Waterford and Wexford Education
And Training Board Newsletter!
October 2020, Issue 10
Chief Executive Welcome Message
This has truly been an extraordinary time in all our working lives and as we reach the traditional milestone of the October mid-term break for schools it is appropriate that I pay tribute and thanks to the 1,650 staff of WWETB who have ensured that we have continued to deliver the highest possible education and learning across schools, further education and training centres and our offices during a time when the country has been dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. I am conscious that many of you had your summer break severely disrupted and some may have had little or no break at all.
The move to Level 5 on the government framework for dealing with Covid-19 makes life even more difficult and worrying for many people. We must continue to demonstrate professionalism, show leadership and determination in every way we can even though at times it can seem that we are dealing with confusing and mixed messages which is inevitable in such a fast moving and unprecedented situation.
The overarching position is that WWETB as a public sector body is implementing the government guidelines as they are amended, adjusted, etc. This can be frustrating at times for all of us. The reality is that we have been instructed by government that schools and centres should be open, but both are open in different ways…the former fully and most of the latter through a blended learning approach. Similarly, we have been instructed that staff outside of the schools and centres should work remotely unless they absolutely must attend in person at offices, etc. This may be perceived by some as unfair, especially across similar grades of staff, but once again we must implement government requirements in this regard as there is always a bigger picture than just ourselves in WWETB. We are also subject to confidentiality guidelines from government in respect of confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases. Public Health (HSE) take the lead on this; it is not appropriate to be requesting identification of individuals from principals/managers and we have no discretion in this regard.
As you will be aware, WWETB has established a Covid-19 Response Management Team (RMT) and a ‘Covid-19 Response Plan’ to provide central support to principals, managers and co-ordinators across the organisation, to assist in providing a consistent and coherent message for staff and learners, to centralise as much of the procurement of supplies (including PPE) and contracts as is possible, to provide advice in the challenging environment and to bring issues that need addressing back to national forums where we can attempt to influence national strategies and operational processes. I am pleased to say that you, the staff of WWETB ,have been very well represented in this regard by your principals, managers and co-ordinators; some of the recent national changes regarding support measures for educational settings have been heavily influenced by recommendations from this organisation.
While Covid-19 has been a dominant feature of all our working and personal lives in recent times, I am pleased that we have continued to innovate and develop across all the strands of the organisation. The fact that we have been able to do that is testimony to the highly motivated staff with whom we are so fortunate to work. In order to ensure that we can continue to operate successfully, please do all you can on a personal level to minimise community transmission of Covid-19 and continue to provide the very high professional example of which we are so proud.
I hope this newsletter gives you some insight into the very vibrant organisation in which you work. It may give you ideas for how you can engage with other services we provide across schools, further education and training, youth services, Music Generation and so many others in support of your students/learners. If you would like to contribute to a future newsletter in any regard, please contact email@example.com and we will be delighted to receive your contributions.
Very best wishes,
WWETB Outdoor Education
and Training Centre
The Department of Education and Skills has confirmed that we can move ahead with our extensive plans for a new Outdoor Education and Training Centre, in collaboration with Wexford County Council. This will be a state-of-the-art facility for the south-east and we are delighted that WWETB is leading it. More details will follow shortly, as we agree next steps with Wexford County Council.
The project will encompass the re-location of the WWETB Outdoor Education and Training Centre (OETC) in Shielbaggan to Forth Mountain, Carrigfoyle near Wexford Town. The OETC will be greatly enhanced with superb facilities supported by the innovative partnership with Wexford County Council.
Carrigfoyle Quarry, Forthmountain, looking out over Wexford Town
and Aerial image of Carrigfoyle lake.
Special Thanks to Wexford Drone for their use of image
Minister of Education and Skills announces new
school location for WWETB and Educate Together
WWETB board members were informed on the update of this project by the Chief Executive Kevin Lewis at their meeting last month that significant progress has been made in relation to the project to deliver a 1,000 pupil replacement school for Selskar College in Wexford Town and a new 8 classroom school for the Educate Together National School with significant potential for future expansion of both schools. WWETB will manage and deliver the projects for both schools. The Department of Education and Skills has now informed the Chief Executive that they have identified and acquired a 16-acre site (subject to planning permission) at a location between the Whitford Hotel and the Clonard Road.
Minister of Education and Skills, Norma Foley T.D. has announced the site for our new Post Primary School (Community College) for Wexford town. Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board is partnering with Educate Together on this project. The planning for this has been ongoing for a number of years, and we are delighted that we have finally reached this point. We will now proceed to procure a Design Team for the project.
School location map, Clonard, Wexford
Spectrum Life Wellbeing Series
Our Wellbeing partners, Spectrum Life, have delivered video seminars over the last number of months. The seminars can be added to your calendar and are a useful resource to help staff to focus on and manage their work-life balance.
The next panel discussion will be delivered on Thursday 29th
October and covers Great Leadership through High Performance.
You can view the list of upcoming seminars here,
which all staff can access for free over the coming months.
Remember to register for any seminars that you are interested in, as if you are busy and cannot attend, the recording will be forwarded to your email address.
Quality Customer Service
WWETB is delighted to announce the publication of the following documents: Customer Charter, Customer Service Action Plan and Complaints Procedure.
These documents set out the customer service standards that apply to WWETB. These documents will help staff to recognise the importance of customer service in their work and see the benefits of supporting excellent Quality Customer Service standards in the organisation.
A comprehensive consultation process took place, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank staff of WWETB for their contributions to the production of these documents. The results of the consultation process and survey have given us a representative picture of our current performance in relation to service provision and delivery. It has also given us an outline of the aspiration for the future.
The Customer Charter outlines the standard of customer service that we have set for our organisation.
The actions set out in the Customer Service Action Plan have been developed from the priority issues raised during the consultation phase. This Action Plan gives recognition to the importance of the internal customer and it clearly details the service standards which all of our customers (internal and external) can expect. Our Core Values are embedded in this Action Plan.
The Customer Complaints Procedure sets out a procedure for making a complaint about the quality of a service delivered or the manner in which the service was delivered. It also gives details of the procedure to be followed once a complaint is made.
The NZEB Digital Badge showcased
on City & Guilds on its Homepage
The WWETB NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Building) Digital Badge has been showcased by City & Guilds on its Homepage.
This gives WWETB great exposure as City & Guilds is a recognised awarding body internationally. WWETB was one of the first training providers to have training programmes assured by City & Guild. Assured is a new programme recognition service provided by City & Guilds ensuring that the NZEB training programmes are benchmarked against their quality standard.
WWETB developed a number of NZEB training programmes to provide learners with knowledge of the principles and practices that help in achieving the NZEB standard. This Government directive with policy and building regulations will require all construction professionals to adhere to the NZEB standard and to undergo upskilling to meet the requirements of the sustainable building agenda.
The Digital Badge allows learners to recognise and communicate learning achievements and certifications online in a secure way.
To view the list of programs and badges click here.
Wexford Youthreach entered the annual Wexford Fringe Festival Window Competition in conjunction with Wexford Festival Opera
This year's theme was Shakespearean. Wexford Youthreach secured permission from the Town Engineer Sean Kavanagh to use Keyser's Lane from the Mainstreet up towards the Opera House.
The current Leaving Certificate Year 2 class along with the Art Teacher, Kit Petersen, and Horticulture/Engineering Teacher, Martin Wickham and Wexford Youthreach Coordinator Ann Ryan, came up with a Banksy theme using the Shakespearean Hamlet ‘To be’ quote and changed it to ‘2 metres, or not 2 metres, that is the question’.
The students created a stencil of the Bard Shakespeare, a stencil of the text for the quotation, and a stencil showing the 2 feet distance. Kit informed the students that the colour, post box red, is a Shakespearean theme.
On Thursday 8th of October, the entry design at Keyser's lane was created. The judging took place on Friday the 9th
October. Wexford Youthreach was awarded a special merit that same day.
Prizegiving was on Saturday 10th
October -Following this, Wexford Mayor, Cllr Leonard Kelly, visited Wexford Youthreach Centre and presented the special merit award to the learners. Well done to all involved.
Paddy Carey, Coordinator on the WWETB funded FAI Local Training Initiative has announced that Kaiesha Tobin has gained a scholarship to the United States.
Kaiesha will join the NJCAA programme in Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. She previously played with Kilkenny Women’s FC and currently plays for Wexford Youths Women while attending WWETB FAI programme in Carrignore, which gives her the opportunity to train and study for her QQI level 5 Major Award in Sports and Recreation.
Coordinator Paddy Carey said he expects to see her make a success of her opportunity as she has shown great drive and commitment and has progressed rapidly since joining the Local Training Initiative.
Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)
BTEI New Ross, Level 5 Childcare learner, Michelle Kildea, submitted great photos of the puppet she made as part of Creative Arts in Early Childhood, a module which Michelle and her fellow learners are undertaking remotely at home, with Tutor Angelika Kiely.
Michelle said 'I loved rediscovering my childhood by making the puppet. It reminded me of how fun arts and crafts are.'
Her puppet is pictured out and about in beautiful locations which Michelle got to take while staying within her 5 km restriction area.
Aoife Impresses on Morning Ireland and South East Radio
Leaving Cert Applied (LCA) learner from Youthreach Enniscorthy, Aoife White, was given the opportunity to take part in the Morning Ireland programme on Radio 1, on Wednesday the 29th July. Aoife was interviewed by Aengus Cox as part of the “Life After Lockdown” series. It was the first time Aoife spoke on the airwaves and she delivered an excellent interview.
Aoife highlighted the fact that LCA is often overlooked as an opportunity even though there are approximately 3000 students in Ireland getting ready to sit their exams.
Excellent points were made about the difficulties and challenges of remote learning, access to appropriate IT devices and balancing learning from home, the latter being particularly difficult for Aoife as she is the primary caregiver for her sick mother.
Aoife got some good news, following on from the radio interview. As a result of the radio programme she was contacted by Catherine Cox, Head of Communications for Family Carers Ireland, to offer Aoife assistance throughout this challenging time.
Aoife felt very encouraged from the emails she received from Kevin Lewis, CE, WWETB and from former ETBI General Secretary, Nessa White following the Morning Ireland radio show.
On the following Tuesday Aoife was approached by South East Radio to be interviewed by Aidan Delaney for a programme which covered education during Covid-19.
Aoife was delighted to get another chance to take to the airwaves to speak of her very positive experience in Youthreach Enniscorthy and to promote the issues for LCA students all over the country.
Waterford VTOS partners with
Waterford Local Enterprise
Office to Nurture of Craft Skills
The Waterford Local Enterprise Office has a long partnership with Waterford VTOS in nurturing the skills and talents of adult learners in the QQI Level 5 Art, Craft & Design course. Under the "First Flight Initiative", the Local Enterprise Office has provided workshop settings in the Kite Design Centre for Craft students to design and create bespoke creations.
This summer, Janine Kelly and Carmel Di Fenza were selected for the placements which gave them the opportunity to design, showcase and sell their own jewellery. Both Janine and Carmel specialise in creating original jewellery designs from copper, beading, glass and enamelled metal, taking their inspiration from nature and art. Under the brand name "Aliandi Designs", Janine specialises in making ecological friendly jewellery from recycled copper and sea glass picked from the beaches in Dunmore East. Carmel DI Fenza designs under her own name and her jewellery is inspired by geometry and strong primary colours.
Jeweller-making is one of the skills taught by the Waterford VTOS, QQI Level 5 Art, Craft and Design course with a focus on equipping graduates with the skills to create craft and design pieces in a small workshop setting. Graduates of the course then have the option of developing their craft skills further by going on to college or setting up their own craft enterprise.
Both Janine and Carmel are delighted with the sponsorship provided to them by the Waterford Local Enterprise. "It was an invaluable experience. I have learnt so much and my confidence has grown" said Janine. Carmel also added that "It was a great opportunity to develop our skills, to meet customers and to learn how to sell. Working side by side with the Irish Handmade Glass was brilliant, since they were always on hand to give advice to us.
Helena Finlay, VTOS Co-ordinater, praised the invaluable assistance of the Waterford Local Enterprise Office in developing and encouraging students to look as enterprise as a career pathway. "The Waterford Local Enterprise Office has supported so many of our graduates in setting up their own businesses. Majella Kervick, a former student placement, went on to set up her own jewellery design business "Mise by Majella" and her jewellery designs are now stocked in the Kite Design Centre.
There is so much talent in Waterford and it is great to have the support of the Local Enterprise Office in supporting and developing talent."
For more information on Waterford VTOS, phone Fintan or Helena on 051 852803 or visit the website page or the WAEC VTOS Facebook page.
Celebrates 25th Anniversary
The Waterford VTOS Awards Ceremony is always a special night for staff, graduates, family and friends. The event was held in March, pre-Covid-19 restrictions. This year the night was extra special since Waterford VTOS was celebrating 25 years of providing quality education and training to the people of Waterford City and its hinterland since it first began in 1994.
On the night, Cllr. Adam Wyse deputised on behalf of the Mayor of Waterford and presented 78 QQI Awards to the successful graduates of 2019. Former graduates, Pat Scahill, Assistant CE Supervisor and Catherine Gannon, who is working with Irish fashion designer, Sorcha O’Raghallaigh, spoke about Waterford VTOS being their pathway to employment. David Grant and Katie Flynn spoke of Waterford VTOS preparing them to apply for WIT and both are presently doing a BA in Visual Arts. Katie Flynn, as Student of the Year, was presented with a beautiful vase sponsored the Irish Handmade Glass Company based in the Kite Design Centre.
Waterford VTOS also welcomed back former graduates who have started their own businesses; furniture up-cycler, Marianne Heaphy of “The Revamp Tramp”; jewellery designer Majella Kervick of “Mise” and glass artist Mary Maxey of “Golden Hat” showcased their bespoke original design pieces which were greatly admired by all attendees. Marianne Heaphy had been on “Deise Today” earlier today with Paul Dower of “Waterford in Your Pocket” talking about how Waterford VTOS was the first step they had taken in their journey of setting up their own businesses. Helena Finlay, VTOS Co-ordinator, paid tribute to the Local Enterprise Office for their crucial role in encouraging and supporting Waterford VTOS graduates in starting their own business. She also paid tribute to the staff of Waterford VTOS and WWETB in supporting adult learners and reflected that over the years, the courses and accreditation offered may have changed but Waterford VTOS remained committed to offering courses with an emphasis on practical skills enabling graduates to get employment, start their own businesses or progress to further education.
The QQI Level 5 two-year courses offered by Waterford VTOS such as Art, Craft & Design; Fashion Design & Sewing Skills and Interior Design courses are unique in the south-east. Whilst the QQI Level 5 Information Technology and Business Administration offers much sought after skills in Payroll and Accounts, Web Design and Medical Terminology.
Waterford VTOS is now accepting applications for September 2020. Call Helena or Fintan on 051 852802, visit the Waterford VTOS office in Durands Court or website: www.adulteducationcentre.ie
Adult Literacy and Language
Erasmus+ Glasgow mobility
In early March, WWETB Adult Literacy and Language services partnered with Education Scotland/Foghlam Alba for a two-day visit to Glasgow, supported by Erasmus+ funding. The purpose of the visit was to share and increase knowledge, develop understanding, and collate research on Adult Literacy and English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) practices.
The group first met with the Strategic Director, Senior Education Officer and Development Officer of Education Scotland. Education Scotland is a department of the Scottish Government who coordinate and fund ESOL and Adult Literacy provision. There was an exchange of information on how the respective programmes are managed. One of the WWETB representatives who found the discussion very beneficial was Adult Literacy AEO Michael Kirwan, who mentioned that ‘I could clearly see the pros and cons of each service. This is very helpful as it will lead to an improvement on how we do things in Ireland and hopefully, our Scottish counterparts will take on the good aspects of our system.
Following the discussion there were visits to the Glasgow ESOL Forum in Georges Road, to the Adult Literacy Network, West Dunbartonshire Council and to Citizen Literacies at the City of Glasgow College. The next day the group attended a range of sessions, regarding the SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority), with ALN, a local authority network of 32 local authorities across Scotland and site visits such as to Chapelside Community Centre at North Lanarkshire Council. Mary Hamilton was one of those who visited Chapelside. ‘This was an interesting example of community learning at its best. Here we saw refugees amalgamated with other ESOL learners and there was a great sense of community support with access to creche facilities and other classes such as art and cooking. Learners were encouraged to become active in their local community and had extra support from volunteer teachers and befrienders.
Sara Kelly is an ESOL tutor and a member of the ESOL Assessment Project Team. Following the series of visits, she feels that there are many aspects of the Scottish ESOL certification and assessment system that can further inform the development of the provision of ESOL in Ireland. This is especially true of the assessment procedures, as WWETB has recently started using the Scottish Initial Assessment Pack and guidelines. Also, she believes the Scottish template would make an ideal template for new ESOL modules, aligned to CEFRL Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, ‘that better reflect the profiles, needs and aspirations of our learners.
Similarly, Nicola McCarthy Hanlon, whose focus was on general Adult Literacy, thought that the overall activity was a great opportunity to review another model, to look outside the box and take on board some of the Scottish approaches that have been developed. She liked some of the approaches and may include them in the Adult Literacy service, such as City Phonics, Dunbartonshire’s Individual Learning Plans and the Fair Start to Work model. ‘The Fair Start to Work model treats people with dignity and respect by providing flexible support, taking into account personal circumstances and removing barriers to accessing work...something that Adult Literacy could work with to help more adult literacy workers target specific needs to achieve employment.
The WWETB staff found the trip very useful, educational, and illuminating. Michael also commented on the links made with Scottish counterparts. ‘The personal contacts we have made are invaluable and we have a plan for closer co-operation in this area. The trip was worth it for this in itself.
A huge thanks must go to Laura McIntosh of Education Scotland for the schedule of this trip. Further information on Scottish ESOL, Adult Literacy and Refugee services can be found at the following sites:
Education Scotland presentation
City of Glasgow College
Community Learning and Development section includes incorporates Adult Literacy, ESOL as well as youth work. Feel free to subscribe to any and all.
* WWETB Language and Literacy Service provides education to 4,204 Learners across two counties, in 13 FET Centres (including 1 Syrian Refugee Centre). Learning also takes place in numerous Community settings, including 5 Direct Provision Centres.
There is one Adult Education Officer, four Adult Literacy Organisers and around 80 Tutors and coordinators, as well as 2 fulltime Admin staff and around 1.5 equivalent Agency staff.
Click here for more stories on the visit from Epale.
Local Training Initiative (LTI) News
Wexford LTI’s Yield Amazing Results
Gorey Local Training Initiative, COTS LTI in Kilmuckridge and the Cornmarket LTI in New Ross have just finished up what has been an unprecedented year for education and training. With that said, we would like to extend huge congratulations to them for the amazing results achieved by their learners. All three programmes combined finished with 37 learners and 32 of those have achieved Major Awards in their respective courses. 5 learners from the Cornmarket LTI in New Ross completed 2 Major Awards, which is fantastic. 37 Major awards have been achieved by these LTIs combined alone in the past 12 months, plus several more minor awards achieved by the other learners.
These results are an astounding testament to the staff and learners overcoming the adversity they faced during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
One can only feel a sense of pride and wish all these learners and programmes all the best in the future, knowing they can overcome whatever may come their way. Well done to all!
Continued Collaboration in Wexford
Once again, we are delighted to renew our LTI programmes in Wexford for the coming year, Gorey Training Initiative, Access 2000, Courtown LTI, and the Cornmarket LTI in New Ross. These fantastic Local Training Initiatives continue to provide vital training needs to their areas. We would also like to extend huge thanks to them all for their continued hard work and dedication during the lock down period and their amazing displays of innovation through online teaching and learning. We are looking forward to the year ahead and working together, whatever may come our way.
LTI Gets Hooked
WWETB is delighted to announce the newest collaboration with Hook Rural Tourism LTD bringing an LTI to the peninsula. This collaboration will bring new opportunities to the community including businesses and the tourism industry to the area through a level 4 Employability Skills course, which has a strong anchor in tourism, nodding to the strengths and the opportunities available in the area. The LTI will also be joining forces with the FABLAB in New Ross for some very exciting and innovating modules in Virtual Reality and 3D Printing. We are looking forward to welcoming new learners to this LTI and the organisation.
Youth Work Affairs Update
Newly Appointed Youth Officer
The Youth Work Affairs team is delighted to welcome Regina Butler, as newest member to the team in her role as Wexford Youth Officer. Regina has over twenty years’ experience within youth work, adult education, and community work. Immediately, preceding her appointment to WWETB, Regina was working with ETBI as Youth Work Support Officer. Regina’s role within ETBI was to support ETBs in the roll out and implementation of UBU Your Place Your Space scheme.
Regina commenced her role with WWETB in July of this year and has said that ‘It was a strange time to start a new role, but I’m delighted to be part of a strong and vibrant Youth Work Affairs team within WWETB.’
Launch of Your Place Your Space (UBU) Scheme 1st July 2020
The Youth Work Affairs team has had an extremely busy 2020, supporting over 20 youth work projects in their application for entry into UBU Your Place Your Space scheme, which commenced in July 2020. The UBU Your Place Your Space scheme is supported by the Rules and Policy document underpinning the scheme and introduces a number of new elements to the monitoring, support and oversight role of ETBs as it relates to youth work. The team will be working with all organisations over the coming year with the transition to the new scheme. More information on the UBU Your Place Your Space scheme is available at www.ubu.gov.ie
National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) Review of the
Youth Work Sector response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
National Youth Council of Ireland launched its research cataloguing the youth work sector response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The research highlights the impact of the pandemic on young people including concerns regarding young people’s mental health; young people are worried about the uncertainty around results and they are missing the emotional support schools provide; young people already experiencing poverty became even more isolated; a lack of social contact and the lack of structure and routine did not help young people function and ultimately had a negative impact both physically and emotionally.
The research also highlighted how many youth work services continued to provide services to young people throughout the pandemic. Several services immediately went online and some projects that continued their outreach services e.g. detached work, socially distant house visits or delivery of activity packs as a form of outreach and connection. Several projects had a particular emphasis on supporting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of the young people they engaged with. Many services generated social media or website content in relation to health and wellbeing. Some projects engaged directly with parents as a way of making contact with young people. Overall, the young people shared very positive experiences of youth work during this time and felt that youth organisations were responsive to their needs and provided vital interaction.
This research bears out the experience of youth work organisations, staff and volunteers in their response to engaging and supporting young people during the pandemic. The WWETB Youth Affairs Team would like to acknowledge the efforts of the boards, management, staff and volunteers of youth work organisations and clubs who have and are continuing to provide quality youth work services to young people.
Further information is available on the National Youth Council of Ireland website.
Teaching and Learning - The Magenta Principles Programme of CPD with Mike Hughes
In September, WWETB teaching staff began an annual Magenta Principles programme of CPD, and we were delighted to be able to welcome this new cohort of participants remotely. Now in its’ fifth year, this programme of CPD remains very popular with teachers from a wide variety of subject areas. Teachers from across our 12 post-primary schools are given the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas and resources. The programme focuses on how small, but impactful small changes to classroom practice can lead to increased engagement and positive challenges for our students.
WWETB introduced this programme of CPD in 2016 and, to date, almost 150 teachers have participated. From the beginning, we have been supported by our Digital Learning Team and IT Department and were ‘early adopters’ of Microsoft Teams. As a result, we were very well positioned to move the programme of CPD to a remote mode of delivery.
In 2018, Mike Hughes wrote a new version of The Magenta Principles book designed for the Irish market, which was published by NAPD. WWETB is featured as a case study example of good practice of how to develop a programme of CPD that has breadth, depth, and sustainability. There are over 20 lesson samples in the book from teachers WWETB.
In 2020, Mike Hughes hosted sessions for our principals and deputy principals on the Magenta Principles programme so they could further support the activities of participants in their schools. The ‘top down’ support of management in schools has been a crucial component of the success of the programme.
We are looking forward to our remaining session for 2020/21.
Click here to learn more about the magenta principles and author, Mike Hughes.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Research Grants for Students
WWETB is delighted to announce the introduction of a research funding programme for students of STEM subjects. The aim of the programme is to offer students the opportunity to experience the research grant application process in the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
Applications were invited from students across WWETB’s 12 post-primary schools Students collaborated with their teachers and decided on a suitable research question/hypothesis. An application was submitted on behalf of the class group.
Applications will be evaluated by the STEM Research Funding Review Committee in WWETB. Successful applicants will be informed during Science Week, November 8th - 15th 2020. Final research reports will be published in the inaugural WWETB Science Journal in 2021.
St Declan's Community College - Kilmacthomas
Managing My Leisure Time
Well done to Sara Hobson and Martin Carroll, two teachers in St. Declan’s Community College, Kilmacthomas, Co.Waterford on the production of a new course on well-being designed for first or second year students.
The course called, Managing My Leisure Time, has been 3 years in development and is now ready to be expanded out to other schools. The idea behind the course is to encourage and enable students to look at how they spend their free time and give them experiences of new ways to spend their free time.
The idea for the course came about in response to the amount of time young people spend on screens and to attempt to provide alternatives to screen time. The course actively engages students, while they build key skills as envisaged by the new Junior Cycle curriculum. Students build their communication skills, team/group work skills, self-evaluation skills, creative skills and much more in a fun learning way.
The course was designed to allow teachers the flexibility in structuring lessons to a way that suits the teacher’s schedule. There are 33 classes, each 40-minute duration which are designed with a student workbook that allows the student to keep a record of the work completed. The students are asked to rate each class and give reasons for their rating; this gives the students a chance to give feedback while developing their critical thinking skills.
Sara and Martin delivered a workshop on the course in the Waterford Teacher’s Centre earlier this year. This workshop was very well received by the teachers present. Testimonials include, “It’s a vital solution to our modern kid”, “it’s proactive, creative and fun”.
More workshops were planned but due to the corona virus they had to be postponed. There will be more workshops in the coming academic year. The workshops go through the course providing the teacher with clear insights as to the structure of the course. More information about the course and workbook are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to wish both Sara and Martin the best of luck with this endeavour.
Generation Apprenticeship 2020
Well done to Bridgetown College on Generation Apprenticeship Competition
Minister Simon Harris launched the 2021 Generation Apprenticeship competition for second level schools. Trophies and certificates to the 2020 winners and finalists were presented online and Bridgetown College came joint second runner up.
Click here to view awards
Bridgetown College Principal, Adrian Power, thanked Minister Harris for a wonderful initiative and for his presentation and kind words.
Both video presentations show how spirits cannot be dampened in these times for such great achievements while receiving awards even if it is a virtual ceremony.
Click here to view video
Thanks to Front-Line Workers
First Year Religious Education students were invited by their teacher Ms Noctor to create posters to show their thanks and appreciation to the Front-line workers who are keeping us safe and looked after during this time. This is just one of the colourful posters made by the students.
Active at Home Week
The PE department ran a whole-school PE Challenge where students uploaded a video of how they were exercising at home during Covid-19. There were Junior and Senior categories with 2 prizes in each category, one for the most imaginative video and one for the video that shows the most skill.
Bridgetown College linked in with D. O Keefe’s daily challenges for eight consecutive days. Ms Manning, Ms Boland and Ms Bates also organised the Annual Staff Steps Challenge, which Ms Manning’s Team won.
Green Schools Week
Green Schools Week had to virtual and socially distanced this year with three competitions – one a photography competition for “All things green near me”, a video competition “Exploring Nature 5 km from home” and a Creative Recycling or Upcycling – to make a piece of art, bug hotel or anything you like using material from the local area or home.
Wexford in Lockdown
Bridgetown College SNA, Pat Healy who has worked in the school for the past 11 years decided to put his Easter Bank Holiday Monday to creative use and take photos of Wexford in lockdown.
Pat said ‘It was very quiet and calm but Wexford Quay and Main Street were deserted.
The Importance of Hope
Ms. Geoghegan ran a poetry competition “The Importance of Hope” for all year groups and received beautiful and inspiring entries. Cian O’Reilly 2nd year composed the winning entry.
The Importance of Hope
by Cian O'Reilly
It snuck into our lives this invisible thing that
No one can see
It took away what we know in a Blink.
HOPE is what we have now.
School is gone as we can no longer go.
Playing with friends is also a no go.
Hope is the place where we want to go.
Seeing our family is also no more.
Grandparents are not let out the door.
HOPE is the people we long to see.
Everyone is feeling a bit lost and unsure.
Not knowing what will be anymore.
HOPE is the feeling that will help us get through.
And that to me is
The importance of Hope.
Dungarvan College - Coláiste Dhún Garbhán
Friday Feels for JCSP student Ciara
Throughout the 3-year Junior Cycle programme, the school celebrates students’ achievements by means of a ceremony, parents are included, and certificates are presented to every student. This usually happens in December and in May each year.
Naturally, during lockdown, it had to modify its approach to this, so it issued digital certificates to students via email.
Ciara’s Gold Certificate in Math’s after recently suffering the loss of her Grandmother must have really brightened up her week. A family member contacted Today FM to include her in their ‘Feel Good Friday’ news bulletin.
Click here to listen. A huge well done to Ciara and to all students who worked away at home.
Why do birds suddenly appear?
Dungarvan College took part in the Incubator Project for the second year. The project which is run by Nore Valley Park Farm in Bennettsbridge, Kilkenny, is a simple 4-week process.
An incubator was delivered to the school with seven fertile eggs which were laid by hens on the Nore Valley farm. Students were given a short educational talk about the development and life cycle of a chicken and the hatching process. The eggs take 21 days to hatch, and the chicks stayed in school for about 5 days. The chicks then return to then farm in Bennettsbridge.
It was a great chance for students to learn about the life cycle of chickens and to take ownership over the eggs and chicks once they had hatched. Eggciting stuff!
Click this link to view the chicks hatching in the school library.
Kennedy College - New Ross
Kennedy College Transition Year Students ‘Shop Local’
Kennedy College made the most of the facilities New Ross has to offer over the first term of the 2020-2021 academic year by taking part in Transition Year excursions centered around the town and surrounding areas.
Not submitting to the current travel restrictions, Ms Meyler, our Transition Year coordinator, organised a ‘physically distanced’ team building day facilitated by ‘Get West’ on the Kennedy College campus. Students enjoyed archery, target shooting, team-building exercises and hitting the heights of Irelands largest mobile climbing wall.
Our Transition Year students also enjoyed a walking tour of New Ross, facilitated by Myles Courtney, learning about the fascinating history of New Ross and seeing first-hand the relics of the past dotted around the town.
In keeping with the spirit of Transition Year in Kennedy College where students get to experience a different way of learning which takes them out of the classroom, Transition year students were ‘gone fishin’ as they enjoyed a day at Oaklands Lake where they learned more about our waterways and their inhabitants.
Sarah Logan says farewell to Kennedy College
Sarah Logan said a final farewell to Kennedy College in August 2020 after over 30 years of service by announcing that she intended to take ‘social distancing to another level in September’.
Starting life in Kennedy College as a Commerce or ‘Bookkeeping’ teacher, Sarah fitted seamlessly into the fabric of the school. Over the years, Sarah taught Business Studies, IT, and a little Math’s along the way, before finding her place in the FET side of the school, teaching Office Administration with a particular interest in Word Processing and Business Administration.
Sarah, in her typical genuine and quiet nature always embodied the Kennedy College Visionary Statement ‘Together We Learn For Life’ as she worked tirelessly to prepare students and adult learners for the world they would encounter outside of the school gate.
In a quietly spoken few words, Sarah thanked the staff, past and present, for the ‘kindness and friendship’ over the years and said that she was ‘a better person for her time spent in Kennedy College’.
Over many years, Sarah displayed faithfulness and commitment to the Kennedy College and remains a highly respected and professional colleague whose presence is missed.
The entire Kennedy College community wishes Sarah the very best of luck in her retirement.
Enniscorthy Vocational College
Michael Sweetman Trust
The week of the 24th Feb saw three Leaving Certificate Applied students at Enniscorthy Vocational College travel with over 20 other Irish students to the ‘Louise Weiss’ Chamber of the European Parliament to represent Ireland among students from all member states of the European Union. The purpose of the visit was to engage in debates and intra-policy discussions on 6 issues of common concern across the continent of Europe, namely, the Environment, International Security and Human Rights, Addiction and Young People, Migration, Youth Unemployment and the Future of Europe. The Enniscorthy students were also involved in presenting working papers to the Parliament itself and their visit to the EU institution concluded with their being presented with Euroscola certificates and the playing of the European anthem ‘Ode to Joy’. Over the course of their week-long visit the students toured Strasbourg and stayed in the picturesque town of Kiel in Germany. They returned by Aer Lingus flight from Frankfurt, Germany on the Friday morning. A special thanks to the Michael Sweetman Trust for their continued support, the Leaving Certificate Coordinator Conor Dempsey who organised the trip, and to the three students Aaron Larkin, Alehandro Fusteac and Ricardo Marcut who represented the school excellently.
Safer Internet Day Ambassador Leadership Award
Enniscorthy Vocational College are delighted to announce that two of our Transition Year students Lily Byrne and Daniel Power have been awarded a Highly Commended certificate on their entry for the Safer Internet Day Ambassador Leadership Award.
Safer Internet Day (SID) is an EU wide initiative to promote a safer internet for all users, especially young people. Our Transition year students ran their campaign over the week 10th to 14th of February under the leadership of Daniel and Lily. Their events included interactive 1st year classes on internet safety, external speakers to parents, teachers and students, promotion of key online tips and messages via intercom messages, videos and posters throughout the school.
They will be receiving their awards at an awards ceremony in Facebook HQ at a later date.
Enniscorthy Vocational College Multicultural Day was held on Friday 6th March. A hugely worthwhile, inclusive event, the Multicultural Day gave each student the opportunity to showcase their home nation and educate their fellow students. A total of twenty-three nationalities attend Enniscorthy Vocational College and the countries that were showcased at the Multicultural Day included Australia, Lithuania, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Brazil, Poland, The USA, and Syria to name just a few! Each country had a visual display of all that makes their individual cultures unique and interesting, including fun facts, history, and local traditions.
The Multicultural Day created a real opportunity to celebrate both diversity and integration in Enniscorthy Vocational College. To see the pride of students in their native traditions and language was heart-warming. A huge thank you to Ms. Tina Merriman who coordinated the whole event. The event further showcased the inclusive nature of Enniscorthy Vocational College where every student is valued and respected.
Waterford College of Further Education
Farewells and Retirements
Waterford College of Further Education says a very fond farewell to four staff members who retired recently. Ann O’ Regan in the Art Department, Jacinta O’ Brien in our VTOS Department, Grainne Duggan Communication Teacher and Anne O’ Brien Guidance Counsellor.
We thank these very dedicated teachers for their long and dedicated service to students in WCFE over many generations and we wish them well for the future as they begin the next very exciting chapters in their lives.
Music Generation Wexford
Mini Maestros will offer online workshops on Wednesdays for 7 weeks from 4 November. The 10.30am session will be with Aileen & Pete McCamley for parents and toddlers – the 3.30pm session will be with Aileen & Pete McCamley, Olivia (10 yrs) & Cillian (8yrs) for parents, toddlers and siblings. These will be based on the success of the pilot sessions and will be the first programme for MG Wexford reviewed using the Quality Framework.
Primary Schools Programme
18 Primary Schools are starting their 2020/21 Music Generation Wexford Programmes this term. 17 in person, based upon meetings with musicians and planning the safest way to deliver the programme. One primary school will trial their programme in the classroom through Zoom from November 2020.
From March - August 2020 we made over 130 videos for our primary school programmes; initiated a six week programme of Mini Maestros Online; hosted our monthly High Street Opera Zoom online from the wilds of County Kerry with new creative input & outcomes; hosted Blackwater Bows cello lessons online & violin lessons via video; a bespoke programme for Cruinniú na nÓg including Zoom to Record with Brendan Carthy from The Orchard Recording Studio; hosted Wexford Wind Jammers Band Camp Online (check out the fab videos of Old Town Road & Sucker) and ran a four week participatory children's traditional singing workshop.
It is a testament to the professionalism, expertise, perseverance and creativity of the musician educators that we were able to share this wonderful work with young people over the last six months. This didn't happen without the skilled & dedicated work of Sheila Meyler, Administrator, Music Generation Wexford, such valuable support.
High Street Opera Shop
The High Street Opera Zoom, an online version of the children’s opera workshop was on 19 September & 24 October. Managed by Elizabeth Drwal, the opera workshop explored the music, movement and song of the opera Falstaff to tie in with the Wexford Festival Opera 2020’s production. Elizabeth combined a range of dynamic videos as well as her live presence on Zoom to engage with the participants. Two regular participants of the HSOS were invited to meet the opera singers in the Factory as part of the Festival and were highly motivated as a result!
Music Generation Waterford
Music Generation Waterford City Music Hub Is Up To The Beat
Is it a harp? Is it a trumpet? Is it a drum?... Yes it’s all those and so much more as Music Generation Waterford’s City Music Hub returns to live music in person!! Young musicians from across Waterford City and County are back in the groove, attending live instrumental lessons since mid-September. Our City Music Hub is proudly located in St. Paul’s Community College and runs every Thursday from 4.30pm – 8pm. Earlier this year, lockdown #1 saw all hub students move to online learning, with lessons taking place on virtual platforms but our music educators were delighted to welcome young music students back to lessons in person thanks to the on-going support of the management and staff of St. Paul’s Community College.
Waterford City Music Hub offers a variety of instrumental lessons for 7 – 18years including Guitar (Rock and Pop and Classical Genre), Ukulele, Drums, Piano, Harp & Uilleann Pipes. We also have exciting new additions including brass lessons and our pre-instrumental class Little Rockers for children age 5-7 years.
Are ya Well Waterford?
Music Generation Waterford embarked on an exciting partnership with Waterford City and County Libraries recently to create a week of free online music, celebrating Well Festival of Arts & Wellbeing which ran from Oct 6th to 9th 2020. Several series were created including Morning Risers, a daily warm up and energiser that saw hundreds of primary school children tune in at 9am with musician educator Ruth Gallagher (pictured above). Lunch time every day was filled with pre-recorded meet the musician and classroom concerts performed by the highly skilled musicians from Music Generation Waterford team which were streamed into classrooms so children could meet local musicians, learn about different musical instruments and of course hear them being played. For the ‘too cool for skool kidz’, Beatboxing Basics series went down a storm and it was all about the boots n’ catz with musician educator John Mullins.
The response was absolutely fantastic and Music Generation Waterford were delighted to work with the wonderful team behind Waterford City & County Libraries programming for Waterford’s Well Festival. Music Generation Waterford now have extended the series of lunch time concerts which are now available should any music teachers or school music departments wish to use these for free as educational resources for music students about local musicians and different musical insturments including harp, uilleann pipes, electric guitar, flute and saxophone. Check out Music Generation Waterford Youtube Channel for more online music resources such as ukulele playalongs, guitar tuning tips and more.
Lá na Cruite, Harp Day
October 17th marked Lá na Cruite, a day of celebrating all things Harp. Music Generation Waterford were delighted to be programmed in the celebrations curated by Harp Ireland which featured 100’s of harpers from across the world. Our young harpers virtual performance of Raise Your Sails My Love and Marnie Swanson arranged by Siobhan Buckley was created during August 2020 with their musician educator Jill Devlin and aired on a national platform once again. This is a very exciting time for harping in Waterford as Music Generation Waterford invested in 12 new harps this September in preparation for the continued expansion of the harping programme in Waterford City both in our City Music Hub and through our partnership with Waterford City Comhaltas Branch. Our current 17 harp students are preparing for Tionól Harp & Pipe Festival with Music Generation Laois next week which takes place online and gives them the unique opportunity to workshop with world renowned Scottish harper Caitriona McKay. Watch this space!
Beginner Harp Class – one space left at 4.45pm in St. Paul’s Community College, beginner harps available for loan. Sign up by emailing email@example.com
. Suitable for young learner aged from 8yrs plus.
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