First Year English Students meet Oscar Winner Emma Donoghue!

It’s not every day you get to meet an Academy Award winner and international bestseller in the flesh!


Thirty of our First Year students and our English teachers Iníon Sorohan and Maistir Maguire had the amazing opportunity of being invited down to Ashbourne Library for an audience interview with author Emma Donoghue who was there to promote her new children’s book ‘The Lottery’s Plus One’.

Emma’s book ‘Room’ was turned into the hit film ‘Room’ of the same name, for which she also wrote the screenplay which was nominated and won the Academy Award!!!

She talked to our students about how she started writing and where she gets her ideas and inspiration and how it was to work closely with film director Lenny Abrahamson.

She was blown away with the level of questioning posed to her by our first year students. If their clever questions are anything to go by we may have some Oscar winners and international best sellers in our midst!

It was a great day and very inspiring.

Iníon Sorohan

Coláiste de Lacy students captivated by Oscar Winning Author Emma Donoghue

English Students Get Arty!

During the reading of our First Year Novel ‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palacio we came across a cultural reference to a famous  painting called ‘The Scream’ by Edvard Munch a Norwegian artist. We learned that the Halloween Scream mask and the famous picture of Kevin from the classic Christmas film ‘Home Alone’  and the  scream emoji were all inspired from this old painting!


There are four versions of this painting, each created using different media- paints, pastel and crayon.

Our First Year students created their own version of the painting using whatever media they liked- colouring pencil, markers, pastels, or black ink pen etc.

Students then paired up to take each other’s pictures in the famous scream pose!






































Many of the key Junior Cycle skills were used through the reading of the novel and this side project including being creative, working with others, managing myself and staying well. It also linked nicely in with our BLP teaching methodology practiced here in Coláiste de Lacy and the habits with try to cultivate within our students- planning, imagining and collaborating.

Here is just a tiny sample from a few of our students put together in one collage!

Iníon Sorohan

Active Week Activities for the English classroom! Hula Hoop Drama !

During active week we tried to include some activities and exercises into the English classroom to get students up and moving!

First Year students were set the difficult task of reading an extract from the play ‘Galileo’ by Bertolt Brecht while simultaneously trying to Hula Hoop! They then had to find the connection between the hula hooping and the themes of the drama piece.

The hula hoop goes around in circles just like the structure of the play-the extract ends exactly how it starts. There was also no change to the characters thinking – their ideas just go around and around.

The play also deals with Galileo’s theory and now fact that the earth travels around the sun. Students were able to understand the theory by thinking of themselves  as the sun in the middle of the hula hoop and then the hula hoop as the planets orbiting the sun.  For those who were not able to hula hoop they were allowed to keep the hula hoop in motion with their arms!

The main learning habits used were- managing distractions, making links, questioning , reasoning, collaboration, resilience*

Students were also taught punctuation through a punctuation karate activity!

Iníon Sorohan

Mask Making Merriment! Romeo and Juliet Mask Making Project



Our second year English students had a ‘ball’ making their Ventetian Masquerade Ball masks following our reading of Act 1 Scene 4 of Romeo and Juliet- The Capulet Ball.

Again this year our students were set the challenge of becoming costume designers. Each student had to design a Venetian Mask to represent a character of their choice.

The design of their mask had to reflect the qualities of that particular character. All students had to submit a detailed design brief with a character analysis before the mask making could begin.

Many of the key skills across the new Junior Cycle were again drawn heavily on in completion of this project- Being Creative, Managing Myself, Working with Others and Keeping Well.

Students did a fantastic job- some of the results which you can see here!

Coláiste de Lacy Strikes Gold again in the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Competition

francis ledwidge

A massive congratulations to Victoria McElearney who won overall best Irish poem in the LMETB Francis Ledwidge Poetry competition.

This is the second year of the Franics Ledwidge Poetry Award which saw participation of students from across 18 LMETB schools.

Victoria’s poem, through its economical use of language, manages to get across many elements of ‘Irishness’ or what it means to be Irish. It conveys a sense of pride , a country rich in community, a strive to build, develop and progress as a country both in the physical sense and in our psyche yet a country who acknowledges and is deeply proud of our history, our language and our heritage:

Chuirimid ár gceann suas 

Seasamar mar aon 

Le chéile ón dtús 

Níl tú leat fhéin 


Ó bhric go bric 

Thógamar náisiún Gaeilge (gaelach)

Ó dhoras go doras 

Thugamar chéad míle fáilte 


Ní thaispeáinimid trócaire 

Táimid fíocmhar chuig ár dtír 

Is é ár dteanga ár gcosaint 

Téann sé siar Chuig an rí Lír 


The structure of the poem is a technique in itself- where in a mere 14 lines Victoria manages to convey all of the above – her poem is small yet powerful- a symbol for the very Ireland she writes about reinforced in the final powerful message of her poem “Bhféidir go bhfuileamar beag Ach tá ár gcroithe mór”- “Maybe we’re small But our hearts are big …”


Written mostly in the present continuous tense she gets across how we as a nation are continuously trying and progressing.


The poem could be a symbol for our small but growing and continually progressing school of Coláiste de Lacy where the sense of community is rich and Irish language also holds a special place. Though small we also convey the efforts and achievements promoted within the poem.


This is Coláiste de Lacy’s second big win in the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Awards having won the title of ‘Best Overall School’ in last year’s competition.


We are currently still awaiting the results for the poems submitted in the  English Category of the competition and we wish the very best of luck to Onóra Finn, Jiawen McCabe and Matthew Joyce who have been shortlisted in this category!






Coláiste de Lacy enter the Prestigious ‘1916 Commemoration Poem for Ireland’ National Competition

poem for ireland

Wishing all the best to all of our English students who submitted poems to the ‘Poem for Ireland Competition’ as part of the 1916 Commemoration events.

This is a prestigious competition being ran by The Department of Education and Skills, The Public Library Service and Libraries Development, Local Government Management Agency with a fantastic overall prize of €1000 to be delivered to the winner in Dublin Castle in April.

The poems had to be crafted using the topic of ‘Ireland Past or Present’ as their inspiration and students did a formidable job.

Poems were written across many of the styles taught to students here in Coláiste de Lacy – Blank Verse, Sonnets, Acrostic, Prose Poems, Couplet Poems are just a few of the forms used.

Here are some extracts from a sample of the poems submitted in Coláiste de Lacy. As you can see the talent here is incredible:

Ten K

By Jiawen

Ten Irish soldiers stood in a row,

Roaring like a crow and as pale as snow.

Blinded by the gunshots and ashes,

Cutting their way through with violent slashes.


Drowned in sweat, mud and blood,

Starving to the point they no longer understood.

But it’s too late now to turn back time,

Sounds of cannons for death it chimes.


Our Seven Men (A Sonnet)

By Onóra


Ireland’s main fighters died brave in a line,
Seven in total a building a piece,
Killed with no mercy for their country’s crime,
Days turn to nights as deaths slowly increase,
Three were poets including Pádraig Pearse,
From the Newland, Mainland and Ireland born,
They gave us hope and their efforts were fierce



By Laura

While Europe was awash with World War 1

The Easter Rising had just begun

As part of The Irish War of Independence

Irish soldiers were fighting for freedom for their descendants


An Irish Windmill in Spring

By Yanna Power

The windmill sails in the blustering breeze

Emerging from the surrounding trees

The morning dew catches the sunlight’s rays behind the hill

It almost creates a slight haze and a bit of a chill

Although most are still sleeping

The grass is wet weeping

Daffodils coming out to bloom

It’s like nature’s homemade perfume





Best of Luck Jiawen! National Trócaire Poetry Ireland Competition

Poetry Ireland and Trocaire annual poetry competition 2016

Best wishes to Jiawen on the submission of two of her poems to the National Trócaire Poetry Ireland Competition. The theme of this year’s competition is ‘Forced to Flee: This Is Our Exodus” inspired by stories unfolding across our media of the Syrian situation.

A very difficult and challenging topic for anyone but one in which Jiawen was able to discuss beautifully in not one but two poems!

Here is the stunning  opening of her poem ‘This is Our Exodus’-


Shall I remind you of the pleas we’ve cried,

The millions of homes, shattered and destroyed.

While you’re reading about freedom and such,

We’re living a life with hope as a crutch.

Coláiste de Lacy Students get ‘Lost in Music’

Our first year English students have just completed their class novel ‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palacio.

Students had to create a soundtrack to explore key moments of the text which reflected or taught us something about the plot, character and theme contained within the novel.

Students then had to choose four of the songs on their album and write up a detailed analysis of how each song linked in with that scene making sure to link the quotes from the book to the concept, lyrics and tone of the song.




Finally students had to design and create the sleeve of the album cover and again give reasoning as to their design choice and process again linking in with key moments and quotes from the novel.

Attached are some pictures of students getting underway on their task and Cathal holding his finished album soundtrack and designed cover sleeve.


Coláiste de Lacy Students Shall Go to the Ball!


Our second year students are currently reading Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Part of their project work on the play was to become costume designers and design and create a Venetian Mask to represent a character of their choice. The design of their mask had to reflect the qualities of that particular character. All students had to submit a detailed design brief with a character analysis before the mask making could begin.


The second part of their task was to create a soundtrack for a film production of Act 1 Scene 5- the Capulet Masquerade Ball – where Romeo and Juliet meet each other for the first time. Here they had to select at least four songs that related to and captured the scene and the characters at this point in the play and write a brief on this also.

Once all of the masks and the soundtracks were fully completed we re-created the Capulet Masquerade Ball  in the classroom and students had to act out the dialogue and famous quotes from the scene while Iníon Sorohan acted as D.J. playing the students soundtracks after these key moments of the play.

Students did an outstanding job overall throughout both tasks which focused on some of the key skills across the new Junior Cycle and drawing heavily on our particular ‘Building Learning Power’ style of learning here in Coláiste de Lacy.


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Poetry Workshop with Performance Poet Colm Keegan

On the 17th of December Colm Keegan, a writer, performance poet and creative writing teacher delivered a poetry workshop to our second year English students as a result of our winning best overall poetry in the Francis Ledwidge Competition last year.

Our students had an amazing day with each and every single student crafting their poem and participating in a poetry slam at the end of the session.

Here below is just a snapshot of some of the poems created on the day thanks to Colm.


 It’s Christmas Day roughly five years ago

I ask my uncle to help build Lego

He says yes and helps me piece by piece

And everything fills with peace

We’re half way there and it falls apart

And he helps me build it again from the start

It’s been five hours and it’s finally put together

I wish he was still here to see it standing there

Proudly on the shelf where it’s always near

Memories like these keep those who are gone


The Old Fella

By Adam

 He hated the wind

But that didn’t stop him visiting.

He’d sit there

With his paddy cap.

Sneaking a fag

When the missus wasn’t looking.


I didn’t know,

…But I did…

Because he’s grandad.


He had to walk down the old lane-


Our Swing

By Onóra 

Footsteps cutting through the silence,
We walked the enchanted way,
Branches knotted like hidden roots,
Distant birds sing faraway,
Then in the distant I spot,
With my eyes full of love and wonder,
That little string,
Once called a swing,
Hanging from the treetop,
No one could prepare me from the joy that day,
That we walked the enchanted way.

I sat down quietly on the lonely bench,
And tied the ribbons of my worn down shoes.
My hair was strictly pulled into a ballet bun,
Wore a dress of bold, royal blues.

And each move I took was full of grace,
Delicate steps that made me so brave.
The screaming, the crying, they were replaced,
With each twirl and leap my soul gave.

I looked around with a sudden pause,
The crowd started to make me feel small.
The silent was louder than my heart could scream,
Feeling like I wasn’t existent at all

The passion was a reminder of all that is gone,
Like she is, a hole in my heart.
And with her goes our precious times,
But nothing will tear us apart.

A lot To Me

By Evan 

There’s a smell of smokes

A taste of beer

Coming from those middle aged blokes

Trying to forget why they’re here

The concrete jungle

Ugly paint jobs

Cars spreading like fungal

Trying to avoid the mobs

This ugly scar

That tears me apart

Because I’ve loved you from the start

There’s beauty in everything

It can be hard to see

And even if you feel like nothing

You mean a lot to me


When people act like you’re invisible

When people act like you’re invisible,

But you’re as clear as a crystal.

When people lie to your face,

And think you don’t know the truth.

When you open up to someone,

And they stab you in the back.

When they give out and scream and shout,

And the next day she wants to come back.

But deep down I know,

She’s as fake as snow in the summer.



By Aisling 

She sat at the piano, all straight and up right

The brooch of a wombat, clinging on for dear life

Hard boiled sweets that sat in the jar

The minute you pop one in your mouth you could smell them from afar

For the songs that she played are no longer there

And the sweets I cannot smell

As she lays in the box with the brooch on her top

Her body so small and so frail

Her smile will be always be in my mind

For she’s with me all of the timeIMG_7147 IMG_7148 IMG_7151