessie and Gregorio. His other guests want to enjoy this party and Shelly and Seb try not to get weirded out by Gregorio’s hippy ideas. The story of the sock is narrated as the party tries to survive under its influence. Alexei Hagon & Jenna Goodwin


The Bald Prima Donna

The One Act Festival at St Andrew’s is taking place in the week 12-15 March 2012. We are under huge pressure to retain our winning title and the cast this year has been working tirelessly for this. We are very fortunate to have David Magee (past pupil 2011) helping us direct this. He is currently studying Drama at Bray Institute of Further Education. The Bald Prima Donna is a pseudo-play by Eugene Ionesco. Utterly nonsensical and a perfect portrayal of the ridiculous, The Bald Prima Donna is a comment on the bourgeois classes, the inadequacy of language and the stupidity that is human nature. Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb. It has been fantastic working on this play There is a great atmosphere between the cast and directors David Magee and Ms Devis. Ms Devis reckons she has never worked on such a peaceful production that is also fun and productive. The surrealist style is taking some getting used to, but we’re having a great time with it. St Andrew’s, watch out! Keep an eye on the Newpark website to find out which night we are performing. We need all your support. Tickets are free (see Ms Devis for more information). Bald Prima Donna cast and directors

Congratulations to Christel Anderson (1CH/JB) who won the Junior History Essay competition before Christmas.

The essay began ‘If I had a time machine I would travel back in time to … because’ and Christel chose the period of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Well done to Christel for an excellent piece of writing!

Walk in my shoes Day

You know the saying—walk a mile in my shoes? Bring in €2 to your form teacher on Thursday 1st of March and give it a try. Wear whatever shoes, wellies or slippers you like to show your support for Positive Mental Health. Maybe sing the Elvis song as you go? The money raised from the day will go to St. Patrick’s Hospital.

TY Film and Drama

Film and Drama Work Area students came together for a series of workshops in the final weeks of module 2. The workshop with make-up artist Aoife Rooney (past student) was really cool and gruesome all in one. We had a special effects makeup session with expert Aoife (who helped out with the recent Newpark musical We will rock you). We had to do bruises and slit wrists which turned hilarious really fast. We used putty like play dough and slit it with a dangerous scalpel to create some kind of an effect. FUN! Blood was everywhere and we very much enjoyed creating black eyes too. I really enjoyed this workshop and seem to have a knack for bloody gruesome makeup. Thanks! The stage fighting workshop with Stav was really fun - although the warm-up stretches were quite painful! In the first session the drama class learnt how to fake punches and slaps to the face, with appropriate safety measures . After that we moved on to doing group fighting scenarios with punches to the stomach, kicks, hair-pulling and choking all of which were frighteningly realistic. At the end of the class we got into groups and each put on a short performance. It was a great and interesting drama class! The next week we had Stav back again, only this time we had joined up with the film class. We went over all the basics so they could participate too, then got into groups and set up fight scenes. This time the emphasis was on how it would look to Mr Byrne, who was filming them all. The finished pieces were often rather hilarious as we really weren’t very good at containing the action! A couple of weeks later, we joined up with the film group again to make short films around the school. Using their knowledge of angles and re-filming scenes we managed to create some absurd and highly enjoyable pieces that actually fit together very well! We all look forward to seeing them when Mr Byrne is done with all the editing! Chloe O’Hara and Jack Cummins 4TC

Jigsaws in A5

Take a break—build jigsaws at breaktimes in A5 during Positive Mental Health Week.

Newpark Theatre Company

After the success of A Doll’s House, the Newpark Theatre Company is planning to take on Waiting for Godot and All My Sons later in 2012. We really want to encourage everyone in the Newpark community to get involved: current and past pupils, parents and staff. So, if you are interested in acting, directing, building sets etc. please join our group on facebook or contact Cathy Devis ASAP cd@newparkschool.ie 9


Cycle-tracking Saliva Fifth Years at BT Young Scientist

This year, Manon, Sian and I took part in the BT Young Scientist Competition in the RDS. We did a project about a way to track the menstrual cycle by looking at your spit! It was a great experience, good fun and we met some nice people. The atmosphere was great and the public took a huge interest in our project. It was really tiring standing there for the entire week, and the judging was quite nerve-wracking but I am still glad I did it. Unfortunately, none of my group can enter next year because we will all be doing the Leaving Cert. There were so many interesting projects: we didn’t get to see nearly enough! One project by some boys from the north was on a device to aid caesarean

Now check out SciFest!

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The aim of SciFest is to encourage a love of science and maths through active, collaborative, inquirybased learning and to provide a forum for students at local/regional level to present and display their scientific investigations. The first Irish SciFest fair was held in

section in cows. Before I knew how it worked I was a bit scared because it looked like a torture device. It was only when Ms Hannan asked them about it that I realised it was a very useful and not painful thing! There was a group near us developing an alternative to antibiotics, which was pretty unnerving because that’s hard to compete with! Our project was a good one to draw the public in: a lot of women and some men were interested. You can use your saliva to track your cycle over the month and tell when you’re ovulating. It’s not one hundred percent accurate, and for this reason it shouldn’t be used as a sole method of contraception. It is a good method to aid conception too, rather than spending €20 euro or so on a few sticks that say either, you are ovulating right now, or no, you’re not, try again later. Everyone has such a different cycle that it’s nice to be able to know your own without having to do loads of guesswork. We took hours and hours literally just looking at slides and taking pictures; it was torture... but, in the end, it was worth it and now we will (I hope) ace the reproduction section in the biology exam! The judges were really nice and showed great interest. One was a hormone specialist who was particularly interested because he had never come across our method before. Another judge didn’t like it at all: she said she would tend to believe people ovulate on day 14 and that’s it ... but we did have a whole project pretty much proving that wrong? I’d say if we were to do it again we’d do a longer study of fewer people and get a more accurate idea of how it works. Maybe someday ... Although it was tiring and we didn’t win anything, it was all worth it when I heard my little sister’s name called as the winner of her category. So I had good fun, learned a lot AND we have a trophy in the house! I think anyone with an interest in science should give it a go, it’s well worth it. Madison Porter 5LT

the Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT) in 2006. The idea arose from a visit by current project manager, Sheila Porter, to the International Science and Engineering Fair Educator Academy in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2005. Fourteen Irish Institutes of Technology now host annual SciFest science fairs open to all second level students. Each fair includes a project exhibition and competition, a science talk, hand-on activities in the IT laboratories, career advice and a prize-giving ceremony. The next Dublin SciFest is at DIT Kevin Street on the 29th March 2012. Why not go along and see? Check it out at www.scifest.ie The project deadline is Friday 2nd of March.


DELF exams

European Section students attended the DELF in the Alliance Française after many classes of hard work and preparation. We were all nervous but we arrived with optimism and left feeling successful. As a class, we have to give a huge thanks to Mme Berteloot for all her hard work and dedication towards the DELF. On behalf of the class, I have to say we found it a beneficial exam well worth taking for the improvement in our French! It was a relief to finish but we are now awaiting our results with interest. For now: bonne chance d’avance. Zarreen Moore TY European Section, 4TC

Look out for Alliance Française events/activities in Dublin this spring including intensive courses for Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate students preparing to sit their exams. The content of each course is especially designed to meet the requirements of the syllabus and includes a Mock exam. Places in these classes are limited to a maximum of 12 students, ensuring the most beneficial learning experience. During mid-term, French workshops around Mardi Gras (Pancake Tuesday) were also organised for children and teenagers with arts and crafts, songs, outdoor games, wall climbing and much more... The French usually associate Mardi Gras with Crêpes and Carnaval. Children were invited to join the teachers of the Alliance for this typical French party where everyone enjoyed games and storytelling and learned the recipe for French crêpes. The Alliance Française invites you to sing every Tuesday from 1pm to 2pm. This choir, now in its third year, is directed by French soloist, and singing teacher, Laura Zimmermann. The repertoire is French and in a variety of styles, from the medieval to the contemporary. The sessions begin with a good warm-up and vocal work. Don’t forget to check out the Jameson Film Festival 16th -26th February: French films will be shown during the festival. You can see the programme on the website: http://www.jdiff.com/ More information on these events/activities can be found on the newsletter of the Alliance Française: http://www.alliance-francaise.ie/Newsletter/

Mental Health Quiz

How aware are you of Mental Health issues? At long registration on Wednesday, a multiple choice quiz for all form groups will test awareness and knowledge.

Within the framework of the Francophonie events, the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France and the Alliance Française are delighted to offer the Francophonie Online Quiz for primary (Fifth and Sixth Class) and secondary (First and Second Year) schools. European 1st and 2nd students will take part in the contest. The quiz will be online on Wednesday 29th February from 9.30am to 12.30pm. An award ceremony for the winners will take place at the Irish Film Institute on 21st March. The Cultural Service is also offering one Irish student the opportunity to take part in the Allons en France programme and to win a one-week stay in France, in July. The theme this year is ‘The new challenges for Human Rights in the 21st century.’ This contest is for Irish students, between 16 and 25 years old. More information, terms and conditions and application forms available now on: www.ambafrance-ie.org Ms Laetitia Tessier

Newpark-Belleview 2012

ES 2nd years (as well as a few lucky mainstream students) are going to Lyon from Monday 5th to Monday 12th March 2012 after welcoming their French penpals here last November. This year, 25 students are taking part in the trip. Ms Mc Carthy and myself will accompany them to France. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the students to discover the French culture, improve their understanding of the language and interact with native speakers. The details about the trip are available on the school website. If the weather remains as it is now, we might have some snow over there!

Ms Laetitia Tessier

The second year European Section students are really excited to be going to Lyon in March as part of our French exchange programme. We really liked our students and they had a great time over here in Ireland. We are looking forward to seeing them very soon. We will be visiting many historic and interesting places when we go to France. The students have also been arranging great fun things for the week so it will hopefully be a week to remember! Katie Lowry, European Section, 2KC

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Run for Fun or come and watch!

Don’t forget the Fancy Dress Run on Wednesday afternoon. There will be waffles, juggling and prizes back at the school. Join in!

Maths Matters

Sixth Year students Marco Forte, Claire Rush, Michael Scholz and Denis Stranjak recently represented Newpark in a national maths competition. Team Maths 2012 is a table quiz for Sixth Year higher level maths students organized by the Irish Mathematics Teachers’ Association. The Dublin regional round took place on Friday 27th January at St. Andrew’s College and featured over 60 teams of four from schools all across Dublin. The questions were extremely challenging and Marco, Claire, Michael and Denis put in a very impressive performance. In other maths news, there have been two school maths competitions since the beginning of the school year. Each competition includes a question for first year students only, a junior question for years 1- 4, and a senior question open to all Newpark students. The first competition took place during Maths Week in October, and saw a record level of participation. There were many correct entries for all levels, so the winners of the cash prizes had to be drawn out of a hat! The lucky winners were Sophia Finnucane 1GC (First Year competition), Yulia Baturova 3JH (Junior competition) and Michael O’Neill 6SH (Senior competition). The second competition in December again saw good participation. Winners this time were Jade Gamble 1GC (First Year competition), Alice Hamman 3JH (Junior competition) and George Hannaford 5AMcC (Senior competion). Well done to all participants! Look out for new questions at all levels after mid-term. Ellen Lawless, Newpark Maths

Positive Mental Health

Lunchtime events: Monday: Tai Chi or Meditation Tuesday: Soap Box in the Mall Thursday: Pilates or Concert Friday: Indian Head Massage Watch out for the Senior Cycle poster display on A,B and C corridors.

Promoting Tolerance

On Thursday 12th January a woman called Vanessa Lacey came to our school to talk to us about bullying and other issues affecting transgender people. Vanessa is the National Development Officer for Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), and is a transgender herself. She explained to us what transgender is and why it is wrong to bully people or discriminate against them on any basis. Being transgender means that you are born with a mind that doesn’t match your body. Someone who is transgender may have the mind of a woman but the body of a man, or vice versa. This is thought to happen as a result of hormone levels developing abnormally in the foetus during pregnancy, which can cause either the mind or the body to receive testosterone, resulting in one organ being masculine and the other feminine. A lot of people who are born transgender know from a very young age that something is wrong although others don’t realise it until years later. Transgender people are often bullied and teased as children and teenagers just for being themselves and seeming more feminine or masculine than people expect. This often leads them to hide who they are and act like the boy or girl they are expected to be. They often feel miserable and even suicidal because they aren’t being themselves—they are pretending to be something they really are not just to fit in. About 50% of transgender people have attempted suicide at least once by the age of 20, and the average life expectancy of a transgender person is 23 years. Transgender people who don’t hide their true selves are very often victims of violence, hate crimes, harassment, bullying and discrimination. 90% of transgender children and teenagers report being bullied, harassed or threatened at school, and over 60% say that they feel unsafe there. The world is often a horrible place for any minority, especially gay and transgender people. This is why it’s so important to be understanding and accepting, which is why I organised for Vanessa Lacey to come to our school. I was hoping to encourage awareness and tolerance. Vanessa gave an informative and interesting talk to two CSPE class groups. Hopefully what Vanessa said made us all think and become less likely to discriminate against anyone in the future. Alice Hamman 3 JH

February Newsletter compiled and edited by Anna Johnston Newsletter photographer: Anna Moran 5DM Thanks to all our contributors this month. Please email contributions for the next issue to newsletter@newparkschool.ie

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Newpark Newsletter February 2012