Events: Rosary Post Primary & Further Education

Click on the links below for photos of some of our events

Mondello Park  (2009)
As part of our preparations for the National Finals of "F1 in Schools" Competition, we shot a DVD for our website at Mondello Park in Kildare. Anne Heffernan, from Hands On and Kevin Mulqueen, from the IDS, edited the DVD for us. We also got to sit in Formula 1 cars, which very few people ever get to do! Also a big thank you to the staff of Mondello Park and to our teachers for helping to arrange the visit!

Football Against Racism (2009)
Last week, St Mary's girls took part in Football Against Racism, in Corduff Sports Centre.

We had a fun day, really enjoyed taking part, and did very well in the competition.

Visit to Collinstown Park Community School  (2009)
Avril Madden ...
The school that came to visit us about deaf issues invited us down to their school. They wanted to show us around their school and they had some games planned for the day. It was a great day because it was my 18th birthday.

When we arrived we had a meet and greet and then we went to the sports hall for a morning of energising games. They had a list of games for us to play. First, they got us into groups and I was the only St. Mary's girl in a group with three boys and two girls from Collinstown Park. It was a great morning especially on my 18th birthday. After the games, the teacher gave all the girls from my school a little gift of an Mp3 player.

I talked most of the day with one of the girls from that school-, Shauna Keating. We have kept in touch ever since they came to our school.

The teacher and the pupils then brought us around the classes in the school. I was a bit envious when they showed us the hair and beauty room and massage room. I want those classes in our school. I also quite liked the metal work room. The teacher gave us all another little present of a key ring they made in metal work. It was so thoughtful of them.

Then we had a game in the science lab of CSI(Crime Scene Investigation). We were put into groups again and given a finger-printing sheet each. We looked at our different finger prints to discover who the mystery murderer was. That didn't work so we tried to see a reaction with the different type of crystals we got. The teacher put each of the crystals through the fire of the Bunsen Burner and if the reaction colour turned red he had suspects, if green they were fine. Two girls were suspects so the teacher had to match the palm print he had to each of the girls' palms. The mystery murderer was one of the girls from that school.

From my view, the two schools are different. Collinstown Park has sports facilities and a gym but we have very few sports facilities in our school. They also have choices of different classes such as hair and beauty and metal work. We do not have either. I would prefer to stay in our school as I like smaller classes compared to their classes of about 20 students.

Nora Duggan ...
The students at Collinstown Park Community School invited the Transition Year girls over to their school. They had organised a fun 'half-day' for us as a 'thank you' for teaching them sign language for their project.

When we arrived at the reception, we saw a banner that spelled "Welcome to Collinstown" in ISL alphabet. They brought us to the gym to play games. We had to split up into different teams and compete against each other. My team was called 'Cheetahs'. Most of the games were new to me but they were fun. We had a break and they gave us a present each, a pedometer with a radio.

After break, we had a tour around the school. They showed us the hair and beauty room, which looked like an actual hair salon. They also showed us the massage room, the library and the engineering room. In the engineering room, they gave us a keyring each with our name on it along with 'CPCC & St. Marys 2009'.

The last room we went in to was the science laboratory. We found a person lying on the floor, 'dead'. The teacher said we had to investigate to find out the murderer. We had to do different tests: the fingerprint test, simple-flame test and the DNA test. I learnt a lot in this 'Crime Scene Investigation' class and it was also fun. We found the murderer in the end.

I enjoyed this visit as they provided us with fun and I had a great laugh playing games. I also liked the presents they gave us. I had a good day at Collinstown Park Community School.

The differences between Collinstown mainstream school and St. Mary's are: St. Mary's have smaller numbers of students in a class while Collinstown have an average of thirty students in a class. So it would be difficult for deaf student to keep up with what's happening in the class if they can't lip-read everyone in the room. St Mary's have teachers who are able to sign while Collinstown teachers don't have experience in communicating with deaf students. The facilities in Collinstown are very good and they provided a lot of choices for the students but I would say it would be difficult for me to be in mainstream as I depend on lip-reading and sign language for communication.

Make a Book Pictures (2009)

Results of a recent survey of parents (2009)
What were your main reasons for enrolling your child in a special school for the deaf?

"She would be unable to cope with the noise level in a mainstream school."

"She would be lost in a class of 23-30."

"Mainstreaming teachers would not have specialist skills and knowledge."

"Mainstreaming would benefit the other children in the class, not my child."

"Mainstream school would have little or no understanding of deaf children."

"We wanted the best education, a mainstream school would not cater for her needs."

"She would be left behind."

"She needed to learn via sign language."

"Small classes, ensuring she got good attention."

"To be with people who were the same as her i.e. deaf."

What are the benefits of your child attending St. Mary's School?

"She'll learn a lot more"

"Teachers understand her difficulties"

"Extensive experience and body of knowledge in the School for the Deaf"

"It has enabled her to progress socially and academically to an extent unimaginable to me 5 years ago"

"Building friends/social development"

"This is the best school for her"

"Her social needs, verbal needs, signing needs and educational needs are all met"

"She loves school very much"

"We can understand her, talk to her- things that were not possible in a mainstream school"

"My child can learn more because class numbers are small"

"She has made many friends"

"She is in an environment where she isn't the odd one out-everyone else around her has the same disability as her"

"Smaller classes- individual attention"

"She is happier in herself- the greatest achievement to date. Her frustration levels are significantly lessened"

Other Comments

"St. Mary's is a great school. I wish I had sent her there at a much earlier stage"

"We have wonderful support from the school. There is always someone on the other end of the phone when we need it. We don't feel alone anymore, or lost in parenting"

"it feels like we are sharing the care of S. She is exceptionally well minded and is very happy- being shown love and affection. It's not just a job for her teachers and carers"

"In the mainstream school we were known as "the Mammy and Daddy of the deaf girl" Now, thankfully, we're just Mammy and Daddy"

Glamour Ltd - Prizewinners (2009)
Congratulations to "Glamour Ltd" who achieved 2nd place in the regional final of the Transition Year "Get Up and Go" mini- company competition. "Glamour" sold hand-crafted hairbands, hand-decorated Easter Eggs with beautiful sugar paste flowers, and biscuits on which the name of your choice could be written. All our products sold very well in St. Marys and Marian school. Our most popular item was the biscuits- we actually had to make a second batch as we sold out on the first day. Pictured below at the regional final in Tallaght are the "Glamour" team, with our teachers Mr. Mc Cormack and Ms. Mc Nally, and Caroline Mc Hale, National Co-ordinator of LCVP, and Michael OLeary, National Co-ordinator of Transition Year.

We are doing a review of the company at the moment, and will be back with the results of this review.

LCA - Fashion Folders (2009)
Students in LCA and their teacher, Ms Mc Quillan, have been busy with their latest task, producing and selling kits to decorate folders. These were snapped up recently at their sale in the school.

Transition Year Lifesaving & Water Safety Exams (2009)
Water Safety is offered as part of the Transition Year program in St.Marys. This years Transition Year students successfully completed a number of Water Safety exams - Swim 1 to 5, a range of swimming tests for beginners with emphasis on personal safety, Challenge Awards aimed at increasing stamina and introducing swimming whilst clothed and Endurance Awards with the emphasis on self-rescue, survival and physical fitness.

Congratulations to all the Transition Year students who completed the exams.

Fetac Trip to Trinity College (2009)
We really enjoyed our trip to Trinity College. Our guide was Fay OLeary. She is studying for a Masters degree in English. Her father is a mathematics teacher in our school, Mr. Mark OLeary. Fay brought us to see the huge student lecture halls, classrooms, computer rooms and the library. Then we went to see the famous Book of Kells. We had lunch with the students in the Buttery Restaurant.

It was a great day and we learned a lot about college life and study.

National Vocational Qualification (NVQ 3) Certificates in Irish Sign Language (2009)
In January 2008 St. Mary's School for Deaf Girls in Dublin and Hands That Talk in Dungiven joined forces to provide the first ever NVQ 3 course in Irish Sign Language (ISL) in the Republic of Ireland.

Eight students participated in the course which was accredited by the CACDP, the Council for the Advancement of Communication between Deaf and Hearing People in the UK. The Course co-ordinator was Dorothy Hegarty of Hands That Talk and Helena Saunders was appointed as the Course Assessor. The Internal Verifier for the course was Liz McCorkill and she was assisted by Dr. Pat McDonnell.

Between January and June 2008 frequent meetings were held in Dublin and Dungiven, including planning meetings, induction meetings for students, sampling meetings to assess students' progress and meetings with the external verifier from CACDP.

The students were required to compile a portfolio of evidence of their skills in ISL, through the use of DVD's, webcam, broadcast reports etc. It was hoped to complete the course by the end of June, which was a huge challenge for all those involved in the provision of the course and for the participants.

Funding for the course was provided by the Special Education Support Service and supported by the Department of Education and Science. Through the on-going support and commitment of Hands That Talk and the hard work of the Course Assessor and the students, all of the course work was completed on time.

On 31st October 2008 all eight students were awarded the NVQ3 in ISL Qualification by CACDP and it is hoped that these will be the first of many to receive such a highly regarded and internationally recognised award in the future.

Congratulations to these eight staff members on achieving this qualification, and also to the twelve other staff members who achieved CACDP Level 1 and 2 awards.

On behalf of the staff and pupils of St. Mary's School for Deaf Girls I would like to commend Dorothy Hegarty and Hands That talk for facilitating the course and for providing invaluable assistance. Their input and co-operation is greatly appreciated and will continue to be of great benefit to the students of St. Mary's for very many years to come.

Eight teachers from St. Mary's are currently studying at the University of Birmingham for the Diploma for Teachers of the Deaf. We wish them the best of luck in their assignments, teaching practice and exams, and look forward to their graduation in November.

Regina O'Connell M. Ed. Principal