Copy
View this email in your browser


Waterford and Wexford Education
and Training Board


NEWSLETTER

 
May 2021, Issue 12

 
Chief Executive Welcome Message
 

Dear All,

As we approach the end of the 2020/21 academic year, I write to acknowledge all our staff across WWETB who have worked so hard over the past twelve months to ensure that our students and learners have received the best possible education and training across schools, further education and training (FET) settings, youthwork centres, music generation and outdoor education.

The seemingly never-ending challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic were seen at first hand across all our schools and centres. We went from openings to lockdowns and back to openings in schools while further education and training settings and other major programmes were disrupted significantly for the past twelve months.

I am very grateful for your professionalism and dedication throughout this most difficult time. Your work has ensured that our students and adult learners had the best possible education and training experience in the most trying of circumstances.

The advancement in digitilisation of education and training has been one of the great success stories of the past twelve months, in fact reaching back to March 2020 when the first lockdown occurred. While constant use of technology is by no means the answer to everything it has given us a very strong tool to support our pursuit of excellence in education and training. Your embracing of digital skills has been very heartening and will stand us all in good stead into the future.

Across the organisation, we are pleased that at a time of limited potential to develop some projects and activities, we have been successful in moving along school and FET building projects at a good pace which will ensure enhanced learning facilities and additional accommodation for our ever-increasing numbers of learners and staff. In addition to single out a few projects, the new intranet ‘staff hub’, our professional learning and development (PLD) policy and work on ‘ethos’ across post-primary schools gathers momentum. We continue to progress new projects as we strive to be continuously innovative and developmental.

Another great achievement over the past twelve months has been the increase in enrolment in our schools and additional learners in the very wide variety of FET provision. This is largely due to the work that is happening at the coalface in our education and training establishments but is also down to our senior managers and staff at school, FET centres and administrative offices who engage with the wider community, businesses, feeder schools, and other statutory and voluntary bodies across both counties.

The vision for WWETB in our Strategic Statement 2018-2022 states:
“WWETB aims to lead learning through the delivery of high quality, inclusive, responsive and innovative education and training services in our community.”

I believe that working together and adhering to our four core values of ‘Respect’, ‘Accountability’, ‘Learner Focus’ and ‘Quality’ we will continue to deliver for our communities in Waterford and Wexford.

I hope you and your families all stay fit, well, and safe. It would be wonderful to think that when we commence the next academic year that the health of the general community is such that public health guidelines can be significantly reduced from the present format. However, our number one priority will always be the health, well-being and welfare of our staff, students, adult learners, etc, and as a public body we will always adhere to national public health guidelines.

Please take time to read this newsletter to get a good insight into activities across the organisation for which you work. I am very pleased that WWETB and its constituent schools, centres, and programmes is very well regarded in our community and that is due in the main to yourselves, the staff of WWETB. 

On behalf of myself, the Board of WWETB and our Senior Management Team please keep well, enjoy the forthcoming break that hopefully you will all get and look forward to meeting with you in the near future.

 
Thank you for taking the time to read this message.

Best wishes,

Kevin Lewis 
Chief Executive


 

WWETB New Messaging Tagline

 
A Path to Learning for All

A Gateway To Your Future

Following a recent competition to identify new taglines for WWETB to use in its promotional material, the winning tagline chosen was ‘WWETB – A Gateway to your Future’. This tagline will be added to the brand guidelines, for use by our staff and for promotion of our education and training provision. Our existing tagline ‘A Path to Learning for All’ is also included in the brand guidelines and will continue to be used to promote WWETB.

Congratulations to our joint winners, WCFE Nursing Studies student, Alexandra Di Ruscio and Gina McGrath, Senior Staff Officer from the Procurement Department, who both submitted the new tagline. Great minds think alike!

Many thanks to all those who participated.

 


 

VTOS: A Snapshot Since 1989

VTOS – A Snapshot Since 1989 is a celebratory e-booklet of 30 years of VTOS. It includes contributions of Waterford VTOS, Dungarvan VTOS, Kilmacthomas VTOS and New Ross VTOS. WWETB VTOS programmes feature quite strongly nationally in this publication and WWETB takes pride in this.

Waterford VTOS features on page 31 and there are photos of Waterford VTOS graduates who started their own businesses at the beginning and end of the e-booklet: Paul Dower “Waterford in Your Pocket”; Michelle Dunne “Strong Roots; a Fashion Photoshoot in City Hall; Interior Design graduate, Ann Marie Brett Jennings, receiving an award from President McAleese in 2010. Ann Marie was one of ten students out of 1 million FETAC recipients – to receive this award and finally QQI Level 5 Craft Graduate, Selene O’Sullivan, who went on to Crawford Art College.

To view the full brochure please click here – VTOS_A Snapshot Since 1989

                 
An Academic Year in Review
Compilation Video

 
As we reach the end of an academic year like no other, we'd like to take a moment to thank everyone in our schools for their hard work this year.
Please click the video below to t
ake a look at some of the highlights of the school year from across our 13 schools!!
A special thank you to Sinead O'Hara, Education Coordinator for creating this video!

 

              


                             


Creating Ripples with Shielbaggan
Outdoor Education and Training Centre

 
On Monday 24th of May, Bridgetown College Transition Year (TY) students joined Shielbaggan Outdoor Education and Training Centre for the delivery of the very first Kayak lesson on Carrigfoyle Lake, Forth Mountain, Wexford.

Instructors taught Kayaking skills along with giving educational talks on local geography of the area. WWETB is partnering with Wexford County Council on an exciting new initiative which will see the building of a state-of-art facility at Forth Mountain for outdoor educatin, training and leisure facilities.
 



Email Communications and Data Protection
 
Email Communications and Data Protection
Over the last year electronic communications have taken on a new importance. Where previously colleagues would meet over by the photocopier to discuss issues and events, remote working has left employees highly reliant on electronic methods to communicate with colleagues.
Email is one of the most important means of communication and is often used to share sensitive personal data. With the increase in email volumes comes an increased risk and over the last few months WWETB has reported an increased number of data breaches.

These breaches have been noted by the Data Protection Commission (DPC) who has raised concern over email correspondence within WWETB.  Please review the below guidance published by the DPC:
Guidance relating to third parties accidentally in receipt of personal data relating to other individuals
Data Breaches and email correspondence
Most data breaches involving emails tend to be a result of human error. The most common mistakes include:
  • Email sent to incorrect recipient due to human error.
  • Email sent to incorrect recipient due to the message service predicting the recipients email address based on the first characters entered.
  • Attaching an incorrect document or hyperlink to an email.
  • Forwarding an email chain to an unintended/unauthorised recipient.
  • Email sent to multiple recipients using the ‘To’ or ‘Cc’ fields instead of the ‘Bcc’ field.
Unintended email disclosures, depending on the content, can result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of the data subjects affected. Before sending an email employees are reminded to take a few minutes to:
  • Ensure the appropriate recipient has been selected
  • Ensure the appropriate attachments have been selected
  • If sending to multiple external recipients use the BCC function.
  • Decide when it is more appropriate to use Blind Carbon Copy (BCC)?
Remember:
Bcc enables you to send an email to multiple recipients without revealing the email addresses of others contained within the recipient list). Cc allows everyone who receives the email to see the email addresses of all other recipients. If you need to send an email to multiple recipients where it is necessary to keep all recipients email addresses private, the ‘Bcc’ field should be utilised.

Reporting a data breach
The WWETB Data Protection Officer (DPO) must notify the DPC within 72 hours of becoming aware of any data breach so it is crucially important that staff report data breaches to the DPO immediately so the breach procedures can be initiated and reported to the DPC.
The DPO can be reached on dataprotectionofficer@wwetb.ie .By simply taking a few additional minutes to read emails before sending you can greatly reduce the risk of data protection breaches.

How can you help WWETB with IT Security - Think before you click
  • If you think that you have given your password to a rogue location, change your password immediately.
  • Make sure your IT Device is up to date (including mobiles)
  • If you need help changing passwords, please email the service desk ITHelpdesk@wwetb.ie
  • If you are in doubt or need IT Security advice, please email ITHelpdesk@wwetb.ie



Selskar College Readers for Life Award
 

Selskar College celebrated achieving its Wellread Readers for Life award at an online award ceremony on the 25th March 2021. Wellread is a national initiative run by PDST (Professional Development Service for Teachers) to create a heightened awareness of the importance of creating a reading culture in school communities for young people as part of their personal and academic development.

Thanks to the dedication of the Librarian, Lee Dickerson, and the teaching and support staff at Selskar College, a reading culture is firmly embedded in the school. The  J.C.S.P. (Junior Certificate School Programme) Library was established in the school in 2010 and since then the library has grown from strength to strength. Today the library is at the heart of teaching and learning at Selskar College. Amongst the initiatives run in the college are: the “book in the bag” policy for all students; reading time during tutor sessions; junior-cycle students having timetabled library classes; book clubs being organised for students, staff and parents and an extensive calendar of other events  promoting reading for pleasure.

The coronavirus may have curtailed some library activities but not reading promotion. A virtual library was created, classes and book club meetings moved online and the wellbeing benefits of reading widely publicised to students, staff, and parents. As we were reminded at the Awards Ceremony, now more than ever the quote by Mason Cooley that “reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are”, has added meaning during these difficult times.

Selskar College was one of six schools to receive the award and interesting to note is that five of the six schools have a school library. Research consistently shows the positive correlations between high-quality library programmes and student achievement. Three of the schools were also J.C.S.P. library schools, focused on supporting the literacy and personal development of students in DEIS schools.

Principal of the college, Denise Lennon-Hennessy, commented that she was “delighted Selskar College has been recognised for our excellence in reading and the award is a testament to the tremendous work being done every day in the college to promote reading and an appreciation of literature. We count ourselves very lucky to be part of the JCSP library scheme and to have the support of WWETB. ”
 

News from Human Resources


The Human Resources (HR) Department is delighted to welcome 2 new staff members to the team, Sandra Murphy and Maeve Bolton Lee.
Sandra will be leading the Contracts and Leave team and covering the area of Training and Development for staff. You can contact Sandra at sandramurphy@wwetb.ie
Maeve’s role will be project based on a two year fixed term contract supporting the transition to Payroll Shared Services.You can contact Maeve at maeveboltonlee@wwetb.ie


Dungarvan College – Coláiste Dhún Garbhán
 
Virtual meeting with Minister Simon Harris

On the 22nd of March, Dungarvan College – Coláiste Dhún Garbhán was delighted to host a virtual meeting with Simon Harris Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. The meeting was held to discuss the innovative one-year PLC course in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Operations which is delivered by Dungarvan College - Coláiste Dhún Garbhán, which is part of WWETB.

 

Speaking about the event, Principal, Danny Cunningham commented “This course is thriving due to a highly successful Community Partnership which has existed for four years between our College and GSK. The partnership originated following a collaboration between Dungarvan College - Coláiste Dhún Garbhán, GSK, Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber of Commerce, South East Regional Skills Forum and WWETB.”

 

WWETB CE, Kevin Lewis and WWETB Further Education and Training Director, Ken Whyte also joined the virtual meeting with Minister Harris along with staff from Dungarvan College - Coláiste Dhún Garbhán.  Representing GSK at the meeting was Ann Kingston, Learning & Development Advisor and past student of Dungarvan College - Coláiste Dhún Garbhán Una Mulligan. Una spoke highly of the benefits of the course; her comments were echoed by Dawn O’Shea, who is currently studying the course.  

 

Conor Tolan, Site Director, GSK, Dungarvan said “GSK is lucky to be part of the fabric of the Dungarvan community. We hugely value the capability of the talent in Waterford. Dungarvan College - Coláiste Dhún Garbhán is a key component in the development of this talent. Our partnership with the college has delivered us many valued employees over the years. Recently, students from the college have been a great support to us as we continue to manage our way through the COVID-19 pandemic. We are delighted to be in a position to offer excellent opportunities to our employees in a fast-paced consumer focused environment. I look forward to continuing our partnership with Dungarvan College – Coláiste Dhún Garbhán long into the future”. 

 

The progression rate of students from this course into employment is outstanding. There is huge potential for manufacturing jobs throughout the South East of Ireland. Many Dungarvan College – Coláiste Dhún Garbhán past students are now working in GSK. Many other past students have taken up employment in companies such as West Pharmaceutical, Abbott Vascular, MSD, Apple, Jamil and Kerrygold.

 

The WWETB Training Centre was pivotal in establishing this one-year full time course. This course is unique as it is the only Pharma PLC course in Ireland. Students on this course have the fantastic opportunity of being able to carry out their work experience in GSK Dungarvan. Teachers on this course have worked in the manufacturing industry previously and pass their real-life experiences onto the students. 

 

Following his visit Minister Harris added “I was really thrilled to pay a virtual visit today and to see the really important work taking place in Dungarvan College - Coláiste Dhún Garbhán. I also had the chance to speak to some of the learners and hear first-hand the invaluable role the College has played for them. I look forward to visiting the College in person soon.” 

 

If you have any queries regarding applying for the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Operations course, please contact dungarvancollege@wwetb.ie 


Scenic Views & Poetry


Dungarvan office staff sent in views from the general area from where they live. The pictures which were sent in were beautiful. Some fabulous poems were also sent in:

MY HAIR LAMENT
My lockdown hair has me demented,
I’m looking like something the Aliens invented,
With straggly locks all over the place
The only advantage is they’re hiding my face.
 
I’m gradually hiding all the mirrors I own,
They’re a horrible reminder of the crown I’ve now sown,
Resembling a Scarecrow wasn’t something I wanted,
I look like I’ve exited a house that was haunted.
 
I really do wish that Government would allow,
Our salons to open their doors RIGHT NOW
Our hairdressers I know will get a great fright,
When they see us emerge... what a spinechilling sight,
But hopefully it won't be too long more,
Til normal services to our locks are restored,
‘twil be like winning the lottery I hear you all say,
So please open the Salons and Barbers TODAY!!!!!!


 
COVID Connect
Twelve months neglect of our souls
Social media on a roll with internal trolls
Social circles getting smaller and smaller
Where it’s far more difficult to see the world in full colour.
Muted Shades appear to dominate over life’s vibrant reflections.
We have come quiet with too much time for introspection.
Needing to talk about thoughts and our feelings but thwarted by COVID’s evil machinations
Troubles are rife, civil unrest and riots on the increase.
Isolations, 2 meters distance, bubbles and 5 km treks all part of our daily diets.
What do we want? What do we need?
Positivity over negativity, love over hate should be our new creed
While we’re together but apart we need to continue to believe that in 2021 we can achieve a new dream
To touch, kiss and hug to properly grieve



Bunclody Adult Education Centre

 
A massive well done to the Bunclody Youth Connections participants who have together contributed 55+ Hours of Community Involvement this year as part of their Gaisce Bronze Award.
👏👏👏👏


Waterford Womens Centre Bonnet Project

 
WWETB Community Education Programme have proudly funded Waterford Womens Centre Bonnet Project. The Bonnet Project teaches hand and machine sewing of bonnets in a relaxed and friendly environment.

25,566 women were transported as convicts from Ireland to Australia and Tasmania (Van Diemens Land) between 1788 and 1853. Approx 300 were from Waterford.

A cloth bonnet, taken from an original 1860’s servants bonnet, is created to remember each of the women who were forgotten. Many women were transported simply for being poor and when given opportunities in Australia and Tasmania flourished and contributed to the growth of emerging nations.

Please see the link below for a short video on the bonnet project which has just been launched. http://waterfordwomenscentre.com/?p=1059


Enniscorthy Vocational College News

 
Creative Writing Success at EVC
We are very proud to announce that second year students Kelsey White Burke and Katie Nolan have succeeded in having articles published in the Irish Times Fighting Words supplement. The annual publication takes submissions from students across Ireland and is judged by a panel of established writers. Enniscorthy Vocational College is the only school from Co Wexford to feature this year.
 
Alan Gilsenan of the editorial committee commended the writing saying it "delve(s) into the possibility of imagination,"  "these pieces of writing capture something of the true energy and resourcefulness of our younger generation".
 
Kelsey and Katie are part of a strong tradition of creative writing at EVC. The Creative Writing Club has nurtured many young writers and celebrated much success in recent years. 

 

Wellness Week 2021
Enniscorthy Vocational College ran its annual Wellness and Active week for Junior Cycle students from May 4th to 7th.There was a great buzz and excitement around the school as our first, second and third-year students took part in a range of activities during the week.
Each morning teachers had the option of bringing their classes for a ten-minute walk on the school grounds, which proved very popular with staff and students.

Breaktime saw the limbo, skipping, basketball free throw and hula hoop challenges ongoing in different locations around the school, with students getting involved within their own year group. Even some of the staff joined in the fun!!

Each day the students also had another opportunity to get involved in fun contests such as the sack race, penalty shootout, welly throwing (wellies provided courtesy of Ms. Kennedy), poc fada as well as an obstacle course where the students had to balance a beanbag on their head as they made their way across benches around cones and under nets! Friday saw plenty of involvement and enjoyment from all during the relay events!

Students were also given the opportunity to sit and connect with their peers in a device free (socially distanced) timetabled class. They were provided with refreshments from the school management to enhance the experience. This was very popular with the students due to the necessity of being apart during distance schooling in lockdown.

The student council was busy organising its fundraiser for Pieta House. It raised approximately €200 for the charity, which was a wonderful achievement .

Creativity was to the fore in our Wellbeing poster competition for our first-year students. In their creations, the students demonstrated a wonderful understanding of wellness, incorporating themes from physical activity to mental health, nutrition and the importance of rest.

Our school “Word of the Week” was “Motivation” - another key factor in staying well. Pupils explored the definition of the word, and what motivates them in their own interests, after which they created a sentence with the word “motivation “in it.

Many thanks go to our teachers, SNAs and management for supporting the week by getting involved, running activities and providing medals and refreshments.



News From Quality Assurance
 

Inaugural Statutory Review of FET Quality in ETBs

WWETB is currently engaged in a wide-ranging institutional review of FET Quality Assurance, which will result in a publicly published Self Evaluation Report submitted to QQI in June 2021.  The aim of the inaugural review is to provide an independent external evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of the quality assurance procedures within WWETB. The scope of the inaugural quality assurance reviews will be the quality assurance arrangements established WWETB within its area of operation pertaining to education and training provision (excluding first and second-level school provision) and corporate related services.  It is organisational and cross-functional in nature and not just a review of QA.

A Self Evaluation Steering Group has been in place since November 2020 and the project is being led by Alan O’Gorman (Quality Manager) and Alan Larkin (QA Officer).  Widescale consultation has taken place including surveys of Learner, Practitioner, Manager/Coordinator, Employers, Training Partners and Work Experience Providers. Focus groups were carried out with Learners, Practitioners, Coordinators and Administrative Functions.  A first draft of the report was issued for consultation on the 21st April.  Following the first draft focused consultation with various stakeholders took.

An External Review including 5-day panel visit on national and international experts will follow from 15th -19th November 2021.  The external review will involve up to 40 meetings and 200 WWTEB staff and stakeholders. A publicly published external review report will follow.  In September/October the Quality Team will be holding multiple briefings detailing the actions that have come out of the Self Evaluation and preparing the large number of staff and learners that will be engage in the external review.



A New Mental Health Support Service for Apprenticeship
Waterford and Wexford Training Centres

 
The overall vision of the Learner Support Service for Apprenticeship is to create a more inclusive environment for apprentices at Phase 2 and facilitate them to achieve positive learning outcomes, become more engaged and focused and as a result improve and reduce attainment inequality.

The humanistic philosophy of the service is underpinned by WWETB’s Strategy Statement (2018-2022) and its explicitness in terms of the values it places around the learner focus, respect and quality. The Learner Support Service recognises a capabilities approach which is learner-centred and directed.

In line with this, a Mental Health Support Service was set up in May, 2021. The aim was to facilitate the Learner Support Service in promoting positive mental health and resilience of apprentices at Phase 2.

The key actions included creating and supporting effective partnerships and alliances, translating evidence based knowledge for the effective implementation of this health promotion strategy and a promotional campaign which will support a seamless referral to a Counselling Service.

This service will co-exist with support information around dealing with exam stress, personal resilience, managing conflict, coping with challenges and dealing with emotions.
For further information with regard to this new and exciting element of Learner Support, have no hesitation in contacting joannpower@wwetb.ie


Skills For Work
 

A Response to Debenhams during the Covid-19 Pandemic
 
WWETB provides work-based learning and educational opportunities under the Skills for Work Initiative under the management of the Services to Business Unit (Waterford Training Centre) in collaboration with Michael Kirwan (AEO) and the Adult Literacy Teams. The Skills for Work initiative is part of the Irish Government’s National Skills Strategy (2025) and the programme responds to demands and developments within various workplace settings.  The focus of the Skills for Work programme is upskilling basic skills within the workplace covering digital skills, literacy and numeracy. 
 
In March 2020, just as the first lockdown was announced in Ireland as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, large retail stores closed their doors for business. One group of workers never returned to their employment as the Debenhams chain in Ireland went into liquidation. WWETB explored the course options could be offered to the staff at such short notice, also given that because of lockdown the options were limited.
The Skills for Work Coordinator (WWETB) connected the learners and their needs to the expertise of the Adult Literacy Services in Waterford City (Jackie Browne) and Tramore (Margaret Howard) and two Career Preparation courses (QQI Level 3) commenced. The courses had to be developed and delivered on-line due to lockdown restrictions and they both covered topics such as Personal Skills, Career Profiling, Types of Employment Contracts, Cover Letters, CVs and Interview Skills. Two of these learners in Tramore progressed to full time courses in September 2021 and the remaining three learners expressed interest in attending part time courses with WWETB. One learner in Waterford City pursued a full-time design course in VTOS as a result and four learners gained accreditation at QQI Level 3.
 
Some of the Debenhams workers had long years of service and this situation was handled very sensitively by the tutors, Deirdre Keohan and Maria Butterfield. Their support ensured that the WWETB was able to respond in unchartered territory and circumstances and address a genuine need for workers at a very vulnerable and difficult time in their working career. 
The flexibility of the Skills for Work initiative ensures that the most vulnerable within the workplace are not left behind.
 
For further information with regard to Skills for Work Programmes, please contact Joann Power, Skills for Work Coordinator in the Waterford Training Centre or at joannpower@wwetb.ie



Professional Learning and Development
 
We are delighted that the Professional Learning and Development policy has been approved for all staff in the organisation. This will give staff an opportunity to learn in a supportive way, for their own benefit and for the benefit of students and learners.

Opportunities for Professional Learning and Development have been available to FET staff for some time. We continue to see an impressive level of engagement by FET staff in professional learning and development (PLD). This is evident in the increasing numbers availing of centrally organised activities and requests for course funding support.

In 2020, 27 staff were funded under our Individual Support scheme. Staff undertook these activities outside of work hours, with courses ranging from level 6 modules up to PhD. Already in 2021, we have received and approved 33 applications. A new PLD Policy with FET procedures will be in operation from July, which will continue to reduce financial barriers and obstacles.

In 2020 254 FET staff also engaged in a variety of other PLD activities. These included lead-initiatives such as a TEL Level 8 with NUIG and MU’s Programme Design and Validation. Short WWETB central offerings included FESS’s ‘Unpacking Learner Feedback’ and CCE’s ‘Developing Creativity for our Learners’. So far in 2021 activities have included 2-hour sessions with Impact Training for staff in leadership roles, and self-directed e-learning with Wriggle Connect.

It should be noted that 23 WWETB staff were recently part of a major roll-out of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in FET and HE. This will be delivered again in October and we encourage as many staff as possible to sign up.

Our FET PLD SharePoint and Team is proving to be a very effective and efficient way to manage PLD communications, now with 420 Members.

Obviously, foreign travel has been on hold, with three major Erasmus mobilities postponed until 2022. We are continuing with online activities, including a ‘Blether’ with Education Scotland. The new Erasmus 2021-27 programme will allow for a fast-track application process which will allow more FET staff avail of fully funded opportunities in job shadowing or training around Europe.

An area for improvement in PLD is the capturing, making visible and sharing of this knowledge gained by staff. This could be through short MS Team’s presentations or staff profiles on our FET PLD SharePoint. Learning Networks also need to be developed. Suggestions into how we approach these areas are welcome.

Finally, thank you and well done to all FET staff for your enthusiasm, engagement and commitment to all forms of professional learning and development over the past year.
    


Community Education

 
Courtown Local Training Initiative (LTI) returns to Practical Classes
The Courtown LTI is delighted for the return of learners in small pods to their workshop. Painting, decorating, floor and wall tiling are examples of the practical modules delivered as part of the Employability Skills level three major award. This is a great opportunity for young learners to try out these trades before they commit to an apprenticeship. Success at a level three for these learners gives them confidence to continue in training and develop new skills. Uncredited training projects at present include creating mosaic pictures. All learners must create a mosaic picture which will be displayed in the learning hub of the LTI.

Courtown LTI Poetry
A wonderful poem has been written by Courtown LTI learner, Sarah Larkin (in a day) on her experience of their Health and Wellbeing 5k a Day challenge. I think we can all agree that Sarah is exceptionally talented.

Well done Sarah & Thank You for sharing this with us.

Health and Wellbeing in Courtown LTI
Courtown LTI completed a 5km a Day Challenge in the last 2 weeks of February. Its sister LTI Gorey Training Initiative joined in and 3 teams comprising of learners and staff took on the challenge. Between them they completed a staggering 2191.77kms the equivalent of 52 marathons. The challenge was completed as a team building exercise but also to create healthy habits for health and wellbeing. The group had just started in January and it was a fantastic exercise for group bonding. Learners’ mental health also benefited greatly creating friendships and healthy habits which they are all still continuing.

Local Training Initiative (LTI) Collaborations
 
A series of collaboration sessions were held by Community Training Officers Susan Sheahan and Noel Hackett for LTI’s in Spring 2021. In the absence of physical networking meetings, these sessions gave groups with similar programmes the opportunity to share ideas and create support a network for the future. These network groups allowed for space to meet and discuss concerns about any issues they faced.
Groups have gone on to link in with each other and drop in to online classes to share techniques and stay connected. We hope to look forward to returning to centres and network in person this Autumn.
 


Bridgetown College

 
Irish Cancer Society
Bridgetown College turned YELLOW on March 26th last for The Irish Cancer Society’s Annual Daffodil Day. All teachers and students participated in a ‘wear yellow day’ in school with others completing a virtual 5km walk/run while wearing yellow at home. The staff and students in Bridgetown College wish to express a big thank you to everyone that contributed to this fundraiser, raising over €2500 for the Irish Cancer Society. Well done to all involved.

Air Quality Research
We took part in https://www.globe.gov/web/ireland/home/overview-of-air-quality-campaign. TY students placed three nitrogen dioxide tubes around the school. These were left for two weeks and then sent off for analysis. 7.7μg/m3 was the highest recorded, this was in the beside the bus park. It is important to note, that any level of NO2 is a risk to our health and environment. As NO2 can negatively affect our lungs and make pre-existing conditions such as asthma worse, any exposure to it, even if well below the limit, may damage health. Every reduction in the level of NO2, will likely benefit respiratory health. It is also important to remember that NO2 is just one part of determining overall air quality. There are other air pollutants that can seriously affect our health, such as, particulate matter (pm), ozone (O3) and sulphur dioxide (SO2).

Congratulations Laura - Wexford Student Enterprise Award Winner

Congratulations to Lauren Williams, TY, on being placed first in the Senior Category of the Wexford Student Enterprise Awards. She went on to represent Wexford in the national competition. Lauren was awarded 2 prizes in the National Finals of the Student Enterprise Awards. She won Best Commercial Potential for her product Irish Sea Mist and a Special Merit for Intellectual Property Rights. On behalf of the whole school community, we would like to congratulate her on her hard work and achievements. We would also like to give a special mention to Ms. Fortune and Mr Treacy, Lauren’s teachers, for their support of Lauren and her enterprise. We could not be prouder!

 

Green Schools Photography Competition Results


In March, Bridgetown College held its first Green Schools Photography Competition.  This year’s theme was “Springtime in my 5km”. Congratulations to the Overall Winner LC1 student, Darren O’Neill for this beautify entry of a Swan at Sunset.

Team Building Activity Mornings
Bridgetown College Transition Years (TY) organised a 1st Year activity morning. The morning was topped off by a visit from the ice-cream van! Great fun was had by all.

Bridgetown College 2nd year students were blessed with a fabulous sunny day for their activity morning, which was organised by 5th year students. Once again the ice-cream van helped to cool everyone down after a morning filled with fun.

Over the last couple of weeks, the Transition Years completed their fully certified barista 1 training. Their newly acquired skills were put to the test today when they opened their very own pop up coffee shop. The freshly brewed coffee and selection of treats were very much enjoyed by their customers - especially the teachers! Well done TY!
 
 

Teacher Vs Student Challenges
A recent Teacher Vs Student Challenges proved a great success and were a source of great entertainment. The teachers were great sport and certainly rose to the occasion, winning 23 out of the 32 challenges.  The challenges were imaginative and truly tested the endurance of all who took part in Wall Sits, Basketball Shoot Outs, Press Ups, Plank, Burpees, Squats, Hang Tough, Draughts, Hurling Penalties, Chop Stick Challenge, Laps, Sprints, Egg and Spoon Race, Football Challenges etc.This event was so much fun we’re bound to see it return again next year, well done to all who took part and helped to organise such as fun event.


Adult Learner Festival 2021

WWETB Further Education and Training celebrated a very successful Adult Learners Festival from the 1st to the 5th March 2021. The overall theme of this year's Festival was Building Back Better Together #BetterTogether.

For the first time ever WWETB celebrated virtually through Teams, Zoom and the WWETB YouTube channel. Each day had a specific theme; Monday was Sustainable Development Through Education, Tuesday was The Learner Voice, Wednesday was Health and Well Being, Thursday was Social Inclusion and Friday was Third Level Access and Engagement.

Despite the lack of face to face contact and the human connection so important in Adult, Community and Further Education, once again we highlighted the many stories connected to our provision.
Please click on the links below to get a flavour of the work promoted during the week.
 
United but Divided - In July 2020, a documentary was filmed to capture the impact COVID-19 restrictions had on the lives of Waterford Women's Creative Cocoons members.   

Waterford Women’s Creative Cocoon launch their eight-minute documentary about their experiences during Covid--19 lockdown.
 
Click the image to play video
 
                          


FAI Player Development LTI  
Here is a video from a former LTI learner Oisin Griffin, explaining how the programme has helped him to progress further in his education. 
 
Click the image to play video
 
                    


Kennedy College
 
Kennedy College JCSP Summer Celebration
Kennedy College third-year JCSP students were recently awarded their Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement.

Each student received an in-depth analysis of their strengths and competencies in all subject areas, a reference, and a trip down memory lane as Ms Meyler and Ms Sutton treated our third-year students to a slideshow that meandered through their three years in Kennedy College.
Students then enjoyed some food to end the celebration.

Thank you to our JCSP coordinators, Ms Meyler and Ms Sutton, for their hard work throughout the year. Well done to all students on such a marvellous achievement.

Kennedy College Awards Celebration
The students at Kennedy College were rewarded for their efforts during the 2020-2021 academic year at the recent Kennedy College Awards celebration.
 
During the afternoon of the 25th of May, the awards celebration was streamed to all classrooms from a central outdoor location. Students were rewarded for attendance, engagement, effort, excellence and involvement in extracurricular and school initiatives.
 
Principal Mr Michael Weafer wished all staff and students an enjoyable and safe summer. He also spoke about the importance of connecting with others as he encouraged students and staff to be mindful of their health and wellbeing over the coming months.

Kennedy College Transition Year Graduation
Kennedy College Transition Year students recently took part in an end of year graduation celebration. Ms Meyler, TY coordinator, gave credit to the transition year group and commended their resilience and commitment. Although the 2020-2021 academic year was disjointed and not without challenges, Ms Meyler outlines a range of local activities and initiatives the group were involved in that ensured Transition Year was a fruitful year. Students engaged in the GAA leadership programme, went fishing, visited local historical sites and attractions, had fun days and activities on-site, organised active week and activity days for other year groups and got involved in various mini companies.
Well done to all students, and thank you to Ms S Meyler for coordinating a year packed full of fun and safe activities.
 

Gone Fishing
Every year, in April and May, the school 1st Year students are brought fishing as an extracurricular activity. This year, Transition Year and 3rd Year students we also invited to take part on separate days.
 
All students had an enjoyable day out. Students and teachers benefit as they get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere. Fishing took place at Oaklands Lake, a well-stocked lake built to support angling in the New Ross locality.

Most students would not have fished previously. As a result of this exposure, many take up fishing as a hobby to unwind and get away from it all. No previous experience is necessary. Tutors are on hand to teach the many necessary skills, such as linking a hook onto the line, casting a line safely, and reeling in the line. This is all carried out in a safe and friendly environment.

Each year many fish are caught, and the joy and excitement on people’s faces make this a most valuable experience.


Good Luck and Best Wishes
Best wishes to all of the Kennedy College students sitting the Written Leaving Certificate Examinations over the coming weeks. We wish all students a bright and prosperous future.

Kennedy College wishes all WWETB staff and students an enjoyable and safe summer.



 
St Declans
 
Retirement Well Wishes
We would like to wish our colleague and friend, Siobhán Browne, all the best, as she embarks on her retirement. A teacher is responsible for shaping the lives of the young people in their care and none have done so with more care and compassion than Siobhán.  She is a valued and well-respected member of staff and will be sorely missed by all in St. Declan’s Community College.     

5th Year Mentors Programme
Fun memories were made during the mentor’s 1st Year field day 2021 held recently.  The 5th  Year mentors went above and beyond to ensure the 1st Year students could still participate in the traditional End-Of-Year field trip. They carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment and made all the necessary adjustments to the event to ensure it could proceed. The sun was shining, and the day was a great success.
 
STEPS Engineering Success
Congratulations to Transition Year (TY) students Fionn Bowdren and Ultan McCusker who won second prize in the sustainability category at the STEPS Engineering workshops recently.
 
DIY
Well done to the Transition Year students and their Construction Studies teacher, Mr. Walsh, for making these beautiful picnic benches for our school. The students are thrilled to have the additional picnic tables and recreation space.
Cross-Curricular Success
Students recently made Bodhrán’s with Michael Vignoles. This has been a very successful cross curricular venture with the Art and the Music Departments supporting this worthy workshop.
 

European Air Quality Campaign
Ms. Walsh and Ms. Bowdren’s Science students are taking part in the Globe Air Quality program which is monitoring Nitrogen dioxide levels across Ireland and globally.
 


Bunclody Vocational College
 
Amber Flag Bunclody Vocational College
What started as a discussion in the staffroom in December came to fruition in April as Bunclody Vocational College completed it's Amber Flag week.

Amber Flag is an initiative by Pieta House to encourage positive mental health in our schools and to raise awareness about the importance of positive mental health.
 
As a school, we felt that because of lockdown and ongoing challenges this year, it was an ideal opportunity to engage with the Amber Flag movement. A number of our Transition Year (TY) students, with the support of the Student Council, ensured that this was a whole school initiative.

A committee was formed, and an Amber Flag board was put up in a prominent place, thanks to our caretaker Tom.
 
A meeting took place on the day we arrived back from lockdown and the following activities were conceived; poster competitions, raffle, guess the amount of sweets in the jar, car wash for staff, bake sale and a non-uniform day.

There was also ‘Alright to be different’, ‘odd socks’ and ‘crazy hair’ Days. Students also had a no-homework day and were asked to go home and enjoy the afternoon in wherever their happy place is. We called this ‘Wellness Wednesday’.

Students were provided with information packs regarding positive mental health and strategies to use to enjoy positivity. Over €1,000 was raised for Pieta House.
 
Following all the hard work by students and staff, Bunclody Vocational College was notified that it would receive its Amber Flag.
 
 
Wexford County Enterprise

Congratulations are extended to Pierce Deane who recently won a Merit Award at the Wexford Student Enterprise Awards. Pierce is pictured here receiving his award. His company, Magical Mirrors designed and manufactured beautiful bespoke glass products.
 
We may well see more from this enterprising young man into the future!
 
 
Creative Schools
Bunclody Vocational College is delighted that our school has been selected as one of the 160 schools that will participate in the Creative Schools programme 2020/2021.

Creative Schools is a flagship of the Creative Youth plan – led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Departments of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Education and Children & Youth Affairs. Since its inception in 2018, 462 schools including primary, post primary schools, DEIS and special schools have joined the initiative.

Creative Schools aims to give our children and young people the opportunity to experience creativity as an integral part of their education, placing the arts and creativity at the centre of school life.

The long-term aim is that every school will be able to fully embrace the arts and creativity, ensuring a positive experience and strong outcomes for children and young people.

Over the course of two years the project will help us to understand, develop and celebrate the arts and creativity. We receive funding from the Arts Council, to help us develop and implement a Creative School Plan  to suit our students especially.

We also receive the support of a Creative Associate who develops an individual school plan and creates links between the school, and arts and cultural organisations. Our Creative Associate is Órla Bates.
Olympic Medal Winner
We would like to congratulate the fantastic achievement of one of Bunclody Vocational College’s first year students. Sarah who recently received a medal for her performance in a virtual Special Olympics competition.

We are all delighted for her and are very proud of her achievement. The news was the perfect positive start we needed to our final term of school.

Waterford College of Further Education (WCFE)
 
WCFE Sound Engineering Course - Level 6
Waterford College of Further Education is looking for musicians and digital music creators on our Sound Engineering and Music Technology course, Level 5, at WCFE. We need creatives, DJ's, musicians of all genres to enjoy our professional recording studio and digital radio studio. We also offer radio training and music video production training using industry software. We want to teach you everything you need to know about making music.
This course offers you progression routes to Third Level at home and abroad or, the opportunity to go straight into the music industry. Former students are now successful artists, signed to record labels, and present on live radio stations.
 
 Click Image to Play WCFE Sound Engineering Course Video


      


 
Graduate Show 2021
A video was created to showcase selected work from this year's Art and Design, Photography, and Journalism students. Three courses, two departments, the very best of WCFE creativity.
 
 Click Image to Play Video

            
 
Work from departments featured in this video include the Art Department & Media Department course, the Art & Design Portfolio Photography & Digital Media Journalism course and the Photography & New Media course.
To find out more visit www.wcfe.ie
 
 
Music Generation Waterford 
 
Music Generation Waterford Guitar students meet luthier from Uruguay.
 
Did you know there are at least 5 different types of wood in a guitar?

You do now! Music Generation Waterford classical guitar students recently discovered the art of guitar making with luthier Martina Costa Rama from Uruguay. With the help of musician educator Jennifer Hartery and the magic of Zoom, young musicians from our Waterford City Music Hub and Kilmacthomas National School programme attended a one-day workshop where they took a virtual tour of Martina’s workshop now based in Woodstown, Co. Waterford.

During the workshop, young musicians were inspired to be curious, measuring, shaping and exploring their own classical guitars, learning about wood bending with hot iron tools and wood turning,  as well as lattice, fan and radial strutts that strengthen the guitar belly and determine the sound.

Martina also showed us her Japanese Clapping System… which was fascinating! Learners were also treated to an exclusive sneak peek of Martina’s current project; a classical guitar with bespoke design rosette which hugs the sound hole and is made out of over 200 hand cut dried sycamore tiles.

Music Generation Waterford and the young musicians are looking forward to building this exciting new friendship with Martina and hopefully visiting the workshop someday soon.

“Thank you so much for taking the time to create this inspiring experience for my daughter, she really enjoyed the lesson and the talk following up which was full of information about guitars’’
– Caoimhe’s mam
 



WWETB OUR CORE VALUES


Share Stories in the WWETB Newsletter

 
If you have a news update that you would like to appear in the next
issue, please email
newsletter@wwetb.ie 

 

There Is A Path To Learning For All
         
Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
YouTube
Copyright © 2020 WWETB, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
newsletter@wwetb.ie

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.