Category Archives: Transition Year

Poetry Aloud 25th October 2018

Makua and Stephanie at Poetry Aloud


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.

Music and Poetry for Christmas

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.

Music and poetry at Gormanston Wood

Drop Everything And Read 2016

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.

Drop Everything and Read week
Drop Everything and Read week


Class 1A2 reading for pleasure
Class 1A2 reading for pleasure

Graphic Novels in the library

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.


Alex talking to some junior students.
Alex talking to some junior students.


Students listening to the talk about graphic novels.
Students listening to the talk about graphic novels.

Space Week in the Library

Last week was Space Week in the Library and here we can see some of our junior students with a display of books that are available.

Students have access to a wide range of books – both fiction and non-fiction. The library, run by the Parents’ Association, operates themed weeks during the course of the year. Be sure to pop in whenever you can to find out what is going on!

Students with a display of books about space.
Students with a display of books about space.

Bob Dylan – Nobel Laureate

American singer-songwriter has today been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’. He is the first singer-songwriter to win the award and the first American to win since Toni Morrison in 1993.

He was born on 24th May 1941 in Minnesota and began writing and performing in his teenager years and has not stopped since.

Permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sarah Danius, said later: ‘We we’re really giving it to Bob Dylan as a great poet – that’s the reason we awarded him the prize. He’s a great poet in the English tradition, stretching from Milton and Blake onwards. And he’s a very interesting traditionalist, in a highly original way. Not just the written tradition, but also the oral one; not just high literature, but also low literature.’

Author Salman Rushdie stated that he was delighted with Dylan’s win and said that his lyrics ‘had been an inspiration to me all my life since I first heard a Dylan album at school.’

Prof Seamus Perry, chair of the English faculty at Oxford University, compared Dylan’s talent to that of the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, calling the songwriter ‘representative and yet wholly individual, humane, angry, funny and tender by turn; really, wholly himself, one of the greats’.

Author Joyce Carol Oates said there should be no question about Dylan’s work being considered literature, praising the academy’s ‘inspired and original choice’.

Not everyone was overjoyed by the announcement, however. Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting, said that although he was a Dylan fan ‘this is an ill-conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies’.

Here is one of my favourites:

Poetry Aloud 2014

Students from Franciscan College Gormanston at the National Library of Ireland for Poetry Aloud
Students from Franciscan College Gormanston at the National Library of Ireland for Poetry Aloud

Students from Franciscan College, Gormanston attended the National Library of Ireland today for the regional heats of the Poetry Aloud competition. The students had to recite two poems each for a panel of judges – one prescribed for them and the other was of their own choosing.

Students in the Junior Category had to recite the poem ‘Heirloom’ by Gerard Smyth. In this category we had Sarah Browne and Evan Logue from 1st year and Maya Keeley, Raven Opashi and Todd Lynch from 2nd year. Students in the Intermediate Category had to recite ‘An Irish Airman Foresees his Death’ by W.B. Yeats. We were represented in this category by Alex Konchar, Kyle Keeley, Chris Leech and Adam Lally. Students in the Senior Category had to recite ‘St. Kevin and the Blackbird’ by Seamus Heaney. In this category we were represented by Veronica Filani, Miriam Mputu-Ntela and Nadia West.

Congratulations to all who took part. You did yourselves and your college proud!

The Speech

An exciting opportunity has been presented to the students of Gormanston. All students are being encouraged to enter ‘The Speech’ Competition. All you have to do is choose a speech from history, literature, TV or movies and record yourself performing it. Post it on Youtube and send the link to the competition organisers. A consent form will need to be signed by your parents before you can enter the competition. Here are more details about the competition:

“The Speech”


“The Speech” was a massive success last year and was reported on both locally and nationally. This year we want to make it bigger and better!

This year we are inviting secondary school students (First to Sixth Years) to submit a video of them delivering their favourite speech– historic, cinematic, from literature – and post it on YouTube and send the link to the organisers. A judging panel of film and oratorical experts will adjudicate the top videos (as decided by Likes on our Facebook page). The winner will receive an incredible state of the art netbook and Matheson “The Speech” Trophy, to be presented to the winner at the Junior Debating National Mace Final.

“What Should My Speech Include?”

Based on the feedback we got from adjudicators over the past two years we have decided to set down a number of requirements:

1. At the start of your speech you should explain why you choose it and why it is an important speech.

2. The Finalists will be judged on the following criteria.

  • The significance of the speech and the reasons given for choosing it.
  • Their delivery of the speech- did you make it your own? Did you engage your audience?
  • Production and presentation of the speech.

Who can enter?

Secondary school students – From first to sixth year.

There will be a Junior and a Senior Category.

How to Enter

Create a video – up to ten minutes in length – of a famous speech. You can use whatever tools you have at your disposal – props, editing software, sound techniques etc.

Upload the video to YouTube including “The Speech” in the title and “Junior Debating National Mace” in the tags.

Once the video is ‘live’ on YouTube, send the link to the organisers so we can put them all up on the facebook page on the same day. You should include your name, school and year.

More Importantly – How to Win!

The top videos chosen from ‘likes’ and the panel’s choice will be shortlisted. These videos will then be judged by film and oratorical experts who will choose the overall winner of a State of the Art NETBOOK!!

There will be a Junior, Senior and overall Winner- all receiving amazing prizes and trophies.


The deadline extends all the way to Friday the 30th of January and all videos will be put up on “The Speech” Facebook page on the same day Sunday the 1st of February.

Then you need to get your friends and family to start liking! Voting closes on Thursday the 12th of February with the shortlist on Friday the 13th of February. Then you have until Friday the 27th of February to re-shoot.


Like all the Junior Debating National Mace Competitions photos will be taken of the finalists and their videos will be available on both social and national media. Photographs and videos will be distributed to local and national media. Photographs and videos will be used for the promotion of the competition on our website, facebook page and by our sponsors Matheson Solicitors. Press releases will be issued and journalists will be invited to attend the grand final. Speeches may be recorded and all finals will be recorded and these will be used for promotion of the competition in the media, the website and social networking sites eg youtube, facebook.

Please note that it is the responsibility of each school to secure permission from parents for student’s participation in all of the above. Where parental permission has not been granted it is the responsibility of the teacher/school (and not the Junior Debating National Mace) to ensure that student does not take part in the above. The Junior Debating National Mace accepts no liability in respect of any claims which may result from the participation of children for whom consent has not been obtained from their respective parents.

Best of luck to all the Gormo students are thinking of entering. Here is a link to the finalists of last year’s competition. For more information see Ms Meighan, Ms Ryan or your English teacher.

Another Challenge from the Vault

Keep reading, enjoy words, make connections, figure out meanings through context, make language your priority.

Here are three more sentences with words missing. As with a previous challenge, simply enter three letters in the comment box, each letter corresponding to the your answer choice for each sentence. The first letter you write is in response to the first sentence and so on. As mentioned before these sentences are taken from this SAT prep website. Don’t forget you can use a dictionary or thesaurus for help. Good luck with this challenge. 🙂 

1. ____ by nature, Jones spoke very little even to his own family members.

A. garrulous
B. equivocal
C. taciturn
D. arrogant
E. gregarious

2. Biological clocks are of such ____ adaptive value to living organisms, that we would expect most organisms to ____ them.

A. clear – avoid
B. meager – evolve
C. significant – eschew
D. obvious – possess
E. ambivalent – develop

3. The peasants were the least ____ of all people, bound by tradition and ____ by superstitions.

A. free – fettered
B. enfranchised – rejected
C. enthralled – tied
D. pinioned – limited
E. conventional – encumbered