Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon

Careers: 5th Year students received a very informative presentation about NUI Maynooth delivered by Margaret Madden. 6th Years are now completing their applications for FETAC courses and they all attended a presentation by Moate Business College. TY students attended a subject choice afternoon where they all had to take part in the delivery of a presentation, presenting their findings about their allocated subject. Open Choice forms were distributed to all TYs and 3rd years progressing directly to 5th Year. All students had at least one appointment to discuss their options with their Guidance Counsellor.

Careers: 5th Year students received a very informative presentation about NUI Maynooth delivered by Margaret Madden. 6th Years are now completing their applications for FETAC courses and they all attended a presentation by Moate Business College. TY students attended a subject choice afternoon where they all had to take part in the delivery of a presentation, presenting their findings about their allocated subject. Open Choice forms were distributed to all TYs and 3rd years progressing directly to 5th Year. All students had at least one appointment to discuss their options with their Guidance Counsellor.

Internet safety: In conjunction with Internet Safety week all parents were invited to an enlightening and informative evening on cyber bullying and social networking. In terms of the long-term well-being of students we believe it is not enough to push the issues off school territory. Parents were given an overview of the effects of cyberbullying, how to prevent it, how to deal with it and how to ensure that their children are safe on line. Parents were also shown how to create and monitor facebook accounts. We discussed a “lockdown” environment and agreed that it would not be effective. It is not about being scared about the virtual world our teenagers spend a lot of time in, its about sitting down and having an open honest discussion around the risks of the internet. Part of that education is about teaching them and modelling empathy and social behaviours on the internet”. Ms. O Neill, who gave the presentation. Michael Bond was back in the , to talk to our Leaving Cert students again. This was his follow up talk after the mock exams. He spoke to them previously in September on “Motivation and Study Skills”. This is part of his programme where he returns after the mocks to speak to the students and learn of their progress. The students appreciated this pep talk very much.

Hop Scotch: Well done to TY students Daniel Howlin, Jake O’Shea, Shannon Walsh and Hayley Doherty who are doing outstanding work in St Matthews National School in Ballymahon. They are painting a hop-scotch court for the primary students and the feedback is extremely positive.

Build a bank: We wish the very best of luck to our “Build a Bank” team, who travel to Athlone on Thursday to compete with other banks in the competition. ‘The Bank Ultimatum’ is comprised of Peter Bohan, Rioch Farrell, David Shannon, Cathal Hughes, Áine McLoughlin, Sarah O’Boyle and Róisin McKeown.

Blitz: Our 1st years took part in a 7 a side football blitz held in Mullingar on Thursday last. Well done to our boys who won 3 out of their 4 games.

Non-Uniform: A non-uniform day was held on Friday last in aid of Childline. This was to support Justin McGuire who was competing in the Childline Talent Search Show All- Ireland semi-final.

Fun day: Good luck to TY students Josephine Sweeney, Fionnuala Dennehy, Lorraine Kelly, Shaunagh Carberry, Jenny Duncan, Shannon Walsh and Hayley Doherty, who are organising a fun day for the students of the local primary schools. The girls plan to have a fun packed day on a Saturday in April. They are organising this in association with Rory Gallagher of the Bridge ways Family Resource Centre in the Dean Egan On Wednesday 22nd last, the 1st and 2nd Year Basketball teams hosted Moate Community College. The 1st Year girls lost out by one basket in a thriller that came down to the final seconds of the game. The 2nd Year girls put in a convincing performance and ran out comprehensive winners. The 2nd Year boys came up against a very strong Moate outfit and they were narrowly defeated. On Friday last the 1st and 2nd Year girls were in action again against Community College Mullingar. Congrats to them on winning both games. Thanks to Ms. Carr and Mr. Dempsey for all their coaching.

Art: The Leaving Certificate students sat their Mock Art exam on Monday and Friday last. This was held in the Art Room and we hope everybody will receive satisfactory results.

Assessment: The Assessment for incoming 1st Year students took place on Saturday last. There was the usual buzz of excitement surrounding the school as this was the first time they had met each other as a year group. A number of students were unable to sit the assessment due to their Confirmation but an alternative date will be set for these students.

Information evening: An information meeting for parents of incoming 1st Years will be held on Thursday 28th at 8pm. The talk is regarding the usage of iPads and eBooks in the school next year.