'A Day in the Life | Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan Open Night Video 2020'

MSSK Cycling
On February 25th some of our students were presented with the opportunity to make the most of the fine weather and the excellent amenities within our 5km locality by enjoying a cycle to and from the Harbour. A special thank you to Ms. Daly and Mr. Hawkins for organising the day. Great fun was had by all.
TY Segway Workshop
On December 17th and 18th all TY students participated in a Segway workshop. This was a new experience for almost all of our students and the company that came to our school and provided both fun-filled and informative sessions. Our TY students are now equipped with the knowledge to avail of this eco-friendly mode of transport in the future.
Decorate Your Classroom Door Christmas Challenge
On Wednesday December 16th, Santa, Mrs Claus and the Elves were busy visiting classrooms all over the school checking out the festive artwork. They were very impressed with the effort put into the "decorate your door" challenge by all year groups. The competition created a great Christmas buzz around the school. Well done to everyone involved and thank you all for taking part. 
The winning doors were: 
1st Year - 1 Green room 5
2nd Year - 2 Yellow room 44
3rd Year - 3 Red room 10 
TY - TY4 room 33 
5th Year - Room 2 
6th Year- Rooms 6 & Guidance Office 
TY Skiing and Hiking
On December 15th our TY students travelled to Kilternan for some skiing and then on to the Dalkey to Killiney Hill Walk for some scenic hiking. Our students really enjoyed both activities as they were provided with the opportunity to try something new and to create some memorable moments with their friends.
German Debating
Congratulations to the German debating team: Max Mohan, Emma Foyle, Geri-Louise O’Brien and Lara Henshaw. On Friday December 11th they defeated St. Raphael’s College Loughrea. We proposed the motion that there should be one online class per week.
Leaving Certificate English Students Enjoy Afternoon in Virtual Theatre

As part of the Leaving Certificate English syllabus, students are studying the ground breaking Irish play “Eclipsed” by acclaimed writer Patricia Burke Brogan. After moving to Galway from County Clare aged two, Patricia Burke Brogan grew up surrounded by books and music. Her father was a huge influence on her childhood and she began reading and 'scribbling' at a young age. As Patricia grew up, her interest in art, music and writing continued and, despite being told she should focus on one area, she refused to choose between her great loves, as they "expressed different sides" of her. She has kept this ethos throughout the years and now divides her time between her writing and visual art. It was Patricia's first play, Eclipsed that would mark the start of an illustrious career. Eclipsed was one of the first plays to tell the story of the Magdalene Laundries and was inspired by Patricia's experiences as a young novitiate. After seeing the horrendous goings on, Patricia decided that becoming a nun was not for her. Instead she decided to highlight the plight of these women in her writing.

The play has since won many awards, including a Fringe First at Edinburgh Theatre Festival in 1992, and the United States Award in 1994

In February 2020, Mill Theatre in Dundrum produced the play and it was their intention that it was to be performed at venues across the country, specifically for Leaving Certificate English students. However, due to Covid19, this was not possible. Instead, they made available a streaming of the performance to schools and to the general audience.

On Thursday December 10th, our students supported the floundering Arts sector by purchasing tickets to view the live stream of the play. It was a most enlightening performance and an enjoyable afternoon was had by all. Thank you to Ms Duignan and Ms Glynn who organised the event, and to Mr Farrell and Ms Gallen for its facilitation.

Eclipsed Programme Link

German students celebrated Nikolaustag this past week. Nikolaustag is a German and Austrian festival celebrated on the 6th of December. Traditionally children receive sweets and goodies in their shoes. A special thanks to our language assistant Frau Stangl for teaching us about customs and traditions in Austria.
Transition Year Dance Workshop
#ThinkLanguages was held at various schools on the 7th of December 2020.  Here in Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan we participated in the event and organised a variety of language-based workshops ranging from Portuguese Capoeira to colourful beginner origami and Austrian culture. The key messages from the event were about how learning foreign languages opens doors for more interesting and exciting opportunities both in Ireland and abroad. At this time of great change in Europe, learning foreign languages has never been more important for people based in Ireland and they are a must for anyone who wants the opportunity to work abroad and explore other cultures around the world. 
An Post Community Focus - Post Box

Following on from the school’s involvement with the An Post ‘Community Focus’ initiative, Esker Rí Nursing Home reached out and asked if we would be able to create a postbox for their residents to post back their own letters and cards. Alongside their TY teachers, some TY students came together to build and paint a beautiful postbox. Residents will now have the opportunity to ‘post’ their own correspondence from within the nursing home. Well done to all involved!

F1 Car Project Completion 

Second Year students Charlie Ross and Joseph O'Neill, along with Third Year student James McCabe show off their completed F1 cars which they have worked on in practical class. The boys designed and fabricated their cars, completing the project on Thursday the 26th of November. 

National SciFest Finals 

On Tuesday the 3rd of November Fifth Year students Owen Bagnall, Tiarnan Clarke McMahon and Luke Seery participated in a virtual judging session via Zoom in the National SciFest Finals. The boys project "Fighting for Breath, Is the School Drop Off Point Harmful to Students' Health" won best overall project at the AIT Regional Event last May. 

The 2020 SciFest National Final in Association with SFI took place virtually on a bespoke online platform from Thursday 19th November to Saturday 21st November. The awards ceremony was streamed live at 2.00pm on Saturday last. All of the finalists received gift vouchers and a crystal trophy. 
We commend them on the fine work they put in over the past year with this project and congratulate them on their success once again. They have been fantastic ambassadors for our school. 
Stand Up Awareness Week - November 16th-20th 

Stand Up Awareness Week is celebrated in all Irish post-primary schools to spread awareness and take a stand against LGBTI+ related bullying. Our Wellbeing Committee made posters and decorated the notice board to create awareness among the school community and some of our classes have been actively engaging in the BeLonGTo.org activities. We stand together so our school remains a safe place for all. 

Wellbeing Committee Art Work

A huge thankyou must be extended to TY students and Wellbeing Committee members Barbara Ziarnowska, Aleesha Fuller and Katie Gill for the fantastic Wellbeing wall art which they have recently produced in our school. It truly reflects what our school is all about.

Letters to Nursing Homes

Our hearts were warmed this past week as many students received return letters from some of the nursing homes we wrote to as part of the Community Focus initiative organised by An Post.

Students were excited to open their letters and learn about another generation. Stories were shared about what it is like in the nursing homes during the pandemic, what their lives were like growing up and the differences between school now and then. Whatever worries we had about the nursing homes being lonely places were alleviated through stories of Halloween parties, music sessions, games rooms and other activities organised by the staff for the residents. 
The English Department are very proud of all the students who participated in this initiative and are delighted that they were able to bring a bit of extra cheer to our new friends in the community. 
Westmeath vs Dublin Guess The Score

A friendly rivalry erupted this past weekend among our 2nd Year students and Year Head Mr. Donnelly as Dublin met Westmeath in the Leinster Senior Football Championship Quarter Final.

The clash was made all the more interesting by a 'Guess the Score' competition that was ran across the year group. 108 students submitted guesses as to who would come out on top and by what margin. There were four Browne's on the Green Vouchers up for grabs. 
Four students guessed the margin of victory within one point of the final score and took the prizes. 
Congratulations to Katie Kincaid (2B), Morgan Redmond (2R), Christian Dowling (2G) and Cian Kinnarney (2Y).

Cairdeas agus Cinéaltas

Friendship and Kindness are two of the fundamental principles that guide the daily workings of our school and indeed the interactions between all those in our wider community.

Acknowledging the importance of these ideals - now more than ever, in October 2020, T.Y students at Mercy Kilbeggan launched a new mentoring programme wherein they work with younger students to help guide their development while building lasting friendships along the way.

The ‘Cairdeas agus Cinéaltas’ programme recognises that students learn a great deal simply by observing and interacting with their peers and that the impact of a great mentor can be lifelong.

To this end, students and mentors meet across the week, throughout the academic year to enjoy mutual hobbies /interests, help one another in their studies and learn many new skills along the way.

The initiative is already having a hugely positive impact on all those involved and it will only continue to prosper.

‘Friendship is not a big thing…..it’s a million little things’

Revised Open Night 2020 Arrangements

Due to the six-week Level 5 restrictions imposed nationwide from Wednesday 21st October 2020, we will regretfully have to cancel our Drive-In Open Night that was scheduled for Friday 13th November 2020. We are very disappointed that we have to do this, but this matter has been taken out of our hands. We will revisit having an event for incoming First Year students in due course. 

We will now be issuing a YouTube link for our Open Night Video - 'A Day in the Life | Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan Open Night Video 2020' - to all our Feeder Schools in advance of Thursday 12th November 2020. This video will be made available to view on the original Open Night date of Thursday 12th November 2020 from 7.00pm. The link will also be accessible at mercykilbeggan.ie from the same date and time. The video will be stored on a newly created YouTube channel entitled 'Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan'.
We will be delivering Enrolment Packs to all our Feeder Schools during the week beginning Monday 2nd November 2020. These packs will contain welcoming and informative material. They will also contain an Application Form for families to fill in and return to us, if they wish to apply for a place at Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan. Alternatively, families may complete and submit the same Application Form online at mercykilbeggan.ie. This online facility will be made available from Monday 2nd November 2020. There is no need to apply both ways. 
If anyone would like to receive an Enrolment Pack who is not attending one of our Feeder Schools, please email principal@mercykilbeggan.ie requesting one and we will post it out to you.
Letters to Nursing Homes

An Post has launched 'Community Focus' across Ireland and some of our English students have taken advantage of this service by writing letters to residents in different nursing homes all over Westmeath. So far we have sent 218 letters and we plan to continue with this initiative after the Mid-Term break. Well done to all involved!

Freaky Friday
On Friday October 23rd we had a 'Freaky Friday' fancy dress day in our school in aid of Temple Street Children's Hospital. The event was coordinated by our Student Council. It was highly successful and there were some fantastic costumes on display. A very well done to all involved. It was great fun for a great cause.
Concern Debating
Our Concern Debating Team won their first debate of the year against Crana College, Buncrana, Co Donegal. The motion was "Criticism of the WHO over its handling of Covid 19 is unfair & irresponsible" and our team was opposing.
This year Concern Debates are being held online; students' speeches are recorded and the recordings are sent to Concern for adjudication. We have a panel of students participating this year from both TY & 5th Year. Congratulations to Finian Cullen, captain; Adam Multaney; Adrian Lojtek and Aoibhe Cusack. Our next debate will take have taken place by December 2nd. We are proposing the motion that "To tackle income inequality billionaires should not exist". Best of luck to all. Remember... "It is better to debate a question without settling it than settle a question without debating it."
TY 2019-2020 Certificate Presentation
On Thursday October 22nd all of our 2019-2020 TY students attended an outdoor presentation ceremony. At the ceremony each student received their certificates for the various activities they engaged in throughout TY. Pizza was also provided to mark the occasion.
Sixth Year Mindfulness
On Monday October 19th, Tuesday October 20th, and Thursday October 22nd all of our 6th Year students were provided with the opportunity to partake in a Mindfulness session. Mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind. It can also help release stress.
Guten Tag!
I am Ms Stangl, I come from Austria and I am your new German language assistant. I am looking forward to spending the year with you!

We are also starting a new German lunch club. Please feel free to join!

Transition Year Lough Boora Parklands Trip
On October 13th all TY students travelled to Lough Boora Parklands on a Physical Education trip. The weather was perfect for occasion and each student engaged in Cycling and Orienteering. Students cycled the 15.8 km Turraun Trail and engaged in 'Selfie Orienteering' on Lough Boora Grounds. A great day was had by all. Thanks to Pat Barrett and his team at Lough Boora for their hospitality. 
Transition Year Drumming Workshop
On Tuesday October 6th and Wednesday October 7th all Transition Year students were given the opportunity to partake in a drumming workshop. The workshop provided our Transition Year students with a different experience, one in which they seemed to thoroughly enjoy. 
Second Year Sports Day
On Friday October 2nd all Second Year students participated in an outdoor day of sport within their respective class groups. Students participated in Tag Rugby, Soccer, and Basketball. They also participated in some Athletic events which included Javelin and Relay Racing. Transition Year students assisted with the facilitation of sporting activities and the distribution of snacks. At the end of the day our Second Year students were spoken to by their Year Head Mr. Donnelly, who thanked them for their level of enthusiasm and effort throughout the day. Each student was presented with a commemorative wristband to mark the occasion.
First Year Bonding Sports Day
On Friday September 25th all First Year students participated in an outdoor day of sport within their respective class groups. Students participated in Olympic Handball, Basketball, Tag Rugby and Athletics. The Sixth Year Mentors assisted with the facilitation of sporting activities and the distribution of snacks. The day provided our new First Year students with the opportunity to build their confidence, a chance to grow friendships, and a welcome break from the classroom. A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all.
European School Sport Day Friday 25th September 2020
European School Sport Day on Friday 25th of September was marked in our school with a 'Wear your Jersey or Sports Top' Day. In addition, all students were encouraged to walk 1 mile over the past few days.
SciFest Best Project Winners 2020 - Owen Bagnall, Tiernan Clarke-MacMahon & Luke Seery
TY Green Schools Committee
Pictured below are our Transition Year Green Schools Committee. Amy Geoghegan, Faye Spollen, Sarah Molloy and Lucy-Grace Bracken have been involved in setting up a number of recent initiatives in our school. These include anti-litter campaigns, maintaining bird boxes and maintaining flower beds. 
TY Bonding Day at Lilliput
On Thursday September 17th all TY students went to Lilliput Adventure Centre on a bonding trip. It was the first TY outing of the new school year and the weather was perfect for the occasion. Our students were presented with the opportunity to engage in Kayaking, Bog Jumping and additional games and activities within their new TY class groupings.  
School Returns
Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan reopened its doors on Wednesday September 2nd and welcomed our new First Year students. The First Years, upon entering our school, were greeted by a balloon arch. The arch was made up of blue, red, yellow and green balloons, which symbolise each of our First Year class groups (1 Blue, 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Green). We wish all students well on their journey with us. 
Leaving Certificate Results 2020
We would like to congratulate the Leaving Certificate Class of 2020 who received their results on the morning of Monday September 7th 2020. Results were excellent across the board and all graduates should be proud of their efforts. Their journey with us has been an unprecedented and unforgettable one, and all at Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan wish them well for the future. 
Browne's on the Green Lunch Orders
If any student would like to order their lunch on a weekly or daily basis from Browne's on the Green, they will need to fill out an Order Form available in the school, or in the Parents Portal of this website. This Order Form must be placed in a sealed envelope with the exact money (there will be no change given) and posted in the Browne's Post Office Box inside the main electric doors of the school. These orders must be put into the post box before 9:00am each morning. Browne's on the Green will collect these orders at 9:15am each morning, and they will return at 1:00pm with the ordered lunches. These lunches will then be distributed to the lunch rooms that will be assigned to each class. Once the lunches are distributed, students may remain in their lunch room or walk outside. 


Reopening Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan 2020-2021

Preparations for the reopening of Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan are near completion. In response to Government guidance and Covid-19 policy we have:

  • Reconfigured our timetable
  • Reconfigured our classrooms to enable physical distancing
  • Repurposed our communal areas
  • Installed protective screens
  • Installed a Covid-19 Emergency Sick Bay
  • Incorporated a one-way system throughout the interior of our school
  • Incorporated walking lanes outdoors
  • Installed signage, floor decals, and outdoor graphics
  • Installed sanitising stations
  • Installed new methods of waste disposal
  • Conducted a deep clean
  • Established new hygiene policies and procedures
  • Established new break and lunch-time procedures

We have made our school as safe as possible for our students and staff, yet the warmth of our environment still remains! We are really looking forward to welcoming all students back to our school, starting with First Years on Wednesday September 2nd 2020.

Face Masks
Since the New School Year Newsletter was published, the Department of Education and Skills has stated that face masks must be worn by all students and staff in secondary schools, alongside 1 metre physical distancing. This means that all students and staff returning to Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan must wear a face mask at all times, unless they are outdoors and at a physical distance of 2 metres. Please ensure that your child is equipped with appropriate face masks on their return to school.
Construction Studies and Woodwork
The latest technology to arrive in our school's woodworking room. A sanitising compressor which will enable fast and effective sanitisation of all of our shared hand tools and other surfaces. This will be done repeatedly throughout the school day, directly before and after any student wants to use a tool or machine. 
Physical Education
All students may wear appropriate PE gear for the full day in school, on days that they have Physical Education classes. This will be on their timetables on return. Students will wear their full school uniform on all other school days. 
Reopening Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan 2020-2021 Newsletter