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Transition Year Update

Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí’s first Transition Year has been jam-packed full of activity so far.

The year began with all three classes in turn visiting the local beach with their Geography teachers to do a coastal fieldwork study. This was an enjoyable hands on experience of Geography, as well as a taste of what to expect in the fieldwork section of the Leaving Certificate Geography course.

The group as a whole also undertook a hill walk from Killarney to Kenmare as part of their geographical studies, as well as being a team building exercise for their first trip out together.

Every Friday, Ms. Lin Shashva, our Chinese teacher based in V.C.C.’s Confusins Institute is teaching the Transition Year students useful Chinese phrases, various aspects of Chinese culture and origami, a traditional art of paper folding. From the Chinese classes three students have been given the opportunity to travel to Shanghai, China for an Easter camp during 3rd April to 16th April.

More than 30 students are working diligently every week on activities to earn them their Bronze Gaisce Award.

All students are steadily progressing to achieving an ECDL qualification.

In the Business class students set up various mini-companies and experience all aspects of finance, sales, management, marketing, production and quality control.

An in-house competition took place in the school on the 9th December and three companies have gone forward to the West Cork stage of the competition. They are Roots, Metallic Earth and West Cork Holiday Accommodation.

At present the students are studying the Sage Accounts Package in Business class. It is a widely used accounts package and is certified by Sage. This will be a very useful qualification for students.

Five weeks of Self-Defence classes given by Ian Kingston and Tony Stephenson took place after the October mid-term during P.E.

All students too part in a GAA Coaching course and students who are involved in the GAA are helping Ivan Kingston, primary schools GAA coach, to coach children in the local primary schools.

On 26th November, the Irish department organised a very enjoyable and culturally enriching sean-nós dancing workshop.

A number of guest speakers have given presentations thus far. These have included, Fiona Corcoran of the Greater Chernobyl Cause. The Samaritans, Members of the West Cork branch of Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland Ltd., Hazel Vickey of Bantry Historical Society on the History of Bantry, A Trócaire presentation on India and a Science presentation by Tom O’Connor, a Biochemist form U.C.C.

The students helped to raise €1,429.33 for the Greater Chernobyl Cause and €1,045 for Friends of Bantry Care for the Aged.

A number of trips out have also taken place. Students visited Tralee I.T. for an Open Day on 7th December and 36 students travelled to Dublin for the BT Young Scientist Exhibition.

Cork County Council provided a Waste Awareness Workshop in November facilitated by Jessica Mason. The first day was a presentation on the amount and variety of waste in every household and the second was an activity based workshop where students upcycled everyday packaging.

A number of students attended a Young Mental Health Day in the Maritime Hotel on the 9th November.

All students experienced aspects of the workplace on their first weeks work experience which took place on the 19th – 23rd November. Many students worked locally and a small number went further afield to Dublin, Wicklow and England to name but a few.

Our group of students in their YSI class took part in an An Post initiative called Log on Learn in which each student invited a senior citizen to class over an 8 week period and facilitated them in learning new computer skills.

Another group completed a project on the effects of spoiling children. As part of it they organised a colouring competition for the local primary schools and chose a winner from each school. This raised awareness about good behaviour.

The third class did a project on social awkwardness and how young people feel anxious in new situations. Sixth class in Gaelscoil Bheanntraí were invited in for a morning workshop on encouraging young people to gain inner confidence.

Two groups have already completed their Fetac Level 5 First Aid course with one to be completed shortly.

On the 22nd January, 11 students took part in the FRS Safe Tractor Driving course.

Over 30 students are eagerly preparing for their trip to Paris, France.

A number of teams have entered the Cork City Marathon which takes place in June.

Three students entertained at Bantry Rehab Care when they went carol singing in December.

Two students are participating in a programme called ‘Munster Programming Training’ in U.C.C. every Saturday since November. It offers special training in computer programming.

Rita O’Connor of the Bank of Ireland, Bantry, in association with Junior Achievement Ireland are providing a 5 week financial literacy programme, Learn to Earn, to all Transition Year students. It gives students the opportunity to gain an understanding of the practicalities of everyday finances and highlights the importance of saving and investing their money responsibly. It is a practical interactive programme.

In conjunction with AIB, eight students set up a very successful school bank called Cash on the Coast. Many students are saving for events such as the Debs, school trips, etc.

The three English classes performed their own version of the Dickens classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ for the first years on the last day of first term. It was hugely entertaining and enjoyable end to a successful first term.

Transition Year students had an opportunity to experience French drama when the French Theatre company visited on the 31st January.

Many more activities are in the pipeline !

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