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Minutes of meeting of the Loreto College Parents Advisory Council


Thursday 26th March 2015


Attendees: Ms. Marese Bell, Breda Ward, Anne Shaw, Michelle Maher, Rosemary Gilbert, Catriona Duffy, Sally Ann O’Donnell, Colette Linnane.


Apologies: Aine Killalea, Noleen Moloney, Sheila Flanagan, Margaret Egan, Clare O’Brien Moran, Amelia Cox, Gillian Ryan


Minutes of the meeting of 12th February 2015 were read and adopted


Matters arising from those minutes:


  • WSE The final report not yet completed but feedback from inspectors was extremely positive. PAC received 22% higher approval rating for communication than any other school countrywide. The report on the school was described by the inspector as “the best he had written” which is a terrific endorsement and well done to Ms. Bell and all the staff.
  • Charity ride out raised approx. €11,200. Huge thanks to all involved.
  • We have sent our affiliation cheque to the NPC and will look at publishing the events/courses that the NPC offer to our parents.
  • Pedestrian access is almost finished with some additional works yet to be done.



Principals Report to PAC

26 March 2015


Mock examination results have arrived back to the school and reports will be completed and posted to parents before Friday 27 March. All continuous assessment reports for First, Second, Fifth and Transition Year students have been completed and sent home to parents.  Thanks to Ms Mary O’Neill (Examinations Secretary) for the efficient organisation of the mock examinations and return of all state examination entries to State Examinations Commission.

Parent –Teacher meetings for first and second years have taken place recently with very good attendance on both evenings.

Careers Speakers

We continue to welcome representatives from the various third level institutions to speak to TY, 5th and 6th year students each Tuesday at lunchtime in B18.

Preparations for 2015-2016

Subject choice has been completed for incoming first years and for students moving into second and fifth year.

Applications for LCVP and Transition Year are currently being processed.


Student Achievements

Two fifth year students, Emma Moore and Aoife Murphy represented the school at Mental Health Ireland Public Speaking Competition on March 9th in Athlone.

Congratulations to two of our students Serena Wynne and Niamh Rowan who won medals for their sketch with their clubs in the All-Ireland Scór Finals.

Congratulations to TY student Elizabeth Cunningham who represented the school in the Bank of Ireland Junkcouture competition with her splendid Elizabethan creation.

Congratulations to Maria Butt and Nicole Penrose who received Certificates of Merit for their achievements in the Pramerica Spirit of the Community Awards in recognition of their volunteerism.

Language School Trip

Sixty first year French students went to the Language centre in Bundoran from 2-4 March and currently forty one first year Spanish and German students are enjoying the activity and language course and are due back on Friday 27 March.


A very successful fundraiser was organised by our Parents’ Advisory Council on Saturday 14 March in Castletown- Geoghegan raising in excess of €11,000. Enormous thanks are due to the very hardworking committee who worked tirelessly to organise the event, sell tickets, raise sponsorship and advertise the event-BredaWard, Anne Shaw; Sally Ann O Donnell; Noleen Maloney; Colette Linnane; Tracey Johnston; Ollie Scally; Kathleen O Mahony; Bernie McVeigh; Catriona Duffy; Jane Horan; Michael Bane; Claire O’Brien-Moran; Marguerite Hogan Rosemary Gilbert; Amelia Cox; Sheila Finnerty; Patricia Woods and Ruth Robinson. John Cunningham’s curry went down a treat with everybody after their gallop around the countryside. Thanks are also due to local businesses and suppliers for their generous sponsorship of money, raffle prizes and items for auction. Finally our students, parents and staff who sold tickets and supported the event in many different ways deserve huge appreciation as well as Andre Bouabbse  and his team who very kindly set up the entire course and erected 60 fences through lands in the Castletown-Geoghegan – Dysart area that were kindly offered by local landowners.

Student Enterprise Awards

Well done to all our TY Business students who took part in the Student Enterprise Awards county final in Athlone. TY and fifth year students won 12 medals at the ‘Young Economist of the Year Awards’ in Maynooth and nine first year students won group medals for their entries. Sincere thanks are due to the Business Dept. for their assistance to the students who participated.

Positive Optimistic Thinking Week will come to an end tomorrow after a week of smiley faces, compliments, positive ‘thoughts for the day’ over the intercom, no homework evening, Easter egg hunts and Comfy Feet Day. The week was a huge success thanks to the great work done by our Students’ Council.

Loreto Development Education

Ms Moorhead, Ms O ‘Kennedy  Ms Davitt and the Principal attended the Loreto Development Education Seminar in Carton House in Maynooth on Wednesday 18 March where the Guidelines to support Development Education practice within Loreto Schools was launched. Congratulations to all involved in this unique Loreto initiative to embed Development Education in all aspects of the curriculum.

The Social Justice Group is meeting regularly and we look forward to the group gaining momentum in the school with the help of our Development Education programme.

Loreto Principals’ Seminar

The Loreto Principals’ Spring Seminar took place in Carton House on Thursday 19 March and was a valuable source of training and collegiality for the eighteen school Principals in the Loreto Network.

The annual school magazine Loreto Link produced by Transition Years under the direction of Ms Nulty is almost ready for printing and we look forward to its publication next term.

Lenten Masses

Fr Paul Crosbie celebrated weekly mass at lunchtime throughout Lent and also class masses for different groups of students.


Ms Brophy is preparing the senior choir to compete in the Navan Choral Festival which takes place on Friday 8 May. We wish them every success in their preparations for the competition.

It is also hoped to stage a musical in the next academic year before Christmas and ‘Godspell’ is being considered.

At the Loreto Principal’s Seminar our cluster group discussed the idea of a choral competition between the five schools for the next academic year to be held in Omagh as a possible means of forging links and a little ‘healthy competition’ between  the schools.

Congratulations to twelve of our girls who are members of the Lynn Singers who came first in the Youth Choir category at Feis Cheoil na hEireann and were highly commended by adjudicator Donal Doherty and encouraged to enter senior competitions.

The second year debating club had their first public debate on Thursday 26 March and the standard of presentation and argument was astounding. The adjudicators are deliberating and the result will be announced before the holidays. Thanks to Ms Cosgrave, Ms Hanlon, Ms Nulty and Ms Lennon for their involvement and support for this new club.

Seachtain na Gaeilge was celebrated in style last week with ceolchoirmeacha, Tráth na gCeist Boird agus Ceilí Mór. Míle buíochas le Roinn na Gaeilge as ucht na himeachtaí go léir.

Not to be outdone, a mini German Week also took place with games food and quizzes.


Training continues for 1st, 2nd and 3rd years even though competition is over.


Spike ball is progressing to volleyball for juniors

Training continues for 1st and 2nd years. The 2nd year volleyball team (which was the spike ball team) had a great win over Castlepollard on Monday last and have now progressed out of the pool stages.


Volleyball for Seniors

Volleyball has started on Wednesdays for senior students. These students are training for the `Sky Sports Living for Sport` programme. We hope to get a visit from a professional athlete in April. Last year Eoin Rheinisch, Olympic Athlete in Canoe Slalom visited the school.



On Feb 25th the u14 and u16 badminton teams travelled to Moate to compete in the Westmeath County Championships. The girls did well on the day but didn`t progress.



The minor Camogie team (1st and 2nd years) beat Kilbeggan and a tough Mountrath to qualify for a Leinster quarter final against Scoil Chriost Ri Portlaoise. This will be after Easter.


Tag Rugby

The tag rugby team are going to a blitz on Tuesday 24th in Donnybrook.



Students are busy training for the Loreto Track and Field and North Leinster`s which are after Easter.

Cross Country

Congratulations to all our students who represented us in the All Ireland Schools Cross Country Competition on Saturday March 7th in Clongowes Wood College.  A special mention to Caoimhe O’Brien (1st year) who finished 10th overall in the minor competition and also to our Intermediate team which consisted of: Andrea Brady, Alanna Bate, Daria Fidgeon, Laura Shaw and Caoimhe Gaffney who came fifth on the day.



The 1st year basketball team won the Midlands Regional Final beating Ursuline College, Thurles by 39 points to 29 points. They have qualified for the All-Ireland play-offs on April 18th.


Cycle Against Suicide

There is great support from teachers and students for the CAS and Dave Byrne Chairperson of Mullingar Committee comes into the school every Monday at 11.15am to meet a few interested teachers during a free class.

-We are going to cater for and provide entertainment for 1000-2000 people on both the Saturday and Sunday and sponsors are being approached for this.

-Students are being prepared by teachers for media interviews and our own showcase videos on positive mental health.

-The Art Dept. is busy making signs and displays for the weekend.

-25 Students and 4 teachers started their cycling training last Friday and the Westmeath Sports Partnership has given bikes on loan for the event.

-Mental Health Organisations are being contacted to come in and showcase the services and supports that are available in the Midlands.

Any help from parents would be greatly appreciated.



The 6th year students are being moderated on April 23rd. A moderator is flying in from the UK to assess the girls in their PE practical exams.

The TY and 5th year students are currently preparing projects for the first All-Ireland Theory of PE Expo that we are hoping to enter at the end of April.



TY students recently received their GAA Go Games coaching award. They are also in the middle of completing their Rugby Coaching award.

Two TY students have just finished their work experience in the PE Dept.


Active Schools Week

April 27th-May 1st. Sports Day is May 1st.
Breakfast Club still runs every morning from 8.30-8.50 and students can get cereal, tea, toast and orange juice for 50c. It is gaining numbers gradually.


All sports and other extra-curricular activities are going ahead as usual thanks to the dedication of our many staff members who give so generously of their time and talents.

Welcome back to Ms Olivia Callaghan and Ms Samantha Moorhead who have returned from maternity leave and sincere thanks to Ms Siobhan Scally and Mr Sean Dench who acted as substitute teachers in their absence and who both contributed hugely to the learning of our girls.

Ms Sinéad Lawlor finishes tomorrow in her role as Acting Deputy Principal and I thank her on behalf of the school community for her tireless work and organisational excellence during her tenure and particularly during WSE/MLL. I also acknowledge her great assistance to the Parents’ Advisory Council in their most successful fund raising events. Her leadership since last October has had a most positive impact on the school.

We also look forward to the return of Ms Carmel O’Grady during the Easter holidays to see us through what remains of the school year and to make preparations for the next academic year particularly in terms of timetabling and staff recruitment.





School Talks:

It was agreed that we will offer a date in September. Breda will contact Mr. Kavanagh and see when he is available.


Treasurer’s Report

Confirmed the amount raised by the ride out and funds lodged.

A cheque was written for €350 in response to a request for sponsorship from the school for T shirts for the cycle against suicide with half the cost being covered by the school itself.

If the school have any other requests for any other funds then they are encouraged to bring them to the next meeting.



A lovely note from second year students expressing thanks for the seating around the school provided by the PAC.

We also received information regarding a teen parenting course run by Triple P beginning 14thApril.


Board of Management feedback

The Board have sought feedback on the possibility of initiating a book rental scheme. As things stand there is a “pot” of money available for students in need specifically for books but the wider parent body may not be aware of that and may need to publish that to parents.

Sheila said that she would get some additional information on book rental schemes in other schools.


PAC constitution

A meeting of a subcommittee will take place in May to finalise an updated constitution for the PAC. We want to get the draft up on the website together with a date for our AGM before the end of the school year so that we can ratify the constitution at our AGM.



A fundraising Recital by Veronica Mc Swiney to take place in May. Ms. Bell will speak to Veronica regarding a date that suits and PAC will assist with refreshments etc.


  • Next meeting 30th April 2015




Minutes of meeting of the Loreto College Parents Advisory Council


Thursday 12th February 2015


Attendees: Ms. Marese Bell, Noleen Moloney,  Michelle Maher, Rosemary Gilbert, Sally Ann O’Donnell, Clare O’Brien Moran, Irene Fallon, Jane Horan,Bernie McVeigh Colette Linnane, Nigel Boardman,  Tracy Johnston and Anne Shaw.


Apologies: Breda Ward, Catriona Duffy, Amelia Cox, Roisin NicTighearnain,


Minutes of the meeting of 15th January 2015 were read and adopted


Matters arising from those minutes:


  • Whole School Evaluation went very well. Absenteeism is an issue and the report of the inspectors will take place on the 23rd February 2015 and Breda Ward will attend as Chair on behalf of the PAC. Thanks were expressed by Ms. Bell for the involvement of the PAC in the process
  • Open night went very well with an excellent response from prospective students and their parents. The winner of the uniform sponsored by the PAC is Annie Graham. We will contact her parents and arrange to take a photo handing over the prize.
  • Meetings taking place regularly with the sub committees regarding the charity ride out and plans are falling into place.
  • A suggestion was made regarding permanent bench seating for students and some quotes will be obtained in that regard.


Principal’s Report

Thursday 12 February2015



The WSE/MLL took place on 2-4 February with pre-evaluation meetings on Thursday 29 January with Parents’ Advisory Council and the Board of Management. Sincere appreciation to Ms Breda Ward, Ms Anne Lordan and Ms Jane Horan for their very positive and well informed discussion with the DES inspection team. The inspectors were very positive about teaching and learning in the school and their full report will be presented to the Principal and Deputy Principal on Monday 23 February followed by staff at 2.50pm and the Board of Management at 5.30pm. The Chairperson of PAC Breda Ward has been invited to attend the Board of Management presentation.

Open Evening and Enrolment

Our application and enrolment process has come to an end this week. All Primary schools were visited since Christmas and application forms were distributed. Our Open Evening took place on Friday 23 January and feedback after the night was extremely positive. Closing date for applicationswas Friday 23 January at 9pm. First round letters of offer wereposted on Tuesday 27 January.A draw witnessed by Ms Bridie Smith (BOM) and Ms Breda Ward (PAC) was held to place students on a waiting list as per our Admissions Policy. There were two formal enrolment evenings on Tuesday3 February and Wednesday 4 February. Application numbers have increased again this year and there are a number of students on our waiting list. My sincere thanks to every teacher who made a huge effort for the Open Evening as well as our students who gave so generously of their time to decorate the school, to act as guides and to help in classrooms and with catering. Parents have been very supportive in facilitating us by dropping and collecting their daughters on Friday evening. Many teachers also visited primary schools and helped with our enrolment evenings  in a voluntary capacity.

School Trips

Fifth year and TY French students  visited Paris from Feb 9th to 12th.  Many thanks to Ms Gilliganfor all of her work in organising the trip and to all teachers who went on the trip with the girls.

Ms Thérèse O’Keeffe is organising a ski trip to Italy for February 2016 and it is hoped that there will be a good response from students and parents. She is purposely giving a full year’s notice to allow people time to save for the trip.

Faith Formation

Mary Ward Week and Catholic Schools’ Week followed in quick succession at the end of January with readings and prayers over the intercom.Students represented the school by attending a special mass in the Cathedral to mark Catholic Schools’Week.


Teaching & Learning

Mock examinations for state examination students have taken place over the past fortnight andcontinuous assessment is ongoing for all other students with reports being issued to all parents over the next few weeks.

Our Year Head team have organised two excellent assemblies with their groups with a focus on

  • Health/Safety and Tidiness around the school;
  • Academic Excellence/Study and Homework.

The girls have responded very well to the encouragement and advice given by their Year Heads and it is hoped to have a different focus for improvement every month.

Six of our junior Art students have been selected to go forwrd to represent the school in the Doodle for Google competition.

LCVP recorded interviews were held on Tuesday and Wednesday 27 and 28 January. Thanks to Ms Hanlon and Ms Hyland for all their work on these very important elements of the programme.

Our subject choice process is well under way for next year with First years already deciding which one of their three optional subjects they will drop going into second year.

Third years will get their DATS results on Monday 23 February. During that week there will be Subject Fairs for students on the various options available to them in Fifth Year or Transition Year. On Wednesday 25 February, there will be an Information Evening for parents of third year and Transition Year students covering subject choice, Transition Year and LCVP beginning at 7pm. Students will be given an initial free choice of all optional subjects to be returned by Friday 27 February.

Sporting Competitions

The North Leinster cross country championships took place on 23 January and ten students qualified for Leinster including our junior and intermediate teams.

Leinster finals took place on Wednesday 11 February  and our intermediate team are through to the All-Ireland final – Alanna Bate, Andrea Brady and Laura Shaw. Caoimhe O’Brien came 6th and has qualified for minor All-Ireland. Claire Fagan and Laura Whitelaw were in Paris and we have written to request qualification based on their records.

1st year basketball team played Scoil Dara, Kilcock on Tuesday Feb 3rd and won 39-18. They then played Clonaslee VS on Friday Feb 6th. A tougher game this time and there was only a point in it going into the last few minutes. Loreto had all the opportunities but just couldn`t put the ball into the basket. However, we finally got a few opportunities and Aoife Kenny scored vital baskets to ensure we won by 5 points in the end. They now have to play Sacred Heart, Tullamore to decide which team goes through to Midland Regional Semi-Final in first place from our section.

The 2nd year team were unlucky to lose to Clonaslee VS by 6 points in a very tough game. Meadbh Scally and Aoife Mullen really gave everything they had to try to get us on level terms with the opposition but again, the ball just wouldn`t go in to the basket. They now also play Tullamore and could go through to the Regional Semi-Final if they beat Tullamore.

The 1st years beat Sacred Heart Tullamore today by a basket. They now go through to the Midland Regional semi-finals to be played week of March 2nd -6th.
The 2nd years lost by a single basket & unfortunately miss out on qualifying to the next stage.
The 1st years will hopefully have a 2 hour training session over the midterm break.

Sun 1st Feb: Mullingar Interschools


Three teams went to post, two in the novice section and one in the open section. The novice teams jumped superbly and clocked up 2nd and 6th placings. The 2nd placed team comprised of Caitlin  Kiernan and Áine McManus who are both 1st year students, MykaylaMc Cormack from 2nd year and Gerda Bendziunaite from 5th year. It was Gerda’s first ever competition!


The sixth place team were Ruth Mc Cawley and Blaithin Keena from first year along with Laura Shaw and Meadbh Scally from 2nd and 3rd year. Both groups of young riders showed huge promise and fended off strong competition from the 13 teams.


The open team posted a credible 6th placing, just missing out on the jump off. It was Niamh O ‘Mahony and Ruth Mc Cawleys’ first time at this level, both who jumped beautiful clear rounds. Meadbh Scally was unlucky to tip the last, and Catriona Mc Veigh did a great job on her inexperienced mare. Overall a great performance from a developing team.


Friday’s training session in Mullingar seemed to pay off on the day of competition. Our next outing in Cavan on the 14th of February




The following activities are continuing apace:

Breakfast Club, JPIC, Guest speakers for third level colleges, Big Sister/Little Sister, French converstion club, Wake Up Club at 8.30am on Wednesdays, Fit Club after school.

Sports and training: basketball, camogie, hockey,spikeball, badminton, volleyball, football and tag rugby.


Cycle Against Suicide

5th February 2015

Dave Byrne and Leonie Maher came into the school to tell us that we have been chosen as an Anchor School for the 2015 CAS. Approx. 1000 cyclists will arrive at Loreto College on May 9th and will depart Loreto College on May 10th. The school is linking with the Mullingar CAS Team of Gerry Wallace, Derry Kilroy, Kevin Nolan, Leonie Maher and Dave Byrne. We hope that parents will get involved in this massive project by accommodating cyclists for the night, cheering cyclists on as they arrive in Mullingar, making buns, cycling part of the route, decorating the town, photography, entertainment etc. Any parent who is interested please contact Therese or Jenny.

13th February 2015

Jim Breen, the secret millionaire will visit the school to speak to students and staff on what it means to be an Anchor School for the CAS.






MLL Student Support

Jenny Bracken and Therese Malone, along with Sinead Hyland, Rosaleen Enright and Sr. Anna gave a presentation to the inspectorate about all the work we are doing.














HPS Positive Mental Health Project

Our student members painted a “Smile Board” on the main notice board and SPHE teachers asked classes to anonymously post positive and negative feelings they have had on the smile. When students read the posts it is hope that they will find comfort in the fact that other students have similar negative feelings, and the positive feelings will be uplifting.



Safer Internet Day 10th February 2015

We changed our smile to relate to the internet and students positive or negative experiences on the internet. We submitted our project to the Safer Internet Day website and received wristbands and badges for the students which were handed out on the day. The Gardaí came into to speak to 2nd year students and they will return to speak to other year groups after midterm. A reporter from Midlands Radio 3 contacted us to ask could she interview staff and students. Jenny Bracken, Therese Malone and Sinead Hyland, along with 3 HPS Team students – Sarah Moloney, Sarah Reid and Caoimhe McGuinness were interviewed and it aired on Tuesday morning.



The Students’ Council have presented a cheque to Night Nurse as part of their local charities project.







School Talks:

CBS have been paid for our share of the talk on the green platform by Declan Coyle which was very well attended.  A question was raised about payment of our affiliation fee to the NPC and we will follow up on that before next meeting.


Treasurer’s Report

Confirmed that €136 raised at the sixth year PT meetings and €279 on the 3rd year PT meeting. Volunteers came forward to do the table at the second year PT meetings and we will send out a request for the 1st year meeting in March.


  • Next meeting 26th March 2015




Minutes of meeting of the Loreto College Parents Advisory Council


Thursday 9th October 2014


Attendees: Ms. Marese Bell, Breda Ward, Jacinta O’Brien, Kathleen O’Mahony, Aine Killalea, Jane Horan, Michael Bane, Noleen Moloney, Tracy Johnston, Marguerite Hogan, Michelle Maher, Bernie McVeigh, Sally Ann O’Donnell, Margaret Egan, Marion Bate, Colette Linnane, Nigel Boardman, Amelia Cox and Anne Shaw.


Apologies: Catriona Duffy


Minutes of the meeting of 10th April 2014 were read and adopted


Matters arising from those minutes:


  • The Concert Pitch Grand Piano is on the way to the school. The funds raised at the music recital in May aswell as an additional €2,600 from the Parent’s Council will contribute to the cost.
  • Additional seating still needed for the girls around the school and it was agreed that the Parent’s Council will fund what is required.
  • Road Safety outside the School continues to be an issue. A proposal to create a pedestrian only exit between the two vehicular exits is on the table from the County Council. That is presently with the properties trust and the board of management.
  • A suggestion was made that the old gateway onto the canal could be reopened thus redirecting some of the pedestrian traffic away from the main road. An approach may be made to Waterways Ireland (Michael Bane) in that regard.
  • Student Awards night is taking place on 17th October and it was agreed that the Parent’s Council will sponsor awards for Best Leaving Cert, Best Junior Cert and Best LCVP. Presentation will be made on the night by Chairperson Breda Ward.


Principal’s Report:


School Trips/ Field Studies

Leaving Cert students attended Higher Options on Thursday 18 September organised by our Career Guidance teacher Ms. Sinead Hyland.

Leaving Cert students also successfully completed their Geography field studies in the Howth area since the school reopened. The studies took place in wonderful weather conditions and thanks to the Geography Department for all of their work and organisation.