As we finish our first month back here is a reminder of some of the things we achieved last year during the school year. It is certainly a busy place when you see it written down and I have only covered a fraction of the things happening on a day to day basis.
Our Lady Queen of the Universe N.S. School Year 2016/17
The school year 2016/17 was another busy year at Our Lady Queen of the Universe N.S. 38 new Junior Infants started and had a great year as they settled nicely into their new school.
On the sporting front the school was tremendously successful. The football team was victorious in Division 1 of the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol competition giving some great displays and beating Benekerry N.S. in the final on a cold October evening. This was only the start of the sporting journey for a number of these girls as they were also victorious in the indoor camogie Division 2 final and the outdoor camogie Division 1.
The school also entered the Spar FAI 5 a side soccer championship with two teams representing us in the Carlow finals. One of our teams won the Carlow section and went forward to represent the school in the South Leinster finals where they also won their group and qualified for the Leinster final. Played on a beautiful sunny day in Navan, the girls started slowly but when they got into their stride they played some brilliant soccer. Unfortunately they didn’t win the group but did draw with the eventual champions showing how good they were overall. Members of this panel were Leanne Carroll, Wiktoria Gorczyca, Sinead McCullagh, Hollie Sinnott, Michaela Clarke, Shanice Midleton and Eimear Lillis.
We also had a member of staff Ms. Walsh win the All-Ireland intermediate camogie final with Kilkenny and we were delighted to welcome back some of our past pupils who won the junior title with Carlow on very successful day in Croke Park.
Students also took part in cross country and basketball as we sought to give students a wide variety of opportunities to experience sport and represent their school.
We were delighted to continue to work with Bagenalstown Improvement Group and John Murphy to enhance the landscaping around the school. Thanks to their input we won a prize at the Pride of place awards in the Operation Transformation category. This was awarded for the transformation of an unused portion of school ground into a planting/gardening area. Thanks to Mr. Cox and Ms. Connolly for their great interest in this project and the many parents who helped out along the way.
Our quiz teams in the local Credit Union quiz competition did very well again this year with Eimear Lillis, Katie Murray , Caoimhe Hickey and Gráinne Dermody winning the U-13 section and going on to represent us at the Chapter finals in Kilkenny.
Students from the senior classes in the school took part in Music Generation and received expert tuition from Alison Behan throughout the year. This culminated in a concert in St. Andrew’s where the children got to show the assembled audience their talents.
Great fun was had in our school yard after Christmas as we took part in the Operation Transformation 10 @ 10. The whole school congregated in the yard where we did ten minutes of exercise together. This took place over a number of weeks and showed that exercise can be great fun!
Throughout the year we also had visits from story tellers, pollination specialists and classes in willow weaving as these experts helped pass on their knowledge.
During the year a number of fundraisers were held in the school to help others. Our school community was touched by the story of Shauntelle Tynan and we raised over 900 euro to help her access treatment in America. Our sixth class also donated some of their Confirmation money to St. Lazerians house here in town and to Barrettstown. The annual shoe box appeal was very successful again this year with a large number of parcels packaged and shipped to needy children in other countries.
28 children received their Confirmation in St Andrew’s church along with the other schools in the parish while 27 received their Communion in a ceremony with St. Brigid’s school.
Fifth class took part in the One Book One Community project in conjunction with Bagenalstown Vocational school and other schools in the area. The class took the theme of the Titanic and incorporated it into many of their lessons across the curriculum while exploring the book “Spirit of the Titanic”.
John Amond came to our school again to coach badminton which is always very popular with our students
Students from our school played at half time in the Carlow vs Dublin senior football championship match in Portlaoise where the Carlow team gave a superb exhibition of girls football showing tremendous skills on the day.
Further success was had when Emma Power refereed the mini sevens game at half time in the All-Ireland hurling semi-final and Wiktoria Gorczyca played at half time in the Dublin vs Tyrone All Ireland football semi-final in front of 82000 people.
As part of the 1916 celebrations our school created our own proclamation. This was entered in a competition run by Carlow Museum and the school won. The prize was for a number of our students to attend a workshop where our school’s proclamation was printed using the same techniques as the original proclamation from 1916. The print was then given to the school for display.
2nd class was successful in the Someone Like Me national art competiton and two children visited Farmleigh house in Dublin to receive their prize. This competition raised awareness around disabilities and inclusiveness in schools. We were delighted to continue this awareness by installing new ramps on our exits and new doors for people with disabilities along with new disabled access toilets in the older part of the school.
Students in the school received internet safety awareness presentations and parents were offered an evening class in this very important area.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the school opening, Fr. Declan Foley celebrated Mass in the school hall for all our students. It was a privilege to have Sr. Gemma in attendance who was on staff when the school opened its doors. We then planted a tree to mark the occasion and the parents’ council paid for all the children to receive ice-cream to celebrate.
Grandparents Mass was also held in St. Andrew’s church and afterwards the grandparents were invited back to the school hall for some tea, biscuits and conversation.
The end of the school year marked the retirement of Ms. Mary Fitzgerald after 38 years teaching. Mary was a superb teacher and always worked extremely hard to enable the children in her care to perform to the best of their ability. A popular member of staff, Mary would always be available to give advice to newly appointed staff and to pass on the wisdom she had gained over the course of her long career. She is greatly missed this year but we hope she is enjoying her retirement.
For updates on our school throughout the year you can check our website www.QueenOfTheUniverseNS.com or follow us on Twitter @qofuns