Newpark Newsletter May 2020

Page 1

Newpark Newsletter

Issue number 57 May 2020 1

The Principal Word

wish to acknowledge the dozen or so teachers who have been acting as ‘Digital Leaders’ in their respective subject departments. This has been invaluable in terms of collaborating, sharing, and developing new ideas and good practice. Finally, sincere thanks to Ms Susan French, Assistant Principal with responsibility for Digital Teaching and Learning, for her outstanding work in supporting her colleagues over this time. There has been so much sporting and co-curricular success between the December issue and our enforced closure. Thankfully, this newsletter helps us celebrate it. You will read about the Festival of World Religions, SciFest, MUN and Erasmus trips amongst many others. Two ‘shout outs’: senior girls’ hockey and senior boys’ basketball. Three Rock and the Oblate Hall. Different venues, same emotions. A privilege to witness both.

Welcome to this edition of the Newpark Newsletter. My first priority is to acknowledge bereavement that has occurred within the school community as a consequence of Covid-19. Our thoughts and prayers are with all families amongst us who have been affected in this way or who are currently experiencing illness. I want to acknowledge and thank you, our students, for observing the guidelines around social distancing and meeting up. There has been a lot spoken and written, rightfully, about how different sections in our society have been affected by quarantine living. But not so much, I feel, about just how hard it has been, and is, for teenagers and young adults. Social interaction with your peer group is arguably the defining characteristic of your current phase in your developmental cycle. And that was taken away from you at short notice to control an illness that least affects you. In large part therefore, you have done it for others. One of our core values in Newpark is that we endeavour to be a school community that encourages our students to be women and men for others. So, I thank you for your choices. I also want to acknowledge so many of you who have engaged so well with your schoolwork over the last month or so. This has not been easy, as we are all new to online teaching and learning. We are all learning as we go. While we can continue to improve how we do it, we have also made progress quickly. We are endeavouring to take a blended approach, mixing live contact and recorded contact along with assessment and feedback. I want to thank your teachers for adapting with professionalism, speed, and enthusiasm to this new environment. I want to thank you for your patience with your teachers; they have been juggling a lot of different variables both professionally and personally. I also 2

As a teacher, you quickly become inured to the noise and activity of life around school. Sometimes you feel it a little bit more at the start of term, but not for long. You hardly register, but then you do, the disquiet on the faces of visitors or parents, in response to the ‘assault of energy’ that commonly strikes them upon entering the GPA, or as you walk with them in some direction along a corridor. The school has been eerily quiet and not at all itself these days. I am sure I am not alone in missing the noise, nor indeed, in surprising myself a little by having that feeling. We are also all missing out on important annual Newpark traditions, and perhaps like all things, holding them dearer because we are being denied them. Chief among these is our annual end of year whole school assembly. First years who will have to wait till second year to know what it is like to sit and shuffle from side to side on the gym floor, for what must feel like an interminably long time listening to speeches and awards. Sixth years who will never get to sit on the benches at the back, cheering and jeering, their long-awaited rite of passage denied them. Prefects without badges, learning of their fate over Teams Meetings. Prize winners at a distance, no walk of glory, no head girl/boy parent handshake, no seat at the top. I want to sincerely congratulate all our prize winners this year. You are as deserving as any year. You have worked hard and excelled and we as a school community acknowledge and celebrate you as much as ever. Success is satisfying and will serve you in the future. Well done. To our state examination year groups. You have been through the mill! I hope that the outcome for Junior Cycle students has proven satisfactory overall. No solution was going to fully please all students, parents/ guardians, and teachers, but our intention was to arrive at an arrangement that was as fair as possible, while observing the guidelines from the Department of Education & Skills. For our Leaving Certificate students, it is a testament to the lack of certainty that you have been experiencing, that anything I write here will like-

ly be twice out of date long before publication of this newsletter. So likewise, I wish you the best with whatever outcome emerges and, of course, in your career and educational choices after Newpark. You have been an exemplary year group and great ambassadors for the school. I want to thank your Year Leader, Mr O’Neill for all his work with you. Mr O’Neill has an uncanny knack of leading exemplary year groups. Could this be coincidence? Or is the time, care, gentleness and respect he shows students, somehow returned to him by those same students over their time in Newpark? A sincere thank you to both Deputy Principals, Mr Cookman and Mr Adams. We have met more since we are apart than we usually do when we are together! Their support has been invaluable over the last year, and in particular since the school closure. Likewise, I wish to thank the Assistant Principals, the Year Leaders, the Student Support team, the AEN team, the SNA team and, of course, all the teaching staff for their work and support over the year. Like everyone else, the front office staff have been working remotely recently and I thank them for their patience and professionalism. The caretakers are the only ones unable to work remotely, but they have been continuing with the essential work of maintaining the campus and we are all grateful to them for that. Ms Meredith and Ms Berteloot have resigned their positions in the school, having been on career break for the last five years. Ms Meredith is living in Zambia and Ms Berteloot is living in France. I thank them on behalf of the school community for their many years of excellent service and wish them well in the future. Mr Cookman is retiring at the end of August. I keep reminding him it is August anyway. There will be more spoken and written over the coming months about Mark’s contribution to Newpark over the course


of his career here. I do not believe there is anyone amongst us who will not miss him. His compassion, his integrity and his measured judgement have touched many people – students, parents/guardians, and colleagues – and made their experience in this school better. His leadership has been subtle, but deeply effective, and no one has done more to live and promote the ethos of the school than him. We closed the school gates for the first time ever on March 30th. They will shortly open again and I look forward to students returning through them in September. As always, I wish everyone connected with the school a pleasant and safe summer. By Eoin Norton

Yearbook Announcement Work is being done to compile a yearbook for the class of 2020. We are currently looking for contributions from both staff and students in the form of words and pictures. Students: • Please submit your profiles and any other material (pictures, articles etc.) to your 6th year rep. • If you are unsure of who this is or if you have other questions please contact Tano Faria or Jess Whelan. Staff: • Please send your photos, goodbyes and reflections to • If you have any questions please contact DON, LRG or AJ. All pieces must be submitted by Friday 22nd of May.

1st Year Girls Hockey The first-year hockey girls have had an amazing hockey season this year. Our team has grown so much, and we have all bonded well. At the start of the year we were all strangers but now we are a proper team. During our training this year we all learned so much. From the girls who had never picked up a hockey stick to those that have been playing for years, it is safe to say we have all learnt something new. We have become a strong team. We have improved our skills and learnt how to do short corners. We played our first full pitch match and some of us were even lucky enough to play with the second years too! We have had some amazing coaches to help us along the way. Ms. McCarthy has kept us all in check and lead us all throughout the year. Molly and Alex have helped us become more confident as hockey players and have improved our skills a lot. The fourth-year girls had some amazing drills to teach us and they have helped us so much. We are all very disappointed we can’t play hockey as a team for now, but we are so excited for next year when we can play again. Tuesdays and Thursdays are always our favorite days at school as we know hockey training is at the end of the day. Hockey has helped me make so many friends this year and we are so excited to get back on the pitch next year to show everyone what we are made of. By Hannah Clabby

1st Year Boys Hockey

final. Newpark trained a lot for this semifinal but unfortunately we couldn’t beat a very strong Wesley team. It was a disappointing end to a good season. Thank you to our coaches who helped us develop into a good team over the season. By Eric Schutte

Minor Girls Hockey

The Newpark Minor A team have had a good hockey season. The team had started the season with the addition of several new players and with some players changing positions. It took a while to settle during the season, we all increased our hockey skills and enhanced our teamwork. We now play as a cohesive team, encouraging and supporting each other. All players now work well together as a team. This happens whether we win or lose a match. The Minor A’s have a fantastic team spirit. We reached the Leinster League semi-final. The semi-final match was an away match at Our Lady’s Terenure, with great support from Newpark parents. The team played well in a closely fought match, but Our Lady’s won 1-0.

This year the 1st year hockey team made it all the way to the league cup semi-final, having come first in a difficult group. We started the season with a game against East Glendalough, which we won comfortably. The final score was 5-0 and the whole team had a really good game. In our next league game, we played a strong Mt Temple team. They gave us a hard game, but we were able to get away with a 1-0 win from a goal by Jamie Leslie. After winning their first two matches Newpark had a harder game against Taney but we got a 0-0 draw from it and we were still unbeaten going into their fourth match against Kings Hospital, which we won 5-0. This put us in a good position to go through to the semi-final, but we still had to play a very good High School team to see who would top the group. The game was very tight with the High School going 1-0 up. But Newpark got a goal back in the second half to make it 1-1 and it stayed that way for the rest of the game. This meant Newpark went through, but we had to play the High School one more time to decide who would play St Andrew’s and who would play Wesley. Newpark got an early lead from a good team play and we were able to defend that lead for the rest of the game which meant Newpark would play Wesley in the semi4

I am so thankful to be captain of this incredible hockey team. They are an amazing group of girls and each individual player is special to the team. A big thank you to our coach Polly Paul, and Simon Moore and Ms. Carr for helping us with our fitness. By Karina Alvey

Junior Boys Hockey

It has been a mixed year for the Junior Boys hockey team, with both disappointing and strong results. Unfortunately, whether in the league or cup, we always seemed to fall short at the last hurdle. We started out the season strongly with an unbeaten run in the league. KH were the only team to take points off us with a draw in the lashing rain which seemed to turn the competition into swimming rather than hockey. Our last game of the league was against High School, our main rivals in our half of the table. It was a tight match with it being 1-1 until the dying minutes, when High School won a stroke from a foot (my foot unfortunately) on the goal line, which after netting it, disappointingly ended the game 2-1. This meant that we were tied in second place and had to play a play-off match against KH for a spot in the A-League semi-finals. This match was unfortunately not as close as our previous encounter and we lost 4-0. As we were out of the A-League, we turned our focus on the B-League, making it through to the final against Killians. Determined to win some silverware this season, another tight game followed. It remained scoreless for the majority of the game despite our best efforts and numerous chances. However, Killians managed to get a lucky break away goal and parked the bus until the final whistle. Obviously gutted with the result, we had to move on quickly as we still had the cup to compete in. We somewhat redeemed ourselves by making it all the way through to the semi-finals of the cup, being one of the last four teams remaining in Leinster, before all hockey was stopped due to the coronavirus. At the moment, we don’t know what the story is with the continuation of the cup, but it’s looking like we will never have a chance to play our home semi against Wesley, which promised to be a great game. Overall, despite the sudden end and the few disappointing final results, we had a solid year and I would like to thank our coach Mark Cullen for everything and Mr. Breaden for organising it all, as well as thanks to all the lads for a great season. By Oran O’Sullivan


Senior Boys Hockey After six years of astro - b u r n s , cramps, wins and losses defending our home stadium - the Santiago B e r n a BREADOthis year’s sixth years can undoubtedly hang up their jersey’s knowing the future of Newpark hockey is in good hands. Before the season was even up and running, this year’s team had successfully battled for a spot in schoolboy hockey’s most anticipated event of the year - “The All Irelands Schoolboy Championship”. Playing top teams from around the island such as Regent, Sullivan Upper and Wesley we displayed our fair share of fast “Newpark style” hockey, with plenty of nutmegs and even a home run style volley from 3rd year youngster Daragh Grogan. Although we failed to escape the group stages, all competing schools yielded to Newpark’s butter eating contest titans, Eric Kendrick and Ben Vincent, when it came to the annual All Ireland School’s dinner. As the regular season progressed, we definitely had our highs and lows. Coming back from 2-0 down to beat 2018 All Ireland champions, Newtown School, reflected our abilities as a team, yet a couple of disappointing losses in competitive matches took away the chance of silverware. Nonetheless the castle and the star crest was breaking records elsewhere with a fantastic season from the senior girls! Despite the early end to the regular season (before the pandemic) the lads continued to train, have the craic and even welcome new players to the sport from 5th year. Although Newpark may not always win competitions, we definitely have the most fun. Who else rocks up to the All-Ireland dinner in top hats and multi-coloured bow-ties? The package that comes with playing for the Newpark hockey team is much more than simply hitting a ball with a stick every Monday and Friday. It’s a Mario Kart club, it’s a ping pong division, it’s a post-match sea swim. Looking back on my time spent in Newpark, playing on that pitch is at the core of my fondest memories and I have no doubt it is the same for all the sixth year lads. Thanks to all the lads for making even the freezing cold winter nights a laugh. However, it goes without saying, the camaraderie and memories made by this team would not have been possible were it not for the tireless work of coaches Jonny McCormack, Mark Cullen and bus driver/ long time hockey enthusiast Carl Breaden. Thank you. By Evan Rankin

Senior Girls Hockey Build Up... At the start of the year during one of our lunch breaks we all went to a classroom and set goals for the season, one of these goals included getting to the quarter final of the Cup… Fast forward a couple of months and we had just beaten Newbridge in the semi-final, we were in the Senior Cup final!

There was a sea of blue. People from all generations had come to see us play. The Newpark support was far more in number than the noisy Beaufort supporters. People were covered in the school colours. So much face painting, bunting, scarves and signs; all willing us on to win. The school had done so much for us in the weeks leading up to the final and we are very grateful for it.

A week before the final we were presented with brand new jerseys and jackets with ‘Senior Cup 2020’ on them for the big day. Walking around the school we could see loads of good luck posters made by the 1st years and Bobby had our photos on the T.V. As well as this, Ms. Clark had some of the boys running a ‘chant practice’ and the GPA was decorated with banners and baby blue and white bunting.

We started out strong with a close shot on goal within the first few minutes but unfortunately it didn’t go in the back of the net. Throughout the game we had lots of chances but didn’t finish them off. By the end of the 3rd quarter it was still 0-0. We started the 4th quarter off well, however a decision by the referee with 5 minutes to go resulted in a stroke for Beaufort which they scored, causing us to lose the match.

Our coach, Anna, arranged a training session in UCD on the Friday before the final. This really helped us get used to the pitch so on the Sunday it was as normal as it could be. The day before we all made sure we were staying hydrated and tried to sleep as well as possible. We received a PDF in the group chat from the one and only Simon Moore (our fitness coach) and it was filled of lovely thoughtful words of encouragement. On the day itself we all meet up in UCD, you knew it was a big day when even Jen Sheeran, Iona Hamilton and Lily Bennett were on time. It was like every other day, we all chilled and had a chat in the changing room. Then Anna gave us the team talk but there wasn’t too much to go through as we went thought it all in training previously. And then we stepped outside. The whole school, past pupils, grandparents, cousins, friends from other schools and even a few from the Irish women’s hockey team, were there. It was amazing . We were just used to playing in front of our parents and a few dogs. We were ready and excited to get the game started!

Game On... It was the morning of the match. The nerves were palpable. We had worked so hard to get to this point in our hockey careers. All the trainings, matches, injuries, successes, and lost games had come down to this one chance. We were so excited. Everything came down to this moment. Trying to keep our cool in the face of such excitement was tough. We had to subdue our nerves and control our emotions. We played our usual music and warmed up as best we could. Game on… We looked up from the pitch and saw the crowd. To say people had made an effort was an understatement. 6

Aftermath... After the final whistle blew our hearts were broken. We knew we had done everything we could in the game. Unfortunately, us 6th years headed straight into two weeks of mocks the day after which really did not help boost our mood. For me it took a while to get over, I was at a loss as to why certain decisions were made by the referees and it hurt having our chance to win taken from us. We had to keep our heads screwed on though as we had qualified for the Claudia Tierney Cup a few days before the final. We found out that we would be playing Loreto Beaufort in the semi-final match. This was brilliant news for us because we wanted to have another go and beat them this time. All of the girls were buzzing for this game and we knew that on our day we can beat anyone, and this was one of those days. We played the best hockey we had played all season and we deservedly went 3-0 up before half time. The game finished 3-1 but we were so happy, being able to really prove that we are a stronger side was the most satisfying feeling for the team. For me that might have been my favourite game I have played for Newpark and now knowing that it was my last game in a Newpark jersey I couldn’t have wished for a better ending.

Looking Back Last Summer, when our fantastic fitness coach Simon sent us our pre-season training plan, a few of us jokingly envisaged our team winning the senior cup final in the coming season. Having just advanced from the senior 1 league, it seemed as unlikely an event as Lily Bennet wearing a pair of Newpark socks to a Saturday morning league match. Nonetheless, we went out to each training session (meticulously planned by Newpark Hockey Legend Anna Richardson) with the intention of working hard and occasionally laughing at Orla Gul. A few rounds of 1v1s later (the actual games were just a formality at that point) which the mums could only describe as ‘heart-stopping’ (sorry), and before we knew it we were heading to the Senior Cup final! That was fun.

There are a few people I want to thank on behalf of the team, without whom we would not have been nearly as successful this season. Firstly, a huge thank you to the two Karens (Clarke and Cullivan) for all their work in arranging our matches throughout the season, and for planning receptions, decorations, photo-collages and making us feel particularly smug altogether. Next up is the dynamic trio: Mr Norton, Mr Cookman and Mr Adams, who always show great interest in the team and encouraging support from within the school. We’d like to thank Mr Breadan, for organising our new jerseys for the final and always giving us a shout out on the Newpark app, Ms McCarthy, for her constant support and co-operation, and all of our teachers, for letting us leave class early for matches (and for their support, of course). I would also like to thank David the caretaker for his words of encouragement in the GPA before each game. Additionally, the team is so grateful to our anonymous donator, to whom we owe our jackets to. Without them, we would have been quite cold. Of course, we would have not had a cup final to wear our jackets to if it had not been for Newpark Hockey Legend Anna Richardson, and our wonderful fitness coaches, Simon Moore and Niamh Carr. I cannot thank all of them enough for their dedication to the team and all the work they put in behind the scenes, as well as the early mornings and the cold, rainy training sessions. Finally, on behalf of me and my fellow sixth 7

year teammates, I’d like to thank the rest of the team for making our last year playing for Newpark such a memorable one. It’s been a blast. By Zoe Watterson, Lauren Moore, Jess Whelan and Aoife Grogan

Coaching Corner This was the first year competing in the premier league in a good few years for the senior girls. Thanks to a lot of work put in behind the scenes (shout out to Simon and Niamh for leading the S&C), the team made big improvements every week. The cup was where we really found our form with wins against Terenue, Rathdown and Foxrock (thanks to some heroics from Erika in goals) seeing us through to the semis. The semi final against Newbridge was a cagey affair, finishing 0-0. Once again, however, Erika produced the goods, saving all of the Newbridge attempts meaning that goals from Lauren and Milly were enough to put us through to the final against Beaufort, the first time the school had made it to this stage in 28 years. The final itself was quite an open game, both teams having plenty of chances making it an exciting match for the packed UCD stands. Unfortunately we lost 1-0 after a late penalty stroke but we were really proud of the team’s performance, not only for that match but also throughout the whole cup campaign, consistently defying the odds and representing Newpark on the biggest stage in Leinster schoolgirls hockey.  A few weeks later in what turned out to be our last match of the season, we came up against Beaufort again in the semi final of the Claudia Tierney Cup (thanks to a third place finish in our league table). We had reflected on the final and worked on a few specific areas we knew we could improve and in what was a brilliant team performance, we dominated play and won the match 3-1. We never got to play the final but if we had to finish the year with any other game I definitely would have chosen that semi against Beaufort. It was easily our best performance of the year and I’m especially delighted that all of the girls, particularly the 6th years, got to end their Newpark hockey experience on a deserved high after wearing the jersey with such maturity, compassion and dedication throughout the years.  Anna Richardson, coach

Reflection The excitement in our house on the Sunday morning was palpable. We gathered all the Newpark flags, headbands, scarfs, and the team mascot

that been kindly made by one of the players grannies, Jage and headed off to UCD. Newpark had not been in a Premier Girls Senior Cup final since my younger sisters had been in the school, which was a long time ago.

Newpark Goes International—Rugby

There had been some reservations about having the final on a Sunday instead of during the school week, but those reservations quickly faded away. The stand was a sea of blue and the atmosphere was electric. The support was fantastic with the 5th years leading the way with a fine selection of songs that were creative and mostly entertaining. Anna’s commitment and exceptional coaching skills combined with the teams determined attitude, team spirit and skilful skills made for an exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking game. What struck me on the day was the lovely atmosphere, both on the pitch and in the spectator stands. It was lovely to see so many families, staff, and students, both past and present, including many from the Newpark team that won in 1992. It was a great day out, pity about the score. For me as a parent of a player, a teacher in the school and as a past pupil it was extra special. Well done to the whole Newpark community. By Ms Jenny Crampton

Newpark Goes International - Hockey

Most students in Newpark will have seen the picture of former student Luis Faria wearing an Ireland jersey on the school televisions. Luis played for Ireland in the U-20s 6 Nations this year and is the first player from Newpark to do so. He happens to be my brother, so it made sense for Ms Ring to ask me to write a piece for the newsletter about his experience. But I thought it would be better (and easier) if I just got him to talk about the experience himself. I also thought it would be better (easier) if I got my little brother Rui to do it for me. Rui agreed to interview Luis as long as I transcribed it. This is how it went:

On the 2nd-4th of January, Lauren Moore, Milly Lynch and I had our Christmas break cut short. We were selected to play a 3 match series against Scotland U18s with the Ireland U18 hockey team. It was great to have a series at home as we had familiar faces in the crowd. The first two matches were held at the new hockey pitch out at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown. We drew the first match 1-1, it was our first time all playing together against a country, for some it was their first time representing Ireland. We won the second match 2-1. For the third and final match, which would decide the series, we played in UCD and we won 3-2. It was a great start to the year and good preparation for the Europeans later in the year. By Zoe Watterson


Rui: Tell me about how you first started playing rugby? Luis: I started playing rugby in first year in Newpark. To be honest it wasn’t really high on my list of priorities; a lot of my new friends were doing it and it seemed like the cool thing to do, so I just sort of tagged along. It was the same in second year, where I wasn’t massively committed to it because I was playing football at the time, so I was more focused on that. I only really got into rugby properly when I was in third year. I joined the club Wanderers, I got more and more involved in the game and I had a growth spurt which obviously helped. It wasn’t until then that I would have considered rugby my first sport. Rui: How did you end up getting picked for Ireland and was this the first time you represented them? Luis: So, what happened for me was that I worked my way up through the age groups. I started with the Leinster metro side which is for club players from non -private schools or “non-rugby playing schools”. Then I played for the Leinster U-18s which was really enjoyable. I managed to progress to the U-19s which again I had a great time doing. Then I was fortunate enough to get picked for the Ireland U-19s and played two test matches against France in Corsica last year,

so that was my first experience playing with Ireland. From there I just kept playing with Leinster U-20s and a couple of times for Leinster A, before getting selected for the Ireland U-20s. Rui: Will you tell me about the tournament itself, how did the matches go for you personally? Luis: Even though the 6 Nations was pretty short, for me it was a really fantastic experience and I enjoyed every minute of it. The first game was against Scotland and I came off the bench after about fifty minutes and I thought I performed quite well. It was an amazing feeling to come off the pitch at Irish Independent Park with a win and a huge crowd behind us it was a completely surreal feeling. Then the following game was against Wales and was really enjoyable. I actually ended up starting that game and played a full eighty minutes in what was a really tough test match. The game was super physical, against a really strong team but it was really enjoyable and we were delighted to come away with the win again. Rui: What was the experience like outside the matches? Luis: As I said the whole experience for me was really enjoyable. From the bonding and friendships I made with my team mates to the learning and improving, not only as a player but also as a person. I think you learn a lot about yourself when you're put in those really intense conditions, it builds a lot of character because you have to balance both your school life and your sports life. The camps themselves were very intense but very fun. We were in camps from Monday to Tuesday, then Thursday to Friday with the matches taking place on the Friday night. We trained a couple times a day and we were in the gym a lot too, so it was pretty demanding. Overall, the best thing I will take from it are the memories and the friends I made, which are probably ones I will have for the rest of my life. Rui: What are your future rugby plans now? Luis: Right now I hope to take it as it comes, hopefully to play a couple times again for Leinster A, but the most important thing for me is to enjoy my rugby because that’s always been the biggest thing for me. If that means playing with my club Trinity, playing with Leinster or anywhere else I just want to focus on having a good time. Currently my priority is finishing my degree and getting the best marks I can.

Rui: Finally, how does it feel being the first Newpark player to play for the under-twenties? Luis: It was obviously really nice to be the first player to represent Ireland from Newpark. It was a really proud moment for me personally, but it was also a driving factor for me, not to prove people wrong but more to show people in Newpark that you can achieve these types of goals and that it is not entirely exclusive to the ‘rugby schools’ and the kids in Blackrock and Michaels. There are a few players that I have been coaching over the last few years in Newpark and I believe a lot of them the potential to achieve targets like these in rugby. I hoped that maybe I gave them some inspiration and showed them that it can be done. By Rui and Tano Faria

1st Year Rugby For the first-year boys rugby team there have been more ups than downs this season. We have improved a lot since the beginning of the season, coming from some boys not knowing how to pass or tackle to now having those skills as real strengths in their game. At the start of the season we were well beaten by a very physical and experienced St Andrews team. Last month the same Newpark team put it up to St Andrews, who probably expected to have another easy game - that was not the case. We have competed in lots of tournaments in which we won some and lost some. We have had some very close games including one game against St David's in which a big second have comeback and a last minute try from our scrum half won us the game. We thank Mr. O’Shea, Rafe Garland, Ms. Ring, Ms. Farrell and Jeremy Kemp who have helped coach us and By Billy McCullagh develop in rugby. With the majority of the boys making the step up to full sized pitches with full fifteen players, or taking up rugby for the first time Newpark enjoyed a myriad of success throughout the season. Victories were not just won on the score board against some of the rugby elite like Catholic University School but on the pitch as well. With the boys finding their rhythm and putting on a tremendous performance against the powerhouse of St. Michaels, it was unfortunate that the season was curtailed so abruptly. Many positives have been gained from this season from the speed of which the boys learned the game to the pride and determination displayed by all every time they took to the field. The future looks very bright for rugby in Newpark Comprehensive. Well done to all involved this season and we hope to see you back on the pitch. For those experiencing rugby withdrawal symptoms why not try out these home training exercises endorsed by Leinster Rugby. You can find the tutorials at By Mr Simon O’Shea


Junior Boys Rugby

knew this was our game. We warmed up well and when kick-off came, we were ruthless and relentless. We played the best we had all season and the game finished 55-5, a huge win for us. This sent us to the final against Wesley College in Donnybrook. It was game day. The game we were waiting for. It was a dream come true for many of our team being able to play in Donnybrook. Unfortunately we started on the wrong foot and had quite a bit of bad luck. It just wasn’t our day. We had a couple of big injuries very early in the first half putting us on the back foot from ten minutes in. Wesley were well drilled and had us on the ropes. We fought well but they were always one step ahead and our dreams of lifting the cup were fading away. We threw everything we could at them, but the game finished 22-8. It was a very bitter pill to swallow. We were all gutted to finish that way, but we had improved immensely and took it at the chin and walked away knowing we gave everything we could. Unfortunately, that was the last game of the season as it was cut short because of the quarantine.

The junior rugby team had many highs and lows this season. With the new season starting the second years came into the team along with many other new members. We had a fresh team, new coaches in Rafe and Mr. Cole, who coached the first years the year before, and were ready to start another year of rugby. We began the year well with a win in our first league game against St Pats of Navan. Unfortunately, with a few unlucky games with the ball just not bouncing right for us we lost our next three games. In between these busy fixtures the rugby team went to Soustons in France. We saw a different style of rugby and really bonded together. We were ready to get back home to use our new skills and chemistry we created when away. We were straight back into rugby when we got home, playing some not so friendly games against Wesley and Blackrock. The grim, dark winter and cold Christmas trainings made us hungry for victory in the new year. We qualified for the Father Godfrey and were drawn against a very strong CBS Wexford team in Greystone's. We knew this was going to be a tough one. Unfortunately, we were no match for them on the day and they finished with a comfortable lead. We were gutted but knew that we had many more games to go. Because of our disappointing game we were put into the Father Godfrey Plate, playing St Fintan’s in the semi-finals at home. We all knew how important a game it was. We wanted to win some silverware this year and knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park after being narrowly beaten by them earlier in the season. We had improved drastically since then and had really gelled together. We were not throwing this opportunity away. On game day down in the Rockies there was a few of the “usuals” on the sideline and we 10

It was a busy year for the rugby team lots of memories to take away, good and bad. It was an unforgettable year for us all. It was a great team to play with and I look forward to playing seniors with these players in the future. I would also like to thank the coaches on behalf of the team. Thank you to Mr Adams, Mr Cole and Rafe Garland for giving up so much time, for improving our team and making it as strong as it was. By Conor Murphy

Senior Boys Rugby After a very successful tour of South Africa, the senior rugby team were ready to get stuck into another season of champagne rugby. This year had many positives and it marked the end of the journey for a prolific dynasty of players. We had a fairly sensational league run this year, losing one game and topping the table by 11 points. We benefited from our summer tour and the score lines showed it. We finished the league number one on points difference with 110 and 4 bonus point wins. Unfortunately, we never got to play the final thanks to Temple Carrig’s alleged mumps epidemic. The rugby we played showed our progression over the last couple of years.

After Christmas we started our cup run strongly, with a convincing win over Gorey Community school 31-5. Next, we had High School in the quarter final, unfortunately we lost 11-3, the better team won on the day and I feel like it was a missed opportunity for

lads. Coronavirus cut our season short, we didn’t get to play our annual Comprehensive Cup match, which is always a good laugh. There was also talk of playing the final but it also never materialised. We didn’t get the end of the season we deserved, but that is life.

A cross country event occurred a little while after coming back after Christmas. It took place at Avondale House. Most of the first years ran 1500 metres. Some took part in a 1000 metre race instead. The length of the races gradually increased as we moved up the years until it arrived at seniors which ran 5k. Oisin Kelly ran in this race and came first. Hugh Kelly, Eric Shutte and Martino Pelizzeni qualified for Leinsters by making it the top 15 in their race categories. Thanks to Ms Delaney for her effort and enthusiasm in supporting us. Having progressed from the competition in Avondale, myself and the 1st years set off to compete in the Leinsters. The competition was more difficult but overall a good experience. The race was a 2k, run at a much faster pace than the previous race and at a greater distance. This meant going from finishing in the top 10 to finishing in 40th. Quite a jump! Upon reflection, I think I started too fast. The larger field and more experienced competition probably had a bearing on it too. The fact that the rest of the team also finished a lot lower than they did in Avondale certainly made me feel better. That plus the free hot chocolate we got given after the race! While it was my least favourite race, it was still a good experience and I hope it helps me to improve for the next one… whenever that is!

As I look back on my 6 years of playing for Newpark I am flooded with memories of famous victories, life changing trips, ridiculous tries and the banter between the lads. I think that Newpark rugby has something that a lot of school teams lack and that is the ability to have a bit of craic when you play. I would like to thank all our coaches over the past six years, especially Morgan Lennon and Andy Adams who really helped our progression as players and brought us to levels of rugby we didn’t know we were capable of playing. I would like to thank all of my teammates past and present who I played with over the years, I would personally like to thank all the 4th year players who stepped up to play this year, they made our victories possible and we would not have had enough numbers without them. My journey as a rugby player in Newpark is something I will keep for the rest of my life. By Adam Faulkner


By Sarah Glanville and Martino Pelizzeni

Climbing the Walls On Thursday the 5th of March 2020, a group of around 30 students attended the annual Awesome Walls school climbing competition in Kildonan. It was an amazing experience and we all thoroughly enjoyed it! The group of students was a mix of 1st ,2nd, and 3rd years. The competition was open to any junior cycle student who were interested. We travelled to Awesome Walls by bus at around 11am, lots of cheering and singing was involved in the bus ride! As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by the friendly staff and given harnesses and climbing equipment to use for the competition. We were then split into teams with other students in our year and were ready to start climbing. There were 4 climbs set up for the competition, and one speed


climb. The speed climb was timed, and the 4 other climbs had levels marked up the wall. Depending on which level you reached you were awarded between 2 and 10 points. The students competing were of various levels of experience, from complete beginners to experienced climbers. When we started climbing it became more and more enjoyable and less nerve wracking. There was a great atmosphere in the climbing center and all the students supported and cheered for one another. This helped to ease nerves and made the experience even better. When it came to the speed climb, the whole group cheered you on all the way to the top. I think we speak on behalf of all the students when we say we had a very entertaining and enjoyable day; we would certainly like to compete in another year of Awesome Walls’ competitions! For the competition we were put into teams of four. Once everyone got kitted out in our harnesses, we got to start climbing. There were four climbs in total, three were climbs that you had to go up on a specific colour route, and the higher up you went, the more points you got, and you got 10 points for finishing the climb. The fourth climb was a speed climb. You had to race to the top of the wall using any of the colours on the wall, in an attempt to get the fastest time. This would have been the first time climbing for a lot of people, and from talking to my friends, they all seemed to really enjoy it. I personally had a blast and I would love to see it happen again next year.

She made sure we got to the competition safely and that we all had a great time. By Amelia Bolger, Caoilinn Murray and Oliver Gordon

The Basketball Diaries— Coaches View

As the season comes to a very abrupt end, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the players who have participated in basketball this year. We played in two leagues: The South Dublin League (SDBL) and The Basketball Ireland League Eastern Section. All teams have trained hard developing their skills and forming new friendships throughout the season. Well done to all involved. I want to specifically mention the minor and junior teams who were progressing well in both the SDBL and Basketball Ireland League, but sadly could not finish out their leagues because of the current pandemic. Next year will be a bigger and better year for all those teams. A special mention to the all the 6th players who have played basketball for the past six years. A number of these players have promoted the game in Newpark, encouraged new players to join, have helped with coaching, scorekeeping and timekeeping for matches, thank you all so much.

We would like to thank all the staff in Awesome Walls for being so welcoming and helpful and especially Ms. Ormond for entering Newpark in the competition and organising all the students who wished to participate. We wouldn’t have had this amazing day without her! 12

Team sport is a great way to develop new skills, work as part of a team, make new friends and experience both disappointment and success. New players are always welcome, and we look forward to seeing you all back in the 2020 - 2021 season. Thank you to all the parents/guardians, teachers and supporters who have come to support us at matches. We really appreciate it. None of this would happen without the commitment of the super coaching staff of Newpark. We appreciate all the time, effort and commitment you give to

basketball to make it such a success here. Thank you to all the coaches involved Ms. Delaney, Ms. Morrissey and Mr. Doyle. We hope you all have a restful summer and we hope to see you all in September 2020 for a new season. We all hope you and your families stay safe and well. By Ms Siobhan Costello

The 1st year boys had been enjoying a brilliant season in both the East Dublin Basketball League (EDBL) and the South Dublin Basketball League (SDBL) before the two leagues were suspended. In the SDBL, the lads had stormed their group, making it undefeated to the semi-final. In the EABL, the boys won their quarter final comprehensively, beating Kylemore College 35 - 04. Unfortunately, the lads didn’t get to play their semi-finals due to the suspension of the leagues. Nonetheless, this is a very talented squad of players who all have a bright future ahead in Newpark Basketball. By Mr Alex Doyle

The 1st year girls have taken to the game with gusto! Showing some fantastic talent, the girls should be commended for their dedication from day one. They went into every match with huge amounts of energy and most importantly developed a strong team bond supporting each other in celebrations and in commiserations alike. Captain, Ruby Falkner is a talent to be reckoned with, with speedy intercepts and the ability to make the net swish. We won and lost a few games in equal amounts and were due to progress to the next stage of the league when the pandemic hit so unfortunately, we were cut short. I hope to see all players back in 2nd year stronger than ever to set the game alight! U16’s competed well but unfortunately we lost by a small margin in the semi-finals of our League. Despite juggling Junior Cert exam commitments, we had a strong core team that were dedicated and always turned up to training with amazing enthusiasm. We closed out the year with training sessions with the Senior girls’ team and it is looking to be a very talented team for the year 2020-21. Well done girls, you have done yourself proud! 1, 2, 3, Newpark!!! By Ms Laura Morrissey

The U19 Girls had a good season this year. The squad were a credit to the school. The group of players are positive, encouraging and always helpful towards each other at training and during matches. It was one of my most enjoyable parts of my working week. We are sadly losing a few players this year as 13

they move on to college life, work, travel or other new and exciting experiences. However, we have excellent leaders coming up in 3rd, 4th and 5th year. Best of luck to our 6th year squad members: Anika O’ Hagan Plough, Caitlin Gemmell, Hanna Novak and our Senior Girls captain Angel Glynn. We all hope life is good to you all. Thank you for all you have done for basketball in Newpark. Best of luck to the rest of the senior squad who are finishing out this year’s curriculum online. Roll on the 2020 - 2021 season. By Ms Siobhan Costello

The U19 boys had a great season this year, making it to the semi-final of the South Dublin League where they narrowly lost out on a spot in the final. They also go their hands on some silverware, running out winners of the East Dublin Plate, winning 45-39 in a tense, back and forth final against Grange Community College. For many of the sixth years, this victory had an extra significance having lost in 3 previous finals through their years in Newpark. I’d like to thank all the squad but say a particular thank you to all the 6th years who made it an extremely enjoyable year. I hope you will all pop back in to impart your basketball knowledge on to the next generation of Newpark basketball. Best of luck!

By Mr Alex Doyle

The Basketball Diaries— Players View

Why I like to play basketball: It is enjoyable to play as my friends play it so it’s lots of fun. It’s a high scoring game and it’s very intense and fast flowing, so it’s very different to the other sports I play. I hadn't played basketball before coming to Newpark so it was great to learn a new sport and we made it to two semi-finals which made it very exciting. I can't wait to be back playing with my team. - Bobby Kennedy, 1st Year I play basketball to spend time with my friends, get fitness and because it's just really fun. One highlight of my season was when we won one of our matches and

when I scored a basket! - Sophie Shepherd, 1st Year I play basketball because it’s really fun and easy to learn. It’s a good way to make new friends and having something in common to do. It’s really enjoyable and good because you can play it anywhere all you need is a ball and a hoop. - Benan Fagan-Charlton, 1st Year This year’s basketball season has been really good! Our team has shown a lot of great teamwork and lots of progress since last year. We have had our coach Ms. Delaney for the last two years now and we couldn’t ask for any better! We had some new girls join which is always great! Although our season was unfortunately cut short because our school had to close, we did get to play enough games for us to bond as a team. We didn’t get many victories, but we stayed strong and always saw the bright side. I hope next season that everyone comes back enthusiastic and ready to win! Sarah Windle, 2nd Year The team have had a great season, we made it into the semi-finals but unfortunately, they have been postponed due to the corona virus. We are a strong team and our strengths and weaknesses complement each other. I miss training and can't wait to finish our season and hopefully win. - Alex Gildea, 2nd Year Basketball is such a team sport; it is the best feeling when you and your teammates are perfectly in-sync on the court and know where everyone is before you even look for a pass. This year was one of my best years playing basketball, our team was past the point of still getting used to how one another played and just knew exactly what we should do when we stepped on to the court. - Clara Stanley, 3rd Year I love being part of a sports team. Training and competing with your friends are the best memories you make at school. I would strongly encourage first years to try Basketball. - Alice Nestor, 3rd Year This year the team got off to a rough start due to several injuries however we managed to advance to the knockouts. Right before the start of the knockouts we were met with more injuries meaning we failed to make it past the second round in both the South Dublin Basketball League and the East League. After a disappointing end to the season we began to train with the senior team and prepare for a friendly tournament and next season. We played one match in the tournament before it was cut short by the school shutdowns. - Gavin MacAonghusa, 3rd Year 14

I play basketball because it is my favorite sport and I am interested in it. I like basketball because you get to play lots of matches with your team and they are fun to play. If you make a mistake such as double dribbling or if you foul someone it’s ok because you can just learn from it. We made it to the semi-final of the league this year, which is a great achievement. - Jessica McEvoy, 4th Year I have been playing basketball since 1st year and it has definitely been one of the highlights of my time in Newpark. Since I started basketball I have always found it fun but it has also become a stress reliever along the way. When school got really stressful, I realised that every time I was at basketball training or playing a match I would just forget about the stress and focus on the game/training and just enjoy myself. In my whole 6 years of playing basketball I hardly ever missed any training sessions. I remember at the end of the summer before second year I fractured my hand, and the first week or two when basketball started I wasn’t able to play but I still went to the training sessions because I didn’t want to miss out on anything. I have had so many memories related to basketball, whether it was in training or during a match. One of my favourite memories in basketball is when the team got to the final in 5th year, we didn’t win but it was such an intense game and the score was very close, the amount of people cheering was really encouraging. Having people cheer you on is more motivation to keep going! Basketball also brought me closer to people in my year and it helps you from friendships with years above and below your own. I still talk with the close friends I made in basketball that have left the school and I hope to keep in contact with the friends I have made in the years below me! I will definitely miss playing basketball for the school and miss playing with the team. I want to say thank you to all the coaches I had through the years, who helped me improve in basketball. I have seen different sides to the teachers and have had a lot of laughs with all of them. The basketball coaches in the school all take time out of their free time to do it and don’t get enough credit, so THANK YOU!!!!!

I really recommend that you join a sports team in school it will definitely be worth it!! (Especially Basketball) - Angel Glynn, 6th Year and Senior Girls Captain. Throughout my 6 years in Newpark, I have tried many different things. Many of which I gave up after a week. Basketball is something I stuck with for the full six years. There was never a time where I even considered giving it up. Even though there was a period where I really didn’t think we, as a team, were going to win any sort of silverware. We went into 5th year having gotten to 4 finals, one in each of the previous 4 years. We had lost every single one. For me the 1st year one was the toughest to take as we lost by a measly point. We came back stronger in 2nd year and got to yet another final. This time against Andrews, who were arguably a tougher opponent. Same outcome. 3rd and 4th year were similar stories. Just fell short at the final hurdle. 5th year was a tough year for senior basketball as we struggled for players and often had to count on junior players helping us out. Very few 6th years played that year, meaning we had a huge disadvantage against other teams in relation to height and experience. This led to a disappointing year. Although this year was disappointing results wise, whether it was training or a match, basketball was still always the highlight of my school week (as it had been all throughout my time at Newpark). Training was always very productive and enjoyable and was always something I looked forward to. If I had a match after school, it was all I could think about during the day. I’m sure that my fellow teammates who played basketball since the start would agree that 6th year was the best year for basketball. We had a brilliant team. Loads of 6th years had taken it up and there were plenty of 4th and 5th years also meaning we had very good numbers for training and matches. Everything clicked this year. The 6th years knew that it was their last chance to win a trophy. The 5th and 4th years also stayed dedicated throughout the year which was brilliant as without them there would be no team. We came up against top teams and seemed to always give them a game, even if we didn’t manage to win them all. There were a few standout victories including games against St David’s and Colaiste Eoin. We paved a path to a Cup Final game against Grange and I’m happy to say, after 5 years of losing finals we finally won. The feeling was incredible. I would like to thank all the coaches we have had over the years, Ms. O’Farrell in 1st year, Dean in 2nd and 3rd year, Ms. Delaney in 4th year and Mr. Doyle in 5th and 6th. Every one of them was extremely dedicated. Basketball played a big part of my time in Newpark and many memories have been created on the court that will stick with me forever. - Max Ryan, 6th Year Boys Vice-captain.


GPA Table Tennis This year in school myself and a bunch of fellow 5th years had decided that lunch where getting too boring and because of winter, football on the hockey pitch was rarely an option. It was because of this and the genius of Hugh Larson that we started playing ping pong on the GPA tables. It started off with just a few of us taking turns and Hugh bringing in bats and balls from home. But it soon caught on and after a few weeks we had a second set of bats brought in because we needed to have two tables on the go or some people wouldn’t even have time for a game during the 40 minute lunch period. It was around then that things got serious. We set up a league system which placed everyone into a different division with 5 people in the top 4 divisions and everyone else in div 5. This was so the best players weren't always thrashing the weaker players in ‘beat the champ’, and it meant everyone got the same amount of game time. Lunchtime Table Tennis peaked when Mr Kelly and Bobby pulled Hugh out of class to go and set up an actual table in the GPA. This resulted in what seemed like half the school gathering round to watch what was one of the greatest rivalries ever in Hugh and Mr Kelly Vs Paul and Big Mac. I still don’t know who won but it was awesome. By Ben Marnell

Horsing Around I competed in the Interschools Horseriding in Killossery along with Lucie Smith on the 12th of January.

We were joined by Elsie Barry from Rosemount School, with her horse Dreamer. We all got double clears and placed 2nd overall. We then went to Broadmeadows Equestrian Centre on Sunday the 26th of January. We only had a team of three and got the fastest time of the four faulters. On the 8th of March we went to another Interschools Show Jumping competition in Barnadown in Co. Wexford and placed 4th overall. Members of our team who attended in the school are: Ally Murphy - Hyway Lady (Annie) Lucie Smith - Ruby’s girl (Ruby)

By Ally Murphy

Surfs Up! I started surfing when I was very young as my dad had learned to surf in Australia and had taught my cousins when they were my age. He pushed me in to a bunch of waves on my behalf and I loved it. I surf with my cousins and family and my local surf club which is Killiney Bay Surf Club (K Bay). I mainly surf longboards and get my boards made for me by Glide surfboards in Cork. I’ve competed in the Irish juniors tour for 4 years in under 10, 12 14 and the under 18’s longboard titles. The final competition of the six Open events for the year was in Donegal. It was hard work, but I persevered and finished 2nd place overall for the Irish National title and got invited to represent Ireland surfing in a competition held in Portugal in 2019. This competition had the top 2 junior tour surfers from each country in Europe competing for the prizes. It was good experience and we got to be part and watch the prosurfers in the finals of the Quicksilver 3000. My favourite surf spots are Achill in Ireland and Lanzarote in Europe. This year, so far, all the surfing competitions are postponed but for the first time ever surfing is an Olympic sport in Japan 2020/21. 16

When I surf I feel calm, it’s tiring but I’m less hassled when I surf and feel free. Surfing involves knowing about tides, rips, swells, wave fetch, weather forecasting, being on time, staying fit and water safety. Surfing requires a lot of very early mornings, traveling, focus and being organised but it’s worth it. By Henry Ferguson

‘Tis The Ski-Son In the month of October, I was selected to go to Austria to do a 4-week international FIS camp with Olympic coaches. Everyone was from different countries, so I got to meet everyone there. Over the 4 weeks we changed location, moving to a different glacier at the end of every week. The glaciers I went to were called Stubai, Hintertux and Murtal. The first week I stayed in Stubai, I did slalom and giant slalom training. After ski training everyday we would go and do dryland training for 2hrs, at least, each day. The training started out easy and throughout each week it would get harder. The 2nd week we moved to Hintertux, and at this time it was busy because of the start of ski season for all athletes. It was bad weather up on the glacier for couple days, so we didn’t go up and do training but instead did some dryland training. On the glacier there was no snow at all it was just ice which made it difficult to ski on. The 3rd week we moved to Murtal which is eastern Austria. Here we only did slalom training due to limited space. Each day we would have to leave very early to the lifts to get training in while the snow conditions were good. I once had to get up at 5.30am and had to be at the lifts at 7.00am, pretty nuts.

On the last week I travelled back to Hintertux for our last training week. In Hintertux it was quiet, our hotel was empty, so we had a pretty peaceful time here. We got the most skiing out of this week and really enjoyed my great experience with all the athletes and amazing coaches. After my 4-week camp I had a FIS race in Italy in Solden. It was a big race as it’s the first Italian race of the season. I had 2 slalom days and 2 giant slalom days. The conditions for the slalom races were pretty tough. There were lots of ruts in the ground and lots of racers were skiing out and crashing. In my experience I didn’t enjoy the slalom. The giant slalom was good, I loved the course as it was standard and nothing too hard. This was because of the amount of snow that fell. There was so much that officials were thinking of cancelling the race, but they didn’t in the end. I scored some decent FIS points out of those races and was happy of what I achieved there. It was a great 5 weeks to get to experience in my skiing career. By Alex Ainsworth

On Pointe I’m in my third year dancing with the Irish National Youth Ballet. It is a s e m i professional ballet company of 40 dancers, between the ages of 10 and 20, from all over Ireland. Each year every member of the company has to re-audition along with many hopefuls. No one’s position is permanent. This Christmas we put on ‘The Nutcracker’ in the Pavilion theatre in Dun Laoghaire for six shows. This was my second time performing in the INYB Nutcracker because we did it two years previously, but this time I was in senior company. This meant that I had different roles in the show to perform so I was able to see it and experience it from a different perspective. We had been working on this performance since the end of August even before the schools went back at the end of the summer. Lots and lots of work went into the making of this performance, just like all of the performances we put on. This meant lots of rehearsals during half term and long days every Saturday to create the finished show. It takes a lot of work and dedication, but it’s all worth it.


When we get to the theatre it’s so exciting - the dressing rooms, the stage the lights, the extra rehearsals, and most importantly the performance. When you get to the stage that’s where all the hard work pays off. You know the choreography so well from all of the rehearsals that all you have to do is perform and enjoy it! In my opinion this is one of the best bits. In the show I had a couple of particular parts and I also danced in the corps (main body of dancers). In the prologue some nights I was Frau Stahlbaum, Clara’s mum, and on others I was a guest at the party. During act one I was a snowflake and in act two I was in Dance of The Reed Flutes and Dance of the Flowers. There were 6 performances of the show over three days so by the end we were all exhausted! I think my favourite dance to perform was Dance of the Flowers because it was so joyful and happy. It was possibly also one of the hardest dances to perform as well because it lasted 5 minutes. That may not sound like a long time but when you add the steps, the technique, the amount of running involved in the dance, the heat from the lights, the pain in your feet and you have to smile on top of that. It’s really quite a challenge! However, it still managed to become my favourite! Another dance I loved was Snowflakes because it’s so magical especially with the snow that fell onto the stage while we danced. I’m so lucky that I’m able to be part of this wonderful company and that we can put on shows like the Nutcracker in theatres. It’s such an amazing thing to be a part of and I’m so grateful for the opportunity. Check it out on YouTube: watch?v=aHMX6ujUPRs

By Tabitha Smith

Green Schools Update

Outta The Park has been a really good experience for everyone on the team and we’ve all learned lots of new things, and have really enjoyed making a difference in our school. By Helen Hatter

Earthwise Event

This year in Plastic Outta the Park we decided to work on furthering the work that the years before us did and reached out to other schools. At the start of the year we did a bin audit and used that to see what our main issues with waste were. We found there was a huge issue with composting and the recycling bins being contaminated. When a recycling bin has food or drink put in it, it ruins everything else in the bin and means the whole thing has to be thrown away in landfill, instead of everything being recycled. Getting a compost bin set up in the school seemed to be the best idea, since we understand that the general waste bin openings are small and so students end up putting food in the recycling. We also found that things that aren’t recyclable, like crisp packets, are being put in the recycling. We hoped that most people just don’t know what is and isn’t recyclable, so we decided to make clearer posters to go above the bins. Ms Achari was able to get the bin company Panda in to talk to us about recycling, so we could make sure all our information was accurate. We also found out about a company called Terracycle, who team up with companies to recycle things that aren’t easy to recycle. We decided to try and get this in the school, starting with a tinsel bin, meaning things like chocolate and crisp wrappers could be recycled. If we were still in school we would be completing those posters and getting the crisp recycling up and running, but with the Covid-19 lockdown this has been delayed. We even were able to start spreading the message of Plastic Outta the Park with other schools this year. We visited the annual Neat Streets conference in Croke Park. Normally this is for schools with no green schools at all, but we came as speakers to talk to other schools about the work we’ve done in Newpark. We also hosted a workshop where we talked to six other schools about being eco-friendly. We learnt a lot and had everything ready to go, but of course school is closed now! We hope that next year’s team can finish what we started and get everything set up in the school. Plastic 18

On the 27th of February Olivia Dockrell and Eve Cullen went to the EarthWise event in Stillorgan College of Further Education. They arrived there at 9:30am and waited for half an hour. They couldn’t help but notice that it was very empty inside. A couple students greeted them and Olivia and Eve soon realised that they were the only people there. Just the two of them. They were expecting other schools to come but only their school was scheduled for that day. The first activity was a talk on how to be an ecowarrior. The talk went on for an hour. It was really good, they discussed fossil fuels, global warming, our carbon footprint and much more! A few students from the college joined Eve and Olivia for the talk so that they weren’t completely alone. After the talk Eve and Olivia went to a science class. They mainly talked about the coral reefs and the wildlife in the ocean. They also went over the sea levels rising. After a brief talk and a video they did some experiments on how to distinguish acids and bases. When the science class was over there was a juice break. They had orange juice and grape juice. According to Eve and Olivia it was a great juice experience. The next activity after the juice was a 3D modelling class. Eve and Olivia learned how to make an earth spin around in space. It was really fun and surprisingly easy. They managed to finish early because it didn’t take as long as there was only two people there. After the 3D modelling there was a problem. The students informed Olivia and Eve that they ordered a lot of pizza because they expected a bigger turn out. Olivia was delighted with this news and proceeded to eat a lot of pizza. Eve however wasn’t as excited. “This place is the best, we got people delivering us pizza” stated Olivia. After the best pizza of their lives Eve and Olivia went to an animation class. They got a template and had to animate something related to that. They had to draw each frame of the animation. When that was wrapped up Eve and Olivia got some free stuff. They got an eco -friendly bag, reusable cups, a book about the college and some colourful highlighters. It was a great way to end of the day. Overall it was a great experience! By Olivia Dockrell

We’re Going Through Changes The Green Schools Logo change is more than just a redesign. It’s the changing of the guards, of sorts. The

old generation passing the mantle down to a new generation. Last year, when the 6th years graduated, they took with them a big part of the Green Schools committee. What had once been a larger group is now a lot smaller. They had been doing incredible work for the committee and the school for so many years, but like all good things, their time on the committee came to an end. This left some large shoes to fill for me and my fellow Green Schools committee members! But I think we will be well up to the challenge. We wanted to do something small to represent a new era of green schools. So, we decided to make a new logo. We used the school colours, navy and blue, throughout the design. A blue ocean runs across the bottom, to symbolise both our school’s proximity to the sea and our recent water conservation green flag. A tree branches up through the middle to represent nature, growth, and biodiversity. And, in front of it all, is our very own Newpark crest. We omitted straight lines and perfect shapes, opting instead for a more rounded, organic look. We hope our new logo will represent us and what we do, and what hopefully we will grow to be. If you’re interested in joining the committee, we would love to have you! We are always looking for new members. Our current meeting time is Friday lunchtime, it’s as simple as showing up! By Eva O’Donnell

Outreach Day Continuing to strive in our mission to have a single use plastic free school and community the Plastic Outta the Park Team extended their reach to six Dublin secondary schools in the community. In collaboration with the Sustainable Development TY class the 20172019 team have educated each incoming first year group and local primary schools about the causes, effects and solutions to plastic pollution. This year we decided to widen our reach and include secondary schools in our remit. This year the 2019/2020 team also collaborated with local beach cleaning charity Flossie and the Beach Cleaners to deliver educational workshops to primary schools all over Dublin. As a reflex to the numerous enquiries we receive from other schools about how Newpark transitioned to a single use plastic free school the team decided to run a 19

workshop to help schools with this process. The 2017/2018 team had documented the procedures they took as part of the Young Environmentalist Awards which gave us the blueprint to take the visiting schools through a step by step programme. On Monday December 9th representatives from St Killian's, St Benildus, Loretto Bray, St Paul's and Rockford Manor arrived to learn about the work our school had done with regards to our plastic free campaign. The original Plastic Outta the Park Team opened the morning welcoming students and giving context to the campaign explaining why they started the project and how they went about making the transition happen. The students also talked about how proud they were of the work that they had done explaining the confidence and skills the platform helped them develop such as public speaking, project management, teamwork and developing an idea into an action. The 2019/2020 team then took over taking their guests through a PowerPoint that explained the step by step process on how to achieve a single use plastic free school. This included measuring the problem through bin audits and surveys to the parents, staff and students, seeking permission from the relevant stakeholders, auditing the canteen and finding alternative products, raising awareness through social media, posters, art. workshops, outreach events, a launch day, and designing and buying a school bottle. To break up the morning the students ran activities to help them understand how they can make a positive influence with their peers. The first activity was based on the skills that students need to become effective peer educators and the second activity helped them to map out their campaigns. The workshop was a massive success: by the morning’s end each school had learned how to run a step by step campaign to kick start their school to go single use plastic free. They learned about how to influence their peers and how to run a campaign. The feedback from the schools was extremely positive and everyone involved was delighted with the positive result. To top the morning off RTE 's Eco Eye team arrived to film the event. This was really exciting as the team could showcase their project and skills to an even further reach of the whole nation as students were filmed explaining how Newpark was Ireland's first single use plastic free school. The episode is called Children of the Revolution and can be viewed on Eco Eyes YouTube Channel or the RTE Player. By Sue Adams

Goodbye Trailblazers

measured and reported that Newpark have reduced their plastic consumption by 16000 bottles per school year. This is an incredible amount of plastic that will no longer end up in the sea or landfill. This is a phenomenal achievement for our school. Well done and thank you to everybody for your support to make this happen. Year after year the Plastic Outta the Park baton has been passed down and students continue to carry on with the inspirational work that you started in 2017. Your legacy leaves an imprint of a masterful and motivational project that continues to have the ripple effect. Wishing you all the best for the next chapter on you journey I have no doubt that you will continue to do many wonderful things in your lives.

As the 2020 school year comes to a close, I would like to thank the pioneers of the Plastic Outta the Park Team from 2017/2018 as they leave Newpark in June. As the pioneers and creators of Plastic Outta the Park I would like to say a heartfelt thank you for all of the work that you have done for Newaprk and for the community over the last few years. Your innovate project has inspired 22 other schools around the country to also endeavour to become single use plastic free schools. You have created a legacy that has put Newpark on the map as an environmental school that prides itself on taking action and making a difference. The impact the project has had on the community has been inspirational. The backbone and vision of the campaign was to change a culture against the reliance of plastic though educational initiatives. This kicked of the peer education plastic free workshops that still run with the first years every year and the outreach workshops that the 4th years do with primary schools. This year representatives from 6 schools visited Newpark to learn about our campaign and to gain the knowledge and tools about how to transition a school to go single use plastic free campus. These workshops ensure that students and staff understand the detrimental effects of plastic pollution and they give them the motor and alternatives to transition to a single use plastic free lifestyle. Newpark has been on RTE twice and we have received massive media attention as a result of this powerful crusade. This year’s bin audit

By Sue Adams

Leaving Cert PE 2020 To the class of 2020, We started on this journey nearly two years ago. An unknown, untraveled road. From theory classes in science labs, to time spent discussing and devising the PAP (sorry I know that we said we wouldn’t mention that topic again!) in the sewing room. You have all been a part of history in the Irish education system. It has been an incredible journey. We have shared many wonderful memories; the ongoing debate between the hockey and rugby players about everything, whose voice is loudest when having a discussion or how useful the lost property is when you need to find shorts for a swimming class! As a class, you have strived to be excellent in Leaving Cert P.E, and you have all shown again and again that nothing is impossible when there is dedication. Thanks for the memorable two years and always remember what Winnie The Pooh said; “You are braver than you believe, Stronger than you seem and Smarter than think” Good luck to you all.


By Ms Ciara Hayes

Stay Active This Summer!

ed 350 presents to children who really appreciated them. It is a real example of how activism can multiply, and also showed me so clearly how strongly people feel about the direct provision system. A real example of social solidarity in action - well done Newpark! Darragh Brien of 2LF continues the story… In December, Ms. O' Dwyer received an email from a parent in the school, who was organizing a Christmas party for children in direct provision centres across the country. Our 2nd Year C.S.P.E. class came up with ideas to fundraise for the Christmas party. We decided to hold a bake sale and have a nonuniform day for 1st years. The money raised went towards buying toys and clothes for the children. We also received many donations of toys, clothes and presents from the school community. In the end we raised over €1,000 euro and had hundreds of toys, games and warm clothes for children and adults. A big thank you to everyone who donated and helped out.

Direct Provision Fundraising There is an old saying which is often quoted in CSPE and human rights-related conversations “If you think you’re too small to make a difference try sleeping with a mosquito”. This sprung to mind when thinking of how Newpark became involved in organizing a Christmas party for children in Direct Provision centres last December. Dr. Ziene Mottiar, a parent of two students in the school describes how the idea took root:

In late November I saw a post in Facebook looking for volunteers to help organize a Christmas party for children in direct provision and I decided to get involved as this is an issue that I think is really important in our society. We wanted to try and have a present for each child/teenager on the day and that is how I came to contact Newpark and Monkstown Educate Together to see if we could collect presents, party food and warm clothes to donate. The reaction was absolutely incredible! Led by the 2nd year CSPE group, Newpark donat21

As ever, it was a real pleasure to work with such motivated, caring, generous students who organised the collection of gifts and the fund-raising with energy and good humour. On the day of the party itself a number of more senior students, under the stewardship of teacher, Maria O’Donnell, helped serve food to the children and their parents, organised the distribution of gifts and spent the day entertaining the children. Another very enjoyable Newpark community collaboration in a long history of human-rights activism and civic solidarity. On my own behalf, thank you to everyone involved! By Darragh Brien and Ms

By Lucie Balay-Chawke, TY

Focus on Homelessness This year “Focus on Homelessness” took place during the month of February. The Junior Cycle Religious Education Pupils were all involved in learning a bit more about what it is like to be homeless, the issues surrounding homelessness, what is meant by direct provision and the efforts of a number of people and organisations to help the homeless in many different ways. Many First Years Pupils completed a 12 hour Sponsored Silence – not speaking for a complete Wednesday in school. Some pupils found this very easy while others found it extremely hard - the teachers definitely loved the peace and quiet in class!!! They raised just over 500 euro for a project called “A Place to Call Home”. This is a joint project between The Church of Ireland and The Association of Missionaries and Religious in Ireland to acquire properties in Dublin and around the country that have been donated by various religious orders. These properties are then renovated and converted into new apartment living for individuals and families. The project has been running for 3 years and to date over 60 people have been given new homes to live in. Thank you to all the First Years who participated and all those who sponsored them in helping with this very worthwhile project. Second Year Pupils spent an R.E. class building homeless huts / shelters on the green area in front of the school. They organised themselves into groups and brought in their own materials although some thought the materials would be supplied and were asking for scissors and tape!!! They were quickly informed that homeless people have to manage with what they have or find. They spent 40 mins building the huts using materials like cardboard, tape, string, cloth and plastic and when completed some huts had front doors, post boxes, little windows, pillows and skylights!! One group brought in cushions and fairy lights!! Bobby took some great photos and Mr Cookman helped with the judging process. There were a number of really excellent shelters and they won small group prizes. They included Dara McGrandle’s Team from 2KK, Emily Lindsay’s Team from 2ACL and Jacob Minehane’s Team from 2MOD.


A huge well done to everyone who took part in this raising awareness campaign. Third Years Pupils completed a reflective journal on Homelessness for their Classroom Based Assessment for Junior Cycle Assessment. They learned about the difference between “Needs” and “Wants” and what HOME means to each person. They reflected on all the things that we take for granted at home like warm beds, hot showers, kitchen facilities, food in the cupboard and the love and support of family. They learned about Sister Stanislaus Kennedy and Focus Ireland and the work of the Simon Community and the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin. They also looked at the Direct Provision System in our country and how it can leave people “living in limbo” for years. The reflective journals were all completed in class just before school closed for the lockdown. So well done to all the pupils on completing the journals. Overall, it was a great awareness campaign and hopefully we all learned a bit more homelessness and how blessed we are. By Ms Suzanne Harris

Sponsored Silence

On the 26th of February many First Years took part in a 12-hour sponsored silence to raise money for a project called “A Place to call Home” . The project is renovating old unused buildings into new apartments for the homeless. It was very difficult to not talk for such a long time. We ended up doing a lot more writing, texting and sending notes. Nearly everyone broke it, but only once or twice. Although, I found that it was mainly if you bumped into someone you said “Sorry!” or if someone held the door for you. It was a reflex! A little over €500 was raised, it was a great thing to do for homelessness awareness week. Thank you to Ms Harris and the RE teachers for organising it.

By Silvia Ciulli Cummins

Feeling Festive

A Message From the Chaplain Wow! It’s a difficult time for everyone having to stay at home and stay safe. It is hard not being able to see your family and friends and not being able to meet up in school. I really miss the chats, the laughs and general interactions with staff and pupils myself and find my own company hard to take! However, it is great to have technology to keep in touch with family and friends and I never thought I would be saying that about computers!

At 9:00 am on Thursday the 30th of January all first years gathered in the hall to celebrate 'The Festival of World Religions'. A few students from each class were at stalls. At each stall there were projects on different religions. As there are five forms and five main world religions (Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism and Judaism), each form took a different religion to make a project on. As I wasn't managing a stall, I got the chance to look at all of the other stalls that the other first years made. On some there were pictures and models relating to the religions, and on others there were beautiful posters and scrapbooks made by the first years. It was interesting to learn about the different religions that I hadn't studied yet. Overall it was an interesting experience and was very worthwhile. I was running the Hinduism stand with Sarah and Jesse. We each took a stall with different bits of information about Hinduism and explained what was on our stall to the students that came to us. For first and second period all the first years came in two groups, one per period, and we explained different aspects of Hinduism, as did all the other stands. Then the second years came for third and fourth period and we did the same. I enjoyed sharing what I've learnt about Hinduism and although I would have liked to get a better look at the other religions. It was fun to run the stand and I'm very glad I did it. By Silvia Ciulli Cummins and Isobel Smiley

Teaching online has been a sharp learning curve for me - setting and correcting work on teams and by email. Anyone who knows me well, knows how “technically challenged” I am as I regularly have to get pupils to help sort out problems in class. But thanks to the very kind guidance and great encouragement from Ms French and other wonderful colleagues, I have learned a lot – so that’s one good thing about this time out of school. All Church activities are online – using Zoom, Blackboard, Facetime, WhatsApp, Facebook and so on. There has been lots of opportunities on TV and radio and with recordings from various places for people to join in quiet times of reflection / prayers. The church buildings are closed but “The Church The people of God” still meet to reflect and pray for those suffering and helping in these difficult times. Likewise, the Newpark buildings are closed but the Newpark Community—pupils, staff, parents and friends of the school still meet online to learn, chat and encourage one another. Plenty of people—staff and pupils—are working really hard in their homes and it can be hard particularly if there are other people also trying to work/study at home. But great contact, learning and support is still ongoing and available to all. Keep in touch with friends and family, encourage one another, be kind to the people you live with and look out for the isolated, elderly and vulnerable in your area. Please pray for the essential workers - doctors, nurses and carers, food producers and retailers, transport workers, postal and delivery staff, the Gardai and the Army, Ambulance Service and the Government and ALL THE PEOPLE who are helping to keep us safe and well. Remember the Lord is with us and 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 7 tells us to “Cast all our anxieties on God because He cares for us”. Stay safe and stay well, the Chaplain


By Ms Suzanne Harris

SciFest 2020

(except the weekend) we came in and watered the plants. In the end our conclusion was the plants grew faster under artificial light but more germinated under natural light. We really enjoyed it. The exhibition took place in the GPA on Friday 24th of January. All the students in 1st year gathered to show off their projects. Three prizes were given out and all the winners well deserved them. The winners were Indiana, Julia, Sarah, Mimi and Luke. Charlie and Oscar got the 1st place award. Well done to them! Marina Jimenez-King, Sarah Glanville and Isobel Smiley

All First Year students participated in the sixth annual Scifest competition on January 24th 2020. The first years spent a busy three weeks after Christmas working on their projects in Science class and some impressive and creative work was produced. The exhibition was held in the GPA and the posters were of a very high standard. The overall winners were Charlie Lane and Oscar Rowe with their project “Can we produce renewable energy out of household objects?” The runners up were Mimi Reuland and Luke Conaghan with "What environments affect bodies of water the most?" The Allergan Yo u ng Innovator Award was awarded to Indiana G allanagh, Julia Durand and Sarah McGee for their project “Climate change and how to help” We would like to thank our external judges - Hugo Rowsome (Scifest), Breno Keogh and Oisin O’Sullivan (Class of 2019). They all commended the students on the quality of their work and on their communication skills. The exhibition was kindly sponsored by the PTA and we would like to thank them for their continued support. By Ms Lynn Anderson

Yeah Science! Our project was about how plants grow differently in different types of light. We set up some plants under artificial light and some under natural light. Everyday 24

For Scifest we did a project on the Mandela Effect. We enjoyed brainstorming ideas and carrying out our investigations. Our poster was visited by a judge at the exhibition and he gave us some good feedback. We decided that if we were to do the project again we would ask a more varied age group.—Noinin Cooling, Hannah Dunne and Silvia Ciulli Cummins We wanted to find out how many people could be fooled by photoshop for our Scifest project. We ran into some problems but the project was fun and interesting overall. The exhibition was in the GPA on 24th January. There were lots if interesting projects. The winners were Charlie and Oscar.—Henry Carmody, Jago Webb and Tadgh Foran In our Scifest project, we examined the PH level, salt content and looked at the bacteria in the different water samples. We looked at 6 areas including a well, a river in a park and the sea. We used drinking water as a control to compare all the samples to. We found that the well had the least bacteria but the highest acidity of PH8 which is one above normal drinking water. Killiney beach had the least bacteria but when we compared all the samples to drinking water we found that Killbogget park was the most similar to water from a tap. It had no salt, similar bacteria formation and they were both PH7, though its colouration was different. I think Sandycove had the most bacteria and had irregular colours. We found that the formation of the bacteria was often more irregular in places where

people swam, like Sandycove.—Mimi Reuland and Luke Conaghan

1st Year Cell Models

During the year, there have been some fun and interesting projects. In Science we had to make a model of a cell. Some made it out of cardboard, some made it out of pom poms and some made it out of cake. Some people researched even further into cell structure to make their models more accurate. It was fun and also a very clever project because it allowed you to arrange the cell in 3D. We were able to learn while being creative. There were plenty of projects across the year but the cell models were probably the most memorable‌possibly because at the end of the lesson, the cake was shared out! By Sarah Glanville


French Connection On the 10th of January 2020, 2nd year students went on an exchange trip to Paris. We attended our regular Friday classes, but left early in eighth period to put our books away and gather in the GPA. We brought our bags and suitcases in with us that morning and put them in the lost property room, so we went in one by one to get our baggage. At around 3:30pm, our coach arrived in front of the school. The ride to the airport was hazy, some were chattering, some were sleeping - or trying to sleep, anyway. The racket in the back of the bus was impressive to say the least. As we got off the coach, it was getting dark and it was freezing, so we hurried inside the airport. After checking in our bags, we settled a meeting point near a restaurant, and everyone had 30 minutes of roaming time around the shops. Most of us went to buy some kind of gift for our French correspondent. The flight felt fairly quick. Nerves kicked in as we landed and realized that we were stuck in a foreign country for a week. Our penpals were waiting at the St. Charles school. The families were very welcoming and kind, and everyone went on their way after saying goodbye to each other. Saturday and Sunday were spent with the family we were staying with. Most families went into Paris to see the iconic Eiffel tower, or the Champs Elysee. The weather was great, so the weekend was a perfect one to spend outside. On Monday, we went to the SacreCoeur,a church located near Montmarte. The view from the church was spectacular, and the Montmarte itself was beautiful also. Afterwards, we went shopping at various shopping centres such as the Galeries Lafayette. Tuesday was the day of Versailles. I was very excited 26

as I’ve never been to a castle as big as this. The interior and statues outside the building were made out of gold, and everything was very colourful and luxurious. We spent a day in the local town of our penpals on Wednesday. We got into groups of five and had a worksheet with questions for various shop owners in the town. My group finished fairly fast, so we bought some pastries and chatted until the other groups were done. When everyone finished, we headed back to the school for lunch. Thursday was a day we were all looking forward to; Disneyland! The whole experience was magical, like we were in an actual Disney movie. It was a sunny day, the skies were blue and it really set the whole vibe. I even got a picture with Ariel from The Little Mermaid! Best day ever. On Friday, we spent a day in St. Charles school with our correspondents. Everyone was very friendly, and some students even wanted our autographs! We went to class with the students and listened to their lessons. It was interesting to experience school in a different country. Overall, the trip was one worth waiting for, and I’d like to thank everyone who By Mea Gigon made this trip possible for us!

Exploring All Pasta-bilities The L2BE Erasmus + project is based on creative approaches to language learning and is called Languages to Boost Europeanness (L2BE). There are three other schools involved from Italy (the coordinators), North Macedonia and Poland. The project is funded by the European Union, through Léargas. Newpark students involved will travel to the other schools in Europe over the next two years with eight students travelling per trip and in May 2021 we will host the three other schools at Newpark. As part of the Erasmus + team in Newpark, myself and Alex Doyle travelled to Salerno, Italy in February to meet with our European counterparts who had travelled from Macedonia, Italy and Poland. After two flight cancellations, we finally landed in Naples on Monday, 10 February. The purpose of the visit was for the teachers involved from each country to meet and get to know each other at the Comprehensive "Autonomy 82" Institute in Baronissi, in the province of Salerno, and also to discuss the plan

of the project for our students over the next two years. We spent time coming up with the itinerary for our students who will all meet at the next trip in Macedonia, this was originally planned for April/May 2020 but unfortunately, we will now have to wait for new dates due to Covid-19 virus. We also registered on the eTwinning platform and designed the logo for the project. We stayed in the centre of town and were met every day by our Italian hosts who showed us the sights of Salerno and Amalfi while we were there. We flew back to Ireland on 14 February after an enjoyable and interesting few days with our European counterparts and a renewed awareness and appreciation of the rich culture within the European Union. It was a valuable and unforgettable experience, which awaits our students when we will have the opportunity to travel By Ms Margaret Dempsey again.

Rollin’ Round Poland Monday Myself, Lara, Muireann, Selma, Victoria, Ms Farlow and Ms Kelly left for our trip to Poland on Monday. We met at the airport at 9am and arrived in Gdansk, Poland at around 2:30pm. We met up with the German team there and were brought on a bus to the Polish students’ school in Elblag. We were then collected by our students and brought to their homes, we got so much Polish food there which was really tasty. For the rest of the night we just talked and caught up with our students who we hadn’t seen, since they were in Dublin a year ago. Tuesday On the Tuesday we started the day in the school, each country had to make a presentation on “good food good mood”. We then played some ice breaking games in the school’s hall. We then had a tour around the school. We where brought around by the Polish students. It was interesting to see how different their school was to ours. We then had lunch before we got on the coach to go to Sᾳpy. When we got there, we 27

went into a small traditional cottage and where split into different groups. In these groups we made a variety of traditional Polish dishes, such as dumplings and an apple dessert. It was great fun and I enjoyed working with all the girls from the different countries. After this we were dropped back to the school. It was a very enjoyable and interesting day. Wednesday On Wednesday, we took a 3-hour coach trip to Toruń, a historical city renowned for it’s gingerbread and it’s large Cathedral. We visited the Living Museum of Gingerbread where we were given a demonstration (which included audience participation) on how to make traditional gingerbread. The guides both played very entertaining medieval characters. The gift shop sold elaborate and expensive gingerbread souvenirs, but my student held me back from buying any as they could be found for cheaper elsewhere in the town. She was right. The Polish students gave us a tour around the old town, pointing out the statue of Nicolaus Copernicus and Toruń’s famous Cathedral. We were given free time to explore and get lunch with our students, before leaving at around 4 o’clock. It was an incredibly beautiful city. Thursday On Thursday morning we met in the auditorium where Agnieszka Kopczyńska – a food blogger was there to give us some ideas about healthy eating. Afterwards we went on a trip to Gdańsk and had a guided tour of the European Solidarity Centre. After lunch we went for a walk in the Old Town where we saw the Golden Gate, Artus Court, Neptune’s Fountain, the Uphagen House, the Crane, the Basilica and Mariacka street. On the way back we had dinner at METAMORFOZA. Friday Sadly, we didn’t have time to do much on the Friday because our fight was at 10:20am so we had to leave around 7am. Our hosts dropped us off at the hotel the teachers were staying at and then we took a taxi to the airport in Gdańsk. Once we reached the airport, we had some time to wander around before the flight. The airport was quite small but we amused ourselves until it was time to board. Luckily we didn’t have to go to school for the rest of the day, instead we could go home and take a nap! I really enjoyed the trip, it was an amazing opportunity to visit another country and get to know the culture there. By Lily Bennett, Selma Reby, Victoria Burrell, Lara Kiang and Muireann Ní Dhrisceoil

MUN Round Up

Model United Nations at Newpark has grown significantly this year. For the first time we opened up participation in local conferences to students in 1st and 2nd year. Their enthusiasm and dedication was gratifying and confirmed that we had made the correct decision. We participated in conferences at Terenure College, Royal Russel School in the UK, Rathdown School, and Wesley College. For all conferences we had large numbers attending and the students demonstrated excellent skills. The Royal Russel conference last October marked the end of the MUN journey for many of our 6th years. These students have been a driving force of Newpark MUN and their dedication, skill and leadership will be missed. However, they were generous in passing on their learning to the younger students and I fully expect that Newpark MUN will continue to grow from strength to strength. It was very unfortunate that they missed their last conference, the cancelled St. Andrew’s conference that was to have taken place over the Easter holidays. Nonetheless, I would like to extend my thanks to our 6th year MUN-ers who have worked so hard over the last few years and demonstrated outstanding skill and excellence. You have been a pleasure to work with. Thank you. Model United Nations is more than debating. It is about diplomacy, negotiation, leadership and the ability to build consensus. Students need to research topics and countries, they need to be able to think on their feet and they need to be able to network. As the advisor to the Newpark teams it is a delight to see these skills build in participating students from conference to conference. T13 was regularly a hive of activity this year on Thursday lunch times as teams prepared and senor students helped newer delegates with the skills of resolution writing. I look forward to Newpark MUN continuing to grow next year. No doubt there will be many resolutions on t h e t h em e of gl ob a l By Ms Sheena Odongo pandemics! 28

Wesley College Dublin MUN WCDMUN 2020 started on a Friday and lasted all the way to Saturday. It was a very exciting to be involved in something on such a large scale. Each person applied for a committee in their school's allocated countries. We got to leave school a class early (we were very excited about that). We got ready in the bathrooms, ran to our parent’s waiting cars, and set off. We went over our notes in the car, chatting about our committees and wondering if our resolutions would pass. When we finally got there, we were greeted by a winding road gilded with dozens of country flags, then a busy entrance hall filled with delegates and teachers, looking for countries, committees, and friends. We all got a shiny new folder with our country, name and committee printed on the label, with fancy notepaper, name tags, and even a Wesley Model UN pen! When we finally found our committee rooms, we took our seats and began chatting to the other delegates around us. We then met our fellow country members at the opening ceremony, and listened to speeches and performances before finally, Wesley MUN 2020 was declared open! The rest of the day passed in a blur of resolutions, amendments, nervously standing up to speak, and some gorgeous dinner in the school cafeteria. (They had six different types of cake for dessert. Six!!) We all headed home at about 11pm, tired, happy, and full of cake. The next day, we arrived back bleary-eyed and half asleep at 8:30. At least there were hot drinks and coffees to wake us up. The debating in the committee rooms was great, lunch was great, but things took an interesting turn when we got to General Assembly. A crisis was declared! A video explaining the situation flashed by on-screen: it turned out, Netflix and Google had been using their widespread dominance to brainwash the global population and plant hidden messages in their content. We had to come up with an urgent resolution to solve the problem together, all 500 of us... Needless to say, there was a lot of debating and not a lot of deciding... Still, it was great fun, and the usual note-passing and shenanigans ensued of course! Eva O'Donnell deservedly won the award for best junior delegate in the Ecology and Environment Committee. All in all, it was an excellent experience, and a whole lot of fun. Thank you to Ms Odongo for all of her work this year. We’re looking forward to the next conference, whenever that may be! By Sarah Glanville and Eva O’Donnell

Global Ireland

In January, Politics and Society Students and senior cycle members of the Model UN had two visiting speakers, the Irish Ambassador to Japan, Paul Kavanagh, and Irish Peacekeeper, Captain Grattan O’Hagan. Their talk was part of the Global Ireland School Project which aims to inform students on Global Ireland and the work done overseas by Irish ambassadors and peacekeepers.

This visit was in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs ‘Global Schools’ programme, which aimed to give students around the country the chance to learn about Ireland’s involvement on the world stage and the role that we play in international affairs. His visit aimed to bring a deeper understanding of how UN membership has been central to our foreign policy. He spoke of our 60-year history as a peacekeeping force within the UN and of the uphill battle we face in securing a seat on the Security Council later this year. He currently works as Ireland’s ambassador to Japan and so it was fascinating to learn about foreign policy issues from someone who has served on the frontlines and been directly involved in international negotiations. He was also joined by a Captain from the Irish Defence Forces, who gave us an insight into the peacekeeping missions that Ireland is currently engaged in and spoke of our government’s desire to double our international impact by 2025. Their visit was stimulating and highly informative and really gave us an insight into the role of Irish diplomats. Before they left, we were presented with a UN flag and a copy of the preamble of the UN Charter, in recognition of Ireland’s contributions to addressing the biggest challenges facing our world today through peacekeeping, international development, human rights and disarmament. By Nathan Moore

Writers Unite!

Ambassador Kavanagh and Captain O’Hagan covered many interesting topics, including Ireland’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council, the work they do day to day and many interesting stories from their time spent serving in their various posts abroad. At the end of the talk, Newpark was presented with a United Nations flag and a copy of the UN Charter. A big thank you to Ambassador Kavanagh and Captain O’Hagan for taking the time to give such a valuable presentation to the students involved. By Mr Alex Doyle

We were very fortunate to have Ambassador Paul Kavanagh come into Newpark this year and talk to our senior cycle classes about his job and what it entails. Ambassador Kavanagh is currently serving as Irish Ambassador to Japan. He has previously served as Ambassador in other countries and to the UN itself. 29

Newpark Creative Writing club is now online. Whether you're a seasoned writer or just starting out, our Writers’ Notebook has resources, ideas and a space to keep you connected. In these challenging times we have created a platform for Newpark writers to share their writing, exchange ideas and collaborate. Students from all years are welcome. To join our friendly online writers' community and access the Teams notebook, email By Maya Garcia-Verdugo-Merin and Selma Reby

Student Voice and Student Leadership Student voice and Leadership is alive and kicking in Newpark thanks to a dedicated, motivated and effective bunch of students and teachers. This year there have been many changes and developments. The Student Council’s new size and structure and training from the ISSU has made it much more effective. The newly formed Cultural Council and Sports Council are still fledglings but have many exciting plans afoot as you will see below. The Student Voice Subcommittee of the Board has only met once this year but the students articulated themselves well and many interesting conversations took place. The Prefect team have been an exceptional bunch and have really led by example. This year twelve Fifth years embarked on the Foróige Leadership for Life programme and they have been exploring many new areas/projects in the school and community that they would like to lead. As co-ordinator of Student Voice and Student Leadership in the school, I would like to thank Mr Twamley (Student Council) and Ms Anderson (Prefects) for all the amazing work they have done for Student Voice in the school. Their experience and leadership has been invaluable. Everyone has had many new experiences (both rewarding and challenging) this year and we are all working together to ensure that Student Voice and Leadership is strong in Newpark. By Ms Cathy Devis

Sports Council The Sports Council is a newly founded group of students who take part in or are involved in any of the sports teams in Newpark. Our group includes representatives from all sports and most age groups. Our main objectives as a group were to address any problems that arise through the year and to set group goals such as trying to organise different events to get more people involved in being active in school. Obviously, we have not been able to achieve many of these goals because of the school closure, but I have no doubt this council will be a success in the future! By Jess Whelan


Cultural Council The Cultural Council is made up of leaders of the school’s student organisations from the Food Club to the Film Club. It took us sometime to get momentum going this year and, sadly, just as the Cultural Council was properly established the school was closed. However, we have an action plan! We have many hopes for next year. These mainly focus on the centralisation of school clubs: you’ll be able to find a timetable of what’s going on everyday on the noticeboard on the G corridor and we’ll have a “Freshers’ Fair” to introduce incoming students to our school’s offerings. Stay tuned and stay well! By Bruno Ciulli

Student Council The 2019/20 session for the Student Council witnessed a number of changes and a successful reorganisation of this vital school body. At its core, it was decided to reduce the number of members from a rather cumbersome 64 to a far more manageable 32. We now operate under the banner of Student Voice and the introduction of Ms Devis and Ms Anderson to the team has greatly re-energised our group in recent years. This year Saoirse Mulvihill and Tano Faria led the team and greatly impressed with their fine leadership skills and enthusiasm. Although hampered by recent events at the tail-end of the academic year, the Council none-the-less achieved a great deal. In particular, the gap between management and the student body has been greatly bridged, with the establishment of sub-committees and access to meetings with BOM and PTA members on a regular basis. We are extremely lucky at Newpark to have such an active and socially conscious student body. Equally, our senior management has been very proactive in engaging with the students, our Council contributing to important decisions on uniform changes, litter issues, the raising of charitable funds and new homework policy. We have no doubt that the 2020/21 year will be even more successful, as we continue to provide our Newpark students with an important mouthpiece within the school. By Mr Mark Twamley

The Student Council had a very successful year, up until the school closure. From meetings with the Board of Management and workshops with the ISSU (Irish Secondary Schools Union) to discussing inschool issues such as clubs and dirty toilets, we got through a lot. We always tried to keep the same attitude in all that we did, which was to try and make the school as inclusive a place as possible. Both of us [Tano and Saoirse] held the view that by making the school more enjoyable, inclusive and by creating

an environment where every individual felt they had a stake, the other minor issues like dirty toilets and littering would improve by themselves. We had many plans that we didn't get round to doing, for obvious reasons, but I hope this year will lay the groundworks for lots of exciting future projects organised by the student body. Most recently members of Sixth year have met to discuss various things. During this pandemic, nobody has really known what to do. There weren’t really any plans or guidelines to follow for it. The student voice was the perfect tool to combat this. Teachers heard loud and clear what the students needed, and in return the students were offered a perspective into understanding the teachers better, strengthening the understanding and communicative bond between us that Newpark always been known for. By Tano Faria (Student Council Chair) and Saoirse Mulvihill (Deputy Chair)


leader, but I found that others saw me as one, so with that thought along with my craving for new experiences and learning new things, I decided to sign up to the course and hone my leadership skills. Having recently completed Module One, I have really enjoyed it so far. Each session usually consisted of a game or two, a bit of discussion and some reflection. I’d say the only really challenging part is the selfreflection at the end of each session, however that’s where I learnt most about myself, or more specifically, about myself as a leader. Surprisingly enough, most of the things we learnt I already knew. We talked a lot about communication, listening, values and vision. However, in this module we learnt how all these things apply to leadership and how important it is to have a good understanding of these concepts to be a good leader. Most of all, I found that this course has boosted my confidence as a leader. As a Junior Play director and co-leader of the Creative Writing Club, I have already started to put some of the things I have learnt in practice. I'm looking forward to starting Module Two, I’m sure it will prove to be as enjoyable as the first. By Maya Garcia Verdugo

Foróige is a new course here in Newpark. It teaches leadership and communicative skills and is generously led by Ms Devis. If you follow through all three modules of Foróige you are rewarded with a level 6 diploma. I was really intrigued when I heard about this course. I see myself in director type positions in the future and thought these would be great skills to pick up, as well as it looking great on a CV. I also thought maybe it could help with the struggle of running filmmaking club. I came to find it helped not only running a club but also in a personal way. This course forces you to reflect and consider. Foróige Leadership for Life Programme began for the first time Newpark this year as an optional extra course for Fifth Years. It is now in full swing with Module Two going well despite the move online. Newpark students have shown their initiative and customary flair for creative thinking, teamwork and leadership. Below you can read two student views of the experience thus far. I look forward to seeing what brilliant ideas they all come up with next. We hope to run the programme with 5th years next year. Interested Transition Years should contact Ms. Devis at By Ms Cathy Devis

Back in Transition Year, I got into the habit of saying "yes" to almost every opportunity that came my way. While I’m still not sure whether this habit is great or deceivingly self-detrimental, I know for sure that I do not regret signing up for Foróige’s Leadership for Life programme. At first I didn't see myself as much of a 31

We have two more modules to go. The last one is practical where we put our learnt skills into practice and lead a community project. Before the Covid-19 shenanigans we had class after school every Wednesday for an hour. There are about twelve students in the group. It’s a tight knit gang. I found myself looking forward to class every Wednesday, it helped me get through the Wednesday classes and felt like a light at the end. Everyone in the class is welcoming and nonjudgmental. After every class I felt like I learnt something new about myself and others. We learnt things that maybe I thought I knew and seemed obvious, but once put into practice I fully understood their importance. There’s a real difference between a small class where everyone there is giving up their free time and really wants to be there and a class full of people who are obligated to be there. It’s a real functioning learning environment. By Neala Yakub

Student Council Fundraising

LGBT Wrap Up

This is a story close to my heart and one that began way back in 1989 when I was in school in South Africa. After doing my community placement on a camp for underprivileged children, my life was changed forever when I started visiting St. George’s home for girls in Cape Town once a week and usually every weekend. It is a place that has been a huge part of my life ever since. It is a very special place where they care for girls aged from three to eighteen in a loving and caring environment. Most of them have come from homes of abuse, neglect and/or are orphaned. These girls have had a very tough start to life.

Our weekly lunchtimes discussions have remained fruitful throughout the year, discussing a myriad of topics from the use of slurs and media representation to the latest Irish government LGBT policy and even beauty guru NikkieTutorial’s ground-breaking coming out story.

Despite moving away, I’ve always kept a special bond with the home, even thirty-one years later. I always want to help them in any way I can—especially as they have always been underfunded. Over the years, Newpark has continued this relationship and we have fundraised several times and visited them twice during school trips (in 2006 and 2019). After a massively successful fundraising project by the Student Council last May, I was finally able to put the money raised to good use in February 2020. I visited home during mid-term, thankfully before the COVID crisis hit. With the funds raised, I was able to buy a massive jungle gym which was greatly needed and appreciated. It has a sandpit, slide and swings amongst other things. As the supplier made it VAT free, I was also able to buy much needed board games, tea sets for the play house and lots of bubbles to blow in the garden to celebrate the installation. My children and I visited St. George’s every few days and we watched this huge playground being built. Everyone was so delighted and it is providing hours and hours of entertainment especially at the moment as the lockdown in South Africa has even prohibited walks. It was such an emotional time for me watching the delight of the girls and made me and my mother so proud of what the Newpark Student Council has achieved. You really made a difference to people who really need it. Well done. By





We have had many highlights this year; the pride flag is now flying on school grounds, the school transformed into a rainbow for Stand-Up week, we interviewed drag queen Anziety, the BBC even included some of our members in a new documentary. We hope to see everyone back next year when we’ll be further pushing the envelope. In the meantime feel free to reach out and stay safe. Contact BelongTo: 01 670 6223 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) Jigsaw Contacts (by area): need-help/find-a-jigsaw By Bruno Ciulli

LGBT on the BBC As Tom and I are quite new to the LGBTQ+ club that has been introduced to the school, we were absolutely in awe knowing that we could talk about our experiences of our time here with Simon O’Leary, a past pupil of Newpark. Simon was making a short documentary for the BBC about his life, which got very emotional. We wanted to highlight the true importance of the club and why we find it creates such a good atmosphere. Not only did it shock us finding out that Simon didn’t have a club like this in Newpark, but it also made us realize how lucky we are to have this opportunity to show some positivity. We go through the school days not having to worry about hiding our true selves, we are a part of this group to include people, to welcome them as they are. It was amazing to have Simon talk to us and share a bit about his life. Anyone who feels like an outcast, who would like to meet new people, to learn and to share laughs, should consider joining the club, whether you’re an ally or a part of the LGBTQ+. The club has built such a positive community, anyone who has joined can confidently say they are proud to be there. If anyone is interested in saying “hello!” we meet up in M4 on Thursdays lunch time! You can check out the documentary here: https:// By Tom Murphy and Lauren O’Sullivan (Eligh)

From the Director’s Chair

do, as he is such an important person in my life and one I dearly look up to. I wanted him and his character to come through to viewers and for them to enjoy his company for a short four minutes in a very simple way.

It was the first film I made by myself, and filming on my iPhone was the simplest way to do it. I don’t own a fancy camera, and even if I did, I would need some serious practice using one! My phone is always on me, it’s really easy to use and after going online to buy a Lavalier microphone (it plugs into my phone) and a small tripod, that was my equipment sorted. A complete love and adoration for film has been in my family for generations. My cousin’s grandfather, Mervyn LeRoy, was the producer of the original 1939 film, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and my nana started her acting career as an extra in titles like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Lobster’. For me it was when doing a small movie-making summer camp in my primary school that I realised it was something I really enjoyed. We made our take on a school escape film titled ‘The Shawshank Detention’, and then in the summer of Transition Year I joined the DLR Young Filmmakers Group, and that was it. I learned valuable skills in the group: how to write, direct actors, use a camera and manage production, sound and editing. It allowed me to experiment and gave me the confidence to really create something of my own—something personal and vulnerable that was important to me and that I wished to share with others. I made ‘The Ballad of Denis Moloney’, a sort of mini-doc style film that illustrated poetic and lyrical works read by my grandfather. The title paid homage to one of his favourite Coen films, ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.’ With the film I wanted to show my grandfather and his love of poetry and music. It was something I felt I had to 33

The freedom to just turn on the camera and let my grandfather speak without giving him a script or any kind of prompts, allowed his true self to come through on film. He decided what he wanted to read, and I gave him that uninterrupted space to do so. I think that was the most important thing for me to do and the reason the film so successfully embodied his character. I’ve learned that giving direction, structure and careful preparation and time are all vital for a production to take place effectively. However letting go, allowing real life and character to come through, and using the camera to capture it in every way possible is also crucial. It’s what film does best: reflect real life. For my grandfather to see the film for the first time screened in the Lighthouse Cinema for the Fresh Film Festival heats was the best part for me, and he really enjoyed it! Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the festival in Limerick never went ahead, but the screening was enough to show him the film and that was the most important thing! Click to view Jolie’s film: https:// By Jolie Thomas

Creative Schools Newpark is part of the Creative Schools programme, run by the Arts Council, which “aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives”. The programme gives us the services of a Creative Associate (Elliott Ballam), and funding for two years. If you know Newpark, you will know that the arts and creativity already have an important place in what we do. There are exciting, innovative, and high quality activities in dance, drama, music, visual art, creative writing, and much more available to our students. Why would we want to be part of this programme, when we already seem to have so much arty stuff going on?

to take place in school, with access to certain materials and equipment. The changed circumstances have caused challenges, but also offered new opportunities. Our sound environment has changed, for example. Many of us are more aware of the sounds of nature this year with the reduction in the constant background noise of road traffic. We will be working with Ed until the end of May. We hope to learn from this project, and present our work to the wider school community in the autumn. If it is successful, we will be inviting other classes and subject areas to become involved. By Mr Ciaran Byrne

Arts in the Park

It is important to ask the obvious questions, so: what is creativity? Ken Robinson defines it as “the process of having original ideas that have value”. Recent times offer many lessons to us. One of these is how important it is to be able to have those original thoughts, and be flexible in our thinking. The only thing about the future that is certain is that it will be different in ways that we cannot yet imagine. In this situation, it is essential that we value and develop the creative abilities of our students and staff in a broad way, so that we can be resilient, and take an active part in creating a sustainable future that we would want to live in. In the first part of our Creative Schools journey we undertook some research with focus groups of staff and students. We found general agreement that creativity was actively valued and promoted in some parts of school life, and was hardly acknowledged in others. Unsurprisingly, arts based subjects, practical subjects and extra-curricular activities were mentioned as areas rich in creativity, while teachers from some curricular subjects had never come across the concept of ‘creativity’ mentioned in any teacher education, or literature relating to their subject. Senior cycle students felt strongly that the pressure of exam preparation tended to get in the way of allowing space for taking chances, wondering, and exploring their imaginations. We decided to design a project that would try to embed creative thinking in subjects beyond the areas traditionally associated with creativity. Ed Devane, a musical instrument maker and sound artist, agreed to work with us. Ed regularly works with the Science Gallery, and some large multinational technology companies, to encourage fresh and innovative thinking. We identified that making and using musical instruments had the potential to be relevant to the curricular content of a wide range of subjects. A group of intrepid teachers from Science, Music, Woodwork, and Metalwork are leading their First Year students on a journey of discovery with Ed. We have had to be innovative, as we designed the project 34

Celebrating Creativity On the 4th of March 2020, four local schools (Holy Child Community School, Dalkey School Project, Monkstown Educate Together and St. Patrick’s in Dalkey) visited Newpark to celebrate creativity with an Interschools Arts Day. Over 120 students from 5th class, 6th class and Transition Year took part. The theme of the day was Fairytales, Myths and Legends. The schools were mixed up into five groups of who participated in a day of fabulously diverse arts workshops around the school. Bianca Moore is a freelance artist, originally from Australia, based in Wicklow. She has worked in a range of creative environments including theatres and schools around the world. In Bianca’s workshops on the stage of the Hunter Theatre, students created amazing shadow puppets to tell their wacky reimaginings of fairytales. In the art-room they made inventive use of a range of recycled and found objects to create wonderful hats and wands with Emma Byrne. Emma is a freelance artist and art teacher who has recently taught in Newpark.

Artistic Performance As part of the Junior Cycle reforms over the last few years, schools have had the opportunity to include new short courses in the curriculum. Here at Newpark we began this new opportunity in 2017 with the introduction of Philosophy and Artistic Performance . These are curricular subjects now, on offer alongside Business, Home Economics, Music and the other options. For me as an English and Drama teacher, this has been a dream come true as Drama finally has curricular validation. I was so excited at the prospect of devising and creating this course to suit our cohort.

Hilda Chan is a professional musician, conductor and music teacher who works all around Dublin and Cork, including the Newpark Academy of Music. She created pop-up orchestras with the students using the mad array of incredible vocal sounds they created. Past pupil Isabel Horner had everyone up and active in her dance workshops – it was incredible to see how much they learned to do and the enthusiasm and creativity they put into using their moves to interpret and choreograph the myth of Tantalus. Isobel is a professional dance teacher and choreographer who is currently working as a musical theatre artist in London. Newpark’s Cathy Devis was the mastermind behind the event who brought together the team of teachers and artists involved. She also facilitated and thoroughly enjoyed the drama workshops on the day. Cathy loved watching the creative interaction develop between children of different age groups from different schools. At the end of the day, the full group assembled to give a glimpse of what they had done in the final workshops. It was a frenetic, fantastic, fun and creative experience and the response was overwhelmingly positive from students, visiting teachers and artists. They would all love to do it again. This whole event was generously funded by the Blackrock Education Centre and run on the day by a fantastic team of Newpark senior students coordinated by Anna Johnston. Many thanks to all involved, especially our visiting artists, Bobby and David for help and support with all the logistics, and Grace at the Newpark Academy of Music. By Newpark Arts Team


I was not disappointed, the Artistic Performance class of 2020, has been an incredible class to work with. They are highly motivated and committed and have always been willing to experiment, take risks and embrace creativity. They really ‘got’ this course and responded so well to the course content that I was able to include topics that I had done at university. We had many visiting theatre practitioners who were highly impressed by the students’ imagination and maturity. Our theatre visits were fun and insightful. The combination of Drama and Philosophy really works. Both subjects make you think outside the box and think of the world in a different way. Their completion of recent CBAs in our challenging situation made this even more apparent. Thank you third years for being a wonderful group of students to start this course with. The second years are amazing too, I look forward to seeing what they produce in the coming year. By Ms Cathy Devis

Artistic Performance was a great experience, comprised of studying the works of playwrights and their genres, learning more on how to write and perform scripts of our own and of course eating cake. We got to work with professionals such as experts on accents and body language and stage stunts. In the end our assessment didn't go to plan as we went into isolation, so we ended up recording our finished plays over video chat, which turned out to be a big success. Artistic Performance, coupled with Philosophy was a really great choice and I'm so happy to be part of the very first class in Ireland to complete (more or less) the Artistic Performance/ Philosophy courses. By Alice Nestor, 3rd year

Being in Artistic Performance was a huge privilege and honestly my favourite class in school. It is nothing like a normal class, in AP you get to move around and express yourself and be listened to no matter who you are. Being in the AP class made me see that school isn’t all about sitting and staring at a whiteboard for 40 minutes. It can be fun and exciting, and everyone is welcome. By Hugh Kelly, 3rd year

The Short Plays Short, Sweet and Snappy! The Short Plays were conceived in 2014 as a fundraiser for a new theatre by a fantastic past pupil, Mark Ball (LC class of 2014). Mark is a very successful and wellknown youth theatre facilitator and continues to support and help out Newpark Drama. This year he gave the playwrights very useful feedback. This is a short commitment event that includes the whole school community, past and present. The plays were written over the Autumn/Winter of 2019. The playwrights are a mixture of past pupils: Jack Knowles (2017), Colm Higgins (2014) and current pupils: Nakai Mudiwe (2nd Year), Abby Whelan, Rachel Baum, Sunny Cooling (Transition Year), and Hanna Novak (6th Year.). Some of them directed their own work and others didn’t. The actors were cast before Christmas, giving the playwrights time to finish off their scripts and give the cast some time prior to rehearsals to learn their lines. The directors worked with their casts for ONE week to create a magical and fun night of theatre. This year we also had two incredible bands and a very imaginative Dance piece. For many of the playwrights, directors, and performers, this has been their first experience of this. All funds raised went directly towards funding a new theatre (for which there are plans for currently in the works), and to keeping the Drama Department running. By Ms Cathy Devis (Producer)

I always knew I would come crawling back to Newpark Drama in some way or other, did I think it would be through dressing up as a clock during the short plays? No, not necessarily. However it was one of the funniest experiences I have had so far. Having done drama for the past year with college through mainly theory-based learning, I was excited to get back into more practical drama. I had so much fun rehearsing with Hanna and the cast and coming back to see new faces on stage along with old. Overall the plays were incredible, everyone should be so proud of the work they put in, each play had its own unique spin on what Newpark Drama is, and I couldn’t be more impressed. 36

I think the short plays are such an important part of Newpark Drama as they give the students and past pupils a chance to show exactly what it is that makes the drama department so special – co-operation. The short plays festival is Newpark Drama in its simplest form, with just over a week to rehearse and perform the shows. With all this pressure on a deadline you’d assume it’s a stressful experience but truthfully it’s one of the most laid back and enjoyable experiences you can have with Newpark Drama or any theatre. A big well done to everyone who got involved, especially all the writers and directors who worked so hard on creating such a unique set of plays. By Eoghan Funge (actor and past pupil)

The Short Plays are a great experience for students from all year groups that have an interest in exploring any aspect of the Hunter Theatre whether it’s acting, directing, script writing or anything behind the scenes. It’s all done in a week and it’s incredible how much is done in so little time. I’ve acted in the short plays several times before and it was always such a great time working with other year groups and past pupils and even teachers sometimes! Directing and bringing my own play to life was only possible with all of the wonderful talent that there is in the drama department. It’s a week of your life for an experience that will be more than worth it. I’d encourage anyone to take part. By Hanna Novak (director, writer), 6th Year

Junior Plays 2020 and Future Plans… This year we had a record amount of plays (eight!), a record amount of directors (twenty-six!!) and cast members (seventy!!!) Sadly they have yet to put their amazing talent on display. For months they were working tirelessly—even through the February midterm—and the plays were really starting to come together. Two weeks before curtains up, the school was closed. We haven’t given up yet. Casts have been meeting up online and we are hoping to possibly audio record the plays. And who knows what the autumn might bring… In 2019 I participated in the short plays, a small event put on and written by the Newpark students. Every year students write, rehearse, perform and eat waffles together as part of this festival. It was so much fun to create a short play with the others and make friends from the other years. The Memories you make in drama are the best ones and I highly recommend to anyone who is interested to sign up. By Alice Nestor (actor), 3rd Year

Many thanks to Nicolas Reuland for Short Play photos

One Act Festival Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to be cast in Newpark's play for the One Act Drama Festival in St Andrew's College. The cast consisted of two other transition year students and five fifth years, all of whom are incredibly talented. We put on a play by Tom Stoppard called "A Separate Peace" about a man who checks himself into a nursing home for no apparent reason. We were directed by two past pupils from Newpark, Dylan Burns and Killian Ryan. They were exceptional and incredibly enthusiastic directors. The rehearsals and prep for the play was some of the most fun I've had all year. Dylan, Cillian and the cast all had such bubbling and dynamic chemistry and it added so much to those few months of rehearsals. On the night itself we performed as best we could, and came away with one main award, along with Caoimhe being recognised with a certificate for her phenomenal artwork on the set (she painted a spectacular mural on two really damn big screens) and Rosa for her brilliant performance as Maggie. It was such a blast to work with such talented individuals— one of my favourite things that happened in TY without a doubt. By Milo Houlden


I’d like to thank all the staff who facilitated rehearsals and the brilliant Fifth Year directors who have been completely dedicated and focused despite the difficult circumstances. On another note, we had hoped to produce Romeo and Juliet this winter but we’ll just have to see how everything pans out. If staff, parents and students have other ideas which we can embark on in our current circumstances please don’t hesitate to contact me on By Ms Cathy Devis

I only fell in love with drama in Transition Year and I was disgusted at my past self for not having done the Junior Plays as a first or second year. So I jumped at the opportunity to write and direct one, as did many of my fellow fifth years. I was nervous to meet our cast of first and second years, for fear that I’d suddenly become the aunt who insists she’s ‘down with the kids’. But any nervousness was washed away and I quickly grew very fond of our cast, enjoying small things like talking to them over food we’d bought earlier. I had never been in a position of leadership, and directing was an entirely new experience, which at the start involved a lot of me pretending I knew what I was doing, which is a skill in itself! Luckily it became easier and it was amazing to watch our play come to life in the relatively short time before the schools closed, which was upsetting. I hope we can find some way putting of our plays in the future to showcase all the work we all put into them! By Lara Kiang, Fifth Year

Lingue in Scena 2018 - 2020 For the last two years, Newpark has been lucky enough to be invited to an incredible weeklong multilingual Drama Festival in Turin. Each year a different play is chosen and schools from six or seven European countries work on a selection of scenes from this play to perform on the first day of the festival. After these school performances, all of the participants are divided into three groups to work on different aspects of a big collaborative production. Some are chosen as key actors, others work in choral dance and movement or with the professional musicians and in 2018 there was a shadow puppetry team too. After four days of intense rehearsals, the entire group performs a multi-lingual public performance of the play. It is the most extraordinary thing to watch and experience. Schools are only supposed to participate for two years in a row but, much to our delight, they broke the rules and invited us for a third year! We have been working on The Tempest since January and hopefully we’ll be going back to Turin in October for the festival which was re-scheduled from May..

through French, Greek, Polish , German or Italian, we were the only English-speaking group. We felt a certain need to present the piece as it was intended, focusing more on the dialogue than the spectacle.   Our group comprised of both fourth and fifthyear students. While not a large number, we were very close and very involved in the process. The ten of us, armed with Ms Devis and Ms Johnston, managed to create something different and enjoyable. We didn’t have much to work with given the selection of scenes and the time limit but there was a freedom in that too. Each of us helped make it work, resulting in a piece that had a little bit of all of us in it.

By Ms Cathy Devis

A Veteran View…

Preparing for the Lingue in Scena 2018 and 2019 was honestly quite intimidating. The first year Newpark was taking part in an event we’d never experienced before. Tension was naturally high as the written information coming from Turin was through translated English and sometimes the meaning got lost along the way. We rehearsed King Lear for many months, chopping and trimming most of what we had initially prepared in order to meet the festival’s strict time restriction of thirty minutes per school performance. We felt a certain level of expectation surrounding our version of the p l a y . W h i l e the other schools could improvise and go crazy with the source material, given that they were performing it 38

I was mildly apprehensive about returning to Turin the following year. Not only would the cast be completely different, but I’d never heard of the play. Strangely, the process of making Woyzeck took a different turn from the previous year. We were more prepared this time around; we knew the deal. Ms Devis and Ms Johnston understood the process, making our production process a lot smoother with little cutting or drastic changing. The spotlight had also been taken off us which gave us a chance to experiment and go wild with communicating our version of the story. This involved on stage shaving, verbal abuse, creepy knife techniques and literal horseplay.

The only aspect of both trips that was even mildly similar was our actual stay in Turin. Every day was spent in the sun, traveling from our hostel to the building and back again. Most of our days were spent inside large dark rooms going over lines and scenes with students from other countries. While these hours may have been occasionally exhausting, they will not be the moments that stick in your head afterwards. All of my  largest  and happiest memories centre around us, the group. Sitting down in the hot sun with the team, playing Nintendo back at the hostel, reading Twilight fan fiction or travelling through the dark basement.  There was a lot of confusion and waiting around during the days, but this didn’t take away from the great moments. Honestly, just sitting back in our rooms, chatting, being too shy to talk to foreign girls, having creepy surprises in the middle of the night or just being with everyone makes the lesser moments almost non-existent. Regardless of how “good” an actor you think you are, that should not stop you from auditioning whenever this event comes around—it didn’t stop me. In the end, you’ll be left with something truly special, something worth remembering. It’s about spending your time doing something you like with people that you love, I can think of nothing greater.

By Oscar Meagher (aka King Lear and Woyzeck)

An In-betweener’s View… Lingue in Scena is an excellent opportunity to see and perform theatre in a multi-lingual multi-cultural environment. Last year, with schools from countries all across Europe, we put on a multilingual performance of Woyceck by Georg Buchner. We spent a week in Turin, and every day was filled with fun and laughter— both on and off the stage. It is truly a By Marcus Toole one-of-kind experience. A Debut View… I auditioned for The Tempest just before Halloween. I didn’t know much about the play, but it included a trip to Italy during May so the decision to go for it was easy. I was really happy and surprised to get a part. After auditions it was only 110 days until we actually had a rehearsal. In that short time, to familiarise myself with the play I watched a threeminute summary—unfortunately neither of the characters I wound up playing were mentioned! So I went into The Tempest rehearsals with next to no idea of the plot or the characters. After the read-through I can say with certainty and shame that this had not changed…as time went on, I came to mostly understand what was happening some of the time.  Our cast is made up of ten people: five Transition Years and five Fifth Years. That works well because you have four people who you already know and hopefully like but you also work with also five new people you might grow to like. Hopefully by the end of the Italy trip you come out of the experience like a little happy family. We have not been on the Italy trip yet, so my nine other cast members are more like strangers than family—but they seem nice and I’ve even managed to learn many of their names after four months of rehearsals. The corona virus meant the May festival was postponed. Before this, we worried about what to what would happen but that never stopped us from rehearsing … until the school closed for quarantine. Fortunately, this was still not the end; the trip has been moved to October and rehearsals have continued through the loveable and always reliable Zoom. There will also be a showing in Newpark during October which, if you’ve managed to continue reading this far, I hope you will attend. By Isaac O’Neill


Isolation Reflection If you asked me a few months ago what would be the worst-case scenario for my Leaving Cert, I would have responded with something along the lines of, ‘a global pandemic wouldn’t be ideal’. Here we are though, March 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic three months out from exams. It has been hard adapting to the changes in lifestyle and having to motivate myself to get up early and keep working but these are the cards we’ve been dealt - so I’m currently just trying my best in a less than ideal situation. During difficult times like this, my main priority would be staying healthy and looking after my family, but with the Leaving Cert right around the corner I am having to focus on studying, which is not what anyone wants to be doing anyway, but especially not during a pandemic. As of now our state exams are still meant to be going ahead as normal but as the days go on it is looking increasingly unlikely. It is quite a stressful time, full of uncertainty, but we are all in the same boat which is the most reassuring factor of this ordeal. By Jessica Whelan, 6th Year

Lockdown I have very mixed feelings about this lockdown. I do miss my friends but that’s not really the most frustrating thing for me. It’s the fact that there are so many things I could be doing with this time, yet I’ve only gotten about two or three things done. The reason for this is mainly that when I finish doing schoolwork for the day, I usually don’t feel motivated to start a project. By now I do really want to have contact with anyone else, be able to do activities and all those other things we can’t do. It is all for the best though, so I’m just going to have to stick it out and hopefully get some of those things done. By Silvia Ciulli, 1st Year

Home Thoughts in Times of Solitude At the start of this pandemic the wonderful actor Sir Patrick Stewart popped up on my Instagram feed to announce he would be reading one of Shakespeare’s sonnet s, for every day in solitude. Nice idea, I thought and wondered if he’d even make it to double digits. Surely this virus was all smoke and mirrors, soon to be extinguished like a match in a hurricane. Nonetheless, I bought a few extra rolls of toilet paper, just in case. Today, Stewart read his 36th sonnet. That’s a lot of Shakespeare and I’m an English teacher. Aristotle once said, “Whoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god”. Six weeks into this harrowing event and I am certainly closer to being a wild animal. I wonder if there is anyone out there who would testify to feeling godly these days? If so, I’d like to shake their hand but we all know what social distancing rules would say about this. And yet, despite the challenges we’ve all faced of late, I remain optimistic for what we can learn from this. I’m fully aware of the gravity of things, the stoic sacrifices being made by our healthcare professionals, the losses that are being endured. However, I see good rising up in how we have re-evaluated our lives, what we hold dear and what we should not be wasting our time on. The clichés are everywhere but life does indeed turn on a dime and those plans that we so enjoy making are loose and vulnerable at best. So we have more time now to call our old friends, to do that 1200 piece puzzle, to indulge in a good book, to build relationships that matter and do things of greater worth, things that we may have left alone for too long. To end with a final quote by Balzac, “Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine”. For those of us lucky enough to have people in our lives, this is a valuable reminder…and to think more of those who are without. By Mr Mark Twamley

By Maeve Cooper, 2nd Year


Virtual Learning Diary

Fear of the Unknown

Week 1: This could be the greatest thing to have ever happened to me. I will be getting 625 in the leaving. Maybe I’ll start training for the 2021 Dublin city marathon. The sky is the limit.

I read somewhere that this strange period of time is like a never ending St. Stephen’s Day; families are bonding, lots of TV is being watched and boredom eating is becoming a habitual occurrence for many. People are wandering around, confused as to what day it is and wondering whether 4 o’clock is a socially-acceptable time to turn Netflix back on.

Week 2: Productivity rate: through the roof. I am buzzing for these orals. The examiners will be begging to hear my sraith pictures. Must set a reminder to start up a podcast. Week 3: Orals cancelled. Currently mourning the time spent describing Áine’s Lá Spraoi san Ardcathair with her Spanish student. I’ll probably cry later. Week 4&5: Easter just didn’t happen. Leaving Cert’s in August. No comment. Week 6: Joe McHugh could pitch up at my front gate and broadcast it on Instagram live and I would still sit at my kitchen table staring mindlessly at the blank page that is my Hamlet essay. Week 7: It’s going to take a miracle for me to open Microsoft Teams at this point. I think my blood composition is 70% coffee. I don’t remember the last time I ate something that wasn’t a bagel. I’m writing newsletter articles to avoid doing something remotely constructive. Maybe I’ll go outside later.

But then we’re reminded of our circumstances, and realise that really, nothing about what is happening is usual. The most difficult thing to grapple with is not the change of routine or the adaptation of learning techniques. It’s the uncertainty; the fear of the unknown. The looming period of isolation that lies before us all is more of a deterrent than a motivator, and the threat of what is yet to come is a frightening prospect. The one good thing that seems to be coming out of this time of uncertainty and anguish though is the power of love and compassion. Problems that occupied media headlines around the world are being viewed with a greater level of rationality and indifference. Partisan squabbling is being held in a vacuum, with those who care to listen viewing it with a greater sense of disdain at the level of its selfserving nature. Empathy, compassion and kindness seem to hold a more weighted influence in current politics and people appear to be treating each other with a far greater level of consideration and care. By Nathan Moore, 6th Year

By Aoife Grogan, 6th Year

Good Surprises Never in a million years did I think this would happen in my teaching career. The experience, for me, has been surprising in many ways. I have been surprised by technology's capacity to help us communicate and deliver teaching. I have been surprised by the response of my students, particularly the younger years - what maturity. I have been surprised by my Sixth years’ lack of engagement - the less said about that the better. I have also been surprised by how much I miss work, my colleagues and students. But most of all I have been surprised by people - their capacity to care, to be kind, to reach out, their generosity, their bravery. We are facing into a difficult few weeks, maybe months, but I am looking forward to the many good surprises they will bring. By Ms Lesley Ring


By Charlotte Carvill, 5th Year

Stop And Smell The Dandelions I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. My parents say I’ve been bossy since the day I was born and loved telling people what to do regularly. Even as a child, I had a clear understanding of ‘the rules’ and routines and would get very cross if my classmates didn’t abide by them. I loved doing my homework (in primary school, at least) and would beam when teachers praised me for doing ‘the right thing’ or when they noted improvement in my work. I felt the power of positivity and praise so strongly, that I wanted to have that same effect on others. The vigour of words, stories and language got to me too. Of course, I was going to be an English teacher!

When I was studying to be a teacher, learning how to teach, we were told about Aristotle’s concept of ‘the empty vessel’ or ‘blank slate’; this is the idea that the human intellect must be something like a blank writing tablet, able to receive the imprint of the ideas that come to be written on it. That I, as the teacher, am the jug and I just pour all of the information I have into the student’s mind. Of course, this idea has been argued against and contradicted for millennia and we have a much broader understanding of what works in education and learning now. We need discussion, debate, to come to our own realisations about things and this is all harder to do remotely. Ultimately, teachers become teachers because they like people. This situation is tough on us too. I for one, get my energy from other people. I love the banter and discourse of a classroom, the good-natured slagging in the staffroom (MT and HH are the best to wind-up), the moment when a student learns something about a topic or about themselves for the first time. As teachers, we don’t just teach our subject; it’s a symbiotic relationship and we learn about life from each other. It’s this relationship that we miss. On my own, in that study, I still have the poetry, but it doesn’t come alive unless you have a listener. Don’t get me wrong, teaching is a stressful job, but it’s mostly a good kind of stress. Not like this.

Teaching is fundamentally about relationships. A look, a word, a gesture; we use our whole selves to communicate meaning and understanding. As I sit in a room at the back of the house, creating a PowerPoint for my 5th Year English class, these are the elements that are missing. Yes, I can record myself reading Bishop’s “Filling Station”, I can dictate as I annotate (locked in the study as my toddler tries to bring me dandelions) but that relationship is not there. I am on my own. I try to express my enthusiasm through my intonations, but I can’t hear a student read a line of poetry in a way I never would have envisaged it read. I can’t debate the interpretations with my students and show, to its fullest extent, my love for a certain image. Bishop finds beauty in the most unlikely places and I want to talk about that, to hear anecdotes from my class from their own experiences. But I can’t. This will have to do. I take the dandelion graciously and kiss my daughter on the head. 42

We cannot underestimate the toll on our mental health that this setting can have on us. Anxieties and stresses are amplified when you’re quarantined from friends and family and don’t have the distraction of other things. We have to spend a lot of time on our own, with our own thoughts. I haven’t spoken to anyone face to face but a few neighbours, the postman, the guy in the garage down the road, my daughter and my husband in almost six weeks. He works front-line and it’s been arduous. The importance of being mindful in our every day tasks is paramount and we should never undervalue the strength that meditation can offer. We need to look after our mental health as much as our physical health. Zoom parties and quizzes have been widespread, no matter the age or technical ability of the user. Social media is being utilised in ways it never has before. Teenagers and young adults today, also live a life online. There have been plenty of times I have wandered down the M corridor to be greeted with groups of students sitting together, but heads buried in their phones. They are physically with their friends but somewhere else on the old interweb. This pandemic will change our understanding of online living; yes – Zoom, Whatsapp, Houseparty, Instagram, they have all served us well (can you imagine a Nokia 32.10 life?) but how much would you give right now to be present with your friends? To hear their laugh in real-time and welcome a knowing glance at an inside joke? To comfort them with a hug and listen to their voices in actual surround sound instead of echoing

from a speaker? This is what we will learn from this experience; to be there, with our friends, without one eye on notifications. The poet, Emily Dickinson, lived in isolation for most of her life; this fact is not lost on me as I line up another Dickinson poetic PowerPoint for my 6th Years. As I chat away to my computer screen about the metaphor of the bird in the poem, the window is open and real, live chirping can be heard in the background. I tell my students that birds are hope; that my child is obsessed with them at the moment (these tiny and not so tiny things that can ACTUALLY FLY!) and that as we usually go about our daily routines, we fail to notice them or remember the joy and awe they brought to us as children. These musings will not have the same effect on an audio recording as they would in a classroom (I get very animated when it comes to poetry) but again, fundamentally, teaching and learning is about relationships; human relationships and the relationships we develop in our heads when learning new things. So, this is tough, but as Dickinson says, “Hope…sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all - “. We will get through this. The Newpark community is special; it is positive, dynamic, vibrant and inclusive. And we’ll be together again. We’ll appreciate it all the more because of this isolating experience. We’re all going through it together, even if right now, we’re apart. By Ms Amy Keating

The Leaky Boat The Monday morning I was due back in school after a trip away to Germany, I found out that there was a case of the Coronavirus in the school I was in over there. It was early stages of the pandemic here in Ireland and I was told to self isolate for fourteen days. I was obviously not happy that I couldn’t go back to school or see my friends for another two weeks, but little did I know it would end up being a lot longer than just two weeks. My Dad made a bet with me that the day I was due back to school would be the day the government closed them. He was a week off. By that Friday, everyone had joined me in isolation, and it wasn’t so bad now that everyone was in the same boat. A leaky boat at that, but one with people patching the leaks and others bailing the water out. By Oran O’Sullivan, Transition Year


Strange and Confusing Times I’m not sure how many days we have been in Quarantine, they all seem to morph into one. Every day feels like a Sunday, lazy and is filled with imminent dread. It is clear just how bored everyone is at home through the many online ‘challenges’ the population seems to have taken on. Social media is spammed with people playing football with loo roll, photos captioned ‘until tomorrow’ and people bragging about running 5k. I am yet to take part, but I know soon I too will be dragged in, inevitably. These are strange and confusing times. By Alex Howard, 6th Year

Universe Are You Happy? Week One: The first few days of quarantine have past. I’m trying to remain optimistic but the feeling that the world is ending still lurks. I felt bad for being happy when the announcement was made, it feels likes summer has started but with added guilt. It’s new terrain for most us. I think this endless amount of free time will be a blessing and a curse, but for now I will indulge in staying up far too late and sleeping in till noon and enjoy the sad freedom of staying in my pyjamas until 6 o’clock in the evening just to get changed into a clean pair. Week Six (Maybe?): So the first few weeks of quarantine have past. Doing nothing can take it out of you. I am tired, and it’s not the tired of having a really hectic week, having so much homework you don’t even think you could possibly finish it all this side of century, not to mention by next Monday. Rather the quiet exhaustion that comes after Christmas day, or the come down from a birthday party. Each day is similar to another. Same thing different day, the weekends carry no weight. Universe are you happy? I miss school. By Abby Whelan, Transition Year

Sail Away, Sail Away...

In the month of March, myself and Sam Duncan sailed across the Atlantic. The voyage was run by a charity called the Jubilee Sailing Trust. They take people with disabilities around on tall ships. The whole boat is designed so that someone in a wheelchair can do everything that an able-bodied person can do on the boat. The boat was in the Caribbean and they needed a crew to bring it to the Mediterranean. One of my friends comes from a real sailing family and his dad found the advertisement (I don't know where, probably from other people in the sailing community). They told me about it and we put our names down. We were lucky enough to get a place. We went to Antigua in early March. I was very excited because it was my first time ever going away without a parent or teacher telling you what to do. The second day in Antigua we met our home for the next six weeks. The tall ship looked a bit out of place in the dock because it surrounded by super yachts worth tens of millions each. After a few days in Antigua, on the 11th of March we set sail for Greece. When we left, we had heard about covid-19, but it wasn’t really a big deal, and everything was still normal. It was sad leaving Antigua as we were leaving familiar comforts like land, WIFI, phone signal, and not constantly rocking from side to side. We were also leaving the nice 30-degree tropical Caribbean weather behind us. Life on the boat was fairly easy going. There were about forty people on board, mostly ex-military people so we got to hear some pretty cool stories about wars in the Middle East and the Falklands. We were using the motor most of the time because the winds weren't right. I had been expecting to 44

have to pull ropes for sails every day, but we only had to pull ropes a handful of times on the whole voyage. We had to do watch twice a day which was just sitting on the bridge staring into nothing for four hours—not so pleasant at 2am when it’s zero degrees, there's forty knots of wind and a ten metre swell but it was alright most of time. We also had “Happy Hour” which was an hour set aside to clean the whole boat. Other than that, we just sat around playing cards or finding ways to entertain ourselves. We saw a good bit of wildlife like dolphins, porpoises, flying fish and whales. After about three weeks we had to stop in the Azores to get fuel and resupply. We got phone signal and were surprised to find out how everything was back home. We hadn’t heard about quarantine, lockdown or social distancing. We were shocked to find out that during the time we had spent on the boat all our friends and family were stuck at home. We really felt like the luckiest people in the world, in our little bubble of safety in the middle of the ocean, where everything was still normal. Greece had shut its borders and everywhere else was starting to do the same, so we didn’t really know where we were going to go. The captain decided we just had to get the boat back to its home country [the UK]. There were eight Irish people on board so we all wanted to see if we could get dropped off at Cork. At first the captain said no, and we really had no idea what we were going to do. But after our parents started asking, the captain had to go to Cork to drop us off. It took another three weeks to get from the Azores to Ireland. The weather started to get colder every day and we hit a few storms and very rough seas. There were a lot of sleepless nights because you're getting thrown around your bunk, even getting airborne at times, when we hit a big enough wave. When we got off at Cork it was very weird, we couldn't give our parents a hug and everyone was standing far apart. Cobh was like a ghost town and when we were driving home, we only saw a few other cars on the road. Needless to say, it took us awhile to adjust to the very different Ireland we arrived home to.

By Taidgh Hamilton-Crowe

Eco Unesco In September 2019 we started a biodiversity team in our Transition Year Geography class. We wanted to find ways to improve biodiversity in Newpark and build a biodiversity garden. From September until January we worked on a project to put forward in the Young Environmentalists Awards competition. During this time six of us went to the ECO UNESCO’s Young Environmentalists Awards Ideas festival on the 30th January. One of the first things that happened at the start of the day was an introduction to all of the other schools there and a summary of their projects. That was nice because we got the opportunity to hear what the other people our age were doing for the environment. As there were some people from the ‘Plastic Outta the Park’ initiative on the Newpark team, they were asked to present to the entire room of 200 people. Maeve, Sophie and Sorcha did really well and they had everybody focused and listening to them. After that we listened to a large g r o u p o f environmental activists tell is about the work that they do. We had two come to our table. We presented our project to them and they asked us a series of questions. They gave us loads of feedback and constructive criticism about our project. We found this really helpful as we were given a chance to edit our project and make it better. We were given lunch and then we had one more person come to our table to talk to us. They told us what they liked about the project which we found rewarding as we have all put a lot of work in. I can say that the entire team really enjoyed the whole event. By Emily Hall

Courting Trouble This year for TY work experience, I was in the Irish court system. The justice system is an integral part of Irish society. Its aim is to hold citizens responsible for crimes and give the population a sense of security. Everybody at some point in their lives has to engage with the court system for some reason or another, whether for legal troubles, jury service or as a witness to a crime. I was really excited when I heard about the TY programme that the courts run because someone 45

my age doesn’t usually get to see the inner workings of the court system (or not for the right reasons). For my work experience, I had to go to the Phoenix House court building every morning to check in and then was brought around the various court buildings to help out with office duties, witness court cases and get a chance to see court proceedings in both the Four Courts and the Criminal Courts of Justice. For one of the days, I was in the Four Courts. The Four Courts are the location of the Supreme Court, the High Court and the Dublin Circuit Court. There are hordes of barristers walking around everywhere and it’s very busy so it was difficult to navigate at first but by the end of the week I kind of knew my way around. In the Four Courts I got to experience a court room, it was mostly to do with disagreements about wills surrounding property and wealth. The most interesting part of my work experience by far was being in the CCJ (Criminal Courts of Justice). The building is across the River Liffey from Heuston station. It is the building you always see on the news when people involved in high profile cases are going in and out to important court dates. I got to see the entire process of choosing the jury which was really interesting as I got to see all of the new cases that day. The atmosphere in the Jury room was very tense before people were selected at random for certain cases, as some of the crimes were really horrible and graphic. No one wanted to be chosen to put their life on hold for six weeks and have to sit in on a murder or assault case everyday and potentially put someone in prison for the rest of their life. I got to sit in on two high profile murder cases but I signed a confidentiality notice so I can’t go into much detail. It was really tense and uncomfortable in those court rooms and not at all as exciting and compelling as what you see in films and on Netflix. It was just sad. It was shocking to sit next to people who had committed such unthinkable and disgusting crimes. It made the murder victims that you hear about on the radio in the car or on TV real people to me and the experience has definitely changed my perception about the media’s glorification and romanticisation of murder cases. I would definitely recommend anyone to sign up for this TY programme at the end of third year—ask your TY coordinator about it. It was a unique experience and one of my favourite parts of Transition Year. By Bláithín Keaney


On a Tuesday we normally have a guest speaker between break and lunch. This particular Tuesday we were told we’re not having a speaker but we’re doing something else and we have to be creative and think. We were then left all day to guess what we would be doing. We met our form teachers in our normal rooms and they gave us loads of newspaper, sellotape and scissors. We got ourselves into groups of five and we were told to make outfits, only using the things we were given. Our job was to make ours either more creative or funnier than anyone else’s, and we had 35 minutes to get it done.

A Blast From The Past Way back in 2010, when I was in the wonderful Transition Year Team, I had a lovely form group, 4CD. I remember this group distinctly and more so because I was pregnant with my first child during that year. They experienced my highs and lows and watched me drink Gaviscon and turn into hippopotamus as the months went on. I even went to Gartan seven months pregnant in February where there was heavy snowfall and ice. We nearly got stuck there as the bus couldn’t get out of the driveway and nor could I without sliding. Anyway, I had to leave this lovely group in March to go on maternity leave and Mr Byrne took the group over. During the last few months of Transition Year, each student writes a letter to themselves. This letter can contain anything the students want as they are the only people who will read it. They usually get the letter back in Sixth year. Countless Newparkers have enjoyed this experience and find it fascinating reading about their interests and worries two years later. Most of the class of 2012 got their letter back in Sixth year but some did not…Much to my surprise while doing Lockdown spring cleaning, I found a bunch of letters from way back 2010. Why they were in our shed, I do not know. Neither Mr Byrne nor I can remember but they were written during the first two weeks of my now ten-year daughter’s life. This could explain the memory loss. When I found them, I started looking for the owners. So far through Facebook, I’ve tracked down four so far. They were delighted to get them. Here are two of their responses:

First we had to choose a model out of the group and everyone else build the outfit on or around them. People made fancy dresses, skirts, bikinis, suits, waistcoats, anything mad you can think of. We finished our outfits off with accessories, like sunglasses, chains, bows, belts, fans, headbands, etc. When the 35 minutes were up we waited for the hallways to clear then we all went down to the GPA. Everybody sat on and around the seats and the tables facing the front office. The models lined up down the G corridor in a line. Music was played and we all strutted down the ‘catwalk’ and showed off our amazing outfits. After we walked around twice we stood in a line in front of everybody so they could see our newspaper outfits. The judges picked out ten finalists who then walked around the catwalk one more time. The winners for funniest costumes ended up being Harry Merton (4DL) and Malcolm Kinsella (4ED), and Lucie Balay Chawke (4AMC) and Maryam Butt (4ED) for most creative! By Maryam Butt


‘Thanks again for sending the letter. I opened it today and noticed that it's dated 23/04/10 - exactly 10 years ago. Apart from my obvious innocence and terrible handwriting, there were a few things that stood out to me. I spoke of my pets, holidays I had planned that year, my favourite food and even what I had eaten that day (of all things!). The fact that my interests haven't changed a lot really struck me. I still consider animals, travel and food to be a few of my favourite things. There was also some questionable music taste discussed and a mention of a crush which provided a few laughs here at home. I'm thinking of writing another letter to myself to open in ten years’ time (when I’m 36, yikes!). It’s nice to look back and see how much has changed and what has stayed the same.’ - Hannah Houlden ‘I’ve found myself at odds with the person that wrote that letter countless times over the last few years, but being given the opportunity to take a step back and look at my journey has been more rewarding than I ever could have hoped. ‘ Adam Nugent In a way, the older you are, the more interesting it is, looking back on your past. Hopefully, I will find the

rest of the group. If there is anyone out there who knows the class of 2012, who didn’t get their letter, please let me know. By Ms Cathy Devis

Garda Youth Awards Newpark runs a program with Age Action every Module to help the senior generation with their technology. Newpark has been doing this programme for a few years now and because of this we were invited to the Garda Youth Awards. This was a massive privilege for us. The Garda Youth Awards were held in the Mill Theatre. There were awards for individuals, group awards, special achievement awards and community safety awards. We were nominated for the Group Award. When we walked in, the amazing Garda band were playing beautiful music. The award ceremony was very well planned. During the break there was Domino’s pizza, fizzy drinks and Off Beat Donuts. We did not win, but we all got certificates. Everyone who won had done amazing actions and helped spread awareness. We all have to agree that the Garda Band was the highlight of the whole evening—even though the food was lovely too. Overall it was a really enjoyable experience. By Harry Merton

Turning Japanese I did Japanese for the first module of Transition year, and overall, I really enjoyed it. It was more learning about the culture than it was about the language. We were lucky enough to have people come in and teach us a Japanese dance, we got dressed up in Japanese dresses and they taught us a dance. We did a lot of fun activities in class, we made origami and watched Japanese cartoons. Our teacher, Shireen, prepared booklets every week for us that had Japanese writing and numbers that we practised and certain phrases we learned. We also played games such as battleships and bingo. I learned a few handy phrases and learned lots about the Japanese culture and I would definitely recommend it to other students. By Erika Gallagher


LCA Tea Party

gram. I registered for the program and sent a few videos about myself. Soon after I was contacted with news that I had gotten the scholarship worth €6,000 and I would be going to Singapore! The trip would be a great opportunity to be mentored by successful entrepreneurs across different business sectors. I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and knowing that I would have others who had made it in life teaching me was very exciting. This could be my ticket to becoming a successful entrepreneur! I had the opportunity while in Singapore to visit businesses like Adobe and HubSpot—a dream for someone with my ambitions.

Thank you to 5th year LCA for a very enjoyable Tea Party! A welcome break with delicious tea, coffee and sandwiches (They even made a vegetarian platter for me!) The baking was especially good, and the service was excellent. I can’t wait for the next one! By Ms Janine Brennan

Denis Tells Us About His Trip To Singapore

I was chosen to go on a trip to Singapore following my involvement in TEDx Dun Laoighaire before Christmas. My coach from TEDx had sent me a video by Dr Ai Addyson-Zhang. The video was about the Classrooms without Walls entrepreneurship emersion pro-

Singapore is a beautiful country and I feel very lucky to have gotten the opportunity to spend some time there. One of the highlights of the experience was visiting a school called Reactor School. The school provides entrepreneurship education for youths aged 13 to 24. Along with the other scholarship winners, I provided the students feedback on their ideas. It was a great opportunity to hear of other peoples’ experience in this field. I feel like I learned the same amount in a week here as I would in a year in school!

I loved being able to get up in the morning and go for a run, and then come back to work on my online business. I felt so energised by the experience. We were also given daily assignments from our mentors e.g. we had to make and edit a YouTube video over the course of a day. I learned so much from the experience. I found that making new contacts is important in business as it can lead to bigger opportunities. I also learned that you need to balance work with your normal life. There was a planned trip to Universal Studios and I wasn’t going to go as I wanted to stay focused on my work. But I was told by my mentors that a balance was important. I ended up going on the trip and it was one of the highlights of the trip! By Denis O’Connor


49 By Neala Yakub, 5th Year

By Eva de Freine, 5th Year By Charlotte Carvill, 5th Year

1. Mr Ludgate 2. Ms Cooper 3. Ms Delaney 4. Ms McCarthy 5. Mr Lennon 6. Ms Morrissey 7. Ms French 8. Mr Ludgate 9. Avril Crampton

Guess The Staff Member!

By Neala Yakub, 5th Year By Ulyana Kuzmenko, 5th Year, 5th Year

By Charlotte Carvill, 5th Year

By Holly Windle, 5th Year

By Sarah Hannigna, th Year By Neala Yakub, 5th Year


NEWPARK AWARDS – SUMMER 2020 SUBJECT PRIZES (MEMORIAL) Parker Memorial Prize for Music: Eduardo Nestor 6th Year Awarded in memory of C.B. Parker, second principal of Avoca.

Kim Stevens Memorial Prize for Home Economics: Ava Paul 6th Year In memory of Kim Stevens, a student with a particular talent and love of Home Economics, who died in 1979 during her time in Newpark.

A gifted musician and a master of many instruments, showcasing an exquisite sense of musicality and style in his playing. An invaluable member of The Music Department, acting as sound technician, performing in every concert, producing magnificent orchestral compositions, always considerate and offering his help to others.

For a very hardworking, enthusiastic student whose class work and homework are outstanding.

Parker Memorial Prize for Mathematics: Nathan Moore 6th Year A talented maths student who readily grasps new concepts and ideas. His work is always beautifully presented.

To a student who has worked consistently for the last two years on developing the skills and approaches required to excel at chemistry. She is thorough and detailed in her study and always seeks to understand a topic fully. She is always willing to help others and has shown exceptional ability in this subject. Without a doubt she will continue to shine in her chosen field of studies.

Parker Memorial Prize Design and Communication Graphics: Anika PloughO’Hagan 6th Year For effort, persistence and consistent refinement of her learning. M.E. Devlin Memorial Prize for Engineering: Sean McGovern 6th Year M. E. Devlin was the founder of Kingstown School in 1894, amalgamated with Avoca in 1968. This student is a quiet, confident student who demands high standards of himself. Wilkinson Memorial Prize for Art: Holly EmersonByrne 6th Year Ms Wilkinson was an art teacher in Kingstown School. This student is an inventive, skilled, and committed artist, who demonstrates her passion for art in her own practical work, and in her engagement with the work of others. Phoebe Murphy Memorial Prize for Music: Séamus Ó Ciosáin 3rd Year Phoebe Murphy was a music teacher in Avoca School and in Newpark Music Centre. For an extremely talented musician and multiinstrumentalist. He always works hard and performs to an immensely high standard. He helps to create a positive and supportive atmosphere within the Music space and is always willing to help other students and teachers.


Orna Lavin Memorial Prize for Chemistry: Ava Paul 6th Year This award is in memory of Orna Lavin who taught Chemistry in the school.

Derek Langran Memorial Bell for Senior History: Finn Vella-Murphy 6th Year Derek Langran was a teacher of Renaissance History and a charismatic and much-loved deputy principal for many years. For an excellent history student. He is immensely passionate about the subject and possesses a breadth of historical knowledge that is hugely impressive. He has developed his skills as a historian tremendously over the last two years. He always came to class with an inquisitive mind, strove to develop his historical thinking skills and endeavoured to interpret and then reinterpret his understanding of the past. These are all qualities of a natural historian. PTA SUBJECT PRIZES These prizes are funded by the Parent – Teacher Association. Senior Irish: Alex Howard 6th Year Ba mhaith liom Alex Howard a thraoslú mar scolaire na bliana I nGaeilge sa Sraith Shinsireach as a díograis, an a cur chuige agus as a toil chun an teanga gaeilge a smachtú. Maith thú Alex! I would like to congratulate Alex Howard as student of the year in Irish in Senior Cycle, for her diligence, her approach and her will to perfect the language. Well done Alex! Junior Irish: Ciaran Kelly 3rd Year For a highly motivated student who shows consistency in his work effort in all areas of the subject.

Senior English: Alex Howard 6th Year This student is deserving of the Senior English Prize for many reasons. Not only did she score the highest result in the mocks across the year, she is also a talented and hard-working student. Her natural ability and creative flair are well supported by her appetite for learning. She has even managed to not let her dislike of Hamlet hold her back from succeeding. Junior English: Felix Sensbach 3rd Year This is truly an outstanding English student whose abilities span all written genres in equal measure. Whether he is entertaining, informing, persuading or writing creatively, he does so with eloquence and flair surpassed only by his hilarious sense of humour. Well deserved. Senior French: Caia Murdock 6th Year An exemplary student, who always showed great commitment and excellent progress! Senior French European Section: Cian MacAonghusa Parry 6th Year The ES prize goes to a student whose dedication has been steady over the years. He has always done more that was expected of him and has never lost his curiosity for the language. He has shown his interest inside and outside the classroom and is more than deserving of this prize. Junior French: Aoife Cosgrave 3rd Year This student always gives 100% with a smile. She is a pleasure to have in class. Junior French European Section: Lada Kuzmenko 3rd Year Great participation in class and excellent work throughout the year! Senior RE Cup: Ian Walsh 6th Year A student who has given 100% throughout the course and whose positive attitude has sparked many, many classroom conversations. A student whose progress has been immense and who met each challenge with great commitment. Junior RE: Caitlin Doyle 3rd Year This student works extremely hard and has a very positive attitude in class. Senior German: Constantine Iordanov 6 Year A student who speaks German at every opportunity. His positivity, engagement and creative use of the language is a motivating factor for all those around him. th

Junior German: Alice Nestor 3 Year This student has worked consistently hard at German since beginning it in first year. She is diligent and always pushes herself to achieve her potential and is rd


very deserving of this prize. Junior Art: Sophie Hamilton 3rd Year For a student who is constantly pushing herself creatively and consistently making beautiful work. Artistic Performance (Drama): Ciara Behan 3rd Year This young lady is an excellent scriptwriter, researcher and versatile performer who has really come into her own in this class. She has fantastic understanding of the subject.

HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY Senior Geography: Evan Rankin 6th Year This student has worked incredibly hard over the last two years. He has engaged with all aspects of the Geography course and displays an excellent aptitude for Geographical thinking. Junior Geography: Jack Bradshaw 3rd Year A dedicated student whose knowledge in the subject area is to be applauded. His consistent high level of work and eagerness to help their peers is also to be commended. Junior History: Isobel McSweeney 3 r d Year For a talented historian who understands the "bigger picture" in history. She understands that events in the past are interconnected rather than random. This shows maturity in her thinking and a deeper understanding of the past which few Junior Cert students achieve. She has worked tirelessly throughout the Junior Cert and possesses an admirable love of learning. She has the makings of a great historian.

BUSINESS STUDIES, TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE, MATHS, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND HOME ECONOMICS Senior Physics: Evin Donnelly-Sheridan 6th Year   For an outstanding student, who has consistently achieved high standards over the last two years. He has excelled at the theoretical, problem solving and practical aspects of the subject. He has also demonstrated a strong appreciation and interest in the wider applications and relevance of Physics. Senior Biology: Aoife Grogan 6th Year To an exceptional student with an inquiring mind and dedication to the world of biology. She has worked extremely hard over the last two years and been extremely diligent in her approach to the subject. Junior Science: Gavin MacAonghusa 3rd Year This student has demonstrated curiosity and intelligence in his approach to science from the start of 1st year. He has outstanding problem-solving skills and the ability to carry out coherent research. He can

speak and write about scientific issues with clarity and has shown excellent practical skills. Construction Studies: Tyron Kritzinger 6th Year A conscientious and diligent student who had to work hard to quickly develop his practical skills having not taken woodwork at JC level. Junior Material Technology Wood: Conor Murphy 3rd Year A diligent, independent and hardworking student. Junior Technical Graphics: Isobel Mc Sweeney 3rd Year For a student who showed consistent effort, persistence and refinement of her learning.  Junior Mathematics: Adam Merabet 3rd Year A proactive student who works ahead independently and will always choose to do extra work to challenge himself. Junior Metalwork: Clara Stanley 3rd Year This student never wastes a moment of class time. She is highly motivated and does everything to the highest possible standard. Home Economics: Lilian O’Flanagan 3rd Year This student has always enjoyed cookery and has worked really hard in all aspects of this subject for the last three years. Junior Business: Danielle Bowles 3rd Year For a dedicated and astute worker who possesses great business acumen. She has worked enthusiastically and diligently throughout the Junior Cycle and is deserving of this award. Economics: Cian MacAonghusa Parry 6th Year For an intelligent and analytical student who has demonstrated a great ability to devise and critically assess economic policy and concepts. Senior Business: Rebecca Marcu 6th Year An outstanding student who has demonstrated excellent academic results and has an exemplary work ethic in Business. Leaving Cert. PE Award: Aoife Grogan 6th Year This prize goes to a student who always strives to do her best both in a practical and theory-based class. Her consistent hard work and infectious sense of humour has impacted everyone around them. A deserving winner of the first LCPE award. LCA: Mattie McMonagle 6th Year Mattie has embraced the LCA, getting involved in all activities with great enthusiasm and is always ready to help others.


CO-CURRICULAR AWARDS RUGBY Adams Cup for 1st Year Player of the Year: Jago Hurley 1st Year To a player who has had an outstanding first season in Newpark Rugby. A young man who has led by example, trained hard and has always demonstrated a fantastic attitude to his rugby. The Most Improved Junior Rugby Player: Oscar O’Neill 2nd Year To a player who has demonstrated a great attitude on the pitch this season. He has worked hard to develop his understanding of how to play the game, while his skills have come a long way at the same time. Rossiter Perpetual Cup for Junior Rugby Player of the Year: Conor Murphy 3rd Year To a player who has trained hard off the field and worked hard on the field to drive the Junior team forward. We are sure he will become a key part of the senior team in the years to come. McAvoy Cup for Contribution to Rugby: Harry O’Sullivan Transition Year To an individual who has worked well in his Transition Year through his Community Action to help and assist in any way that he could with rugby in school. A fantastic individual who was always willing to help. Newpark Comprehensive Most Improved Senior Rugby Player Award: Aidan Duffy 5th Year This is an award for the senior rugby player who has made the greatest strides to develop his skill. A consistent trainer and an extremely skilful and intelligent rugby player. Senior Rugby Cup for Player of the Year: Adam Faulkner 6th Year This award goes to a player who has played with great commitment and a high level of skill during the season. He has been a very determined leader amongst the group. His commitment never wavered. BASKETBALL First Year Boys: Leon Maughan 1st Year This player has shown dedication throughout the year, working hard in training and being a leader on the court. First Year Girls: Ruby Faulkner 1st Year This player has been an exceptional member of the first -year basketball team and is now our captain. She excels in match pressure and is excellent at pulling the team together, offering motivation and positive advice. Second Year Boys: Bam Tomkin-Clarke 2nd Year As a co-captain, this player has shown serious commitment to this team. He often ambushes other

training sessions-just so he can play some more. He really loves the game and has been an integral part of the squad. He has performed under pressure and often brought inspiration to his team with his work rate. It has been a pleasure coaching him. Second Year Girls: Sarah Windle 2 Year As co-captain, this player has been highly committed to this team. Very level-headed, extremely positive and has shown kindness and care to all her teammates. She has a great attitude for team sports, and it has been a pleasure coaching her. rd

Under 16 Boys: Dash Tomkin-Clarke 3rd Year This player has been so dedicated to the team. He is always positive, level-headed and exudes leadership in a team setting. He has skill and finesse and a great attitude towards team sports. I have no doubt he will be competition when playing with the seniors next year. It has been an absolute pleasure. Under 16 Girls: Clara Stanley 3rd Year This player is a very talented basketball player. She is a model of good sportsmanship and dedication to her team. She is always positive and optimistic. She always gives every match 100% drive. Senior Boys Orna Lavin Shield: Max Ryan 6th Year This player has worked tirelessly and adapted his game to help lead the team on their run to the plate. He has been an excellent team player for the last six years. Senior Girls: Angel Glynn 6 Year This player is a fantastic addition to any team. She is an excellent leader on and off the court. She has worked extremely hard to promote basketball in Newpark over the last six years. We will miss her a lot next year. th

HOCKEY Nigel Kingston Cup: Mark Fahy 6th Year This goes to a player who is always in the right place on the pitch, reads the game well, encourages his teammates and displays high levels of skill. Leslie Van Hoey Smith Cup – Schoolgirl of the Year: Ava Paul 6th Year She worked incredibly hard this year, always pushing herself further in fitness sessions and providing a real attacking threat in matches. She has shown unwavering commitment and ambition throughout all her years in a Newpark jersey. Denis English Crystal: Daragh Grogan 3rd Year To a player who has shown great dedication to his team never missing a training session and always striving to improve his game. Beattie Cup: Erika Gallagher Transition Year She showed tremendous nerve and maturity 54

throughout the season, not only during the shootouts that brought the team all the way to the Senior Cup Final, but also during match play where she consistently pulled off top class saves. M.P. Cullen Cup: Simon Comerford 2nd Year This player always shows great determination on the pitch, is a real team player and is constantly working on his skills. T. Cooper Cup: Laragh Tierney 3rd Year This player has a high energy level on and off the pitch which she brings to all trainings and matches that positively encourages those around her. She has shown great commitment to the team throughout the season and played a pivotal role in creating attacking chances in matches. D. Richardson Cup: Hayleigh Bowles 2nd Year This girl is not always the most vocal on the team but always makes her presence felt on the pitch. A skilful team player, she has been a key player on the minor team and has improved immensely throughout the year. S. Cullen Cup: Mia Chadwick 1st Year For enthusiasm, dedication and leadership throughout the year at hockey. Her exemplary behaviour and support of others made hockey all the more enjoyable for her teammates and coaches alike. J. Cole Cup: Eric Schutte 1st Year This player flies around the pitch, is always in the right place at the right time and never seems to run out of steam, no matter how tough the match. ATHLETICS Athletics Prize: Hugh Kelly 3rd Year This student is a focused and dedicated athlete. He approaches every competition with a determined mind -set and has been a stellar example of hard work for his peers. He is very talented and I have no doubt that he will continue to strive! SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT Recognition Award: Alex Ainsworth 5th Year This goes to an avid, skilful skier who has represented his country on numerous occasions. He has dedicated huge tranches of his time training for the sport and continues to compete at a very high level. A special award for outstanding achievement in a sporting event: Millie Lynch 5th Year Not only did this student play hockey for her country, she also captained the U/I6 Irish side in last Summer’s European tournament. She currently represents Ireland at U/18 level and has been a key player for our highly successful senior team.

DRAMA Junior Drama: Adam Merabet 3rd Year This young man is a talented performer who has graced the stage in the Junior Plays and the Short Plays. He is always willing to get involved and help where necessary. Senior Drama: Oscar Meagher 6th Year From the moment he came to Newpark, this young man has been on the stage performing. He is a versatile and passionate actor, with characters ranging from a servant, an old man, King Lear and a farmer. He has also made valuable contribution to extra drama with the Juniors. ARTS Georgia Murphy Cup: Rachel O’Sullivan 2nd Year Georgia Murphy was an exceptionally creative student who passed away unexpectedly in June 2015 aged 13. In her two years at Newpark she made a great impact as an enthusiastic, caring and talented person who was eager to try anything and everything. In memory and celebration of Georgia, an annual Arts Cup is awarded to a Second Year who reflects the qualities, enthusiasm and dedication Georgia brought to the arts in Newpark. This young lady has shown great talent and commitment across the arts most specifically in Music and Art. She is a devoted and talented musician who works tirelessly in music and has an exceptional ability to adapt to different musical styles. She is always positive and offers help to both students and teachers. She is a curious and unique visual artist. She explores the visual world in a thoughtful way turning any material she works with into something thought provoking and full of wonder. Rhiannan Lee Doyle Arts Prize: Hanna Novak 6th Year Rhiannon Lee Doyle was a student who could turn her hand to poetry, art, music or drama with equally stunning results. She had tremendous energy, natural talent and determination. Rhiannon had a remarkable desire to share the joy of her creativity with other people. After she passed away in September 2007, this annual Arts award was created to celebrate her big imagination and her big heart. This multi-talented young lady is completely committed to the Arts in Newpark and has been for the last six years. In the classroom her creativity has been evident right across all her subject areas especially in the Art room. She shows great commitment and excellence at all times with her art-work and is highly skilled, inventive and sets high standards for herself. Outside of the classroom she has given her all to the Drama department, performing, writing and directing plays with a wonderful passion and deep understanding for all things theatrical. Her love of musicals has been evident inside and outside of school. She is a very worthy recipient of this award. 55

NEWPARK GRANDMASTER OF CHESS Constantine Iordanov 6th Year To cap off an incredible run as Newpark Chess Champion, for the sixth consecutive year, the chess prize goes to Constantine. NEWPARK COMMUNITY AWARDS The Philip Hollwey Award: Edoardo Nestor 6th Year Philip Hollwey taught Geography (and the art of living!) in Newpark for hundreds of years. On his retirement, he created this annual award for students who make an exceptional positive contribution to school life. This student always makes a huge contribution in all aspects of school life, constantly helping others in any way that he can and very kind-natured. He has always been this way since first year. He goes out of his way to help teachers and other students in the Music Department and has even offered to help make a 6th Year Music video. Rebecca Little Award: Caia Murdock 6th Year Rebecca Little was a student who made a lasting impression on a group of First Years with her kindness, good humour and understanding as a prefect. When she passed away soon after leaving Newpark, they proposed that Rebecca be celebrated and remembered with this prize. Each year the Sixth Year recipient of the prize is elected by the First Year students and presented by a First Year at the Summer Assembly. Caia looks out for all the first years and if she sees anyone on their own, she will go over and check in on them. She is always very kind and helpful. The Margaret Moloney Award for Citizenship: Nathan Moore 6th Year Margaret Moloney was a quiet, unassuming person who believed that we should all try to leave the world a better place by the way we live. She lived each day by her conviction that one small action was worth a thousand words. This award recognises students who, by acts of good citizenship or kindness, improve the lives of others. This award is presented to a student who has consistently aimed higher throughout his time in Newpark and has shown excellent citizenship. He has been ever willing to assist other students, has helped organise meetings and has shown impressive skills in the field of diplomacy while gaining an understanding the complex world of International Relations. In his work as Head Boy he has led with diligence, kindness and wisdom, exemplifying the qualities of a good leader. He has actively participated in environmental and social campaigns in an effort to spread environmental awareness and protect our planet. Nathan is an independent thinker, he has the courage to act on his convictions and has inspired others (staff, his peers and younger students) to aim higher.

By Ulyana Kuzmenko, 5th Year

By Sarah Hannigan, 5th Year

By Holly Windle, 5th Year

By Ulyana Kuzmenko, 5th Year

By Holly Windle, 5th Year

By Sarah Hannigan, 5th Year

By Ulyana Kuzmenko, 5th Year


By Ulyana Kuzmenko, 5th Year

Prefects 2020/21 The prefect election was held on Friday 1st May with votes cast by fifth year students and by staff. Unusually, this year’s election was done online— though no cases of voter fraud are suspected. The prefects play an important role in the day-to-day running of the school and in the mentoring of firstyear students. It is a great opportunity for the students elected to contribute to the school community. Congratulations to those who have been elected and we wish you all the best in your role. The following students have been elected to serve as prefects for the coming year: Lilly Adams Lily Bennett Maeve-Aoife Byrne Mia Chambers Bruno Ciulli Tadhg Clifford-Brannock Rose Davey Aidan Duffy Lucy Geoghegan Iona Hamilton Liam Hurley Lara Kiang Ulyana Kuzmenko Shawn Lorenzo Amelia Lynch Ben Marnell Oisín Mongey Kate Murphy Tom Murphy Fionn Nagel-Murray Muireann ní Drisceoil Aaron Nolan-Miralles Robert Nugent Isaac O’Neill Zara O’Sullivan Adam Pearlman Spencer Jennifer Sheeran Marcus Tidey Ben Vincent Adam Walsh Zoe Watterson Neala Yakub

Farewell Prefects 2019/20 The prefects of 2019/20 have done a fantastic job and have been a wonderful group to work with. The role of prefect is not without its challenges. Between daily duties, mentoring the first years and regular meetings, we ask a lot of our prefects. This year’s group showed enthusiasm and dedication to the role and they have embodied what student leaders should be. They were approachable and always completed tasks with a smile. They were also ready to challenge when they felt it was appropriate. As a group, they identified a number of areas of focus such as the use of language and respect within the student body for 57

each other and for the school building. Many of these projects have been left incomplete due to the sudden school closure but we would hope that the incoming prefects will continue with some of these initiatives. They were a very insightful group and right from the start they took their role seriously and wanted to make a difference. We wish the outgoing prefects every success in the future and thank them for the contribution they have made to the school. Ms Lynn Anderson

I really enjoyed my experience as a prefect this year! I found the opportunity to get to know our first year groups and help them with various different things very rewarding. I didn’t know I would enjoy it as much as I did. Being a prefect allowed me to build friendships with different people in the school, from students to teachers, that I didn’t have before. As someone who has never been too involved with school activities, I liked how my role as a prefect allowed me to give back and help out in school even just a bit. Thanks to Ms Anderson and Ms Devis who really helped us a lot throughout the year. My overall experience as a prefect was very positive and it’s sad our year had to be cut short the way it did. Anna Burns I really liked being a prefect this year, in particular I liked meeting with our first year groups. It’s been really nice to help them get settled and it was lovely to meet up with them every few weeks during long reg. I also had the opportunity to learn more about the way that the school is run and how decisions are made, as we took on different roles to help with the day-to-day operations of the school. A particularly memorable day was being on gate duty in the pouring rain and gale force winds during Storm Jorge! Being a prefect has allowed me to become friendlier with more people in my year, which was a really nice way to end my time in Newpark. I really enjoyed being a prefect, but due to the current situation it’s a shame that we’ll miss out on the end of year 6th year traditions, like the pranks and the teachers vs students matches! Being a prefect was really fun and I will always remember the experience. Zindzi de Barra

Since the beginning of the year, first years have had one Wednesday reg a month with the prefects. It was really helpful when we first began here in Newpark. On the first day they showed us around the school and helped us find our classes. This made the huge move to a big, unknown place so much easier and so much more welcoming. Since settling in it has been a fun getting to know the prefects. Not only did they take the time to help us to adjust and just be kind and supportive, but they also sweep the corridors! As an honour to Rebecca Little, a sixth year student who helped a lot of first year’s in her time at Newpark, there is an award for the sixth year that was kind, caring and helped first years to settle in. This is voted on by the whole of first year. Prefects have really impacted a lot of lives and will be remembered far past first year. Luke Conaghan (1st Year)

To the 6th Year Class of 2020

Free-Range Chickens

It has been my great privilege to be your year leader for the last six years. I have really enjoyed working in that role and find it hard to believe that the boys and girls who joined the school in August 2014 are now on the threshold of completing their secondary education here in Newpark. At different times other students joined the school and have greatly enhanced the positive culture that exists within this year group. As your year leader, I have been very impressed by the strong work ethic, a dedication to social and environmental issues and by your many sporting and artistic achievements. I have also very much appreciated the respectful, courteous, and friendly ways you have engaged with me over the years.

It’s difficult to comprehend that that drab Thursday at the beginning of March was going to be final day for us Sixth Years: our last hoorah – the end to fourteen years of state education. It’s often a sad moment for some, for others it’s euphoric – for almost every one of us it was immensely insignificant. It stopped so abruptly and so unexpectedly that there is still (probably very mouldy) food in the prefect room fridge. Many thought we would return - some ambitiously, before the Easter break - but I don’t believe anyone would have guessed the extent or length of the lockdown period that lay before us all. It’s been a testing time for everyone, filled with fluctuating emotions and energy levels. Motivation and focus wanes; it comes in irregular spurts and then dissipates with the latest Leaving Cert. speculation. To anyone feeling deflated or particularly disengaged, know that you are not alone. We are all in this together and we will all pull through the other side – no matter how far away that point may seem at this moment in time.

The impact of the global pandemic has meant that you not been able to complete your secondary education in the way that you have wished for, nor in the manner that you deserved. I know that the last few months have been a difficult and challenging time. Later in the year we will celebrate your time here in Newpark. I would like to wish you every success and hope that you go on to lead happy and fulfilling lives. By Dermot O’Neil, Year Head

A Farewell from the Principal I am still hopeful that, however much delayed, we will get to have our 6th Year Graduation Service. It is an important event in the school calendar and allows us to formally bid farewell to each other and to acknowledge and celebrate ‘moving on’; in itself an integral part of having ‘been here’. It is odd that we may all meet again at the Debutante Ball before we meet at the Graduation Service, but then, it has been an odd year. The calendar year, I mean, not you. Random thoughts amongst many when I’m missing you… Avalon and the constant coffee cup; Jess and the hockey final speech; Stina on guitar; the ‘man after midnight’ (on repeat); Ian and the perma-smile; Aoife and Nathan, head girl/boy integrity; Adam on the pitch; Emily on the stage; Oisin TY careers crack; Zindzi TY careers attentive; Summer and the chats at BFEi open day; Hannah, director supreme; Ciaran lunchtime soccer stalwart; Ostap and nods of greeting on the stairs (after 8.50, obvs); Sundy snoozing on a Rockies rock; Leon on the basketball court; Angel and Hannah and the GPA waves; Bill and Jay and the questions, questions; and even, bless them, Justin and Dillon and the Bohs Rovers banter. But to a person, you have always all been good humoured, decent, bright, and curious. Thanks for that. By Eoin Norton, Principal


It feels like a very long time ago that we stepped through the doors of that dilapidated prefab, welcomed as the future class of 2020. The road since has been long and colourful; full of friendships and experiences that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. Throughout senior cycle, we can often become heavily bogged-down in the narrow-minded scope of Leaving Cert assessment. Understandably so; such is the product of an archaic grading system, and I think that this year more than ever highlights its need for reform and flexibility. However as a result, it’s often easy to forget the role that education plays in formulating identity and moulding value systems. When asked about Newpark and what I’ve taken away from my experience here, I find it difficult to pinpoint anything specific. The growth has been gradual, wholesome and thoroughly organic. We have been given the freedom and opportunity to thrive in all aspects of life. Our talents have been nurtured and as individuals, we have been encouraged to be the best versions of ourselves. I remember once having a conversation with a stranger on a bus who referred to Newpark students as free-range chickens. His analogy confused me at the time, but with hindsight makes so much sense; a culture exists that fosters diversity and as students, we’re free to be who and whatever we want. We are so lucky to be in a school where differences are not only accepted, but are openly

celebrated; where the voice of students is listened to and our contributions genuinely valued. This is only possible with the support and commitment of Newpark’s staff and management. On behalf of sixth year, I extend our deepest gratitude. To my fellow sixth years in particular, we’re almost historic. The class of 2020. We were the guinea pigs of the new Junior Cycle and the first year in the history of the state to have successfully dodged the trauma of sitting a state oral at both Junior Cert. and Leaving Cert. level. We will also have been the shortest Sixth Year ever – and the first to have state exams cancelled. When people speak about Leaving Cert. trauma, I think we can say with some degree of confidence that our experience takes the biscuit. On a final note, I would just like to take this opportunity to say a massive goodbye and thank you to Mr Cookman. I was lucky enough to know him long before ever coming into Newpark and even still I heard stories of the infamous deputy. It’s difficult to surmise the deep feelings of gratitude that I have for having been lucky enough to be a part of this school under your management. You lead with such empathy and kindness and you have a particular way with teachers and students that makes you both respected and admired by the entire Newpark community. A school is only as good as those at the helm, and I think the atmosphere, ethos and reputation that Newpark maintains is a testament to your leadership. By Nathan Moore

Our Newpark experience – A quick overview

time later they would be sitting their first ever secondary school test in Mr Twamley’s History class. This proved to be a historic test for the pair of us, as it was the only time Jess comprehensively outperformed Aoife, who got 45% due to her lack of regard for the concept of study. Thankfully, Aoife copped on and pulled her socks up going forward. Academically speaking we were not award-winning students in 2nd and 3rd year. However, these years were not wasted! We took part in anything and everything that got us out of class. The likes of swimming galas, unihoc tournaments and regular volunteering to run down to the shops for the teachers turned out to be pivotal points in our Newpark career. Although we had a lot of fun during this time, we still had to tackle the big JC, but we merely viewed this as a small bump in the road on our merry way to Transition Year. If we could re-live any year from our time in Newpark it would be Transition Year. Not only did we have an abundance of time for our favourite activity – doing nothing with our friends in the GPA—but we gained a deeper appreciation for our school and all the people in it. Upon returning from a week of work experience, we couldn’t imagine anything worse than having to eventually leave school and enter the big bad world! Aside from work experience, Techsperts and community action, without a doubt our highlight was Gartan (condolences to those poor unfortunates who didn’t make it up this year. There is nothing like spending a week in the wilderness with people you barely know!). We won’t lie, 5th year was hectic. However, the light at the end of the tunnel was our trip to South Africa. This trip was the highlight of our time in Newpark for the both of us. (Our sincerest apologies to everyone who has had to hear us bang on about the trip for the last year!) Other than that little excursion, we thoroughly enjoyed evening study every Monday. It turns out that the funniest stuff happens when you’re supposed to be silent. It’s hard to believe that we are approaching the end of our Newpark career, especially given that it has ended so abruptly. The biggest loss is definitely summer term P.E. There is nothing quite like hitting one tennis ball in two hours and sunbathing then calling it exercise.

In late August 2014, there were 150 juveniles making their way through the front gates of the building site that was their new school. Among them was us – Jess and Aoife. While Jess, a local Educate Together, Uggloving gal rocked up, Aoife, a bewildered and disorientated Bray resident was finding her feet in the big city of Blackrock. Little did they know, a short 59

Not only has Newpark given us all of these great memories, but we will also leave with a good comprehensive education and a reasonably good moral compass. We’re proud to say that Newpark has shaped us into the people who we are today. We hope, going forward, the morals and values that were instilled in us during our time in The Comp will guide us in whatever scenic route of life we choose to take. By Jess Whelan and Aoife Grogan


With Easter come and gone it is difficult to believe that we even had an Easter this year, with the unprecedented closure of the school in March due to the coronavirus outbreak. I sincerely hope to find you all safe and well. The PTA committee continues with business as usual in the background. I hosted our very first Zoom meeting last week which was a great success and lots of fun. Kicking off February, Michelle Stowe delivered a most interesting talk on Restorative Practice. This practice incorporates the ability to connect, reflect, and model, in how we think, engage and speak. The feedback from those attending was extremely positive and after a very engaging talk, Michelle answered many questions. We look forward to having her back next year. Unfortunately the PTA had to postpone the evening with Colman Noctor who was due to deliver a talk on Mental Health in mid-March; we will keep you informed of when it will be rescheduled. The PTA wishes to pass on sincere condolences to the family of Prof. Aiden Moran, who passed away in March. Over the last few years he has presented a number of interesting talks on study skills in Newpark, which were always very informative. I should be giving some great feedback on the music bingo fundraising night that was planned for April 2nd. With all social gatherings postponed due to the coronavirus, this event will no doubt go ahead once the restrictions are lifted and it promises to be a wellanticipated night of fun. I should also be promoting the sale of second-hand uniforms. This is also another fabulous fundraiser for Newpark School. Although some discussion was had on whether we could find

some way in which to facilitate it, the safest decision was that this will not be possible at the moment but when things change we will organize this and give you details. I would like to say thank you to Suki Dunne who is now the new PTA representative for the Hunter Theater. We would also like to say farewell to Mark Cookman who will be retiring this year and to thank him on behalf of the parents for all of his hard work in Newpark over many years – he will be sorely missed! The trip to the Aran Island for second years was cancelled much to their disappointment, but I am sure it does not come close to the disappointment for the students in exam years. This trying time has hopefully been made less stressful with the fantastic feedback from students, parents and teachers on the use of Teams. This allows teachers to give assignments and feedback to students as they navigate their way through this uncertain time. The PTA sends good luck wishes to all, and we echo the government’s strategy of staying healthy with good eating and exercise habits, and positive mental health. With the country still on ‘Lockdown’ Newpark made the unprecedented decision to close the school gates. Once these gates are re-opened, no doubt the fabulous spirit and energy of the students and teachers will return with more gusto than before. Never before have I seen so many students wishing to go back to school. Hopefully it will be possible for us to have our usual PTA AGM in September and if so details will follow.

In the meantime, please stay safe and well and, as always, on behalf of the PTA I would like to extend never-ending appreciation to all parents/guardians for their support.

Newsletter Team: Mr Kirwan, Ms Ring, Ms Johnston, Mr Lamprecht, Ms French—Sports Photographer, Sarah Glanville, Silvia Ciulli Cummins, Isobel Smiley, Mea Gigon, Caitlin Gemell.


By Lizzy Pashley

Cover image: Ruby O’Leary Murray, in Time is of the Essence, Directed by Hanna Novak

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