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This year at Piper’s Hill College we will launch our first ever ‘Mind your Mental Health Week’ Jan 15th- 19th. We all go through ups and downs in our daily lives, our wellness can be greatly affected by many things – diet, sleep, relationships, major life events, work, exams, daily stressors…. the list is endless!! During our themed week we hope to raise awareness of what mental health is, share tips for wellness, identify the factors that help improve & maintain our mental health, cite supports available in times of need and mostly we hope to take some time to connect within our school community through fun activities and open up the conversation about Mental Health. So students get to your nearest noticeboard and check out upcoming events including ;
Operation Transformation, STOP everything and talk!, Nutrition & Cookery Demonstrations, Zumba, Humourfit, Mindful Music Sessions & 1 K Challenge & Colour run.
For Mental Health support services click here
We are delighted to inform you that plans are underway to organise our annual French exchange with le College des Roches Durtal , Maine -et – Loire, France. Following our very successful exchange for the last three consecutive years we are happy that this programme will continue in March and April 2018.
(2017 Tour group photographed right)
We plan to travel to France on Sunday the 18th of March for approximately 5-6 nights depending on the cost of flights. Our students will stay with French families and will go to school with their exchange partner each morning. Trips and activities will be organised for the afternoon and some evenings. We plan to keep the cost of the trip as low as and possible and envisage that the average cost will be in the region of 300 euro per student. This price will include flights, transfers, trips and meals will be provided by the host families and school.
The return leg of the programme will take place on the 16th to the 23rd of April. We will welcome College des Roches to our school and the students will stay with your family.
The exchange is open to Transition Year, 2nd and 1st year students who are studying French. It is a great opportunity for your son/daughter to experience life in France, spend some time with a French family, attend a French school and to put into practice the French language they are learning in the classroom.
We hope to book the flights at the end of January and presently the cost of the flights is working out at about 200 euro. If your son/daughter is interested in going please fill in the permission slip attached and return it on or before Friday, the 12th of January to your French teacher. Will be in touch regarding payment when we are ready to book the flights. The remainder of cost will be payable before departure.
This years first years certainly accepted the challenge of ‘reading for a good cause’ with the annual MS Readathon. The initiative definitely gave students the opportunity to rediscover their love of books and the wonder they felt when they first heard those magic words “Once upon a time…”. Our avid readers even used the Readathon as a chance to challenge themselves with more advanced books. A massive €979.73 was raised for the MS Society. Well done to all involved!
Makey Makeys are invention kits that enable you to transform any conductive material into controllers and interactive displays. It is comprised of several crocodile clips, a USB cable and the circuit board itself (the Makey Makey) and the rest is up to your imagination.
Introducing this into the classroom was exciting for both teacher and student. It enables students to engage and create, affirming their learning and making it more interactive. It also allow students to understand the science behind electricity and circuits which makes it cross-curricular with science related subjects. There are many ways you can incorporate this into every subject, all you need is the kit, conductors and a bit of imagination. It can also be used alongside Scratch programming to create sounds which can be used for music, definitions, or student pronunciation in languages.
1 Shannon were putting their creative sides to the test by using different conductors such as graphite, tinfoil, and Play-Doh to come up with different ways of using the Makey Makey. Some students were able to play games such as Sonic and Pac-Man whilst others played around with sounds using the kits. This is only the beginning and we are looking forward to using this innovative methodology in the classroom!
Link to the Makey Makey website: https://www.makeymakey.com/
Link to video of Makey Makey possibilities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfQqh7iCcOU
In the group stages we played Confey College and Holy Family Secondary School Newbridge with both u16 and u19 teams. Having won both these games we qualified to the midlands regional quarter finals. These took place in Newbridge vs Baltinglass (u16) and Ardscoil na Trionoide (u19). Both teams secured victories and set up semi-final matches against Tullamore (u16) and Monasterevin (u19). The u16s defeated a strong Tullamore at home in Piper’s Hill College and the u19s defeated Monasterevin in Newbridge.
The boys under 16 team have progressed to the Midlands A final and have also secured a place in the All Ireland playoffs after a fine run of success over the past few months.
Pipers Hill finished top of their group with comprehensive victories over Patricians Newbridge and CBS Portlaoise and a one point victory over De La Salle Waterford in an enthralling encounter with Pipers securing the win on the buzzer after a breath taking finale.
They progressed to the semi’s with an close victory over Tullamore which secured a place in the Midlands Final which will be played in December.
The team has really gelled together with every member playing their part over the course of victories with the guidance of Daniel Kane, Luke Owens, Tobi Ayinla and Fernando Durero.
This year the school decided to put on a musical, the last one was Little Shop Of Horrors back in 2014 when we were in first year. I went to see it, as did many others and was amazed at how professional it all looked. With all the talent and great reviews we knew there would be a lot of pressure put upon us to perform with our own musical, We Will Rock You.
We Will Rock You was created by Ben Elton, it tells the story of a young Galileo Figaro in the year 3000 and something trying to make his way in the big bad world. He rebels against all the brainwashed sheep he is surrounded by, with his search for Rock and Roll. On his quest he meets his love interest, Scaramouche, his female version. Together they encounter the Bohemians, social-dropouts who live for the music of a previous era and who long to bring it back. If you haven’t already guessed by the subtle naming of the characters, the music used in the musical is by the legendary, Queen.
As soon and summer ended and school began so did the planning and preparing of the show. Every Friday after school Ms. Roche would open up the doors of the music room to anyone who wanted to be a part of the musical experience, mainly TYs but there were a few fifth-years and first-years too. We would all crowd round the piano and begin to sing the songs we’d all grown up hearing, but with a few minor tweaks to suit the plot of the show. Although we sung till we could sing no more everyone seemed to be having a great time. Ms. Rouse composed and taught the dances which accompanied the chorus songs, fortunately for me I was in her class meaning I and a few others got taken out of classes quite a bit to help with the dances. We helped come up with a few different moves and had to demonstrate the dances to others – going over the steps if someone was struggling.
While everything was going on, there was an announcement on the intercom one day regarding a competition for the artwork used for the tickets of the musical. Not having my heart set on winning, I decided to put a design foreword, mainly because I knew I’d only be kicking myself if I didn’t. A few weeks went by and I had nearly forgotten all about it when I found out my design had actually won. I was thrilled to hear this news and over those next few days I found it surreal to see the image I had created at about 3 a.m. in my pajamas, multiplied by hundreds floating around the school.
Soon, the stage went up, courtesy of Mr. Grace, and suddenly the idea of a live performance became more of a reality. These last weeks have flown by, we mostly spent all our time in the PE Hall; perfecting our performances. During the school week and often on weekends. It has been astounding to see the talent our school has to offer, the leads by no doubt are fantastic and every single person in the chorus helps bring the show together. On Monday night we had our first proper run through; with the band, the lighting, the sound, costumes and makeup. We were all a little wary of the makeup at first, although it did look brilliant in the end, thanks to the teachers and students who helped with it. With the bright lights on the stage the makeup had to be dark but before we went on it looked like we were all headed to and operating theatre rather than an actual theatre. We were orange. On Wednesday, we had our first performance, a mâtiné, in front of local primary schools. It was a good way of having another practice before we have to do the show in front of a paying audience and it was a good surge of confidence to see how much they seemed to enjoy the show. For the next two nights we’ll all be running on adrenaline and excitement with a hearty crash on the weekend, I don’t think anyone will wake up until school on the following Tuesday
Featuring a host of hit songs from rock legends Queen, We Will Rock You promises to be a musical extravaganza not to be missed!