‘ Before you finish breakfast this morning you have have depended on more than half of the world’ – Martin Luther King Jr
As part of Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, Home Economics students learned more about what exactly fair-trade is, how different our food can look in its original state before it reaches our table, and the impact our shopping choices and habits can have for Fairtrade farmers and those who produce all our favourite foods & drinks like tea, coffee, chocolate, fruit and even our clothes. This years Fairtrade theme was around cocoa highlighting the importance of farmers being paid fairly for their work and being able to earn a living income. Students completed the chocolate quiz to learn more interesting facts about chocolate production and 1st years entered a Fairtrade Poster competition to encourage family and friends to choose fair-trade products when shopping. Congratulations to Saffron Flynn who won first prize and to runners up Kate McCauley and Rosemary Brady. All their poster’s will be displayed on the GCE noticeboard also.
Transition Years really enjoyed the National Dairy Council’s HealthFest virtual event on Wednesday 27th January. They heard from a range of speakers on the areas of physical activity, nutritional and mental wellbeing and picked up lots of tips and advice.
Speakers at the event included Professor Niall Moyna, Dr Caoileann Murphy, Broadcaster Dermot Whelan, Rugby player Greg O Shea and CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services Paul Gilligan. The event was chaired by radio broadcaster Doireann Garrihy.
Students virtually visited various stands at the event such as Bodywys, Spunout, NDC, Sport Ireland.
After the event all other students in our school received a link to watch all the presentations from the event. For more nutritional information and resources check out www.healthfest.ie or www.ndc.ie
Within the Sustainable Development Goals an area where TY’s wanted to focus on this year was that of inclusion. As part of this theme students planned a culture event in December to celebrate the range of diversity in our school. They encouraged others to create a poster showcasing the country they were born in or have roots to. All these posters were colourfully displayed around the GCE Noticeboard and it was really interesting for everyone in school to learn more about all the different countries that our school community have connections to.
Congratulations to 1st year student Nicole Kellett who was the winner in the Junior Category of the Poetry Competition and to 5th year student Saidhbhe Honeyman who was the Senior Category winner. Thank you to the English Department who judged the entries. Congrats also to 3rd year student Amelia Woolterton who was the overall Art/Poster competition winner and to 1st year student Kate McCauley who was runner up in that competition. The theme for both of these was ‘Celebrating Culture’.
There was a ‘Coffee and Culture’ chat at breaktime where staff chatted informally about travel and culture. Second year student Theodora Usatii made a delicious Romanian Cake called Cozonac and 5th year student Huda Batool made Kheer a delicious Pakistani rice dessert for this. They were thoroughly enjoyed by staff.
There was also some cross curricular culture in action when French teacher Mr Keeney joined the Home Economics class where students made some delicious crepes with him over some conversational french.
A variety of guest speakers spoke to students on a range of issues this year so far as part of their GCE studies. In December, John Lonergan (former Governor of Mountjoy Prison) spoke to TY and 5th year students about his experience as Governor with an emphasis on social justice and reform.
The TY students also participated in a zoom workshop with Amnesty International where they learned all about the work that Amnesty do here in Ireland and Internationally regarding the promotion and protection of human rights for all. Students learned about the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and about how we all have the capacity to campaign for freedom, justice, truth and dignity where ever it has been denied. Students examined some case studies that are currently happening globally on this.
In January students received an online presentation from John O Shea (who founded the NGO GOAL). John spoke about his experiences working in various parts of the world providing humanitarian relief and the challenges that came with that from conflict in countries, instability and climate change. He stressed that never have the needs of vulnerable people been more pressing. He spoke about the concept of social entrepreneurship among young people and how young peoples voices are now being heard much more as we hear from people like social activist Greta Thunberg who campaigns for issues on climate justice and Malala Yousafzai who is an activist for female education.
1st and 2nd year Home Economics students along with members of the Social Justice Club participated in the ECO-UNESCO Fast Fashion Workshop. They explored the lifecycle of our clothing, how much resources/energy it takes to produce clothing, the working conditions of those manufacturing our clothing and what happens when we are finished with our clothing. They looked at sustainable solutions when buying clothing. They also upcylced an old t-shirt into a tote bag. Watch this space as students create awareness on this topic throughout the year.
CPR 4 Schools is a programme for post primary schools and gives students the confidence to perform hands-only CPR, use an AED and know what to do when someone is choking. All 1st and 2nd year students participated in CPR training and will subsequently receive their certificate of completion. This links in with the Irish Heart Foundation’s awareness campaign they run every September ‘Heart Month’. All students at Ballinamore CS have now been trained in CPR.
‘Love your Gut’ Week 2019 provided the opportunity in home ec class to discuss issues around digestion and gut health. On Friday 20th September, the Health Promotion Team in school set up an awareness stand at break time for students and staff to sample some foods/drinks that are good for gut health / digestion including some locally produced Kefir.
We were delighted to welcome local bee kepper PJ McLoughlin along with Kay Maguire to our school on 17th May. PJ visited Ms. Colums Agricultural Science class as part of Biodiversity week. PJ explained to students the process of what a bee keeper does and how the honey is produced. Some of the home ec students dropped in for a look at the hives also. He spoke to students about the importance of bees and our local biodiversity.
Eanna Ni Lamhna visited our school on 22nd May to judge our entry in the schools competition for Love where you Live which is an environmental initiative ran with Leitrim County Council. Students across different year groups in the school were involved in the project. Well done to all who took part.
The 1st year girls attended Leitrim Sports Partnership’s ‘Girls Active Festival’ in Drumshanbo on Tuesday 8th April. They had completed 10 weeks after school every Wednesday engaging in a variety of activities and the festival in Drumshanbo was a celebration day where they received their Certificates of Completion which they will put in their JCPA Cert at the end of Junior Cycle. Four second years who kept on the programme this year also attended on the day. They all participated in a variety of activities on the day such as Parkour, Cycling along the Blueway, Football, Self Defence and Zumba. Well done girls.