We have had a very busy first term in this 2011/2012 academic year. Our first years are settling in very well and already have a lovely group atmosphere. Their Senior Prefects and peer buddies have helped to answer questions and put them at ease. The 2nd Years, through CSPE engaged well with the Presidential election and they elected President Michael D. Higgins, a day before the National Election. The 3rd, 5th and 6th Years have settled in very well to some more serious schoolwork and are still finding time to be involved in many of the school extra-curricular activities. The Transition Years are adapting well to a different type of year and are finding no difficulty at all engaging with the wide variety of activities on offer, from salsa dancing to work experience and Gaisce awards. The play for March 2012 will be “The Boyfriend” and auditions have already started.
Our school council, Senior Prefects and some technical crew organised a fun Talent Show before the mid-term break and we saw talents we never knew existed, so well done to all. Two 5th Years, Katie Hastings and Maria Riney recorded the show and the profits from this went to Loreto, Rumbek. The School Council, the Green Committee and the Justice and Peace Committee have been very active and shown leadership during the term with many activities and initiatives. Our retreat programme is progressing well. Debating and sport are well under way and many girls are representing the school on teams. We marked Science Week with a number of exhibitions and fun activities.
We have taken on the support of our sister school in Rumbek, in Southern Sudan. There was previously no secondary school for girls in the whole country. Two Irish Loreto sisters established the school last year and they will be joined in January by Sr Kathleen McLennon, who spoke to our girls at our end of year mass. There are currently 73 girls at the school and they would like to expand this number and need the funding to build a suitable school and dorm buildings. We thank the whole school community heartily for embracing this cause . Our Autumn Fair plus the Talent Show DVD raised a staggering €7,000. This, with €5,000 from a staff designatedfrom Atlantic Philanthropies, means we can send an outstanding €12000 to Rumbek. Ms Taylor and Ms Egan, along with Transition Years, Senior Prefects and many, many volunteers co-ordinated the event. This is such a significant donation that we are very proud of all involved.
The Beaufort girls have such a well developed social conscience that they have also been involved in other charitable efforts this term. We held; an informative One World Week; our Junior St Vincent de Paul are looking forward to their children’s Christmas party; the 3rd Years and the 4 Nightingale class held a most successful cake sale for Niamh Moriarty, a local 5 year old who needs to go to the States in the New Year for surgery; the 2Ps have organised our participation in the Toys for Tubs appeal and our Senior St Vincent de Paul is planning a Christmas evening for the elderly nuns in Abbey House.
There is so much activity in a vibrant school like ours. We have much to look forward to before the Christmas break. We wish our school choir every best for their concert in the National Concert Hall on November 28th. Our building work is coming to an end and we will have our new classrooms and lecture theatre for use in the New Year. The Transition Year group who are going skiing over the break are getting very excited about the trip. Our Parents’ Association is hosting a Festive Night on Tuesday 6th December, with carols and mulled wine and minced pies, so please note the date for your diary.
I would like to thank both the teaching and ancillary staff for their very hard work all term. I would also like to thank our Parents’ Association and Board of Management for their significant contribution to making the school a better place. Lastly may I wish each family a safe and happy Christmas and may God bless you all. Be kind to those you meet and also to yourselves and we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.