Multicultural Week in Loreto – report by Ms. Michelle Jordan
Forging friendships across year groups, cultures & communities
This year we faced the challenge of emulating last year’s hugely successful Multicultural Week. It is safe to say that this year’s student leaders met this challenge with aplomb. Once again, I was struck by the girls’ pride in their identity and passion for their culture. One of the most important aspects of this week was the new friendships forged across year groups and across different cultures. The girls are wonderful ambassadors for their countries and worked together as a team since their first meeting in September. Numerous lunchtimes and many evenings were given up as posters were made to decorate classrooms, music was selected, menus created, and items gathered to showcase the best of their cultures. All this hard work paid off as the school community enjoyed the week-long celebrations.
Multiculturalism in the Classroom:
Students became teachers this week as class groups got the chance to learn Russian, Arabic, Afrikaans and Malayalam & Telegu (two of many languages spoken in India).
Students learned how to cook dishes from around the world in Home Ec class:
Cricket Leinster paid us a visit on Thursday and introduced the students to the sport:
Nineteen classrooms in the school were decorated with information posters, photos and flags from the nineteen different cultures. Students enjoyed learning new facts about the cultures in our school community. Information on and photos of inspirational people from each culture were placed on the outside of each classroom door to shine a light on the work done by these people for their own culture and, in many cases on an international scale. Students were also invited to hang a leaf on our Multicultural Tree in the GP area detailing one interesting fact about their culture.
Friday’s Multicultural Stalls:
The GP Area was a riot of colour on Friday with a celebratory atmosphere. This year we were delighted to welcome Labour Party leader, Brendan Howlin, parents and grandparents and members of the community to join in our celebration of inclusion and diversity. We felt it was important to spread the positive message that there is strength in diversity to the wider community. Mr. Howlin addressed teachers, the multicultural week student leaders, members of the Prefects’ and Students’ Councils, parents, Sr. Helen, chairperson of our Board of Management, and Mr. O’ Shea. He delivered a very powerful speech about the importance of acceptance and diversity and how celebrations like ours can go a long way to removing the fear of unknown cultures which is often exploited by extreme right-wing organisations. Mr. O’ Shea reiterated this important message and thanked everyone involved in Multicultural Week for organising such a meaningful and significant event. The photos below provide a snapshot of the joyous mood of inclusion:
Paired Reading – report by Ms. Michelle Jordan
This year 50 TY volunteers trained to become Paired Reading tutors here in Loreto. The volunteers learned how they can help younger students foster a love of reading by simply reading together for enjoyment. 25 of the volunteers have been selected to read with 1st year students at lunchtimes from 1.40-2.00pm, Monday to Thursday. Many of the other volunteers will put their training to good use outside of school. Hopefully the tutors will pass on their love of reading to the younger girls. Best of luck to all involved!
Paired Reading Tutors, 2019
|Eloise O’ Boyle Ferguson||Ciara McMahon|
|Abi Reynolds||Caoimhe Kehoe|
|Shauna Cullen||Hannah Devereux|
|Katiebeth Gaynor||Ella English|
|Holly Rossiter||Aneena Juddymon Pynadath|
|Caoimhe Parker||Molly Benson|
|Amy Cantwell||Aoife Kelly|
|Holly Dempsey||Mai Ling Tynan|
|Sadhbh Dee||Charlotte Dowd|
|Emily Donoghue||Isabelle Murray|
|Muireann O’ Gara|
All 1st years participated in a science quiz on Monday 11 November to celebrate Science Week, congratulations to the winners.