Waterford and Wexford Education

and Training Board


Spring 2022, Issue 14

Chief Executive Welcome Message
Dear All,

As we start to achieve a degree of ‘normality’ within education and training after more than two years of extraordinary difficulty in maintaining services to our students/adult learners, I extend my best wishes to all staff in WWETB for the great commitment you have shown in your many and varied roles and thank you sincerely on behalf of the organisation for all you have done.
The month of May is a major month in many ways in our annual calendar. You have worked hard to get your students/adult learners to this point, and I wish good luck to all involved in examinations, assessments, etc. There will be very many enriching events taking place during the month also such as graduations, celebrations, exhibitions, award ceremonies, etc. Enjoy those events that you are attending…. they are validation of the great work you have done and it is good sometimes to take a moment to reflect on the progress of students you see right in front of your eyes at these events.
Since our last Newsletter, the appalling events in Ukraine have taken front stage for all the wrong reasons. I am glad that WWETB has been so responsive to our new friends from Ukraine not least to the 60 + students who are now enrolled in our post-primary schools. We in WWETB have been requested by the Department of Education to establish a Regional Education and Language Team (REALT) which is a hosting group among all involved in this crisis response across the education sector at primary and post-primary in Waterford and Wexford. We are also very busy in the FET sector in preparations in this regard.
We are entering the last half year of our five-year Strategy Statement (2018-2022). This is basically the organisational plan, and I am pleased that so many of you have worked so hard to implement the plan across all the areas of the organisation. The vast majority of the plan has been implemented, some is of necessity work in progress and as an organisation, thanks to you the staff of WWETB, we have shown the agility to respond to emerging needs that were not evident to us in 2017…. not least the health emergency we have been through since March 2020.
Nothing stands still however especially in the business of education and training, and we have now started out to create a Strategy Statement for the next five years (2023-2027). We once again need your support in developing this plan so that we can all, as an organisation, buy into it and ensure its implementation in the interests of our community across both Waterford and Wexford.
The proposal is that we consider the plan across 6 ‘thematic’ areas of ‘Quality’, ‘Communications and Marketing’, ‘Health and Wellbeing’, ‘Schools/Colleges/FET Centres of the Future’, ‘Energy and the Environment’ and ‘Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)/Digital Strategy’
We have started to meet focus groups, etc. to consider these issues. In addition, we have developed a survey to gather your input and I would be grateful if you could take the time to respond to this important survey.
The link will remain live until close of business next Wednesday 4th May. Please click here
I would like to remind you about the WWETB Staff Hub which is resource for all staff of WWETB. The Staff Hub can be accessed via the WWETB website and at the top of your browser page on the Staff Hub tab once logged into Office 365). With the ever-evolving needs within your education and /or training areas and indeed across the administration and management of WWETB we are very conscious of the need and indeed the desire among our staff for upskilling, etc. Our Professional Learning and Development (PLD) policy provides many opportunities for staff to avail of substantial support in this regard and details on this can be found on the Staff Hub.
It would be remiss of me not the mention the imminent retirement of our Director of FET, Ken Whyte. Ken was the first Director of FET for WWETB, and his legacy will be a thriving FET sector across our two counties which is recognised as among the most active, expert, and innovative in the country. Ken has been a major force for positive change both within his direct FET remit and across the wider organisation. While most of you within the FET area will know Ken well, so will many others across the organisation and I am sure you join with me in thanking him for all he has done and wish him well in his retirement.
I also want to acknowledge the difficult time this has been for many of our staff and to assure you of the support of WWETB in any practical way we can. The strictly confidential ‘Employee Assistance Programme’ is available to any staff who wish to avail of it.
There is so much going on across WWETB schools, FET centres and offices that it would be impossible to mention everything. However, our social media and other platforms aim to keep you as informed as possible on an on-going basis. This newsletter showcases many of the excellent daily initiatives that you, as staff, lead so expertly. Please keep this is the reason for the existence of WWETB. Thanks, in particular to Sinéad Redmond for her work in pulling this together and to you the contributors of articles, photographs, etc.
As I have mentioned in previous communications, we are always open to new and innovative ideas from our staff across the organisation. Please share your thoughts with us if you have an idea that you think we should try and advance by emailing

Best wishes and thanks in anticipation of your continued great work.

Kevin Lewis 

Chief Executive

WWETB Customer Service

Champion Award

Back in Q4 2021 WWETB launched our Customer Service Champion Award to acknowledge the staff members who provide exceptional customer service. This award was very well received by staff and we had over 30 nominations for the first award. This made the job of the judging panel very difficult and they had to meet twice to deliberate on the nominations. Eventually a decision was reached and Michelle Keating became our first ever Customer Service Champion. 
Michelle is a Coordinator in Youthreach New Ross and was nominated for her efforts in ensuring the health, safety and welfare of both learners and staff members during lockdown. She was praised for the warm friendly atmosphere she created and for the efforts she made to ensure no learners went hungry throughout lockdown. Her continuous dedication to the wellbeing of others was deemed exceptional.  
Michelle is a true example of someone who aligns to our core values of Respect, Accountability, Learner Focus and Quality.  
We are now in the process of selecting our next Customer Service Champion and ask that you keep an eye on your emails to see who the next winner will be.
We hope you continue to support this great initiative to recognise the staff members that provide exceptional customer service on behalf of WWETB.

WWETB Waterford Wexford Training Services


Skills Gap behind design of - New Electro Fusion Welding course: WWETB and Irish Water recently announced the launch of a fully certified to EN 13067:2020 Polyethylene Electro Fusion Welding training programme to meet the expansion of the use of Polyethylene Welding in the Irish Construction sector. WWETB’s Chief Executive Kevin Lewis said “As an upskilling and reskilling opportunity this course supports the national skills agenda and WWETB continues to work closely with industry to identify skills gaps and provide targeted training solutions”.
Eoghan who took part in the pilot course said “The Polyethylene Electro Fusion Welding course was enjoyable, very interesting and very beneficial to my job. I got a good overall understanding of the course topic. The instructor was very knowledgeable and gave good clear instruction and explanations. The venue was comfortable and provided everything you would want. My company is currently looking at growing in this section of the industry and this course has given me the skills to help me advance.”
The response to addressing this training need was initiated by WWETB in their role as a key partner to industry in terms of employee upskilling and training. This course is being fully Government funded for participants under the Skills to Advance initiative.

Pictured are John Cassidy, Area Training Manager (WWETB) and Fergus Collins, Head of Capital Delivery (Irish Water)


The Construction Industry Federations (CIF) Southern Region Director, Conor O’Connell said “The CIF would like to commend the continued good work of WWETB. CIF South East Branch representative Tom O’Brien has been part of the WWETB project management team, which was formed to develop and implement innovative delivery modes of training, Site Supervisor and Retrofit NZEB programmes. The new Polyethylene Electro Fusion Welding Course further demonstrates this link with industry with the course being developed closely with Irish Water.
Mary Lyons, Director of Enterprise, Employees and Skills with SOLAS, the Further Education Authority, said: “The aim of the Skills to Advance programme is to equip employees with the skills to progress in their current job, or to take advantage of new job opportunities. It is a hands-on, practical course that directly addresses a pressing need in the local economy, assisting the development of employees while boosting business opportunities for their companies.
Commenting on the announcement of the new course, Fergus Collins, Head of Capital Delivery at Irish Water said, “Irish Water were delighted to be working in conjunction with the WWETB on the development of the course material associated with this training programme and in doing so help raise the knowledge, standards and expertise within the supply chain on our technical requirements in this area. Irish water feel that supporting industry skilled training programmes such as the this can only help drive the quality and consistency across the industry to the benefit of all”
This course is particularly suited to those who have or are currently working on an Electro Fusion project. The objective is to provide the learners who have previous experience in Polyethylene Electro Fusion Welding with the skills to enable them to use Electro Fusion welding equipment to weld/join polyethylene pipe safely on potable water and waste water mains systems using Electro Fusion Techniques to IS EN13067:2020 standard. On successful completion of this 4-day course there are also up to 34 CIRI CPD points available.


WWETB’s double success at the SEAI Awards 2022: WWETB had a double win at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Energy Show 2022, being awarded both the Service Provider of the Year and the Overall Product of the Show award. The awards were given in recognition of WWETB’s work on various aspects of high-performance housing including NZEB, Retrofit and Ventilation Heat Pumps.

At the event in the RDS on 31st March, the awards were presented to the Chief Executive of WWETB, Mr Kevin Lewis, who said how proud he was of the WWETB team and the innovative work being done by WWETB, particularly in the area of high performing housing.

A range of courses in NZEB and Retrofit are being delivered by WWETB through Skills to Advance, contributing to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points from the Construction Industry Federation. Demand for training is high with over 1600 learners upskilled to date.

WWETB, through the Skills to Advance Innovation through Collaboration fund, is making improvements to its course offerings through the development of a Virtual Reality (VR) platform to enhance the delivery of its Retrofit training.

Pictured from left: Joe Durkan, SEAI Programme Manager & Judge, Kevin Dunphy WWETB, Nichola Long WWETB, Kevin Lewis Chief Executive WWETB, John Cassidy WWETB, Michael O’Brien WWETB, Ciaran Byrne, SEAI Director National Retrofit


DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland: Presented by Baz Ashmawy DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland, the show that changes people's lives by rebuilding their houses, featured a Waterford based family on the show on Sunday the 24th of April.
Laura Sheridan, a nurse and mother of three from Comeragh Park in Waterford has had very tough year, the former Nurse of Year and Nursing Home Manager battled through COVID times before being diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. 
Together with an ever-increasing and amazing group of volunteers and suppliers from Waterford and across the country, Baz corralled and motivating a hard-working team through the pressures and challenges of a 9 day build!
Included in those volunteers were a group of Waterford Wexford Training Services Plastering Apprentices who were at the time (November 2021) in Phase 2 of their Apprenticeship training in WWETB’s Waterford Training Centre.  The original team of plasterers who were due to do the job were unable to make it on the day so they contacted WWETB to see if our apprentices could help.
Under the supervision of their Instructor Alan Clarke the apprentices worked solidly over 2 long cold and wintry days to help get the house ready.
Also featured in the great reveal of Laura’s kitchen were a beautiful set of chopping boards that were made by David in the Carpentry and Joinery section.
Sharing Knowledge- University of Westminster: WWETB had a recent visit from Dr. Melahat-Sahin-Dikmen and Dr. Linda Clarke of the University of Westminster who are involved in a project investigating vocational education and training in low carbon building construction. They are responsible for the European part of the Building it Green project funded by the Canadian Government for the Canadian Building Trade Unions, seeking to embed climate literacy into the building trades.

High Performance Building Alliance – COP 26: As part of COP 26 the Chair of the High Performance Building Alliance CLLR Barbara-Anne Murphy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The signing took place virtually from the Custom House and was co-signed Minister Darragh O Brien in the presence of Minister of State James Browne and Paul Kehoe TD. The MoU was also signed at COP 26 by Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
The High Performance Building Alliance is a collaborative project between WWETB and Wexford County Council which aims to provide leadership in reducing the effects of climate change through improving the energy efficiency of the built environment.


WWETB attended the South East Construction Summit 4th November 2021. The Summit was organised by the Construction Industry Federation and was held in the Tower Hotel, Waterford City.

Finance - P2P Support on The Staff Hub

Our Finance Department got to meet with many of you over the winter to roll out P2P ordering and budget functionality for audit purposes.  As part of the rollout Jenny Dempsey and Owen O 'Mahony devised lots of training materials and supports for the new P2P Support Page on the Staff Hub, now a permanent home for support material.
This page has a variety of resources which are regularly updated and hopefully it will be helpful for existing users and as well as those in need of training in the future. The support page available through the Finance Page on the Staff Hub or directly via the link below:

http://Purchase to Pay P2P Support Page


Please continue to email for technical support and questions you have Thank you for all your input and suggestions to date and if you have any ideas for the support page on the Staff Hub we would be delighted to hear them for the benefit of all our P2P users.
Waterford College of Further Education

From WCFE to Spark FM Sunderland: Check out our Adv. Cert in Audio-visual Media Hons Graduate, Jessica Hallahan, who started her new breakfast show on Spark FM, Sunderland back in February.  Jessica did our Journalism, Photography and New Media Level 5 course, where she learned radio production, and then progressed to our Advanced Audio-visual Level 6 course, where she studied documentary making and music production. She then went on to her final year in an hons Media Studies Degree in the University of Sunderland, a direct progression route from our Advanced Media course.  We can't wait to become regular listeners to her wonderful new show!


Cake Sale for Ukraine: WCFE recently raised 4700 euro for the Irish Red Cross in Ukraine at its Cake Sale for Ukraine event. The event was organised by staff, WCFE Student Council and members of the retired community in Waterford. A wonderful success. Thanks to all involved. 
We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Waterford people and the support shown for the event. WCFE has a long and proud history of supporting social causes in the Southeast and this event was a shining example of our community and the wider community working together for a most important cause.
WCFE Open Day: WCFE recently held a highly successful Open Day, it's first in-person Open Day since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic. Staff were delighted to meet hundreds of interested students and community partners on the day. Over 40 full time courses were showcased, and visitors could meet staff and students and try out some college activities on the day.

Waterford Education and Training Centre

First recipient of WWETB Female scholarship for craft apprenticeships:  
Congratulations to Deirdre O’ Byrne, St. Paul's Community College, who successfully secured an Electrical Instrumentation apprenticeship with Ball Corporation, through Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board WWETB female scholarship initiative.
Ball Corporation Waterford manufacture the ends of beverage cans (around 10 billion each year) to fit customer specifications. According to Darren Longworth, HR Manager at Ball Corporation “Diversity and inclusion are of paramount importance to us in the plant. We pride ourselves on our welcoming atmosphere and our colleague camaraderie. Our employer brand is consistently evolving to create a workplace that is open to anyone who has the desire and aptitude to work for us, regardless of their gender, background, ethnicity etc."
Pictured above: Tanya o Grady WWETB Senior Training Advisor, Kathryn Bermingham WWETB Senior Training Advisor, John Hunt Engineer Manager at Ball Corporation, Deirdre O’ Byrne Electrical Instrumentation Apprentice Ball Corporation, Bairbre Ruddock WWETB Senior Training Advisor, Fiona Mc Donnell Principal St. Pauls Community College.


Deirdre works in our Electrical Engineering department and is already an integral part of the team”.  Deirdre chose an apprenticeship because she enjoys learning by doing. “When I first learned that I could get a qualification in the Engineering sector by a mixture of on the job ‘hands on’ learning, college, and training in the classroom, I realised that apprenticeship was in my case the perfect choice.
When I was in transition year of school, I decided that I had an interest in Engineering, so I went on to do a year of common entry Engineering course in college after my Leaving Cert. I really enjoyed electrical, so when I got this great opportunity to do an apprenticeship in Electrical Instrumentation, I was so excited and went for it straight away.  I first filled out an application and was then interviewed by the WWETB female scholarship Senior Training Advisor. Once I had successfully passed this stage, WWETB Services to Business unit were so helpful with providing me with interview and CV preparation training and also by connecting me with Ball Corporation for an interview.
To women who are thinking about a future career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), I would say that there are a lot of opportunities and help there and I think that it is a great career path so don’t be afraid as we can do what we want with our futures.”
For more information on the 2022 WWETB Female Scholarship please contact the WWETB Services to Business unit by email on 

Bridgetown College

May in the National Opera House: Bridgetown College are very proud to announce that our school show Sister Act Jr. will be performed in the National Opera House on May 18th and 19th at 8 pm. Tickets are on sale now from the Opera House box office. A great night’s entertainment is guaranteed!
April - Hot Shots Calendar: A massive well done to Hot Shots photography group, pictured here handing over a cheque for €2,500.00 to Wexford Hospice Homecare from the proceeds of their Calendar 'Wexford in Mind'.  Also, thanks on their behalf, to all who supported the worthy cause by purchasing a calendar.
March - Daffodil Day: On Friday, March 25th, the staff and teachers of Bridgetown College came together to accomplish an extraordinary feat. The whole school combined to create a human daffodil and they also spelled the words Daffodil Day on our GAA pitch. The school made great strides to support the Irish Cancer Society. Cancer is something that touches us all and the images show everyone coming together in the fight against it. 
Not only did Bridgetown College go yellow for Daffodil Day, it supported this annual fundraiser with a message that only those flying overhead could hope to see. As part of their commitment to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) the school’s staff and pupils gathered on the GAA pitch to spell out Daffodil Day in human form, an image which was captured on drone footage.
Teachers organised games for students to play whilst donating money to the Irish Cancer Society and the most popular of these games proved to be ‘dunk the teacher’, an inventive activity which allowed students to drench a teacher of their choice in exchange for a donation for Daffodil Day. There were multiple other games available on the day and all proceeds and profits went directly to the Irish Cancer Society.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Students, teachers, family, and friends also participated in the walk to donate initiative. This allowed everyone to get out and exercise in aid of this fantastic cause. They could then post a picture on social media and donate to Bridgetown College’s JustGiving link. Bridgetown was covered in Daffodils and every student wore yellow and made a small donation on the day of the event. A video involving both student and teachers was broadcast on RTE’s News2day that afternoon. One of the organising teachers was on Beat Fm that morning.

Sporting Achievements: Massive well done to Ava Barry representing Bridgetown College who finished 37th in the Minor Girls Schools All-Ireland Cross Country Championships in Belfast on a very tough and muddy course.  Also, Congratulations to Owen Carroll who came 4th, and to Sophie Whitehead who came 5th in the individual 90cm class at the Interschools show jumping in February. They have now qualified for the EII 90cm final on April 10th. Fantastic result, well deserved!

Student Enterprise Awards: Well done to Ruby Redmond “Ruby ‘s Resins” and Ashley Murray “Ashley JNR” who both represented our school in the County Final of the Student Enterprise Awards 2022, following in the footsteps of Lauren Williams who had great success with her product, Irish Sea Mist, in 2021.  Ruby was awarded a Merit Certificate and trophy at the Award Ceremony on 22/03/22.
Johnstown Castle Visit: Agricultural Science is always a very popular subject choice in Bridgetown College. Great to have Teagasc at Johnstown Castle so close to the school. It looks like the Leaving Cert and Leaving Cert Applied classes had an informative day.

Enniscorthy Community College

European Parliament Ambassador School: On March 3rd last as Ambassadors for the European Parliament Schools Programme at Enniscorthy Community College, Elizabeth Rollo and Daniel Power represented the Danish Government at a simulation of a meeting of the Council of the European Union. Each EU Member State was represented by a team of students from a secondary school.
The theme of the 2022 debate was Migration, specifically a mock legislative proposal based on the ‘solidarity mechanism’ of the proposed Asylum and Migration Management Regulation (an element of the European Commission’s 2020 New Pact on Migration and Asylum). Participating schools have been encouraged to research and adopt the 'real life' position of the assigned Member State. The students debated with 26 other schools over the course of 3 hours on the Danish position and sought its adoption.
Over the course of the last week both students at ECC held meetings with Mr. Conor Dempsey EPAS coordinator on debate strategy, with Ms. Anna Tu Uyen Pham intern at the Danish Embassy in Dublin as as well as a plenary session with his excellency Mr. Uffe A. Balslev to discuss and clarify the Danish position on Migration.
This exercise was part of the school’s requirements to be designated a European Ambassador School highlighting the ethos and work of the European Union. In picture below representing Enniscorthy Community College are Elizabeth Rollo and Daniel Power.

Ethos Awareness Week 28th March -1st April 2022:  This week was coordinated by Ms. Margaret Kinsella, the Ethos Team, and the Student Council. This was a fun filled week where students learned about Ethos and the Core Values of the ETBI. The school Ethos team created a lesson plan that was taught to every student in our school.
This PowerPoint lesson focused on:
  • What an ETB is?
  • What are the core values of our ETB?
  • What does Ethos mean?
  • Why is Ethos important for ETBs?
To create a focal point to this week the Ethos team set up an ethos awareness stand in the centre of the school and each day concentrated on one of the following core values of:
  • Care
  • Respect
  • Equality
  • Excellence in education
  • Community
The Ethos stand was a bustle all week with students entering competitions, getting free treats, and receiving study guides to support their educational goals. On Friday we celebrated the Core Value of “Community” with afternoon tea for members of our Parents Association, Board of Management, Staff, Students, and special guest WWETB Ethos Coordinator Kieran Kinsella who is also a past pupil of Enniscorthy Community College. For those who could not attend the events of the week a log of these activities was posted on the school social media pages and the response from the public was very positive.
ECC in Partnership with Riverside Hotel: Enniscorthy Community College is delighted to be involved in a new partnership with the Riverside Hotel. The aim is to give a select group of Second year students an insight into the World of Work and the importance of developing good habits when in school which will assist greatly when the go on to get a job in their chosen area or further studies. The launch of the new programme took place on Monday 14th of February in the Riverside Hotel. In attendance were Leonard Kelly (Regional Coordinator for Business in the Community Ireland), Kelly Sheehan (Human Resource Manager Riverside Hotel), Colm Neville (Owner of Riverside Hotel), Iain Wickham (Principal), Luke Maher (Year Head Second Years) and Paula Busher (School Completion Programme Coordinator). The 2 Oak class was chosen to be involved in this new initiative.
The schedule of events for the 2 Oak class held detailed as follows:
  • Meet & Greet with 2 Oak class by Kelly Sheehan & Leonard Kelly in school 11:15 Tuesday 22 March 40min
  • Day in the Life Tour of the Hotel, talk and refreshments 9:30 -11:00 in the Riverside Thursday 31st March
  • Soft skills talk by Kelly Sheehan in school10:20 -11:00 Tuesday 5th April
  • Presentation of Task to Kelly Sheehan by the group in school 11.15-11:55 Fri 29th April
  • Wrap up session in school 11:15-11:55 Mon 9th May

Selskar College

Selskar College has had a busy second term. Trips were undertaken to the Gaelteacht, Enniscorthy Castle, Maynooth University, WIT and UCD. Students represented the school on the rugby soccer and GAA pitches, in athletics and handball. The school community showcased the ‘Spirit of Selskar’ through musical performances to highlight our ethos and core values. A full library service returned with reading classes lunch-time activities and a four-week reading challenge where students read over 2 million words and 205 books. Workshops and events were facilitated by, ‘Teen Speak Mental Health’, the School of Irish Archaeology, Wexford Book Centre, Niall de Burca and WIT to promote access programmes and research skills at third level. There are also active book clubs for staff, parents, students, and supervised study was re-established for 3rd and 6th years.
Under the stewardship of Ms Prendergast and Mr. Murphy, LCA1 were overall winners in the LCA/LCVP Category at the Co. Wexford Enterprise Awards with ‘Playplax’ a business that sells musical plaques with a QR code to play your favourite songs.
Thanks to the hardworking GCE Team, Equality and Cultural Diversity Week March 28th proved to be a showcase for inclusion and diversity in Selskar College. Global Goal 10 – Reduced Inequalities provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate the 29 different nationalities that make up our school community. There were cultural music performances by students and staff, peer-teaching in geography classes, national dish food tasting prepared by parents’ staff and students, and visits from MASI – Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, Rosslare Harbour Accommodation Centre and Sinead Hayes Global Schools Education Officer. Here is a flavour of the welcome you will get to Selskar College in a variety of languages -

In recognition of the collective effort, it was announced that Selskar College was selected to receive the prestigious Worldwide Global Schools Diplomatic Passport as, “an acknowledgement and recognition of the school’s contribution, dedication and diligence in implementing Global Citizenship Education in all aspects of Teaching and learning.” A huge well done to the GCE team of teachers for driving this initiative and a due recognition of their professionalism.

Over the past two years a team of dedicated students and teachers have been working on our first ever Green Schools application. The team have made a huge impact on developing awareness of environmental issues and creating a sustainable positive culture in the school. with a particular focus on litter and waste. At present we have decreased waste production by 32% and increased recycling by 23%. We are currently awaiting the result of our application and are excited to develop and drive programme moving forward! 

In between all this activity the college community remembered others, and generously fundraised for Ukraine and the Irish Heart Foundation. Selskar College looks forward to maintaining and improving the quality of learning and teaching in term 3 and guiding our students through the state examinations.

Bunclody College
Wexford County Enterprise Awards: Congratulations is extended to James Kenny from Bunclody Vocational College who was awarded first place in the Environmental Section of this year’s County Enterprise Awards. James's innovative electric lamps proved to be a huge success and captured the imagination of this year’s judges. His lamps were made from recycled car parts. James is seen here receiving his award at a ceremony held in Wexford County Council’s head office. A special thanks also to his teachers Ms Sinead Kinsella and Ms. Aoife Martin (pictured with James). BVC has been very successful over the years in this competition and has a culture of entrepreneurship in the school. The standard was high this year with several students reaching the final. All students enjoyed the experience of bringing a product from idea to production to selling it to the public. The County Enterprise competition is to be commended for highlighting the great work schools are doing in this area.

Ombudsman for Children Student Covid Survey: Bunclody Vocational College were one of 60 schools from around the country that was chosen to take part in this historic survey.  Students from First year to Sixth year were invited to take part in the online survey and to share their thoughts and experiences of the pandemic.  They were asked about their thoughts on the effects of covid on their daily lives and how they coped with the lockdown etc.  The students were delighted to have their voice heard and to have their views preserved for posterity. They felt that their age group were particularly affected by the lock-down and restrictions and that by completing the survey they could see that their experiences were going to be shared with the Ombudsman for Children.

BVC Transition Year Climb with Charlie: The Transition Years in Bunclody Vocational College were moved by the heroic efforts of Charlie Bird and his recent fundraising campaign to raise funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House.  They decided to do a hike up Mount Leinster in March to raise funds.  They had beautiful weather on the day and while the hike was challenging, they enjoyed the spectacular views from the top of Mt. Leinster.  They also were aware that the effort was worth it as they were raising funds for such a worthwhile cause.  This TY group were also actively involved in raising money for St. Vincent De Paul Society, Daffodil Day, and the Temple Street Bake
Bunclody Vocational College Junk Kouture: Two Transition Year students Emma Hayes and Faye Jordan were chosen as a regional finalist in the south-eastern Junk Kouture competition. Their design called Plastic Aqua. The idea for the theme came from the concerns the girls had for the huge amounts of plastic being used and dumped around the world.  They hoped that their Junk Kouture entry could highlight this issue.  Congratulations to both students and their teacher Ms Doyle for all her hard work in guiding the students with their project and for them reaching the Southeast Regional Finals.

Community Education
Now in their 16th year, the STAR Awards are an awards initiative coordinated by AONTAS as part of the annual Adult Learners' Festival to acknowledge the fantastic work undertaken by adult learning initiatives throughout Ireland. The STAR Awards also give initiatives the opportunity to spotlight their excellent work across Ireland and bring national recognition to learners, staff and organising bodies.
Community Education in Waterford City were delighted to learn that for the second year in a row the Aiseiri Progression Programme won the AONTAS Star award for Social Inclusion. The Aiseiri Progression Programme is supported by the Mitigating Against Educational Disadvantage Fund and they also receive Community Education grant funding from WWETB.
The programmes provides specialised education and training programme which supports men and women in addiction treatment with Aiseiri and in the early years of recovery from addiction to access meaningful education/training, set goals for their careers and to move forward equipped with the confidence and skillset to achieve these goals. The programme is tailored towards each participant’s individual career goals. Established in 2014, the Progression Programme has grown over a 7-year period from initially supporting 9 participants with 1 supervisor in place to 3 supervisors supporting 27 participants and many more within the community in Waterford city and beyond.
Operating from the community-based facility in Waterford City, affectionately known as 'The Mall', the programme received this prestigious award for 2022 to the delight of staff, participants, and funders.
Well done to all involved!

Tree of Learning Mural in Whitemill FETC: On Wednesday 9th March Whitemill Further Education and Training Centre were delighted to welcome learners and guests to the launch of their Tree of Learning. The event was in conjunction with the celebration of Aontas’ Adult Learner Festival week.  Staff at the WWETB Centre took the opportunity to welcome learners back to an in-person event at last after 2 long years of online Teams events. 
Speaking at the event, Community Education Facilitator and Centre manager, Bridín Lyng Moloney spoke about the difficulty of the past two years and commended the learners and staff on the great numbers that changed over to online learning, with little or no training, and then the numbers that came back to in person classes from last September. 
On Wednesday there were speakers from 3 different programmes that run in the centre, Literacy, English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) and Back to Education Initiative (BTEI). All learners spoke of their enjoyment coming into the centre, the difference that returning to education has made in their lives and the change that it has brought to them.  
The Tree of Learning is a beautiful mural painted by Community Education tutors, Sheila Burton, and Miriam Devereux. It is placed in the centre to allow people to record their journey through Adult Education. It is hoped that it will inspire and start many conversations. 
The centre runs programmes Monday to Friday with evening classes 3 nights a week. The courses range from informal Community Education courses up to QQI level 6 BTEI programmes. For more information on courses please call 053 918 9110 or 

WWETB Community Education and Education Scotland: Our Community Education and Training team will be restarting Erasmus staff visits this May with a trip to Edinburgh. Postponed from April 2020, the WWETB team will visit Scottish Community Learning and Development (CLD) groups. Our main hosts are Education Scotland, who have lined up a wonderful two days of site visits, job-shadowing, and discussions.
As a warm-up to the visit, we’ve had two online ‘International Blethers’. Through these we met with several Scottish CLD groups for discussion and presentations. Education Scotland spoke about what they’ve learned from the pandemic, in their retrospective ‘What Scotland Learned: Build Back Better’. There was an introduction to the CLD Standards Council, a professional body for people who work or volunteer in the sector. Sue Briggs and Karen McArdle gave a fascinating presentation on the ‘Impact of Community Work’.
You can view a Wakelet of these sessions, put together by Laura Starkey from Education Scotland. And to learn more about the WWETB visit go to our Erasmus Project Card.
In the next newsletter, we’ll report back from Edinburgh!

Community Education Yarnbombing project: In the Summer of 2021 WWETB Community Education worked with community groups across Waterford and Wexford to be creative and add a splash of colour to communal spaces. Due to Covid restrictions groups were unable to meet indoors and our groups and learners were asking for alternative ways of connecting. People wanted safe spaces to talk to others, reconnect and to be creative. The solution was our Yarnbombing project. An outdoor creative project.
The big lesson from Covid is the need in communities for people to have spaces to meet their neighbours and friends. WWETB are proud to continue this work post Covid and are always looking for inspiration and new ideas.
Community Education Yarnbombing Video

International Women’s Day 2022: On March 8th, participants from the LTI Pathways to Employment Programme joined various groups, facilitators, friends of the centre and funding partners in celebration and remembrance on International Women’s Day 2022.  This event was delivered by the Waterford Women’s Centre’s and supported by Maria Lindell, Deborah Butler, and Susan Lanigan from the WWETB - Waterford Wexford Education and Training Board 
IWD 2022 marked the launch of the Bonnet Project and Heritage Blue Plaque with song and dance in the dance studio kindly supported by Waterford Institute of Technology.  The women’s centre delivers a number of programmes supported by the Waterford Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) including the MAED programmes in Waterford City and County.
WWETB Go Green Energy Campaign – Let’s Get Green Together!
 During the season for celebrating all things green (March and St Patrick’s Day) WWETB launched a sustainability engagement campaign called ‘WWETB Go Green Energy Campaign – Let’s Get Green Together!’. 
The ‘Let’s Get Green Together!’ campaign was launched at the beginning of March and contained two strands:
  1. Let’s Get Green Together! – Competition across five of our schools
  2. Let’s Get Green Together! – Switch Off campaign
At the beginning of March, we launched the ‘Let’s Get Green Together!’  Competition across five of our schools – Bridgetown College, Enniscorthy Community College, Kennedy College, Selskar College and St. Declan’s Community College. 
We asked students in the nominated schools to share their ideas and successes for making their schools more sustainable.  We know schools have a big impact on the environment and we wanted to hear about the efforts being made by students to reduce the carbon footprint of their respective schools.  We asked the students to email a photo/caption of themselves doing their ‘Green Thing’ at school and to give a brief description of the action.
We were delighted to receive the competition entries.   We would like to thank all the students who entered the competition and for making their schools more eco- friendly.  We really appreciate the time and effort each student put into generating their ideas.  We will be incorporating as many of the ideas we received as possible into our plans for making our schools more sustainable.
The Overall Winner/s of the Competition will be announced soon.
The second strand to this campaign focussed on a ‘Switch Off’ initiative across all our buildings before the St. Patrick’s Bank Holiday weekend. 
We asked our staff to make the long weekend truly ‘green’ by saving as much energy as possible in all of our buildings.  Before everyone took off for the long weekend, we encouraged all staff to shut down their computers, monitors, smartboards, printers and to have a look around for anything else that could have been safely turned off or unplugged.
There are lots of ways we can make small improvements to reduce our carbon footprint and help the environment.  Put all of them together and we start to make more than just a small contribution to a brighter, healthier, and more sustainable future.

Share Your Views - We want your passion for the planet to lead the way in this green revolution, where our buildings become a model of sustainability that can offer staff the chance to contribute to green living and demonstrate good practices to others.
We want to hear your ideas for making your school/ centre/ building more eco-friendly.   Please send a brief description of your idea to
Dungarvan Youthreach

Dungarvan Youthreach takes the lead on Environmental Actions: The staff team in Dungarvan Youthreach has been cultivating new young environmentalists through several actions in the centre and in the community this year. The energy and enthusiasm of the team demonstrates how a theme can be developed and animated in a positive and incremental way.

ECO UNESCO competition: Youthreach learners presented their project ‘The Healing Garden’ to a panel of UNESCO judges on the ECO Den. The team explained that they created a garden to promote pollination by planting native trees, wildflowers, and native plant species. The environmental message of helping the bees was multiplied through a themed art competition for local primary schools. 380 entries of a very high standard were received. Waterford Council, Tidy Towns and parents assisted to make sure the garden was a place of ‘grá, pobal agus suaimhneas’. Spring is really showing the garden at its finest. Maria Conroy led the staff and her LCA team. They will attend the final round of the competition in the Mansion House in May, and we wish them the best of luck.
Marine Biodiversity: The wonderful coastline in West Waterford became the perfect learning environment this term. For the first time, LCA 2’s completed a course in Marine Biodiversity. The course was designed by Biodiversity Ireland and involved viewing an online set of modules, completing a task work- book and visiting the seashore. The course was enjoyable and relevant. Local coastal habitats and marine species were explored in detail highlighting the impact the environment has on our oceans and coastline. The new Minibus allowed the class to explore many of beautiful coastal areas that are plentiful in County Waterford. Teachers Brian Mulvihill and Maria Conroy and Coordinator Maria Carney completed the teacher’s training day with Dave Wall Biodiversity Ireland at Clonea Beach in Dungarvan.
The Circular economy: For the LCA VPG enterprise task, learners organised a community car boot sale. Their motivation was to demonstrate that the lifespan of a product can be extended through re-using and re-cycling. The event was hugely successful, and vendors and customers appealed to the centre to host another one stating the sense of community and connection was excellent. The forum was greatly appreciated, and it was a privilege to see so many items find a new home with an extended cycle of life – and for such good value and less in the landfill too. Teacher Louise Conroy and her LCA 1 class did a great job with this novel and welcomed idea.
Waterford VTOS

After a two-year absence, due to Covid, the Waterford VTOS Art, Craft and Design, QQI Level 5 students were delighted to be back in the Index Gallery, Central Library, Lady Lane to showcase a selection of their artistic and craft work designed and created over the two years of the programme. A diverse and unique range of work is on display, ranging from Ceramics, Painting, Stained and Fused Glass, Metalcraft, Jewellery, and Mixed Media demonstrating the range of skills taught to learners which can be replicated in a small studio workshop setting.

The Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Kelly officially opened the exhibition on Tuesday, 5 April 2022, and paid tribute to the high standard of design and skills displayed, praising the dedication of staff and students and their resilience over the last two years. Also, in attendance was the C.E., Mr. Kevin Lewis, who was delighted to be back supporting the Art, Craft & Design Exhibition once again. Craft graduate, Carmel Di Fenza of “Di Fenza Designs” acknowledged that the Waterford VTOS Art, Craft & Design programme, with its partnership with the LEO (Local Enterprise Office) and sponsored placement in the Kite Design Centre, all contributed to give her the confidence and skills to set up her own successful jewellery design business over two years ago that is going from strength to strength.

The Co-ordinator, Helena Finlay, thanked the Waterford Central Library for hosting the exhibition; Waterford Council; the staff of the Waterford & Wexford Education and Training Board for their support of the Waterford VTOS programme as well as the dedicated staff of Waterford VTOS especially over the last few years.

Art, Craft and Design, QQI Level 5 Graduate Exhibition in the Index Gallery, Central Library, Lady Lane, Waterford

Minister visits 'The First Flight Initiative':  Damien English TD, Minister for Business, Employment and Retail visited the LEO and the Kite Design Centre on Thursday the 21st of April and met local Jewellery designer, Michelle Dunne of "strong Roots", a former Waterford VTOS Student.  Waterford VTOS, WWETB, have been proud collaborators with the Local Enterprise office on the "The first Flight initiative", a successful initiative that provides mentoring to craft enterprises with studio and retail space in the heart of Waterford City. Cormac Leane, QQI Level 5 Art Craft & Design Teacher represented Waterford VTOS, WWETB

Music Generation Waterford

Local Schools Discover the World of Opera: Music Generation Waterford in partnership with the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival is delighted announce the return of Discover Opera to the Lismore Castle Gardens for 2022. Over 300 children and young people from across 8 primary schools in Waterford will participate in an exciting series of educational music workshops culminating in an immersive opera trail for participating schools at Lismore Castle Gardens. Discover opera brings school children and their teachers into the curious and creative world of opera, exploring the music, story and characters alongside visiting the opera set and meeting some of the cast and crew from the 2022 Opera. This project is an active participatory project with lots of singing, movement and musical exploration led by a professional team of musician educators, Fiona Flavin (Music Generation Waterford), Elizabeth Stuttard (Music Generation Wexford), Chloe Mills (Music Generation Waterford), and special guest and world-renown opera singer Sandra Oman.
Discover the Opera Trail with Music Generation Waterford & Black Water Valley Opera Festival:
Music Generation Waterford & Blackwater Valley Opera Festival
Jam @ The Royal: Easter Break will be an electrifying time for over 30 second-level students from Waterford City and County. Music Generation Waterford have partnered with Theatre Royal to create Jam @ The Royal, a 4-day mammoth music experience that will see young musicians working with musician educators from MGW and the tech team of TR, learning the ins and outs of the music industry. Over the 4-days, the young musicians will get the chance to take part in workshops covering all aspects of starting a band – from using equipment to song-writing and gigging, as well as jamming with other likeminded young musicians.
‘The People We Grow Up To Be’ Exhibition and Book Launch: Music Generation Waterford and Waterford Libraries were delighted to welcome the 2nd & 3rd class children of Kilmacthomas National School and members of the Bealtaine Choir to Waterford Central Library in early March to launch 'The People We Grow Up To Be’ exhibition and book.  The stunning exhibition and book funded with the support of Creative Ireland documented the  collaborative Intergenerational Project that took place throughout a year-long musical journey. To our great surprise Deputy Lord Mayor Seanie Power attended the launch and in the excitement of it all he treated us to his rendition of ‘There’s a hole in my bucket dear Liza’ which turned to a great big sing song of the day.

Initiated by Music Generation Waterford and Waterford Libraries, the aim of the project was to create an intergenerational collaborative experience using music and song to share stories, express feelings and explore mutual connections within the community while enabling a positive ageing and mental wellbeing for younger and older people. This project also went beyond the musical learning for both the children and the Bealtaine Choir with both groups having the opportunity to upskill in digital media platforms. From Zooming into the classroom to keeping in contact via WhatsApp, the project was a resounding success and it is hoped there will a joint concert in late May which will feature performances by all involved.
The Intergenerational project was led by Music Generation Waterford musician educator Fiona Flavin and Bealtaine choir director Anne Woodworth, with support from musician Aileen Lambert and writer Lani O'Hanlon.
SYOB Kilmacthomas
Our Start Your Own Business Course in Kilmacthomas provides the perfect environment to allow you to research, analyse and start your own business. We are busy putting all the finishing touches to our student’s digital presence. This includes their digital strategies, SEO, social media pages and their all-important website. Having a digital presence in today’s modern market is vital to any new business and we are thankful that we have the skills here in the centre to help our students achieve this.  
For more information click here.

SYOB Kilmacthomas News Letter Video


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