World Mental Health Week – report by Ms. Foley and Ms. Kelly (Guidance Department)
World Mental Health (WMH) Week is being celebrated this week, Monday, 7 to Friday, 11 October, with special emphasis on WMH Day on Thursday, 10 October. This year’s theme is “Suicide Prevention” as set out by the World Federation for Mental Health.
To celebrate this week, we in Loreto are holding a number of events. Here is a summary:
1. Cycle Against Suicide Presentation:
Following on from their Cycle Against Suicide training two weeks ago, our three School Ambassadors; Eileen Roe, Breda Murphy and Tiarna Jones, together with volunteers Grace Rossiter and Jessica O’ Leary, delivered a workshop on Wednesday to all year groups. This ‘porcupine’ exercise asked students to identify the stigma that exists in society regarding mental illness and additionally how it would make them feel if someone described them in this way. The students outlined how the Cycle Against Suicide Schools programme will work in collaboration with the Amber Flag Committee this year in focusing on one theme each month, i.e. eight themes this year, to try to stamp out the stigma of mental illness and to educate our whole school community on mental health. Students were reminded that it is ‘ok to not feel ok and it is absolutely ok to ask for help.’ Their attention was also drawn to the pink signs in each classroom outlining where they can go for help, both inside and outside school, should they need it.
2. Vent in a Tent:
On Thursday, all 6th year students attended an event organised by “Ask Campaign” in the Spiegeltent with the other secondary schools from Wexford Town. The event opened with Peadar Maxwell, Senior Psychologist, HSE, presenting the topical issue of ‘How not to fight exam stress’. Nadine O’ Brien spoke about living with anxiety, while Danny O’Brien, comedian presented on ‘The Arts and anxiety’. Students received practical skills in both laughter yoga and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
3. Shine 2019 – WIT Arena:
All TY students will attend this event for the celebration of International Day of the Girl on Friday, 11 October. This event focuses on empowering young women. The Shona project, collaborating with Beat FM, are hosting a series of talks from; Psychologist, Niamh Fitzpatrick; Yoga with Mags Murphy; Life Coach, Sarah Doyle; and Journalist Razan Ibraheem, before celebrating Shine 2019 Hereos.
Loreto’s First WOW day – Climate Action Week
Climate Action Week is from 14 to 20 October this year. This is an opportunity for students to individually take action on climate change. We have listened to the words of Greta Thunberg ‘the world is beginning to wake up’. Here is an overview of events that will be happening in Loreto during Climate Action Week.
Monday: students and staff will be invited to write their Climate Action Pledge in the GP area. What promises can we make to help the environment?
Wednesday: the school will be holding its first WOW day. Walk on Wednesday is an initiative encouraging students to walk to school once a week. Students are encouraged to come to school in an eco-friendly way on this day. This can be walking, cycling, carpooling, park and stride or using the bus. Students who are travelling from rural areas are encouraged to walk 5-10 minutes to school, by getting dropped within walking distance of the school. St. Joseph’s Community Centre is going to be an official meeting point for students who want to walk as part of a group. We will be leaving St. Joseph’s at 8.25 a.m. Look for the Green School Committee who will have balloons.
Anyone who comes to school using ‘Green Transport’ on Wednesday will receive a small treat and a sticker, as a thank you for their contribution.
Thursday and Friday: on these days we will be promoting recycling and water conservation. Keep an eye out for some pop-up displays around the school!
Autumn Meeting of Parents
Twice a year, the school holds a general meeting of Loreto parents/guardians to provide updates on the running of the school and on educational developments at national level.
The next such meeting will be held in the Sports Hall at 17.30 on Monday, 14 October 2019, concluding by 18.45. All Loreto parents/guardians are warmly invited to attend.
The agenda will be as follows:
- Report on the operation of the school over the past year
- Current issues
- Questions and answers / open discussion
Sinéad honoured at Foyle Young Poets of the Year Awards
3rd year student Sinéad O’Reilly has been gaining national attention with her award-winning poetry. Last week the young poet received further acclaim when her poem “Envelopes” earned her a commendation at The Poetry Society’s Foyle Young Poets Awards. Sinéad travelled to London for the event which was held at the Southbank Centre in central London. The award comes hot on the heels of Sinéad’s well-received appearance at the Write By the Sea Festival in Kilmore Quay where she read with fellow poets Paula Meehan and Hillary Hares. Earlier in the year she was a prize-winner, for the third year in a row, at the annual Trócaire / Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition.
The Foyle Young Poets competition, which has been running since 2001, has established itself as a key platform for young poets aged between 11 and 17. This year’s event received 11,000 poems from over 6,000 young people, some from as far away as the USA, Mexico, Japan and Vietnam. Judges Raymond Antrobus and Jackie Kay, both poets, whittled this down to 100 poems, all of which will be published in an online anthology.
The school congratulates Sinéad on her continuing success.
Best of luck to Roisin Lawless (1st year) and Hannah Fitzpatrick (3rd year) who will compete in the Leinster Senior Schools Swimming Championship this weekend. Both students put in excellent performances recently and qualified for this major event. The school congratulates them on their success to date and wishes them well this Sunday.