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Warm Welcome for our Incoming 1st Year Students

We were delighted to welcome our incoming 1st year students on Friday last, for their first day of school. They were greeted by Principal Mr Carew, Vice Principal Mr Ronan, Year Head Mr Conway, and their Class teachers in the morning.
The students then met with their Meitheal Leaders, who gave them a tour of our campus. A day of fun and activity followed in the glorious sunshine outside on our sports pitches.

Parents’ Day 2021

Our annual Parents’ day and Awards Ceremony was held on Tuesday 18th of May in St. Claire’s Church in Graiguecullen. Many thanks to Fr. Dunphy and all associated with St. Claire’s church for allowing us to use the facility to celebrate our end of year mass and Awards Ceremony. Mass was celebrated by Bishop Nulty, Fr. Dunphy and Fr Furlong, which was broadcast live via the parish webcam where students tuned in from their classrooms.

Monsignor Byrne has been a marvellous ambassador for Knockbeg College down through the years. He has been a valued member of the staff and has been instrumental in getting the new school to the stage it is currently at. He celebrates 60 years of being ordained a priest this year and we at Knockbeg College want to acknowledge his passion for our school and congratulate him on reaching such a huge milestone. He was presented with a framed photo of Knockbeg College by the Board of Management.

Due to the disruption throughout this year and because of the lockdown no sporting events took place in schools during 2020/2021. However from the previous year a couple of notable achievements are worthy of mention.

The second year footballers won the 2019/2020 South Leinster A trophy.

The basketballers of 2019/2020 excelled after being promoted to Div. B. Congratulation to the first year, second year and Junior squads on winning regional titles.

Congratulations to all involved.

A massive congratulations to Luke Doogue, Lee Murray, T.J. Nolan & John Phiri of third year who placed 3rd out of more than 230 teams in the all Ireland schools quiz and to Cathal Ronan, Luke Kehoe, Ben Brady and Sean Rainey of second year who placed in the top 10%.

The Green-Schools committee, despite having a challenging year, still managed to realise several of their goals. Their Green-Schools theme for the year, Litter and Waste, saw them reducing plastic waste onsite by 90% as they collected bottles for the plastic bottle Greenhouse. The TY cohort of the committee engaged in a number of awareness campaigns throughout the year which culminated in a Waste on Wednesday awareness day on May 12th. Litter has also been highlighted and reduced by a huge amount onsite.

Our schools biodiversity also increased greatly as the committee, along with Johnathon our caretaker, added a large variety of plants, bird and bat houses and bee hives around the grounds. Hopefully, all the students work over the past two years will see them receiving a well-deserved green flag for our school.

Congratulations to Lee Brennan on been chosen by the Carlow Regional Youth Group to have the opportunity to speak with Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, on matters relating to Climate Change.

We are delighted to announce that this year our school has been awarded with our first ever flag – the amber flag. The amber flag initiative aims to promote positive mental health and well being for all students and staff within our school. Both the amber flag committee and wellbeing committee have carried out a range of various activities and initiatives during the year that has helped our school obtain the flag while also creating a safe, positive and healthy attitude towards both our physical and mental health. Together they managed to keep the positive Knockbeg Spirit alive despite the challenges we were faced with due to the arrival of covid 19. Well done to all involved for this great achievement.

Every year we invite members of the previous year’s leaving cert class, who have achieved outstanding results in their leaving cert. To recognise their endeavours and hard work, we as a staff want to acknowledge their achievements. From last years leaving cert class cohort I want to congratulate, on behalf of all in the Knockbeg community, Brodie Feeney on being a recipient of an entrance scholarship to Trinity College Dublin. Also to Ciaran O’ Hagan who was awarded an entrance scholarship to Dublin City University.

Well done to Patrick Murnane from TY who won the Carlow Senior Enterprise Programme with his mini company PM Sports selling massage guns and foam roller water bottles. Padddy represented Carlow in the All Ireland.

Juozas Cioladis, a third year student has been selected as the recipient of a tennis scholarship and will be attending the McCaulie School in Tennessee from next September for his fourth year in secondary school. 2019 was a particularly good year for Juozas having beed awarded Player of the Year from Tennis Ireland. He currently ranks #2 in Ireland in u16 age category. We congratulate him and wish him well in his studies abroad.

The Parent’s Council Award is awarded to a student or students whom the staff feel have contributed in a positive manner to life in Knockbeg. This year it was felt that the entire sixth year group had a lot to contend with after being discommoded, due to the lockdown, due to the uncertainty, while all the time trying to focus on what are very important upcoming exams. Our Head Prefect, Sean Tuomey, accepted this award on behalf of the Leaving Two Class of 2020/2021.

The John Paul II Award and the Papal Cross Award are awarded to students for their involvement in their local parish. Each of the recipients received their award earlier in the year and were invited to attend an online ceremony to celebrate. Many thanks to Catriona Kelly from Graiguecullen Parish Centre for her work in coordinating students from Knockbeg amongst other schools in the locality.

The John Paul II Gold recipients who received their awards at a Diocesan ceremony from Bishop Nulty are Conor Bolger, Oisin Byrne and Darragh O’ Brien.

The John Paul II Silver recipients who received their awards are Jamie Cullinan, Joshua Kane, James Mahon, Joshua Devereux, Matthew Buggy and David Fennelly.

Well done to all on those achievements.

Ten of our fifth year group began their roll as Meitheal leaders with the aim to help the first years integrate into Knockbeg and make a smooth transition from primary to post primary school. Well done and thanks to Conor Bolger, James Mahon, Rory Lawlor, Darragh O’ Brien, Shane Nolan, Oisin Nolan, Dan Culleton, Joe Morrin, Alex Kenny and Conal Hickson.

Best of luck to the Meitheal leaders for next year and hopefully you will have a positive impact on the incoming first years for September 2021. Those leaders are Patrick Joyce, Aodhan Lowry, Jamie Conway, Mark McDermott, Conall Bergin, Adam Dalton, Fionn Heslin, Patrick Murnane, Matthew Farrell and Jack Doyle.

To our six outgoing prefects – thank you for accepting the position of prefect and thanks for being such brilliant roll models in the school community. Thank you Sean Tuomey, Jack Ross, Ian Shanahan, Finn Cummins, Bill Fitzgerald and Kyle Rice.

To our six incoming prefects – Rory Lawlor, Colin Phelan, Coln Dunne, Joshua Devereux, Kyle Nolan and Oisin Byrne. we look forward to working with you in the next academic year and hopefully you will fill the position with honour and pride.

Finally, the presentation of the Merit and Achievement awards.

The Merit award is presented to a student in each year who the subject teachers feel has made the greatest progress and put in a huge effort to improve.

The Achievement Award is presented to the top performing student in each year based on his results in the formal exams throughout the year.

We would like to congratulate all our Award Winners, and wish all our staff, students and their families a happy and healthy Summer.

Michael Regan, member of BOM, presents Monsignor Brendan Byrne with a framed photo of Knockbeg College

Fr Shem Furlong, Deputy Principal, who will be leaving us in September to carry out Parish duties.

6th Year Achievement: Jack Ross

6th Year Merit: Ciaran Burke

5th Year Achievement: Colin Phelan

5th Year Merit: Shane Nolan

3rd Year Achievement: Luke Doogue

3rd Year Merit: Daniel Wall

2nd Year Achievement: William Owens

2nd Year Merit: Karol Bialkowsky

1st Year Achievement: Aaron Culleton

1st Year Merit: Ben Keady

Pasrents’ Council Award: 6th Year group, presented to Head Prefect, Sean Toumey

Amber Flag Award: presented by Bill Fitzgerald and Mr. Dollard

Webinar for Parents of students with Dyslexia

Webinar for Parents (1  hour) –

Dyslexia and how it affects students at Second Level

How parents can support the student at Second Level

 

  • How parents can support the student in the following areas
    • Organisation
    • Note-taking
    • Memory and Learning
    • Writing
    • Reading
    • Spelling and Vocabulary
  • Key educational choices such as subject choice, language exemptions and RACE.

 

The presentation is just over an hour with questions and discussion following.

 

Date: Monday 19th April

Time: 7.00 pm

Tutor: Wyn McCormack

To sign on for this course please email cwedcentre@gmail.com  stating  Name, School and a Zoom link to the webinar will be sent to you. There is no fee for the course.

 

Presenter Wyn McCormack worked as guidance counsellor and special education teacher as well as being the parent of three sons with dyslexia.  She has designed and presented courses on dyslexia for teachers, parents and students since 1996.   She is the author of the Factsheets on Dyslexia at Second Level (2014), Lost for Words 3rd Ed. 2007, and co-author of Dyslexia, an Irish Perspective 2nd Ed 2010.

Interview with former Uachtarán na hEireann by Lee Brennan

Third year student, Lee Brennan, was recently picked by his youth group, Carlow Regional Youth Group, to speak online with Mary Robinson about the Climate Crisis and what young people do to raise awareness, slow it down and to play a role in stopping it. Below, Lee outlines his fantastic experience with the former Uachtarán na hÉireann.

 

Before I had the meeting with Mrs. Robinson, I asked my science and geography teachers and the Green-schools Committee to help me with some ideas on questions to ask her. I also asked some members of my family who know a lot about Climate Change and after everyone got back to me, I was given plenty of questions and links to interviews done by Mary Robinson and by Climate activist Greta Thunberg. I then prepared ten questions for Mary, some of which included: 1. Do you feel that Covid-19 would have a positive or negative impact on Climate Change? 2.Why do you think that Climate Change is a violation of human rights and 3. Why do both you and Greta Thunberg discuss system change in relation to Climate Change?

Seven other youth groups also took part in the interview on the day. To start the interview, Mary gave us a brief rundown of herself and what she has done. She told us that she was born into a family as the only girl and so she always felt she had to be vocal to get heard over her brothers. Later, she explained that the person who made her the activist she is today was her grandfather as, even when she was a child, he always spoke to her about the cases he worked as a barrister as though she was a grown woman. I was the first person to get to ask her a question. I asked her the question mentioned previously about her and Greta talking about system change. Mary replied that she feels that the way we are producing products currently is not good enough and that if there isn’t a change soon, the damage will be irreversible. She also mentioned that we have now seen with the pandemic that the main cause of Climate Change is production of goods as during this pandemic production has reduced and carbon emissions have decreased. I really enjoyed the experience and was delighted to speak with Mary. After I had finished, I realized just how inspirational and well-spoken she is.

I am also a member of Knockbeg College’s Green-schools Committee. Our focus is to reduce our waste and increase biodiversity. We are currently working on collecting used plastic bottles at home, and in school once we get back, in order to build an onsite Green House where we will plant some vegetables and a variety of different flowers. The committee conducted a school wide litter awareness campaign from September to December of 2020. In November/December we also planted some bulbs and plants on the school grounds and all these actions are to promote biodiversity within the school. Overall, we hope to play a role in decreasing the impacts of Climate Change nationally and globally.

Past Pupil, Brodie Feeney, receives Entrance Exhibition Award to Trinity College Dublin

We are all delighted in St. Mary’s Knockbeg College to hear that our past pupil, Brodie Feeney, has been awarded the Trinity College Dublin Entrance Exhibition Award as the incoming student with the highest points from their public exams from our school. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Trinity College had their awards ceremony  last Thursday online. We caught up with Brodie to ask him about the past year.

What was your experience of the Leaving Cert like?

My experience of the leaving Cert was definitely unusual, especially considering how quickly we had to adjust from classroom teaching to the new normal. For me, there was a lot of hushed nervousness before leaving, especially considering we had only received our mocks within days previous to the switch. Although in reality, I found it quite easy to adjust. Once I found a routine it was not that bad to be honest. Obviously once the leaving cert was cancelled it was a relief but that brought a different sort of nervousness with it, especially in the final weeks when results and offers were coming out, considering your marks were in part up to others opinions of your capabilities rather than your own merit. Aside from the technicalities of the LC, I think the biggest let down of the entire thing was missing out on both Grad and the Debs.

How did you feel when you heard that you were a recipient of the award?

I was surprised. I had not expected to be contacted or to receive any awards so when the email popped up in my inbox it was quite the pleasant surprise.

What did your parents say when you told them?

I’m the eldest of the family and first to go through college so this is as much of a new experience for them as it is for me. They didn’t know about the award beforehand, so as well as being proud I think they were relieved that I would be buying my own books out of the rewarded voucher.

What course are you studying?

I’m studying Business, Economics and Social Sciences (BESS). I’ve always been interested in the social sciences and while I saw the Business and Economics side of the course to be simply practical, I have come to enjoy them just as much.

How has covid-19 affected your experience of college life?

Drastically, but there are silver linings. I had planned to be living in Trinity Halls during my first year but as we haven’t had a single class on campus it was probably for the best. While it is draining to be stuck at home all the time, I feel like I’ve done better in my studies since there is way less distraction. I’ve still been able to meet a few people through classes and through societies so that aspect of college life hasn’t been totally lost.