On Wednesday the 28th of June we bid farewell to sixty one children who are leaving our school and starting secondary school in September. All families were invited to St Declan’s for a graduation ceremony.
The children worked hard prior to the ceremony preparing art work for the hall. There was a fantastic display of their work…………from old photographs of them when they were in the younger classes to what they want to be when they grow up.
Mr Reidy started off the ceremony with the following speech.
It is a very special moment for all these children as they leave primary school and move onto the next stage in their lives. It is a time to remember and a time to look forward. Most of you have been part of our school community for the past eight years and some joined us along the way. You came to us with many undiscovered gifts and talents. As parents you entrusted your child to us. That trust is something we take very seriously. It is our responsibility to provide a secure happy learning environment, where children are given every opportunity to realise their potential. We hope that all of us in St. Declan’s has left no stone unturned in reaching this goal.
Childhood is often described as a short eternity, its years are few but its influence is forever. Its memories can last a lifetime. Moments can be remembered as hours, hours as weeks, weeks as years. Childhood experiences are etched in the mind for the rest of a person’s life. We as educators should take good care of childhood, remembering that a year is little in a lifetime, but it is a lifetime in the life of a child. We won’t ask you to remember your school because you can’t forget your school days. We wish you the best of luck in the future. Don’t try to be too strong; as a human being you will feel very vulnerable and humble at times and that humility may be your real strength. Be assertive, not aggressive; be flexible, accommodating and open to learning. Keep in touch with your spiritual side and keep God in your life.
During your time with us you have been nurtured by the love of your families, inspired by the guidance of your teachers and bound by the precious gifts of friendship. We hope that we have started you on a road that will help you lead a full, contented and happy lifestyle, ready to take on the many challenges and also the rich opportunities that will come your way. In all 61 children will bid farewell to St. Declan’s and of those 31 families will end that connection with our school.
This group inspired us challenged us, amused us, frustrated us, inspired us- just what we would expect from an energetic, lively and challenging group of young people. They have been worthy representatives of St. Declan’s at all times. In many ways, Sixth class represent the school, apart from the obvious areas like Confirmation they would be involved in quizzes, games etc and this class reached a high standard in this regard. At all times we were proud of the manner in which they conducted themselves and also of the example they gave to the younger children in the school. Whether it was school outings , games, walks to the church , the sixth classes could be relied upon to be well behaved. They were involved in a rich and varied number of activities during the year. Activities that enhanced the quality of learning in St Declan’s were-Swimming, concerts, school draughts, football, soccer, camogie , athletics, cycling, tag rugby, basketball, Green Schools, Seachtain na Gaeilge, Confirmation, Book Week. Goal collection, Credit Union quizzes, Corfheile na Scoileanna , Community Games, School Outings.
Credit Union Competitions and poetry competition
I would also like to acknowledge the work of all the teachers who were involved with these children through their school life. While Miss Griffin and Ms Jenkinson taught these pupils over the past year or two and applied the finishing touches many others were involved along the way: I speak of class teachers/ Learning support teachers/ resource staff. We acknowledge their role in the education of these pupils.
Mr Reidy then spoke about the hard work of the Parents Association and commended their fund raising this year. Ciara Nolan (chairperson)came up to present Mr Reidy with a cheque for twelve thousand euro that was raised in the school year 2016-2017 through fundraising.
Ava Carroll from Room 4 won the best attendance award for missing the least amount of years. Ava missed 22 days during her eight years in St Declan;s. What an achievement. Noel Curran chairperson of the Board Of Management presented Ava with her award.
Graham fro Easons presented the two classes with their medals and certificates. Ms Jenkinson and Ms Griffin gave out the certificates and Graham handed out the medals.
Noel Curran announced the six children who were nominated as Sportsperson of the year…………Sean Tyrell, Karl Delahunty, Laura Bolster, Matthew Scanlon, Paddy O’Brien and Hannah Tumbleton Mr Reidy found it so difficult to pick one person he picked two people for the award Sean Tyrell and Laura Bolster They will share the trophy for the year.
Pupil of the year award 2016-2017
This award was first presented in 1995 by the Flannery family who sponsored the prize. Every effort has been made to make judgements in the broadest possible way.It is not an academic test as such.
We look at effort rather than achievement,good citizenship, willingness to help others. attendance and punctuality, a good team person, someone who keeps trying no matter what the circumstances are. The children who were nominated for this award were
Rhys Thomas, Tomas Linnane, Ana Farrell, Matthew Kenny, Erin Browne, Freya Dolan and Mark Blagaevschi. They came up to receive their certificates from Noel Curtin.
The two class teachers Ms Jenkinson and Ms Griffin were presented with gifts from the children and their parents as a token of appreciation.
We then watched a slideshow of all the work the children did over the past year and photos of them during their time in St. Declan’s. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
We finished the ceremony with the children singing high hopes.
Final Message from Mr Reidy
To all boys and girls I would like to wish you well in the years ahead. If there’s one thing you can do for us it is that you represent us well. Remember that you will always be a St. Declan’s pupil and in many ways we will be judged on your achievements. As we stand proudly in the light of your achievements we hope that you continue to grow in mind and heart and in wisdom and compassion. Well done and a big thank you to the class of 2017.