At 4.05pm on Wednesday May 24, Transition Year in MeanScoil Mhuire came to a close.
The previous night had been TY night, where we showcased all that we had done throughout the year.
From the first minute of TY up until the very last, we were extraordinarily busy with classes, trips, volunteer work, programmes and projects.
Over the course of the year we had a regular academic week with a huge variety of extra classes added into our timetable.
We had our “normal” subjects - English, Irish, Maths, History, Geography, Science, Business, Religion, Home Economics, Music, Art, French and Spanish.
Added into our schedule were dance, sign language, karate, enterprise, photography, health and safety, child development, drama and film studies, to name but a few.
Our first trip of the year was our bonding trip. We went to the Transition Year Expo in Dublin and to the Celtic Adventure Centre in Dunshaughlin.
We sang our way on every trip, such as our Christmas trip to Dublin, where we went roller skating and shopping, our science trip to W5 in Belfast and the Armagh Planetarium and even on our 5-day trip to Italy.
Our singing probably wasn't great but it certainly was loud - our teachers can vouch for us on that.
As a part of Transition Year, we did our best to help those in need.
We took part in many bag packing days in Tesco and Dunnes Stores for various charities, including Temple Street Hospital.
In December we went to St Joseph's care facility and performed a medley of Christmas songs for the patients and staff. A number of girls also took part in Gaisce, the President's Award, which included a community involvement phase.
On TY night we all received a folder containing all of the certificates that we had earned during the year, including but not limited to certificates for work experience, Foróige's Leadership for Life Programme Module 1, Basic First Aid course, health and safety manual handling and basic Irish sign language.
Many girls earned extra certificates/courses that they organised themselves.
Transition Year is a year for making new friends and to branch out and discover new hobbies and interests.
To really appreciate the year you need to throw yourself into everything you do.
Up until this year the words “you get out of it what you put in” didn't have a whole lot of meaning for me.
After this year however, I finally understand and agree with this statement. TY is to be experienced, not watched.
From even before we started the year in September we were anticipating TY night. It is the most important night of the year for TY students. It is the night when our families and other members of the school community can see all that we have done over the past nine months.
Ever since first year, we watched the TYs perform their drama, sign language, dance and so much more, knowing one day it would be us getting the chance to do what they were doing.
Our TY night is something we should be proud of. We opened up the night with a few words from Ms Griffin, our TY coordinator and Ms Mulrennan, our principal, followed by a group dance that featured all the students of TY.
Next we took part in our own individual class dances and sign language performances. The three dances were all from the film Moulin Rouge and our sign language songs were chosen individually by each class group.
For the duration of TY we all took karate lessons. Here we learnt a Kata and self defence, which we showcased on TY night. Some girls took part in a group Kata tournament on the night. Congratulations to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
We continued the night with some sketches that we put together in our drama class. There were seven sketches in total, 'Take me to the Farm', 'The Interview', 'Dr Phil', 'Barry's Typing', 'Uncut', 'House Party' and 'Charity Case'.
Drama isn't for everyone so those who opted out of it took part in a film studies class instead and made a presentation on what they had watched and studied during the year.
We were then introduced to our guest speaker, RTE multimedia journalist Sinead Hussey, a past student of our school. She spoke of her experience in school and how it led her to her career as a journalist. She had such inspirational words for us all and reminded us of the importance of school, home and community.
Next we had a presentation from Shelley Corcoran, our photography teacher. She spoke about the programme and displayed a slideshow of our work throughout the year. There was a lot of nostalgia as we saw the faces of the exchange students that had left us earlier on in the year as they had a played a huge role in making our year as memorable as it was.
We also heard speeches from the girls who had participated in courses outside of school. Then it was time to present all of our outside advisors/teachers with a small token of our appreciation for all they had done for us.
For our music performance we performed Adeimos accompanied by our music teacher Ms McGowan. It was a very unexpected performance but it was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
Everyone was acknowledged for their achievements throughout the year but some students were especially recognised as they had gone above and beyond in all they had done.
The winner of the 'Extra Mile' award was Sarah Sloane. TY girl of the year was awarded to Grace Mollaghan, with Leah Devlin, Sarah Sloane, Sinead McWeeney, Beibhinn Mulcahy and Niamh Earley as the runners up.
As the night was drawing to a close we made a presentation to Ms Griffin and the members of the TY team, Ms Devaney and Ms McMorrow, to thank them for all their hard work and dedication over the year.
The end of TY was met with mixed emotions. It was exciting as the end of school always is, however it was tinged with sadness as we had to say goodbye to our last remaining exchange students and our favourite year of school.
Although we may have said goodbye to TY we will never say goodbye to the memories.
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