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Waterford and Wexford Education
and Training Board


NEWSLETTER

 
March 2021, Issue 11

 
Chief Executive Welcome Message
 

Dear All,

I am grateful for the opportunity to write this message for the Spring 2021 Staff Newsletter.

The period since Christmas has been very frustrating for all of us working with WWETB as we strive to ensure that our students and adult learners continue to receive the best possible education and training we can provide.

I am very proud of all the efforts that have been made by staff across our schools, FET centres and offices during the pandemic, over the past two months in particular, during a period in which we had all hoped that some form of societal normality would have been in place. I am very conscious of the great difficulty many staff will have been experiencing due to working from home with all the work distractions that necessarily entails and which unfortunately for many staff will continue to be the norm for another period of time. We are very aware of the well-being challenges that all of this can create for some staff and we are anxious to support staff in any practical way we can. The strictly confidential Employee Assistance Programme is available to any staff who wish to avail of it. Click here for contact information.  

As an organisation we have endeavoured to ensure the best possible access to remote learning, and this is down to the great efforts of staff and management right across the schools, centres and offices in Waterford and Wexford. Our ICT and Digital Learning Teams have excelled in this regard providing constant IT technical support and both practical and innovative teaching and learning practices. Across the community there is now a ray of hope with the vaccination programme being rolled out.

The light at the end of the tunnel within WWETB is slightly more visible in the fact that the schools and many FET centres are starting to re-open, albeit in a limited way. I wish all involved the best of luck in this regard and we will ensure that all premises are as safe as they can possibly be for all re-openings. Can I ask all of you to ensure that all Covid-19 guidelines are followed and to continually be on your guard, within reason, to encourage our students and adult learners to comply with all the guidelines. Adherence to these guidelines will maximise the opportunity for us all to ensure the safest possible workplaces for you, education facilities for students/adult learners and indeed the wider community.
 
In spite of all the limitations some very positive developments have occurred across the school building sector in the past short while. A Design Team has now been appointed for our 1,000 pupil post-primary school replacement for Selskar College at Clonard, Wexford Town and St. Paul’s Community College in Waterford City has been sanctioned to expand to 1,000 pupils with the consequent vastly enhanced facilities that will come with that. Good progress has been made on large building projects at Bridgetown College, Bunclody Vocational College, Meánscoil San Nioclás An Rinn, Dungarvan College-Coláiste Dhún Garbhán and St. Declan’s Community College, Kilmacthomas. Indeed, we will be lodging a formal application for a new 1,000 pupil school for St. Declan’s very shortly. Applications for additional accommodation at Coláiste Abbáin Adamstown and Coláiste an Átha Kilmuckridge are also in the short-term pipeline. In addition, we are very pleased to be opening recently sanctioned special classes at Kennedy College, New Ross and Bunclody Vocational College in September.

We expect to be making announcements of exciting new building developments in Further Education and Training across both counties very shortly and building is well advanced to open a new Youthreach centre in Gorey for September. Our partnership arrangement with Wexford County Council in relation to the launch of the new Outdoor Education Training and Adventure Centre at Forth Mountain near Wexford Town has advanced significantly following sanction from the Department of Education for us to take out a long-term lease on a new state-of-the-art building on the site to accommodate what we plan will be one of the most outstanding facilities of its kind in the country at the most scenic of locations. Youth services has continued to be supported right across both counties despite the limitations within which our staff operate and Music Generation continues to amaze with the variety of innovative and successful initiatives constantly being rolled out. Our three offices have been closed for almost a year at this stage but despite that unhelpful situation, our staff continue to provide an excellent service across so many areas of Human Resources, Corporate Services and Finance. Indeed, our staff are involved in several national administrative developments including payroll and financial shared services. 
 
I hope this Newsletter gives you a snapshot of some of the wonderful work taking place across our WWETB schools and FET centres and we are always open to new and innovative ideas from our staff across the organisation.  If you have an idea you think we should try to advance, please share your thoughts by email to newsletter@wwetb.ie
Thank you for taking the time to read this message.

Best wishes,

Kevin Lewis 
Chief Executive



WWETB Staff Hub is Here!

 
We are delighted to announce the launch of our WWETB Staff Intranet site – the Staff Hub. The intranet is a repository of information for staff that work in WWETB and will be a dynamic site, with up-to-date content and information available. If you have any suggestions regarding content that would be useful to you and your colleagues, please get in touch – communications@wwetb.ie.


Please click image to access intranet site. 

                 
Wexford VTOS Coordinator, Ann Slaven retires

 
 
Wexford VTOS marked the end of an era in November when its long serving Coordinator Ann Slaven retired.  A pioneering voice for adult education in Wexford and beyond, Ann was instrumental in establishing the first VTOS in Wexford 30 years ago at a time when the concept of adult education was still in its relatively early stages.  In that time, she oversaw the growth and development of VTOS from a small upstairs premise on North Main Street to the larger but ramshackle 'campus' on John Street, to the fully equipped Adult Education Centre in the newly renovated Technical School in Westgate. 
 
In addition to her natural flair as an administrator, Ann was admired for the particular interest she paid to the welfare of students, both during their time at VTOS and in their lives afterwards.  Her human approach and her deep-rooted sense of fairness also informed the advocacy work she conducted on behalf of adult education both on the local and national level as a member of the National Association of VTOS Coordinators.


A passionate GAA supporter, among her many ground-breaking initiatives was the successful establishment of the county's first full-time GAA centred Sports & Recreation course under the VTOS banner.
As a maths teacher, she understood the needs of her own teachers, who wished her all the very best in the new chapter of her life.  Although social distancing rules meant that it was a quieter affair than her colleagues would have liked, thanks to a spectacular cake baked by caretaker Jackie, she had a memorable 'send-off' which took place  on November 2nd.

 

Helpful Information and Tips


Illness benefit 

If you are absent due to illness for more than 3 days you should contact the Department of Social Protection to claim illness benefit. You must be aged under 66, and covered by the appropriate class of social insurance (PRSI) and satisfy the PRSI conditions.

If you are entitled to be paid while on certified sick leave based on your contract, WWETB we will continue to pay you and automatically deduct the max amount of Illness Benefit which is currently €203.00 per week, from the 4th day of absence until you return to work or exceed your sick leave entitlement.
 
If the rate of Illness benefit differs from this amount you will need to contact the payroll office via payrollenquiries@wwetb.ie providing evidence from DSP of the rate applicable. Any amendments will be made in the next payroll run. 


 
 
Working From Home Allowance
 
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has confirmed to Government Departments that they cannot make such payments and they will not be funded for such arrangements.  This also applies to ETBs as public sector employers. 

Any such arrangement is a matter between the employee and Revenue and is subject to the Revenue rules on the operation of the e-working scheme.”  You can find out more information on how to claim this allowance through “MyAccount” on the Revenue Website.


 

Employee Assistance Programme

 
Reminder: The Employee Assistance Programme is available to all staff 

This is a confidential counselling service and provides support to employees and their families. It is available 24/7, 365 days a year and can provide support with a range of topics, including counselling, infertility and pregnancy loss, elder care support, parent coaching, international employee support, legal information, financial information and more.

Employees can also reach the service through the wellbeing app/platform via a live chat function, and a request a call back function. The app also includes access to yoga classes and exercise classes, nutritional advice, stress management including mindfulness and tips on setting up your remote working desk.

Click here to access Employee Assistance Programme 

 
Useful tips on email etiquette and
video conferencing protocol


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Science in Action for 
Youth Train Community Training
Centre (CTC)


Youth Train CTC in Wexford town jumped at the chance once again, to collaborate with Wexford County Council as a partner for Science Week 2020.
 
Learners worked as a team with scientist Michelle Maher to experiment and innovate with ideas on sustainable energy projects. While young people may feel strongly about issues such as the climate crisis, they feel that they need more than a lobbying voice. Michelle’s approach to learning about energy was the theory that its easier for learners to understand when they design and develop powered vehicles, rockets and turbines.  This project involved designing and building solutions for real world issues, in this case sustainable energy generation and storage. It was empowering and practical with learners asking the questions themselves and looking for solutions together. The project provoked questions about the science behind things taken for granted, imagining a more sustainable future, which is more sympathetic to the environment.
                                          
Learning in this way can enhance employability with knowledge gained in skills working as a team on critical thinking and innovation tasks. Youth Train works with young, creative learners aged 16-21 who achieve confidence and qualifications in CTC’s to progress to further education and employment. Youth Train learners work to achieve QQI qualifications at Levels 3 and 4 funded through WWETB and with backing from the Irish Government and the European Social Fund, there is recognition of the value of enabling accessing to STEM learning, especially those who may have missed out.
 
Bunclody Vocational College

Young Scientist 2021
 
For the second year in a row Bunclody Vocational College qualified to compete at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, the only school to qualify from Wexford this year. The competition was held virtually from the 6th - 8th of January 2021. Huge congratulations are extended to our Science Department and to our participating student Leah Coleman. Leah was also part of the team that won a Merit Award at last year’s event. This year she competed in the Social and Behavioural Science category and her contemporary project was entitled "Real-Time Analysis of The Effect of Lockdown on Post Primary Students in A DEIS School". While Leah did not receive any awards this year, her research will contribute to the huge volume of data that has come out of students experiences of lockdown during 2020. 
 

The Caring School

The 1st Year Civic Social Political Education (CSPE) students in Bunclody Vocational College undertook a Community Based Action for their CSPE Classroom Based Assessment.

Throughout the month of December, all first-year students were assigned a first name of a resident from our local Nursing Homes, 'Signacare' and 'Rós Aoibhinn' through the An Post “Free Postage” initiative. Each student wrote a weekly Christmas card to their assigned resident for the festive period. 

We also ran a School Christmas Raffle to fund the purchases gift-bags for frontline workers which included soaps, hand-creams, razors, boxes of chocolates and the ingredients to make scones. The link to CSPE is made through Strand 1 "Rights & Responsibilities" studied by first year students. It was our wish and responsibility to give the gift of hope, love, respect, and dignity to our elderly and the frontline workers in Bunclody. Each first-year student was rewarded with a pin with the rainbow to remind them of the commitment made throughout our country by the frontline workers. 

Youth Work Affairs

 

2020 was an extremely busy year for the Youth Work Affairs section. Our role is to provide support to direct deliverers of youth work services including Youth Work organisations such as Ferns Diocesan Youth Services, Waterford and South Tipperary Community and Youth Services, Foróige and volunteer provision in the form of volunteer led youth clubs.

The Covid 19 pandemic had a significant impact in the delivery of youth work services to young people. As with formal education, the non-formal education sector engaged in a significant pivot towards digital youth work delivery. This was essential in adhering to the government guidelines for the pandemic whilst also ensuring ongoing delivery to hard-to-reach young people.

WWETB during this time supported 30 youth projects to successfully transition from the Targeted Youth Funding Scheme to the UBU Your Place Your Space funding scheme. All WWETB projects were approved as green status by the then Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

The Department with responsibility for youth work, in response to the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic on vulnerable and hard to reach young people, disseminated two significant grants schemes towards the end of 2020. These were the Covid 19 Grant Scheme and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Grant Scheme. These schemes were designed to support both youth work organisations with staff led projects and volunteer youth clubs with their work. The Covid 19 Grant scheme allowed for the purchase of Covid essential material i.e., gloves, masks, sanitiser etc. and the ICT grant scheme allowed for the purchase of digital hardware and software.

Throughout the year the Youth Work Affairs team also administered the normal grants schemes including the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme, the Capital Equipment Grant scheme and the LGBTI Grant scheme.

In addition, the Youth Work Affairs team supported staff led projects with the National Quality Standards Framework, the introduction of UBU Your Place Your Space Performance Oversight and Engagement Framework.                     

St Declan's Community College

 
Remote Teaching and Learning
As a school we noticed improved participation by our students in their online learning. Subject classes were delivered either via a live Microsoft Teams class, a pre-recorded class or with the use of detailed assignments that were set. Parents and students alike welcomed this approach as it enabled them to share devices at home. This mixed teaching approach enabled families with two or more school-going children to take turns in using a shared single device at home at different points throughout the day.

We conducted surveys with parents, students and staff before February mid-term and we received very positive feedback on this approach. This flexibility was also praised during a support call from a department inspector.
 
Wellbeing
A couch to 5k programme was launched by the school in order to boost morale among students, parents and staff during the remote learning and teaching period. We noted very high levels of participation in our wider school community and many of our students are continuing on with the healthy habits which they were encouraged to form. One of our 6th year students, Colyn Power, took this challenge to another level and raised in excess of €3,000 for Pieta House while doing the programme. While within his 5k zone, Colyn managed to run a combined 230km. He was joined by friends on occasion but managed to achieve his goal single-handedly.
 
Building Works
The new modular Construction Studies classroom for our school has reached planning stage. This is a very welcome stage to be at and we look forward to the additional learning opportunities this will provide for our students and colleagues.

Plans are being worked on for the additional classrooms which will form an extension to the school. We look forward to more news on this in the not-too-distant future. 

VTOS Supporting Artisan and Craft Businesses

 
Developing Craft and Design Enterprises in the South East
 
2020 has been an unprecedented and difficult year for society and economy at large. However, the growth of artisan enterprises and the emergence of businesses based on the circular economy, recycling and upcycling has never been stronger. By shopping local and supporting our local artisans and small enterprises, new life can breathe into all localities in Waterford and Wexford.

WWETB is playing a pivotal role in the development of and access to courses that foster the growth of craft and design skills. By collaborating with the Local Employment Offices, this helps talented artisans to start their own businesses. Waterford VTOS is one such WWETB programme, that offers QQI Level 5 courses in Interior Design, Fashion Design and Craft.
 
Graduates who have started their own design businesses in recent years include Difenza Designs and JK Makes. An Art, Craft & Design graduate of 2020, Carmel started jewellery design business, Difenza Designs and works with silver and copper with a focus on geometric designs and architecture.  “The skills and the experience provided by the course and the teachers allowed me to develop into a confident jewellery designer. Getting the placement in the Kite Design Studio and working with the Local Enterprise Office gave me a great kick-start into the industry, giving me a first-hand, fantastic experience”. Carmel Di Fenza, Difenza Designs www.difenzadesigns.com
Jacqui Kelleher, JK Makes 
A Fashion Design graduate of 2020, Jacqui makes quirky fashion and home accessories. Her Knitted necklaces, with a difference, were featured on the “RTE Guide” before Christmas. “I wanted to train and upskill in fashion to forge a career in textiles... my confidence grew immensely during my two years at VTOS. I have gone on to teach a variety of in-person and online craft classes, and set up a small textile design business”
www.facebook.com/JKMakes  www.instagram.com/jkmakes
 
Two other Craft graduates in recent years who have successfully set up businesses are Michelle Dunne’s Strong Roots Jewellery Design www.instagram.com/strong_roots based in the Kite Design Centre based in the heart of Waterford City
 
Majella Kervick’s Mise by Majella www.facebook.com/MisebyMajella.com and www.MiseByMajella.Etsy.com. Michelle’s work is inspired by the strong roots that shape us –nature, family and Irish mythology whilst Majella’s focused on the use of enamel celebrating nature in colour and pattern.
 
Finally,  The Revamp Tram is a refurbishment and upcycling enterprise set up a former Interior Design graduate, Marianne Heaphy who is also a WIT graduate. As a professional furniture artist, Marianne “Revamps, Re-purposes and Restores” old furniture into unique works of art for your home and now is giving upcycling workshops are on-line.  Her work has been featured on Virgin Media’s “Morning Ireland”, “RSVP” and “Reloved Magazine" and ”The Irish Independent” Hotlist.
www.therevamptramp.ie, www.facebook.com/therevamptramp,
www.instagram.com/therevamptramp
 
Bridgetown College Transition Year Does ‘Stand Up’
 
Budding comedians in Bridgetown College, enjoyed some light comic relief when they took part in a series of comedy workshops which culminated in a live showcase for their classmates.
 
The comedy workshops, facilitated by Danny O'Brien and Damian Clarke of Garden Gigs Ireland, were the first of their kind in Wexford schools. During the workshops, Transition Year students learned to hone their writing skills and stage craft, as well as develope self-confidence and public speaking skills.

Adult Literacy

Brightening Up Lockdown
We are thinking of You

 

In February, WWETB South Wexford Adult Literacy teamed up with An Post to send all its learners a handwritten postcard. This has been a year of social distancing and lockdowns and we understand that during these uncertain times our learners who are learning online would truly benefit from a little extra ‘check in’ message. An Post will deliver these large format postcards to our learners with a handwritten note that says, ‘we are thinking of you and we are very much looking forward to seeing you all again in person, very soon’.

Siobhan Crotty (ALO) and all at South Wexford Adult Literacy would like to thank An Post for its display of care and kindness. It is a true testimony to our community that we continue to support each other and find nice ways of staying connected.

Social media links:
https://www.facebook.com/wwetbSWAL
https://twitter.com/wwetbSWAL
#SWAL #Send love #Write now

 Present in photos attached – Siobhan Crotty Adult Literacy Organiser, Clare Bolger Adult Educator, Anne Bradley Adult Literacy Tutor, Laura Cullen Adult Literacy Tutor.

 
SciFest at Bridgetown College
 
Transition Year students took part in the inaugural SciFest competition in Decemeber. Projects spanned a diverse range of research topics including testing the hypothesis that cows lie down in the rain. Cllr. Jim Moore, Michael O'Brien (WWETB) and Sinead O'Hara (WWETB) had the unenviable task of picking a winner on the day. Cillian Duggan and Nathan Fitzpatrick were deemed the worthy winners, after lengthy deliberations by the judges. Their projects tested the effectiveness of various methods of food storage for preservation. The judges commented on the high standard and the enthusiasm the students had for their projects. A great understanding of the scientific process was demonstrated. Congratulations to all students who took part and their teacher Ms. Paula Moriarty.          

 

 

WWETB and Waterford Library Services

Supporting family Learning in Direct Provision (DP)


Supporting family learning is the central aim of a collaborative outreach library project coordinated by WWETB, in partnership with Waterford Library Services and local Direct Provision centres.
The project was developed in response to learners in Direct Provision identifying a need to access suitable books to read to their children. While local libraries provide an excellent service, DP residents and centre managers identified several possible barriers to learning for refugees & asylum seekers including:
  • Locating and getting to the library
  • Understanding library rules
  • Asking for help when at the library
  • Issues with returns
Eliminating barriers can increase motivation to use the library service, and thus access reading material for families in DP. Margaret Howard, WWETB ALO liaised with local DP centres and Waterford Library Services, and a project was undertaken to provide a selection of children’s books for the use of residents in Ocean View & Birchwood DP centres. A space was made available by centre managers in a prominent public area within their centres, so residents could access books easily. Waterford Library Services, co-
ordinated by Mary Carbery and Loretta Kinsella, donated over 400 children’s books which were about to be withdrawn from circulation. Residents can borrow books to read and return them to the “Honesty Library” when they are ready.                                    
Initially, the project focused on books for preschool children, but this was expanded in recent months to include a variety of age groups. Books for adults was rolled out in December. We are hoping to expand this to additional local centres in the coming months.
WWETB contact details are advertised on the back of the books placed in centres, to promote basic education and English Language courses. This is an important project in terms of supporting vulnerable members of our community and maximising life chances. Research has shown that reading to children from a young age supports a range of skills including language development, social skills, communication and improves both literacy outcomes and future academic performance. It also reduces stress and provides a unique bonding time for child and parent.

If you would like to find out more about this project, contact Margaret Howard 086 0617072 margarethoward@wwetb.ie

Kennedy College

 
Junior Certificate Schools Programme
 
Kennedy College Junior Certificate Schools Programme (JCSP) students celebrated the annual Kennedy College Summer Celebration a little later than usual, just before Christmas.

During the JCSP profiles presentation, students achievements were recognised across a range of subject areas over three years.

Well done to all students. Thank you to our JCSP coordinators Ms Meyler and Ms Sutton.

GAA Future Leaders

Kennedy College GAA Future Leaders stood up to their name when they organised and facilitated a socially distanced active morning for first-year students. This involved many activities including students being treated to demonstrations, as well as many other fun games throughout the morning. 
 

Nursing home visits

As we know, Christmas can be a very happy time for many people, but it can also be a time of sadness or loneliness for others. To ensure the local community felt the charismatic spirit of Kennedy College, transition year students  teamed up with first-year students by working together to product gift boxes and letters for residents of the local nursing home. The students passed gift boxes through the nursing home window to smiling residents. 


Signs of Spring

 
Kennedy College TY students got out and about to capture 'Signs of Spring'. Entries ranged from new growth to colour to the weather. Some students even managed to capture a glimpse of the elusive sun as they hunted for signs of Spring.


National Hairdressing Apprenticeship
commences in WCFE

 
On January 11th, WCFE was the first college in the South East to launch the National Hairdressing Apprenticeship. This Level 6 programme is a gamechanger for the Hairdressing industry, giving apprentices the opportunity to work as they learn, and to go on and achieve a nationally and internationally recognised QQI Level 6 qualification.

WCFE welcomes the 13 apprentices and looks forward to educating and nurturing them for the duration of their 3 Year programme. Expressions of interest are now open for the March registration on hairdressingapprenticeship.ie


Selskar College

 
Winning Words 
 
We are delighted to announce that second year student, Joshua Bradley, has been awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in a national JCSP competition.

Junior Cycle students were challenged to write their own play in less than 500 words and Ms Kehoe's English class took up the challenge. Joshua wrote a moving and insightful script titled ‘A moment of despair’. This was based on a conversation between Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon on the battlefield during the First World War. As Ms Kehoe commented, “Joshua has a great talent for script writing and I am very proud of him”. Congratulations Joshua: we are all very proud of you.  
 
New Design Team
 
We are delighted to announce that the new design team has been appointed for the new post primary school which will replace Selskar College. This week marked the momentous meeting of all parties to introduce the new team and wish them well. We look forward to this exciting venture and the hugely important opportunities that it will provide both academically and creatively for Selskar College and the entire Wexford community. A special 'thank you' is extended to Kevin Lewis for getting the project to this stage.
 

Gorey PLC Has Rebranded to
Gorey Institute of Further Education
 
Gorey Institute of Further Education opened its doors for the first time in September 2020.  This exciting, brand-new stand-alone further education centre is situated in the heart of Gorey.
 
In the short time that we have been open, our students have produced some amazing work, took part in a Pumpkin Carving Competition, engaged with Science Week, organised a Christmas Jumper Day to raise funds for Focus Ireland, attended workshops organised in conjunction with IT Carlow, attended and engaged with College Awareness Week, received certificates in Youth Mental Health First Aid, BelongTo and created a TicToc!  

We are delighted to have such amazing and enthusiastic students and we look forward to what 2021 brings.  Click here to learn more about what’s courses we have on offer at Gorey Institute of Further Education.
Bridgetown College marks College Awareness Week 2020
 
Bridgetown College organised several events to mark College Awareness Week 2020, encouraging people of all ages to consider further education as part of their future.
  • All teachers discussed where they went to college with their students
  • Online presentations from Wexford Campus, University of Limerick, WIT and Maynooth University
  • Powerpoint shown to students, featuring past pupils
  • Quiz for all students on Teams. 
  • RAP on College Awareness composed by Transition Year students played on the school intercom.
  • Talk by Second Lieutenant Kirsty Moran (past pupil) on the army.
  • Guidance Department spoke to all students about college, points, levels, motivation, and their future.
  • Leaving Certificate students started applying for their CAOs online.


Enniscorthy Vocational College

Photography through Visual Arts for Leaving Certificate Applied Students

 
As part of their remote learning for Visual Art. the 5th Year Leaving Cert Applied (LCA) class took part in a photography scheme. The class was introduced remotely to photography using Microsoft Teams and a PowerPoint showing them some of the basics of photo taking. This included how to focus your camera, the rule of thirds, leading lines and how to manually set the exposure, to name a few basics.
 
The students were instructed to use their mobile phones and to adhere to the Governments Covid-19 guidelines at all times. The students were given prompts to follow, one word a day and they interpreted the prompt to show individuality and their own identity. Individuality and identity is the theme for the 5th year Visual Art module.
 
The students were also instructed to use the Snapseed photo editing app, this is a free and safe editing app owned by google. This app allows the user to be more creative in photo editing for beginners and the experienced photographer.
 
The students have created some powerful and aesthetically pleasing images, showing an insight to how they view the world, proving that restrictions cannot lockdown your creativity.

 
 


Enniscorthy Vocational College

Studying in Lockdown
 
During Lockdown, the students of Enniscorthy Vocational College had a busy timetable of online classes to attend, assignments, homework and study, all with the support of their families, teachers and SNAs.  Below are some of the extra initiatives offered to students to help them educationally and socially during a difficult time.
 
A lockdown version of a homework club was set up to provide drop in assignment and online learning support for 5th Year students on MS Teams. Students checked in and asked for help with uploading homework, help with tricky maths and Irish vocabulary. Some students’ queries were quickly sorted on chat, while others helped each other. Breakout rooms were used for specific individual and small group help.
 
Regular “Lockdown Learner Awards” were presented to students for making outstanding efforts to engage in online learning. The prizes included book tokens and canteen credit, but this called for a more imaginative response; students were awarded a family sized pizza delivered from the local Italian takeaway. The winners were informed on a Friday with a phone call home from the Principal to commend the students and their families on their work.
 
Students and staff of EVC continued to have access to books for reading for pleasure and research through the digital library SORA. Provided by the JCSP Library Project the whole school community are members including some parents and siblings. The Librarian was kept busy responding to requests for password reminders and recommendations.
 
The Creative Writing Group at the school are still being supported and encouraged to write through lockdown. Several students worked on poetry and prose for submission in The Irish Times Fighting Words supplement and we are thrilled that 2 pieces have been shortlisted for publication. From the shortlist of 50 there will be 22 pieces published. Fingers crossed!
 
A JCSP Library Project initiative is celebrating Ireland’s first space satellite EIRSAT 1, with the UCD School of Astro Physics, School of English and the Museum of Literature Ireland (MOLI). An art competition and collaborative poetry project have been engaging students from EVC. 1st Year student, Evan Corrigan, represented us at the collaborative poetry workshops and we look forward to when we can announce the “launch” of all students work!


Wellbeing - Daily Mind Gym for Online Learning
 
  •          Get up early as if it was a normal school day.
  •          Plan a timetable for your day – online classes/breaks/exercise/study/finish up.
  •          Choose a quiet, comfortable workspace where there will be least disruption.
  •          Organise your books, stationary, technology for the day ahead.
  •          Charge up your technology the night before.
  •          Apply school rules during school hours.
  •          Stay off social media/messaging when you are studying or in your online                   classroom.
  •          Be aware A Healthy Body = A Healthy Mind, eat healthy and at regular times.
  •          Keep hydrated – drink plenty of water.
  •          Talk to your friends if something is bothering you.
  •          Try activities such as exercise/meditation to help to de-stress
  •          SLEEP is MASSIVELY important. It is the foundation on which everything else            is built. Themost important thing is not to go to bed with a head full of                          worries. Put some time aside each evening to ‘de-brief’, take a few minutes                with a pen and paper, and write down any worries or concerns you have.                   Then write down solutions. Then stick to those newthoughts!!! – SLEEP                      HYGIENE 

 

Online Classroom Etiquette

Your workspace: Choose a workspace that is suitable for the online classroom. Be aware of what others will see in the background.

No photos: Do not take screenshots or photos of others online

Speak up and ask for help: Contact teachers during school hours.

Presentation: Dress appropriately.

Respect: Respect everyone’s views online

Shhhhh: Mute your mic when you are not talking. Only turn it on if you are asked to speak

Be on time and turn up to class: The class is to help you with your learning

School rules: School rules apply in the online classroom. Think before you type. Keep focused on the task assigned.

Enjoy it!: Enjoy this new way of learning.


Music Generation Wexford
 
 
Uke-N-Play
 
Young ukulele players from schools across Wexford that participated in Music Generation Wexford’s instrumental programme 20/21 were led by musician educators Gayle Murphy, Peter McCamley, Diarmuid Comerford & Karen Dunbar on Zoom for four weeks on Wednesdays and Saturdays during February and March. The workshops finish Saturday the 6th of March for 7-12 years old’s.
 
Mini Maestros
 
Mini Maestros , is an online interactive early years programme taking place on Zoom with two sessions on Wednesdays at 10.30 am. Musician educators Aileen Donohoe and Pete McCamley lead parents and toddlers through the discovery of music, rhythm and singing. During the 3.30 pm session they will be joined by their Mini Maestros Olivia and Cillian and siblings are also welcomed to attend with parents and toddlers. In this series parents will receive instrument packs and bespoke artwork for the children who participate. Mini Maestros began on Wednesday 10th of March and will continue to run for 10 weeks. It is for 0-5 year old’s. 
 
Wexford Wind Jammers Online Group Music Lessons
 
Wexford Wind Jammers Online Group Music Lessons began on 8th of March for young brass, wind and percussion players via Zoom and will run for 10 weeks. The lessons take place on Mondays between 5 -7 pm with Music Generation Wexford musician educators Louise Malone, Geraldine Mahon and Ed O’Neill. This lesson is for 10–18-year old’s
 
High Street Opera Zoom
High Street Opera Zoom is aimed at 8–18-year old’s and encourages learners to develop their voices and musicianship while exploring creative responses and encouraging them to engage with opera. It is led by Music Generation Wexford musician educators Elizabeth Drwal with Aileen Donohoe. The next High Street Opera Zoom will be from 2-4 pm Saturday the 20th of March. For learners of age 8-18 years old
 
Barrow Song Lab 
Songwriting workshop online for teenagers led by musician educators Justin Cullen, Karen Dunbar, Music Generation Wexford and John Mullins, Music Generation Waterford. The participants will be creative with lyric writing and new technologies, to enable them to write their own songs by the end of the week. This is a partnership with Music Generation Wexford and Music Generation Waterford.
Zoom classes begin April 6-9 and are from 4.30 pm-6 pm and lessons are for 12–18-year old’s
 
Yellow Bellows
This is a Wexford County Youth Singing Group introductory workshop led by musician educators Anita Mahon and Diarmuid Comerford for young people, learning about singing and performing together online, exploring a range of songs including rock and pop. Zoom classes begin on Saturday the 17th of April and run from 11 am -1 pm. These lessons are for 12–18-year-olds.
                    
 
Music Generation Waterford 
 
Music Generation Waterford – Uke Rocks Class of Feb 2021
 
Over 90 young musicians from across Waterford City and County got back into the groove of their ukulele instrument last month by taking part in our 4-week free online ukulele course, Uke Rocks. Music Generation Waterford (MGW) Ukulele Team included Darragh O'Connor, Colin Harries, John Mullins, Jennifer Hartery and Shauna McCullough. Our team was delighted to welcome the young musicians online each week to discover new chords and strumming patterns, to meet other young ukulele players from across the South East and stay connected through music. Uke Rocks class of February 2021 worked extremely hard over the 4-week course to produce an absolutely brilliant performance of ‘Counting Stars’ by One Republic. 
Continuing on this success, Uke Rocks March 2021 is underway for another 4-weeks. Check back next month for another fantastic performance from our Uke Rocks Class of March 2021!
 
Check out their fantastic performance by clicking the image below: 
                 
  
Music Generation Waterford Traditional Ensembles – what we have been up to!
 
2021 has gotten off to a great start for our Traditional Ensembles - we have lots of musical adventures underway for 2021.
 
Traditional Solo Series – We are celebrating the fantastic young musicians that make up our ensembles through a series of solo performances professionally recorded in Dungarvan Youthreach centre. These performances are featured on our facebook page every Friday at 1pm. In the recent 5 weeks we have shared wonderful performances by young musicians Ben McCabe (fiddle), John Carolan (flute), Caitlin Glockener (concertina), Sean Dunford (guitar) and Úna Walsh (harp). All released episodes are available on our facebook and youtube channel.
 
Waterford Collection – 2021 is a year of new music for Music Generation Waterford Traditional Ensembles. Musician Educator and Ensemble Director Nóra Byrne Kavanagh has composed a collection of new tunes inspired by Waterford, featuring jigs, reels and marches composed for Music Generation Waterford. We are also delighted to announce we have begun to work with renowned traditional musician Fergal Scahill whom is working closely with us to create three pieces for our Waterford Collection of new music for 2021.
 
America here we come! (virtually!) – Thanks to the wonders of technology and learnings from working remotely over the past year, the world has become a smaller place for Music Generation Waterford. The young musicians from our senior traditional ensemble have been connecting with Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Philharmonic from North Carolina, USA to build international connections with peers through music. Both groups are preparing a gorgeous performance to celebrate this new Irish-American connection. The performance will be released online over the coming weeks – watch this space!
 
Music Generation Waterford – Harp Ensemble underway!
 
Music Generation Waterford is delighted to announce the formation of our new Harp Ensemble, established in January, 2021. Young harpists from both Waterford City hub and our partnership with Waterford City Comhaltas branch come together on Saturday mornings to learn new music, develop their knowledge of ensemble playing and get ready of the day we can performance once again in public. The Harp Ensemble is under the direction of Music Generation Waterford Musician Educator Jill Devlin (pictured here) and is an exciting new development for our harp programme. With just a few ensemble rehearsals under their strings, the ensemble has gone from strength to strength each week and is looking forward to exciting new projects and collaborations that will be taking place over the next 12 months, including working with Music Generation Clare and Music Generation Laois Harp Ensembles.
Music Generation Waterford will be hosting online Harp Workshops during the Easter school break led by Jill Devlin. These workshops will be advertised on our social media platforms and are open to any young harper wishing to take part. Young harpists that are interested in joining the Harp Ensemble are encouraged to get involved. 
 
To find out more information about the Harp Ensemble and upcoming workshops. Please contact MG Waterford by email: musicgenerationwaterford@wwetb.ie
 
Saturday Music through March for 1 – 12years.
 
In other news, Music Generation Waterford is delighted to be partnering with Waterford City and County Libraries to host a series of free Saturday morning music workshops for children ages 1 – 12years throughout the month of March. The workshops are led by musician educators Karen McMahon (Waterford) and Pete McCamley (Wexford), exploring music, movement, rhythm and beats. The workshops got underway on Saturday 6th March and we had great fun online meeting lots of new young music makers.
We are delighted to present these workshops as part of the governments recent ‘Keep Well’ campaign, encouraging us all to stay active, connected and more mindful of our health and wellbeing..



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