Well done to all who took part in the ‘Hamlet’ challenge of 2018. Soliloquies, dramatisations and props to represent the characters and themes – it was a morning of fun activities and revision. Many thanks to Mr Lavin for participating.
Makua and Stephanie from Transition Year did themselves proud at the National Library of Ireland. They entered the Poetry Aloud competition where both students had to recite two poems in front of an audience of students, teachers and a panel of judges. Both girls did the school proud.
Unfortunately they did not progress to the next round but we have no doubt that they will enter again next year and this experience will be a bonus to them.
6th years had the pleasure of a trip into Smock Alley Theatre to see ‘Macbeth’ on 23rd October. The performance was put on by the Gaiety School of Acting and was an enjoyable and education experience.
The first thing to strike us, however, was an apparent return of the ‘curse’ of the Scottish play. Unfortunately, the actor due to play the title role had injured himself and so an understudy had to step in. This actor had his script in hand for the performance but this was soon forgotten by the audience who were immersed in the drama that unfolded before their eyes.
A central element to this production was the addition of music. A diverse range of instruments were used – drums, a violin, an accordian, an electric guitar and even a saw! The music heightened the tension, reflected the pace of different parts of the play and created an eerie atmosphere. Also notable were the times when the music stopped. Some moments of extreme emotion, such as the news that Macduff’s wife and children had been executed and Macbeth’s ‘Out, out brief candle’ speech, were notable for the absence of music.
Another interesting point to note was Martin Maguire’s casting of the same actor to play Lady Macbeth as one of the witches – we felt that this was intentional and highly effective in linking Lady Macbeth with supernatural forces.
The play itself was followed by a workshop where students had the opportunity to give their opinions on the play and to ask questions of some of the actors. Our students did us proud with some excellent contributions.
The day was a wholly enjoyable experience.
5th year students were treated to two debates on Monday morning – Clann Eanna took on Clann Antoine and then Clann Froinsias took on Clann Padraig.
The first debate was on the motion that ‘This house believes that security cameras are a violation of our civil liberties.’ Speaking for Eanna were Jake, John and Chloe. All three speakers were well prepared and gave engaging arguments as to why we should not permit the use of these devices. Speaking for Antoine were Seyifunwa, Charlie and Shope. These three speakers were equally as informative and entertaining in their speeches. Both sides made reference to crime statistics, the use of CCTV in schools and towns, and to fictional texts such as ‘1984’. They made excellent rebuttal points against each other and delivered their speeches with confidence and passion. When the vote was thrown out to the audience, the motion was carried and Clann Eanna were declared the victors.
The second debate was just as lively as Clann Froinsias took on Clann Padraig on the motion that ‘This house believes the internet should be dismantled’. Speaking for Froinsias were Daniel, Conor and Immanuel. They were both entertaining and informative with their arguments. Speaking for Padraig were Mark, Nicolas and Cormac. The audience thoroughly enjoyed listening to speeches about gaming, socialising, cyberbullying and study. The vote from the audience saw the motion being defeated and Clann Padraig were victorious.
Katelyn did an excellent job chairing both debates and she was ably supported by Nicolas as timekeeper.
It was a very enjoyable morning for both speakers and audience and is sure to be repeated later in the year!!
Here is a poem written by Mia Delaney in 1A1 for anti-bullying week last week. Mia read this poem aloud at school assembly.
I don’t know why it started,
It caught me by surprise,
Classmates making fun of me,
Spreading rumours and lies.
At first it was nothing,
Just a few sly remarks,
But then it got worse,
Their words vicious like sharks.
I bottled it up,
I let it consume me.
It made me feel small,
And I didn’t tell my family.
I felt like if I told,
It would make me look weak.
So I continued on,
My life becoming bleak.
My personality shifted,
My grades started to fall.
A numbing pain spreading inside me,
I felt no happiness at all.
But then one day,
I had enough.
Enough of their words,
Hurtful and rough.
I couldn’t deal with it,
I was taking a stand.
This icy pain had to stop,
That was my demand.
So I told my parents,
And instantly felt better.
To my principal
They wrote a letter.
The teasing ceased.
And from my shoulders,
Pressure was released.
I soon became happy,
And found interest again,
In hanging out
With my friends.
No one deserves to go through that,
No, not anyone at all.
So if a friend seems out of sorts
Please just give them a call.
Here is a compilation of five different opening scenes from ‘Macbeth’. Which is the most effective in your opinion?
On Tuesday 20th December the Senior Choir visited Gormanston Woods Nursing Home for a morning of Christmas Carols and Poetry. The choir visits the Nursing Home every Christmas under the guidance of Ms O’Hare and Ms Hodgins, taking the opportunity to share the Christmas Spirit with the residents. It is always a joyful and lively experience.
This year, as part of our school’s Wellread initiative, the choir was accompanied by a number of students reading Christmas poetry to the men and women in Gormanston Woods. Pauric Leech read ‘A Christmas Childhood’ by Patrick Kavanagh and Aaron Rock read ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ by Clement Clarke Moore. This added an extra literary element to this festive occasion that was greatly appreciated by all involved.
We are half-way through another Drop Everything And Read week here at Franciscan College Gormanston. Everyday at 10:30 teachers are told to stop teaching and students are told to put away their work. All members of the school community take out a book and read for their own enjoyment.
Both students and staff really enjoy this week every year as it gives a short break from work to do something very pleasant and relaxing. Also, all members of the school community take part in this week with great enthusiasm because we fully recognise that reading for pleasure is proven to help improve students’ grades across all subjects.
A number of our students are very interested in graphic novels. They see them as a different way to enjoy narrative – one that has visual appeal to match the story itself. Like traditional novels, there are endless ways to categorise graphic novels. Today, Alex from 6th year spoke to some junior students in the library about the types of novel that he enjoys.
The first type he spoke about were manga – these are read from top to bottom and right to left in the traditional Japanese style. One of Alex’s favourites is ‘Death Note’.
He then went on to speak about superhero stories. This sparked the age-old debate of whether DC or Marvel is the better comic type. Alex’s favourite is the Marvel series, but needless to say, there was a lot of disagreement!
Many students had questions for him and everyone enjoyed sharing their own personal experiences.
We are very grateful to the parents who run the library at lunchtimes who allowed us to use this beautiful space for the talk.
Last Friday the two 6th year English classes pitted their debating skills against each other. The students in 6th year are highly experienced and accomplished debaters and we all knew that it was to be a very close battle. The motion for the debate was taken from the 2016 Leaving Certificate Higher Level exam paper: ‘Young people should travel and see the world before joining the workforce or furthering their education.’
Both teams delivered speeches that were well researched and backed up by plenty of factual data as well as personal anecdotes. They stood in front of their peers with confidence and spoke with passion. This made the job very difficult for the adjudicators; however after much deliberations it was decided that the motion was carried.
We look forward to more high quality debates during the rest of the year!!