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News: School Spirit Week

This week we enjoyed School Spirit Week, a time to remember and celebrate our three core values: Meas, Díograis and Dea-chroí. It has been a wonderful week full of activities.   

On Monday, students on the Ember Team and the Yellow Flag Team organised an Intercultural Day. Students across all years volunteered to represent their different nationalities and cultures. This involved dressing in traditional clothes and bringing in traditional food, artifacts and displays. Ms Santandreu even did some flamenco dancing! All of the students in the school had a chance to visit each stall and pick something to eat.   

We also had a visit from Sangitha, who runs a home for the elderly and a school for children who have no school to go to in Kolkata, India. Her organisation is called Friends of Kolkata Elderly (FOKE). Adrienne, one of our SNAs, goes there every summer and brings supplies bought with money donated by our students. Sangitha got a chance to visit some classes and explain about what life is like in Kolkata for the elderly and young people she works with. There was a teachers’ bake sale on Thursday in aid of FOKE, where the staff made lots of goodies to sell to the students; it raised €330.45. 

Students got the opportunity on Monday to pause and reflect on the school’s values in an activity designed by Ms Humber. They were asked to share a time they experienced Meas, Díograis or Dea-chroí and add it to a class collage. 

On Tuesday, the School Spirit Mass took place. Fr Peter McVerry celebrated the mass and preached about the impact we can have on the world around us. He urged students to share what we have – our time, our talents and our love – with those who live with very little. 

Wednesday was our Random Act of Kindness Day – during this day, we highlighted the kindness that exists in our school already and encouraged students to make the kind choice always. The Ember Team provided each student with a treat as an act of kindness: it included a lollipop and a suggestion of a kind thing they could do before the day was out. There was also a random prize for one lucky person who put their names in for the draw. Wednesday also saw us mark Black History Month in our tutorial classes by thinking and learning about the crucial role black women have played in shaping history, inspiring change and building communities, which is the theme of this year’s celebration. Thanks to Ms Glennon and the Yellow Flag Team for promoting this.  

On Thursday, the Student Council ran a very successful Halloween Dress-up Day – there were dinosaurs and witches, skeletons and anime characters, scary doctors and plenty of fake blood!  This event raised an amazing €1165 for the Student Support Fund.   

Also on Thursday, the TY students had a visit from Eoin Bennis and Sinéad Walsh, two PSN past pupils who now work with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Along with Lieutenant John Greenan and Nelice Figuroa, they spoke about their work and even had a chance to reconnect with staff who were teaching when they were in school! Later in the day, the first- and second-year students had a really important and timely fire safety talk with Vincent Savage, a very experienced firefighter; with Halloween and Christmas coming up, being aware of fire safety is crucial. They were then treated to an amazing Halloween concert after lunch, put together by Ms Sadlier, Ms Harte, Adrienne and the students in the choir. It was so entertaining it gave us shivers up our spines – in a good way! 

On Friday, Ms McDonnell organised a Spread the Kindness Day. Students were invited to send each other anonymous messages expressing their appreciation for each other through PSN Post, aka Ms McDonnell and her student helpers. The winner of the Pumpkin Carving Competition was also announced. This contest was the brainwave of Niamh, one of our second years, and as a result of her great idea, we have an amazing display of spooky-looking pumpkins on our stage.   

All through the week, first years took part in CLANG: Connect, Learn, be Active, take Notice and Give back. They learned how to do origami, thanks to the TY students who taught them. They also learned about positive mental health and watched a film, organised by Ms Mealey and Ms Curry. This culminated in an amazing sports day on Friday, organised by Mr McCarville and the fifth year LCAs in aid of Jigsaw, an organisation that supports young people’s mental health in Ireland. The LCAs organised the games, which included bulldog, chocolate chip cookie, tug of war, hockey, football, dodgeball and team-building exercises. 

It has been a busy week, but we think that it is fair to say that our core values of Meas, Díograis and Dea-chroí have been truly celebrated during the week by students and staff, in many different ways. We want to thank everyone who made this week possible and all who participated. We hope you have a safe, relaxing, and fun midterm.  

News: Sensory Awareness Month

October is Sensory Awareness Month, which aims to bring attention to the experiences of people with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Symptoms of SPD can include a person seeming uncoordinated; struggling to regulate their emotions and remain calm when faced with loud noises and/or physical sensations (for example, getting wet); an extremely high/low pain tolerance; and finding it hard to engage in conversation or play. More information on SPD can be found here.  

At PSN, we recognise the need for a quiet place for young people who are struggling, for any reason (including SPD), an area where they can begin to relax and regulate themselves. We are therefore delighted that we are in the process of developing a quiet room that will, in time, be shaped into a sensory room. We will keep you posted on the development of this valuable resource for our students! 

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