24th May 2013


Last Thursday evening our Sixth year students said an emotional and heartfelt farewell to Coláiste Chraobh Abhann at their final graduation ceremony. A packed audience of students, staff and parents heard very moving speeches from Mr Evoy, Sixth year head, Eoin Codd, head boy and Holly Neary, head girl.  Mr Noel Golden, father of a graduating student and member of the Parents Council, spoke on behalf of parents.  A beautiful series of songs were sung by our Transition year choir, accompanied by sixth years David O’Brien and Eoin Codd, which added to the special occasion.  Also in attendance were Father Belton and Reverend Bennett from our local parishes. This evening was a wonderful opportunity for all staff and parents to formally wish all of our students the best of luck in their Leaving Certificate exams and for their future.  Many thanks to Ms Madden and Ms Armstrong for their work in preparing for this ceremony, and to all the teachers who have worked so hard to prepare the Sixth year students for their upcoming exams.


Representatives from DELL, the American computer multinational, made a special visit last week to Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, to spend time with Transition Year students explaining their programme ‘IT is not just for geeks’, which aims to get second-level students to think differently about careers in technology,  a sector where job growth is up to four times that of other sectors.  The programme allowed students to explore the idea that not only self-confessed IT ‘geeks’ are important in this industry, but a range of talents and expertise.  The programme also covered topics students are being exposed to in Careers class such as how to be successful in a work environment, and what you can do as a student to better prepare yourself for the world of work.  Some of our students are already gearing themselves towards technology-related career paths, such as biomedical and software engineering, and digital media.  Many thanks to the DELL representatives for a fascinating workshop and to Ms McDonagh for organising it.  


As part of our on-going Gaeilge initiative between our school and Newtown Primary school continued last week when 12 students from Fourth, Fifth and Sixth class spent the day at CCA doing a range of activities as Gaeilge, including sports with Mr Rice, our Irish and PE teacher, and a cookery class in the afternoon.  Many thanks to Ms Geoghegan, the Irish coordinator from Newtown Primary school, who accompanied the pupils on the day and has supported the initiative with CCA this year. 


This week our First, Second, Transition and Fifth year students are undertaking their annual summer house examinations.  Students have been preparing for these exams under the close supervision of teachers for several weeks, and we wish every student the best of luck.  These exams are a very important part of the year’s assessment.  Third and Sixth year students are doing revision classes as a final preparation for the Junior and Leaving Certificate exams. 


A special well done to all the students who achieved full attendance this year, and who were awarded medals at our annual prize day last week.  54 students achieved the award for their impeccable attendance.  Many more students were rewarded with certificates at weekly assembly, for excellent attendance throughout the year.  At Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, attendance and punctuality are considered an integral, essential part of a student’s success and achievement at school, and are delighted to observe an upward trend in our attendance rates every year. 


This week’s Transition year exhibition evening on Tuesday 28th May was an action-packed evening of exhibits, speeches and displays of our huge range of TY student achievement.  All Transition year students got the opportunity to showcase to parents and invited guests the imaginative and varied work which they have carried out this year.  From short films to mini-companies, environmental awareness projects and trips to different parts of Ireland and to Europe, students have tested themselves in a very wide variety of skills and team activities.  Many thanks to TY tutors Ms French, Ms Armstrong, Ms Tarrant and Mr McKenna, and to TY year head Mr Kennedy, for the huge commitment they have shown to the TY students this year.  


Our Transition Year students have also recently enjoyed an action-packed two day camping trip in Lough Dann. The group completed two 10km hikes over the Wicklow mountains and camped overnight in Lough Dann youth campsite.  Everyone enjoyed a bonfire, sing song and braved the weather on what proved to be a really enjoyable trip.  Many thanks to Mr Kennedy, Mr McKenna, Ms Armstrong and Ms French who accompanied the students on their trip and the many other teachers who helped out. 


Our annual summer holidays will commence on Friday, 31st May at 12.35pm.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank every member of our school staff, Board of Management, Parents Council and our parents for their huge commitment to the school over this past year.   It has been a year of many highlights, and we look forward to welcoming everyone, including our new First years, back in August after a well-deserved break. 

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