Deutschmobil visit to MMC 2016

Transition Year students studied German popsong ‘Du bist die Sonne’ (You are the sun) from German pop group ‘Die Drogen’. They display the line ‘Du bist die Sonne und ich brauche dich. Doch komm nicht näher, Sonst verbrennst du mich’. Pictured far right: Katharina Carson, Goethe Institut Irland and far left: tutors Katharina and Saskia

Transition Year students studied German popsong ‘Du bist die Sonne’ (You are the sun) from German pop group ‘Die Drogen’. They display the line ‘Du bist die Sonne und ich brauche dich. Doch komm nicht näher, Sonst verbrennst du mich’.
Pictured far right: Katharina Carson, Goethe Institut Irland and far left: tutors Katharina and Saskia

Mount Mercy College German Department was delighted to welcome the Deutschmobil for the fourth time on 10th November 2016. Katharina Carson and language assistants Saskia and Katharina of the Goethe Institut Irland provided wonderful and inspiring lessons for our young learners of German.

1st year students of German pictured with Goethe Institut Irland team. The class learned about ‘Martinstag’ (St Martin’s Day) traditions in Germany. Children in Germany celebrate this feast day on the 11th November annually.

1st year students of German pictured with Goethe Institut Irland team, 10th November 2016. The class learned about ‘Martinstag’ (St Martin’s Day) traditions in Germany. Children in Germany celebrate this feast day on the 11th November annually.

Children throughout Germany celebrate St Martin’s Day with a special lantern parade on the evening of 11th November annually. Children carry their lighted lanterns singing traditional songs in accompaniment. This special celebration marks the start of the Advent season; and is later followed by Nikolaustag, Weihnachten, and Dreikönigstag. Our 1st year students of German learned about the tradition of the lanterns, the significance of the ‘die Martinsgans’ (Martins Day goose), ‘der Martinsumzug’ (Martins Day parade), ‘der Mantel’ (the coat or cloak associated with St Martin) and ‘das Schwert’ (the sword). They also learned and sang a traditional Martin’s Day song entitled ‘Ich geh mit meiner Laterne’.  A special word of thanks to the Goethe Institut team as MMC German Department specifically requested a lesson on St Martin’s Day and the Goethe Institut Irland delivered an excellent lesson in response to this request.

TY students get creative with the pop song under study ‘Du bist die Sonne’

TY students get creative with the pop song under study ‘Du bist die Sonne

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Mount Mercy Transition Year students of German pictured with Katharina Carson of the Goethe Institut (far right in back row), teacher Ms Loftus (2nd from right in back row) & Goethe Institut language assistants Katharina & Saskia (far left in back row), 10th November 2016.

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Mount Mercy Transition Year students of German pictured with Katharina Carson of the Goethe Institut (far right in back row), German language assistant Jana Reusch (2nd from right in back row) & Goethe Institut language assistants Katharina & Saskia (far left in back row), 10th November 2016.

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Transition Year Students of German display their newly acquired Goethe Institut wristbands.

Transition Year Students of German display their newly acquired Goethe Institut wristbands.

Goethe Institut wristbands on display!

Goethe Institut wristbands on display! Transition Year students of German, 10th November 2016.

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1st Year students of German with Goethe Institut language assistants Saskia & Katharina

Learning about St Martin's Day

Learning about St Martin’s Day

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1st Year students of German learned about St Martin’s Day traditions : Der Martinsumzug

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Learning about St Martin’s Day traditions: Die Martinsgans

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St Matin's Day

Significant aspects of St Martin’s Day: the lantern, the cloak, the goose, the Martins Parade, the sword.

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1st year German class pictured with Katharina Carson of the Goethe Institut (front left), Katharina & Saskia (Goethe Institut language assistants, far left in back row ) & teacher Ms Loftus (back row, far right). 10th November 2016.

The Goethe Institut presented lovely gifts of lanyards, badges, wristbands, notebooks, sports bags, gummy-bear sweets and posters, which were greatly appreciated. A sincere thanks to the Goethe Institut Irland for the wonderful lessons which help us to understand and appreciate the German language and culture within a fun, dynamic and creative teaching and learning environment.

To find out more about the Deutschmobil click on the link below:

Deutschmobil

Green Schools Biodiversity Flag 5: Wildflowers Update

In our Green Schools article last June, we showed the initial phases of choosing a suitable wildflower seedbed in our school grounds and the process of planting the native Irish wildflower seeds. To view images showing these initial steps please view the article by clicking on the link below:

Biodiversity for our 5th Green Flag

These seeds subsequently blossomed into lovely flowers suitable for attracting bees, insects and birds. Hence biodiversity was fully supported, whilst also creating an attractive visual display. It is important to plant native plant species as many species of wildlife in our natural environment benefit as a result. Have a look:

Wildflowers bloom at Mount Mercy

Wildflowers bloom at Mount Mercy

German Ambassador Honours Mount Mercy College With Visit

On the 14th October 2016, Mount Mercy College was honoured to receive a visit from the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Mr Matthias Höpfner.

EEXX news 14/10/2016. VIDEO AVAILABLE WITH THIS. German ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner with pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. It was the first visit of a diplomat to the girls secondary school. ( l to r) Jana Reusch, German language assistant; Ellen van Walleghem, Deputy Principal; sixth year pupils Niamh Busby and Emma Sheehan, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner, sixth year pupils Maeve O'Sullivan and Larisa Sabou, German teacher Ms Mary Loftus and cellist Roisin Fleming. Pic; Larry Cummins

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured centre. To his left (L-R) Jana Reusch (Language Assistant), Ms Ellen Van Walleghem (Vice Principal),  Niamh Busby, Emma Sheehan and to his right (L-R) Maeve O Sullivan, Larisa Sabou, Ms Loftus (Teacher) & 2nd year cellist Roisin Fleming.  Picture Credit: Irish Examiner                                                

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The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner, pictured centre. To his left (L-R) Jana Reusch (Language Assistant) , Niamh Busby, Emma Sheehan & to his right (L-R) Maeve O Sullivan, Larisa Sabou, Ms Loftus (Teacher) and 2nd year student Roisin with cello.

Picture credit: Irish Examiner

1st Year class pictured with teacher Ms Loftus say ‘Welcome Mr Ambassador’.                                 Picture credit: Irish Examiner

EEXX news 14/10/2016. VIDEO AVAILABLE WITH THIS. German ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. It was the first visit of a diplomat to the girls secondary school. Pic; Larry Cummins

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner. 

 Ambassador Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork.

The German Ambassador, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner. 

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner visiting Mount Mercy College, Cork. Pupils, past-pupils and staff listen to H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner during his visit to the school. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

Pupils, past-pupils and staff listen to The German Ambassador, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner during his visit to Mount Mercy College. 
Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

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The German Ambassador with Vice Principal Ms Ellen Van Walleghem (left) and German Teacher Ms Loftus  (right)

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1st year students welcome The German Ambassador

1st year students :  ‘Welcome Mr Ambassador’

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The German Ambassador arrived at 10am and was welcomed by Vice Principal Ms Van Walleghem, teacher Ms Loftus, the Head Girl Isabel Coburn and Deputy Head Girl Arisha Muhammed. 1st year students of German welcomed the German Ambassador with the words ‘Willkommen Herr Botschafter’ (Welcome Mr Ambassador) and proudly displayed these words in their sign to deliver a group welcome on behalf of all students of German in MMC.

Mount Mercy College Traditional Irish music group

Mount Mercy College Traditional Irish music group welcomed The German Ambassador

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Past pupils of German returned to MMC to enjoy Ambassador Höpfner’s visit. L-R: Sarah Clifford (Deputy Head Girl 2012-2013), Mary O Driscoll (LC 2014), Jessica Schweizer (LC 2014), Clara Bennett, Lea Bennett, Aisling O Donovan, Julie O Sullivan & Jennifer O Leary (all of whom completed their LC in 2016)

The Ambassador stopped to warmly appreciate the beautiful welcoming music provided by Mount Mercy’s traditional Irish music band, as he was escorted through the corridor en route to the library. He entered the library to rapturous applause provided by the Mount Mercy students of German. Ten past pupils of German were also present and joined in providing the warmest of welcomes.

Proceedings commenced with an eloquent welcome speech given by Vice Principal Ms Van Walleghem which highlighted the strong Mount Mercy ethos as well as the achievements and excellent reputation of the College. She highlighted the College’s excellent record in terms of modern languages and spoke about German in Mount Mercy as a popular choice, with many students having achieved very good grades and a significant proportion having chosen to pursue it in higher education. She expressed delight with the support the College has received from the German Embassy and the Goethe Institut, as this support has created new and inspiring opportunities.

Ms Loftus then spoke words of welcome and thanks to the Ambassador, in recognition of the invaluable support provided by the German Embassy for the teaching and learning of German in MMC. She highlighted how the German Embassy, working closely with the Goethe Institut Irland and the German Teachers Association of Ireland, shows us that ‘German connects’ through the provision of wonderful initiatives including:

· The ‘Deutschmobil’, which MMC has been lucky to host annually since its inception in 2013
· Wonderful scholarship opportunities which Mount Mercy students have been lucky to enjoy
· Invaluable support through the provision of the German Language Award – German Teacher of the Year Award which MMC was thrilled and honoured to receive in 2014
· Teacher scholarship opportunities, one of which Ms Loftus was delighted to receive

She highlighted the fact that the German Embassy is simply a magnificent force to be reckoned with and that MMC was most grateful to have this opportunity to thank The German Ambassador in person.

Past pupil and former Deputy Head Girl Alison Devlin then delivered a lovely speech detailing her experience of German during her six years in Mount Mercy and sharing her experience of the German tour to Munich and the Bavarian countryside which took place in October 2015, during her Leaving Cert year. Alison was a member of the first group ever to raise the Mount Mercy flag at the summit of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany at 2,962 metres. She also played a special role as she was responsible for carrying the flag to the peak.

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Alison Devlin, Former Deputy Head Girl

Scholarship winners Larisa Sabou and Niamh Busby spoke warmly of their experiences during their scholarship periods in Germany. These scholarships are awarded to a limited number of students nationally based on Junior Cert results in German and interview performance in German at the Goethe Institut, Dublin. The girls thanked the Ambassador and the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD, Pedagogical Exchange Service) for these scholarships, which have left a lasting positive impact on them, both in terms of German language acquisition and life experience. As Larisa said, from seeing the Brandenburg Gate and Angela Merkel in the Reichstag, to visiting Zugspitze, ‘there’s nothing we haven’t seen’.

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L-R: Niamh Busby and Larisa Sabou

German poems were then performed by all German class groups from 1st year to 6th year. The German Ambassador enjoyed the Mount Mercy rendition of all of the poems which showcased poets from different eras and styles, including Goethe, the world famous German poet laureate.

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1st year German class perform their poem ‘Gute Wünsche’ by Oskar Stock in both German and English

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The 1st year poem ‘Gute Wünsche’ (Good Wishes), by Oskar Stock, was written shortly after World War II and the theme of ‘more peace and friendship, instead of hatred, strife and dispute’ is as relevant today as it was in 1946. This wonderful 1st year class gave a rousing performance of the poem, firstly in German and then in English.

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2nd Year German class perform their poem ‘Auf dem Land’ by Ernst Jandl

The 2nd year poem ‘Auf dem Land’ (In the Countryside), by Ernst Jandl, is an amusing and challenging performance poem where students work with careful repetition of syllables in each word to mimic the sounds made by the animals being described. This was no mean feat and the Mount Mercy students rose to the challenge and performed it wonderfully.

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3rd Year German class perform their Autumnal poem ‘Der Herbstwind’ (The Autumn Wind), Poet unknown

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3rd year students gave a lovely rendition of ‘Der Herbstwind’ (The Autumn Wind), a fitting choice of poem by an unknown poet, to mark the season in which the Ambassador chose to visit MMC. After the poem was performed in German by the class, 3rd year student Sophie Crosbie gave us a charming rendition in English.

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5th Year German students perform their poem ‘Wanderer’s Nachtlied II’ by Goethe, considered by many to be the most beautiful lyrical poem in the German language. Siún Long O Connor holds a poster showing the famous 1787 painting of Goethe by the German artist Tischbein entitled ‘Goethe in the Roman Campagna’

5th year students performed a beautiful version of Goethe’s poem ‘Wanderers Nachtlied II’ (The Wanderer’s Nightsong). This special poem evokes a still and quiet mood as it depicts the wanderer’s thoughts whilst surrounded by the beauty of nature. It is considered by many to be the most perfect lyrical poem in the German language. Following this, 5th year student Katie O Connor performed a lovely version of the poem in English.

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Combined group of Transition Year and Leaving Cert students perform the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy’ poem for Ambassador Höpfner

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Transition Year students Aleks Janowich and Harsimran Ahluwalia perform a poem in German along with their class. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

Transition Year students Aleks Janowicz and Harsimran Ahluwalia perform the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy‘ poem in German along with their class.
Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

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Transition Year and Leaving Cert students combined to recite the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy’ (German in Mount Mercy) poem. This poem conveys the spirit of German in Mount Mercy and these students did a fantastic job of conveying that particular spirit through their enthusiastic and fun approach in the performance.

At this point a special presentation of Cork Crystal was made to the Ambassador, to mark the occasion of his visit to Mount Mercy College. This vase carries the special ‘Winged Starlight’ design by Master Craftsman George Duggan. No two pieces are ever the same. This quintessential piece of Cork Crystal was specially engraved to mark the occasion of The German Ambassador’s visit to Mount Mercy College.

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Presentation of Cork Crystal vase with Winged Starlight design to The German Ambassador

Ambassador Höpfner made a presentation of a beautiful book entitled ‘Deutschland’ to Mount Mercy to be housed in our school library.

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Ambassador Höpfner presented a beautiful book about Germany as a gift to Mount Mercy College

The German Ambassador then rose to address the students. He spoke eloquently about his life growing up in Germany, his early career path in law and the German Diplomatic Service, his family and how he had worked in the German Embassy in Indonesia and later as Deputy Head of Mission in the Germany Embassy in Tripoli in Libya. He later went on to serve as German Ambassador in Ottawa, Canada and Sofia, Bulgaria prior to coming to serve as the German Ambassador to Ireland in 2014.

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After his speech, Ambassador Höpfner went on to further give very generously of his time in providing thoughtful answers during the student question and answer session following his speech. He provided wonderful answers to a diverse range of questions from students in all year groups.

Samples of questions asked included the following:
What does your job involve?
Did you always want to be Ambassador?
What’s the best thing about your job?
If you could name one place to visit in Germany, what would it be?
What is your favourite German historical monument and why?
What do you think Ireland can learn from Germany?
How do you think Brexit will affect the EU?’
Of the many famous dignitaries you have met, who impressed you the most?
What do you think are the strengths of both nations (Ireland and Germany)?
Do you think Ireland and Germany work well in partnership together, in business, technology or simply in friendship?
Are you enjoying your visit to Cork?

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5th Year student Fiona O Sullivan stands to ask The German Ambassador her question: Is Goethe still considered to be relevant in modern day Germany?

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1st Year student Kate O Riordan stands to ask Ambassador Höpfner her question: “What can Ireland learn from Germany?”

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Leaving Cert student Larisa Sabou stands to ask her question

Students certainly provided the Ambassador with a challenging task in answering many questions and he answered all with great aplomb and generosity.

‘Kaffee und Kipferl’ followed this Q & A session . All present enjoyed the delicious Kipferl German cookies baked by the Mount Mercy Home Economics Department and a special word of thanks must be given to Ms Evelyn Coughlan, Home Economics teacher.

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Ambassador Höpfner and Vice Principal Ms Ellen Van Walleghem enjoy ‘Kaffee und Kipferl’ whilst chatting with MMC past pupils of German

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Alison and Jana enjoy the delicious traditional German ‘Kipferl’ cookies

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Past pupils of German chat with Ambassador Höpfner whilst enjoying Kipferl: L-R – Clara Bennett, Lea Bennett, Aisling O Donovan, Julie O Sullivan, Jennifer O Leary

A beautiful Bach instrumental piece was expertly performed on cello by 2nd year student Roisin.

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The Ambassador further gave of his time to shake many hands and to speak with individual students.

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with former Deputy Head Girl Alison Devlin

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Niamh Busby, PAD scholarship winner

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Larisa Sabou. Larisa’s 4 week scholarship placed her amongst the top 5 scholarship winners nationwide in 2015

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Ann Keohane, 2nd year student & member of MMC Student Council

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Alex Jancowicz, TY student, speaks in German telling the Ambassador it is an honour to meet him: ‘Es ist mir eine große Ehre Sie zu treffen’

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Ambassador Höpfner together with Ms Van Walleghem (right) , Ms Loftus (left) and all present in the room, stood to listen to the beautiful rendition of the European Anthem, Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ , played by Mr Whelan on piano and 2nd year student Roisin Fleming on cello.

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Ambassador Höpfner greatly admired the 2nd year student’s ability on the cello and told us his father had been a music teacher and had played cello in the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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Ambassador Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch to his left and Ms Loftus to his right

Many photos were taken and a special word of thanks must be given to Ms Vanessa Gardiner, Art Department, for her lovely photography. Finally, the time to say ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ came. All rose to stand and respectfully listen to a beautiful rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the European Anthem, expertly played on piano by Mr Vincent Whelan, Music Teacher and student Roisin on cello. A special word of thanks must be given to Mr Whelan and the Music Department for the choreography of all music throughout the Ambassador’s visit, which helped to add to the great sense of celebration on this special day. A standing ovation was given to the Ambassador as he took his final leave of the students. He was most impressed with our Mount Mercy students of German and expressed this in his final moments at the school. This brought to an end a most special and memorable visit.

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L-R back row: Jana Reusch, Ms Loftus, Past pupils attending the Ambassador’s visit: Mary O Driscoll, Aisling O Donovan, Lea Bennett, Julie O Sullivan, Jennifer O Leary, Sarah Clifford, Front row L-R: Jessica Schweizer, Alison Devlin and Clara Bennett.

In conclusion, Mount Mercy German Department wishes to express most sincere thanks to the German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner and his team at the German Embassy in Dublin for choosing to honour us with this very special visit. We also deeply appreciate the generous amount of time the Ambassador made available for our students, spending over an hour and a half with them. A special word of thanks must go to Mr Peter Adams, First Secretary and Nelly Reske, P.A. to the Ambassador, who work very hard behind the scenes to coordinate events like this. It was a great honour to receive the German Ambassador at our College and we are most grateful for the opportunity. As well as being the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Höpfner has now set a new record – first ambassador ever to visit Mount Mercy College!

Sincere thanks also must be given to our School Principal Pádraigín Uí Riordáin and Vice Principal Ellen Van Walleghem who greatly supported this special occasion. A special word of thanks must go to our office administrators Vivienne O Shea, Susan Archbold and Debbie Brennan and to Joe Larkin, our caretaker, and Barbara Smolenska, for their great help and support at all times throughout the organisation of this event. A huge thank you to the Home Economics, Music and Art Departments for their invaluable assistance in this event as each department’s participation helped to ensure the event was a great success. Sincere thanks to Ms Mary O Sullivan, Transition Year Coordinator, who kindly organised  the creation of beautiful posters for the event by talented TY students. Last but certainly not least, congratulations to all the Mount Mercy students of German, who really participated wonderfully in this event and with great finesse. The Ambassador came to Mount Mercy specifically to see these students and they certainly did not disappoint. Well done to all our students of German! Our Mount Mercy students of German epitomise the sentiment expressed in the final lines of our ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy Poem’…..

Wir besteigen den höchsten Berg Deutschlands
In Schnee und Sonnenschein
Und dort hissen wir die Mount Mercy Fahne
(Das hat Niemand vor uns getan),
………denn es ist wichtig ein Ziel zu erreichen

We climb the highest mountain in Germany
In snow and sunshine
And there we raise the Mount Mercy flag
(Nobody did that before us)
Because it is important to reach a goal

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Mount Mercy welcomes German Language Assistant

Mount Mercy German Department is delighted to welcome Jana Reusch from Kiel in Northern Germany who joins us as German Language Assistant for the 2016-2017 school year. Céad míle Fáilte Jana! Herzlich Willkommen in Irland!

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch during his visit to MMC on 14th October 2016

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch during his visit to MMC on 14th October 2016

Wir sind froh Jana im Mount Mercy zu haben und wir wünschen ihr alles Gute für die Zeit im Mount Mercy Team!

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.

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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

Outstanding Mount Mercy Students win German Scholarships

L-R: Larisa Sabou and Niamh Busby, Scholarship Winners

L-R: Larisa Sabou and Niamh Busby, Scholarship Winners

Heartiest congratulations to Mount Mercy College Transition Year students Larisa Sabou and Niamh Busby, who were respectively awarded 4 week and 3 week scholarships to Germany based on their outstanding Junior Certificate results in German and their interview performance in German at the Goethe Institut in March. Each year approximately 29 scholarships are funded by the German Foreign Office for Irish Transition Year students. These are offered by the German Pedagogical Exchange Service for language courses in Germany.

It is not possible to apply for these scholarships as selection is based on merit i.e. the students’ Junior Certificate performance in German. The best 70 students nationwide are invited by the Department of Education and Skills to an interview/language test at the Goethe Institut in Dublin. Out of this group, the top 5 students are then awarded a 4 week fully sponsored language course which takes place in Germany between June and September. This scholarship includes trips to Cologne/Bonn, Berlin and Hamburg / Munich as well as a 2-week stay with a German family, during which the Irish students go to school with their German counterparts.

Approximately 24 Irish students are selected for participation in the 3 week language courses in Germany. Expenses for accommodation, meals, trips and the language course are paid for.

Well done to Larisa and Niamh on their outstanding achievements!

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2015 Eurocamp Travel Award Winner

MMC student wins trip to Germany

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Heartiest congratulations to Dara O Keeffe, a 6th year student of German in MMC, who has been selected as one of two national winners of an EIL Travel award to Germany. Dara will spend 3 weeks in Germany next August with young people from all over the world immersed in the German language and culture, and engaged in community work. Dara was selected for the award based on her high standard of German, her interest in the German language and culture, and her excellent track record of involvement in voluntary and community work. She has been very active in the charities SHARE, for which she acted as a Mount Mercy executive in 5th year, and the Hope Foundation. She has traveled to Calcutta with fellow MMC students and teachers as part of her Hope Foundation activities. She has also actively volunteered with the scouts for several years. She has studied German for the past 6 years at Mount Mercy College and has previously visited both Germany and Austria.

Although just two individuals from Ireland are selected for this prestigious award, 40 countries are represented and therefore this will be a most exciting and interesting experience within an international context. Accommodation and meals are included in the award and some money is given towards the cost of flights.

EIL Intercultural Learning Ireland aims to “provide intercultural learning experiences which enrich lives, promote understanding of other cultures and challenge individuals to be more globally aware and responsible”. To find out more about this not-for-profit organisation, visit their website:

http://www.eilireland.org