It’s been four years since I was a student at Dominican College, Griffith Avenue. This year I returned as a PME (Professional Masters of Education) student. While it has been wonderful to come back to the familiar, it was clear to me from the first day back that a positive change had taken place. The staff has made efforts to continually improve the teaching and learning – a change that is affecting the entire school community. The first aspect of the school that immediately struck me were the increased emphasis on using Bloom’s Taxonomy when planning and teaching. Teachers are encouraged to set tasks and ask questions that involve the higher order stages of Bloom’s such as evaluating and creating. Each classroom has a small whiteboard, clearly visible to the students where teachers can write the learning intentions of the lesson on the board. Posters displaying the six levels of Bloom’s hang in every classroom as well as in the staffroom. There are posters on every teacher’s desk to remind them to incorporate Bloom’s taxonomy into their questions. Simple physical changes in the classroom have encouraged new teachers such as myself and more experienced teachers to bring these techniques into their classes.
From my own experience as a student, group work was viewed as something frivolous and inconsequential. It was the chance to have a chat with your friends and look busy when the teacher was near. Teachers perhaps were reluctant to carry it out in case the noise levels disrupted others. From my first day of observing classes in Dominican College, I quickly realised that this was no longer the case! Group work is now highly structured and often involves students analysing, evaluating and creating material thus tying in with Instructional Leadership techniques as well as the new Junior Cycle key skills. Teachers are framing questions in such a way that all students are accountable yet are more likely to participate in class because of the safe learning environment created.
From observing a number of classes in the school and chatting to various teachers about IL, these practices quickly became integrated into my own lessons. Think, pair, share methods have been particularly useful in my own teaching practice as an English teacher as well as increasing the wait time when asking questions.
While Dominican College is still the same friendly and welcoming school that it always was, there is an even better learning atmosphere apparent since I graduated four years ago. It is great to see such progress in a short space of time and the work I’ve seen here will certainly act as a standard which I will measure myself against during my teaching career. (Megan Oliver)
On Wednesday the 21st of March the Dominican College minor camogie team played their first championship game of the year in Clann na nGael against Coláiste Íosagáin.
After a dominating first half playing with the wind, Dominican College went into the break with a six point cushion on a score line of 2-3 to 3 points with Abbie McDonald, Ruth Fitzsimons and Eva Ahearn giving storming performances. The first half ended on a sour note however as centre back and Captain Aoife Nolan had to be taken off after receiving a ‘right bang’ on her knee.
In the second half Coláiste Íosagáin, aided by the breeze, began to get on top and with ten minutes to go had gained a one point advantage. However, our girls were not to be denied, with a resilient display in the last ten minutes in particular from Sarah-Louise Nolan, Isabelle McGarry and Niamh Bergin as well as key scores from Aifric Mangan and Maeve Tierney, Dominican College came out on top on a score line of 4-5 to 3-7. A great start to the minor campaign.
We would like to wish Aoife Nolan and Mia Bennett (injured during the year) speedy recoveries from their respective injures.
Squad as follows
- 1. Hannah Redmond 2. Kate Kelly 3. Niamh Bergin 4. Kelly Moran 5. Ruth Fitzsimons 6. Aoife Nolan 7. Sarah Louise Nolan 8. Isabelle McGarry
- 9. Eva Ahern 10. Abbie McDonald 11. Aifric Mangan 12. Caoimhe Fitzgerald 13. Jane Gerrard 14. Maedbh Tierney 15. Aisling Cullen
- 16. Amy Brady 17. Éanna Mangan 18. Eva Begley 19. Emma Kelly 20. Robyn Devlin 21. Rachel Hession 22. Sadbh Hession 23. Realtín Candon 24. Mia Bennett
The past seven months of the academic year saw a cohort of 1st and 2nd Year students band together, forming one of the most successful junior debating teams to emerge from Dominican College, Griffith Avenue, during the past ten years. In what can only be described as passionate, these students’ determination to succeed inspired both their peers and teachers alike. Each member of the junior debating team brought with them their unique talents and abilities. From command of the English language, critical thinking skills, research ability, to presentation skills - these girls have it all.
Competing at the highest of standards in the UCD Law Society Junior Schools competition, they collectively outshone literally hundreds of other young hopefuls as the competition progressed. On Thursday the 22nd March, Dominican College was one of six schools that made it to the Fitzgerald Chamber in UCD for the final round of this hugely competitive event. Supported by her teammates, Dearbhla Lawlor took up position to oppose the motion ‘This house would ban children from practising or participating in religion until the age of eighteen’. By considering both the moral and cultural aspects of religion, Dearbhla delivered a speech that refuted and rebutted many angles presented by the proposition. As always, she and her team-mates were true ambassadors for Dominican College.
The word ‘journey’ is defined as ‘the act of travelling from one place to another’. These past months were indeed a journey for our junior debaters, literally and figuratively, as they made their mark on the Belfield campus, sharpening and developing their debating skills along the way. While these ladies did not take the winning place overall, they were as gracious in defeat as they were in success. I was proud to accompany them on their journey. This competition was fantastically exciting, yet at times, utterly ruthless. None of these students had the benefit of experience - this was their first time to debate and engage in competition. They were dedicated, united and incredibly hard working throughout.
Despite Storm Emma and The Beast from the East, that interrupted meetings and scheduled practice sessions, Junior Debating 2017/18 at Dominican College, Griffith Avenue was a huge success. Thank you to all, including your parents, teachers and the Senior Management team. And a special thank you to the 2nd Year Head, Ms. Doyle, and Ms, Healy for their support throughout and on the evening of the final round.
Well done debaters, I hope you have a lovely Easter. Ms. Donohoe (debating coach)
Junior Debating 2017/18 team members:
Maria Tobin 1.1 , Faye Carbery, 1.3, Dilly Roe, 1.3, Ava Liddy, 2.1, Alice Moynihan, 2.1, Orna Garland, 2.2, Dearbhla Lawlor, 2.2, Alex McCoy, 2.3 and Ellen Quigley, 2.4
We wish to inform you that Dominican College will be closed to facilitate mandated staff training on Thursday 9th of March. This is for staff training on the new Junior Cycle curriculum.
This has been organised by the Department of Education and Skills and we are not in a position to re-schedule it.
It is our intention to open the school tomorrow, Monday 5th March. We ask that all those who chose to come to school, do so safely. While thaws have improved some road conditions, caution is still advised for motorists and pedestrians.
Although the worst of the Storm Emma has passed, an Orange weather alert remains in place. The National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG) met Sunday morning to review the situation. Its chairman Sean Hogan said that tomorrow would “not be a normal Monday in many areas”. We ask that you take this into consideration before you make the decision to travel! #sneachta