School News

Guidance Department Update

It’s been another busy year for the Guidance Department. Messieurs Galvin and Breslin have been beavering away since September in delivering a thorough Guidance programme throughout the school. Some of their work has been fairly routine as in previous years, including work experience for 4th and 5th year students and providing guidance for 6th year students in their CAO and UCAS applications. However, some new ventures have also been experimented with and rolled out this year including a focus on second year students and their career planning as well as the creation of a school-business partnership with the Kirby Group, Raheen as part of the Business in the Community project. Both projects have been hugely successful to date and will hopefully become an integral part of the Guidance programme in future years. Behind all these ventures and projects, new and old, is the belief that effective career guidance and individual career planning is of utmost importance to every student who should realise that decisions made today can be of great importance in later years. So be aware of your career plan and don’t leave it too late to make or to others to make for you!

In an attempt to expand the guidance service offered within Coláiste Chiaráin, it was decided to focus on second year, to start students thinking about their future careers and what options are available to them when they leave school. Working closely with the Access Office at UL, an orientation day was organised for a group of students from across the year group.

On 5th October, a select group of second year students attended an orientation day at the University of Limerick. The day was a great success and the students involved had a fantastic time. The purpose of the day was to give Junior Certificate students a flavour of what student life at university would be like and what courses are available at UL.

In the morning the group received a tour of the campus with John McDermott, from the university Access Office. On the tour we saw the various university buildings including the library, Foundation Building, University Concert Hall, Health Sciences Building, the new Irish Academy for Music and Dance as well as Plassey House, the residence of the University President. We took a walk on the ‘Living Bridge’ which spans the river Shannon and felt the bridge sway beneath our feet.

Following the tour, the students met the Education Officer of the Student Union, who spoke about university life and the differences between school and university. The Education Officer also told us of the wide range of courses available at UL within the various faculties, including the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Kemmy Business School. A course for almost everyone!

After lunch in the Sports Bar, where we were fortunate enough to watch the Munster rugby team practise on the athletic track below, we were taken to the Sports Science building. Here the students carried out some experiments with research staff and students, measuring their speed, balance and memory capabilities.

The event was a great success allowing those present to learn about the different courses on offer at UL as well the differences between school and university. In addition to the orientation day, students from Leonardo are currently carrying out a careers-based project, entitled ‘Broadening Horizons’ in conjunction with the Access Office at UL. On completing their project each student will receive a certificate from the University at an awards ceremony to be held in the school, with parents and staff present.

The second initiative set up this year has been the creation of a partnership with one of Limerick’s leading employers, the Kirby Group, located in Raheen. The Kirby Group is an engineering firm with over 450 employees nationwide. The creation of such a partnership allows students in 5th year to experience first-hand the challenges that exist within any organisation operating in the current economic climate and to see what skills and qualities potential employers will be looking for in prospective employees. This opportunity blends well with the Preparation for the World of Work module of the LCVP syllabus

To date, representatives from the Kirby group have visited the school and given talks on those all-important employability skills, which employers are looking for in their employees as well as giving advice on job hunting skills, namely CV preparation and interview techniques. In February, a group of students visited Moneypoint Power station and had an opportunity to speak to various employees about the rewards and challenges of working in such an industry. Each student has since written up a report on the site-visit, which can be used as part of their LCVP coursework requirement.

Before the end of the year, representatives from Kirby will conduct mock interviews with students in a realistic setting, giving those present a chance to experience the selection process involved. In addition, some students will participate in the interview and selection process, from the other side of the table, alongside those from the HR section of the Kirby group.

In conclusion, we would like to thank all our partners for their help and support over the past year. As outlined above, we have worked very closely once again with the Access Office at UL as well as the various departments within the university. The school also continues to work well with the staff and students at LIT, with the visits, talks and seminars conducted there throughout the year. Thank you to our business partners, the Kirby Group, for their generosity to date; we hope to continue this liaison into the future. A special thanks to Dr. Eleanor Walsh, Regional Co-ordinator of the Schools’ Business Partnership, for establishing our links with the Kirby Group. Thank you to all local employers, whose help and contribution in the various work experience programmes throughout the school, has increased students’ understanding of the world of work. Finally, thank you to parents and staff for your continued support in the delivery of our Guidance programme.

Information relating to the Guidance programme offered at Coláiste Chiaráin, is available on our school web-site under ‘Guidance Dept’.

Alex Crowned National Champion

Talented Alex proved he could stand the heat in the kitchen as he scooped the national Rotary Young Chef award. Alex took on competitors from schools across the country. At the Failte Ireland headquarters he cooked a three course menu, costing under €18 in 2 hours.

Alex advances to the finals, taking place in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire on April 30th. Alex will compete against the finalists from England, Scotland and Wales. The winner will be crowed the Rotary Young Chef of Great Britain and Ireland. We wish Alex all the best and congratulate him to reaching the final of the competition. Over 4000 students competed in regional competitions organised by Rotary Clubs all over Great Britain and Ireland.

Special tanks to:
Ms. Haugh who helped Alex with preparations
Mr. Fergus Quinlivan and Mr. Tony Brazil from the Limerick Thomond Rotary club.

If you would like to take in part in the young chef or other Rotary competitions (such as Youth Leadership) have a look at our competition website.

Here are the details of Alex's meal:


Mediterranean style roasted peppers stuffed with beef, smoked bacon, feta & mozzarella served with homegrown seasonal mixed salad:

Main Course

Pan fried Hake fillet wrapped in Parma Ham, served with a miniature chorizo , hake, leek and kale pie with rosemary roast potato:



American style mocha, apple brownie pudding served with a lemon and honey yoghurt sauce:



Parent's Association Table Quiz

Parents Association Table Quiz
@ 8.00 p.m.

Alex Cooks up a Storm

Talented Alex Storey-Cosgrave is off to Dublin to the National Final of the Rotary Young Chef 2011 on Sat 26th February. We wish him the best of luck with his menu
Charred Peppers stuffed with Feta and Bacon, Basil Drizzle & Balsamic Syrup

Main Course
Hake Fillet, Chorizo & Kale Pie with a Mixed salad with Rosemary Roast Potatoes
Chocolate, Coffee and Apple Pudding

Environmental Awareness Week

Last week was Environmental Awareness Week. Green Schools organised Ms. Ellen O'Sullivan from An Taisce to come to the school to give a talk to students about saving the environment and reducing pollution, through travel.
The members of our Green Schools Committee held a Phone Drive in the school also during the week. So far they havecollected an amazing 26 old phones. This is brilliant for the chosen charity "The Jack And Jill Foundation", each phone will go towards their phone for board campaign: or towards helping sick children, that the foundation help. (Phones for Kits program:

The Committee are also running a competition, anyone (teachers/students) that brings in a phone will be given a raffle ticket and will be entered into a draw for an I-pod shuffle. The Committee will be in the red carpet area during the week.

Good luck! And don't forget to recycle and keep the place "Glan agus Glas" (Clean and Green)

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