Parent Updates – Week 3

Good afternoon to our Parents/Guardians.

Hopefully you are all having a good week and looking forward to the weekend. Once again, some updates in relation to what is happening in our school. Each paragraph has the year group that the content is relevant to highlighted.

1)Opening of the year service 

Last Friday we had our opening of the year service. This took place over the intercom where all students remained in their designated classrooms and listened to the blessing and readings read by our chaplain Mr. Tom Conneely and a number of students who volunteered to read. It is challenging to sustain the attention of the boys over the intercom, however, last Friday when Mr. Conneely and the students participating in the service were reading, there wasn’t a sound in the building. The service was purposeful, meaningful and most importantly inclusive. We had readings in several different languages and prayed for all within our school community and their families to remain safe and well for the coming year. Well done to all involved.

2)Academic Interviews 6th years  

This year your son will be invited to partake in an academic interview with Ms. O’Donoghue. These interviews are hugely beneficial as they encourage students to think about what they want to achieve from Senior Cycle in St. Munchin’s College.  

Your son has been given a form (a copy of which is attached) by his class tutor. This form needs to be filled out as accurately and realistically as possible. Could you please assist your son in completing same. The form requires: 

  • An accurate account of results achieved at Junior Cycle (the State Examinations Commission now places an important emphasis on Junior Cycle results). 
  • A realistic expectation of results for each subject at Leaving Certificate level. 
  • Selection of a number of career ambitions that might be of interest, post leaving certificate, for your son. 

If this form could be returned to the class tutor as soon as possible your son will be called in due course for his interview.  


3)October Assessments (Monday 18th to Friday 22nd October) (3rd and 6th years) 

The October assessments will take place on the dates mentioned above. These assessments are specific to 3rd and 6th years. The purpose of these assessments is to create an early focus for exam students. In most cases teachers will assess syllabus content/subject specifications that have been taught since our return in August. 6th and 3rd year students do not sit Christmas exams, as their pre-examinations take place in early February (Tuesday Feb 1st). To assess students at Christmas and again in February would be considered over assessment which is something that we cannot and should not do. To ensure that students sit an exam prior to their pre-examinations, we schedule the October Assessments. Once these exams have been completed, teachers and students have a number of uninterrupted months to cover exam content for the pre-examinations. The results of October assessments will be published on VS ware. Once we have finalized the timetables for the assessments, we will e mail them to 6th and 3rd year parents. Teachers have spoken to their individual class groups in relation to the topics that they intend to include in the assessment. A number of exam centres will be in use, to ensure that we comply with Health and Safety protocols.  


4)Homework Completion (all year groups-tips for parents (attachment) are directed at 1st, 2nd & 3rd year parents) 

As parents and students are aware, if a student fails to submit his homework three or more times in one week (in one subject or a number of subjects) he will earn himself a Friday detention. Each time a student fails to submit relevant homework, his teachers will enter a homework slip for that student. The homework slips are collated and processed at the end of the week and published to year heads on Monday morning. Students with three or more slips are highlighted in red and are in turn informed of their detention by their year head (3pm to 5pm Friday afternoon).   

While it is still early days and we have only just settled back into school, it is essential that all students are completing GOOD QUALITY HOMEWORK. Some students just want to “get it done” and write the shortest answers possible. This is a very easy pattern for many students to develop, so it is important that parents talk to their son’s about the completion and importance of GOOD QUALITY HOMEWORK. Students need to be reminded that completing good quality homework will reduce the time spent on revision, as the subject matter is now familiar to them. If, on the other hand, poor quality homework is presented, or indeed no homework at all is attempted, the student cannot be expected to perform well at exam level, as the majority of information is unfamiliar. While we are constantly reminding the students of the importance of homework it is essential that parents (particularly of younger students so that good habits can be established early on) are reinforcing that same message at home.  

Written work is one method that we use to learn information, however, it is the learning of the work that is essential for exam preparation and completion. While some students enjoy transcribing pages of material from their textbooks, this activity is pointless if the student is not LEARNING the information. Learning takes time and should be undertaken in a quiet environment with no phone, no i- pod, no face book/twitter or snap chat. Once your son feels that he knows the information, encourage him to put away his books and copies and attempt to write out this information from memory. This will determine what your son knows and more importantly what he doesn’t know. This is the only way that good quality homework can be produced.  


5)Afterschool Study (all year groups) 

We still have a some places available in afterschool study. Any student wishing to sign up can take a form from outside my office.

6)5th year Retreat (5th years) 

All 5th year students will be going on a retreat /bonding day next Friday (September 24th). As 5th year is a mixed group made up of last year’s transition year students and students who have moved directly from third year, it is important to have the retreat early in the year, to create an opportunity for the boys to get to know each other in a more relaxed setting. The plan for the day is to climb Moylussa, Killaloe. This climb will be followed by a prayer service and weather permitting lunch and some bonding games in Two Mile Gate. The intention is that buses will leave at 9am (from the College) on the day and return to the College by 4pm. Permission forms will be sent home with the students. All 5th years will be met by Mr. Kelly (Year Head) and Mr. Conneely (Chaplain) for an assembly this week to discuss the plan for the day.

7)Anti Bullying Update (all year groups)

A separate e mail has been sent to all 1st year parents this afternoon detailing our Anti Bullying Policy and how it operates in the College. We are slowly making our way through all year groups in relation to our Anti Bullying talks. All first years have been addressed by Mr. Quilter, Ms. Shiels and the Anti Bullying coordinators-Ms. D. Collins and Mr Slattery. From 2nd year up, the students are well aware of our stance, as a school, in relation to Anti Bullying. Having said that, all year groups need to be reminded that bullying is wrong and that no student should accept being bullied, while also reminding students that they must TELL their “One Good Adult” in the school if something or someone is making them feel uncomfortable.  Our approach to bullying has always been proactive. We educate the students in relation to bullying characteristics and then encourage and support them to make better behaviour choices. The aim is to ensure that the bullying STOPS and that every child can come into school and leave school feeling safe, happy and comfortable.  

For too long, boys in particular, were told to “man-up” and “toughen up”. That is not the message that your son will hear in this College. To report bullying is a sign of strength. We are not interested in punishing any student we simply want the bullying to stop- NOW. When a student reports a bullying incident, it shows that he is taking responsible action- which is a life skill. Your son will eventually go on to College and the workplace and bullying occurs there too, so he needs to be able to recognise it and deal with it- not hide it away and “bottle it up”. Boys by their nature are slow to talk so if we want to preserve their mental and physical health we need to encourage them to talk . We will continue to do our work here but need the support of parents too, so as to ensure that our Anti-Bullying message is explicitly taught to our boys. If at any point you have a concern (bullying or otherwise related) please contact us immediately.  

8)Music Lunch Time Club 1st years 

Music club is starting Monday 20th Sept at 1.05pm in the Meditation Room. Clubs and sports are a big part of our ethos here in the College, and so this year having spoken to many first year students who have an interest in music and who play instruments Ms. Maxwell thought it would be a nice idea to start a music club. Please see attached poster that will also be displayed around the school.  While we are starting with first years the aim will be to open it up to the full junior school in the coming weeks.

9)Microwaves will return to the canteen(from Monday September 20th)

As previously stated, we are constantly reviewing our Covid 19 protocols. Following requests from a number of students, we have agreed to return the microwaves to the canteen, on a trial period, as and from Monday next, September 20th .

10)Castletroy Hockey Club  (1st, 2nd & 3rd year boys) 

One of our parents has asked that this information be included in our updates to spread the word about this fantastic facility new to the Corbally area.

Castletroy Hockey club has now launched a new venue in Seanchoil on a Saturday morning!!!We are currently looking for new members and coaches. We are taking membership places for girls and boys aged 5 and up! Trainings in Corbally will take place on a Saturday morning, with training in UL on a Sunday morning.   The club are looking for boys to run a 1st-3rd year team in Corbally, and this team could be combined with the team in UL for league matches.  Training times for school children are on Saturday and Sunday mornings – we operate in two venues.

Saturday mornings from 9am at Seanchoill Sports Complex.
Sunday mornings from 9.30am at UL Hockey Pitch (behind the UL Arena)

Fees are set at €130 per season per child, with discounts available if you have more than one child in the club. We operate 26 training sessions throughout the season, plus enter in 4-6 blitz’s per year.

To help reduce costs at this busy time of year, membership fees can be paid in instalments, with only 25% due upon registration.

For more information, please see link below: