Newpark Newsletter December 2021

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Newpark Newsletter

Issue 60 December 2021


The Principal Word Welcome to this December issue of the Newpark Newsletter. Life in school continues to reflect life outside school; the restrictions, the ups and downs and the uncertainties on the one hand, married to our very human response of resilience, good humour and making the best of it on the other hand. It has been a good term, and a term for everyone to be proud of, because our students and our teachers determined it so. Although August seems so long ago at this point, congratulations to the Class of 2021 on their considerable success and achievement in the Leaving Certificate, both in examinations and in accredited grades. A high percentage of students presented for examinations in addition to receiving accredited grades. Their endeavour was evidenced in their results. Credit to all our teachers for their contribution for a second year in a row to the accredited grades process and of course for their contribution to the achievements of students in the Leaving Certificate examinations 2021. Although restrictions and timing meant the PTA couldn’t hold its usual reception for the Debutantes last month in the School, it was really nice for myself and the other teachers present to chat to the Class of 2021, see their fabulous evening wear and wave them off on their buses from Foxrock Church carpark. At Junior Certificate, our students once again were accredited with the Newpark Junior Cycle Report, mirroring the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA), which of course was not issued by the Department of Education for a second year in a row due to the pandemic curtailing Junior Cycle examinations. Well done to all our current TY students for their learning and achievement over their three years in Junior Cycle. The development of our Junior Cycle programme continues with the introduction of two new optional short courses in first year, namely Artistic Performance (Visual) and Film Studies, joining optional short courses in Artistic Performance (Theatre) and Philosophy.

Although of course it’s not the same online as it is inperson, it has been good to have our Parent/Guardian Teacher meetings face to face again. Feedback from parents/guardians of 6th year and 3rd year has been positive and we look forward to the other year groups’ meetings happening as the academic year unfolds. We also miss all the different occasions we would normally gather with parents and guardians, whether evening presentations, PTA events, sporting celebrations or, of course, drama or other school activities. The PTA has been super in its continued work and commitment to the School. We had a really engaging session at the December PTA meeting where the current mission statement review was discussed, and it was very interesting and helpful to get parent/guardian insight and feedback on this review. I was one of the privileged small number to be in physical attendance at the recent performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There was enormous talent, versatility and creativity on display. Moreover, as I said to the cast and crew afterwards, it was really evident that they were having a lot of fun. This in turn added even more to the audience’s enjoyment. Well done to all involved. Thank you to Ms Devis and Ms Johnston for everything they do in facilitating this important annual event for the School. Congratulations to all our teams this term. Despite a hard-fought game, unfortunately the senior rugby team lost by the narrowest of margins, 22-21, to CBS Wexford in late November in the second round of the McMullen Cup. Commiserations also go to the senior girls’ hockey team who did well and had a good run, but who lost to Newbridge College in the quarter final of the senior cup. Congratulations to the senior boys’ basketball team who played brilliantly to win the East/ South league final against Nord Anglia School. Everyone in the School has great appreciation for all


our coaches for their time, expertise and commitment to their respective disciplines. I’m delighted for Ms Delaney and Mr Doyle to be bringing the silverware back to the School on this occasion with basketball. There has been really good participation across all sports this term which is great to see. There have also been significant individual sporting achievements for many of our students, which you will read about in the pages ahead. Great credit is due to the students and teachers who made all the other activities happen this term, from the headline achievement of our fourth Green Schools flag, to all the fundraising activities, to the themed weeks, such as science week, maths week and Stand-Up week. I congratulate and thank all involved. Teresa Walsh retired from our cleaning staff at half term after nine years’ service to the School. She was presented with flowers and a gift on her last day, and we got to give our appreciation to Teresa for her work in the School and to wish her the best in the future. This term the School had a ‘Supporting the Safe Provision of Schooling’ (SSPS) inspection from the Department of Education. The School is deemed to be successfully meeting all required criteria in the safe provision of schooling in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The inspector was very positive in her feedback in relation to all systems in place and on the support and cooperation of all school stakeholders which was evident during her visit. As I write, however, both nationally and internationally, we are bracing ourselves for the new year and what the Omicron variant may bring. With everything that we have been experiencing over the last 18 months, perhaps it is the constant uncertainty that is hardest. Whatever lies ahead, we will continue to respond to the best of our abilities, with the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the community in mind, along with the continued education and personal development of our students. This term concludes with deep sadness for the School community. The death of Mia Seligman, 2SOS, is a great shock and a great loss to us. Mia loved Newpark and we miss her. As a community we are grieving, but we are steady. We are supporting each other, and we will continue to do so. Our thoughts are with Max, Eden, Nathan and Jacob, all Mia’s wider family and friends and indeed, with all families in the School community who are experiencing bereavement at this time. Mia told me she wanted all her friends and fellow students to be OK. She wanted them to appreciate all that they have. So, in that spirit, may I take this opportunity to wish everyone in the School community a safe and happy Christmas. By Mr Norton


#andshecycles Ambassador Awards

On Thursday the 4th of November, Isobel, Nóinín and I went to the #andshecyles awards with Mr. Power. We had finished training in May, gone to some events, and submitted our Action reports in September. Sadly, because of Covid, all of this had been done online, so we had never met any of our fellow ambassadors or trainers. On November 4th we finally got to have an inperson event to meet the others, get our ambassador certificates and some very nice wooden plaques. The awards took place in the Ashley Hotel. The Senior Programme Manager with Green Schools, Jane Hackett and Ciara Norton, Green Schools’ communications Officer, congratulated us on completing the program, spoke about how it was started and its success. We then played a quick game to get to know each other better, as this was the first time we had met. Unsurprisingly, all the ambassadors I spoke to were very nice people, who had accomplished so much already. After the game finished, we sat back down and Robert Egan, a researcher with An Taisce, spoke to us about all the data he had collected before and during the campaign. He told us all that he had discovered about

the cycling gender gap, the different causes he found and the different approaches we could take to fight it even more in the future. We then had the honour our of seeing Elaine Gallagher preform Freedom Machine, which we saw some of last year in a Green Schools’ webinar. She told us all about the history of cycling, how bikes developed, and how they became a powerful tool in women getting more freedom, including in the Suffrage movement.

At last, it was time to receive our certificates, and find out who won the Outstanding Achievement award. Ciara called up each Ambassador and spoke about what they had achieved in their school. We were all given a wooden plaque and our certificates and took photos with the other ambassadors. Overall, it was an amazing day. It was so great to get to meet and talk to all the other ambassadors, the presentations were super interesting and entertaining, and the food was delicious. The wooden awards are beautiful, and it was nice to celebrate all that the ambassadors have done, and all the work we put in. By Silvia Ciulli Cummins, 3rd Year

Plastic Outta The Park Plastic Outta The Park is a student led initiative which was created in 2017 aiming to eliminate plastic and plastic products from the Newpark campus entirely. Every year, a new group of TY students take over the campaign and educate other students on plastic pollution and plastic solutions. Newpark was Ireland’s first plastic free school. Newpark students created a step-by-step toolkit which helped 44 other schools in Ireland to become plastic free too. Scientists predict that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. We can all make small changes to reduce waste in our everyday lives.

Instead of using single use plastic water bottles, we can use a reusable water bottle. Instead of using clingfilm to wrap up our food, we can use reusable bees-wax wraps. When shopping, we can buy items such as laundry detergent or pasta in cardboard or paper. When we can, we can avoid plastic wrapped food products. We can use bamboo toothbrushes instead of using plastic toothbrushes. In our bathrooms, we can use bar soaps and razors with a replaceable blade. Often products such as exfoliators, face wash and toothpaste contain micro plastics. Avoid products containing polypropylene or polyethylene in the ingredients list. When we came together to eliminate plastic from our school, we influenced others to do the same. Through the power of example, small changes can become big ones, which benefit the planet and those around us. By Charlotte Wride, TY


Green Schools Awards

At Green Schools we strive to do our best whenever we can, so we were chuffed to bits this year to have got another lovely green flag award. On the 6th of October, there was a great ceremony held in our very own G6, where we joined an online ceremony, as per these solitary times, to see our equally chuffed to bits representatives of An Taisce. It was great to see how the community can come together to show off what they have accomplished over the past year, and we are all immensely proud of how multitudes of insignificant children can make a change in this big world. There were some interesting visitors who came to speak to us such as Nicola Coughlan who plays ‘Claire Devlin’ in ‘Derry Girls’ who congratulated us for the work we had done and told us how she was part of her school’s ‘green schools’ and we had a very exciting word from Captain cClimate ‘in the year 2050’. (This seemed to be for the younger schools who were also participating). He spoke about how wonderful the future is and how we were able properly deal with the effects of the climate crisis which I hope happens in real life too with all the work that were doing.

Flag Raising Ceremony Some of you will have noticed that Newpark has a new Green Flag. Green Schools worked extremely hard for the past couple of years to get our new flag under the topic of Travel. We had a cycling competition, did an audit and sent out surveys at the start and at the end and got some great feedback. As well as this we spoke to the County Council about some changes they should make. Altogether it has been an enormous success. The next flag we are aiming for is the biodiversity flag and we are already on our way there. On the 21st of October, Green Schools gathered outside at the flag poles to raise the Travel flag. What really made it an event was when Juliet O’Connell from the Labour Party came to watch and said a few inspiring words. As well as this, Mr Norton gave an interesting speech and thanked us all for what we did. Just before the flag was raised Sarah Kenny played her song called Catastrophe. It was a great song with some really devastating lyrics that gave me the chills just hearing it. Nóinín Cooling, Silvia Ciulli Cummins and I had the honour of raising the flag. Overall, we all had an enjoyable time (even though it was absolutely freezing) and we are looking forward to getting the biodiversity flag. By Isobel Smiley, 3rd Year

It was a very enjoyable experience. So, make sure that next time you see a Newpark Green school member, give them a firm handshake for getting our travel flag. By Eve Cullen, TY and Noinin Cooling, 3rd Year


Newpark’s Swap Shop In October 2021 Newpark Green Schools Committee decided to set up a Swap Shop. We asked people to bring in clothes they didn't want/need and in exchange they got a ticket (one per item). Then they could use it to get a new piece of clothing. The preparations began on Wednesday 13th of October when we started collecting and notifying people about the Swap Shop. Eve and Olivia went around to classes and made announcements about it to let everyone know. There was a very good response from students and teachers. On Thursday 14th October we started collecting the clothes. A lot more people brought clothes than we were expecting. We originally had two bags to fill when we started but we ended up getting a lot more when some very eager first years gave them ten items each! It was a very busy day, there was a lot of dragging bags of clothes up to RB14 and back, but it was an enjoyable experience. On Tuesday 19th October was the swap. This was a very busy day. We sorted all of the clothes beforehand. Then we brought all of the bags outside and set up the tables. It was quite busy and hard to manage. So many people came to the shop; we were delighted with how successful it was! By Olivia Dockrell, TY

The Climate Ambassador Programme

I learned the truth in this school. I sat as a first year, watching tense—my heart bursting and constricting. The world we’ve created is out of greed, which is inevitably killing our planet and its inhabitants. As a first year I was shown a documentary on the plastic pollution infecting our oceans. As you can tell I was horrified, distraught. I honestly had no clue before then about the damage inflicted on the earth every day. I really just assumed our planet was fine. But a fairytale has been fed to us since childhood. My article isn’t meant to be a sad one. I’m writing because I want all of you to know you can make a difference in this world. Everything we do can make a difference. Can I take the bus today instead of the car? Can I eat greens today instead of meat? Little actions we take together are going to make a better future for us all. I highly recommend if any of you want to make a difference and don’t know where to start, The Climate Ambassador Programme is great. The Climate Ambassador Programme is run by An Taisce. People of ages 15 years and above can apply from across Ireland, where you get to learn about climate change in an engaging and positive way but also what to do about it. I learned the truth here, but I’ve also learned I can do something about it and that’s empowering.

There’s a great support network in Newpark for those looking to be involved, especially from Ms Achari and Mr Power. For me I got so much confidence from the programme and got to meet many amazing and inspiring climate ambassadors along the way. If we want to make a difference but don’t know where to start, The Climate Ambassador Programme may just be for you. By Cerys Hanlon, 5th Year


How You Can Help

In the current climate crisis, there are a lot of ways in which you can help, such as recycling and planting trees in your local area, but some of the most direct ways to help are to contribute to large initiatives. One such initiative to support is Team Seas, a movement started by popular YouTuber Mr Beast with the goal to remove 30 million pounds of garbage from the sea. You can help by donating money, each euro donated translates to roughly one pound of trash being removed from the sea. At the time of writing 18,245,124 pounds of trash have been removed. The money is being split between organisations that work directly to remove litter from seas and beaches and organizations that build and operate automatic river cleaning robots that work 24/7 to clean rivers so that

The True Cost

The True Cost has been watched by many classes as part of Green Schools’ effort to raise awareness about the environment. The main essence of the movie is to educate people on how harmful fast fashion is to the world. Fast fashion is the rapid consumption of fashion items before they are worn out of use. This means that you might buy a T-shirt even though you don’t need a new one. The competition between fashion companies for the cheapest items leads to workers' pay to be cut. After watching The True Cost I am little more aware of these harmful impacts clothing can have and it is well worth a watch if you haven’t already. One of the ways for you to help prevent the negative impacts of fast fashion is to buy from second-hand shops. This prolongs the life of clothes because they are being used to their full worth. Another way is to stop buying unnecessary items. There is no point having multiple T-shirts that you never wear. You could give some to second-hand shops or to relatives. This means they get used and are not just sitting in your wardrobe. By Sarah Glanville, 3rd Year

litter doesn’t even reach the seas. If you would prefer to support something more local, may I suggest Stop Climate Chaos. They are a coalition of 30 plus civil organizations campaigning to ensure that Ireland does its fair share to tackle climate change. You can help support by staying updated in order to hear about any events or campaigns that are going and. You can also mail your local TDs requesting and suggesting ways to tackle climate change. For more information about Stop Climate Chaos visit stopclimatechaos.ie. By Luke Conaghan, 3rd Year


1st Year Rugby

Junior Rugby I would like to first say how great it is to be back playing rugby and having trainings in school. Covid interrupted our training and matches but we’ve come back ready to play and win more games.

I had never played rugby before starting in Newpark. As soon as we got down to the pitches, the coaches were ready to make a team, despite our lack of experience. It was very nerve-wracking on the bus to our first game, but all of the nerves went away as soon as the starting whistle went. It’s great being on the pitch with people in your year, and it’s a great way to meet new people. One of the things I was very nervous about before starting was all of the cuts and bruises, but I soon realized that you only notice them when you get home, and they look pretty cool too. There’s such a good spirit between teammates and between teams, and a great deal of sportsmanship among players. We won our first game 34-10 against High School a few weeks ago, and the atmosphere on the bus and in the changing rooms was amazing. Winning puts you in a good mood for at least a day. The coaches and players always work together to improve on their game and the team as a whole. The amount of improvement from the team is amazing already. The facilities and equipment are great, and we are taught to use them really well. The coaches really ease you in to contact, and make sure that you can play safely. When I was selected as captain I was surprised, but I love running out with my teammates wearing the school colours, and being captain adds no extra pressure as a player. I remember going home after our first time using the tackle pads, buzzing with excitement. A big thank you to Mr Forsyth, Mr Smyth and Mr Sherlock for all of the work they do! By Turlough Rooney, 1st Year

We started with a loss to King’s Hospital but we came back with a massive 64-14 win against De La Salle. We’ve been putting a massive amount of effort into getting ready for the Shield Cup and the Junior Cup Tournament. With the joined efforts of the 3rd years and 2nd years we have a great team who are able to train properly and listen while still having the craic. Thanks to our coaches Mr O’Shea, Mr Doyle, Mr Sherlock and Sharky. All our coaches are helping us all get to where we want to be in rugby whether that be professional or just for the fun.

We’ve had two blitzes so far and have done well in both of them by coming 2nd out of four and then coming 3rd out of six We hopefully will have lots of more matches and blitzes soon. We will continue to train our best for our school and work on our defence especially. If you would like to join please get in touch with Mr O’Shea on Teams. By Lewis Thornton, 3rd Year


Senior Rugby

Touch Rugby

The Newpark Senior Rugby team have had an interesting first term of rugby. After having a year of no matches, the boys were eager to get playing. So where better to begin than away to King’s Hospital. What a game to start with! The boys didn’t disappoint as they brought ferocious physicality against a very strong and well prepared opposition. The game ended in a narrow loss of two points but the squad can be very proud of their performance. Second game of the season was against De La Salle. The game brought its difficulties due to injuries. This was a theme that was to cause some issues with a squad of nineteen players. However, this gave the Transition Years a chance to shine and that they did, to win comfortably. This comprehensive victory came with a cost! The squad decided to focus on training and allow time for some players to recover from injuries. This leads us to a titanic battle against Blackrock 3rd XV. Local derbies at home never disappoint and this game most certainly did not. Newpark had a terrific 19-12 victory against a slick opposition who have been playing weekly and consisted of players who were involved in both this year and last year’s finalist JCT squad. With some players away, Newpark had the bare fifteen but that did not deter the players. The team motto this year is “Joue”, French for “to play” and that they most certainly did as they scored some exceptional tries. The performance was even more impressive as they’ve not played in a long time and are still working on certain game plays which will no doubt be well executed in future matches.

I began playing touch rugby about 18 months ago. I started it for fun and didn’t know much about it. It was just a bunch of lads from a few different age groups and no one knew what they were doing. I kept playing until December but then it stopped because of the lockdown. After that lockdown it really started to pick up and myself and Sami Phelan stopped playing with the underage teams and moved up to the senior mixed teams. We had a Friday night league all through the summer and we did pretty well in it. We also had a few tournaments during the summer, one in Wanderers and the others were in Belfast and Athlone. We even won the Irish Touch Series.

The aim for the predominately young squad is to be competitive in the Cup and to continue working hard in training so their potential can be met. By Mr Doyle

I like it because it’s a fast and short game. Also the people that play are very nice and helpful. I did one training session with the men’s Irish team and that was fun. If all goes well myself, Sami and a few of our friends might go to Florida with the Irish U18s team for the World Cup. By Cathal MacGearailt, TY


Boys Hockey: The Sideline View After a difficult season last year thanks to you know what, it was great to have everyone back raring to go. Competitive matches resumed (albeit in smaller leagues), along with full contact training and travel allowed to away games. It is fantastic to see so many players back out on the pitch at all levels. Numbers at training are really good, particularly at first and second year levels which only bodes well for the future of hockey in Newpark. All teams have progressed nicely this year despite missing an entire year of hockey. The seniors once again qualified for the All Irelands which is being held in a modified format this year. Trips away to Bandon and Friends school Lisburn were a real test for our senior panel as well as the upcoming home match vs Cookstown. Competing at the top level is one of the aims of our Senior team and being drawn in this group certainly gives them a flavour of what the best schools in the country have to offer. The minor boys have impressed so far drawing against old rivals St Andrews’. This was a fantastic result which will hopefully spur them on to greater things as they certainly have the ability. Big numbers in this group allowed for the formation of a second team which is hugely positive.

Similarly, there are some green shoots appearing with the first year boys squad with seventeen or eighteen players regularly turning up for training and looking for a spot in each match day squad. A huge thank you to the ever-present Mark Cullen who has been working tirelessly with most teams helping to develop skill sets and really improve the team work and gameplay of all teams. Jonny McCormack deserves a special mention for his dedication and commitment to hockey in Newpark. He leaves us to hit the slopes of the Alps, leaving big shoes to fill for the remainder of the season. Thank you to all the players, parents, coaches and umpires for your continued hard work this season. Without your efforts, hockey would not be where it is in Newpark. By Carl Breaden - Boys Hockey Coordinator

1st Year Boys Hockey Hockey is such a great thing to be a part of because of the encouraging teams, great coaches and skilled players. It’s a really good way to make new friends as well. All you need to do to try it out is get a gum shield and a pair of shin guards. You don’t need to buy a hockey stick for the first few weeks because the coaches have spares. Training days are Tuesdays and Fridays. Usually, hockey training consists of a 5-minute warm up (lunges, stretches, jogging, sprinting etc.), ten minutes passing the ball around (maybe in the air) and then a quick match (half of the team vs other half of the team). Training is always fun and there is always a chance to have a quick chat with someone. For matches, our coach selects a squad of sixteen players (including subs). You attend the match at the given time and the coach gives you your position. Give the match your best shot—if the whole team does that, you'll win the match. You should give it a try, and if you like it, join it! By Matias Canz Cisneros, 1st Year

Minor Boys Hockey The Minor Boys hockey team is a great group. We have almost thirty boys from the year playing hockey, which is great for Newpark. From skilful players to strong players, to brave leaders, the team has a lot of potential. The lads have been unlucky with results this year. Firstly, with friendlies, the A’s suffering a 6-1 defeat to a strong St Andrew’s A team, followed by an unlucky 2-1 defeat to High School A’s. The team showed lots of courage to get a result and showed this by holding the same High School A team to a 0-0 draw with the Newpark Minors dominating the game, unlucky not to win. Their first league game was a very tough game against the same St Andrew’s A team. The lads really wanted revenge, and no one showed any sign of giving up easily. This game was a rollercoaster of emotions, and it ended a 3-3 draw. This was a great result as Newpark have rarely got the better of St Andrew’s in recent years. Their next game against High School B’s was a needed win, and this game was a confidence booster and the first win of the season as they confidently beat High School B’s 6-0. The Minor A’s results in the league meant a play-off against St Andrew’s A’s to get into the next round .


For the third time in under three months, Newpark A’s played against St Andrew’s A’s in what was the most important game yet. This was a very end-to-end game with both teams causing damage to each other’s defence. The game ended in a 1-0 defeat to St Andrew’s. All the lads showed real conviction and desire and were unlucky in the end to not make it through. On behalf of the Minors, we would like to thank Johnny McCormack for the help across the year. We would also like to thanks Mark Cullen and Mr Breaden for their usual great job for Newpark hockey. With new coach past student Rian Jolley on the way to Newpark, our talented team will start to work even harder and try to reach new heights. By James Sweeney, 2nd Year

Junior Boys Hockey

As a keeper you learn a lot about a hockey team. You learn who makes plays, who sticks to the ball, who passes quickly, who makes runs and the like. But the main thing I’ve learnt from playing as keeper for the Junior Boys’ Team is that we are a strong team with plenty of potential. Take our recent 5-1 victory over High School for example (with goals from Ryan, Jamie and Jack). It truly showed our team at its best. With good runs, a strong defence and the guidance of our coach Mark we played a fantastic game with very few D entries by High School. I look to our team’s future with great excitement, always remembering that what we lack in experience from all our missed games last year, we make up for with our team’s pure chemistry. By Oscar Schmidt, 3rd Year

Senior Boys Hockey Like many things in the past two years, hockey had been put on hold, postponed indefinitely. Last season any hockey was rare, socially distanced and non-

competitive. However, at the start of this year, school hockey was given the go-ahead and we returned to the pitch. It has been fantastic to be back playing together again, and despite the fact our team is down to only five 6th year players – meaning we rely on a strong bunch of 5th years – we had the aim of competing at the highest level this year. And so far, we have fulfilled that aim. We currently stand second in our section of the Senior League having only lost to a strong St. Andrew’s side, meaning we have secured placement in the A League for the new year.

On top of that, a highlight of the season so far was qualifying for the prestigious All-Ireland Schoolboys Competition in shuttles against St. Columba’s. The All -Ireland's is an annual competition amongst the best sixteen schools in the country and by qualifying this year we have made it three years in a row playing at this high level. Unfortunately, the usual format of a chockablock 3day tournament had to be restructured due to the pandemic so that matches take place in isolation throughout the year. With personal experience of the traditional structure, having these separate games was hugely disappointing as it changes the dynamic and spirit of the competition. This meant for example, for our very first game, we had to travel four hours on a bus down to Bandon for a single match. Unfortunately, on the day the home side prevailed, and we were left without any reward for our journey. However, the focus has now shifted to our Northern opponents in our group: Friends and Cookstown – the latter of which will thankfully be played in front of a home crowd in January, certainly an upcoming highlight of the new year. However, it must be mentioned that unfortunately our coach over the past few years, Jonny McCormack, has moved on to live in another country. Despite this, the team is glad to be back in business and is looking forward to a competitive season with new coach (and Newpark past student) - Rian Jolley at the wheel. By Oran O’Sullivan, 6th Year


1st Year Girls Hockey

that little bit better as we all know hockey training is at the end of the day and despite the cold, everyone and always comes to train and are all improving so much. Both teams are flourishing, and we are really bonding and working so well together.

We recently picked our A and B teams for first year girls hockey. We have played two friendlies, one against the High School and one against Loreto St Stephen’s Green. We lost the first one but won the second one. We are all looking forward to the league in January. By Emily Ferguson, 1st Year

Minor Girls Hockey The minor girls hockey has been a great experience so far. The team have amazing skill and talent and we all enjoy playing alongside each other. We bring a great spirit to our matches. The minor A's first few matches haven't been great but with our last match being a draw we have high hopes for the future. Our minor B's have had great matches with a draw against The High School and a win against Loreto Beaufort. We would all like to wish Johnny McCormack the best at his new job and a big thank you for training us for two years. We would also like to thank Marcus our new coach for taking us on for this year.

This year our team is one of the first teams to be coached by Ms Henry. She's nothing but supportive and kind and always makes training and matches a fun and positive atmosphere. We have had some great victories this year due to all the hard work and everyone's enthusiasm. It's so great to be back playing hockey again, it's a little bit of normal stirred in with the craziness of this year. We are so grateful that we have these opportunities available to us here in Newpark, and just because we don't say enough a huge thank you to Ms Clarke, Ms Henry, Ms Carr, Simon Moore, Marcus and Johnny. We are so excited for the rest of the year and no matter the outcome of our matches we are all so grateful and happy to be playing hockey again and having so much fun together! By Hannah Clabby, Jessica Roe and Molly Sweeney,

By Saibh Lawrence, 2nd Year

3rd Year

Junior Girls Hockey

Senior Girls Hockey

The junior hockey girls have had a great year so far. We were launched straight into full-time training and matches at the start of the year. All of us have been really enjoying training and matches and although it's hard work and can be tiring our coaches and teammates make it so much better and we can't wait to see how we do in our leagues. Mondays and Thursdays are always

The whole team are glad to be back out training and finally playing league and cup matches after a long year of no hockey. We kicked off the season with our first league game against the High School which unfortunately ended with a narrow 2-0 loss. It was a good performance considering we’d never played together.


We had a road trip to west Meath where we took on Wilson’s Hospital in our first cup match, managing to secure a 6-0 win! We played Loreto on the Green in round two and won in 1v1s putting us through to the senior cup quarter finals. A massive thanks to our amazing coach Herbie for coaching us every Monday and Thursday, and to Ms Carr and Simon for keeping us fit.

luckily we managed to secure a 2-0 win. We hope to carry on this winning streak over the coming months as we travel to Tipperary and Lurgan to take on Munster and our biggest rivals- Ulster. The two top teams will play each other in the final in January. By Lauren Moore, 6th Year

By Lauren Moore, 6th Year

Leinster Hockey

Conor Murphy, Robbie Duffy, Daragh Grogan

Lauren Moore, Erika Gallagher, Zoe Watterson After a summer of dispersed training sessions, the U21 inter-pros finally began. This is the first year the interprovincial tournament has continued into the winter season. Myself, Erika Gallagher and former Newparker, Zoe Watterson have been selected to play for Leinster. The first match against Connacht was on Sunday the 10th of October in Athlone. It was fairly physical but

This year the senior boys hockey team is proud to say that three members of the squad were selected for the Leinster U18 interprovincial squad. Conor Murphy (5th year) Daragh Grogan (5th year) and Robbie Duffy (4th year) were all selected for the squad following a series of trials and training sessions throughout the summer. Unlike previous years, the 2021/22 inter-pros are being held over the season, with Leinster playing both Ulster and Munster twice, home and away, before playing the final at the end of the season. The lads will be hoping to make the Irish U19 panel in the new year, but until then we wish them the best luck in the inter-pros.


The Basketball Diaries 1st Year Girls

finals. The lads comfortably won their quarter final 3812 and are now prepping for their semi-final against Clonkeen. The u16s last normal season was in 1st year when they were in two semi-finals before the season was suspended, so they are keen to go one further this year. By Mr Doyle

Senior Girls Senior girls basketball this year has been a really positive experience! When I turned up to the first training with only myself and another girl, I was unsure of how the year would look, but many trainings and games later, we now boast a team of ten!

The first thing I did when I started first year in Newpark was check the different sports that were available. When I saw basketball, my friend and I decided to join straight away and we’re so glad we did. We made so many great friends on just the first day and we’ve all majorly improved in playing basketball.

We’ve had both highs and lows during the so far league, one high being when we won our game against Teresians 13-12! Unfortunately, we haven’t had the same results with our other games, but it’s been a great experience and being on the court is a welcome break from studying and schoolwork!

We played a practice match against 2nd years and got absolutely destroyed but it was a great way to see what real matches look like with a referee, scoreboard, etc. All of the team is super excited to get our jerseys and to start playing matches against other 1st year teams. Basketball has been so fun so far and I would encourage anyone who is interested to join. By Camilla Bolton, 1st Year

Minor Boys The second-year boys basketball have been training on Wednesdays from 1:15 – 1:45pm. There is a good group of players that are developing their skills after an interrupted first year of training. The lads are really starting to gel together as a team. Their matches will start after the Christmas break, and they are excited to get out and put their training into action.

U16 Boys The U16s basketball team have enjoyed a strong season so far. After a mixture of outdoor and indoor training, and some temporary postponement of matches due to restrictions, matches finally got underway on the 9th of November against Presentation Terenure. It was a 3210 win for Newpark and they followed this up with an impressive 38-12 win against Terenure college. This saw us through top of the group, and we were drawn against Gaelcholaiste an Phiarsaigh in the quarter

By Anna Shepherd, 6th Year

Senior Boys Our basketball season has been a very successful one so far considering we had been without a match for roughly 2 years so it was a great feeling being back on the court again. The senior boys have been training indoors and outdoors this year and we have been training very hard under the guidance of our coach, Ms Delaney. Unfortunately, due to some very unclear guidelines by basketball Ireland, all our matches had been postponed and then later rescheduled so everything was a bit rushed but we soon got back on track and our games resumed.


Our first match of the season was against Presentation College Terenure. From the game it was very clear to see which team had been training hard by our outstanding final score of 45-10. Our other match was at home against Terenure College and yet again we beat them and the final score was 43- 13 so another outstanding performance there. As of writing this our next match will be a quarter final so hopefully we will advance but even if we don’t, in my opinion it was still a very successful basketball season for the senior boys team. Great work lads.

organisation and careful management of the sport in school; Ms. Costello. As you are all aware, Ms. Costello is the most organised individual this side of the Mississippi so trying to meet those same standards is an interesting challenge for the rest of us! Siobhán, thank you for everything you have done for Newpark basketball and helping to create the stellar reputation it currently has! Now! Let's win some trophies! By Ms Delaney

By Hugh Kelly, 5th Year

Ms Costello’s Last Dance

League of Ireland Football Calum Howard

When students look back on their years spent in secondary school, they rarely comment on the class test they passed, or the project they worked on; they remember the things they were involved in-the clubs, the sports, the teams. These ECA activities have really taken a hit this past year and we are so happy to have them back! We are lucky in Newpark to have such a dedicated number of students that have taken a shine to basketball. It is a fast-paced game that grips all that play and watch. Luckily our u16 and u19 leagues are running successfully at the moment, and we await the return of our 1st and 2nd years after Christmas. A big thank you to all the teachers and coaches involved, (Mr Doyle, Ms Browne, Dillon and Zoe) who work tirelessly to make sure the students get their training, are awarded opportunities to play and hopefully lead them to success! A special mention to a basketball stalwart in Newpark, someone who has given so much time to the

Over the summer and coming into the first module I’ve been playing a football season for Cabinteely League Of Ireland U17s. In LOI you end up travelling the country every Saturday. This season I’ve played in Cavan (middle of nowhere), Kerry, Cork and Sligo. We’ve also played home games against Finn Harps and Cobh Ramblers.

There is a lot of dedication involved and it’s hard work with school and a social life, but it's the top league in the country. My game time hasn’t been the best this year which is a bit disheartening but I am playing up an age group and that will benefit me next year. By Calum Howard, TY


Leinster Cricket I have loved cricket from a very young age. I play for Pembroke Cricket Club and I have played for their girls’ teams and women’s teams for the past few years. I was lucky enough to receive my first chance with Cricket Leinster three years ago. During February of 2020, I went on a night away with C r i c k e t L e i n s t e r in Castleknock College. We trained in the sports hall both days and we stayed in the dorm rooms overnight. During the summer of 2020, I had a cricket blitz which was organised by Cricket Leinster called ‘The 50 Ball League’ (FBL). Coaches at the blitz decided who would be selected for the Under 13 Girls’ Leinster Squad of that year. I was amazed when I found out that I was one of the girls chosen for the squad. Unfortunately, the matches were cancelled that year due to Covid-19 which was disappointing. During the summer this year, I had two Leinster trials in North Kildare to decide the Under 13 squad for this year. I was delighted when I was sent the squad lists as I was chosen for the Leinster representative matches that were to be played later in the summer. I played three matches for the province this year. They took place in Strabane, Belfast and Mullingar. We got a bus with the squad for the matches which was really fun. I am currently attending Leinster winter training to keep up my cricket during the winter.

I have had an interest in cricket for a long while now and I hope to help others in cricket and in other sport in the near future. I have had many great experiences with Cricket Leinster in the past three years and I wish to have more in the future, maybe even making it to international level. If I want this to all happen, I will need to work as hard as I can and always try my best. By Zoë Bell, 2nd Year

The Tailteann Games This track season has been my best so far with a new PB in javelin and a silver medal at both the Leinster and national level. To conclude this great season, I had the Tailteann Games trials in Santry in the first week of September. Unfortunately, due to Covid this would be my first and last time competing in this as it hasn’t been on previous years. Unfortunately, as I threw my third throw out of six, I injured my elbow and only managed to throw 32m which was quite a bit off what I was aiming for. In the end I still managed to come 4th in the competition so I was happy with that but hopefully I will be able to compete in the later schools’ competitions and bring home some medals. By Hugh Kelly, 5th Year

Spikeball Spikeball is a new sport that has really grown in popularity. My friends and I started playing it during lockdown and at first we were just messing around and having fun. We kept on playing and getting better and as we improved we started to get interested in the spikeball community in Ireland. We followed the Instagram RoundnetIreland and started going to the trainings. The spikeball community is amazing and we joined lots of tournaments throughout the summer. We kept on getting better and better and after winning the final tournament of the summer—the Nationals—myself and my spikeball partner Simon became the No1 spikeball team in Ireland. Just a month ago, I went to compete in a massive tournament in France and placed 9th just behind the top teams in France and Britain. I went from just messing around with this fun new game to becoming one of the best few players in Ireland and joining the Roundnet Ireland team. If anyone wants more info on how to get involved you can contact me, Dash (head of socials and distribution), Conor Murphy, (head of marketing), Emmet, (head of communities) or Jacob (head of packaging). By Dash Tomkin-Clarke, 5th Year


Dublin Minor Football

Over the summer I was fortunate enough to represent the Dublin Minor team and I was also named as vicecaptain. Due to covid-19 restrictions our season was delayed until team sports were allowed to return to training in early May. This meant we had five months of solo training plans and gym sessions before we could even take part in the trials. This was a tough period as the end goal wasn’t promised but all the lads worked hard, and our improvements were obvious when we returned. We started off our Leinster campaign away to Offlay in Tullamore. It was a tough game and a draw at the half, but we pulled away in the last quarter and earned a well-deserved win. Our next test was a home semi-final in Parnell Park against Kildare. It was an evenly matched battle which was only split by an injury time point to win us the game and send us through to the final where we faced off against Meath. The final wasn’t to be as we were beaten by a strong Meath side who would go on to win the All-Ireland against Tyrone. Although it ended in disappointment this year, I have had a brilliant few years with that squad, and I made life long friendships. I have also learned a huge amount about hard work and discipline which I will carry forward in both sport and life. By Dan Murphy, 5th Year

She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain “3, 2, 1, Go!” Gone with the wind are the English, the Scottish close behind, away like they’ve been training for this for months (which many of them unfortunately have). “Stop, stop, STOP! I was telling you what I’m GOING to say” said the tall northern man with a strong northern accent.

We, the Republic of Ireland team, had hardly moved an inch and now we wait smugly as the rest of our competitors halt and trudge back behind the start line.

“Okay, now, 3, 2, 1, Go!” and gone with the wind are the English, the Scottish close behind. In less than 20 seconds they had gained a 20 meter advantage on the rest of us. I put down my head and set off on the long slow trudge up the 400 meter mountain. I could now look forward to an hour of slippery rock, steep incline and marshy, energy-sapping bog. As I trudged I considered what had led me to this position in the first place. Back in May of 2021 I was informed by a fellow orienteer that the mountain running trails were advancing and he was fairly certain I could make the team. I put the thought to the back of my mind as I discovered I would not be able to make the trials. He emailed the IMRA (Irish Mountain Running Association) all the same to say I would be interested. A month later I was camping in a football field in northern France, and I got the news that I was on the team for the Junior Irish and British mountain running champs due to be held in the Mourne Mountains. I heard later that only one person, in the U16 section completed the selection race, the other three picking up injuries during the race. So in September I headed to the Happy Valley in the Mournes, in Northern Ireland to compete for my country in a discipline that I had only ever completed one race in. It was a tough outing but surprisingly I managed to beat two Northern Irish, a Welsh and the other southerners putting me in around about 14th place. My goal had been to not come last so it was a fairly successful experience as far as I was concerned. Will I try for next year? You never know… By Emily Rowe, 5th Year


Chaplain’s Reflection

Of course we do! That’s human nature. But it’s the intent, the motivation, to try to treat each other with kindness that is important. We all make mistakes but that doesn’t mean that we give up on it altogether. Even more crucially, especially with the new stresses and anxieties of the 2020s, we need to be kind to ourselves. The next time that you judge yourself too harshly or listen too closely to that severe commentary going on in your mind (we all have it!) pose the question – would I say this to my best friend? My mother? My grandad? Anyone else? We have to make sure that we are being kind to ourselves first and it is only then that we can fully be kind to others.

“It’s one thing to ‘be kind’, but it’s another whole experience to choose kindness as a way of life.” - Morgan Harper Nichols It’s all about “kindness” in our house at the moment, with a three-year-old trying to get used to her new baby sister taking up her space, her attention, her general kingship. “Kind hands!” “Kind words!” “That wasn’t very kind, Isobel!” “No more angry looks – be kind!” And it’s difficult. She didn’t ask for this division of her kingdom. She loves her sister but is only really starting to grasp this concept of “kindness”. It got me thinking about how we treat each other in general society. I don’t think we ever really stop learning when it comes down to this particular value - different challenges crop up throughout our lives and we’re told that kindness is key, but sometimes, it’s hard. We’ve all heard the phrase “be kind” a lot over the last few years, maybe to the extent that it’s become cliché and has started to lose its impact and value. What does the phrase actually mean, anyway? Lexico.com defines kindness as “…the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate” but how does it translate into our every day lives? And do we sometimes come across as kind, but have ulterior motives?

This is one of my main goals and roles as your Chaplain; to ensure that each and every one of you (staff and students, alike) know how fabulous you are! To keep telling you this, explicitly and implicitly and to be there alongside you in your journey at Newpark, thinking about those spiritual things that are so much bigger than any of us – kindness, love, gratitude, acceptance. I’m here to talk to you about those epic questions too, again, both explicitly and implicitly. Where do I find meaning? How do I feel connected? How should I live? No matter what you believe or don’t believe; doubt or trust, my office door (Office 12, on the top floor) is always open to everyone for the chats! Christmas is about good will, generosity, peace, celebration, love and of course, kindness. Obviously, it’s a Christian festival, but no matter what you believe or don’t believe, together as a community in Newpark and as part of broader society, we all share in the excitement, happiness and joyfulness that this season brings. So delight in it this year, in whatever form your celebrations take. The last 21 months of lockdowns and restrictions have been tough for all of us but the hardships that we have endured make us appreciate the important things in our lives. Our tribulations can help us to reflect on those core values of empathy and kindness and about how we should treat each other. “Each breath that leaves your body is a sign of hope all on its own. That life is abundant within you, no matter what is unknown” - MHN PS – If you haven’t read Charles Dickens’, “A Christmas Carol” yet, do it! Its impact is obviously more profound at this time of year. It’s a must-read! (Blatant English teacher demand!) By Ms Keating


Christian Union So far this year Christian Union has been meeting in RB1 every Wednesday morning at 8:30. A big shout out to Ms Rowan and Mr Lamprecht, who have been so involved and great at organising our trips and meetings! It has been great this term to be meeting inside, especially as the days are getting colder and darker. It’s hard enough to get up that early as it is but being inside and having a hot chocolate helps! We have been on a few trips this year and we hope to do more. The games are a definite high point of CU and anyone who goes will tell you Bang and Hangman are some of the favourites.

The selfies ranged from everyone playing leapfrog to recreating a movie scene. It was amazing looking at all the photos taken afterwards and comparing each teams' photos. For CU’s first trip back after the year it was a really good day for all of us to get together and get to know each other a little better while also having a good day out! By Naomi Breen, 5th Year

Christmas Shoeboxes

A special aspect of CU is the community of people who share beliefs and can support one another through tough times! So, if you’re ever in the mood for a game of My Chair, a chat or hot chocolate you know where to find us! By Anna Shepherd, 6th Year

CU Selfie Hunt

On Friday the 12th of November the Christian Union took the dart to Greystones where we walked up to Hillside Church to help sort out shoeboxes for Team Hope’s Christmas Shoebox Project. We were welcomed by a lovely team of staff and volunteers who told us exactly how to check and pack each shoebox. I helped to check the shoeboxes. We had to go through each one and make sure there was no chocolate, broken items, money, biscuits or war toys. It was so cool to see what each kid put into their shoeboxes!

The Christian Union’s first trip of the year was a picnic and selfie hunt up to the local park. It was a really good way for all of us to catch up with each other, get to know some of the new faces, and be able to see whose lovely face is behind the mask. We walked up to the park and some of the leaders provided hot chocolate and some treats to dish out. We hit the jackpot for the weather, and it was a great opportunity to talk to someone maybe you hadn’t before. Myself and Anna had organized a selfie hunt for all of us to do as well. We split up into two groups and were given a checklist of selfies you had to take within the space of thirty minutes. It was great fun.

Other CU members helped to make sure each shoebox had enough items in it and each child had equally nice things in their shoebox. Some members people also wrapped shoeboxes. Overall it was a great day and we thoroughly enjoyed it! By Keziah Langrell, 5th Year


Mad for Science: Science Week goes off with a Bang! toothpaste. The crowd watched with impressed looks as the toothpaste came spiralling out and sinking into and around the ground.

There was a strong force of attraction to this year’s Science Week with a wide variety of activities taking place. The science teachers had a lot of spare time on their hands during the pandemic to experiment, making for a thrilling week of activities and explosions. The week bubbled with activities such as junior and senior science quizzes, class quizzes, a wide variety of talks and the annual Science Week magic show. By Ms Cashman

Next up was one of the riskier experiments (my personal favourite). If you asked me a month ago if you can make a flamethrower with just a can and some liquid, I would have replied ‘no’ but to my surprise, you can do exactly that! This experiment was just as dangerous as it was magnificent. Teachers sprayed one salt out of the can, while using their other free hand to squeeze a different salt out of the bottle and when these two salts interacted with each other, it set out an incredible flame. Lastly, we had what I like to call The Cannon. Everyone in the crowd was advised to cover their ears, but wow was this one insane! The ‘cannon’ shot with incredible speed—even after checking recordings in slow mode, I still could not catch it. The blast was as loud as they warned us it would be, many of those who did not cover their ears continued to hear a ringing sound for a brief period after. Overall, an incredible festival, we are all grateful for the science teachers who set this all up. Thank you for reading! By Daimhin Burt, 2nd Year

A Festival of Science In this year’s Science Festival, students from all around Newpark gathered to see incredible science experiments, from fire to explosives! The festival began with all eyes on the outdoor stage. Many science teachers were taking part in the experiments, so we should all be grateful for them taking the time and effort out of their day for our amusement. In the first five minutes or so, the teachers began to set sticks on fire from both ends; the point of this trick is to manoeuvre the stick in ways that will not only be entertaining, but also safe enough so that no one is burned. The first experiment was well known as it is one of the most entertaining (and mindblowing) experiments that anyone can do if they have the simple materials, that’s right, elephant


Science Murder Mystery

Maths Week Maths Week 2021 took place this year between the 16th and 24th of October. There was a large variety of quizzes, brain teaser, puzzles and games taking place throughout the week in all maths classes. The 3rd year students took part in a Maths Week Murder mystery carried out by one of the maths teachers. The suspects were Ms Clooney, Mr Cole, Mr Amira, Ms Cashman, Ms Costello and Ms Odongo. The murderer was very clever and didn’t get any of her maths questions wrong, luckily for the crime scene investigation team.

The TY Chemistry Classes, and Ms Cashman and Ms Clarke’s 2nd Year Science classes did some very diligent crime science investigation work using their science knowledge and skills to solve the murder of Michael, a tragic victim of a member of the science department who took their madness too far. The suspects of the brutal crime included Ms Grant, Ms Clarke, Ms Toal, Mr Ludgate, Ms Odongo and Ms Cashman. The CSI teams used their skills to collect evidence from the crime scene and used the flame test, production of carbon dioxide, chromatography, testing for amphetamines and finger printing. Luckily for the safety of the school community the students cracked the crime and scored themselves some prizes in the process. Well done to all the students involved! By Ms Cashman

The CSI crew used problem solving skills and their knowledge of Algebra, Coordinate Geometry, Perimeter and Area, and Simultaneous Equations to solve the mystery. Some third year students managed to solve the mystery and scored themselves prizes including Sasha Burke, Neil-Óg Cleary, Oscar Rowe and Roko Novak. Well done to all the 3rd year students who participated. By Ms Cashman


European Section

Conference on the Future of Europe

On the 29th of November, nine TY students were involved in the Conference on the Future of Europe Event being run by MEP Barry Andrews. The event was originally supposed to be an in-person day-long event but had to be moved online.

Le premier Novembre, un auteur russe est venu à Newpark pour parler à la classe de première section européenne. L’auteur habite en France et il écrit en français. Il s’appelle Dmitri Bortnikov. Quand il est venu, il nous a parlé de sa vie intéressante. Il est né en Russie et quand il est devenu adulte, il était obligé de faire l’armée. Il a eu beaucoup de boulots après ça et en 1999 il a déménagé à Paris. Quand il est arrivé là, il ne parlait pas français du tout ! Il a logé dans une église russe, et il a appris le français. Au début, il a écrit en russe mais après il a appris le français il a écrit des livres en français. Il n’a pas parlé anglais donc nous avons appris beaucoup de français pendant notre visite. Son histoire était très intéressante et son visite était très agréable. By Adam Merabet, 5th Year

Club Francais Il y a un club de français. Il commence à 12h10 en G3. Nous jouons des jeux et des kahoots. Nous regardons des vidéos en français aussi. C’ est pour tous élèves en première, cinquième et seconde. J’espère t’y voir! There is a French club. It starts at 12.10 in G3. We play games and kahoots. We also watch videos in French. It is for anyone in fifth, fourth and second year. I hope to see you there! By Allegra Zipser, 2nd Year

The students engaged with other TY students around the country to discuss themes that will affect the future of Europe such as Gender Inequality, Migration and Refugees, Climate Change and Sustainable Development. This was a great opportunity for students to share their knowledge and experiences and take ownership of their futures. The hope is to follow up this event with an in-person conference in 2022. The students involved represented the values of Newpark excellently. By Mr Doyle

#Gaeilge24 M a t í a s Ca n z - Ci s n e ro s (1SCN) ag seinm ceoil ag am sosa /playing the banjo at break time for #Gaeilge24


Arracht

The Newpark Book Club

On Friday the 15th of October all the Irish classes in TY went to see Arracht, a contemporary Irish film. It was only released that day, and features Dónall Ó Héalaí in the leading role as Colmán Sharkey, Saise Ní Chuinn (who is only eleven) as Kitty and Dara Devaney as Patsy. The director is Tom Sullivan.

This year saw the beginning of a new club, the Newpark Book Club. This takes place on Tuesdays at 12.10 in RB1 and all are welcome. We discuss book recommendations, play games and have a bit of a chit chat.

The film takes its title from the Irish word for Monster – Arracht. It is an account of The Great Famine (an Gorta Mór), without being historical or attempting to cover all aspects of its origin, course, and effect. Instead it offers a personal telling of the famine, and we see the tragedy and how it affected life in Ireland through the eyes of Colmán Sharkey, a fisherman, a father, and a husband. As the potato crops begin to rot in the fields, he is asked by a local priest to take in a stranger. Patsy is a former soldier, and soon complicates things for Colmán’s family. The events after that cause him to lose everything that is dear to him, including his wife and son, and he is left with nothing. He exists like that for a while, barely staying alive by fishing, scraping by, wracked with grief. Then he meets Kitty, a little girl, and is motivated to change for the better. All this happens against the backdrop of the famine, which leads to millions of families starving while English landlords like Colmán’s stood by and did nothing. I particularly liked the cinematography by Kate Mc Collough. It was beautiful, with plenty of shots of the landscape of Connemara, where Arracht was filmed . When people think of Irish language films, they often think of films that are outdated and dry, so it was refreshing to see something contemporary and accessible, that tells an overused story through a different lens. I personally enjoyed Arracht, and hope that everyone else in my year did too. By Nakai Mudiwa, TY

By Ms Colin

The Book Club is really fun and I got to know some of the second years that joined. We talked about what books we’re reading right now and book we’d really like to read.

We have votes on what book we’d like to read that month, in September we voted on If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio. I really enjoyed reading a book that I wouldn’t have typically picked for myself. For December to January we voted on The Midnight Library by Matt Haig which I am really looking forward to reading next! By Cosima Vero, 5th Year


An Audience with Tomi Reichental

A Lesson in History

I have always wanted to learn about the Holocaust and the past few weeks have been a great opportunity to do just that. In my History class I’ve been learning about World War 2, life in Nazi Germany, life in Soviet Russia.

Fourteen years ago I sat as a Transition Year student in the middle of packed gymnasium, listening to the story of a nine year old boy Jewish boy imprisoned at the concentration camp Bergen Belsen in 1944. I can vividly remember the chill that dominated the hall. It wasn’t the chill of the winter cold but that of the harrowing story of a nine-year-old boy snatched from his family in Slovakia and planted inside the concentration camp where corpses decorated the playground as the camp's crematoria struggled to cope with the demand of the Nazi’s final solution. Flash forward to 2021 and that nine-year-old boy by the name of Tomi Reichental, now eighty-six, retold his story once again for third year students at Newpark Comprehensive. He has kept silent practically all his adult life about what he saw in Belsen. It was only when The Holocaust Education Trust found him in 2005 that he had to start talking about what happened. He realised then that he was one of the last witnesses alive to "this horrible thing of the Holocaust" and since then Tomi’s mission has been to educate students the length and breath of the country of this significant period in his life. We here at Newpark have been privileged to hear Tomi tell his story in such detail and with such strong feelings that only an eyewitness could give, despite the technical issues that are customary with zoom calls! Students were also given the opportunity to forward questions to Tomi as well as purchase a signed copy of his book “A Boy in Belsen”. I would like to extend a huge thanks to Ms Boyle for her time and effort in arranging the audience with Tomi Reichental. By Mr O’Shea

But the topic I had the most interest in was the Holocaust. I had more interest in it than any other topic because my own ancestors were involved in fighting for their own freedom. My great grandad Janek was involved in a battle west of Warsaw called the Battle of the Bzura, Bzura being the name of the river the they fighting for. My other great grandad, Franek, was a man who brought food into the Łódż ghetto where many Polish Jews were kept in harsh living conditions. Earlier this year I had no idea who Tomi Reichental was but after meeting him in person I will never forget him. I got the chance to listen to his interesting story about his life with a few other students from 3rd year. I got to tell him about my own relatives and showed him photos of my relatives. Near the end of the hour, we planted bulbs to commemorate the Holocaust. By Aidan Jones, 3rd Year


Train for Europe – Digital Revolution 4.0

This Erasmus+ project has been delayed because of Covid-19 but it finally started in November 2021 in Trondheim, Norway. It is the third iteration of the Train for Europe which started in 2007. A group of schools from almost every EU country formed an association called the CNC-Network. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control and is the way modern manufacturing machines are controlled. So, for example a 3D printer uses CNC to make an object. Newpark was not involved in the original Train for Europe, 2007 – 2009 but we joined the project in 2011 – 2013 with the Train for Europe – RELOADED. The similarity to the movie sequel The Matrix is purely coincidental but The Matrix – Resurrections gives hope for a fourth project.

Italy, Lithuania and Norway. Mr John O’Neill and five Engineering students travelled to Trondheim and were surprised by how efficient and modern the city is. It is a cashless society where everything works as it should. The public transport system is excellent and 70% of the cars sold last year were electric. They get their electricity from hydro-electric power stations and have no supply issues, even in summer. The programme for the week was decided jointly by the German coordinator and the Norwegian host school. It included a mixture of project work, educational visits and sightseeing. We formed workgroups with students from each of the other countries and the Irish students were popular because of their English-speaking ability. During the week the students became friends and realised that they have much more in common with the other students than they are different.

Newpark is one of six schools are involved in this project. The other schools are from Germany, Croatia,

Our last evening was spent in a tower restaurant which revolves once every hour. The next meeting will be in Ivrea, Italy and there is some homework to be done in preparation for that. A different set of students will go to Italy, so communication about the project activities is important. By Mr O’Neill


Halloween Dress Up Day


The seemingly endless school term was coming to an end. Slowly, it had approached its not so untimely death. The week prior to this much anticipated ending was filled with hope, elation and many other fantastic sensations. The cherry on the cake happened to be the costume contest which occurred on the final day of the term. It was the light at the end of the dark tunnel, the sun peeping through the clouds on a gloomy day. It was commonly referred to as “better than Christmas” and “my one true purpose in life” by many students. It was simply the reason people got up in the morning during that week. A passionate and competitive affair, many an individual poured their hearts and souls into the competition. One student in third year even cut all of their hair off in an effort to portray Pit Bull. It was splendid. Sacrifices and offerings to the gods in exchange for potential glory and eminence were not uncommon for those participating.

There were many categories of costumes, but the most memorable competitions were definitely the solo and the group ones. Of course, Pitbull won the solo competition and the winners of the group competition h a pp e n ed t o b e t h e D e sp i c ab l e Me Characters. Whispers around the school have been heard saying, “that was the greatest comeback

since Istanbul Champions league final, 2005”, “Their determination matched that of David in David vs Goliath, 1100 BC”. A spectacle they named it, for it was no ordinary win. One of the key members of the “Despicable Me” group (who will remain anonymous for political reasons), abandoned the group on the eve of the contest as they thought that the group had no chance of winning anything. Well.... haha..... The rest is history. The group now bathe in eternal glory and let the fruition of the contest fill their previously hollow, empty lives with endless content. So yeah, the costume contest was actually alright. By Thomas Wride, 5th Year


Goal Jersey Day Goal jersey day was an exciting event in which students dressed in jerseys to raise awareness for the charity GOAL. Donations were accepted online and lots of money was raised. Goal is an Irish organization that was established over forty years ago. Goal’s aim is to help communities facing extreme poverty and crisis. The charity has a number of services used to help countries in crisis. Emergency response, resilient health and food and nutrition security are just some of what Goal does to help struggling countries. By Naiara King-Casanellas, 5th Year


Student Voice

The Cultural Council

Another year of masks, another year of feeling muzzled: but have no fear, the Student Voice is loud and clear.

The Cultural Council has been revived and is better than ever! Starting out as a simple collection of the clubs in the school it soon expanded. We started out as just a few 5th and 6th years and now there are sixteen members from various clubs. The clubs range from Irish club to badminton club and there is really something for everyone.

Newpark has a long tradition of developing student voice and leadership and this has been very evident this year with the flurry of activities led by students. Not just way of the prefects and the Student Council but with the Sports and Cultural Councils and on the rugby and hockey pitches, the basketball courts, the theatre and music rooms to name but a few.

We continue to work with outside organisations such as the ISSU, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Comhairle na nÓg, Foroige and the ACCS. These organisations provide the school and students with many opportunities to look at Student Voice at a national level and forge relationships with other schools. The educational and empowering value of these experiences are so evident when we see our students using their voices and leadership skills so well.

Aside from the clubs it was decided that everyone missed the events that really showed the spirit of Newpark. Ms Devis encouraged us to bring those back and so we started work on the Halloween dress up contest. The contest was super fun to plan and everyone on the council really pulled their weight. I’m very happy I decided to start a club in 5th year or else I might never have found my way onto the cultural council. I think the cultural council gives great student voice to the creative/social aspects of Newpark.

We have a fantastic TY group taking part in the Foróige programme. They are an insightful group eager for change and full of ideas. A number of our students and teachers have been taking part in the ACCS Student Voice Forum over the last few months which has been an interesting experience for all .

All I have left to say is keep an eye out for Christmas as we have plans!

This year our primary focus is on Student Voice in the Classroom. So far we have surveyed students and teachers. The results have been fascinating. We will meet with students to discuss these results and look at what we are doing well and what we need to improve.

By Ms Devis

Every year, a group of students from 6th year are elected by their peers, teachers, and staff as prefects. This role encompasses many different duties, from looking after the incoming first years to managing the exit gates during lunch times. This year’s group of 34 students are particularly special, for their role is not the traditional one. Unfortunately, Coronavirus’ long reach is felt even here with the primary perk of the role – the famed Prefect Room – being repurposed due to the school’s Covid restrictions. In the face of this, our prefects have persevered with all they have been asked.

As the Student Council was formed again we wasted no time getting to work. All of our members put their brains together to tackle some chosen issues in our last two meetings. Everyone on the council is really passionate about improving what they can in the school and making things better. Thus far our most impressive achievement is the installation of free sanitary products in the girl’s bathrooms, though, there’s definitely more to come! Be sure to tell your Student Council reps if you have any issues and we’ll continue to do our best!

A highlight has been our sessions with the 1st years, imparting the tricks of the trade and ultimately smoothing their path from primary to secondary school. A welcome addition has also been the weekly tea, hot chocolate, and biscuits which we cherish as that bit of Newpark sparkle which we took for granted before the pandemic. Special recognition is due for Mr Ludgate, Ms Devis and Ms Anderson who have helped us from the start of the year, and for all the prefects’ hard work thus far – thank you. We look forward to our last two terms and ultimately passing on the title of prefect to the next year with pride.

It has been a busy and productive past few months. Many thanks to the Student Voice Teacher Team and to all the students who leading and running all these different councils, clubs and sports teams.

Student Council

By Adam Merabet, 5th Year

By Naiara King-Casanellas, 5th Year

Prefects

By Oran O’Sullivan, 6th Year


Stand Up Week The week of November 15th-19th was Stand-Up Week, a week that focuses on education around homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that exists in schools still today, alongside celebrating and including students that may belong to the LGBTQ+ community. Newpark puts in a huge effort to mark the week and does its best to come together as a school community in tackling these issues every year. This year, through the amazing efforts of students and teachers, we pulled together not one, but two events during the week! There’s new, enthusiastic leadership involved with the school’s LGBTQ+ club, with a whole new group of creative people joining us every week.

Together we organised a ‘Gayke Sale’ on Thursday the 18th, in which a total of €630.33 was raised to donate to BelongTo, a youth organisation working to support young LGBTQ+ people. The day after, we celebrated Newpark’s annual rainbow jumper day, in which every year is assigned a colour and asked to wear said colour/ other bright colours in hopes of replicating the rainbow! This non-uniform day is always successful, and this year was no different; the school practically became a rainbow with most people including staff dressing brightly to mark the day. Newpark is a fantastically inclusive school which works incredibly hard to celebrate all its students and Stand-Up Week is just one of many ways in which these values are implemented. By River Walton, 5th Year


BeLongTo Campaign Over the last few months I worked on a national campaign with BeLonGTo which was an a b s o l u t e privilege and p l e a s u r e . BeLonGTo is a charity that is government affiliated and helps with the L G B T Q + community in Ireland. This campaign was about bringing awareness to the fact that unfortunately homophobic, transphobic and biphobic bullying still exists in schools throughout Ireland today. Ever since the marriage referendum, many believe that things are equal for the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland, but sadly this is not true. The slogan that was used throughout the campaign was “Come in, so nobody has to come out.” All the people involved in the campaign are members of the L G B T Q + community, from the production company, the sound engineers and the film company. They all worked on a pro rata basis as it’s such an important cause. I was one of the models on the anti-bullying posters that was sent to all the secondary schools in Ireland to celebrate Stand Up Awareness Week. I was also dressed in Drag and involved in an advertisement that aired on RTE for a couple of weeks and it will also be aired in cinema snext year. It was a really wonderful experience working with so many people who were focussing on advocating for the

LGBTQ+ youth in Ireland. This charity and this specific cause mean a lot to me because I have experienced homophobic bullying in school from other students. By working on this campaign, I hope that it will help to insure that diversity is respected and will bring an awareness that everybody needs to get involved to end this type of bullying against the LGBTQ+ community. By Seth Vella-Murphy, TY

LGBTQ+ Club The LGBTQ+ club is now under new leadership. We have a great team of senior students who have volunteered, with the help of the Cultural Council. This particular club is much needed in school, as LGBTQ+ students often feel different, isolated and in some cases bullied into exclusion. I believe there is a huge need for the LGBTQ+ club as I personally found the first few years in school difficult. I wanted to offer a support system for anyone who belongs to the LGBTQ+ community, as well as their allies.

We were so surprised at the amount of students who attended the initial meeting; it far exceeded our expectations. We are really impressed with the number of attendees in the club every week and the atmosphere and the enthusiasm of the younger members is outstanding. We are so happy to see such an amazing group of young, proud, diverse students in the new younger generations at Newpark. The LGBTQ+ club offers a safe place with fun activities and games for our members while also covering topics that educate members about our community. We also organised a cake sale this term and donated the money to the charity BeLonGTo. The team’s goal in Newpark is to develop this club so that it will stand the test of time and will always be there for students in. Being LGBTQ+ at a young age in school can be incredibly challenging due to discrimination so it’s very important that these clubs exist are constantly active to show support for those students. The team really hopes to continue to encourage new members to get involved so that future generations can continue the legacy we hope to leave behind in Newpark. A big thank you to Ms Ring and Ms Crampton for all of their help! If you are looking to join, the LGBTQ+ club meet every Monday in G1 at 4pm. All welcome! By Seth Vella-Murphy, TY


The Art of an Interview

day! Shops, posters, ads on the bus, they can all be an output from the visual communication world. Primarily, illustration is a design skill in the form of visual storytelling. It often intertwines with graphic design and it’s under the bracket of visual communication, yet it can work as a stand-alone skill in the workplace. With an illustration degree you can find yourself anywhere from advertising agencies to fine art galleries, as long as you’re telling a story with the work you create.

I caught up with multi-award winning illustrator Harriet Yakub, who graduated from Newpark in 2018. Harriet graduated from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin this year, and won several awards. The most notable one is the Yellow Pencil from D&AD. This is the leading international award for graduate designers and creatives, which means that Harriet has been recognised as one of the best young illustrators in the world. What was Art College like? For me, art college was quite a personal experience. It was more than learning to draw (we actually did very few classes on that), it’s a place where you learn to think and learn to be yourself in your work. It took me until my final project to “find myself” as a creative and realise what I was really working for! By the end of college you will have been forced to take the simplest thoughts and bring them on a rollercoaster, while learning some professional skills along the way. If I were to break down the experience year by year, in first year I was exposed to every way I could potentially work visually, I tried everything and then began to narrow it down. In second year, I worked on different areas within my field (illustration) and by the end of the year I had an idea of what I enjoyed and what I didn’t. Then in final year, I had more choice and freedom in the output of projects so I spent my time finding my voice within the areas I enjoyed. What is 'Illustration’? Illustration is very broad, there are many styles and uses of illustration, and they’re all around you every

How do you come up with ideas and develop them in your work?

There are definitely times when I have no ideas and I ask myself the same thing. I don’t know if this will answer completely but recently I’ve noticed, the work I make is a direct output of the world I live in. It’s very much an input through the senses and output through my hands and making practices. It’s self-expression and a way to communicate myself, I’ve never been very expressive in conversation, so I use visuals to talk about some of my views of the world and my experiences. What I’ve cultivated in the last year or so is a way of not only expressing through my own eyes, but putting on different “goggles” of say... my neighbour or my greatest enemy or the fly on the wall, and trying to see the world through those eyes. Translating those points of view visually is often very interesting to me and opens up doors in my mind that I wouldn’t usually think of. This skill seems to be useful in commercial


spaces such as branding.

process that bit easier.

(If we go in deeper into the "goggle" thing though it’s really my imagined perception of these other people’s eyes and so it’s my eyes... but I’m still working on this)

Currently I’m setting up my base, working on merchandising, connecting with art directors and extending my presence in the art world.

What is your favourite thing about being an artist/ illustrator/designer?

I hope this isn’t too negative.... I don’t want to scare anyone going into art. It’s a hard truth about being a young creative who hasn’t found their niche yet.

My number one favourite thing about being in the art and design world is that I just love to create. Every day I wake up excited to make something. There’s no better feeling than getting into a workflow and making something beautiful. It trumps any negative I would have. What is your life like now? My life now is turbulent. In some ways it’s great: I’m my own boss, I’m learning something new constantly and I know there’s a path out ahead of me, but I have to be honest and say it’s not easy being a 21 year old female illustration recent graduate in the world of design. I spend most of my time self-promoting and not a lot of time actually creating. The places where the money is seems to be dominated by marketable “skills” often harnessed by cold and clean male user experience, branding and graphic designers. In a way I’m using my free time now to try and catch up to their skills by developing my web and graphic design skills. I find it hard to get people to recognise what I truly enjoy making. There are great highs and great lows attached to the life of a freelancer. It’s not steady work or income or things to do throughout the day like school or college. I end up working every day to try to get my foot into the design world. In my final year in college I was warned about the early years, so I can’t say I didn’t know what was coming and I’m very grateful for the successes I’ve achieved so far because it makes the

What advice would you give to 15 year old Harriet Yakub as she was in third year in Newpark? When I was 15, I had no idea that visual communication was even an area I could explore, I think I wanted to be a dentist, or a psychologist. I was just very interested in having a career. Yet I had always dreamed of being an illustrator as a kid, and would tell everyone around me that that was what I wanted to do. It quickly fell away when I learnt of the “real world” in my teenie years. But it was all a lie! There’s a career in art, although it’s not always the easy way, it’s the exciting way. My advice is to not let the first "no" you hear come from yourself. There will be plenty of people who will say no to you, but you will never get a yes if you are the first to say no. Connect with your inner child, follow what you love to do, and if you don’t know what that is yet, play until you do! Try new things, embrace variety and then build on what you enjoy with consistency. You can settle and master something later in life.


Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Comhairle na nÓg AGM

Can 'Art' be learned, or is it based on innate talent?

I believe that art can absolutely be learned, and often is by the people you may consider as innately talented. There’s a big debate about talent versus hard work, but in the real world, consistency trumps “talent" every single time. In art college we were often reminded that a lazy talented person will never achieve what a hardworking "talentless” can (if you even believe in such a thing as talent to begin with). Another thing to consider when looking at artists further down the line than you is that you don’t see the hours and years that have gone into the process of developing their skills. Often the beginning is ugly, but the people who enjoy making push through it until they get to the point where their skills can match their visual taste.

We were in a Zoom with over 55 people from different organisations and schools. It began with introductions and an explanation of what the Comhairle has been doing. We then had two guest speakers: a man from Jigsaw and Jack Kavanagh, a man in a wheelchair who spoke inspirationally. After this we went into break out rooms. We spoke about Mental Health in a post-covid world. We also focussed on issues in our area (Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown) and how to fix our issues. Our issues and solutions were: 

Lack of enthusiasm about hanging out with friends outdoors/ More outdoor rain protection  Stigma around meeting up with people/ Social interaction between older and younger years  Solitude around people still isolating/ Zoom calls and online events  Loss of social skills/ More ECAs It was a very interesting experience. By Naiara King-Casanellas, 5th Year

Foróige

What’s next for you? Starting the 29th of November, through my D&AD recognitions, I got accepted into the New Blood Academy! It's is an intensive two week boot camp for emerging creatives. It’ll be a good place to network and make some more global design friends! After that, I’m not sure! And that’s terrifying and exciting at the same time. I hope to land a studio job, but if that isn’t meant to be, I want to continue growing my freelance network and skills. I’m still learning and seeing where this path can bring me. Have a look at harrietyakub.net

Harriet’s

beautiful

work

at:

By Mr Byrne

Fóroige has been a very pleasant and educational experience. Fóroige is a youth programme that contains three modules. It focuses on giving young people the tools and education to what good leadership is. We started in September as it is part of our community action, which is part of our Transition Year annual experience. We attend this on Tuesday after school for two hours as Tuesdays are half days for us Transition years. Our first hour is with Ms Achari while the second hour is with Ms Devis. The first hour is nice and chill at the end of a school day—we usually sit around and have a discussion from our workbook. Every discussion and subject always incorporates leadership in some way. From talking about philanthropists to role models that we look up to, there is always something interesting and new. In the second hour, we usually have another discussion or do activities. We play a lot of fun games but still all relating to leadership and communit y! Overall, Fóroige has been an educational experience and I’m really enjoying it. I look forward to continuing this module into the term after Christmas and to keep learning about leadership while also having fun with my peers. By Seth Vella Murphy, TY


Christmas Memories As part of a Christmas art project with the theme Christmas Memories, Mr Byrne asked 1st and 2nd year students to compile a list of images that they would normally see on Christmas cards. They were then informed that they were not allowed to use any images on the list for their project. This resulted in some highly original and at times entertaining results! Well done to all involved.


TY Team Building A few weeks ago the annual TY team building day took place. We competed with our forms against the other forms in a cut-throat competition featuring games like blindfolded obstacle courses, egg drops, tug of war, and much more. Great fun was had overall and it was an excellent bonding experience. By Eva O’Donnell, TY


In Dublin Week Diary For one of the activity weeks in Transition Year we have "In Dublin Week”, where each day we explore a new part of the city and improve our independence. We had to make our own way there and take responsibility for ourselves—it’s a very valuable and enjoyable experience.

Monday - Bray Head Walk We met up at Bray Dart station and walked all the way up to the top of Bray Head and back again. The journey uphill was tiresome, and the way down was steep, but we had a magnificent view at the top and it was an enjoyable day all around.

Tuesday - Little Museum Dublin and EPIC The Little Museum was fascinating with the amount of history it held and all the intriguing artefacts and information. EPIC was also impressive, and the interactive rooms were highly informative. Two museums in a day was a lot, and we were tired by the end of it!

Wednesday - Glasnevin Cemetery Glasnevin is a huge cemetery founded in 1832 and it holds graves of many famous Irish figures from history. It was a beautiful place, and was engaging to hear the stories of the people buried there (and funny trying to find the location).

Thursday - The Zoo Dublin Zoo was a great experience, despite it taking so long to get there. It was fun to go again though, we had a tour and a one hour slot in groups to go explore which was certainly thrilling.

Friday - The Selfie Hunt The Selfie Hunt was wild. We met up at school where we split int o groups and got our instructions. Essentially you go into town and find a teacher and they give you three locations to take selfies in and tell you the next teacher to go to, and it’s a race. We were all tired by the end of it as running around Dublin for a few hours non-stop will do to you. We didn’t win but it was enjoyable all the same.

In Dublin Week was a chance to see something new, leave your comfort zone and make new memories. It was informative and exciting, and we had a blast. By Maeve Cooper, TY


Gartan On the 8th of November Transition Year students from forms 4SFR and 4AD travelled to Gartan Outdoor Education Centre in the heart of Donegal. The week was a great opportunity for the groups to get to know each other better and was filled with plenty of enjoyable activities. The mood was full of excitement and anticipation as students loaded their luggage onto the bus for the 4hour trip to Gartan Lough. The first activity was canoeing. Although many of us complained about the cold at first, it was a very enjoyable experience. The scenery on the lake was spectacular and we paddled out to the island in the centre of the lake. In the evening, we did a scavenger hunt around the grounds in the rain. Sadly a phone was smashed during this excursion—geometry dash is risky business. The first evening ended with card games and a movie in the common room. We adventured over the hills the next morning for a long walk. It was very scenic and a wonderful opportunity to have a chat. Many mushrooms were found by form 4AD’s “shroom head” Eva O’Donnell. Climbing in the afternoon was great and the evening activity, “The Nightline” was particularly terrifying. This involved going for a walk through the woods in the dark while blindfolded. Many people returned from this activity covered from head to tail in mud. The activities the next day were orienteering and mountain biking, which was great fun (for some), although there were one or two small accidents where people (and c h a i n s ) f el l o ff b i k e s . S o m e o f t h e group even lay down for a nap at the top of the hill. On the last day, after team building tasks (some found these easier than others): the very last activity was kayaking. Out at the island, the weather made a dramatic turn for the worse and the paddle back turned out to be quite a long one. Mr Doyle made sure that everyone had gotten their heads under the water for the last activity. The week ended on a high with awards being given out including “biggest carnivore (to the vegetarian), “Most sassy” and “Most likely to become president”. Thank you to all the teachers who accompanied us on our travels, the two forms and the Gartan staff who were simply “fantastisch,” for making the week as enjoyable as it was. I think it is safe to say that Gartan was one of best experiences of Transition Year so far. By Charlotte Wride, TY


Arting Around One of the TY activity weeks is Arts Week. This week aims to explore student’s creative side. Arts week mainly took place in the school. The first activity we got to do was drama with Ms. Devis. We acted out our whole days in five freeze frame images. The next day started with creative writing with Ms. Johnston followed by t-shirt printing with Trudy.

impressions. Then we made a mix using powder and water, added a dye of our choice, and filled the circle with it. We then put them to the side to set. Thursday was the day we got to go out of the school and go to art galleries. We went to four galleries in Dublin. First, we went to the Hugh Lane gallery, then to two smaller galleries in Temple Bar. One was a photography gallery which featured some very interesting images. Finally, we went to a private gallery just off Grafton Street; on the way there we saw some very good buskers on Grafton Street, they were shredding the guitar and tap dancing. For the work with Trudy we brought in our own plain t-shirts, drew a design on paper with markers and fine liners. We then took turns printing our designs on our t-shirts. We put the design on the t -shirt and lay it flat on a 180-degree press. We peeled the paper off the t-shirt and ended up with some great designs. On Wednesday we did casting. We went to the Rockies and picked some nature items. We made clay circles to use for impressions, placed the nature items on the clay and rolled a rolling pin over it to c r e a t e t h e

On the final day of Arts Week, we went for a walk with artist Mark Cullen through the Rockies to soak up some autumn vibes and get inspiration for paintings. Back in the art room we worked in pairs and alone to create autumn themed abstract paintings. We took our castings out of their moulds, and they turned out great. Overall it was a great week, thank you to all the teachers who made it possible.

By Alice Wolsey, TY


TY Arts Week A Season Cycle

Spring Spring ringing at the doorbell. Pollen and the heat on the fresh cut grass, rushing water, the chirp of songbirds, pink cherry blossom, excited, expectant. The roughness of tree bark, wet grass and green leaves. Taste of flowers and sparkling apple juice, the softness of fluff and dandelion clocks, the sigh of grass in the wind. A fresh green calm, and a yellow rain,. Clouds above and sheep below, the wind blowing over fields, the deepening green... Hope in the air.

cinnamon and chocolate, a red hat in the snow jingles and twinkles of excitement. Church bells, the smell of the tree, crinkle of wrapping paper. The feel of a wooden floor, a warm blanket, and a crackling fire. World blue and white with snow.

Glimpses Autumn Autumn walks into his shack, which is only lit up by the embers on the tip of his cigarette. He throws his musty sack to the side and reaches up to stretch. Just as he does so, a gust of wind screams through the shack…

Summer Bees and wasps buzzing lazily, crickets chattering, lush long grass against your neck, hum of contented voices talking. Warm sand, sea salty skin, a drip of sweat, the taste of dusty air. The roll of the ocean, waves crashing, seashells and pebbles, hot sun and cool water, the smell of sunscreen on the beach.

Autumn Bonfires linger in the air. Crispy leaves crunching underfoot. Squirrels dashing, wet leaves sliding, the bang of fireworks. A dripping tap: tired and slow-moving chill… Pumpkins and ginger, smoke and smores and roasting marshmallows. Wind blowing through the trees the invisible sound of leaves falling, warmly dressed in burnt orange, amber, purple, red.

Winter Cold blue rain and stormy waves, the quiet of ice, the coldness of the air. A warm cup of tea,

On a cool colourful autumn day, a brown fluffy creature with white spots covering its body appears from the bushes. I can hear its hooves crunching through the leaves. I edge a step closer to get a better view when I feel a stick crack beneath my feet. I look up and crystalclear blue eyes lock with mine. I freeze for a moment. The creature glances back at the forest. I see its defined features: wispy eyelashes, snow white freckles across a pointy black nose smudged pale pink. I hear a loud bang with flashing colours in the sky. When I look back down the bushes are rustling with no creature to be seen.

Winter He is sitting in the snow in the middle of a plain; pine trees covered in snow can be seen in the distance. His knees are brought up to his chest, his arms are wrapped around them and his head is held back as he stares mindlessly at the night sky. The wind has calmed down


and all he can hear is his slow steady breath. Though his shoes are quite resistant, his trousers are getting damp from sitting on the snow causing him to tremble against his will. There are no stars tonight and the lack of light from the moon gives a faint glow to his surroundings. Even though he walked to where he is now after the snowstorm, there is no trace of it. Not a single footprint can be seen for miles. It is like he has been there all along. The cold starts creeping over him and as a shiver travels up his spine, he stands up, keeping his eyes glued to the sky above him. He takes in a deep breath and closes his eyes. He is ready to go. Then comes a soft breeze… Uncle Ricky is a man from Cavan. He always wears all black clothes. His favourite place is the carpark of Tesco. He has no friends. He loves Christmas. Around Christmas time he dresses up as Santa and robs local corner shops. Uncle Ricky is currently holding a shop owner at gunpoint as he robs the shop.. He’s a man cutting down trees and selling them for Christmas. He is wearing gloves and holding a chainsaw. There is a woman behind him telling him which tree she wants. The ground is covered with white snow. He is wearing boots and a big warm coat. There is a fresh smell of Christmas trees around the whole farm. He’s a tall slim, pale blue man with silver spiky hair. His eyes are dark blue and his nose is long and pointy. He’s slowly digging the white snow from the roads. He looks very sad and lonely. The snow has built up on the sides of the path. He has only scooped about three metres of snow off the long, narrow, icy road in what has felt like hours. He looks like he is listening to the small breeze and the silence and the crunching of the snow and the shovel. The air smells clean and fresh and crisp, and the man smells like that too. He doesn’t make any noise – it is as if he can’t. At the end of every scoop of snow he lets out deep but silent sighs.

Spring Paul is a tortoise 300 metres in length. His shell is a luscious forest. He moves slowly but is very intelligent and high spirited. He is 445 years old – so, moderately young for a tortoise his size. At the moment Paul is making a big hole that he can sit in to become part of the landscape. He is doing this so that he can get a new family of sheep to walk on his back and make it their home. Paul was born in Japan but now lives in Kiev. Most people don’t know he exists, despite his massive stature. From TY Arts Week—4DL and 4 ED


1st Year Fun Day The 5th year LCA had a Fun Day for the first years. It was on Monday the 18th of October from 1:50 to 3:50. My job was team manager and I had to mind of group of first years and help them go to each station. The games we had at the event were: 

Basketball free throw

Penalties shoot out

Bowling

Skipping

Ball and racket

I think the event went really well. I believe everyone did an amazing job at managing the first years. I noticed at times it became difficult to keep them calm as they were all excited about the games but I think we did a great job at managing them. The first years loved learning how to play the games we prepared for them and I think they enjoyed listening to and watching the people in my class explain and demonstrate the games to them. I learned a few different things from this event. I learned how important it is to be prepared. Another thing I learned was to be able to engage with people who are preoccupied with something. I often felt bad for interrupting the people in my class from their jobs to take pictures of them but I quickly learned if I make it a fun experience and encourage them to do whatever poses they liked and to ask them if they wanted their friends to join, they appeared to show more willingness towards the idea.

It was great weather on the day, sunny and clear skies. in the morning the group went around and organized each game. We talked about the scoring and how each game would be scored. Each first-year form had a different colour. There was red, white, blue, green and black. The day was a success, and everyone had great fun. There was a tiny hiccup for the music but other than that the event went smoothly. The 5th year loved organizing this event and even of the first year from teachers took part and enjoyed the event. I really enjoyed taking part in this event and would organize an event like this again. By Kirsten Gormley, 5th Year

During the planning of the event, I felt excited. I got assigned the role of the photographer for the day which I was really happy with. figuring out what I needed to plan and get ready in advance for. The event did feel stressful at times but I managed it well.

By Ella Buggy, 5th Year

On the day, I got up and I made sure I was wearing red for the 1st year fun day. In school we stated to prep in the morning for the day and got all the equipment we needed like clip boards and pens. The day ran smoothly with one or two little problems but everyone enjoyed the day. My job was team manager for the red team. I was responsible for looking after the 1st years on this team, taking them to each event and making sure they all knew where they were supposed to be.

I needed to wear something red so they knew who I was and I also needed a list of all the events and the times. When the event started some of the teachers were late. Because of this I then had to organise my team. This was supposed to be done before they got there. Our teacher had to blow the whistle to get everyone


attention and I had to shout to get my team to where they were supposed to be.

The whole event went well. It was the first time we ran an event like this and the first time I oversaw so many people. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I think I did my job very well. By Lana Kelly, 5th Year

On the day of the sports event for the first years there was a fair bit of tension in the room for us. I felt a few of us were a bit scared and worried but others I saw was excited and happy. I played a role as a goalkeeper, and I really enjoyed doing that. I have great memories of back when I was that age, and I was that competitive and wanted to win everything. It was nice to see some of the first years with the competitive drive I used to have. It kept me going throughout the event to keep making them smile. I thought the team leaders did well on the day and of course the form teachers and others were extremely helpful. By Fallou Niang, 5th Year

On Friday 15th we had our fun day. It included football kick-outs, tennis, basketball, bowling and last of all a relay race where they threw a ball up and under. My favourite activity was probably the relay race and bowling! By Leila Frankish, 1st Year


Living the Dream Thanks to Nicolas Reuland for indoor performance photos


A Midsummer Night’s Dream In the week of Storm Barra and the throes of escalating restrictions, Newparker Drama returned to the Hunter Theatre last week. It looked a little different: the performance and the tiny distanced audience shared the larger, better ventilated space on the floor of the theatre while the musicians held court from the stage. The backstage and wardrobe areas were outside. The audience was masked, outnumbered by the actors and probably a little chilly as the winds blasted through the open doors. But we were there and the actors, musicians, dancers, designers and stage crew put on a remarkable show.

Living the Dream… There are no words to describe the amazing experience of watching Newpark students bringing the Bard’s words to life. After a hiatus of working in the theatre for nearly two years, we’ve been back in there and outside working on my favourite Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. What a joy to see Newparkers having fun, being creative and of course in this play, behaving in a ridiculous manner. It’s such an absurd play about love, hate and everything in between that it seemed so right to perform this play now in 2021 when the world ‘is in terrible state of chassis’ as O’Casey aptly put it. As we auditioned many Newparkers for this play, we were once again struck by the immense talent that we have in this school. It was so difficult to cast but we did brilliantly as I hope many of you will get to see. We have also been astounded by the wealth of talent in our students in music, stage crew, make up, costume and dancing. All these elements plus our amazing actors have made a wonderful production. It hasn’t been easy with not only Covid 19 but Storm Barra making an appearance during production week as well! Thank you to so many people especially parents (for your costume donations, sewing and endless support!), the PTA, Bobby, David, the Sports Centre staff and most of all to my partner in crime, Anna Johnston. By Ms Devis

The Actors Being able to work on the production of A Midwinter Night’s Dream was refreshing in a lot of ways. For one, it was the first time I’d gotten to act in a proper project like this for about two years now, so coming back into it after that amount of time I felt reminded of just what

it is that I enjoy about all this.

As well as that, I think that the restraints of the last couple of years created a desire amongst the crew to make as much out of it as we could. Everyone on the team put so much effort into all aspects of this production; it was really nice to see that after all this time. It felt especially new when coupled with the fact that current restrictions inhibited us from producing the play the way we normally would. Obviously, it’s made a lot of aspects more difficult for us, but funnily enough, it’s actually opened up a door or two in terms of the process that we went through, like the fact that the play was actually filmed outdoors this year, which might never have happened otherwise. For me, in that regard, I almost found that some aspects of this felt like I was performing for the first time again. And then some aspects didn’t: it’s still a good old-fashioned Newpark production at heart, and like I said before, the effort and level of interest everyone put into this play was just excellent, and I’m really glad to have been a part of it. By Sunny Cooling (Quince) 6th Year

Being able to experience drama properly again, in the context of the year we've had, was an amazing experience. The amount of time, love and effort put into


this play is outstanding and a piece of spirit needed and missed at the moment. By Rosa Gildea (Hermia) 6th Year

Dancer and Choreographer It was an incredible opportunity to get to choreograph and dance for a play! It was so cool to be able to contribute to the senior play by doing what we love and every bit of it was just such a fun experience! By Clara Stanley, 5th Year

Musician and Actor For the past two and a half months, I have had the absolute pleasure of being involved in the Newpark Drama production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Being in my last year, I was excited to have the opportunity to work on and act in a school production one last time, especially considering the circumstances of the past year and a half. It was also my job to direct the music – and help realise Ms Devis’ 60s vision for the play via excerpts from bands like the Beatles, The Temptations and the Monkees. There were many ups and downs, such as disappearing sheet music and moments of panic trying to find enough musicians in time, but it all came together in the end and I am so appreciative of the amazing group of musicians that I worked with. It was a wonderful experience that I am so grateful to have

been a part of, and I’m glad we got to bring some music back into the school (by blasting Take Five by Dave Brubeck every Wednesday afternoon). By Rachel Baum (Titania) 6th Year

The Audience When viewing Newpark’s own performance of Shakespeare’s beloved play A Midsummer's Night’s Dream the audience was invited to enjoy a hilarious play full of amazing actors and well orchestrated scenes. Although Covid added complications to the presentation of the play, it also added to the comedy with Pyramus and Thisbe carefully donning masks to kiss through the chink in The Wall scene, and occasional actors forgetting to remove their masks on stage.

The acting was incredible, the music too. Our own friends and peers being in the spotlight made the play immensely enjoyable, and of course the execution and final performance was amazing. It couldn't have been better! The audience was not required to know the story itself beforehand either, the actors showed all we needed to know and kept us laughing throughout it too. It ended on a high with the cast dancing to I'm A Believer with 5th year student, Felix Sensbach who also played Lysander, performing the song alongside the band on the stage. It was incredible and definitely got the whole audience up and dancing. Newpark’s take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream truly was a highly enjoyable play to watch and we all were so proud of the team who pulled it off By 5th Year reviewers Cerys Hanlon, River Walton and Naomi Breen


Extra Drama I enjoyed drama because it’s a great place to step outside your comfort zone while having a fun and social environment, it’s a great place to hang out with your friends while also making new ones! We played drama games and overall just had a blast! We did plays recently where with the help of our leaders we directed a short play on one of a number of titles, we had a lot of fun coming up with parts, characteristics and especially unspoken but oddly specific backstories. Overall we had a great time and can’t wait to do the Junior Plays next year! By Beatrice Stewart Miller, 1st Year

Extra Drama for 2nd and 3rd years Thanks to Mr Martin and Ms Nolan we’ve been fortunate enough to run Drama for 2nd and 3rd years on Thursdays. They have braved the elements outside and had a huge amount of fun.

Actors, Directors and Writers! The Short Plays Festival will run in January and we need students and staff to get involved in all capacities. Our priority right now are scripts. Here are the requirements:    

No more than ten minutes long( approximately ten pages). Minimum of three characters It can include other languages (provided there are enough actors who can speak them) Due in by the 31st of December 2021. Any queries and scripts to be sent to Ms Devis: cathy.devis@newparkschool.ie


A Word from the PTA It’s hard to believe that Christmas is almost upon us! COVID continues to present challenges to all areas of Newpark school, including the PTA. We have remained active throughout the year, even though our activities are primarily online, and this lack of face-to-face social gatherings has made it difficult for new parents and guardians to become involved. During this year we have engaged in parent talks, fundraising events and supported school activities. Unfortunately health and safety restrictions prevented us from running our annual Christmas Market. We hope that this time next year we will be welcoming you all back to the GPA to eat festive treats, and do your Christmas shopping! We had our successful family online Bingo night in March, and two second-hand uniform sales over the summer. Fundraising events like this are important for us to be able to support school activities. During this year we were able to support our active and talented drama department through the Junior Plays and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Phoebe Crowe and Trisha McKinney have done brilliant jobs as secretaries over a number of years and we appreciate all their commitment and hard work. We are pleased to invite new members to the PTA committee and thank Richard Zipser for taking over the role of secretary. We wish everyone in the school community a lovely break, and look forward to all the activities that 2022 will bring! By Ziene Mottiar and Jonathan Chawke

We have also provided a set of classroom ukuleles for the music department. We supported a number of students attending the well-regarded Walton Club STEM programme run by Trinity College Dublin. In addition, as always, the PTA funds the school minibus, nurses supplies and sports first aid. A key element of our activities is the organising of talks for parents and guardians. We will soon be surveying parents to see what sorts of topics they would like to see covered in future talks, so keep an eye on your email for that. We also organized the Parent2Parent list for incoming first years which is always a helpful resource. Traditionally, Newpark PTA committee have organised a Debs reception in the GPA in Newpark, held in September. This has always been a very enjoyable event, and marks a milestone in the lives of students, parents and teachers. We had planned to organise a short reception outdoors this year, but unfortunately revised COVID restrictions forced a late scheduling change which made this infeasible. We recognise that the last two years have been difficult for everyone, not least the students who have completed their secondary school education under very challenging circumstances. We would like to acknowledge their achievements, and we wish them well. Things are also changing on the PTA committee, with some parents leaving as their children move on from Newpark, and new parents joining. Our chairperson Lizzy Pashley is stepping down after six years on the committee, of which two years were in the role of chair. We want to thank her for her commitment, infectious enthusiasm and hard work over this time. Similarly

Editor: Lesley Ring Newsletter Team: Anna Johnston, Cathy Devis, Flora Lyons, Naiara KingCasanellas, Charlotte Wride, Anna Shepherd, Alice Wolsey, Eva O’Donnell, Nakai Mudiwa, Cosima Vero, Seth Vella Murphy Cover Image: Nicolas Reuland Many thanks to all our contributors!