Multicultural Week 2023 – Report by Ms. Jordan
The Inclusion Committee is delighted to report that Multicultural Week 2023 was a great success. The Multicultural Volunteers from 18 different cultures planned a series of events throughout the week beginning Monday the 27th of February to ensure this year’s theme and aim of ‘Educate & Celebrate’ was realised:
|Monday||– 5-minute video on Multiculturalism viewed by all students throughout the week
– All senior students watched ‘The Swimmers’ in RE class. This film is based on the true story of two sisters who flee Syria due to the civil war and humanised the refugee story for our students.
|Malavika Manoj, Sreelakshmy Bino & Hari Parimkayala, TY|
|Tuesday||– Hijab Day: Yosra addressed 3rd year students on why her hijab is an important part of her identity. She emphasised the importance of a woman’s right to choose what she wears which is enshrined in Islamic law. Students wore a hair accessory to show their support.
– Class Talk: Garda Anne Quirke addressed all first years on human rights & the importance of diversity in society from
|Yosra El Hussein, 3rd year|
|Wednesday||– Multicultural Fashion Show & Stands
o First years and TYs enjoyed a great show of cultural style. Parents, students from the Presentation Secondary School, Wexford, members of the community, members of An Garda Síochána and School of Sanctuary rep Homayoon Shirzad also attended. Malavika Manoj interviewed each model about her culture after she walked the catwalk.
o After the fashion show, students and guests visited the cultural stands to experience all that is wonderful about our diverse cultures. Donations to the Irish Refugee Council raised €121.
o 1.45-3.05pm: Homayoon Shirzad from the School of Sanctuary addressed all Multicultural volunteers about the journey a refugee experiences sharing his own personal story and explained how we can become a School of Sanctuary
|Multicultural Volunteers & the Inclusion Committee, JPIC, Garda Anne Quirke|
|Thursday||– Alan Corcoran visited the school to interview students involved in the week for his ‘Morning Mix’ show.||Malavika Manoj, Yosra El Hussein, Sonya Briukhovetska, Jagoda Szelagowska, Hanin Al Kasem, Haya Al Kasem|
|Friday||– Japan Day organised by Ms Zimmermann
o TY trip to Arts Centre to watch a Japanese anime
o Yumina our Japanese assistant delivered a talk about Hiroshima. Afterwards, TYs made origami cranes that will be sent to Hiroshima as symbols of peace
o Sushi tasting courtesy of Wexford restaurant ‘Nori’ for TYs
– The Students’ Council organised a fundraiser for those impacted by the earthquakes in Syria & Turkey. All students wore red & white accessories to show their support.
A key aspect of ensuring Multicultural Week remains an important event on our school calendar is to reflect on how we can improve year on year. Last year’s survey after the event showed that it was an enjoyable experience for the vast majority, but it was pointed out that students may have overly focused on the food of the cultures rather than really opening up to learning about life in cultures other than their own. To address this Malavika Manoj, Sreelakshmy Bino & Hari Parimkayala in TY spent many weeks interviewing students from minority cultures in the school. They collated their findings in a video that helped us all to reflect on the idea of unconscious bias. The interviews highlighted how students felt safe and happy in school, but students and teachers may unwittingly stereotype them because of their appearance or where they are from. This powerful video got us all thinking and talking about our subconscious behaviour.
The interview element to the fashion show was introduced this year to offer members of the audience a deeper insight into the cultures of our school while the human rights talk from Garda Anne Quirke to all first years ensured that students were keenly aware of the importance of respect for multiculturalism.
School of Sanctuary:
We have begun our journey in Loreto, Wexford to become a School of Sanctuary. A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment that benefits everybody, especially families seeking sanctuary. It is a school that helps its students, staff, parents, and the wider community to understand what it means to be a refugee and to extend a welcome to everyone regardless of their immigration status. Schools of Sanctuary is not a project, nor a short-term school initiative. It is a culture that schools achieve over time to ensure everyone feels welcomed, safe, and included in the school and beyond.
Homayoon Shirzad’s talk inspired all our multicultural volunteers to commit to carrying out all that is required to ensure Loreto Wexford becomes a champion school of sanctuary.
As is always the case, our photographs are much more effective than words when it comes to conveying the true spirit of our celebrations:
Academic Awards Ceremony – Report by Ms. Foley
On Thursday evening, 23rd February Loreto Secondary School celebrated the academic achievements of our students at an Academic Awards ceremony. The highest performing students in Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle 2022, together with those achieving the highest grades in their second and fifth-year Loreto Summer examinations were honoured in front of their families and members of our Academic Council. The girls were presented with beautiful glass trophies, which we hope will be a reminder of how proud we are of them and inspire them to strive to achieve their personal best. The award recipients in each category are listed below:
|Leaving Certificate – more than 550 CAO points||Junior Cycle 2022 – 9 Distinctions or Higher Merit grades||2nd Year Awards||5th Year Awards|
Aoife O’ Connor
Muireann O’ Gara
Emma O’ Leary
Heather O’ Leary
Loreto Past Pupil’s Union (PPU)
The PPU will hold a Quiz Night in Wexford Golf Club this Friday, 10 March, beginning at 20.00. A table of 4 adults will cost €40 while a table of 4 students will cost €20. Funds raised from this night will be invested back into the school in the form of student bursaries, designed to support Loreto students move into third level education. The support of all is greatly appreciated.
- Friday, 10 March – Past Pupil’s Union Quiz in Wexford Golf Club, commencing at 20.00
- Monday, 13 March – mock interviews for TY students
- Thursday and Friday, 16 and 17 March – school closed for St Patrick’s Day