Student Council Activity during Mental Health Week at MMC

An article written on behalf of the Student Council by Adina Zagoneanu, Chairperson of MMC Student Council 2015-2016.

Poster for Student Council Art Competition

Poster for Student Council Art Competition

During Mental Health Week at MMC, the Student Council organised an art competition with the theme ‘Its OK not to feel OK, and its absolutely OK to ask for help’. Amy Keating, 2nd Year, was the winner of this competition.

The Student Council worked in liaison with 5th Year leaders to distribute amber cards throughout the school. Students wrote their hopes, dreams and worries on these cards.

The Student Council aimed to enforce aspects of mental health such as positivity within the student body throughout the week.

Biodiversity for our 5th Green Flag

Green Schools Announcement

Herbs grown by 1st Year Home Economics students in class at Mount Mercy.

Mount Mercy has completed the first year of a two-year Green Schools programme as we aim to achieve our 5th Green Flag. Biodiversity is the theme of this 5th flag.

Mini beast hotel attached to tree in grounds of Mount Mercy College by Green Schools Committee

Mini beast hotel attached to tree in grounds of Mount Mercy College by Green Schools Committee

What is biodiversity?
‘Biodiversity is the variation of living organisms from all sources, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and all the habitats of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. Imagine life without all this diversity! Life on earth would cease to exist!’ – quoted from http://www.greenschoolsireland.org/

Planting wild flowers at Mount Mercy. Members of the Green Schools Committee L-R: Sara Ann Biju, Ms Cotter, Dia Harry Thomas, Ama Kuruooe Arachchi

Planting wild flowers at Mount Mercy. Members of the Green Schools Committee L-R: Sara Ann Biju, Ms Cotter, Dia Harry Thomas, Ama Kuruppu Arachchi, Mr O’ Sullivan. 

To date, the Green Schools Committee at Mount Mercy has completed an initial survey of 1st, 2nd and 5th year classes to examine student understanding of biodiversity and its environmental impact. The committee has also identified a bio-diverse area in the school grounds and has planted native Irish wild flowers there as well as attaching two insect hotels to trees in the zone to encourage biodiversity. 1st year Home Economics students grew herbs in class and brought them home to eat, so lets hope our students are gardening over the Summer!

Green Schools Committee members display their green fingers! Pictured planting wild flowers with Ms Fitzgerald.

Green Schools Committee members Sara Ann, Dia and Ama display their green fingers! Pictured planting wild flowers with Ms Fitzgerald.

Biodiverse activity: Mini beast hotels attached to trees and site of newly planted wild flowers at Mount Mercy.

Mini beast hotels attached to trees & site of newly planted wild flower seed bed at Mount Mercy.

Mini beast hotels pictured with

Mini beast hotels pictured with L-R: Ama, Dia, Ms Cotter and Sara Ann. 

The committee and the entire school community strive to maintain the four Green Flags achieved to date on the themes of Litter & Waste, Energy, Water and Travel. On the 18th May 2016, Mount Mercy took part in a national WOW day, which aimed for the participation of 20,000 students nationally. Well done to all who participated in attempting to either walk or use an alternative environmentally sustainable method of transport on that day. Our final survey figures show that approximately 14% of our MMC student population used park and stride and 7% walked to school on the day.

In Year 2 Green Schools at Mount Mercy plans to further raise awareness on the theme of Biodiversity and to continue to engage in and promote bio- diverse activity. Each of us can play a vital role in the protection and encouragement of biodiversity, not only within our school community but also in the wider community.

Some facts for you to consider:

“One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators, especially bees, for a successful harvest”. (‘Declining bee populations pose a threat to global agriculture’, Environment 360, April 2013)

“Wherever you live in Ireland, you should be able to attract at least 5 different bumblebee species to keep you company in your garden in summer.” (Quoted from website:  www.biodiversity.ie  – please visit the site for ideas on how to do this).

“Wildflower species are worth preserving in their own right. But they also provide food for insects, birds and mammals – for example, wildflowers support pollinators, including bees, whose decline has been well documented in recent years. Wildflower planting schemes therefore provide an excellent way to support biodiversity while also creating a visually attractive flower display.” (www.ecocongregationireland.com)

“Biodiversity contributes to many aspects of human well-being, for instance by providing raw materials and contributing to health. …. (but) human actions often lead to irreversible losses in terms of diversity on Earth and these losses have been more rapid in the past 50 years than ever before in human history”. (www.greenfacts.org)

 

 

Deutschmobil visit to MMC

1st Year German class enjoy Deutschmobil visit, December 2015.

1st Year German class enjoy Deutschmobil visit, December 2015. Pictured with Deutschmobil native German speaking tutors Katharina Sander (far right) and assistant (left).

1st year students examine German map during Deutschmobil visit.

1st year students examine German map during Deutschmobil visit.

Junior Cert German class enjoy their 3rd visit from the Deutschmobil. This class previously enjoyed Deutschmobil visits in their 1st year (2013) and in 2nd year (March 2015). Pictured above in December 2015.

Junior Cert German class enjoy their 3rd visit from the Deutschmobil. This class previously enjoyed Deutschmobil visits in their 1st year (2013) and in 2nd year (March 2015). Pictured above in December 2015.

The Deutschmobil visited Mount Mercy for a record third time on 4th December 2015! The Dublin Goethe Institut representatives provided fun and interactive lessons in German for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year classes. These native German speakers provided a very special and memorable learning experience for our students. 1st and 2nd year classes learned about Christmas in Germany through games, quiz and song. 3rd years learned about the body parts in German through use of diagrams and interactive games. Maps of Germany were explored with all groups. Fun, involvement, active learning and colour were the order of the day. Special treats including lanyards, badges, flags and reading materials were generously given to our enthusiastic students of German. Sincere thanks to the German Connects Campaign, the Goethe Institut Dublin and the German Embassy for the provision of such a wonderful teaching and learning resource for all students of German nationally.

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Nikolaustag Celebrations at MMC

1st year German class enjoy Nikolaustag celebration , December 2015

1st year German class enjoy Nikolaustag celebration . Pictured with Principal Bean Ui Riordain  and Vice Principal, Ms Van Wallegham, December 2015.

MMC Leaving Cert students enjoy Nikolaustag celebration, December 2015.

MMC Leaving Cert students enjoy Nikolaustag celebration, December 2015.

Nicholas Day was celebrated in early December 2015 by 1st Year and Leaving Cert German classes. Principal Bean Ui Riordáin and Vice Principal Ms Van Wallegham attended the 1st year celebration where German Christmas carols were sung by the class. The 1st Year students of German enjoyed a presentation on seasonal Christmas customs in Germany and the excitement of unexpectedly receiving their Christmas socks filled with treats including chocolates, straw stars, badges, wooden decorations and goodies. This annual feast day was celebrated in traditional German style! Leaving Cert students of German received token arrangements of chocolates, goodies and straw stars in celebration of Nikolaustag and enjoyed learning about German Christmas traditions and watching the comic short movie ‘Dinner for One’ which is screened annually in Germany on New Years Eve.

1st year students, Nikolaustag at MMC 2015

1st year students, Nikolaustag at MMC 2015

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Token treats for Leaving Cert students, NIkolaustag celebration 2015

Token treats for Leaving Cert students, NIkolaustag celebration 2015